Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Planting and Pruning

Since my floors are done it is time to begin looking outside. We have started looking at seeds and making plans for the yard and things got started this week. For my birthday I was given an Ultra Dwarf Red Baron Peach tree. This tree is awesome because it will only grow to be 5'-8' tall which will work out good in my yard. I decided to plant it on the side of the yard near the pomegranate tree. First I measure for a good location then started digging.

A good sign about my soil is that immediately we saw a lot of worms. Katie loves worms and began collecting them. 

She carried them on the sleeve of her jacket and put them in a bucket of dirt.

The tree went in quickly, here is Katie to show the current size of the tree.

Since I was working in the yard I decided to start pruning as well. I have been hesitant to prune since it has been a very cold winter, but it is warming up a little and I wanted to get it done before things start sprouting. Here is a look at the roses in the front yard. Despite the cold the leaves did not fall off, however the came off easily. I have six bushes three were here when I bought the house and three are new ones I have planted.

Here is a look at the after. The jasmine against the wall is doing very well and has not been affected by the weather. 

Olive watched the fun from the window.

Katie checked out the pruned roses and declared them naked.

I also did some pruning on the pomegranate tree, not a lot but cut off the suckers and some of the crossed branches.

Speaking of the cold, I believe I lost my succulents. I have had a jade plant for about seven years and several plants from the original, they did not like the weather which was in the low teens at night.

Looking around the yard today it was interesting to see what might survive and what might not make it.   I still need to prune the grapes but that can not be done until after the last freeze.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finished Living Room

My living room is done and I was finally able to get my furniture moved back in! Here is a look at Katie's area.

Now here is a look at the couch/tv area.

I did purchase three rugs, a tan one for the living room and a pink oval and tan rectangle for Katie's area. These are more to protect the floor but I think they look nice as well. All of the furniture now has foam feet on the bottom to also not scratch or damage the floor. 

Between the paint which really brightened and freshened up the room and the floor which I think warmed the feeling of the room I am very pleased with the overall result. It may have taken a month of weekends but the people at Home Depot recognize me now and I really like sitting in my living room so it was totally worth it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Floor Wrap Up

The next and final step in my flooring adventure was the moulding. We had pulled the exiting moulding off the walls and it survived but needed some assistance. Luckily the weather warmed up slightly for a few days and we were able to work outside. The first thing to do was sand them, There were pieces of carpet and paint lines all over them.

The previous paint was not put on them very well.

Once sanded came the paint, the same paint as the rest of the floor moulding in the house.

Because of the spacer used around the edge of the floor the old moulding barely covered the gap so a second piece needed to be added. I chose this shape which also needed to be painted: 

Next we laid out the pieces where they belonged and began trying to hammer them in, turns out this didnt work very well.

So we rented a nail gun to get the job done.

Even with the nail gun it took longer than we had expected, my bay window was a pain to try and refit the poorly cut pieces back in to.

My brother worked on this while Katie and watched the Inauguration so I can not take too much credit.

The refreshed moulding went in all the way around and was looking pretty good.

Next came the new smaller piece which was flexible and very forgiving.

The final step was filling the nail holes and touching it up. I am very happy with the result.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Floor

The next step in my huge house project was putting down my new floor. After much research on flooring types and brands I chose Pergo XP in Highland Hickory. The floor boards need to sit in the room they will be installed in for at least 48 hours to acclimate. It has been unusually cold so this step was even more important.

Saturday morning the room was cleared. The floor was scrapped, swept and vacuumed.

Two tiles that we found damaged when the carpet was pulled up were repaired. The corners of the tiles had broken off and they were sealed back in place.

The reason the floor need to be really clean is that the first thing to go down on the floor is a thick layer of plastic which is a water barrier. The plastic will block any water condensation from the concrete and protect the flooring.

Once the plastic is down and cut to the proper shape. it is time to start putting down the boards. Spacers go along the wall which give the floor space to expand and contract as needed.

The boards fit together but usually need to be tapped in with a tapping block and mallet.

Katie was very helpful during this process, she opened packages of boards and brought boards over to be placed in next. Over the course of the day the floor slowly went in With all of the weird walls in my living room there were a lot of boards that needed to be cut to complete each row. Once we were past that point the long rows across the room went in fairly fast.

By late Saturday night the floor was mostly in and we called it a day.

Sunday was time to work on the last row. Each board had to be measured and but to fit in. It was also the Golden Globes so getting the tv and couch set up was a priority. Some of Katie's toys came back in as well.

On Monday afternoon my brother put in the final piece of the floor, the molding that joins together the new floor and tile. The floor looks great and I am very happy with the color and texture of the floor. The next step will be to put the floor molding back in.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Painting and Carpet Removal

The weekend following my New Year's painting extravaganza it was time to start with the living room. The big wall with tile flooring had already been painted the weekend before so now it was time for the rest of the room. The ultimate goal is to remove and replace the carpet so painting and flooring had to be coordinated.

We began Friday night by beginning to remove the molding, the goal is to reuse it if possible.

Here is a look at the before.

Once the molding came off it was time to start pulling up the carpet.

Under the carpet is a layer of foam and the tack strips.

Here is some progress.

Once the carpet, foam and tack strips were up the Dremel came out to cut off the nail heads.

The next morning we continued where we left off. 

Where the foam came up the glue and foam pieces had to be scrapped off the floor.

And the shop vac came in handy for cleaning up all of the scraps and other assorted debris. 

By Saturday evening we had worked our way almost to the other side of the room.

Eventually the carpet and foam were gone.

Sunday was time to paint. The 5 gallon bucket was still going but I added another gallon to be safe. This is after cutting the room in, it is ready to roll.

The finished room looked great. I used the semigloss paint that was left from the hallway in the bay window area. It is a high traffic area for Olive who keeps an eye on everything that happens outside.

The other side of the room painted.

Next up, lets add some flooring!