Posts Tagged ‘Floors’

Installation started today! The hallways were made of real brick so once the brick was up, several layers of plywood had to be laid to make those floors even with the concrete slabs and carpet in the other rooms.

I look at this picture and I’m shocked. The fact that there is a layer of plywood as the floor and the fact that there isn’t a wall blocking the dining room from the living room – it is amazing! I can’t wait to see how the real wood floors look in here and make this space just seem incredible.

I like this shot simply because you can see all three types of current flooring. On the right, the living room carpet that is staying. On the left, the concrete slab that comprises the flooring in the dining room and second living room. The hallways are just plywood – all so different, yet very soon will be very similar!

Our floor installer suggested we cover the air returns with filters and he was so right. When we went by tonight, the filters were covered in dust and dirt – so happy that isn’t all sitting in our system right now!

This picture is a pretty good representation of our levels of flooring right now – carpet, concrete and MDF. Just a normal day in the Steen house! I think we have another week left of this and then we will start getting back to normal. I can’t wait!

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When we saw the tile out of the house this week, I was giddy! Progress was being made and our McDonald’s tile was gone. Let me tell you a little story about this tile…

We sold our old fridge to the person who purchased our last house. So when we moved into this house, we had to get a new fridge.

Side note: This house was built in the 1980’s and had low cabinets above the area for the fridge. Did you know there are literally only two different kinds of refrigerators that now fit in spaces like this? We decided on one and purchased it from Lowe’s since they were having an amazing 4th of July sale. (bonus points – they delivered it the same day!)

Back to the story…the two guys who delivered our fridge brought it in and set it all up without a problem. When one of the guys looked down to our floors, he made an off-hand comment that went like this, “oh great floor! Did you know that McDonald’s uses the same tile in their kitchens?” My reaction on the outside went something like this, “oh, really? That’s funny.” And on the inside, I was thinking something like this, “son of a. Get out of my kitchen, now!”

Fast forward 19 months and this is what the floor looks like now. I am ecstatic! Concrete floors are so much better than McDonald’s tile.

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Today was Day 5 of demolition. I’m counting Sunday as Day 1 since we did take a few shots in the wall and we had to tape everything up to protect it from the dust and debris that was about to start flying. I went by at lunch to check everything out…oh, and give our contractor a check for the wood floors. We are a chaos-living, check-writing machine right now!

This is what I walked into today. Holy moly! I knew it was going to be crazy and there would be a lot of dust but I wasn’t expecting an outdoor construction site. The hallways of our house are brick. Like, real brick. The patio that is in the front? It continues on inside and onto our hallways. Crazy!

This is the view from the corner of our living room, facing the front of the house. I can completely ignore the plastic-covered furniture, the torn up flooring and the dust everywhere because all I see is light. I’ve seen the light people and it is fabulous! The gray part of the wall in the right corner of the picture has never seen this much light. I love it!

It is so weird for me to see this second living room (aka Conner’s man room) as just a slab of concrete. The hallways were real brick, the kitchen was brick tile and the second living/dining rooms were carpet; aka three levels of flooring! Our contractor will be using plywood to level out the hallways to make them even with the other floors so we can have one continuous line of wood.

This is the heavy-duty, serious jack hammer that was being used when I walked in. It is one bad mother-shut-your-mouth and to be honest, I would love to try to use it! By try to use it, I of course mean take about 20 seconds to see how it would control me instead of me controlling it and then hand it back over to the professionals.

I loved seeing our “McDonald’s tile” out of the house! Have I told you that story? I’ll have to write a post about it this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle as much as the next person who had too much fun the night before but in general with this flooring news, me = not happy.

The best news of the day was when I saw that our wood (specifically 2 1/4″ oak, stained antique brown) would butt up against, and be level with, our living room carpet. None of us had any clue what we would find until all of the floors were up so this is GREAT news! It reduces the amount of leveling we would have to do and there won’t be any transition pieces acting as a reducer from the higher floor to the lower floor. Instead, we will be using a normal, mini transition piece to go from one floor material to the next.

This is the view from the hallway leading to our bedrooms, looking back to the main part of the house. Tomorrow the contractors will finish tearing out this brick and get the house cleaned out. Saturday they will level the floors with the plywood and then start installing the wood floors on Monday – yes!

When I showed this picture to Conner, he had to figure out where he was in the house. Hah! We are still getting used to that wall being down and seeing the house with almost no flooring – so much different from Sunday morning!

