We’re still not to the pretty parts yet, but we are getting there. Amazing the amount of grunt work that goes into a whole house renovation. Sweating is a big part of that during these dog days of summer.
This past week wasn’t monumental, but we did start one more project that has to get done. The stair treads. I think we figured out a way to replace those stair treads without costing a fortune by adding pine treads and painting them. All of you who have been reading awhile know that I painted my old stairs in Birmingham and they turned out fantastic. I did that project with a hand miter saw, but power makes this a lot easier. Replacing treads with smooth pine and painting is the best solution for my current house and since we have all the power tools we need to do this one, it is not going to be a big problem at all.
We priced out pine stair treads at our local big box stores, but dad found a place up in North Georgia that had 12’ lengths for less than the shorter lengths we found at the other stores. He had it all figured out how to cut all the treads we needed out of 7 pieces and it worked out perfectly based on his calculations. We have around 25 treads to add, so this was a great solution.
We drove up there and brought ‘em back home with us a few weeks ago and now it was time to get started on them.
Dad began measuring each stair (since all measurements on things like this have to be accurate and houses are not all plumb and straight) for an accurate measurement for each one at a time and we cut them all.
The skill saw came in handy for these 1” treads.
We made sure every single one of them fit in well. I will putty, sand, caulk, and paint each one and they will be beautiful. I’m using the same Dark Brown that I used on my doors, Valspar’s Fired Earth.
We dry fit them all before we start nailing them. We will also be adding new risers too.
It took a lot of measuring and cutting, but we got them all cut in one day.
Using his square to draw a straight line for the skill saw.
These nasty garage steps will also get new treads and painted.
That will greatly help the garage to be better looking and I’m all for improving every spot I can.
We found that they were a bit too deep and needed to take off some from the backs of the stair treads to keep them from hanging over so far. The fronts are bull nosed and rounded.
He set up the table saw for this job and we ripped them all through on the same measurement to trim them down.
I caught them on the other side. Before long we had stacks of stair treads ready to paint and put in. That’s for a later day.
Another job we started was cleaning out the old flooring from the foyer floor. Years of rain leaking under this door created a mess of rotten plywood right by the door, so that had to be cut out so we can add new sturdy wood.
Dad cut out the old.
Using his saw he got it all out and ready for new.
It was really dirty under there, but all looked good, so I cleaned out some of the mess.
We took off the front door to get around better in there.
A peek at what’s down there. It’s a deep hole with gravel in the bottom and it was all surprisingly clean. A block wall is underneath, very sturdy. Just this wood needs to be replaced for our new floors.
He added a little more support with 2×4’s.
And he got a nice solid piece of plywood set back into the floor and it will be ready for new hardwoods now. We found out how the floor rotted when rain came along after we tore out the old floor. We came back over and water had seeped in from the door on both sides wetting the plywood, so that is how those things happen. Little by little over the years, that plywood will rot if any water is getting in.
Now that it’s all replaced and dry, I’m going to get a storm door for the front door to keep it that way.
In the meantime, I am sanding plywood and getting it ready to paint for our new risers. These should paint out smoothly with my trim paint.
Sheets of primed plywood.
My flooring arrived! Yippee!!
Confession time! Even though I try to take it all on, I am not Super Woman.
I have to tell y’all that even though I had great plans to try to do this ourselves and my dad was on board with trying it too, I threw in the towel and decided to hire this job out. We both have bad backs and I could envision this job taking SO long to do and creating all sorts of stress on both of us, so it was easy to come to that conclusion after we tried out a flooring gun and realized that stapling this engineered flooring was not going to be an easy task.
You all know I’m all about DIY, but sometimes you have to know your limitations and this is one of them. I did not want to kill both of us with this project, since we’ve got so many other things to complete. I’m glad I’m getting it done by a pro and it will take a load off my mind on this big project. I look pretty good on the outside, but I have a bad lower back, which translates into a hip that aches, and knees and joints that don’t bend like they used to. I don’t like to hear people whine about how bad they feel at times, so I don’t want to do it either. But, the truth is, this middle-aged gal can’t bend and move like she used to. It makes me completely frustrated some days, but don’t we all have to deal with getting older?! Now, when I squat, bend, and kneel down, getting up is not an easy task anymore. I took all that for granted when I was younger, but boy does time change all that flexibility. I’m not even kidding when I say I feel like an old lady many days.
