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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