Monday, July 15, 2013

"Did We Slaughter A Goat In Here?" and Other Matters

Whew! Back from a week of camping in the Adirondacks, and we're back in full swing house mode!

While we were gone, our friendly neighborhood contractor came and fixed a few problems around the house. Most were not photo-worthy, however two of the changes he made are quite noteworthy. The stairs leading to the second story of our house were barely staying together, so he took the whole thing out and replaced it all.

Just to give you an idea of what the stairs
have looked like since we moved in.

What the contractor was able to do :)

What my mom-in-law and I were able
to do with some stain and polyurethane.

Sooooo much better, yes? The steps don't squeak or pop anymore; on the contrary, you are unable to hear anything moving up or down the stairs. We're not entirely done; I still need to put another coat of poly on the steps, and we need to fashion some trim pieces for the sides, but all of the major work has been completed on these. Dan and I are thinking about putting a strip of carpeting down the middle, mostly because he's worried about me falling down the steps while pregnant or (later on) carrying a child in my arms. He has a point, but I feel like it is a shame to cover up much of our beautiful new stairs. 

Our contractor was also able to fix our outside basement access. Currently, the door is rotted and not sealing, so when we get a good rain, water runs into the basement through the cracks in the door. We haven't replaced the door yet (need to special order one b/c it's an odd size), but Alan was able to build us a cement frame so we can get a bilco door of sorts over top of it.

We'll be getting the hinges and handle on 
next weekend. Looking forward to a 
basement that won't be so wet!

Dad-in-law put some glass panels in our Amish porch door. Not only do they look pretty, but they light up that whole corner of the house. Immediately opposite the door are our new stairs, and it is so nice to be able to see where to put your feet now! Not nearly the cave that it was before :)

So pretty!

All of these are things that other people have been doing to our house. What have I been doing? More staining and polyurethaning. Now before you cry foul and ask what I am doing 21 weeks pregnant using terrible chemicals, please know that I took every precaution, took many fresh air breaks and had the approval of the baby doctor before I began. Once the new stairs went in, we thought it would be best to get them stained and sealed as quickly as possible 1) to prevent any nasty permanent stains or marks and 2) to get it done before I got to big to do it! And while we were at it, Daniel and I decided that it would be a good time to stain the bathroom doors we had already hung on the master bathroom. After a few days of testing colors to see what might work best with our "fire floors" upstairs, we chose a color and I began my work. 



Once again, I'm not quite done with these yet. The door on the left only has one coat of poly, and the door on the right has two coats. I'm shooting for three coats on each to help tone down the red color with a little bit of brown - so far so good. We are also thankful that we've waited to tile this floor because after using all that red stain and poly, the cardboard floor looks like we performed blood sacrifices in the bathroom.

Up next week; more of the same. I'll be finishing the stairs and bathroom doors, and hopefully moving on to sanding down the old bedroom doors we just got back from Lark. Gotta make sure this baby has a room with a door to move into when he arrives!