When you Have a Handy Husband You get New Floors!

So, two weekends ago we ripped up the floor on the sitting area of the living room to bring the floor up level with the rest of the house.  That was the project before the project.  This weekend it was time to tackle ripping out the carpet and installing the new floors.

When we ripped up the carpet under the living room we found that there were pretty nice looking hardwoods under the floor.  We had a lot of comments that we should restore it, but since the front room is now a plywood base and our house is a bit on the cold side I wanted the extra layer the new flooring would add.  Also, when we ripped up the dining room area, the hardwoods had been covered with a thin layer of vinyl.  It was disgusting. We had to rip and tear and scrape the vinyl off the floor.  We ended up spending most of the first day scrapping vinyl and glue off the floor, and didn’t get to get started laying the underlay and actually start installing the floor until late in the day so we didn’t get very far.

Day number two started off better.  We got to work cutting and installing.  My husband refreshed my memory on how to use the chop saw and I had my first experience with the jig saw.  We had a productive morning until we realized we were going to have to make some really narrow cuts in the flooring and neither the chop saw, skill saw or jig saw was going to work.  We decided to break for lunch, a trip to the hardware store for a table saw, and to pick up our son.  When we returned home my husband made the needed cuts and we were able to get back on track.  Having the right tools makes all the difference. At around one o’clock in the morning we decided to call it quits until the morning. Everything hurt. EVERYTHING. (Note to self.  Make sure the bathtub is clean before you do anything that might make you think a soak in an Epsom salt bathed a good idea.  I didn’t have energy to clean the tub, and had to make do with a shower.)

Day number three was back at it cutting and clicking the flooring into place with a break for the little’s egg hunt.


When we were done hunting eggs, I clicked more pieces together until my husband sent me with the little to Grammy’s house.  When we returned a few hours later, the hubby was laying the final piece into place.



This has by far been one of my favorite projects with my husband.  We only wanted to strangle each other once.  There was awesome team work on this project and I got to use power tools, (which if you’ve never done I recommend you try, always under the supervision of a capable adult of course.)  It also just so happened our kitchen project from a few years ago popped up in my facebook newsfeed.  I find it a little ironic that we pick the same exact days every few years to do our projects.  I wonder what next years will be?


Getting Back on Track Part 2

Okay.  So, sometimes getting back on track isn’t nearly as easy as we think it’s going to be.  We started getting somewhat back into a routine only to decide we are going to put down new floors in our little 1950’s house. (Yes, I already know we are crazy).  There is a little 10 x 7 sitting area off our living room that we knew we were going to have to bring it up to level before we actually laid down the floors.  It dropped down about an inch from the rest of the house.  Over the weekend we tore up the carpet, and pulled up the plywood only to find that the subfloor was trashed.  It was kind of expected, but nevertheless was kind of a huge bummer too.  We (and you know by “we” I mean mostly my husband with me helping where and when I can although I do want to give him credit for the majority of the work.) had to rip out the subfloor, reinforce the walls, add new supports for the floor and lay down a new subfloor.  Now we are ready to lay the new floor, which will be our Easter Weekend Project.  In the mean time the furniture is haphazardly moved to random parts of the house and we have to figure out how to squeeze it into the other rooms of the house so we can actually lay down these new floors.  Luckily the babysitter is coming tonight so maybe we can accomplish some of this before Friday.


On other fronts, I did manage to clean out my son’s closet.  I rearranged some things, finding them a new home with other like things (i.e. all the craft and art stuff that was hiding in the closet is now housed with all the other art and craft stuff so it’s all in one place).  I made a small pile for good will and  I made a huge pile for the burn pile and another pile for the trash. Lucky for us the weather was perfect for a fire so all of that that ended up in the burn pile is gone, along with all the yard trimmings from the tree my husband trimmed.

I managed to make it out for an outing with some like minded women (accomplishing a monthly goal for myself) and somehow persuaded myself to volunteer myself to help start up a group chapter in our are of town.  It is scary and exciting.  It also seems fitting that this fell into my lap since most of the quotes I had chosen for March’s quote of the day had to do with courage.  I definitely had to pull from the courage pool for this new venture.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.


No More Construction Zone: DIY Magazine Bathroom

The construction zone is finally gone (for now) and we now have a magazine bathroom.  New Floor, Paint, Vanity, Mirror, Cabinets.  All DIY with the exception of laying the floor tile.  (The tile we had help with.) This is probably one of the most satisfying projects we have completed so far in our little old house.

As soon as we get rid of all the dust from this project I’m excited to plan the next one.

When you Have a Handy Husband You live in a Construction Zone

When you have a handy husband sometimes your house turns into a miniature construction zone for a period of time.  We’ve been working on trying to make our main bathroom a bit nicer for a while.  Our first project about a year ago was to tear out the original 1950’s cast iron bathtub and put in a standard size bathtub and redo the tile surround.  This project was based around a $20 bathtub we found.1184981_10202235901511882_681496146_n

We replaced the toilet with a brand new $40 toilet (that a homeowner just didn’t like.  Sometimes working in the construction industry comes in handy.)  But we still had a gosh awful vanity that looked like it was the original one that had come with the house, and the tan floor tile no longer matched the shower tiles.   The tile we wanted for the floor was on sale over the Thanksgiving weekend so we went for it and my husband found an awesome deal on a beautiful vanity and we found a vanity top for a reasonable price that was exactly what I wanted.

