Spackling and Jacking

I think I’m 2 weeks behind – so let me catch up.  The weekend before last Ryan and his dad sheetrocked the master bedroom (yay!) – i think we have 1 piece left that is waiting on me re-wiring the switch because they cut out the sheetrock that had the switch installed (it had an old work box, needs to be changed to a new work box).

In the meantime I was spackling the bathroom most evenings and finished that last Thursday – plus our tile arrived for the bathroom on Thursday too.  So we were thinking – ready for tile prep this weekend but alas Ryan was concerned about the engineering loads to hold the marble tile without it at some point cracking or popping.  He did some calculations and realized we had a few issues – a) our floor joists weren’t even 2x10s – they are like 8 1/2″ wide not 9 1/2.  Then the subfloor plywood is not structural flooring plywood.  Finally the hardi backer we had down which is not structural is also not recommended for Kerdi because they don’t bond well.  Plus there’s major sag in the floor towards the middle – and leveling would just add more weight.  The hardi backer we put down and it was glued so taking it up was no easy thing.

The plan :

  • Take up all the flooring (hardi and plywood) in the bathroom.
  • Jack up the floor from underneath to reduce a bit of the sag
  • Add 2x6s on the flat to the bottom of each joist – making a T beam essentially – they are glued and screwed – we lose 1.5″ of ceiling height downstairs in that room but gain a LOT of strength to the floor
  • Laminate each side of the floor joists with plywood (we do this a lot to add strength – works great)
  • Put down 3/4 structural plywood then a layer of 1/2 that we will then use the Kerdi system on – including the underlayment on the floor

This was quite a project and due to the rough in plumbing being done – we had to pull that out and the water lines will have to be re-run.  Luckily the drain lines were fine – except for taking out the toilet flange – they were mostly waiting to be installed anyhow.  So a little re-plumbing has to be done – but we have a much more structurally sound bathroom floor and our tiles should not crack.

So far we got steps 1-4 done above – plywood isn’t down yet because we have to take down the jacks (so waiting for glue to fully cure) – then they’ll shim the plywood as they install it to get it more level.  I assume this will happen a bit next weekend.

In good news the sheetrock held up surprisingly well and we hadn’t sanded yet at least!  So there’s a crack over the door – which is very expected since that’s center of the room – which will be repaired once the new floor is in.  Then we just have to patch that one crack,  sand/prime/paint the rest.  Then we can move on to tiling!

We also got the boat out of the water for the season and cleaned off really well – I think the weather is warm and sunny tomorrow so once the rug dries we’ll finish winterizing it and cover the boat then move it to store it over by the driveway (it’s by the hose right now) 🙂

Finally some pictures of what our office ceiling looks like now – and you can see through the floor joists to the bathroom – nothing like going backward in a renovation to move forward in a  better direction!

2x6s along the bottom of each joist and it's still jacked up

2x6s along the bottom of each joist and it’s still jacked up

You can see the bathroom upstairs - spackling done - and the plywood laminated on the sides

You can see the bathroom upstairs – spackling done – and the plywood laminated on the sides

We will continue this across the rest of the office – to support our bedroom floor which we’re not actually worried about but for consistency.  We are going to pull up the 1/2 inch particle board in the master bedroom and replace with 1/2 or 3/4 plywood as a better subfloor for our hardwood.

We also purchased another 750 board feet of Cherry lumber – milled 40 years ago – going to have it turned into flooring for our bedroom and the playroom!  That should be getting delivered this weekend and we’ll take it next week to the mill for planing.  We need to get more still – for the rest of the downstairs but when you get a deal on good Cherry and we’re going with Cherry throughout – we had to jump at it!


Master Bathroom Sheetrocked

We’ve been working on some projects lately so I’ll just try to recap some of what we’ve done.

Linen closet :

  • Done : The old shelving was removed, a new door installed
  • Left to do : Spackle, paint, new trim, new shelves


  • Jacked up the ceiling and put in new beams and blocking to support the floor of the dormer
  • Framed out and cut out a door between the playroom and the office (This brings in a LOT of light into the playroom!)

Master Bathroom

This weekend we got the bathroom prep work finished (just a few small things we had left to do) and then got the bathroom sheetrocked!  We’ve started taping/spackling and picked out the tile (we just have to order the tile).  We’re going to go with marble tile in the master!

Bathroom sheetrocked!

Bathroom sheetrocked!

Got a light in there too so we can work at night finally

Got a light in there too so we can work at night finally

Our focus is on getting the bathroom moved along and then we’ll sheetrock the master bedroom!

