First We Finished Our Floors, Then We Made A Mess, But It’s A Good Mess.

There’s nothing like beautiful finished floors, and then covering them up partially, bringing equipment up, and filling up the space with sawdust.

DSC_6365-01Much like we did in the living room Andy has milled the trim himself as opposed to buying trim, and just like downstairs the new floor was almost immediately covered in sawdust. This time around though we’re going with a simpler trim style. At first I was a little unsure but then I got put on sanding duty, realized how much work it must have been to create and sand the trim style in the living room, and ended up pretty happy it’s simpler.

DSC_6376-01We’re sticking with pine and a natural finish. No stain, no paint. Just good old danish oil and natural aging which will darken the wood up some.

DSC_6380-01Here’s a better photo of the trim profile, and installation.

DSC_6381-01We’re keeping the same trim style in all of the bedrooms both upstairs and down (and stairway window and closet at the top of the stairs). The only trim style that’s different is in the living room, but that’s fine because only the living room trim can be seen from the original house. All other trim is either at the top of the stairs, or behind a bedroom door. It all works together anyway, so no complaints here.

DSC_6393-01 DSC_6396-01DSC_6389-01 DSC_6391-01That’s about all we have for now. As of Wednesday night Andy had finished the trim work and was, according to him, “down to the baseboard”. Then he asked me “Who’s the boss?!” and about three minutes later I realized I should have answered, “Tony Danza”. I’m really quick on the uptake with responses.

On that note, I’m going to leave you with two things – a promise to update with photos of the baseboard, and hopefully painting, and definitely move in day, and this video.

xo,

Heather

P.S. I don’t understand why Andy said “I don’t think so” when I told him tonight that we should have had the Who’s the Boss theme song for our wedding song. It’s perfect. I encourage one of you to do so.

The Best Wood Floors Ever {Also, I Love The Bachelorette/Bachelor Franchise}

I, Heather, love the bachelorette/bachelor franchise. I do not love this franchise because I believe it’s real. I fully believe there’s so much behind the scene orchestration of people on it. I do not love this franchise because it gives me hope for love (got that – found him in college, it all worked out). I love this franchise because it’s so totally uncomfortable in so many ways and it makes me laugh, because it’s like a super unrealistic romantic comedy which I love, and because Andy and I watch every season and his commentary alone makes it worth it. He is such a guy. Holla for the fantasy suite episodes!

Why am I telling you of my guilty pleasure? Because it’s the finale tonight, and this has been the most boring season ever but I’m still all in. I’m also writing this blog post during it so let’s try to see if I can get a cohesive blog post while watching The Bachelorette. This is the only time I have to do it, and I refuse to give up watching a dude who recites cringe worthy poetry every time he sees the lead (Side bar: he’s totally the guy I would have chosen if I was in her shoes. Poetry aside, he seemed awesome and had that whole tall dark and handsome thing going on that I seem to love – point and case, husband. Husband doesn’t write me poetry thank God, but he does build me stuff which is way better in my opinion).

Last we left off we were laying flooring, and then we were on vacation, or something in that order. All I know is there can only be so many posts about laying flooring, so let’s discuss what comes after laying flooring – finishing the floors!

To back it up:

  • Upstairs we have all beech, and downstairs (pictured below) we have red birch. The stairs are also beech.
  • That concludes this “back it up” session.

DSC_6146-01So here’s a big shocker to anyone who’s followed this blog for a long time—we hired out the finishing of our floors. I know, I know, sit down and breathe into a paper bag if you have to. When it came down to it, we knew we couldn’t finish the flooring as fast and as nice as Boucher’s Wood Floors. Dave Boucher, who owns the company, works on a lot of Andy’s jobs professionally and Andy knew he was the best in the business. We went to Home Depot and looked at sanders, we debated the cost of hiring it out professionally versus doing it ourselves, and in the end we just knew that Dave and his crew would be able to to do it in a lot less time, and with incredible results. So for the first time ever we bit the bullet and paid someone.

I’m going to rave about Boucher’s Wood Floors for just a second here, and none of this was paid/perked to say, these guys are incredible and worth every penny we paid them. They took so many little steps that made a huge difference. I’m going to do my best to describe these steps. His work speaks for itself and I hope I can show that. We’re so happy with our decision. All photos below took place over a two and a half day period since some drying time was required between coats.

