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House Renovations: Part I

04 Mar 2010, Posted by EPoff in House Renovations
Living Room Renovation

Okay I’m switching gears here and I am finally going to post some pictures of our house renovations.  We bought our house almost two years ago, and I am just now getting around to posting the work we did (and are still doing).  So I’ll concentrate on a room per blog post.  Today I’m going to start with the living room/dining room.

When we first saw the house, we thought the living area looked a bit like a funeral parlor.  I’m not really sure if that’s an accurate description but it smelled a little musty and was empty except for one small table at the end.  The previous owner had given away most of his living furniture.  This was no big deal. The big deal about this room was the paint!

My goodness there was aqua marine paint everywhere.  Pictures cannot ever do this paint color justice.  Once we moved in and removed the carpet and drapes, I felt like I was living in a pool.

Okay so the first thing we did after pulling down all of the 70s drapes, was to pull up the 70s carpet and start painting that puppy!  Boy oh boy is it difficult to cover 25+ year old paint.  We primed and the next day I swear the color was more intense and aqua than it had been before we primed.  It was like we were splattering the walls with milk –skim milk.  After trying to prime, we decided to texture the walls so they would be a little easier to paint.  Even after the primer and joint compound cover, it still took two coats of paint and a third layer of “touch up”!  I should have chosen a darker color but the house was so dark, I really wanted to lighten it up.

Ken Painting the Ceiling

Painting the Ceiling

Okay, so once the painting was done, we patched the floors where the carpet tacks had ripped out the cement.  Then it was laminate time!  We laid down the moisture barrier and bought Pergo with the cushion attached.  My hubby Ken and I aren’t very good at making quick decisions.  This has been a long and sometimes painful process having to make so many decisions.  The first thing we decided on was the floor.  It went on sale at Lowes and as soon as I decided I wanted it, when my husband, Ken, went to go get it, someone else decided it was nice too and took all of the boxes.  I think we visited four or five Lowes with the “other person” grabbing all of the boxes of flooring just minutes before we arrived.  Finally, we found one store with enough boxes but they weren’t on sale.  Ken used his charm and bargaining power and got the manager to give us a lower price and we bought all of the remaining boxes.

Installing the flooring was interesting!

Flooring Installed

Installing the Floor

My husband and I were under the impression that a five year old could install this stuff.  It was a real pain getting started.  The first few pieces did NOT want to go together and we bent a few grooves and had to toss some of the boards.   After a day of pure frustration and only getting two rows done, we finally figured out what we were doing.  By the next day we finished most of the room, except for the entry and a closet.  We even brought our then five year old in to tap in a few pieces.  So yeah, once you figure out what the heck you are doing, a five year old CAN do it!

We thought we’d have more time to renovate before moving in, but we sold our other house quickly (which was a good thing) and had to move into the house way before it was done.  So we moved in and placed most of the furniture into the middle of the rooms so we could finish the baseboards.  So we worked on the baseboards which came out very nicely.  Special thanks go out to my brother-in-law Tim who let us borrow his miter saw.  That saw rocks!  If you ever need to install baseboards, don’t attempt to do it without a good miter saw.  We were worried that the baseboards were going to be a real problem.  The first couple of cuts took us several hours to get right, but once we realized that 1/16th of an inch makes a huge difference, we found our groove, worked well together, and got them done fairly quickly.  I have to say doing the baseboards was probably one of my favorite parts of the renovation.  They really make the house look “finished”.

New Chandelier

New Chandelier

And for this room, one of the last things we did was get a new chandelier.   The original was interesting and I actually liked it.  My sister liked it too, because she took it!  I think that chandelier would work better in a house with taller ceilings and I tend to like more contemporary things.  Anyway, I like the new light and it was reasonably inexpensive.

So that’s the living/dining area!  That took us about two months to complete.  Of course, we were working on other things at the time and small things like new drapes and the light came much later.

Let me know what you think.

Living Room Complete

Living Room with Baseboards and Furniture