Take Offs and a Landing

Last week I had a day off from work and decided to make use of the time by taking on a project. It ended up taking a little longer than anticipated, and I hit a few snags, but in the grand scheme of things this was one of the easier projects we’ve done.

Doorway before Landing

Since we’ve moved in we’ve always had problems with the front door that enters directly into the living room. The most obvious problem is that the carpet makes it very difficult to open. The other problem is that anytime we’ve had any kind of contractor or inspector or service guy over they come in and, if they’ve got boots on, they don’t have anywhere to wipe their feet or take off said boots. We came up with the idea to create a landing area right there.

Carpet Layout for Landing Cut

That’s what it looked like with the carpet. We’ve cut the carpet back before, and were aware that there is some hardwood underneath. While we were working on the kitchen we got a glimpse of the hardwood while installing a threshold to the dining room. It didn’t seem to be in the best shape, so we sort of gave up on the idea of ever uncovering useable hardwood floors.

Carpet Peel Back Hardwood

This section of hardwood that was hiding under the carpet seems a lot more promising. It seems to be in better shape and is a lot more pleasing to look at. Right now we don’t really have the time or the funds to tear up all of the carpet and refinish the hardwood. So that’s a project for another day/time/year unfortunately. As I was cutting the carpet and peeling the padding off the floor, it seems like they used some staples to secure it down. From what I understand this is a lot better than if they had used an adhesive or lots of nails. I ripped ’em all out one by one and it was time to say goodbye to the hardwood flooring for now.

Hardwood Floor Showing Carpet Staples

We had a few planks of leftover Pergo flooring from the kitchen. I cut those down to size and laid them down. Since this will be a location where people will be entering from outside, I glued between the planks to keep them sealed. I had some difficulty with the thresholds, as the height difference between the carpet and floor below is too great to close the gap cleanly. Also, the Pergo thresholds require a metal bracket to be installed into the floor below, which is NOT something I was about to do. Also, while cutting the right angles for the corners, the Pergo tends to chip and I couldn’t get a clean angle. To clean it up I filled in the unevenness with a color matched silicone.

Pergo Floor Weighted

Since the whole floor is “floating” and the thresholds are essentially suspended between the Pergo and the carpet with some Liquid Nails adhesive, we needed to weigh down the edges and let them set overnight.

Finished Front Door Landing

This project also afforded me the opportunity to seal in some gaps between the floor and door that were letting cold air in. A little bit of adhesive backed window insulation did the trick and stopped the draft from coming in under the door.

Pergo Landing into Living Room

I think the final product looks nice and clean and transitions to the carpet really well. Of course the best part is the door doesn’t get caught or slowed down by any protruding carpet. Overall, this was a pretty easy one day, one-off project that not only looks pretty cool, but also solves a problem we’ve been having since we moved in. Its been a week now and the floor is working out great for us.

Doorbusters, Pt 2

When we last posted about our “doorbusting” project, the bathroom door was painted and had its knob installed. Next we needed to prep the door frame to install the hinges on the door.

Removing Old Hinges

As you can see, the old hinges were rusty and looked as if they were installed when the house was built. On top of that when we went to replace them we couldn’t find an exact match. Instead we went with something a little more basic.

Wood Door Hinge Chisel Marker

OK, so that’s not our photo. I stole it from Irwin’s website. With a chisel and the stensil attached, the cutout for the hinge can be chipped away easily. And it was easy. And fun. There is some weird satisfaction that I got from chiseling, and it only got more enjoyable as the project went on. More on that later.

Chisel Door for Hinges

OK, so you’ll probably notice a few things right away when looking at that photo. First, yes, that is a Toy Story blanket that we’re using to cover the floor. Second, yes, the hinge is a little smaller than the cut out. They didn’t exactly match the stencil, but then again nothing ever seems to exactly match with us and this house.

Door Hanging

That’s the door being hung. We ordered a custom cut from Lowe’s, and as it turns out, it fits. Not perfect, and not without some adjustments, but it does in fact fit into our door frame. Woo hoo!

Door Shim

The door is about a half inch too short and we had some major light leakage coming through the top of the doorway. I cut this half inch piece of wood down to size and shoved it up there. Worked like a charm. It needs to be painted and the trim needs to be painted and adjusted, but that’s a project for another day. The trim was installed when the bathroom was redone and we’ve been waiting for some time to do a major trim overhaul of the whole house. So stay tuned for that.

Chisel Door Frame

So with the door in place, and the two of us about to celebrate, we noticed the door wasn’t quite shutting properly. The problem seemed to be caused by the hinge cutout on the door frame. Underneath the old hinges was a layer of paint, and then a layer of stain and then the wood. This all needed to be chiseled about to make room for our evidently larger hinge. Then the door closed. Better, but not perfect. I chiseled away a little bit of the frame at the bottom and at the top around the hinge cutouts.

No biggie, just a lot of chiseling. I was a little intimidated by the idea of hanging a door at first, but its really not all that complicated. The most important things are your measurements. Measure everything a million times if you need to, and measure before you cut anything. It saves the headaches. Our new bi-fold doors for the office are in, so watch out for that coming soon. And then our bedroom doors after that. And then the basement door. And then who knows?! The doorbusting never ends! Stay tuned for it.

Bathroom Rebuild

So you saw the first look at our bathroom remodeling project when we posted some pictures of the demolition on Monday. Now the walls are up, the window has been filled in, the tub is in place and the tile is on the floor. Here is the view from the stairwell. It’s looking down to the basement, but more importantly it is looking at what used to be a silicone sealed window to our bathroom!

Bathroom remodel window removal

I’ll be honest, we had problems with mildew and moisture in the bathroom. I have a feeling that the vent fan, the removal of the window and the installation of the g-board instead of tiled walls and ceilings will fix that problem. Not to mention this whole project is solving our collapsing tile problem.

new bathroom g-board

Our remodel man, Mike was also able to remove the lowered ceiling over the shower. I’m not really sure what the purpose of that was, but maybe it had something to do with the lovely shower doors we had when we moved in.

new bathroom tile 12 x 12

We’ve also upgraded from 8,000 little 1″ x 1″ pink tiles to maybe 50 12 x 12 tiles. I can’t wait to put my feet on something solid every time I get out of the shower instead of something that feels like a jigsaw puzzle.

Huge thanks to Mike from Hammertime Home Remodeling. If you’re in NJ and you need a new bathroom, he’s your guy. This afternoon, the sink and toilet went in. This weekend we will start painting! Keep an eye out for some updates on our progress within the next 48 hours.