I’m sure you thought we were crazy for taking it on and maybe I was a bit over zealous on this one. Sometimes it pays to spend the money and pay a professional!
I’ve got an installer coming out next Monday to start the flooring. I’m sure he’ll get it done in just a few days, where it would take us WEEKS to even attempt to get this finished. It’s going to be stapled and glued down. I was very blessed to get a nice discount on this beautiful flooring from Shaw Floors and it’s 3/8” hand scraped engineered hardwoods, the same flooring used in the HGTV Green Home. With 3 sizes of planks (3, 5, 7”), I’m so excited to see this floor go down in my house!
So, stay tuned for some exciting things happening really soon! If all goes well, I’ll have some new floors installed by the end of next week. And that will make me really jump up and down. There will still be plenty of things to do. I have to get electrical work done, as well as a plumber in to change out faucets in the bathrooms and showers. And I haven’t even tackled the bathrooms yet as far as patching and painting the walls or doing something with the vanities. I’m going to have to live with my vanities for awhile, but I will spruce them up. We’ll have to finish up those stairs, order the Ikea cabinets and get that whole kitchen installed, so I still won’t be moving in for awhile. I’m really hoping to be in by the end of September, but we will see how it goes.
YAY, it’s getting closer to being a finished house!
We had a great time celebrating my dad’s birthday over the weekend, so wanted to share a pic of my dad and mom. I can’t get them to pose too often, but this is a good shot of them.
My favorite newlyweds, Lauren and Philip, were home for the weekend. We loved having them home for a couple of days from New Orleans.
That’s my week, how was yours?
Delores LeBoeuf says
Ah, what a priceless foto of your Mom/Dad – brought a gleeful tear and lump in my throat……so darling, what blessings. Your home is looking more fantastic……….Love & Blessings, Lady Delores.
Rhoda – We am in the beginning stages of renovating our house and I am trying to decide between wood and tile in my public areas. I clicked on the Shaw Floors link you provided and was so excited to see they offer a visualization tool that allows you to upload pictures of rooms and play around with different flooring options. Way cool because I am NOT good at visualizing what the end product is going to look like. I’m enjoying reading your posts about your house renovation … especially with your sweet mom and dad helping you.
Beautiful and precise job on those stairs! It’s amazing how much time those small, but necessary jobs such as replacing the rotten plywood, can eat up…and one ends up where one started, at least from the outside. I always find that frustratating. Could you possibly re-weather strip the exterior door to exclude the water? It worked wonders when I redid all my doors a couple of years ago. I also loved the idea of the door overhang you showed on a recent decorator house you visited. My neighborhood has tons of them in varying styles and they add so much charm as well as keeping the water out. Modern builders so often forget these things.
Good decision on the flooring. It’s best to invest your time in things in which you have the expertise , which is apparently everything else!
I look forward to seeing the changes you are making with your home! My family lives in an 1954 home that is a work in progress–we are always looking for DIY ideas. Thanks for your inspiring blog!!
Paula Lusk says
Rhoda-Please do not beat yourself up over the floor. You and your family and friends have done soooo much to your new house. Won’t it be nice to just walk in and see the floors done? Blessings
Heidi @ Decor & More says
Progress! So many projects, Rhoda — you’re amazing. And good for you for hiring out the floor installation… sometimes we just need to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. 🙂 Save yourself for projects that are doable and more fun.
Arlene [email protected] says
I am on vacay this week but thanks to WiFi I can check in on all my favorite blogs. I think it was a wise decision to have the floors hired out….totally understand physical limitations of us older gals! Before everything gets covered up, I think you and your dad should sign your work with maybe a scripture verse for posterity. One of my friends built a new house and all of her friends went over and put our favorite scripture verse along with our names and years. One day someone will get a surprise when they do some “remodeling”! Happy Birthday to your sweet daddy!
when we moved into our new house, we had friends sign the floor all over the house. Recently, we replaced the carpet and enjoyed reading the ones that had not worn off. The installers were curious as to what all that writing was about..
