Demo Day!

To be more honest, a better title for this is demo week, based on our timeline, but demo day is so much catchier. We started ripping apart our bathroom on Saturday, and I’m pleased to say we’re close to being done with this phase of our renovation. The last couple things to resolve are removing the shower insert, and figuring out a weird subfloor situation.

So here are the before pictures (messier than usual, because my standard low level of motivation for cleaning the bathroom has dropped to an almost non-existent level since we decided it was getting ripped out).

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Our strategy for demo was to move the toilet, mirror, and vanity top, then remove the floor trim, weird towel bar/toilet paper holder pieces, linoleum/underlayment, vanity cabinet, and finally the shower insert.

Here’s the toilet and vanity gone (the tub seemed like an ideal temporary storage spot for the toilet, since we’re not messing with the tub):

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And here’s Nik removing trim, and the little panel that held the toilet paper roll. Apparently someone was enjoying the nail gun while attaching this lightweight 3″x8″ piece of wood to the wall…

Then came the linoleum. It was only glued/stapled around the edges, so we started cutting it in the middle to reveal the underlayment. For those who aren’t familiar with linoleum, first there is the plywood subfloor, then a 1/4″ layer of smooth wood called underlayment comes next, and this provides a very smooth substrate for the linoleum to be laid out on. Unfortunately for anyone who has ever had to remove linoleum, this underlayment is tacked down with long staple nails every 4 inches across the entire sheet, plus extra around the edges (you can see the guide marks for the staples on the underlayment sheets below – those little X’s show how many there should be!). When you pull up the underlayment, the nails rip through it and stay lodged in the subfloor, and (very tediously) have to be pulled out one by one, which was all done by yours truly. This brought terrible flashbacks to our kitchen renovation…which had many times as much linoleum in it!

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Next out came the vanity. When our plumbing was installed, they put the vanity in first then attached the cumbersome pipes, so the only way to detach the vanity is to cut out squares in the back of it because the pipes (once installed) don’t fit back out the holes. Nik used the multitool to do this, then we dragged the vanity down the stairs to it’s temporary resting place in our living room.

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The shower insert is one HUGE piece with no seams. And, as inserts are supposed to be installed, the edges are under the drywall, so it is wider than the actual drywall opening. We’re thinking we’ll have to use the circular saw to cut it into smaller pieces to get it out, but this is a job for next weekend. We did remove the doors at least:

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So that’s about where we are right now with the demo. You probably also noticed the one weird piece of subfloor in the room…we were aware there was a previous leak in the home that was fixed (obviously not by us, or we would’ve done a better patch job). The thing we can’t figure out is why on earth they replaced a patch of the subfloor with that new piece, but left an extremely thin border of the existing subfloor around the patch? (If someone has a logical explanation, please share before we put much effort into fixing this!).

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Those teeny pieces of subfloor around the patch are now very unstable, which is a problem for tile. We’re thinking of ripping up that patch piece, double checking that an absolute moron didn’t fix whatever leak issue was under the floor previously, and re-patching it with a piece of subfloor that actually reaches to the edge of that original piece. Then we’d belt sand it to ensure it is level before moving on with our tile install. Minor set back but, fingers crossed, hopefully an easy fix.

One other conundrum is about the vanity top. I spent some time getting quotes for remnant granite from the place we got our kitchen counters from, and that came to about $775, sinks and install included (but not faucets or plumbing hookup). It was a bit higher than I was thinking…so I stopped at Lowe’s on the way home to see what price I could get from them. I hope you’re sitting down…because their quote was upwards of $1600!!!! For a stupid vanity top! I was blown away. But the sales guy was really nice, and encouraged me to at least consider their pre-fabricated vanity tops. I smiled and nodded and thanked him, thinking that would be a complete waste of time, but wandered down that aisle anyway and was pleasantly surprised at one option they had. It is $399, a “natural marble veneer”, and it has white undermount sinks included in one piece, in the size we need.

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The reviews online are somewhat conflicting – some people say it looks great without breaking the bank, and some that say it has poorly patched cracks, the one they got had weird colors mixed in, bad veneer seams, etc. I’m thinking I’ll order 2 (to hedge my bets, knowing I can return 1 or both), or maybe find a store that has some in stock and fully examine them in the store. If we can find one we like, we’re happy to save almost $400. And if they really do look cheap, we’ll know that the extra expense for the granite top is worth it. During a renovation, its important to keep reminding ourselves that our house might not be worth every upgrade we want, and if we might sell in the next few years, mainly picking upgrades that we can expect to pay us back is important.

