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the house projects continue . . .

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It’s been crazy busy at our household this fall. Its like we’re cramming in school activities, socializing, medical visits and house updates all in one! It keeps our life interesting and the days certainly seem to fly by. We’re finally getting to the end of our household projects list with only a few remaining tasks to complete (some are quite large though). It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to finish our rock project which will make that a three summer project!!!

Our latest house update involved our entry way, kitchen, hallway, bedroom closet and the master bedroom. All of these things happened to occur on one day making things a bit messy, but I must say, it is nice not having your house in an uproar for weeks on end. Getting it all done at once has its obvious positives.

When we bought our house, we knew there was substantial work to be done to the flooring- circa 1999 carpet and linoleum. Granted, some flooring can outlast that, but knowing the previous owner had a large dog in the house, roommates, and smoked, expedited our desire to tear it all out. It was not too hard to find replacement carpet for the master bath closet and master bedroom. We were able to use some sort of remnant or ‘short roll’ which brought the cost down. It is lovely carpet with a good pad. Heavenly to walk on.


We found it much more difficult to find replacement flooring for the kitchen, hallway and entryway. Our house sports a ridiculous amount of honey oak cabinetry so we had to somehow make that look good and not terribly dated and out of fashion. All the oak was in great shape so there was no tearing it out (thankfully, as that would’ve been too much mess and expense for me to handle). I can’t tell you how many samples we brought home until we settled on a matching oak flooring. Shockingly, just embracing the oak and adding even more of it was the answer. It was the only decent looking option. We decided upon a laminate from our local home design showroom, and it looks quite nice!


I’m not sure that my photos clearly show the effort that went into the preparation prior to the install. Of course, we decided to tackle all that prep ourselves which added about a weekend’s worth of toil to the project.


Above is just a little taste of the repair that I had to complete in the master closet. We removed the wire closet system and will be installing something much more attractive next time we make a trip to Menards.


The closet had to have its carpet, pad, and staples removed as well. Then a new coat of paint was in order. I had an overly-eager helper by my side the entire time!

We had to remove all the trim boards from the kitchen, entry and hall. I think the nails they used were intended to keep that trim in place to withstand an F4 tornado. Ugh. After that, we had to take out about 19,476 staples that held the carpet pad in place (except for the entry which was another story altogether)!


After all that, it was time to confirm what my husband suspected: the kitchen flooring was higher up than the hallway by about 1/4”. In order to have the flooring flow from hallway into the kitchen, these two floors would have to be level. So, it was time to install a new sub floor in the hallway. Luckily we had a table saw which made the job so much easier but it was still half a day’s work and lots of time on one’s knees (ouch)!


After all that it was time to tackle the kitchen linoleum and remove the appliances. We had decided to donate the old appliances to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. For $10, they come and haul the items away then resell the items to fund their projects and to us, that was completely worth it. For the most part the linoleum removal went fairly well. Of course there has to be problem spots and for this room it was where they had glued the linoleum down to the sub floor (which was the entire perimeter of the kitchen). Whatever adhesive they used, it worked. Sixteen years on and that glue was like iron. The removal involved anger, more time on our knees (double ouch) and swearing that we were “NEVER GOING TO DO THIS AGAIN” (but of course we will) and at the end of the second day of working on it— it was finally complete.


In the photo above is the lovely linoleum.


The tools we used to pry the edges of the linoleum off the sub floor-


And the patch/repair goop that I trowled on then sanded smooth because some of the sub floor actually came off when we pried off the glued linoleum!

Finally, we were ready for the flooring guys. I was a little concerned they weren’t going to show as the project had already been delayed a week, but lo and behold! the doorbell rang around 9:30 Monday morning and the project was under way.


And after 3 days of guys in the house it’s now our turn to put the trim back on, install the closet system and enjoy!!




We decided against stainless steel appliances this time around. The kitchen is rather small and I thought it would be too much shininess for such a small space. I really really like the ‘slate’ appliances (especially the fridge) we chose. They are GE.


Hopefully my next post will be about how we broke in the new kitchen appliances. Some close friends of ours came down from North Dakota and we have big fun in the kitchen!