Finishing up Lights

Alex’s pink light arrived so I figured I’d update quick with her ceiling lights finished.  I just ordered a new dimmer switch for her light – it will connect to a smart things hub when we get one, for now it will just be a dimmer so we don’t have to have her light on full blast.  I’m interested in trying out more smart switches but we’ll start with her light for now.

Pink chandelier and glow in the dark lights finish out the dormer!

Pink chandelier and glow in the dark lights finish out the dormer!

Alex's (ours for now) fan

Alex’s (ours for now) fan

I put up the fan last week I think but it finally has bulbs that work.  We’re switching to LED bulbs as we finish rooms and so far I’m really liking them – much better than CFLs for dimming if you get good ones.  I tried buying the ‘Eco’ brand from home depot – no good – you have to go with Philips and Philips dimmable depending on the application.  The candelabra and regular bulbs by Philips have worked great with regular and dimmer switches including our fancy Maestro dual light/fan switch we like to use.  All the closet lights are LED as well.  Those have no bulbs, if they burn out (which they shouldn’t for 25 years) you replace the whole fixture.

The new washer and dryer JUST arrived today – can’t wait for those to go in tonight. Finally it shouldn’t take longer than 3 hours to dry a load of regular laundry!

Moved In

This post is long over due but we moved in as planned and we’ve been a bit busy since then!  We had a few weekends off between a wedding and then camping but a little house work progress has also been made.

First – the floors were finished, the painting was finished, the electrical was finished (minus a few lights in these pictures but most are now done).

The first piece of furniture was moved in

The first piece of furniture was moved in

Not a lot was done in Bella’s room once the floors were finished.  Shoe molding was installed in all rooms, a few minor painting touch ups.  The closet door still needs to be re-hung but it’s more convenient not having doors on closets at the moment 🙂

Another view of Bella's room finished

Another view of Bella’s room finished

The first night we were in we had no doors hung and with Bella not being a good sleeper in general plus no doors – we were all up at lot.  The next day we hung those doors immediately 🙂

Bella's room moved in!

Bella’s room moved in!

Alex's room finished!

Alex’s room finished!

Alex’s room is also missing closet doors – hers actually have to be made still.  Initially we didn’t have her light or fan installed yet, her fan is in now but not her light (it comes next week – this is the third try ordering a pink chandelier – they kept sending white ones!).

The other side of Alex's room

The other side of Alex’s room



Ryan made the thresholds for the 2 doors but they haven’t been sanded or poly’d yet (they aren’t actually installed either, we’ll do that after they are finished).  But they are made at least!  He made them out of leftover cherry flooring.

Alex's door and threshold - neither are finished

Alex’s door and threshold – neither are finished

Another project we did the first week we moved in was outfit the kitchen with some new temporary cabinets and a new counter top (not finished yet)

Temporary cabinets

Temporary cabinets

We won’t be re-doing the kitchen for a while now so this makes it much more usable.  We can fit most of our stuff in the kitchen now and I was able to unpack the kitchen once I put my large rolling shelves in the pantry.

The next project we did was the first weekend we had lived here.  We went out to boston for a wedding saturday but when we got back on Sunday Ryan and his dad finished the siding on the dormers!

Dormers have siding

Dormers have siding

This weekend we promised the girls some family time so we spent most of Saturday doing fun activities with them (a trip to the museum and then to Huck Finn’s playland).  Ryan and his Dad spent the rest of the weekend finishing installing the trim around all the windows!

Widnows (upstairs) are completely done!

Widnows (upstairs) are completely done!

Front windows one

Front windows one

Side windows

Side windows

The outside is almost buttoned up for winter.  We still have doors to replace but those will be spring projects.


Floors Getting Finished

We are on track with this crazy 2 weeks of finishing up these rooms.  Last week we got the painting finished in Bella’s room and all the prep work on the trim in Alex’s room.  Thursday we got the priming done on Alex’s trim with a late night at the house.

Painting done

Other side

New cherry piece for the top step

Trim primed

More trim primed

The ceiling and shelf

Friday night I started sanding the floors by edging them with the orbital while Ryan started sanding the trim that was primed.  Saturday we took turns watching the kids and sanding the floors (i did the edging and Ryan used the big sander).

Alex’s room all sanded

At bedtime Ryan took the girls home and I got the first coat of poly on the floors.  Today we went over, checked the floors (they were dry!) and again Ryan took the girls home (the fumes are too strong for the girls to be in the house) while I sanded and put on the second coat of poly.  One more coat tomorrow morning hopefully if I can get over there early enough.  I can take the morning off of work but only the morning.

Second coat!

Blurry picture of the hallway and bella’s room second coat

The cherry floors have so much character and color – we love them and may have to do cherry on the rest of the house if they hold up well.