To start, for each room they drum sanded and then edged each floor.

DSC_6164-01Once the primary sanding and edging is done, they then carefully go over the floor and add filler wherever it’s needed to ensure you have a perfect floor at the end. They tailor the fill to the type of floor you have, so it’s not a one size fits all which is great. It might look all crazy below but once it’s finished you can’t tell where any of it was not even on your hands and knees. I tried.

DSC_6169-01The step after this is a bit of a Boucher’s Wood Floors secret and while it might be okay to post, I don’t want to step on toes. The most I can say about the step after this is that it really steps up how beautiful the floors are when the entire process is completed.

Once the secret step is completed, Dave hand sanded the entire floor. This is a huge deal. Having a flooring company that meticulously hand sands the floor after they’ve already done so much prep work is unbelievable. These are the types of people you want in your home. I actually missed photos of this step because I tried, more or less, to stay out of his way.

Here comes a really unique part to Dave’s style. It might seem like common sense, but you’d honestly be surprised. After all sanding is complete they clean up the entire area. We’re talking not just cleaning up the direct area, but also any area that might potentially even get close to letting any dust onto the floors they are working with, or themselves. Not only did they vacuum these three floors with their super high powered vacuum, they also vacuumed our living room which they had to walk through. Then they went outside and sprayed themselves off with a compressor to get any tiny little fine particles off. Then they put on shoe guards to ensure there was no dust on them. Then, as a final step, Dave tied a piece of heavy duty paper towel around his forehead to ensure no drips would fall from his head onto the floor he was finishing because it was insanely hot out. This is how meticulous he is.

DSC_6177-01Even more meticulous than that?

He did the sealer and all subsequent layers of flooring by hand.

YOU GUYS. By hand.

Every layer.

Every. Single. Inch of the floor.

They even buffed down the stairs and put another coat on the stairs just so all the finishes matched.

DSC_6179-01 DSC_6180-01 DSC_6184-01When all was said and done we ended up going with a satin finish for the floors. We wanted a slight sheen without a high-gloss. Knowing we have two large dogs, and that we really live in our home we knew for sure there would be claw marks at some point. Any finish would still show them, but a satin would be far less than high-gloss.

Oh how we love these floors. Below are the upstairs second bedroom and the downstairs bedroom. 

DSC_6215-01 DSC_6210-01 DSC_6206-01The piece de resistance is for sure the master bedroom. I love this room more and more each day. It just feels so peaceful.

DSC_6221-01 DSC_6231-01

Can I tell you one last thing? I never thought floors could be so darn comfortable. I don’t know if it’s the finish, his style or what but it feels awesome under bare foot. I love walking around upstairs for no reason but to just walk around. Weird, I know. Wave your weird flag if you have one – *weird flag waved*.

So the end of it is this, even if you can do something yourself assess if it’s really the best option. As capable as Andy is, and as nice as the floors would have been if he did them, it would have taken him a lot longer and they wouldn’t have been as incredible as they turned out. I wouldn’t have known the difference, but now I do. We will definitely be hiring them again when we redo all the floors in the original house if funds permit. Which, by the way, they were really reasonable on.

If you’re in Maine and you need new floors definitely give a call to Dave over at Boucher Wood Floors. Best in the business guys, seriously.

xo,

Heather

Renovation Update: Flooring & The Quietest Stairs

Holla!

DSC_5205-01It’s been a while since I’ve done a renovation update so let’s discuss what’s been happening. First up, the stairs (minus balusters, hand rails and newel posts) are installed! Second, we’ve started laying flooring!

DSC_5203-01These are the quietest stairs I have ever walked up in my entire life. For real people. I can jog up them and it’s like I’m tiptoeing. I have no idea how Andy did it, but I’m thoroughly impressed! I might not be impressed when our not even conceived yet baby grows into a teenager and is able to sneak out or in without me hearing them, but by then I think I’ll have developed sonic mom hearing. That’s a thing, right? Even then though I’ll still have to be impressed, because the stairs will be quiet so many years later. I actually have no doubt about that fact. Tangent aside, here are a few shots of the building & installation process.

