We were pretty busy last weekend working on the remodel, as usual. Most of the stuff we did was prep work for our tile setter, but even though we put in about 50 hours this weekend we didn’t finish *any* of the tasks on our [punch list]. However, we did get to 75-95% completion on eight of our punch items. The only thing we *did* get to cross off the punch list was our HVAC grills, etc. José came out on Friday and installed the grills and our new thermostat. Oh, and one more thing that wasn’t on the punch list–We were finally able to get rid of the “Blue Office”, as one of the crewmen referred to it:
[punch list]: http://sonicchicken.net/blog/wordpress/?page_id=406
So, what did *we* do?
– Salvaged hardwood from the entry — We have about 150 ft2 of 60-year-old white oak which we’re going to replace with tile. We also added about 115 ft2 of new floor space to create the great room, most of which is already covered with the exact same flooring. Since we’re trying to use [green building] techniques as much as possible, we were obviously interested in reusing the old hardwood for the new floor. Our hardwood contractor, [BeautiFloors](http://www.ibegin.com/usa/california/auburn/beautifloors-.html), also told us that salvaging would give us the best match with our existing floor. The salvage process deserves an article of its own, but I don’t have time to write it now. We managed to get nearly all of our hardwood up — we only have 2-3 boards on each side of the entry which we still need to pull, and we’ll probably get them done tonight.
[green building]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_building
– Screwed down the old subfloor
When the house was built back in the post-war years, they used 1×6 boards laid diagonally for the subfloor. The boards were nailed (not screwed) to the joists, without subfloor adhesive. After ~60 years, the old subfloor is loose and squeaky. It wasn’t feasible for us to replace the boards with modern T&G plywood, but 10 pounds of [deck screws](http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonicchicken/2083953205/) and a few hours of labor was a reasonable investment. If there was any question in our minds about the efficacy of this, it was quickly answered once we got the second row of screws in–the difference between the screwed-down side and the nails-only side of the joist was extremely evident! As we were working, we started to notice that the nailed floor seemed soft or bouncy, whereas the screwed-down area felt stable and solid (and no longer squeaky).
– Repaired the original floor — Our house originally had an under-floor heater, which was replaced several decades ago; however, the holes for the heater and flue were still there. We’re laying tile over these holes, so we had to patch them.
– Laid out [Hardiebacker] for the floor tile — We’re saving some money on the tile installation by doing some of the no-brainer work ourselves. Laying the Hardiebacker is pretty simple, but time consuming, considering we’re putting about 700 ft2 of tile in the entry, nook, kitchen, utility/laundry room, bathroom, and part of the hallway. We’ve got 41 of the 3′ x 5′ sheets already cut and laid out on the floor, leaving us with 4 or 5 more sheets to finish the job. Once it’s all cut and placed, we’ll start mixing up batches of Thinset and applying it under each sheet.
The major downside of this is that we had to take down our kitchen and laundry facilities *again*. Our tile setter assures us that we should be able to set up our laundry and kitchen (for keeps, this time!) on Sunday.
– Painted the old front door — Eventually we’re going to install a new front door, but until that happens we’re stuck with [the old door and its unattractive brown/green color](http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonicchicken/2083954631/in/set-72157603089665346/). There are quite a few homes in our neighborhood with brightly colored front doors, and Barb and I have always fancied the look. A bright red would be very attractive, but it’s the most common color in the neighborhood. Since the house is a nice light yellow we thought a contrasting color would look good, so we’re going to try a dark, rich purple. So far we’ve only got one color coat applied, and it’s going to take at least one more coat before I’ll try taking a “final” picture.