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?
[email protected] says
I see Super Dad’s back on the job!
I’m elated that you hired help to install the floors. There is no need to kill yourselves over such a labor intensive project when it can be hired out. There are plenty of other projects anyway so save yourself the work.
I know this is a repeat but, YOUR PARENTS ARE AMAZING! Do they know how famous they have become in blog land? Sending love to them from one of your fans. House is looking great, and agree with other comments that you are smart to let someone else do the flooring. I love reading your blog with all these detailed instructions of each step of project. Also, enjoy the sweet, helpful comments from your followers. Everyone is talking about your amazing parents, but you are an talented person that inspires us each day! Wish HGTV would film your project, this is the type show I like to see on TV.
Buffie Baril says
Dr. Fred Roberto in Powder Springs can really help heal your back. He co-hosted the TruHealth Atlanta radio show and is program director of Extreme Makeover: God’s Way and the Maximized Living Makeover.
Check him out:
Thanks, Buffie, I got to a really good chiropractor 2 times a week (have been going over a year). He has helped some, but it is something I was born with, so it will not ever go away completely.
i love reading about your renovations every week…..it feels so exciting, like it’s happening to me! i can’t wait to see your new home all decked out for the holidays this year once all your hard work is done and you are HOME!
i had meant to comment previously – Happy Birthday to your Dad! You are so sweet to share your family with your readers.
Those floors are going to be out of this world!!! The stairs will be beautiful too!
Mark E Tisdale says
Agree with another commenter about checking the weather stripping on the door. Even without a storm door I wouldn’t expect noticeable water to intrude. Hopefully not getting into the wood frame around the door, too!
Makes you wonder, though, why they don’t put in pressure treated sub-flooring near a door like that. Even just foot traffic could bring in enough water over time to do damage.
Richella @ Imparting Grace says
Oh, Rhoda, it’s so exciting to see the progress on your house! But it’s even more fun to see the photos of your dad and the one of both your parents. How blessed you are with a wonderful family!
I’m glad to hear that you’re hiring someone to install your floors. Isn’t it amazing how things we could have done easily in our 20’s and 30’s just aren’t that easy any more? But at least in middle age we have the sense to know that it’s not always worth it to try to DIY everything–some work is worth every penny you pay to a pro! 🙂
I love the Shaw floors but I cannot find any dealers in my area. Could you email me and let me know who you used? And why did you decide on laminate over hardwood? The Shaw products look good. Thanks. I am loving your renovation blogs—
HI,Charlene, I guess you tried here:
Sorry, if you don’t have a dealer near you. I worked directly with Shaw on my floors and got an installer from a Shaw dealer. I’ll be sharing his name when I post about my floors going in.
These floors I’m getting ARE hardwoods, they are engineered hardwoods, not laminate. Meaning, there is a thinner layer of real wood on top and underneath is a substrate layer. It’s only 3/8″ thick, so not as thick as normal nail down hardwoods would be, but these floors should last for many many years.
Joni Webb says
looking so great – can’t wait to see the hardwoods. with the new paint and the floors down, you are really going to see the major difference! can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!! hurry!!!! hahah
Your journey reminds me of my own staircase reno! Check it out!