While I was at Lowes, I also peeked at tile samples, and found a bunch that I really like. I’m excited to go back to the store with Nik so we can make our final selections and move on with this reno!

The Master Bath Renovation: The Starting Point

Nik’s parents were supposed to be visiting for the next two weekends, but their plans got pushed off until early July, so we no longer have an excuse for not starting our master bathroom renovation! I’ve been itching to start this project (is it normal to feel antsy if I haven’t demo-ed something ugly in our house within the last 6 months?), so I’m ready to go! Plus, this time around we have a whole week’s notice (since the change of visit plans) before deciding to rip a bathroom down to the sub floor….last time this happened, it was approximately 10 minutes from decision to demo!

We haven’t actually started anything yet…in fact we haven’t even gone to the store to look at color schemes and tile options, but I have some vague ideas in mind. Here is a picture of our bathroom layout:

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We wanted to move things around (move shower to tub area, relocate toilet to shower area) but we decided it wasn’t worth the investment for the price range of our home. So this project will hopefully be all cosmetic, unless we find issues when things are removed.

Overall, we’ll be refurbishing our current vanity and adding a new top, sinks, and faucets in addition to raising it off the ground on feet to make it adult height (these are old pictures, but you get the idea).

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We’ll be tiling the floor, and painting the walls. And finally we’ll be ripping out our full shower insert and replacing it with a shower pan, tiled walls, a new glass door, and new hardware.

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Do you notice everything is so blah and neutral its hard to even tell the floor from the wall from the tub from the shower in that picture? Our awful garden tub will stay since removing and replacing that will be an expensive pain, but to dress it up, we may built an encasement around it (something like this) and update the faucet and tile above it. It is currently off white, meaning our new shower pan might also have to be off white to match, which I think I’m ok with. Stark white in a bathroom means more need to clean all the time!

So here is the actual planned order of events. We wanted to get this down on paper so we could make a very rough timeline and budget, so I’ll add those details to each bullet point.

Demo (planning to do this over the next couple weekends; cost: free!)

  • Remove toilet, vanity, mirror, and quarter round floor trim
  • Remove linoleum and underlayment, shower doors, and shower insert

Installing the “underparts” of the shower: we assume we will replace whatever is under the shower insert with cement backer board, followed by some sort of waterproofing application (there are actual membranes like Schluter membrane or paint-on options). Then the shower base pan will be added and fitted to the drain. Hopefully no replacement of subfloor will be required, but if there is any water leakage or moldy spots we may need to do some replacing. We’d like to have this done by the first weekend in June.

  • Cut and install cement board ($60 for boards and cement screws)
  • Install shower pan and fit to base plumbing (~$200 for pan)
  • Seal all seams and waterproof the walls/seams (not sure what product we’re using yet, I’ll assume it won’t be cheap! $150)

Next up will be tiling the floor. We’ll be using Schluter Ditra underlayment which is pricey, but it’s a lightweight foam alternative to using heavy cement board. Since our bathroom previously had lightweight linoleum, we don’t want to stress our floors out too much by adding a new, heavy, weight to the second floor. Then tile, then grout. We’re thinking some sort of gray tile, since we generate a lot of dust and hair, which I never clean in a timely manner. We’d love to have this done by mid June.

  • Coat floor with thin-set mortar and lay out underlayment ($200)
  • Apply mortar and lay tiles ($300)
  • Grout tiles ($30)
  • Reattach quarter round trim around floor ($30)

Install toilet and vanity. The installation is easy, but we need to find time to refurbish the vanity as well. Hopefully on weekday evenings we’ll be making progress on the vanity, which will include sanding/painting, and adding a new base with legs. We’ll need to identify a company to install a new counter and sinks, and after that Nik will probably attempt the faucet install himself.  If we could get this done by early July, that would be awesome, but you know how things go…

  • Sand, prime, paint vanity
  • Mount on a new base ($15)
  • Attach legs ($40)
  • Relocate to bathroom; counter/sink/faucet installation ($500)
  • Vanity backsplash ($100)
  • Vanity mirror and light (eventually, we’ll estimate a cost of $200)
  • Reinstall old toilet (free!)

