Office – 97 Percent completed….

February 24, 2013

The white pine floor has been refinished and it came out beautifully. We removed the previous dark brown paint/stain and opted not to re-stain or paint and just poly.


Starting first coat of polyurethane on sanded floors.


The poly really brings out the grain and color of the old floors. They were pretty dry and soaked up quite a bit.


The final coat… three coats of satin finish were applied and sanded in between.


Priming and painting the baseboard trim and door and window trim. We found Maki to be the best source for trim, they have what we need in stock and were very helpful. We used poplar which was cheaper than the clear pine and since we were painting the woodwork it made sense to go that route.


Trimming out the window. I broke the wooden grills and I tried to get a replacement, but they sent the wrong size. At some point I need to bring the broken ones to Home Depot and see if we can order a replacement…


The finished floor and walls and almost finished trim.

This room has been a bit more time consuming than we anticipated, but no real surprise there, pretty much par for the course. Some challenges:

  • trying to reset the door and then realizing that the door NEVER fit.   They put a 30″ door on a 29.5″ frame. I think we are going to shave it down a bit to make it fit now that things are leveled…
  • picking all the crud that had settled between the floor board gaps and decided to get out what we could, but not go too crazy…
  • Trying to put 1/4″ quarter-round where the floor meets the baseboard and realizing that one wall was so out of plumb that it wouldn’t cover the gap…  Talked husband into using 1/2″ on those two walls instead of trying to plane the baseboard to fit flush and run the risk of it looking like it didn’t match the other wall (the height would be lower in some spots).

So now, what’s left…

  • cutting the door to fit, sanding, re-painting, replacing hardware and re-hanging
  • reordering window grilles…trying to get the measurements right and painting and installing those
  • finding a ceiling fixture
  • trying to get husband to build a built-in bookcase…
  • moving Internet line
  • hooking TV back up
  • etc…

Back to the house…

February 3, 2013

Progress is being made in the office.  The walls are painted and the floor has been sanded down.  It took longer than expected as the first machine (borrowed) wasn’t working well and so two sanders had to be rented plus sandpaper purchased.  The floor is original to the house, from the 1900s and there are gaps and lots of nails that needed to be tamped down.

Next the poly will be applied as a top coat.  We know that these floors were often painted in the past.  This one was covered in a dark brown paint/stain.  We like the look of the natural wood so we aren’t planning on staining it.

Once we are done, this room will have been entirely re-done.  T reframed all the walls, we removed a closet door (to make it into a bathroom), insulated, moved the baseboard to the outer wall, replaced the window, rewired everything, put up wall board, skim-coated, painted…



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Partially sanded, the rectangle in the corner is where a hearth used to be.

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Can no longer see the rectangle

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Pine flooring from 1900s

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Sanding down to bare wood

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More Sanding…

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More Sanding…

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Preparing for the final sand

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Pounding in the final nails…

What’s next… sealing the floor, resetting the settled door frame so the door will close, adding door and window trim, building a bookcase and then the fun parts…getting the desks out of the dining room, and actually hanging some pictures!!! Stay tuned…

Winter Office Project Update

January 15, 2013

The winter projects are moving forward after a slight holiday set-back…  The office walls have been rocked and mudded and primed.

The Professional Paint Crew has been hired…


This one is having way too much fun…

This one looks a little dangerous...

This one looks a little dangerous…


Partners in Crime…

The wall color has been chosen…
Benjamin Moore Mistletoe

More coming soon…

The wall comes down…

January 29, 2012

…and the wall goes back up…

T has been busy taking down walls and re-framing them, correctly in the office.  It has been a few weeks now and this is the status…

  1. Our awesome plumber took some pity on us and came up and fixed the leaky pipe.  Turns out the pipe wasn’t even soldered together originally and it is a miracle it stayed together this long…

    The no longer leaking pipe

  2. T took out all the scraps of wood, reinforced the wall studs and rebuilt the door frame and header.  He turned the door around so that it opens into the step-up playroom.  It is a very wide (36″) door so when it opened into the room it took up a lot of space.

    The wall comes down

The wall goes back up

We are making progress, slowly.  I recently had a conversation with my friend who is living in his own “entire house renovation project”.  I asked him what his strategy was for keeping sane.  Did he focus on what had been done?  What happened when he started to think about the huge list of things remaining to be done and then calculate that to-do list in years (or worse, dollars)…?

He just smiled and told me that this was a “lifestyle”.  I had to get over the mind-set that it was something that would ever be “done”.  I am still digesting that one.  I guess in a sense he is right, things are never done, even in a new house there is maintenance and things that break or things that you want to change…  But still,  a “lifestyle”…  I had no idea.

Happy New Year!!!

January 7, 2012

The motto for 2012 around here is:  no new demolition until we finish something! We have learned that it takes much less time to destroy things than to put them back…

T is busy rebuilding the walls of the office.  It looks like two of the original windows have been removed and filled in with scraps.  He has the outer wall insulated and is working on the back wall which a carpenter’s nightmare and requires a lot of new framing.  We are going to insulate the back wall as well (originally it was the end of the house).  The room beyond it was an old porch and has very little insulation and is always cold.  We usually shut that room off in the winter, but right now it has no door.

Fantastic new years discoveries:

  1. While ripping out the back wall framing, T managed to put a hole in the baseboard pipe.  So now we have to empty a drip pan every day. He tried clamping it, but it still leaks.  In fact I think his fix made it leak more.  It looks like he may need to shut down the furnace and drain the lines to repair it.  What a great time of year for no heat…

    Leaking Pipe

  2. During a particularly heavy sideways driving rain storm we discovered that we have a leak.  Because the back wall is torn apart we could see the rain dripping down the inside of the wall.  This means yet another delay as he has to fix the flashing where the old porch (aka playroom) attaches to the main house.  There is no end to the fun.
  3. We ripped out all the old wiring and many, many junction boxes buried in the ceiling and walls, not to mention a live wire that disappeared into the dining room ceiling and didn’t go to anything.  So while the new wiring is roughed in and inspected we have to wait until the wall board is up to connect it.  Basically we now have no power in that room.  Not sure when we will be back on the grid (see #1 and #2)…and yes Virginia, this is affecting progress on the bathroom.

    The current state of the bathroom

Here are some quotes for you…

T:  “So, what do you want for Christmas this year?”

Me:  “A floor in the bathroom”

T:  “No…really.”

I did not get one.

Me: “I need to take down the Christmas tree soon.”

R: “If you leave it up the mice won’t chew it.”

After getting pulled over for speeding…and finding out my license had expired (another reason I hate January birthdays – don’t worry he did let me go straight to the registry to get it renewed):

R:  “Mom, can we go slow this time?”

Jack bought Rory a Christmas present this year with his own money.  Rory was dying to know what it was, but Jack would not tell him anything because he wanted it to be a surprise.  Rory was trying to wheedle some clues out of him and finally came up with this:

R: This isn’t a question about the present.

J: Okay.

R: Where did you buy the present?

J: ???!!!