So far we are on track with the plan.  If i can get the third coat of poly on in the morning then we’ll take monday night off.  Tuesday night we’ll check the floors and if we can we’ll start painting trim but the girls won’t be able to come to the house until next weekend at the earliest (we’re going to try to air out the house Tuesday-Friday).

Trim is finished!!!

Excluding shoe molding (which is very very last) – the trim is all installed in the 2 bedrooms now!  Ryan worked Fri, Sat and Sunday and got it all installed!  There is SO much trim!  Brad spent last week painting Bella’s room and her trim is just about done (1 coat needed on a few small things, then touchups on the wall paint!).  I spent a little time this weekend (nap times) caulking and filling holes then last night finished the caulking (still a lot of holes to fill!)

Trim installed!

Ceiling finished in dormer!

Shelf done!

Another view of the room

And on to Bella’s room progress..

Trim painted (the wall part needs a second coat and I think the window sashes and 1 side of 1 door).

The other side

We have a crazy plan so we can move in the weekend of the 20th!

  • Tue – Fill holes
  • Wed – Sand/vacuum
  • Thur – prime all trim
  • Fri – sand the trim AND Sand the floors
  • Sat – finish sanding and poly coat 1
  • Sun – sand/vacuum/poly coat 2
  • Mon – sand/poly coat 3
  • Tue let it dry
  • Wed – paint trim
  • Thur – paint trim
  • Fri – finish painting?? (trim, wall touch ups etc)
  • Sat – install shoe molding
  • Sunday – move in!
  • Monday – back up day to move in 🙂

The days (Sat-Mon) that the floors are being poly’d are going to be short days for work upstairs so that gives us time to do work downstairs in prep for moving in.  We have a wall to build to hang the tv on, things to move to the basement, the kitchen to setup with better storage etc.  AND siding to put up IF it’s not raining (looks like rain though).

I’ll let you know next week how we’re doing… cross fingers for us!

Trim work

This past weekend (and last week) we made some good progress on trim.

In Bella’s room I got all the trim sanded and primed except the actual window sashes and the main door (it wasn’t cut down yet).

Trim all primed

Closet door primed too

Ryan made great progress on Alex’s room.  He finished the bead board, put in the shelf she has at the top of the dormer.  He made door jambs for all three closets and then trimmed them out as well as the small window and door to her room.  He got the main piece of baseboard installed all around the room.  He has to do the molding that runs along the top still and the chair rail all around plus the window in the dormer.  Finally he has to finish out the beadboard area with trim.

Door trim finished in alex’s room

Closet doors trimmed out!!!!

By the way i will have to get a closer/clearer picture of those doors trimmed out – they look so great!!!

Archway trimmed out and this was before the third closet was done

Back of the archway, shelf up top and beadboard finished

Small window trimmed out

Last closet trimmed out

We have a ton of wild life at the new house, deer, rabbits, eagles (1), hawks as well as the common ones.  Just this weekend we had a buck with 2 doe out by the lake and friday we had a mom with 2 baby deer.  I don’t usually think to take pictures but I did this time!

Buck with 2 doe

Fawn – if you look you can see mom in the woods, the second fawn was also in the woods

I don’t know how often we’ll see them once we move in and Fitz is running around more often but they are really not scared of people and will hang out in the yard even with the kids running around (deer and rabbit).  The rabbits really have no fear and have stayed around while I was walking fitz even!

Bathroom done and floors all installed

Work has continued at a crazy pace here.  We are still here every night and all weekend – basically until we move in!

The big things recently include finishing the bathroom (completely minus shoe molding which will all be installed at once at the end) and getting the hallway floor installed last week.  Trim work all weekend means that Bella’s room is almost all trimmed out and Alex’s room has been started!  Here are some pictures!

Bathroom all complete!

Another view

Vanity, mirror and light all installed

In Bella’s room :

Closet door and trim all installed

Baseboard and chair rail all completed (and I caulked it last night too!)

Closet door with chair rail installed too

In Alex’s room the trim has been started!

Beadboard ceiling in the dormer – not complete as we had to buy a bit more beadboard (tonight I think this is getting finished)

Alex’s door installed

The closets in alex’s room won’t have doors but we’ll have to make the jams for them and get those installed.

Our tentative plan now is to get trim all installed by the end of this weekend, get it all painted by the end of next week and spend next weekend (8/6-8/8) finishing the floors.  The week after will be finish electrical and shoe molding so maybe we can move in on 8/14.  This is optimistic and if it pushes to the 20th we’re good with that.  Here’s hoping everyone stays healthy and nothing major happens in the next couple of weeks that derails our plan!

In other news I am all set up at the new house to work from there each day now!  I’m in the diningroom for now but I have power, internet and phone and so far it’s working out great!