And the final major project is finishing the shower. This will include applying mortar, tiling, grouting, installing hardware, and installing new glass doors. We’re thinking some sort of light gray/cream tone tile for the shower – something that matches the gray floor, but lighter. Our goal is to have this done by the end of July (plus anything else that’s not done yet – I’m sure we’ll be behind schedule!).

  • Apply mortar then tiles to waterproofed cement board ($200)
  • Grout tiles
  • Add new hardware ($120)
  • Install glass door ($500 – turns out these are really expensive!!) We’re still deciding between a pivot glass door or a sliding one. I was thinking pivot, but they all have pretty abysmal reviews and are slightly more expensive, but the sliding doors like this one and this one have fantastic reviews…so this may sway my decision.
  • Paint walls ($30)
  • Someday install crown molding? We have extra left over in the garage…(free!)

If we do the tub, a very rough cost for tiles, a new faucet, and if we build a encasement would be about $250.

So that brings our very rough total, if we include the tub to a little under $3000. Then there will be expenses like new towel racks, rugs, etc. to make the space look nice. I was generous on some of the amounts since we have no idea what tiles, counters, fixtures or anything that we’re picking yet, but I feel like that is a reasonable budget. If we can find ways to save money along the way, even better!

This was a long post, and not many pictures. But once this project is underway there will be plenty of progress pictures to share!

A New (Old) Light Fixture

We got a lot done this weekend…not particularly things on my list, but progress nonetheless. The garage side deck is officially finished, with new handrails. I got a coat of primer on our friend’s furniture piece that we’re refinishing, we stained the top of the weird dining table project we’ve had stashed in the garage for ages, and we refinished a light fixture for our dining room.

When we moved, my parents gave me an old chandelier from the foyer of our house in NJ – it had sconces, and was kind of a brushed nickel finish. Originally, the pointy flame-shaped light bulbs were in it, with glass sconces around each light.

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It was very traditional looking, so we were having a hard time deciding where it would fit in our house. Originally we were thinking kitchen, but the light location over the kitchen table is not quite centered on the table and a dangling chandelier would emphasize this even more than a flush mount light. So then we thought dining room…but that room is decidedly mid-century themed, and the silver seemed out of place. But, the table is centered on the light:

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I’ve hated that light since the day we moved in. It’s too small, and too close to the ceiling, and too bright. It has made us not want to have meals in this room, so we knew it had to change. Nik had the idea of using the chandelier from my parents, but using Edison light bulbs to give it some vintage character, and spray painting it a new color, since the nickel finish was dingy and dirty and didn’t fit with the room.

We choose oil-rubbed bronze, and hung the light on the bird feeder hook to do the spray painting, which went pretty well.

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Then Nik removed the old light and mounted the new one, which did require a trip to Lowes for a mounting kit since it was incompatible with what was there.

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The wires were all hooked up, and then we started thinking about the bulbs. I kind of liked them by themselves, but we put one sconce on just to see. It’s ok, but in person it looks like too much glass since the bulbs are glassy, and almost touch the sconce edges. Also, the sconces will show dust over time , so we’re thinking of just doing the bulbs:

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Here’s another closeup, and a picture from the living room for perspective. I love how it looks – a huge upgrade from what was there previously (please don’t mind our mess, this is the reality of DIY work. Also, the light is still hanging a little crooked since that one heavier sconce is still on one side of it, which we’re still debating).

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The light that comes from the squirrel cage Edison bulbs is also so pretty, and looks like delicate bursts on the ceiling (camera didn’t do it justice). We got them on Amazon,  $20 for 6.

So that chandelier was  big accomplishment, this little project that has been on the list for a while. I’m going to save pics of the other furniture projects until they’re done, but I did promise to show some pictures of the little guest bedroom side tables so here they are. To sum up this project, these tables were $30 for both on Craigslist, and we stripped the top, added little back boards with pieces of red oak that we rounded by sanding, stained/sealed the tops, then gave the sides a good sanding followed by primer and a warm light gray paint (we reused the extra sample paint from an ex-kitchen cabinet color).

Before:

During:

And after:

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Cheers to a productive weekend!

 

Gardens and Goats

Almost a month since my last post…I’m sensing a theme of reluctance to finish up some of our spring projects. That, or we’ve just been too busy lately. We had a wedding to go to up in PA a few weekends ago, then a camping adventure at Falls Lake, NC last weekend. But this weekend? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING PLANNED. I’m telling the rest of the world, so we can be held accountable for actually getting some things done at the house!

