Dan’s Office:

All  the ceiling has been skim-coated but the area around the light needs some additional work – that will happen tomorrow.  With a little light sanding in spots the ceiling will be ready for painting:


About half the walls have also been skim-coated:

Tomorrow I plan on patching and skim-coating the remaining walls then will get the trim ready for painting.  Have not heard from the plumber so it’s time to give him a call.


This light switch and electrical outlet are under a cabinet.  Drywall will need to be patched in before the wall gets skim-coated.   The below plaster also needed drywall inserts.


I was going to start taking up the linoleum but decided to leave it down until after the room is painted.  With luck that should happen next week.







Office and Bedroom #3

All the wallpaper has been removed from the office and most of the wall patching is done.  Still waiting on the plumber so the lower wall behind the sink has not been patched yet.  About 20% of the ceiling has been skim coated  (thin layer of drywall mud is applied to smooth out the surface)- hope to finish that and most of the walls this week.

We have moved Dan’s office to the lakehouse which means I can start renovating the room he was using (bedroom #3):


The pictures don’t show all the defects – old telephone wires running along baseboards; multiple layers of wallpaper on the walls and ceiling; crumbling plaster; etc.  The floor is in good shape – just needs to be refinished (no linoleum to remove!).

Here is some broken plaster over the hall door:


This picture shows some of the defects in the wall over the mantle:


I removed that wallpaper today and the plaster needs some significant re-patching – someone did some patching in the past.  This is what the ceiling looked like after just a couple of hours of using a putty knife to remove wallpaper (no water needed yet):


Fortunately the wall paper is coming off fairly easily in this room (so far).  The plan is to finish skim-coating the kitchenette and then switch to this bedroom while I wait for the plumber.



The past several days have been spent removing wallpaper from the ceiling and walls.  It was hard to tell but I think there were at least 6 layers of wallpaper everywhere.  And the walls were painted between some of the layers which was REALLY difficult to remove.   The ceiling was fairly easy to do (no green paint) – the walls were a royal pain.  As you can see, it is a messy job.


It has all been removed except for the small area that was directly behind the sink.

The ceiling is in pretty good shape – it just needs a little patching around the light.  The walls are also in decent shape except for the wall that was behind the refrigerator – it will require quite a bit of patching.

Several days ago I determined there is hardwood under the plywood.  What I didn’t know is if there was linoleum under the plywood and if so was it going to leave a layer of black backing that is stuck to the wood.  So today I decided it was time to find out.  Sure enough there is linoleum and the black backing is stuck to the hardwood the same as it was in the annex.  It will take me at least 5 days to remove it if I use the iron method so I think it’s time to check out a heat gun.



Office / Kitchenette

The annex room is essentially ready for painting – after a little bit of sanding.  So work has begun on the kitchenette part of the office.   The corner cupboards and a smaller sink cabinet will remain.  The refrigerator and stove will be given away.   Here are some before pictures:

The radiator on the right belongs in the annex (next room over).

We determined there was a brick chimney behind the stove based on the part we can see in the attic.  We thought it may be presentable enough to leave exposed.  So today’s challenge was to uncover the brick.

The brown square is the glue from the linoleum tile that was behind the stove.  I decided to remove the plaster in the lower right corner and check out the brick before doing the entire wall.  It looked good so all the dirty, dusty plaster was removed.

The brick still needs to be cleaned to remove the excess plaster dust but the nasty part is done – very happy to have antique brick in the office.  Now all the wallpaper on the ceiling and the walls needs to be removed.


Dan’s office – annex

Dan is currently working out of a small un-renovated bedroom.  The plan is to move his office to a room off the kitchenette (annex) and have additional office space and storage in the kitchenette.  So far the popcorn has been scrapped off the ceiling, and the baseboards and linoleum flooring(s) have been remove.  Here are the floors with the linoleum:

The lighter linoleum is the top layer followed by 1/4″ plywood followed by the darker linoleum followed by hardwood – yea!  Very excited to find the hardwood.  Not so happy to have the backing of the linoleum and glue stick solidly to the hardwood.


I tried scrapping it off but found that was not a solution.  So with a little research I found that steaming it then scrapping removed the backing.

It is a very messy/dirty process.  The iron can never be used to iron clothes again.  The dark spots left on the floor are glue which should come off when the floors get sanded.  I got about 50% of the steaming/scrapping done today – the rest should get done on Monday.   The annex renovation should go fairly quickly.  There is minor hard-wall patching that needs to be done on the ceiling and walls then it will be ready to paint.  The annex, kitchenette, and throne room floors will get re-finished at the same time – after the kitchenette is painted.


2nd Floor Hall Bath Completed

Final touches were completed on the hall bathroom (minus grouting of the back-splash which will be done tomorrow).  This room took a LOT longer than expected but we are happy with the results.  Here is a repeat of some of the before pictures:


And here are the after pictures:


The closet required a lot of time and effort.  The floor was about 1.5″ lower than the bathroom floor so getting them level was a challenge.  The side wall of the closet is cedar which the prior owners splattered with paint which has now been sanded off.  The electricians also left a hole in the cedar wall near the ceiling which has now been covered with crown molding.  There is lots of storage in  this closet which will be nice to have.

The towel bar was installed over the radiator which will make the towels nice and warm.

The floor is not level but it aligns with the hall floor so we left it the way it was.  Fortunately the vanity came with adjustable feet but they were unsightly so trim was added to hide the metal pegs.

So now onto Dan’s office.



