Sunday, October 21, 2012

Owner Building a Home - Week 22 - A Mini-Vacation and the Flooring Begins

A few weeks ago Jay and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary by me working late at the house and Jay hanging out at home putting the kids to bed.  When I came home Jay had planned a romantic meal of macaroni and cheese by candlelight.  I nixed that and pulled out some lovely seasoned fish from the freezer which we quickly baked and ate that with rice instead.  Only slightly more romantic.  I really wanted to go away somewhere, just the 2 of us for a couple of days.  That wasn't happening.  Then we were told both by Mr.W and by our drywall crew that we really do need to go away.  When homeowners build a home themselves and transition from the rough construction to the finish work, it is important to get away, reconnect and re-energize for the next phase of the journey.  So early this week Jay and I left town for 2 days and it.was.wonderful!  We went back to the same place we spent our 10 year anniversary - Falcon Trails Resort.  That place holds such an attraction to me - quaint little cottages nestled amongst the rocks and trees facing the lake.  It is beautiful and peaceful with no distractions.  Jay and I canoed for hours, hiked, watched movies, relaxed in the hot tub, ate way too much food and laughed and laughed and laughed.  We left after lunch on Monday and arrived back home after lunch on Wednesday - a quick 48 hours.  I cannot wait until we can go back again. 

On Monday before we left, the blow-in insulation guys came to blow the ceiling full of insulation.  What a difference an insulated ceiling makes in the temperature of the house.  It is really comfortable in there with the temperature hovering around 16-17C.  Remember, as of yet, we still have no heat in the house.  And we have hardly used the fireplace since the insulation went in.  When the heat stays trapped inside instead of leaving out the roof, it stays warmer much longer.  Also before we left, Jason received numerous loads of large gravel to cover the driveway.  Lately we have been receiving rain so the clay driveway is a mucky mess.  The rocks certainly help.  Now if only it would stop raining so the mucky mess of the yard can dry up (and I say that completely selfishly since I know the year has been dry and the farmers welcome this moisture.  For their sake, I am truly thankful.). Plus, Mr.W put the last pieces of siding on the front of the house.  It is looking so very fantastic!  Do you see those little roof returns up by the peaked window?  He also did those and they are perfect!

Also before we left Monday, I made a phone call to the same business from which I bought our full fridge/full freezer and asked to buy our stove!!  I had found the stove last week Friday but since it is a business that specializes in scratch & dent, the stove doesn't have a door . . . yet.  Once it is all back to new condition, it will be mine.  It is an Electrolux Icon Dual Fuel 30" Range and I am super pumped to call it ours!  It retails for about $4500-$4700 but because it is a scratch and dent, I will pay about 60% less!  I call that a deal worth taking!

Thursday when we went back to the house to work, we started standing up the doors in the office.  The easiest way to paint the interior doors is to spray paint them.  The easiest way to spray paint them is to stand them up.  We nailed small pieces of wood to the tops of the doors to hold them together in a giant ongoing "W" shape.  We have left the office unpainted exactly so we can use it as the spray paint booth for the second floor.  The space is large and convenient and is working really well.  Friday Mr.W put on the first coat of paint and early on Saturday he did the second coat.  Those doors are now done!  Now to paint the 800+ linear feet of casings!  :) 

We also "installed" the garage doors!  I say "installed" because it is a rough installation with all the track and hardware still needing to go on but for now they are in place and keeping the house safe and warm.

While the guys were doing other work on Friday, I started installing the laminate flooring. 

I stayed late on Friday night and finished up 2 bedrooms and 1 hall closet.  It takes a bit of forethought to ensure all the flooring lines up in the hall but Mr.W is really good at helping us figure it out.  We snapped a line in the hall and used it as a reference point so we would know how each bedroom and closet would relate to that line.  RJ's bedroom is the room which determines the spacing just because of where her closet is in her room.  So all the flooring needs to align with the flooring in her room and the chalk line helps us to adjust all the other rooms.  It is working really well . . . so far.  The flooring we are installing is a German-made product that we bought months ago and have had here in the garage since then.  We brought it into the house last week to acclimate a bit.  It is a grey color but in each room it looks so different depending on the color of the paint in the room.  I have figured out exactly how to handle it so it doesn't break and exactly how it goes together so I will take upon myself to install all the laminate.  On Saturday I continued installing and completed about 1/2 the master bedroom and then started on all the transitions from each room/closet to the hall.   Agh.  The transition from Pepe's room to the hall is perfect as is the hall closet.  The transition from RJ's room to the hall is off by about 1/16" - that may seem tiny but with laminate flooring it is the difference between clicked together or not.  I am not sure if I need to adjust the flooring in the hall closet or in RJ's room but I am sure we will get it all figured out on Monday.  By midnight on Saturday I was done.

With all the rainy days we have been having, the installation of the Geo-thermal system and the septic system has been put on hold for a bit.  I am okay with that.  I am just glad to know we have people lined up to do both of those and they will get done.  The unknown is the part that always bothers me - I can handle the waiting if I know it will happen.

Finally today I ordered the 3 different wallpapers I want in the house.  Graham & Brown was having a 25% off sale so I made sure to order them now.  I know they will transform the areas in which I want them and I am excited to see them up on the walls.

And that wraps up the week.  With the painting (mostly) done and the flooring going in, it is really starting to feel like a house!  :)


  1. Love what you guys are doing. My family is planing to do the same!

    It would be really helpful if you discuss savings and costs. Would help the DIYers very much!


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