In the last 3 weeks, we haven’t been 100% unproductive…we did finally finish up our little guest bedroom side tables, which are now happily sitting beside the guest bed that I totally forgot to take pictures of this morning.

Our veggie and flower gardens are all planted (including some new perennial flowers stolen from various family members of Nik’s while we were up in PA). Things are growing like crazy thanks to the intense rains we’ve been getting – and we even have some baby cucumbers and striped zucchini squash growing already!

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For the next month, we have assorted lists of little things to finish up and bathroom finishes to pick out before our bathroom demo. We’ll have Nik’s parents in town the last 2 weekends in May, so we want to wait until they’re gone to begin demo, since 4 adults sharing one tiny guest bathroom will surely make our time together less pleasant!

Hopefully I’ll have some updated photos to show next week – we have at least a few furniture pieces we’ll be finishing up this weekend. It’s nice to do a few furniture projects from time to time, like the good old days before we had tons of house projects to tackle!

After camping last weekend we visited a goat farm in Bahama, NC for their baby goat festival, so I’ll leave you with some cute goat pics for the weekend (I think you can click to get bigger pics).

Spring Update

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve given an update, and we’ve made lots of progress on a few different projects.

Our garden is planted, for the most part, and includes snow peas, a couple jalapeno peppers, eggplants, 2 roma-variety tomatoes and 1 grape tomato, bush zucchini, spaghetti squash, large sized and  pickling sized cucumbers, various herbs, and leeks. We started everything from seed inside about a month ago (except the snow peas, which were planted outside and are now a perfect row of happy little pea plants), so we’ll see how this goes. Doesn’t look like much now!

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We’ve also gotten a number of perennial flowers happily planted in our new flower bed, and everything is really starting to grow with the recent warmer weather.

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We made some mild progress on our balusters, and got them all primed with the paint sprayer a few weeks ago:

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But then the pollen hit and we decided to hold off on doing the final paint coat. No one wants yellow paint on their stairs! So these are still piled in our living room awaiting that fate.

We are almost done with our little side tables for our guest bedroom – they got stained on top, and got a coat of light gray paint (a runner-up color for our kitchen cabinets, when we were still considering painting them gray, so we already had that paint). Another coat of paint and some sealer and they’ll be all done. Here are some photos of this project from the beginning. They are kinda-matching, kinda-not:

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The paint stripper took of multiple layers of gummy, old paint.

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Tops all sanded

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Getting some stain

We’ve also made some progress with the buffet piece we’re refurbishing for our friends…the wooden surfaces we salvaged are all stained now, and the body is waiting for primer and paint. Nik busted out the router this weekend to practice with, since we’ll be attempting to cut out the middle of the solid doors in the front of the piece to put in some radiator grate or glass so they can put their cable box in there and still get a signal through to their remote. I’ll save pictures of this till the end…so it can be a surprise!

The weather was beautiful yesterday, so I dragged all the cut pieces of crown molding out of the garage, gave them a quick sanding and dust-off, and got the paint sprayer out. I’ve never put semi-gloss paint in the sprayer (which is what we use for our trim paint) so I was a little worried about how tacky it might feel – but it worked like a charm! The finish was really nice, and a bit glossy (not as glossy as when painted on with a brush). We had one minor clog in the gun, but running some water through it seemed to fix the issue.

So that took all of 15 minutes to do, once everything was set up. After about an hour of dry time, we decided to just go ahead and mount the pieces since we already had pressure in the air compressor. We started in the dining room and made it most of the way around the living room. There’s a few pieces left to hang but we finally called it quits at dinnertime.

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Everyone knows crown molding is challenging – and we definitely have some wonky corners/edges. I think the challenge is not finding the right angle, but getting the piece perfectly level and lined up in the saw – especially if its a 12′ wobbly piece hanging out the other side of the saw. If it’s not perfectly level, your angle can be a few degrees off. That combined with our walls/ceilings which aren’t remotely straight has left us with some intimidating gaps. We’re just going to have to make really good friends with the caulk gun for this project!

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Before

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After!

Despite my attempt to make organized lists of things to accomplish for the weekend, Nik always manages to go off and start a completely new project – like ripping apart most of our side deck off the garage, and replacing the floor, stair treads, and railing. Granted, this did have to happen at some point since the boards were completely splintering. He used left over wood pieces from the jungle gym – but we need to get a few more boards to finish the stair treads and railing. Before:

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During and after:

Progress-wise, our goal this month is to get the crown molding finished and patched, get somewhere with the stair railings/balusters, get our friends’ buffet piece and our guest bedroom tables finished up, and wrap up refinishing a dining table in the garage that we’ve had for a while that Nik recently unearthed and started working on. And THEN we can start on our bathroom!

