Progress on the house came to a halt for a while when family needs took priority and I diverted the funds from the house to helping family. Now things are getting back on track and that long list is becoming smaller.
The upstairs floors have been a headache. We removed the carpeting to find worn floors, plaster and glue spilled and walked through. Let’s just say the only thing worse would have been finding out the original wood floors were not salvageable.
This is what we found in the pink room, instantly renamed the girls’ room by the little ones.
And this is what the girls’ room floor looks like today.
It took me months to find someone who could and would sand the floors for me. In theory it’s an easy job I would have done myself a few years ago but not today from a seated position. It’s also a very messy job so many handyman/contractors don’t want to do the work. I received so many “No, I don’t do that kind of work” responses that I leaped for joy when one contractor agreed but then quoted me a price of $2400 for less than 600 sq feet, and that was before he saw the mess so it might have ended up being more.
I know that this job is one of the easiest jobs there is, you simply walk behind a machine and let it do its thing. You don’t need special training to operate a sander so the price I was quoted was one I would never pay. I came close to purchasing a hand-held belt sander and doing the job myself. It would have taken longer but cost me less than $200 for the sander and bundles of sandpaper.
Out of the blue, while I was pricing and comparing belt sanders, I was told a friend of a friend was a sub-contractor who finishes floors. Since all I wanted was the sanding (the stain and sealer my daughter-in-law and I can do), he agreed to do the work for $250 plus the cost of renting the equipment. This brought the total to $386.
Here’s the boy’s room before.
and the Boys room today.
The thing I found hilarious is that the floors upstairs are from two different types of wood. The floor in the girls’ room is oak while the boys’ room floor is cherry. I’ll be staining both rooms cherry to blend in with the floors downstairs.
Now comes the hard part. Cleaning up. Unfortunately the contractor didn’t want to close the doors and get hot up there so the dust is everywhere. It’s on the walls, ceiling, windows, screens, it’s even on the walls and steps leading downstairs. It was downstairs too but I’ve finally gotten all that dust cleaned up.
We need to vacuum, dust and wipe down every surface from the bottom of the stairs all the way up to the ceilings of each room. Only then can we begin the staining and sealing of those floors and finally(!) move the furniture up there and out of my bedroom.
In other news around the house
Do you remember I bought a clothes washer? I was tired of washing my clothes in the tub. I did my laundry in the tub for one year and seven months, I’d say that was long enough of a green living experiment. After waiting six weeks for a handyman, who had promised week after week to be here to run the plumbing in the kitchen, I threw my hands up and bought a portable washer.
I ran into problems right from the start with this model. Now I’ve owned two other portable washers in my life one was fantastic the other just so-so but both were cheaper than paying to use a laundromat.
I’ll save you clicking to read what happened and give you the short version. I removed the washer from its packaging set up the first load and found it wouldn’t drain. After trouble shooting I determined the pump was defective and called customer service. Midea customer service arranged for repair service to arrive the next morning.
The repair man arrived and we got off to a rough start. He was a nice man but English was not his first language. It took a bit of back and forth of his trying to tell me I’d plugged up the drain with me explaining this was brand-new. Once we got that straight he opened up the washer and shortly after informed me he had good news and bad news.
The machine didn’t have a defective or clogged pump, but the bad news it didn’t have a pump. Then again he said that was also good news that it didn’t have a pump as I would never need to worry about a pump going bad. The water drains by gravity and while the manual, description of the machine and even the set up of the drain hose was made to drain into a kitchen sink, the machine would only drain if the hose stayed roughly a foot or lower from the floor.
He was a sweet man who tried to offer suggestions. He first suggested I hook the machine up in the bathroom and drain it into the tub, problem there is I would have to be able to walk into the bathroom and pull the machine in backwards for this to work. Oh and I would be stuck in the bathroom while it ran.
His next suggestion was to run the drain out the kitchen door. Okay not bad but the hoses didn’t fit that distance. Stretching the water hose on the faucet to its limit wouldn’t get the drain hose to the door.
But the problem was still what to do about the load of clothes and the water currently sitting in the washer. Then it came to me, for the time being I could use the recycling bin to drain the water from the washer and push it to the door. This water I could use to water the garden and dump any I couldn’t use. I set this up and crossed my fingers the bin was large enough to hold the water, if not I was going to have to quickly remove the hose and elevate it to stop the machine from draining any more water which would then theoretically be all over the floor.
This got old real fast and was darn heavy to move without spilling. I knew this wasn’t an option in the winter either. So I sat down and gave this some thought. How could I be so dense, I must have been overwhelmed because it suddenly came to me. They make special drain pipes called a Y pipe to allow a dishwasher to drain under the sink. For less than $5 I removed part of the straight drain under the trap and replaced it with a Y pipe and slid the washer’s drain hose right over it. Perfect fit.
Some days you just need to take matters in to your own hands.
I have several jobs around here that require a circular saw, one tool that is not safe for me to operate as my arms are pretty weak. Hiring out would cost a fortune, and some jobs are so small they aren’t worth the drive to my house, so instead of borrowing a circular saw, and risking life and limb, I bought a miter saw, which is basically a circular saw mounted in a sturdy frame and operated by moving an arm which controls the blade. It’s a circular saw that I can’t get hurt using, at least let’s hope. 🙂
Not all miter saws are created equal. Ryobi is a good brand but I would recommend you carefully read reviews and look for issues with stability because some are a bit shaky resulting in the base moving around making the saw not as safe as it should be.
The miter saw was $119 and will save me many more times that amount. The first jobs on the list include:
- Cutting the boards to install the railings making them finally safe!
- Converting a found cabinet into an art table for the children
- Cutting the boards to make more raised garden beds
- Converting a rocker to a stationary chair, a job for my son that has been here a year waiting on that darn circular saw he has in his garage. 🙂
- Building of a bench I will upholster and use as a window seat in the living room
- Finally, a neighbor has asked me to help her build a fence.
Later on the miter saw will be used to cut trim for around the doors, and to cut wood to install baseboard on the first floor to bring back features of the original design of the house that have been removed over the years.
If and when I run out of jobs for the saw I will sell it and recoup some of my investment (or pass it on to one of my sons if they have a use for it).
You can see I will be quite busy for the next week or so.