Our First Offical New House DIY Project!

I promised a post about our flooring installation, so here it is.  It’s been a little slow going because we can only go to the house in the evenings after work, but we’ve made pretty darn good progress in just 3 days.  The first night we rented a drum sander from Home Depot and sanded all of the subfloor joints and any spots that had high spots from other portions of construction.  Of course, prep work begets prep work and before we could start sanding we had to cut off the excess plastic sheathing installed on the exterior walls as part of the energy efficiency, which you saw in this post.


This stuff was applied with a super sticky and gooey tar-like substance that has been very annoying to clean and work around at the base of the walls.  We could have laid the flooring over top of the portion on the floor, but with all the paint, mud and texture residue on the plastic it just wasn’t a good idea, especially since the flooring warranty could be voided if there is any under layment.

Next up was sweeping all of the dust and debris to be vacuumed with the shop vac.  There was a LOT of dust and a good bit of debris…


Once the floor was vacuumed, the hubs started sanding.  At first he did the whole area but we soon realized that wasn’t necessary so he focused on the seams of the subflooring and anything that had a high spot.


We started installing the next evening. Each piece has a tongue and groove edge so that it locks into the piece next it on either side without use of any adhesive.  And without need for an underlayment, it can be installed right over the subfloor, as we did.


It took us a while to find a ‘system’ with the material, but once we did it went fairly smoothly.  The hardest part was getting those first few rows down so there was something locking the other pieces into place.  There’s been a slight learning curve and a few ‘dang it’ moments, over all we’ve not had any major hang ups. Here’s what things looked like near the end of the first night of installation.


We had the dogs with us while on site and were pleased that they stayed out of the way for the most part.  Granted that’s likely because they’d been to Doggie Day Camp and the groomer that day, and were just plain tuckered out.  Sangria decided she’d hide out in the pantry since it was the one area we weren’t walking through.


A nearby lot was recently purchased and they have begun clearing for construction.  As we left that evening, I was stunned to see that they not only burned the trees cleared rather than grinding them back into the dirt like our builder did, but they left the smouldering pile glowing unattended!  I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not going to be crazy about this neighboring project, but I’m trying to reserve judgment until I meet actual people…


The hubs had a light schedule at work today, so he left early to go work on the flooring without me and spent most of the day there.  He made pretty good progress, including some difficult ‘tight spot’ pieces that took extra time to cut.  Here’s what it looks like now (sorry for the phone pics, but it’s all he had with him, since the ‘photographer’ wasn’t around).

Dining room done into the laundry room and the edge of the kitchen.
Heading into the kitchen.
Heading into the kitchen.
Laundry room, almost complete.
Laundry room, almost complete.
Great room fireplace wall done.
Great room fireplace wall done.

Unfortunately we got a call from the flooring store saying there was some ‘mix up in Seattle’ and the other half of our flooring wasn’t shipped until TODAY!  It was supposed to already be here, so this is quite a set back.  It’s now supposed to arrive Monday or Tuesday and then has to sit on site for at least 1 day before it can be installed.  We’re not sure yet how the will impact the overall completion schedule, but we’ll continue working with what we do have until we run out in an effort to keep things as on time as possible.

A Sneak Peek At Our New Kitchen!

We are finally breaking ground on our new home this week!  HALLELUIAH!!! Now that means we’ve been given the green light to get all of our materials chosen, including cabinets and counter tops for the kitchen.  We had these done up at Home Depot and even ended up almost $1,600 BELOW our cabinetry allowance!  Now we’re trying to work that same magic on the counter tops and flooring.

Picture 3Ignore the additional walls in the background.  They were used in the design software to plan out the bathroom vanities but the computer ‘sees’ them and renders them as plotted.

Picture 1 Picture 2
You’ll have to imagine our invisible pantry door on that corner wall, and our fridge will be a 3 door, but it’s close enough for a rendering.  We will also have a more mid-tone variegated flooring and a warm tan/beige wall color, so the contrast won’t be so pronounced.

Picture 4Picture 5

I left these two adjacent to give you a panorama effect of the back and side wall.  What’s scary great is that we’re such planners we already know what each cabinet shall hold!

And all of the drawers and cabinets are quiet close!  *Cue heavenly music*  Depending on when our builder orders them we may also get a free double cutlery divider in one of our drawers and roll-out bins rather than shelves in a few too!  Now we have to sit and count out how many knobs and handles we have to order.  We found some pretty ORB style hardware that run about $2.50 each so that shouldn’t break the bank either.

Lighting.  Check.  Cabinets.  Check. Counter tops.  In Progress.  Flooring.  Still the budget buster, final decision TBD.

DIY Drop Cloth Curtains

BeforeThe family room of our rental is like a greenhouse.  A massive southern facing window and then a glass door leading out to a small balcony flood the space with light. You can see this wall of windows in this picture from the day we moved in.  Mind you I love how bright it is, but even with temps hovering around freezing outside we’d be roasting in this room by mid-afternoon.  Plus being in a cul-de-sac means all of my neighbors can see in just as much as I can see out!  But most importantly my husband was concerned with how the sun would interfere with watching TV in the space! Of course a man would find that the most important reason to need curtains.

I didn’t want to spend a lot because I’m sure I’ll want to do something different in our new house so I went straight for my “Window Treatments” board on Pinterest.  And of course I found a perfect solution.  Drop cloth curtains.

I hit Home Depot and picked up three 16′ x 9′ clothes for about $15 each.  While browsing the size options a young man in the infamous orange apron asked if he could help me find anything.  He probably thought I was lost looking at my phone and then back at the shelf.  When I said I was just trying to decide what size I’d need to make curtains based on a tutorial I’d pinned he immediately asked to see what it would look like!  I was stunned.  But he was genuinely interested and seemed excited for my little project.  He wished me well and moved on to assist another customer.  I almost wanted to ask if he wanted me to bring in a picture of how mine turned out!

Most of the tutorials I found involved cutting and hemming, which I was hesitant to do not knowing what the dimensions of our new home will be or which room I’ll use these in when we move.  So I did what any DIY frugalista would do.  I laid them out on the floor folded them to the length I wanted and pinned them! (See what I mean about how bright it would get in there?!)

PinSideA couple of pins down the sides of the folded section and then across the top and I was ready to hang.  I dug out some curtain rings I had from window treatments at our old house and just clipped a cloth up on either side of the window.  I didn’t measure the spacing for the clips I just guesstimated by finding the center and then the 1/4 mark after clipping both ends.

I did wash each of the drop clothes before hand.  I probably should have ironed them too, but I don’t iron.  Seriously.  I don’t iron.  If something in our house needs ironing my husband does it.  It’s like my cryptonite.  So the end product is a little wrinkled, but I figure that will fade the longer they hang.FinishedAnd here’s the finished product.  I didn’t plan it but the folded excess hits right at the window ledge, creating the illusion that the darker color at the bottom is from the lack of light from behind at that point.  Wish I could claim that was sheer genius planning.  But it wasn’t.  I’m sure the dogs appreciate that they don’t prevent them from continuing their daily neighborhood watch.  And my husband appreciates being able to pull them closed to watch a movie!  I plan to make them a little more fancy at our next house with a stencil of some type once they are really hemmed! 🙂