DSC_4692-01 DSC_4710-01 DSC_4794-01 DSC_4796-01 DSC_4835-01I’m still not quite sure how he installed the stair treads so there are no nails or fasteners showing anywhere. The man is pure magic. If I ask, he just smiles and says he can’t give away all his secrets. I shall remain amazed. We still need to install the other parts of the stairs, but first we had to lay the flooring.

We decided to use beech upstairs because we had it. This is our decision making process: if you have it, you use it. We had enough beech to go through most of the upstairs and had to buy some to finish it. All in all we’ll be about $1,000 in for all of the flooring in the addition when we’re done, and it was to complete the upstairs. In the “using what you have” mentality, we used all of what we had including the fact we had some wide pieces and some narrow pieces. You can see in the staircase photo, below again so you don’t have to scroll, that we used wide beech on the staircase landing. Not pictured below we also used the wide pieces, and the junkier pieces in the closets. Let’s face it, who’s really going to see them anyway, and if they do and they say something, I think the bigger question would be why they snooping in our closet.

DSC_5203-01For the upstairs we ran the nice narrow flooring throughout.

DSC_5221-01DSC_5218-01I’m saving the reveals of the completed flooring because I really want to get a picture of it cleaned up. You all know I’m not averse to showing photos of total disaster zones, but this is one reveal I want to show all cleaned up. You can get a sneak peek however if you hop on over on Instagram.

All in all, we’re super happy with how everything is turning out and it’s honestly beautiful in person. Looking forward to showing the final reveal of the flooring being laid, once we get it all cleaned and time to take some photos.

xo,

Heather

Wednesday Renovation Recap: So Many Stair Parts

Hey, friends! I have something to tell you before I delve into this renovation update. Here it goes.

I, Heather, am totally into the now-cancelled show Ready For Love. There, I said it. I’ve been watching the season on-demand since it’s been cancelled. I don’t even care that it’s like a jacked up version of the Bachelor without any roses, plus three bachelors and dating coaches. I also think the Rancic’s are a totally cute couple even though I literally know nothing about them outside an interview I saw and the fact I watched about four episodes of their reality show in a row one time. To be blunt, this show just makes me inexplicably happy due to the love factor and the hilarious awkward laugh factor. So the lesson is this, don’t question what makes you happy, even if it’s awesomely bad TV. I sort of wish it was going to have a second season.

Whew! I am so glad I got that off my chest. With that said, let’s get into the renovations! As you know we finished the living room and we’ve pretty much just been enjoying it since, with little work on the rest of the house. That doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting around though. We’ve been working on the garden (update to come next week!) as well. With all of the enjoying and planting going on it doesn’t mean we can stop working on the house for too long. With that said, we need to get these darn stair parts finished and out of the master bedroom so we can lay flooring and move up there already!

DSC_3923-01Over the last couple weeks or so I finished up the stair treads and finally was able to take them off the scaffolding and move them aside so I could start the balusters, trim and a few other boards.

DSC_3930-01Once the stair parts were moved out of the way, I used the scaffolding to set up all the other parts. You never quite realize how many stair parts there are until you’re prepping them all!

DSC_3943-01I think total, between the balusters, trim, risers and other wood parts Andy asked me to take care of, there were over 50 parts I was priming. Yep, you read right, priming. Believe it or not we do paint wood, just very selectively. All of this wood is poplar which was both free for us (sawed from our woods),  but it’s not exactly the best wood to seal and let the natural shine through. I actually asked Andy to keep them natural but he really wanted them white. Truthfully, I’m okay either way. I’ve learned that Andy’s ideas are often beautiful. While he’s almost always against painting wood, he absolutely loves contrasting staircases that allow gorgeous wood to shine. By painting the “meh” poplar white, we will be able to showcase the walnut rails and the beech treads. Don’t expect to ever see white trim in our house though, you would be just as shocked as me.