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It feels like forever since I’ve been talking about, thinking about or planning for the demolition of our dining room wall that separates that room from our living room. Technically, it has been 19 months and 20 days (since that’s how long we’ve lived in this house) but it feels like forever.

Last month I talked about what I didn’t like in this room. You can see a bunch of examples written on the photo but the main problem was the wall and the fact that it blocked so much natural light from our living room. I was more than ready to see it go!

When we walked into our house tonight, this is what we saw! To simply say, “I was excited,” is a complete understatement. I’m not sure how I can express it to you. I screamed, I got really giddy and was jumping all around…maybe those images help define how I was feeling after work today?

The light!! Sweet, sweet natural light. It already makes everything seem so much bigger and better even though we still have a long way to go here. We couldn’t get rid of the whole wall, the ceilings are lower in the dining room than in the hallways so we needed to leave support, but it still makes such a huge difference!

Here is another picture of the room before today. I am standing in the corner, next to the window and looking toward the living room/kitchen/entryway…

Here is the room, from the same angle, today! You can see the living room, entryway and the openings to the kitchen. I am obsessed and ready for the rest of the demo to be complete. That plastic isn’t the best look for our house, it kind of stresses me out to see it, so lets move on.

I’m standing in the doorway from the kitchen to the living room in this picture. The front of the house gets so much more light than the back and we just knew that opening up that wall would help lighten up this room that seems constantly dark.

SO MUCH BETTER!! Seriously. I don’t think I could even imagine how much this would change-up our house and how much I would love it like this. Even with the mud and sheet rock that has yet to be textured and painted, it still looks so much better than before.

Here is a before and after comparison that I have condensed into one picture (I love the iPhone apps that do this!). It is just crazy to me how much I already love this new look! We still have a way to go – demo on the floors, new wood floors installed, casings on the openings of the walls, crown molding and then new paint on almost everything. Luckily the work is being done for us (except for paint – hard to hire that out when it is easy enough to do ourselves) so this process is a lot more fun when done as a spectator!

Demo on the floors starts tomorrow – I can’t wait to see the progress!

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It is snowing outside right now and even though it might delay our house project, I would love a snow day tomorrow. We worked on the house all weekend and I’m exhausted!! I need a snow day to recoop. We did a ton of prep work to get ready for the real demo that will take place starting tomorrow but of course had to have a little fun for ourselves first.

We got a bunch of plastic drop cloths and covered everything we could to help reduce the amount of dust and debris that will be everywhere. I know that you can’t avoid it all but maybe we can help control it a little bit!

We didn’t want to have a bunch of boxes everywhere so the cabinets are still filled but are now covered to help dust from getting on plates, glassware, etc. Again, it might not be perfect but hopefully we keep a majority of the dust from settling on every little nook and cranny in the house.

Luckily our two extra bedrooms are pretty empty so we were able to fit most of our smaller furniture and decorative items in these rooms. It was a pain, but we did it as organized and arranged as possible. The drawers of the buffets were emptied, carried into the bedrooms, and then loaded up again so it wouldn’t be so chaotic and clustered in each room.

And now for the main event…

We took out a little agression on the wall coming down and it was a blast! I was proud of myself for swinging the hammer and not letting it fly away or hit anyone else. (I’m definitely not known for my ahtletic/coordination skills!) I didn’t use any video because we didn’t have a big sledgehammer so it wasn’t as dramatic as you would want to see but it was still a lot of fun with our regular hammer! The only tricky part was watching out for electrical wires and studs.

Once the first hole to the other side was made, I had to try and fit my face in the space. What a thrill to see little bits of light shining through! It makes me even more excited to see how open and light this space will be once the whole thing is down.

My brother, Chris, and his girlfriend came over for a little demo fun as well. They thoroughly enjoyed getting to whack away and make a mess. Maybe that’s why we were also having so much fun – the mess! It is going to get a whole lot worse so we didn’t have to clean anything up. My first reaction was to get a broom and start sweeping – I’m a clean freak!

Conner got home just in time to stick his face through the bigger hole that we had made. He took a couple of kicks to the wall and got out his frustrations from not getting to see the final day of the PGA Pro-Am today – hah!

This is how we left it…like that smily face? Chris had fun getting that one done. My mom came over and got some really good kicks in with her foot. She enjoyed it so much, maybe a little too much, and I wish I had gotten a picture! I know our contractor is really ready to get in there and do the main demo. He said it’s his team’s most favorite part of doing a project – I totally get that now!