 

Making Balusters

I find that when I make a blog post with goals and plans, we get more done that weekend. So here we go: last weekend we did make a lengthy trip to Lowes to investigate our stair options. We measured our stairs, and realized we only need 2 x 8′ pieces of plowed handrail to cover the sections that will have balusters, and 1 x 12′ piece of unplowed handrail to cover the walled section that won’t require balusters. Plowed handrails basically just have a small groove on the bottom, to hold the balusters in place and hide that junction. There is also a little slat of wood that slides out of the bottom of that groove, called a fillet, and I think you can cut this to fit between each baluster to get them spaced evenly and further secure them in place (fillet shown in the right picture):

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Our plowed groove is only 1.25″ wide, so that will be the width of our square balusters. The ones we have upstairs are currently 1.75″ and they feel too bulky, so I think the 1.25″ will be a nice, airy upgrade.

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So the two plowed 8′ railings were $47 each and the 12′ unplowed one was $57, totaling $151. Unfortunately, after all the effort of getting the 12′ one home sticking out the trunk, we realized we bought a 12′ plowed one ($20 more expensive!) so we’ll have to return that and get the unplowed one. To mount that one to the wall, we’re not sure the plowed bottom will attach to the brackets correctly, since they’re designed to attached to an unplowed rail.

Speaking of brackets for that handrail, we bought some new ones that are a bit more attractive and substantial since this railing is heavier than our previous one. Those were about $18 total. We also bought two oval wooden wall plates for where the banister hits the wall, $14 total. Not sure those are both necessary yet, but we can return them if they’re not needed.

Finally, we headed to the lumber section to see what we could use for balusters. We found 2″x2″x36″ pieces of poplar or oak that were nice quality wood – but $6 each! We need 28, so that would be $168. Too pricey. So we wandered further into the lumber section and found plain 2×6 white pine boards (actual size 1.5″ x 5.5″ x 8′ length). Some were bowed or had bad knots, but after about 20 minutes we had selected 4 satisfactory boards. We measured that we could get out 8 balusters per board, and, best part, each board was a little less than $5, totaling $19, and leaving us with 4 extra balusters for when we inevitably mess some up. That savings almost pays for our table saw that we used to cut them all!

So on to the cutting…Nik first cut them to length with the miter saw, leaving some extra length for figuring out the exact height that will be on the slanted section of our new railing area:

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Code is 32-38″for balusters on steps, so since they should all be the same height here with a knee wall vs. individual steps, we’ll aim for 34″. Then he used the table saw to rip one edge off the board and make it a fresh, flat cut. Then we ripped the remaining 3 sides on each baluster to get them to 1.25″ (remember, the  boards are 1.5″ thick and we wanted a fresh, sharp cut on each side).

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So I think it was a total of 8 initial rip cuts for the original pieces of wood, then 3×32 cuts on each baluster. Over 100 table saw cuts certainly took a while and the noise potentially annoyed some neighbors on a Sunday evening. It looked like we’d been snowed on afterwards, but we got them all done!

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This Saturday we’re finally having a yard sale in the morning to clear out some pre-wedding housewares and other clutter we’ve collected, but the afternoon should be warm and lovely – a perfect time to get out the paint sprayer! We use this one from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Critter-Spray-Products-22032-Siphon/dp/B00006FRPJ.

Critter Spray Products 22032 118SG Siphon Gun

It is cheap (but requires a good air compressor), and is only practical for small painting projects (trim or cabinets – not walls, for example). It screws right on to cheap pint sized mason jars, and we always strain the paint first, then thin it a little bit with floetrol and water for water-based latex paints, to prevent clogging.

We also bought more crown molding while at Lowes last weekend, so we’ll cut the remaining pieces we need to finish off the living room walls, then do a massive paint sprayer session on all the crown molding and all the balusters. We might do a protective clear coat of water based polycrylic on the balusters after they are installed, depending on how durable the finish feels with the paint sprayer. On Sunday we’ll do more paint spraying if we don’t get it all done Saturday, and hopefully get the remaining sections of crown molding installed.