DSC_3946-01With the stair parts finally primed, we’re ready to paint white! While we aren’t there yet, we will be soon. I’ll be picking up basic bright white eggshell paint this week. We’re going eggshell to allow the white parts to “sit back” from the glossy wood we’re trying to accentuate while still allowing the white parts to be easily cleaned. Update: I bought the paint and we’re going with satin since it has a soft sheen to it, and is easier to wipe down than eggshell. After researching it more I realized that eggshell was a pretty bad idea for high-traffic surfaces. We’re not painting the stair parts Dover White like the rest of the main downstairs area simply because it isn’t bright white. We really want it to be a classic white just in case we ever decide to repaint. The Dover White we have from Sherwin-Williams is a beautiful white but it does have a slightly yellow undertone, which we don’t want. It will also be best if we ever decide to change the wall colors, so we’re not left with a staircase with a slightly yellow undertone which could clash dependent on the color we re-paint. We’re certainly not intending to, but it’s a lot easier to repaint a wall than repaint stairs!

DSC_3940-01
Balusters in process!

That’s all for now in the stairs department. With the treads and railings finally done, and all the other parts close, we’re still making progress.

DSC_3925-01Though, I do have to admit, it’s pretty hard to keep progress going when all you want to do is stay outside planting your garden until dusk and then sit in your living room you’ve been waiting years for. On and up though! Next milestone goal: Move into the new master bedroom!

xo,

Heather

What Warms You Three Times, In Three Different Seasons?

I just thought you should know that as I write this, Rosie is up on the pillow behind me with her face smushed against the side of my head, and Winnie is laying down my legs. I might be quite cramped at the moment but it’s pretty much the cutest cramped ever. Not to be mistaken with the cutest cramps ever. Those are never cute. Ever. This is not up for debate.

With your just-started-snorning-in-my-ear dog update complete, let’s discuss the riddle posed in the title to this post. What warms you three times, in three different seasons?

…..

 

…..

 

…..

Firewood! We got our 10 cord delivered (lasts for years) and Andy and Casey have been at work, among everything else, cutting and splitting it. Firewood warms you when you cut and split it in the spring, it warms you when you stack it in the summer, and it warms you when you burn it in the winter.

DSC_2913-01

DSC_2908-01What also warms you up? Standing in the peak of a cathedral roof sealing beams. This is just one of the many things we’ve continued to work on over the last week. You knew we installed lights, and layed flooring, but I thought it would be nice to give you an update on where each item is as none of them really merit a full post of their own.

One of the things we’ve been working on this weekend is sealing the exposed beams in both of the upstairs bedrooms. We had already sanded them, but they needed to be sealed before we could lay flooring. We went with a satin water based sealant, and used two coats. It gave each beam a nice protection and brought out a little bit of color without going overboard. It was important for us to keep these as natural looking as possible to keep them light looking, or, as light as heavy wooden beams can look.

DSC_2899-01 DSC_2906-01We still have to do the beams in the master bedroom, but I’ve included a picture so you can compare unsealed to sealed beams. As you can see in the photo above the beams have a slight sheen to them when they have a sealant on them, and are very dull when just bare wood (as in the master bedroom photo below).

DSC_2903-01The other updates include better quality photos of the lighting we installed, as well as one new light that we actually bought. We really broke the bank on it too, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The first light is the one in the upstairs extra bedroom. I really love the upper metal part, but will definitely be replacing the shade down the line. It’s not horrible, but it’s way too small for the room. Aside from the size, the style isn’t my cup of tea. It was free though, so I’m cool with it for a while.

RenovationRecap_040313 (22)The master bedroom light is still my favorite. While the post on lighting showed the upper part well, it didn’t really show the underside, so here you go. It’s just a unique light and I absolutely love the design of it.

RenovationRecap_040313 (18)We also have one more new light now in the stairwell. This is the light we actually bought, which is a big deal in it’s own right considering it’s the first light we’ve ever bought for the renovation. I should first say we looked at a lot of options. We had some criteria:

  • Can give off enough light to light the entire stairwell very well (how’s that use of the English language)
  • A little industrial or rustic looking without looking either too modern, or primitive country
  • Large enough for the space (16″+ in diameter)
  • Simple enough it’s not the focal point, but still looks good when focused on (we’re adding art to the walls eventually and I didn’t want too many competing items).

