Monday, May 17, 2010

Living Room, Dinning Room & Nursery Renovations

It's been a while since my last post. With a one year old I don't find a lot of free time. Recently I have been busy redoing the half bath. Before I get into that project I thought I would show some of the work we have done in the past two years. Here are some before and afters images.

First room is the nursery
I tend to forget to take pictures of the before stage... but here is a work in progress. We decided to make a decorative shelf that goes around the room.

Here is the room almost complete. ahh isn't it cute with all the baby stuff.

Here is the completed room with window treatments and a cover for the radiator.

The second room is the dinning room
In this room I made the wainscoting and we decided to use wall paper on the top half. We also decided to keep the original light fixtures.

The built-ins were not fun to paint! I did a lot of scrapping and sanding and I stripped the paint off the hardware. The hardware wasn't painted over completely, but there was some sloppy paint jobs in the past and a lot of paint spilled onto them. There is a trick to remove paint off hardware. Buy a used or cheap crock-pot (don't plan to use this for cooking) add some water (make sure all the parts are submerged) and add a splash of household laundry detergent. Let them cook for 6 hours or so. The old paint should almost fall off. You will have to do a little clean up with a soft scrub brush or tooth brush and rinse them with water. I have done this on most of the hardware in my house, it works great.
Last room is the living room/"back"room.
The first image is a picture we took before we moved in. The second is a work in progress image... we are still working on the decorating and window treatments for these two rooms. My next post will be about the half bath that is almost complete.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Refinishing Wood Floors - Painting Concrete Basement Floors

One of the first things we decided to do to the house was refinish the hard wood floors. The entire house is hard wood except the kitchen and baths, so this was not an easy job to do. We decided to hire some one to do the work. The people we hired where highly recommended by some friends, and they did a great job on the floors. The images below are of the stairs before, during and after.

While the guys we hired worked on the floors I worked in the basement. The basement was leaking mainly in one corner, but overall it was very damp and dark. We decided to paint the floor and the walls. For the floor we used BEHR 1-Part Epoxy Acrylic Concrete and Garage Floor Paint and we used a moisture block paint for the walls. I thought about using 2 part epoxy on the floor, but the 1-Part Epoxy was much easier to use then 2-Part. We have had the epoxy on the floor for 2 years and it has held up well. I also fixed a leaky downspout and filled some giant cracks between the foundation and the driveway. I think this is where the basement leaks came from. After a few months or so of filling cracks and moving topsoil around I finally did fix all the leaks and the basement has been virtually dry ever since.

Back to the wood floors... as I said the workers where doing a great job, but disaster struck one weekend night. While the floors where being worked on we sanded ans stripped the stairs and the stair rails. After a long day of work, we left the house in the evening to go back to the hotel. The Floor guys where still in the house working away. The next morning we entered the house and heard this terrible noise. It turned out to be water pouring through the house mainly in the living room.

At this point all the floors have been sanded and there was lots of dust still in the house, and all the water made a big mess of things. It turns out the source of the water was a radiator in the master bedroom. The purge valve loosened it self out of the radiator and shot across the room. Water ran through the house for who knows how long. We can only speculate how it happened. Our best guess is the vibrations from the floor sanding machines wiggle the valve out, and the floor guys didn't notice the leak before they left.

We managed to clean up some of the mess with the help of the flooring guys and we called our insurance company, and they sent out a company. The company cleaned up the rest and dried the house out with a portable heater and lots of fans.

The water damage was significant we had to replace two ceilings, re-sand 4 rooms, paint 3 rooms including many wood windows. The insurance company covered everything.

I guess the most important thing to remember is if you have radiators in your house before you work with any large machines that vabrate significantly go around and tighten all the valves. It might even be a good idea to tighten them once a year. Below shows the before and after of the floors.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Clean Slate - Home Renovation

We purchased our home in October 2007. It is a lovely Historic Colonial built in 1922 by Claire Allen. Claire Allen was a prominent local architect of the early twentieth century. We have done many renovations and projects since we purchased our home and I plan to share images and stories of the completed projects and future projects. Below are a few images of our house taken in 1944, 2007 and 2009 respectively.