Porch Screens

Today our good friends Bobby and Karen came over to help install the screens.  We had a good time and made excellent progress.

Sometimes we had to over-load the ladder (at least according to the warnings on the ladder) and sometimes we needed to prop up the ladder but we managed to reach all the hard to get to places.  All the screening has been installed and most of the lattice strips have been installed (all the strips running across the upper edge and most of the remaining vertical strips are installed).

The screen is fine and is some type of fabric (perhaps nylon?) vs. metal.  The see-thru factor is great but we had some concerns as to how well it would hold up to Jazz chasing down flies.  After all the work that went into putting up the screen and making it look nice we did not want to risk having her put holes in it so Bobby suggested we install lattice panels on the inside to protect it.


We installed one panel and like how it looks so will install lattice on the remaining sides later in the week.

So we are screened in minus the door (which is a small project unto itself).  And the framing around the outside base of the porch still needs to be painted before the lattice panels get installed there.  Thank you Bobby and Karen for all the help!


Porch Floor

The rest of the porch received its 3rd coat of white paint on the frame this morning.   It’s a good thing the frame is done because I’m tired of painting spindles/framing.  I was anxious to see how the peppery red paint would look on the floor so the first coat was applied today.  It’s not exactly the color I was hoping for but it’s close enough.  Tomorrow the second coat will go on and then on Monday we’ll install the screens.


Back Porch Progress

The filthy screens and blue rug have been removed and the wood framing has been pressure washed.  That alone was an improvement.  Our friend Bobby brought over his sawzall and removed the extra window/decorative frames built into the framing (see 2nd picture – not sure why they were there).  The gable was too tall to reach with just the 10′ ladder so Dan held the extension ladder while I painted it (2 coats).  I had forgotten there was only one coat of yellow paint on the inside porch wall so a second coat of paint was applied while our friend Karen (Bobby’s wife) painted a second coat on the frame.


It takes 3 coats of white paint to cover the blue.  The framing on the right has 3 coats; the other 2 walls have 2 coats and the stair frame only has 1 coat.  The remaining coats should be done by Friday and then it will be time to paint the floor the peppery red.  Karen and Bobby have offered to help install the screen so sometime next week we’ll have a screen installation day.


Hall Baseboards, Powder Room Window and Front Porch

The hall baseboards required a lot more cuts than expected but the hall is now done:


And the the powder room window now has trim and is painted white:

The front porch has 8 pillars, 112 spindles, and 2 posts.  The pillars and spindles on the south east sides were the most weathered damage and required the most work.  But they are now all painted as are the 2 sections of the floor.

It is now time to tackle the back porch (12×15).  The ceiling was repaired and covered with vinyl last summer and the chandeliers were replaced then as well.  The screens need to be replaced (notice some large holes and tears) and all the framing needs to be painted.  All the lattice will be replaced with vinyl or pvc.  The 2×4 framing will be painted white and the floor will be painted a rusty red to match a color in the cushions (and the brick foundation).  And of course the well worn stained blue carpet will go.


Hall Floor – Part B

The hall floor is now sanded, nailed, stained and has polyurethane applied.  I spent a whole day sanding to remove as much of the darker imperfections as possible.  I also applied wood conditioner to the floor before staining it.  I’m not sure which did the trick but this time when I stained the floor I no longer got the ugly blotches.  There is a mixture of white and red oak wood so the stain did not take evenly but is acceptable – especially after the rug runner is put in place (need to wait 7 days before covering the floor).

Above is the before with the tripping hazards (kitchen on the left, powder room on the right).  And here is the after:


There is a slight ramp-up into both of the rooms.  The stain and polyurethane both took a long time to dry given the rainy, humid weather we have been having.

Today we re-hung the bathroom door after cutting some of the bottom off so it would clear the threshold.  It still would not close easily but after trimming the lower side edge with a plane it closes nicely.

The baseboards and toe-kicks in the hall will get installed next.