Andy and I both gravitated towards these industrial simple shop looking lights, but they were still fairly costly everywhere we saw—including one for over $300 dollars. Yikes!  Large lights were straight up expensive and I was starting to get a little discouraged. Then one day when we were at Lowes looking for a simple flush-mount light for the living room we came across a simple industrial light for about $30.00. We decided to get one to see how it looked but unfortunately it was out of stock with no ETA on when it would be in. A little defeated but still optimistic I went home and found almost the exact same light, and a little larger, at Home Depot. I ran down the next day and picked one up and we never looked back.

It’s the best $30.00 in lighting I’ve ever spent. We honestly weren’t sure if we were going to keep it there at first but once it got put up we absolutely knew it was staying. We both love it.

RenovationRecap_040313 (14) RenovationRecap_040313 (15) Searching for lights and making decisions on the details has also made us realize our style as a couple a little more; and it turns out we seem to both really like an eclectic mix tied together with industrial/rustic pieces. Andy definitely still leans towards more masculine traditional pieces, while I lean towards lighter brighter cleaner lines. It seems like these two preferences has so far created a really cool balance between anchoring pieces and light pieces.

One of the best examples of this is our reclaimed flooring. While it’s both rustic and charming, the new finish we just put it on it made it very dark and masculine. It’s absolutely beautiful and shows the perfect mix between our two styles. When you last saw it, the flooring had just been laid and was lighter.

DSC_2842-01We knew we needed to somehow seal the floor so we tested a water based sealer, danish oil and tung oil on sample pieces. The water based sealer just wasn’t a great option to hold up on a floor, and the danish added an odd yellowish tint to the floor which we absolutely didn’t want. So we decided on the tung oil. It was natural and brought out the colors in the floor in the richest way.

Before we were able to get started Andy had to thoroughly clean the floor. Once that was done he sanded very rough spots, and planed down the high spots between boards so, “the baby won’t stub her little toes”. He was referring to the baby we not only don’t have, but aren’t even trying for yet. It was incredibly endearing my husbands mind was on the well being of our hopefully future child.  Back off ladies, those overalls are mine.

DSC_2851-01 DSC_2855-01Are you ready for the reveal? Keep in mind this is only one coat, and it was still soaking in when I took this photo. There will likely be at least two more coats going down.

In the words of Rick Savage, BOOM BAAAABBYYYYY (there has been far too many references to this in our house lately.)

DSC_2888-01Let me show you a progress photo which really shows how different the floor looks with tung oil.

DSC_2883-01Finally, the other big thing I wanted to show you was the reclaimed pine flooring in the stairwell. This flooring isn’t quite finished yet underneath of the stairs so it hasn’t been tung oiled yet, but it will be.

DSC_2895-01DSC_2894-01

There has been quite a lot going on and the wheel keeps on moving: To get this addition “move in” ready, so we can rip apart the original house, we still need to:

  • Do two coats of sealant on the beams in the stairwell and in the master bedroom
  • Finish laying the reclaimed pine flooring in the stairwell
  • Finish applying the tung oil on the reclaimed pine flooring in both the living room and stairwell
  • Install the flooring in the three bedrooms
  • Install the stair treads, balusters and rails.
  • Apply a finish to the flooring in the three bedrooms
  • Do a second coat of paint in each bedroom
  • Paint the accent wall on the back of the stairwell
  • Put all the face plates on the switches and plugs
  • Install doors
  • Put the trim on the windows

There are other things we’ll need to do to “finish” the rooms, like get a real light (instead of a bulb) for the living room ceiling, install a shelving system in our bedroom, hang a rod or shelving system in each of the other bedrooms, install the wood stove in the living room, install the monitor heater in the living room, install a door to the storage space underneath of the stairs, and finally finish the bathroom in our bedroom which is still currently in disarray and will stay that way for a while (money speaks).

RenovationRecap_040313 (11)I’m pretty sure I missed things that need to be finished, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, here’s a peek at the two trims we’re looking at (the final choice will likely be the left trim), and the beech flooring for the rest of the house.

image3026What have you guys been up to? Are you starting any outdoor activities? Have you been working on your house? Tell me about it!

xo,

Heather