Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lessons learned

Learned a HUGE lesson the other day that sure could have flip flopped into a "oh my god we are screwed, there is no way to fix this" moment.  Never, (I repeat) Never think that manufactures just put "guidelines" on there products just for fun.  Just follow the guidelines.  So, I will explain.

This isn't our first rodeo. 

We have tiled bathrooms, kitchens etc. and are very familiar with Hardi Backer.  For those of you who aren't... its the cement board that is mudded using thinset onto the wood sub floor to create a solid non-flexible surface the tile is mudded to with thin set.  The point being, it removes any movement the sub floor might have so that the non flexible tiles will not crack or move. 

Back to where we went wrong.

1. We are tired, working 7 days a week to complete this project. 2. This is the most square footage we have tackled in one area and it's a little intimidating. 3. And, I really wanted to get done early for the day so I could make it to my friends bachlorette party. (just being honest)

On each hardi backer board there are these wonderful little recessed dots that indicate where a nail should be placed when attaching to the floor.  Each 3 x 5 panel has roughly 1 every 6 inches. Alot.......right? Understanding, that our mind set were numbers 1 2 and 3 from above, so we decide that we don't need that many nails.  "We have been doing this enough times, we will be fine."

Big fat WRONG.

Why did we think that "we" two little peons could out think some engineering master who sits in a lab all day testing and specifying products for companies, so that they could give us guildelines to properly install there products?

Our entire floor squished and creeked and moved. Expecially in ALL the high traffic areas.

A rush of panic set in, this was not something that we could just pull up and start again. These cement boards are mudded down and ripping them up would ruin our subfloor completely.  Not Good...... and just saying oh well and installing our tile would eventually leave us to cracked tiles and a waste of our time.

So my husband being the researching maniac as he is ran down to the computer (where he usually finds most of our problem solving solutions) and quickly determined that most people run into problems like ours and that there is not a really great solution other than screwing the hell out of each panel. 

3 lbs. of screws and nails later, our hardi floors looked like a crazy person had used the floor for shot gun practice.   Insert image of a buck shot here......

To my amazement and extreme thankfullness, it worked.  Not a squish, or giggle not nothing! Solid as a rock!

So folks, lesson learned.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bit by bit

The sage continues with the endless amount of tongue and groove cedar.....

I can't count anymore how many brush strokes and gallons of stain I have racked up.  I'm in the thousands for sure.....and who needs to work out anymore when you climb ladders all day long?

Not me....when you climb up and down a ladder twice in 6 inch increments all day long it's enough to drive a person to drink.  Well, having a tasty beverage near by has numbed the back pain and pulled us through mentally but it's still daunting.

It's beautiful and essential to the design, but boy I'm I sick to death of wood.

On a positive note, since this post has a agitated negative tone, it's nice to be working inside out of the rain and cold and back into more familiar ground....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

God Rays

My husband snapped these shots a couple of days ago early one morning.  So beautiful don't you think?

I have been "in the trenches" lately...........  In the beginning of a project your energy is high and by the end your running on fumes so tired and waiting for it to be over. It causes you to forget what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Then you look at photos like these and remember that this is only going to happen once.  This moment in time will never exist again and if my face is down in the trenches so stresses and worried I'm going to miss all  the beauty that's happening right above my head. That's why I love documenting this process, I can't wait to look back in 5 years and recap what we did from a differentt perspective.  This project has taken things for me to a whole new level, in some ways things haven't turned out as I had hoped, and in others they are better then I expected.  Maybe that's what I needed to get out of this, and the god rays are singing loud and clear.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Let the light shine in

I forgot to post about my garage doors.....they have been installed for awhile now and I was totally in love with them the minute they were in place.  It's funny to admit that you were in love with aluminum frames and glass, but these beauties make my entire garage sing!!!


We went round and round about some fiberglass plain Jane simple door or these expensive little suckers. In the end the decision of cheapen out on a huge element (that you are most likely never to replace unless broken) was a no way and a splurging must.  Plus I designed the garage to have no windows around the perimeter to ensure lots of it would have been a

   dark cavern = no place for me.

The odds and ends

Finishing up the little details for the exterior siding before we complete the inside has been a BIG mental challenge for me. I have been buying kitchen cabinets, tile for the floor, staining the wood ceiling etc. but nothing should be started inside until I finish that darn exterior.  I don't want to be touch up painting in the middle of a rain storm on a tall ladder 20 feet high, so I had to just force myself to pick up that paint brush and finish what I started.

I'm pleased to report that all the exterior hardi panels got a fresh and final coat of paint, exterior wood nail holes filled and stained,  exterior trim around all the soffit vents had to be installed and stained / painted, exterior lights installed and programed and the largest task of painting the exterior stairs and installing the wood landing are all complete! Yippy!!!

So, to be truthfull....... there are still a couple of small odds and ends of metal trim on corners that will be unfinished until the end, nothing too noticable but for budget purposes we can live without them for now.  I feel so much better to have that checked off my huge list and now the fun part that I have been waiting for all project long can begin!  Plus it just started raining so....... it's going to be nice and dry inside!