That looks awesome
Since I posted about my basement questions the other day, I thought I should show something that I completed. This house is a big old twin (1600 SF living space plus unfinished basement and unfinished walk-up attic) built somewhere between 1928 and 1930 depending on which records you believe. Before I bought it, it was being used as a boarding house for workers at a Chinese buffet. It was vacant by the time I looked at it, but I hear from neighbors that they had like 10-15 people living there.
I haven't been too good about taking "before" pics, but these are the "afters" of the second floor rooms. I sanded the floors down to the wood and did a full refinish, as well as patching and painting everything else. Almost everything here is original. Only the bathroom has been significantly changed over the years.
Total cost to do all this was like $500...it was almost all labor. I did the floor sanding with a hand orbital sander because the rooms are kind of narrow. I was afraid to use a big stand-up drum sander because I thought I wouldn't have enough freedom of movement to avoid damaging the floor. When I do the first floor, I'll be using a big sander...I have more open space down there, and I about broke my back from days of bending over forcing that sander along. I also burned out the bearings and brushes in the sander, I have to rebuild it before I can do the hallway
That looks awesome
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Thanks guys...I just finished pressing new bearings into the sander and it seems to be back to its old self, so I should be able to get to the hallway soon...
I did run into a few problems. I used Minwax oil-based stain (their water-based stuff isn't recommended for floors), and at first I tried using a water-based polyurethane. However, within a week it was de-laminating from the floor. I think I put down too much stain and didn't give it enough time to dry, so I had a film of oil between the water-based poly and the wood. I ended up having to re-sand 2 rooms and start over (fortunately the sanding went much quicker since the finish was new and the floor was already smooth).
Second time, I decided to use oil-based poly so I wouldn't have to worry about compatibility with the stain. I also waited several days after staining before the first poly coat. This worked much better, but I still ran into one annoying problem. When the temperature and humidity rose, I had little beads of wet poly oozing out from the cracks between the boards. This started over a month after I applied the first poly coat! Apparently it's a known problem that's become more common with the new "low VOC" oil-based finishes. If the beads are wet, you can clean them up with mineral spirits without damaging the rest of the finish, or if you let them dry without walking on them, you can just scrape them up with a plastic scraper. Eventually everything expands as far as it can expand, and the beading stops.
that's looking great. I couldn't imagine having the patience to do that much sanding with a hand sander. That's crazy.
Mine: 2010 Dodge Ram Laramie 5.7L V8 390hp 407ft-lbs
Hers: 2005 Nissan Xterra SE 4.0L V6 265hp 284ft-lbs
Old: 2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i, 2001 Dodge Dakota 4.7L, 2000 VW Golf 1.8T, 1991 Dodge Ramcharger 5.2L and 1988 Mercury Topaz AWD 2.3L
On to the first floor now, here's the living room:
In the second-to-last pic, you can see the floor contrast with the dining room, which I haven't sanded yet. That's representative of what all the floors looked like before I started. They're basically level and the wood is in good shape. The sellers did a very sloppy refinishing attempt throughout the house, which I've had to remove to get down to good wood. One thing the sellers did fix pretty well is the ceilings. They just sheetrocked right over the old plaster, which may not be exactly the right way to do it, but they did a nice job and working on ceilings sucks, so I've left them alone. The front door was also replaced by the sellers (outer frame is original, door and fixed side pieces are new) so I didn't have to mess with that, other than adjusting the sticky deadbolt that was installed crooked.
I know somebody is going to comment about the painted fireplace brick...Somebody had already painted it a weird purplish color. Stripping it off would have meant about a week with stripper and a toothpick because the brick surface is very rough, so my only good option was to paint over it. I think it looks OK, as long as it doesn't peel off.
Next I need to do the foundation repointing before winter sets in, so I'll be taking a break from the inside work for a while. Next up after that will be the dining room.
I got the link to this thread from your wagon build. Yeah, I was right, you're spending all of your time on your house, but that's the way it works.
Great job! I wish my house had hardwood floors like that. We had hardwood put in the entryway and back to the kitchen, but it's new hardwood so it doesn't have that "real" look of vintage hardwood. It looks good, but yours is even better and you only have a fraction of the cost in yours for a much larger area! Of course, you also have hours and hours in it, which I'm not able to do with my current situation.