If the roads aren’t too bad tomorrow, the wall will come down and the first layer of mud will be put on. Tuesday is mudding/texturing day 2 and Wednesday the demo on the floors starts! What a fun week. We will be taking lots and lots of pictures and I’ll update as much as possible. Pending no delays, this whole project (floors, wall, trim/casings, etc) will be finished in 3 weeks – I can’t wait!

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**Update! You can see our new wood floors in this post. I’ve also started re-painting our walls to a very pretty grey color. I’ll post pictures of all of that very soon!**

Well…here are the pictures of our kitchen remodel! We are finally finished with OUR part of the kitchen remodel. Well, I say ‘our’ but really ‘us’ means Conner, me, our families and our contractor – hah! We will be hiring different people to come in hopefully soon and replace the countertops, microwave, oven and sink. It was a chore and a process to get this far but I absolutely LOVE how it has all turned out and am so thrilled with what we have accomplished! We had a lot of help along the way so thank you very much to our families who pitched in and helped when they could. We love you!

Without further ado…here are the before and after pictures! All ‘before’ pictures were taken the night we closed on our house: June 25, 2010.

Looking at the food storage area before we got a new fridge. The microwave needs to go ASAP – it doesn’t have a turntable…I mean really? Half of the food we heat up is still cold in the middle. Hopefully the Christmas bonus fairy is good to us and we get to replace these soon!

And the area after! We purchased a new fridge when we moved in (our old one stayed with the new owners of our old house), painted the cabinets white, installed new hardware and put on new hinges on the cabinet doors. Oh…the stories I could tell you of drilling new holes for the new hinges and hanging 40 cabinets back up…well, that is a post for another day when I have had some wine and don’t mind airing my marriage laundry on such a public forum. 🙂

This is looking from our breakfast nook into the main kitchen part. Check out the awesome head-knocker cabinets (as we referred to them with our realtor when looking at this house) and really sweet recessed, fluorescent lighting!

And now!! Our contractor removed the row of cabinets that blocked our view of the backyard, sheet rocked over the recessed lighting, installed canned lighting and light boxes for our new pendants (my birthday present from Conner) that my dad installed for us. Conner’s mom spent several nights with us and quickly became the paint fairy. We would leave for work and come home with more white on the cabinets!

Here is the view into our kitchen prep area. The previous owners installed a really nice range top, so that will be staying. The window looks into our living room and gives me a perfect view of our TV! Our kitchen in our old house was at the back of the house and away from the living room so it is such a nice change to be in the kitchen cooking, but still a part of the action with the rest of the house!

Here is the kitchen after! I love the white and how crisp it looks. I hope to get new back splash at some point and also put dark wood floors down. The brick tile is fine for now but because of the finish on it, the shininess gets nicked up very easily.

Another ‘after’ view of our kitchen. The orange Le Crueset was an anniversary present from Conner last year and provides the perfect pop of orange in our kitchen!

The view from our kitchen, looking into the breakfast nook. The ceiling fan looks okay in the pictures but was actually way too big for the space. The country red and roosters…not really our style and made the room seem a lot smaller. We don’t have the biggest kitchen in the world so we needed to make everything appear larger and brighter.

The breakfast nook after! We purchased a new lantern from Home Depot (dad installed again…yay, dad!) and my mom made us some awesome curtains. I absolutely love the fabric. It is a turquoisey-teal and is a fun yet subtle and classy pattern. Our bar on the left used to be black but I painted it the same gray as our living room walls. I am still deciding whether to paint our kitchen table and chairs or not…hmmmm…

This is standing in the kitchen, looking into the breakfast nook and the utility room. It is very nice to have that door to close the noise off while doing laundry!

The view after! I didn’t think we would originally, but taking down the white wood blinds really helped open up the space! Plus, it provides easier access to look outside. We love our backyard and never want to block off the view. Until the past week, I don’t think we had ever closed the curtains. I do it now because the neighbors directly behind us sit higher than we do and the trees are starting to thin a little and it gets darker a lot earlier so with our lights on, I feel like you can see right into our house. Other than that, the curtains are always as open as they can go!Well, that’s the big reveal!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the remodel. I love looking at the pictures and seeing what we started with and what we have now. We haven’t started a new project yet but I am starting to get the itch to continue making over the other rooms in the house. Hopefully I’ll have more pictures to show with more updates very soon!!

Linking up to:
The Lettered Cottage

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