Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Big Changes Inside -- Part One

There were major structural upgrades to 3283 last year. But, aside from the new addition on the north side of the building the place hasn't seen many visual changes. That is changing. I almost titled this Part 1.5 since in my last post I described the installation of our new gas fireplace insert. That began a series of projects that will significantly change the look of 3283's main floor.

We have been working with Kristi Smallegan of DeGraaf Interiors in Hudsonville, MI. She has opened our eyes on some things that can and will improve the appearance of the entry, kitchen, living room, front porch and main bathroom. Yes, that's just about the entire first floor.  We will be replacing the existing flooring [various 1950-60s tiles] in the living room, kitchen and entry with engineered hardwood flooring. The main bath will get new porcelain tile. And the front porch will get new resilient vinyl flooring in a plank wood look.

Blog followers will remember that we replaced the south living room wall with drywall as part of the insulation and window installation project. Painted an off-white it did a lot to brighten up the room. Since we selected a dark wood for the floor the consensus was that more "lightening" would help the room's overall look. We figured that painting before fancy flooring went in was prudent. So, Bobbie and I spent last weekend painting the existing plywood paneling on the living room's west wall. Two primer coats and one finish coat of paint matching the south wall made a big difference to the look of the room.

Bobbie is much better at cutting in than I am.
I can use a roller on wide flat surfaces adequately.
Its hard to see the wall with light coming in through the windows.
But you can see how different the wall looks, and how much brighter the room will be.
The problem we faced is that the floors at 3283 are far from level. There are a number of hills, valleys and slopes that even my untrained eye could see. Kristi made sure that 'their best installer' visited here before we finalized the product selection. His trained eye found even more issues than I was aware of; but that were obvious once he pointed them out. DeGraaf uses outside contractors to do the installation. Our work is being done by Expert Flooring, Inc of Grandville, MI. Expert Flooring's owner, Marcel, was here for the pre-purchase site visit and was here both yesterday and today to get the work started.

One of the "big hills" in the floor was a ridge that ran between
the east side of the fireplace to the archway leading to the entry/kitchen.
Marcel's first task today was to remove that ridge
The old pine flooring had buckled enough that we decided
to remove portions of three floorboards in the area.
With these gone the crew was able to bridge the gap with plywood
that now is as close to level as anything else at 3283.
The entry and kitchen were covered with old sheet vinyl with plywood underlayment.
This was removed from most of the area today.
Opposite the ridge that we removed was a significant valley
where the floor was close to an inch lower than surrounding sections.
Marcel painstakingly installed a series of shingles to act as shims.
These will support the new plywood subfloor and assure it is level.
The work shown above was completed, for the most part, before lunchtime today. I was in awe of the detail the guys spent making sure there were no dips or bumps in the floor before they began installing the 5/8 inch plywood underlayment. Once the difficult sections were addressed, Marcel left the crew to complete the plywood installation. Lots of wood. Lots of cuts. And lots and lots of screws. Pictures below show some of the progress.

At the end of the day 99% of the living room was covered with new, flat and level plywood. Some of the entry has been covered. Tomorrow the remainder of the entry, the kitchen and front porch will be tackled. They shouldn't have as many problems as the living room.

These guys are great. Before they left they made sure I had the TV back in place and my LazyBoy was positioned to watch it. Unfortunately, i'm sitting in the next room typing this. I better get done and at least sit there a little while before I fall asleep. A couple pictures of the living room at the end of today's work are below.

No comments:

Post a Comment