I love old houses like that. Mine was built in '74, so it's better than a lot of newer houses, but I'm used to pre and post war houses which are nearly indestructible if they've had their roofs maintained.
Have any photos of the outside? What do you have for a garage?
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
I don't have outside pics handy, but I'll get some up here eventually. The house is a twin, so it's attached to the neighbor on one side. On the other side is a shared driveway running to a small garage in back. There's also a parking slab behind the house...sharp right turn to get on it, but doable. The exterior walls are brown brick on the first floor, and siding above that (I believe it was originally stucco or something, and they sided over it). The outer walls are masonry all the way through, not wood framing.
Speaking of the Pontiac from my other thread, I specifically measured the garage slab size before buying the house, to make sure an old full-size car would fit on it. The garage itself is in poor condition...I would like to have it torn down and replaced with an open carport (roof and posts). That would leave enough room to park a big car and still be able to open the doors, without needing to increase the size of the slab. I haven't really looked into what it would take to do that though...I'll tackle that after the main house is done.
Right now I have the dining room almost done, and I'm working on another small room that I'll be using as an office/computer room. The kitchen used to be the full width of the house in back, but the previous owners divided it into the kitchen and office. I was thinking about opening it back up, but I decided to leave it alone for now. I can always open it up in the future if I want a big kitchen. Once I finish those rooms, I'll update the pics here...
Edit: Philly, eh? Yeah, a heated garage is in order.
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
Those floors look awesome! When we moved into our house, I simply replaced the carpet in our living room, hallway and upstairs floors. The hallway and the living room were okay in spots, but it looks like they just replaced some sections with wood that didn't match, and even repaired the hallway section with particle board!
Our dining room is in awesome shape though, so it retains some character without being too noisy.
| 2012 Nissan Leaf | 1995 Jeep Wrangler |
| 2007 Toyota Prius | 2003 Pontiac Montana | 1991 Acura Legend
Living room and dining room are both done now:
The closed door on the back left goes to what will be the office/computer room...still working on that. The fridge has to be in the dining room because it doesn't fit well in the kitchen. Originally the kitchen was the full width of the back of the house, and there was only one door to it. The previous owner divided it into two rooms. I considered putting it back to one, but I decided I wanted that small room as an office for now. The "new" kitchen door had a generic frame that didn't match the others. Fortunately, my brother is in the woodworking business, and he was able to custom-make the pieces to duplicate the other frames in the house.
The light fixture is an original 1930s unit that I bought to replace the ceiling fan that was there. I thought it was a good match for the look of the house. I was originally going to put the fridge in that alcove area on the opposite wall. That's where the previous owner had theirs. But then I realized that an upright piano will fit in there, so I'm planning to look for one to fill that space. I used to play as a kid and I got to be pretty good, but I haven't done it in years.
I'm glad to finally be done with all the floor sanding. The office and kitchen are tile, so I don't have to worry about the floors. The previous owners put all new cabinetry in the kitchen, but they left a few things unfinished and they botched the electrical installation, so I have to go back and fix some things there.
That light is fantastic, where were you able to find it?
At some point in time all the ceiling lights in the upstairs of our 1930's home were replaced with contractor grade boob lights; they all need to go but I'm struggling to find anything that fits the house that doesn't cost a fortune.
I know exactly what you mean, I have the same ones in all my upstairs rooms. I think they look fine for the bedrooms though. I have seen some smaller antique fixtures, but a lot of them have no shades, just a bare bulb. I guess that's the way it was done back then.contractor grade boob lights
Some of you had asked for outside photos awhile ago. Here's a before and after of the backyard. First pic taken on closing day in November 2011, next two taken yesterday:
I didn't plant anything new other than grass, just a lot of clean-up and pulling weeds. That garage is eventually going to have to be completely redone, the roof is ready to cave in. I was thinking about tearing it down completely and replacing with an open carport, because my Pontiac won't fit in the garage, but it would fit on the slab if the door and walls were gone. Unfortunately I'd probably have to remove the plants next to the garage wall if I went that route, but realistically I won't get to it for a couple more years anyway, so I'm putting off that decision for now.
I'll try to take some pics of the front later this week, it was getting dark by the time I finished yard work yesterday.