Superwomen know when to let the pro do the job! It would have been back breaking work with, maybe, permanent harm to you both. I anxiously await every post!
Danielle @ The Retail DIYet says
I’ve been following your home renovation and I love seeing it all come together, but I have to say you have the cutest Dad (actually Parents!) ever!!! I am in love with your floor choice as well. Exactly what I’d choose for my house!
[email protected] Stroll Thru Life says
The stairs and floors are going to be wonderful. Hugs, Marty
I admire you and your Dad for doing what you’ve accomplished so far! I can’t imagine taking on a house renovation. My hubby wants to change our basement into a theater room with him (and me as a helper) doing most of the work. Just clearing the space alone is making my body ache! Your house is looking good!
So wise of you to pay a professional to do the floors. I have a bad back, too, and know how hard the installation would be on both you and your dad. That’s a wonderful picture of your parents and your niece and her hubby.
Deborah J says
Hi Rhoda. I’m a long time reader in Australia. Just taking a moment to tell you how much I’m enjoying hearing about your renovations. You have a great way of telling the story which makes it so interesting.
My husband is in the building trade here, and a real DIY guy himself, and he’s been really interested to see the different ways things are built over there…and you and your Dad’s solutions.
Good luck with the rest of the work…and here’s to a happy home.
I just love reading about your home renovation. You are amazing–and so is your sweet dad.
There is an amazing amount of grunt work in having a nice home, and everything takes longer than expected. It takes me days just to get a room painted!
No one deserves a beautiful home more than you, and all of us who follow you cannot wait to it blossom.
Thank you much Eva, for that. I am so excited to have you all follow along.
Linda Bumgardner says
Rhoda, It is really coming along! I look forward to getting your renovation updates in my inbox.
You must know by now that your dad is everyone’s hero! Does he have any idea?
HI, Linda, I keep telling him, but the internet is so out of his world, he really has no idea.
I was watching This Old House over the weekend and they were making a table for this house they were working on. They made the table from an old pine door. They said since pine was soft they put this sealer stuff on it to make it really hard and seal it so it wouldn’t get any indention’s over time. I SURE wish I’d known about that when we did our pine table and our pine kitchen cabinets! I don’t know the name of the hardener but I thought that was pretty cool. We helped our contractor build our kitchen table when we built our house back in the ladder 80’s. When we wrote notes or whatever sitting at the table you could see the imprint of it on the table. I stained it and then I put 3 coats of polyethylene on it but it still did that due to the softness of the wood. Anyway wanted to let you know about that hardener in case you’d never heard of it like me. Don’t know IF it can be painted over or not though.
The table they made from that old door was really cute! I think they said the door was like 1800’s!
I don’t blame you at all for getting all that flooring put down! Man that will kill ya! We closed in our front porch we didn’t use back last spring and the guy put down ours and it only took him like 4 hours to do that room. I was floored he could do it in that length of time! He’s good!
Good luck with yours and man that IS a good pic of your Dad and Mom!!
My goodness you’re niece Lauren is the spittin image of your daddy! How very blessed you are to still have your parents around to enjoy. And to have a daddy that is so talented and willing to take on such a large project is so wonderful. I’m amazed at how much you guys have accomplished so far. You should both pat yourselves on the back. Thats a lot of work! It will all be beautiful when you are finished and we are all so thrilled for you to have the opportunity to start over and create a great life for yourself. You deserve it!
Your new home is looking so great. The thing that amazes me the most is your Dad! Your Mom is pretty amazing too! You are blessed beyond measure to have such loving,kind and HELPFUL parents.Lucky you!
Tara G. says
Can’t wait to see the treads installed and painted! Your parents are precious!!
We finished visiting our parents whom we haven’t seen since last year and just pulled into the base this afternoon. Tomorrow and the days to come will be busy with in-processing and house hunting. We’re hoping we can find and close on something we really like quickly so we can cut this international move and transition down some!