Thursday, June 22, 2017

First floor RENO

So let's go from the beginning. 

Prep work. 

It is very important. Calculation of the materials, some inspirational  visuals also and of course some constructional calculations too. I was aware that we add very heavy kitchen island in the middle of the kitchen and this bothered me a lot. Our not finished basement did help to see and resolve the concerns. We added support wall that in the future will became wall between kitchenette and bedroom. Monetary calculations were almost right. They say when you to reno, double the budget, it wasn't so bad,  we were about 15% over. Let's say added the tax :)


To take kitchen out, we used kijiji (online selling second hand things), so somebody was ready to come and take off all kitchen with old appliances . Definitely good recycling work :) saved on garbage bin too :)
Ground breaking of the tilled floor. It was scary from the beginning, but actually it wasn't so hard to detach tile from sub-floor. Important thing was to begin at the right place (in the middle of the room) where vibration will do the job.
The worst fears did came to us when we needed to take a small addition of the floor, that was added later by former owners. Construction glue plus screws attached concrete board very strong to the sub-floor and no instrument would do the job (even power sledgehammer).  Good that the surface was small, so we took off about 1 cm and the rest poured leveling compound to even up with cement board. That were needed for porcelain tile.



Popcorn ceiling.

It IS easy job, just very dirty. So I did that before all the construction and floor installation.
Structural stabilization.
As I told earlier, I needed peace of mind that porcelain tile plus kitchen island with huge granite will keep the floor structure stable. We built support wall and I added  vertical studs connected all joists. Our joists are "hollow", so it was easy to do. 



With two big dogs decision about flooring material was "easy", it should be no maintenance floor, so the wood like porcelain tile was the best choice. I didn't go with traditional poured concrete and latch, decided to do easy (a bit more expensive)  way - cement boards. Good that I wasn't over confident and choose for tile  installation to use T-lock system. It's fool proof to do level floors.

Self leveling compound to level with cement board. Worked perfect.


I'm IKEA fan. There weren't even another consideration. It was easy to project with their software and my men are "profies" in assembling and installing IKEA kitchen. I "played" with online design and customized to our needs. New was island installation, but with that we dealt  too.
I love marble backsplash, could do just because the wet part was in the island. I would never put marble next to sink area. The stone is like sponge even if the sealer is present.


Focal point walls (living room and fire place)
It's easy to install and looks beautiful. But the stone itself is very very fragile. A bit of pressure and you have two pieces instead of one.
The fireplace was painted with heat paint, so the brass disappeared and the fireplace got its modern look

Laundry room

Part it was done earlier, part added during this summer. Cabinets of course are from IKEA. But countertops is different story. When I was looking for custom made countertop for laundry room, the prices even for cheapest laminate were too much. So I decided to DIY concrete countertop exactly the size I needed. I didn't want to pour and have very heavy piece of concrete, so if I need to reach back of dryer's vent or pipe I can just take out the "countertop" without a problem. So this "concrete" countertop is actually "lamination" of OSB with patching compound.  This solution did help me to decided and install small (narrow) utility sink too. You see, moment you out of standard sizes - prices are jumping up like crazy.
Actually I tried to laminate old powder room countertop, but somehow it didn't feel good. So at the end we got it done with our kitchen's countertop leftover.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Back to documentation

It was long time from the blog posts. Life took me into swirl. We moved into a new house full of projects. So from micro work (jewelry) I've moved to macro (new reno projects)
First : new house needed a new paint (pink and blue just didn't work for me :) 

Next: I moved to staircase update. With a big and active dog blue carpeted staircase "didn't work" nor color, nor convenience  to clean. Hardwood it is.

I don't know, but looks like a new house didn't have the vibe for jewelry making, but it brought me back to my roots - painting. Somehow I more and more was looking for easel  and canvas. Whatever works to express myself. And  poetry as usually is a major impulse for my paintings

 There is a Russian poet Elena Bocharova that hers poem just came to me very strong and very visual. I hope Google Translator will give you an understanding, because you can't translate poetry if you are not poet yourself
Somebody that knows Russian will have advantage for sure (here is the link )

For me, please, a cup of coffee

Elena Bocharova

For me, please, a cup of coffee
And people that are real, truthful ...
Only now in what is a disaster:
I meet increasingly often fake ...

I'll have coffee with no sugar, perhaps ...
I hate masks, disguises,
And for me, obvious sting is better,
Than deadly shots in the back.

Cappuccino? Latte? No, the espresso ...
I do not build air castles :
The shortage is for sincerity, honesty,
The bust is with the false-good.

To me, please, stronger coffee ...
And do not pour honey in my ears!
If you decided to scold - what are you whispering?
"I'm sorry," and then? Spit in the soul?

Cream in coffee? No, thanks…
Justifications are always so disgusting,
To no avail this whole buffoonery:
"Sorry, I could not ..." - primitive.

For me, please, a cup of coffee
And people that are real, truthful ...
Only now in what is a disaster:
I meet increasingly often fake ...

My "baby" labradoodle Archie grew up and became very lazy man. I decided that he needs some spice in his life and convinced my family that it would help to "move" Archie from couch :) It took me some time, but I'd found very cute little "girl" and we named her Tara. She is F1B goldendoodle. She kept promise and didn't let Archie be bored (sometimes too much :)  

Even with the "Full house" , last summer all family decided - we are ready for a big challenge - first floor reno:  flooring, kitchen, popcorn ceiling, fireplace, focal wall etc...  Summer was really busy.
Some before and after: More detailed explanation will add with the next post, so some of you could use our experience in your projects

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Multitasking DIY table-picture

That idea I had long before the basement reno. This is nothing new, but ... or expensive (~ 2000$), or does not fit my "custom" area. During summer time I have my felting table outside and enjoy summer and outdoors while felting without bothering about wet and water. But winter season is different, besides my basement is not just for felting. Therefore during the reno I enforced the framing with additional horizontal studs (at specific height) so I could attached hinges without big problem or doubt that it would be sturdy enough.

For that reason I rummaged in my reno leftovers and was back to my favorite Home Depot for some lumber and hardware. Archie always a big help :o)

Checked my "mobile" felting table's frame for dimensions. This table/picture IS heavy.

Filled with wood filler gaps between the planks, primed and painted with white exterior latex paint, then mixed the paint with sand and made textured surface for future oil painting. Inside (backside) painted also with same paint a few times so the surface would be more or less water resistant.

Three hinges for sure will keep this table/painting strong. Vertical hinges' parts attached well to vertical studs and the horizontal - to horizontal studs.
There were a question -how to construct the legs part (should be sturdy enough to work). But then came simple solution. Browsed through Ikea "table tops and legs" section and found perfect legs + storage unit, that works as base when the table is open or like side table/storage when it's closed.

A small abstract painting session and Voilà!