Hall Floor – Part A

There is a short hall between the dining room and kitchen that also leads to the powder room and master bedroom.  The floor had the same 1×1 blue and white tile on it that was in the kitchen.  After removing it and the linoleum I found the hardwood floor.  It has some mixed wood in it but it is all wood so we’ll make it work.  The challenge is the hall floor is level with the dining room and bedroom entrances but there is about a 1.5″ step up into the powder room and kitchen.  Part of that is due to the tile in the kitchen and bathroom and part of it is because the floor slopes down at both of those entrances.

The picture on the left is of the kitchen entrance and the one on the right is the powder room entrance.  The entrance to the powder room actually slopes downward to the left as well as toward the room.  After consulting with a couple of my favorite people (Ruth and Kevin) we came up with the solutions.  Below is the revised floor to the powder room.  The boards are not nailed down yet – that will happen after the boards and the rest of the floor get sanded.


It took several tries to get the right combination / order of boards so they are now numbered.  The tape will go on the back before they get sanded.   Once they are all sanded and stained they should blend together nicely.  The kitchen entrance should be easier as there will be far fewer boards – will tackle that another day.


Powder Room Essentially Done

The powder room is now done with the exception of sanding and painting the door and installing trim on the window.  Here is the before picture (again):


This room also had the 9×9 tile ceiling which was replaced long ago with drywall.  You can see the small white tiles on the floor.  Here are some after pictures:

This is the first room I have done the drywall taping and mudding (and actually installed the drywall around the pipe enclosure and window frame).  The color is a deep lavender with a grayish hue.  When I first started painting the room I was really worried the color was too dark.  But after the wainscoting, trim and new lights were installed the color is fine.  The tile is 12×24 ceramic in a medium gray with white veining to make it look like marble.  As you can see, the toilet has been moved next to the vanity.   The enclosure at the end of the tub was removed except where pipes actually exist.   So it’s a good size powder room  – we’re happy to have it functioning again.


Powder Room

We have started the renovation of the first floor hall bath / powder room.  Here is what it looked like before renovation began:


The vanity was made of plywood and had tile glued to it.  The tiles on the wall were also glued directly to plywood which made removing them time consuming.   The tub was in decent shape but the finish was dull and getting the tub through the small hall and out the house was going to be a challenge so we ‘just smashed it into smaller pieces’.  The tub is cast iron so smashing it required hundreds of whacks with a sledge hammer.  Dan made the first hole then I took on the rest (except the front by the pipes).  My arms and shoulders were a bit lame a few days later but they recovered nicely.    Here are the post-demolition pictures:

The toilet use to be across from the vanity but we are moving it to the right of the vanity where the front of the tub use to be.

The handy man arrived this morning as scheduled and installed shut-off valves on the pipes so the water to just the bathroom could be turned off.    All the old pipes have been removed so tomorrow he’ll install the new sub-floor, the new pipes, and then new sheet rock on the walls.


Master Bath Problem Window

There is a tall narrow window on a small wall in the master bath.  It must have been really close to the original ceiling because once they installed the lower tile ceiling the window actually goes up into the ceiling ‘cavity’.  So installing crown molding over it and across the window frame was “interesting” – plus the frame had lots of old caulk and gouges on/in it.


Two boards were installed to finish the top of the window so when you look at it from the outside you no longer see the ceiling cavity.  The frame got the standard scrape, sand, putty, wash, caulk, and paint treatment.

And finally the threshold was cut, stained, and installed.

Time to move onto the hall bath / powder room.


Master Bath Wainscoting

Finally found time to trim out the remaining walls and baseboards in the master bathroom.  Here is a before picture:


And the after:

We plan to put the same wainscoting in the 1st floor hall bathroom / powder room.

A couple of weekends ago we planted 2 Cleveland Pear trees.  We also bought 3 Cherry trees but it’s too early to plant them.  When we went for our evening walk with Jazz we noticed that one of them has decided to blossom:

So there will be 3 pink Cherry and 2 white Pear trees to decorate the large empty corner of the property.