Lots of updates

It’s been quite a while since I updated and a lot of progress has been made!  I’m going to just have to go by pictures in order!

Bella’s room got primed and the ceiling painted!

While Bella’s room got primed (thanks Brad) Ryan started working on the trim in the bathroom!

Door trimmed out!

Window trim done

Chair rail completed

Next up we handed the bathroom over to brad and he got the priming and painting done on all the trim.

First coat of paint!

I painted the first coat on Bella’s room – she’s going to have chair rail and white trim paint on the lower half of the walls (same as Alex’s too).

First coat done here

Ryan got the window in Bella’s room trimmed out!

Blurry pic but window is trimmed

Ryan finished sheetrocking Bella’s closet and I got it spackled.

Bella’s closet catching up

Ryan installed the door to Bella’s room.

Ryan used the ceiling paint to paint the closet – looks good

We worked hard to get Alex’s room caught up – spackling (me/brad), sanding (ryan), more spackling (me) and more sanding (me) then Ryan and Brad got it primed!

Alex’s room primed

Brad did the second coat of paint on Bella’s room and the bathroom trim.  Then on Friday during nap I prepped the floors for the new flooring.

Ready for flooring

Friday afternoon my dad came over and when Ryan got home from work the two of them worked on Bella’s floor.  Ryan stayed late and made great progress Friday night…

Cherry floors in varying widths

Saturday morning Ryan finished Bella’s room.


At naptime Saturday we did the prep work in Alex’s room and he spent the evening and night laying floor in Alex’s room.  We were up until 10:30 laying floor while the girls slept downstairs.  Then we spent our first night at the new house as a family!!!

Moved the flooring to Bella’s room

Prepped Alex’s room

Saturday night progress!

On Sunday Ryan got an early start and spent the whole day working on Alex’s room.  By dinner he had finished it up!

Alex’s room done

The best part is we have just enough wood leftover to do the landing outside the bedrooms!  Ryan spent last night taking up the sub floor in the hallway (we need the floor level to match the top of the stairs so we have to have only 1 layer of subfloor instead of 2 in the hallway.  The bedrooms will be about 1/2″ step up from the hallway to make it all work.

Hallway ready for flooring

While Ryan worked on the hallway Brad got the first coat of grey paint in Alex’s room.  Her dormer will be pink but the main part will be grey (her choice).

First coat of paint

And we’re caught up.  It’s been a busy few weeks for sure.  Usually one of us stays late at the house after dinner and the other takes the girls home to bed.  We don’t alternate, it depends more on what the task is that needs to get done and who is going to do it.  We’re getting very close to moving in now and here’s the rough plan we have…

  • Lay the floor in the hallway
  • Finish the bathroom (install toilet and vanity and mirror)
  • Install the doors (Alex’s door, Bella’s closet, door jams for Alex’s closets)
  • Install window trim in Alex’s room
  • Install door trim in both rooms
  • Install baseboards in both rooms
  • Install chair rail in both rooms
  • Install bead board on dormer ceiling and trim out archway
  • Sand, prime, paint ALL trim in both rooms

The goal is to have that list above done by the end of next week then next …

  • Sand and poly the floors (3 coats)
  • Shoe molding installation in both rooms
  • Install finish electrical and hardware

Move in!

The hardest part will be giving the floors some time to cure before moving in – once the floors are done we only have finish electrical and hardware and that won’t take long at all but we shouldn’t move in totally until the floors get some more time.  We’ll see how long we can wait 🙂  Our goal of before labor day is looking realistic for sure and if the above plan is real we can move in mid-august (1 month)!??  Getting exciting now!

Bathroom progress

Bathroom progress and Bella’s room progress has continued.  The doors arrived so we got the bathroom door hung so Ryan could finish tiling the floor, then grout and finally seal all the grout!   I also finished the electrical in there (minus the actual vanity light since we haven’t purchased one yet).  The bathroom is ready for trim and trim paint and then toilet and vanity installation.  1 room with an end in sight!  We bought the wood for the trim this past weekend as well – we’re doing a bead board wainscotting in here and craftsman style trim throughout, a little different than the last house!

Bathroom door hung

Floor tiled

Clearly I need some more recent pictures 🙂  I don’t have one of the floor grouted or the door re-hung after cutting it to fit the tile.  It’s also sanded and priming has started.

Bella’s room – I got the sanding done (it took me 2 nights), did a few small touch ups then sanded those.  Since then Ryan’s cousin has gotten the room primed (no pic of that though) and I’ve installed the box for the smoke detector.

Bella’s room – sanding done

We need to buy paint for Bella’s room, hang her door, put up trim, install the floor and do the painting.  (Not in that order) 🙂  Another room that’s getting closer though!