Friday, July 22, 2016

Retirement Remodeling at the Ponderosa (Part 1)

      Sometimes I find it a bit odd that we decided to do most of the remodeling we always wanted to do on our house after we retired.  Most folks would have probably done such a task while still working, but like others we figured we would always have time.  This, apparently, is that time.  So we have dedicated ourselves to a part of this endeavor each summer.  In all actuality this should be called Part 2 as we bought the house in 1999 and our first big remodel project was adding the front porch and shutters in 2004.  We have a 117 year old farmhouse that Barb LOVES with the second story being added a mere 70 years ago.  As with any old house comes 'old problems' and we have had our share.  From plumbing to septic to heating to just about anything.  We have a master plan and this is year one:  flooring.  We have researched this for several years now with the help of my best friend in Wisconsin who is an expert in the industry.  We have decided to go with a synthetic vinyl covered flooring, US Floors Coretec who is a leader in the market.  This is a synthetic core tongue and groove-matched plank flooring with a vinyl covering that is guaranteed for life against anything, including warping, scratches, and moisture.......and it is waterproof.  After hours of online looking at many different styles and colors we decided on Gold Coast Acacia.  We felt it would match well with our farmhouse interior oak wood design and Robin's Egg Blue walls. 

US Floors Coretec "Gold Coast Acacia" Sample Picture
      After contacting US Floors directly for advice we finally found several local distributors and installers that would give us an estimate.  We were very satisfied with the cost and honesty we received from Cash & Carry Flooring in Traverse City.  From tearing up and hauling off our old carpeting, surveying, leveling, and repairing (if needed) the existing underlayment, as well as moving the furniture during installation their price was the best (under $7000 for 728 square feet). We paid for our in-stock materials in advance as well as scheduled installation two months in advance so that we could get our fireplace hearth tile replaced first.  This would make it easier for the wood flooring installers to connect. 
      Fireplace hearth tile was installed by our best friend and master craftsman, Mark Zepplin.  He traveled from Waupaca, WI to do us the honor.  I was absolutely NO HELP here at all other than to play host, provide tasty meals, and play gopher whenever I could.  Mark is indeed an artist and skilled craftsman and watching him work was truly an experience. 

Tearing out the old crappy tile and subflooring

Initial design, prep, and 'first grout' of the Travertine Tile
The finished fireplace hearth with Travertine Tile
       Several weeks later the scheduled date of flooring installation finally arrived.  This was to be a multi-day project.  Even though the installers are responsible for moving furniture Barb and I got as many boxes as possible and moved much of the contents on the many shelves and bookcases out of the way.  One of the inevitable things about an 117 year old farmhouse is the plethora of issues that arrive when remodeling.  Once the flooring guys got all the carpet torn out they discovered what they thought was a 'soft spot', but was in fact a completely missing piece of subfloor that had to be repaired.  We also discovered an old power outlet that had been covered up.  We made sure it was NOT live before moving on. 

      Moving along while dodging the minor crappola, including those leveling issues that required several bags of self leveling patch the guys did great.  US Floors Core Tec simply snaps together and adapts to anything.  By the afternoon of Day #1 they had begun laying flooring in the dining room and by the completion of Day #2 they had completed the dining room and the living room.  This allowed us to get some of the furniture back into place and prepare to move the last of the (far) living room furniture for completion. 

      Day #3 marked the completion of the project by early afternoon.  The installers at Bay View Flooring and Cash & Carry Flooring Wholesalers are a class act.  They provided us exactly what we wanted at a very reasonable price, allowed us to schedule a date far enough in advance for us to also complete our fireplace hearth project, and installed the entire project within time guidelines by two guys that met every challenge easily.  It was obvious they loved their work; they sure are good at it.  Our entire project came in $3200 under what we figured in our original plans, but that is partly due in part to our naiveté'. 

      Although there is still quite a bit yet to do, this completes our summer #1 renovation projects.  Wheeeew, time for some kicking back, BBQing, and camping. 

"Living through a home renovation is like living in the do whatever it takes to survive"
                                                                      Author unknown

WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi

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