Last week we employed help to rip out the floor and lay the tile.  We moved the water heater out of the closet in the bathroom into the laundry room and gained a whole closet for storage.  (We live in a 1950’s house.  There are a total of 3 closets in the house, all about the size of the closet door.  It seemed like poor judgement to put the water heater in one of the only closets and we’ve been talking about moving it for years.  If I would have known how easy it was to re-route the plumbing I would have had the hubby do it long ago.  Not only did we gain a lot of storage space, but the water heater is more centrally located so we don’t have to wait nearly as long for the hot water to reach the laundry, kitchen sink, dishwasher second bathroom, so it should save money on both water and the electric bill.  SCORE!) On Friday night we grouted the tile and then on Sunday the hubby (being a Master Electrician) got to work ripping out the old lighting fixtures and adding cans over the tub and toilet to create the perfect light for what will be a beautiful new bathroom when we are finished.  I’m happy to say we are back to two working toilets, but the plumbing for the new vanity still needs to be finished and we need to repair some sheetrock texture the walls and paint, but it is super exciting  Here’s a picture of the new tile…  I’ll share some more after we get a little more completed.

On Friday night we grouted the tile and then on Sunday the hubby (being a Master Electrician) got to work ripping out the old lighting fixtures and adding cans over the tub and toilet to create the perfect light for what will be a beautiful new bathroom when we are finished.  I’m happy to say we are back to two working toilets, but the plumbing for the new vanity still needs to be finished and we need to repair some sheetrock texture the walls and paint, but it is super exciting  Here’s a picture of the new tile…  I’ll share some more after we get a little more completed.

When you have a Handy Husband- You get new stairs and landing.

I’ve complained about the stairs leading up to the back of our house for years.  We made do with what came with the house, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me.  The landing hadn’t been built high enough to actually go into the house without taking a step up and being the wonderfully graceful person I am I just couldn’t handle it.  My husband fixed that after we moved in by adding an extra step.  This worked okay until we had a toddler underfoot. Trying to get in through the back door with an arm full of groceries, while making sure your toddler doesn’t fall off the small landing or step while the dog tries to plow you down to get out of the house was becoming too much of a chore.  I requested to my husband new stairs and a landing and a week later I am so incredibly happy.

My husband is a Master Electrician by trade but enjoys playing with wood building for us when he is able.  He explained to me his plan, which I understood fairly well (even without him sketching it out for me like he usually does).  He bought most of his materials on Friday evening and on Saturday morning he started right away with tearing out the old steps and landing.  It was in sad shape.  He then set to getting things level for the new landing.  Building the landing is not hard at all, but making sure everything is level and square is quite a chore.  By Saturday evening, the landing was finished with the exception of one board that had to be laid and the second railing.  It was coming along beautifully.  Sunday evening led to the completion of the stairs.  Now all we need is a stair railing and a few finishing
touches to turn our new landing into perfection.

I am so incredibly thankful to have a husband who can work with his hands, and I am so grateful when I get to help him with these projects. (Which is not terribly easy having to pause and chase around a little person, but so incredibly worth it.)023

When You have a Handy Husband- You Talk about Floors then Tear down Walls Instead

When you have a handy husband your three day weekend starts off with a conversation about redoing the floors in your house.  During this discussion you mention that if you really want to to do the floors it would make more sense to tear down the partial wall in between the living room and the dining room before new floors went in because if that’s a project on the list.  Otherwise you would end up having to do the floors twice.  Your husband agrees and you can hear the excitement in his voice as he has been waiting on an okay to tear down some walls for a while.  He arranges for a friend to come help him undertake this endeavor.

The sheet rock gets taken off to expose shiplap and we carefully took off as much as we could  to reuse somewhere else in the house (I was also happy to see today that someone stopped by and salvaged the rest out of the trash pile to use in their own project.)  After that it was tearing down the wood frame that was there and then adding a bit of new framing for reinforcement.  It was amazingly simple and inexpensive and I’m almost sorry we waited so long as it changes the entire feel of the house.

We still have some more finishing to do, painting and adding trim, but all in all I’m excited with what was accomplished. . . This little 1950’s house is becoming more and more what we imagined when we moved in and it’s quite exciting.  The next project will be the floors, coming soon. . .10989170_10205609266283893_183742528957277561_n 17662_10205609617452672_6632948037998140884_n

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Making Outdoor Furniture

Shortly after my husband and I moved into our house we decided we needed some outdoor furniture.  I searched online for some free plans and came across Ana White (Who happens to currently be one of my hero’s.  This women is awesome!)  I pulled some plans from her fabulous website (These plans to be exact http://ana-white.com/2010/05/plans/simple-outdoor-lounge-chair) and brought them home to my husband.

We bought all the materials we needed and got to work.  During a previous DIY project my husband handed over his drill to me to screw something in.  I was not very skilled in power tools at this point in time and my husband took the drill away from me almost as quickly as he had handed it over.  I tend to be a little trigger happy where he is more skilled in “the fine arts of finessing the trigger.” This new project of chairs would require both the drill and the circular saw.  I had never used a saw before, luckily for me being trigger happy works better with the saw, so after a demonstration or two my husband let me have at it.

I love building things.  I cannot tell you what joy it brings when you look at something you’ve created and can say “I built that or I made that”.  It really is an awesome feeling.  During the process of making things the thoughts aren’t always as cheery.  The thought stream more like this sometimes “What the eff am I doing?  This isn’t working.  I’m never going to finish this. and often a few phrases of obscenities.”  But we worked together and the chairs slowly pieced themselves together until we had actual usable furniture.  (And then my husband got to make fun of me again because I had never spray painted anything.)  I challenge you.  Do something you’ve never done before.  You might be amazed at the result!

purple chair greenchair