2nd Floor Hall Bath – Functional

Grouting was completed on Monday and our friend Bobby came over today to help install the vanity and tub water spout.  The copper pipe inside the spout was too short so some modifications were required to lengthen it.  While Bobby was here we conned him into helping re-install the radiator.  Of course the radiator and the vanity installations were more complicated than desired but they have now been successfully installed.  Tonight Dan and I reinstalled the toilet.  So now the bathroom is functional.  There is still some blue tape around the ceiling and window edges which needs to be removed.  So that is next on the agenda.  Then the baseboard and door trims will be sanded, painted, and reinstalled, and the doors shortened given the floor is now higher.


2nd Floor Bathroom is Tiled

The tiling of the tub surround was far more complicated than you would think.  The niche (very time intensive) and the window required a lot of planning to ensure we ended up with evenly sized tiles.  It took several days to get the surround tile installed. Fortunately the floor was far simpler and only took 1 day.


Here is the niche before the surround was completed.  The floor can’t be walked on until Monday so an updated picture will have to wait until after the grouting is done.

The left picture is pre-renovation and the other 2 are pre-grouting.  We used an inexpensive diamond drill bite to drill the holes for the plumbing pipes – worked like a charm!


The blue tape will be removed post grouting.  And finally here is the floor:


Dan installed a new toilet flange to raise it up to the height of the tile.  Before it was installed it was kept covered which turns out to be a good thing.  One day while I was up on the tub measuring tiles for the surround there was a noise coming from the floor.  At first I thought it was just a plastic bag settling but it kept going.  So I got down to check out the noise.  At this point the floor was covered with tiling paraphernalia and lots of other things so isolating the noise was a bit challenging.  The noise seemed to be coming from the sewer pipe which did not make sense given the noise now sounded like scratching.  So I got down on my hands and knees and grabbed a stick and lifted the cover off the sewer pipe.  I found a mouse staring at me so after screaming I slammed the cover back over the hole and have kept it covered ever since.  That is the first mouse we have seen in this house.

Monday will be grouting then Wednesday our friend Bobby has offered to help install the vanity.  It will require some plumbing which I am not brave enough to tackle.


2nd Floor Hall Bathroom Niche & Dry Wall

We ordered a pre-fabricated shower niche to hold soap and shampoos etc.  Then came the job of installing it.  First a hole needed to be cut in the wall.


It was difficult to locate studs because everything was covered in thick wood bead board but we guessed where the most logical location would be.  So Dan drilled a hole large enough for me to get the jig saw started and then the cutting began.  And the stud was where we guessed it would be.  And this stud is truly 2×4 vs. the current version of 2×4.  And it was just off-center from where the niche was to be located – not conveniently to one side.  The cutting of the bead board was fairly easy; the stud was not.  After a lot of elbow grease and scrapping of hand the 2×4 was notched sufficiently to insert the niche.


Still need to permanently attach it with stainless steel screws.  The lines on the kerdi board show the location of the stud.  All the cutting had to be done from the right side as there was not enough room on the left to insert the jig saw.  Tile will cover the niche – hopefully later this week.

This is the first room where we have done all the dry-walling ourselves (with the exception of help in hanging the ceiling boards).    And after cutting the 1st hole for an electrical receptacle a bit too large I got the remaining holes cut correctly.

I discovered a new type of dry-wall corner bead which made the ceiling and corner seams much easier to do well (was really dreading them).

Then after multiple coats of mud and sanding, the ceiling and walls were painted.

The color is a medium-light blue-gray.  We mixed a gallon of baby-blue paint that was given to us with some left-over paint from the ‘throne room’.  So the paint was ‘free’.  And the dry wall was left over so we did not need to purchase those materials.

The trim boards around the doors need to be sanded, patched and painted before they get re-installed and the closet (which is fairly large) still needs to be renovated.  If all goes as planned that work will get started tomorrow and the tile will arrive so it can be picked up.




2nd Floor Hall Bathroom

We decided we should do the hall bathroom next given it would utilize some of the spare drywall that is being stored in the exercise room and taking up space (12×4 ft boards).  A vanity was ordered before Christmas and arrived a few days early but with a broken quartz top.  The supplier was good about expediting a replacement which arrived in tact.  So demolition began after our mid-January Christmas celebration was over and guests no longer needed the bathroom.  This ceiling was covered with white 9×9 tiles and I thought the walls had painted plastic tiles on them but discovered they were really some sort of thick linoleum with a tile pattern.   Notice the wood frame around the window – not ideal for a shower.

After removing the ‘linoleum’ there was some pretty beat-up drywall that needed to come off only to reveal wallpaper and bead-board.

I think that is the ugliest wallpaper I have ever seen.  It is now gone.  When the electricians re-wired the 2nd floor they moved the closet light switch to inside the closet (not sure why they thought that was a good idea).  So while the wall was open Dan re-positioned the switch back to its original location.

Instead of using cement board behind the tile I decided to use Kerdi board which was highly recommended by the tile store.  It’s a lot easier to use but more expensive.  I still need to apply the tape to the seams and install edging around the window jamb.

Our friend Bobby came over today to lend some extra hands to hang the ceiling drywall and while he was here he installed the new tub faucet (minus the handles which will go on after the tile is done).  We then were able to install the last Kerdi board on the faucet wall.

The old shower head was temporarily reinstalled.

I ordered tile last week only to find out this week that the floor tile is back-ordered until at least the end of February.  So I went back to the tile store and selected new tile.  The tile store was very apologetic so waived the extra cost (about $70) for the more expensive tile – that’s my kind of store!  So the next few weeks will be spent dry-walling and tiling.