Thursday, November 20, 2014

Forget the Ozone Layer, There is a Hole in My Ceiling

After we (FINALLY) finished the floors we went back and forth on what project to start next.  We most of what we need to do the hall bath, so that would make sense.  Tanner still doesn't have an official bedroom, so us working on the Master bedroom would make sense too.  It was between making the house pretty or making it functional.  We decided the smart thing to do was to work on the Master bedroom and get all the rooms of the house usable before we work on making them pretty. As a woman that is a tough decision!

The plans in the master bedroom are to (1) address the water damage that we are not fully sure where it is coming from (2) peel up all of the green peel and stick tiles off the concrete floors (3) stain the concrete floors (4) repair and paint the walls after fixing the water issue. Here is a few shots of the before...

We started with step 1, address the water problem.  We initially thought that we had fixed the main issue when we remodeled Taylor's bathroom.  The supply line to her toilet was leaking pretty bad, so when the water was turned on it was soaking through the floor.  It took a few days to find it because there was carpet in the bathroom.  YUCK!  We replaced both the supply line and the toilet and did not have any more issues with it leaking.

In the months that followed I began to notice that the spot on the ceiling from the water damage was getting darker and darker.  You expect this for a short period of time while the water is drying up, but it was getting bigger and darker.  Jonathan decided to knock a small hole in the ceiling to see if he could spot the issue.

When he poked the sheet rock it was very clear that this was not a tiny leak.  He knocked a sizable hole and could see that this would not be a weekend project.  He put a fan in the hole to help dry out the standing water, that would allow us to better see where the water was coming from.

The good news is that we cut along the bottom of the back wall, where there was some mold, to see how much damage had been done to the studs.  They looked great! This means that we will not have to rebuild the wall like we thought we would.

We let the hole sit for a few days (aka weeks) to find where the leak was coming from.  With this sitting open we saw, from the puddle in the floor, that it was a good bit of water leaking.  I am so glad we found this before we moved in the bedroom.  Nothing says "Good Morning" like a pile of ceiling in the middle of your bed!

It turns out that the drain in the hall bath (Tanner's) was cracked.  We let it dry out for a day or two and then Jonathan put some type of sealant on it.  We are going to turn it on today and see if it is still leaking.  If the patch doesn't work, we may have to change our plans and go ahead with the renovations on the hall bath.  We will see!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Floors, Floors, Floors

I have had so many people ask me if I decided to just stop writing the blog. The answer is, No, I did not want to just stop.  I love documenting all of the work so that one day we can look back at what all we accomplished.

But, as usual, life took over. My family seems to have this pattern, not intentional but uncontrollable pattern of having to make several major changes at the same time.  We had found this house and fallen in love with the house and the land.  And the view!  We were not in a hurry, but anxious to get started on the next chapter of our lives.  

Over the next couple of months of negotiations and closing dates and new closing dates, Jonathan and I were both offered new jobs.  Jonathan was staying in the insurance/investment business but would be changing companies to Allstate and changing to an office that is 45 minutes away.  I would also be staying in the same position of payroll, but I moved from a family owned farm and trucking company to doing payroll for the Anniston City Board of Education.  We were excited but also a little overwhelmed.   

We were able to accomplish a good bit in the beginning, in spite of how busy everything was, because the kids were still on summer break.  They would work on the house during the day while we were at work, then we could tackle the harder jobs together at night.  Once school started, and football started, it became more difficult to be productive.  Most week nights we have not been getting home until 8:00 pm or later.  Then by the weekend we are so exhausted that we just cannot get motivated to tackle the bigger projects.

We have made some progress, but it has taken a while for it to be progress that you can see.  I mean you don't really care to see "Here is how I changed the light bulbs".  The biggest renovation that we have been working on is the bedroom floors.  They were a light tan carpet that I am positive had been down for 20 years.  You cannot even imagine the dust that came out of that carpet.  GROSS!!!  

When we bought the house I knew that we would have to pull the carpets.  My whole little family suffers from allergies and my daughter from asthma as well.  There were a few issues that made it a struggle to find the perfect floor solution.

First, the den has original pine floors.  They a great and I did not want to mess with them.  The issue is that the den and the hallway (where the new flooring would begin) connect.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am really funny about certain things.  Does it bother me when the dishes are piled up and running out of the sink? No.  Would it drive me absolutely bonkers if the two different floors were similar but not the same?  YES!  They needed to be either exactly the same or totally different.  I am weird like that.

Second, the look that I am going for.  This home is a little farmhouse style home on 10 acres of land.  I needed the floor selection to reflect that.  I did not want shiny, pristine floors.  I wanted something that felt like it had been there for a while.  Something that my men could walk into the house from being in the woods and not worry that it would be messed up.  Something warm and cozy.

Third, and most common problem, the price.  We are renovating on a budget, not to mention that I am very frugal.  I was willing to put in more elbow grease than dollars.  But I did not want the cost to compromise the finished product.

So what did I decide to do?  After much computer research I decided that the best option for us was plywood flooring.  Ba-Ba-Bum....

