Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Floors and Doors

Work continues...

After ripping out the rows of shims that were wrong, I did manage to finish all the shims in the hallway. Then I threw down some plywood:
Last Saturday, the plan was to finish the rest of the subfloor, which included the "seasonal" closet and the small section in front of the linen closet. (Both on the right in the picture above.)

Part of the reason that hadn't been done already is that the drywall for the bathroom was in the closet and I couldn't move it on my own. (I could barely get it from the trailer to upstairs with Troy pulling more than half the weight.) Or could I?

It turns out, when I need to, I can move around a full sheet of 5/8" drywall. Troy and I had planned to do it together, of course, but with me being sick and then Troy not feeling well, we didn't get it done. But I was determined now was the time because that floor was getting done!

So I got them into the bedroom, moving the last sheet of plywood and putting the drywall where it was. (The organization needed for a small work space!) The last sheet of drywall, of course, got cut up to go on the floor.
Most of the time was spent measuring and cutting the larger piece (lighter in the picture because its upside down) to fit around door posts and other irregularities. I was happy to have a scrap long enough and wide enough to install beside it (to the left) and managed to make them line up groove to tongue.

But then none of my scraps were big enough for the section in front of the linen closet or the last strip that was left at the far end of the seasonal closet. :(

Then I also started having trouble with the drill bits. Apparently I was replacing the worn/broken ones from the "cheap" supply and that's why. But I didn't know that until Troy go home. So I put in enough screws to hold everything in place and quit that for the day.

Let me tell, it is so nice to walk on a sturdy, solid, flat floor!! Even though it will take a while for my feet to learn the new floor. Meanwhile, it is still surprising my feet, which are walking the pattern of the old floor's ups and downs!

I still had time in my day, so I also cut off the bottom of the bedroom door so it would clear the new floor height and rehung it.
It's solid wood so cutting of the bottom didn't affect anything except the length. Even though we're the only ones in the house, it still feels better to have a door on the bedroom. :)

If I am remembering correctly, Troy finished the wiring of the vanity wall (lights, outlets, switches) and added an outlet to the closet side on that same wall. His new drill was a dream to work with.

He also figured a path for the antenna cable to get from the attic to the TV in the living room. It turned out to be simpler than he thought, which is nice for a change!

I have the bathroom area cleared of everything so I hope this week really is the week I start putting down flooring. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mistakes and Lost Causes

No pictures today. It's been a frustrating week with not a lot of progress.

On Wednesday, Troy set to finishing the wiring for the vanity wall. He needed his drill that can make holes at 90° because he couldn't fit the "regular" drill between the studs. While he was using it, it made a bad noise and started smelling like burnt plastic. Never a good thing.

So he took it apart, discovered what was wrong, fixed it and put it back together. And then it did the same thing. So he tried again, and maybe even one more time. And then it still wasn't working. So he was done for the day and now he has a new drill.

It feels like a lot of wasted time, but at least now he can be very sure that getting a new one was necessary.

I, on the other hand, was still working on putting the shims on the hallway floor so the subfloor would be level. Last night I discovered that I used the wrong screw as a reference point not only on the strip that I had just installed, but also the previous strip where the glue was well-dried.

So I spent the evening with a hammer and crowbar removing the incorrect shims, grinding off or pulling out the brads, and cleaning up the surface so I could put shims down again. The glue gave pretty quickly on the old floor boards because they were painted, but there was another section where the shims were glued to some new lumber and that was some work. Troy ended up finishing up the cleaning with a chisel.

Now I should be all set to redo that work today. After thoughts last night of maybe finishing that section in one big push, I now have the same thought today. There's more to do, but I have more time too so we'll see.

It can be frustrating to go backwards but it hasn't happened very often to us so we're going to chalk this up to the cost of doing business.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Building Up and Tearing Down

Since the last time I posted, we enjoyed a week-long visit to Troy's parents in Missouri. Troy got to practise with his new quadcopter that can record video. Here's a little snip of us waving "Hi" from the front deck:
We had a great time and you can read more about my visit to the Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Missouri here.

After we got home, it took us a while to get back into work on the house. I also spent a few days sick with a cold so that week was a bust for me too. But some progress has been made...

Troy inserted plywood in the wall between the bathroom and closet where there was a big opening to house the medicine cabinets. You can see he also framed the "third wall" of the closet space (on the right).
He has to get those walls framed before I lay the floor.

Troy also started the wiring for the vanity lights and outlets.
Hmm...in this picture, you can only see the boxes, but he has some wiring started too.

Once that side of the closet was framed, I could also work on a layout. I could not find a useful online closet planner (that would let me plug in my own stuff) so I resorted to Excel.
I had to give separated areas for hanging clothes so Troy could separate
his nice clothes from his "grubby" clothes.
Troy needs a lot of hanging space since he hates to fold but doesn't mind hanging. (He even hangs his jeans--well he did when he owned jeans--and that is just crazy pants to me.) He has a dresser that we like, so I figured we could just build the rest around it. And that way he wouldn't have to spend the time building himself some drawers. And I filled the rest of the space with shelves.

Troy hasn't actually approved this plan yet but this was my first stab at it. Except for the top one, I expect the shelves will be adjustable so the spacing isn't all that critical at this point.

As for actual work work, I have scraped off the various finishes on the chimney.
We're going to be gluing either drywall or plywood then drywall and as Troy continually says, the glue is only as secure as the stuff you're sticking it to.

Of course, it's always fun to try and find all the layers from over the years.
1. Brick (not pictured)
2. Plaster (far left bottom corner)
3. Floral wallpaper
4. Striped wallpaper (that I hope was discoloured by subsequent layers because that is a very ugly brown.
5. More wallpaper I couldn't make out.
6. Paneling (all you can see that remains is the glue they used to stick it up).

Some came off, some didn't and by the end I had this on the closet side:
On the bedroom side, there was a lot less to remove. It is a mess of plaster and drywall mud though, including textured plaster that is just ick.

Along the one side, the plaster had given way and revealed the original brick:
I doubt it was ever meant to be a finished surface, but while the plaster was coming off, my head was filling with thoughts of tearing off all the plaster to reveal the bricks and how I could sand blast them to remove all the crap and I could maybe have that "mock" mantel or fake fireplace I keep dreaming about....But then, the plaster wasn't coming off anymore and I realized that it wasn't going to happen. And that it wouldn't even work because the chimney is way off to the side between two doors and it would look goofy. Anyway, all that is to say we will fill in the gap before we glue some drywall up and call it good.

Tonight I finished up the last little piece of subfloor in the closet space
so Troy can frame the linen closet. Then I think we will be done adding walls. I think.

You can see Troy crawling around on the floor in the picture--he is working on setting up the hallway so I can lay more shims there and put in the subfloor. It will be so nice to have the floor done! At the same time, Troy can even out the last flight of stairs (four steps) that are so uneven right now. Equal steps will mean less tripping, which is a good thing at the top of the stairs.

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