The next steps will be caulking, filling, and doing touchup paint on the crown molding. For the stairs, we’ll need to sand, stain, and seal the new handrails, remove the old banister/balusters upstairs, and move on to installing the new ones…then caulking, filling, and doing touchup paint where needed. The sooner we get these projects done, the sooner we can start thinking about our master bath renovation – that’s good motivation for me!

 

Finding Inspiration

The last few weeks have been pretty stagnant at our household. We’ve made some progress cutting crown molding for the entire dining room and about half of the living room, but it hasn’t been nearly warm enough outside to paint with our sprayer and I’m not up to the challenge of painting all that trim by hand. So that project is on hold for a bit.

I did get around to spreading out new garden soil in our flower garden, and added some accent pieces, including a corner ceramic pot, and a garden gnome. My family had a garden gnome growing up and Nik seemed to like the idea of one. We just hadn’t found the perfect one yet. Then I came across this little guy – and he felt like the perfect addition.

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He has been named Sinclair, and in the several days he’s resided in our garden, he’s experienced a variety of weather conditions – including the dusting of snow we got on Sunday morning!

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So back to renovations…this spring has been slow going. Before starting on the master bathroom, plans this spring were to get the crown molding installed downstairs (on hold for warmer weather), build a kitchen island, and finish the stupid stair banister. That last one has been nagging us for months now, and we keep discussing it, running into problems, deciding we don’t know what to do, and then putting it off.

This is the area that we now need to install a railing/balusters, since we opened up this wall:

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Previously, that was a solid wall, and there was a simple railing running down that side of the stairs screwed into the wall.

So what are the problems? I think the biggest is we have railing upstairs on the landing with a light poplar railing and white wooden balusters, and you can see it from downstairs:

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Not my favorite railing/baluster combo, but I think we came to the conclusion we should attempt to match the new railing/balusters to what is upstairs. I like metal balusters, but they’re pricey (as I remember, about $8-10/piece) and then we’d need a lot of them to do the new opening downstairs and replace all the ones upstairs (~26-28 of them).

We then thought the balusters weren’t too atrocious, and I could purchase ones that are a pretty close match for the new opening, but the light wood railing is awful. So I wondered if it could be stained dark to match the floors. We have the railing still sitting in our office that was removed from the other wall, so I got to work sanding a portion to see if we could get a nice dark color:

The general answer was no. Sanding was difficult (curved edges) and the wood was very smooth and dense so it definitely didn’t take up stain well. It would be hard to ever get it to the darkness I like, and it would never have the rich grain/texture of a red oak railing.

So then we thought, can’t we save the balusters upstairs, and just replace the two railings? It’s possible…but we can’t really figure out how the upstairs balusters are attached to the railing and I’m pretty sure we’d ding them up trying to remove the old railing. And then I remembered I don’t really even like the shape of those balusters, but its costly to buy new balusters…you see how these problems escalate? At this rate, there will never be a railing.

But then we were watching Fixer Upper last night, and there was a staircase they did that caught my attention because of how beautiful and simple it was:

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I love the dark oak railing and those balusters – just straight cut pieces of wood! I love the simplicity. No shapes, fancy carving, and most importantly – inexpensive! So now I’m inspired again to see if we can make this happen.

To change the railing, we will have to buy new oak railings and get them home safely. A 12′ plowed railing is about $70, and we’d need probably 2-3 of these. I don’t exactly understand the difference between plowed and un-plowed railing and why the plowing is needed for some balusters, so we still need to go to the store to figure that out. The unplowed ones are cheaper, and there are also 8′ lengths available that would lower the cost if we don’t need a full 12′. We will reuse the newel post that is there, but paint it white. Then we can either buy pieces of wood to cut to a 1.25″ square baluster, or they sell pre-cut plain square balusters for about $5 a pop. I’m not sure what’s special about the premade balusters – some of the descriptions say they have some sort of removable pin, so we also need to figure this out at the store. Even if we buy these, plus the railings, the total price is reasonable, at a little over $300. If we can make our own balusters, I think that price will be a lot lower.

At any rate, I’m feeling newly inspired about this. It won’t be an easy or fast project, but I think we’ll end up with a stairway we really like, vs just trying to make the style that was previously there work with our new floors. I think we need to start by acquiring and cutting the required pieces, and perhaps when I spray paint our crown molding (if spring decides to ever come back), I can spray the balusters too and really get this project going. I didn’t see myself ever being this excited about my stairs!