I will not give you a complete tutorial because there are already so many out there.  I took two or three different ones and kind of blended them together.  The basic concept- you take B grade sanded plywood and have the store cut it for you into planks.  The beauty is you decided how wide you want it, so it can have the whatever feel you are going for.  Then you attach the boards directly to the sub flooring, either butted up against each other, or you can leave a little space between the boards to give it a more rustic feel.  The just apply what ever finish that you prefer.

I chose to have my planks be 6 inches wide. I also opted to leave spaces between the planks, using pennies as spacers.  I felt that this was in keeping with the farm house feel.  For the finish I chose Minwax "Classic Gray".  It was perfect!  It had a warm gray-brown background, with a more charcoal gray color holding to the darker grain.  I applied a Satin finish sealant to protect the floor.  I am in LOVE with the finished product.  It is exactly the look and feel that I was going for.   

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Out of town and still going

This week I have been in Mobile receiving training in the computer system for my new job. With me gone, my hubby has kept the remodel rolling. 

He has almost finished a whole bathroom!  We pulled out Taylor's old nasty tub, installed the new tub, laid the tile, and installed the wooden paneling on the walls. 

You know you are a redneck when.....

You use a red solo cup to  lose up the whole for the septic! Hey people, you use what you have!

Here is the new shinty white tub and you can see the tiles. They are a 16 x 16 gray tile. 

I cannot wait to get home and see it in person!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Crazy Crazy Week

This week Jonathan and myself have both started new jobs so it has been beyond crazy!

I took a position with the Anniston Board of Education as the Payroll Accountant. I have been doing payroll, but this is a whole system of numbers that I am having to learn. So far I am really loving it, but when I get home I am exhausted!!!  

Jonathan moved his broker from New York Life to Allstate. He is really excited about the change and already seeing fruits from it. This is a new computer system and staff that he is having to learn. And his office is now based out of Southside, near Gadsden, which is about a 45 min drive for him. It is a nice drive though. 

With all the craziness of this work week, the haven't gotten to be as productive as we were over the weekend.  Jonathan and Tanner have been doing a lot of demolition. They have torn out cabinets from both bathrooms and Tanners room. This is just part of the counter off the cabinet in Tanners room. It is like 8 feet long!  

Right now on my back porch I have an assortment of tools, wood pieces, lawn chairs, boxes, cabinets, counters, carpet, foam matting, and two (yes I said two) toilets!  We are officially White Trash!!!

We are still working on the mystery of the water pressure. We are now thinking that there may be some rust built up in the water heater, pipes, and fixtures from the old galvinized pipes we pulled out from underneath the house. 

Jonathan is also starting to put down the backer board for the tile in the bathroom. We are starting to get the clean slate that helps us better visualize what it will look like completed. 

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Downside to the country

This is the age of technology right?  Everyone is "connected" all the time so I it seems. Everywhere you look people of all ages are on their phones, iPads, computers, and so may other devices. 

Why is it that with all of the advancements, we can't seem to get internet at a reasonable rate? I never thought that we would have this problem. We knew that our neighbors had internet with AT&T and we have phone lines so that should be our best option right?

Well apparently they only open up so many "ports" of interent for the area. They are researching to see if they can find an empty "port" so that we can get internet. 

I realize that this is a minor issue, especially after having to use a porta potty for a week, but it is an inconvenience that we are all having to adjust to. 

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

To the Trees

There has been a lot of progress this weekend, mostly small things that need to be done. 

I spent Saturday morning trying to get all of our clothes organized so that we can function this week while Jonathan started getting our washer and dryer hooked up. As usual, this took a few trips to the hardware store for random parts. 

We also had a few amazing friends show up with chainsaw, mower, weed eater, sprayer and pole saw. We are so blessed with friends that just show up and get some serious work done!  

This sexy bug guy showed up for a little while too. 

This is Sam, and I love that not only does he show up to work, he takes to time to teach Tanner how to use a chainsaw. 

There were some problems with the dryer hook up so Chad,another one of our amazing friends that does electrical work, came and helped us get it up and running. 

While Jonathan and Chad were working on dryer, me and Jessica, my very best friend in the whole wide world, started painting the trim in Taylor's bedroom. There is nothing that brightens a room like bright white, glossy trim!

When it was all said and done we have to massive piles of limbs and bushes that were cut. That is some serious yard work!

You can see that we enjoyed our fire pit under our trimed up tree last night. It was so nice to relax with our friends that have helped us out so much. 

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th Part 2

Today we started painting bedrooms and the hallway. I keep posting pictures of the kids working so here is proof the I was getting in on the action. 

I really like the two separate mirrors, It has a slimming effect, which is a miricle. 

We were able to get Taylor's walls painted. Everyone worked a paintbrush at some point which helped out a lot! 
Here is what the walls looked like before. I will post an after pic when we get the trim painted. 

After we finished painting her room and got through most of the hallway, we ride into town and exchanged the way oversized microwave and picked up a few new things.  

I was able to find the shower faucet set that I had been looking for!  We were able to mix match two sets from the same collection to make exactly what we needed to make both upstairs faucets match. It's the little thigs that make me feel better. The kids found other ways to entertain themselves. 

Since we were having some friends over tonight we thought we would get a toilet installed. Our plan didn't work out because the supply lines the we got didn't fit, so I guess it's one more day with the porta potty. 

Tonight we have enjoyed a well deserved break with some good friends and some fireworks. 
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