The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead...not only is it fit for Halloween, but it aptly describes how my husband and I feel this Monday. after wrangling with the temperamentally undulating subfloor and our attempt to float flooring over it.

This house's major bugaboo was the joist problem.  Though the problem has been fixed (rotting joists replaced), the floor had some major unevenness--a result of the joists combined with poor attention to detail during construction.  Using a self-leveling compound was not an option as there was not a sturdy enough substrate.  There was some heavy lifting involved, which involved work that I was blissfully not involved in, so I won't bore you with it other than to tell you that it involved cutting the subfloor, some joist work and then some new subfloor.

As we were floating flooring (engineered hardwood), various unresolved ills raised their ugly head.  One area was the steps that from the beginning was a problem.  After an interminable amount of time which involved many different shim configurations, I made an executive decision--I did the unthinkable--I face-nailed the damn board to hold it down.  It worked; stabilized the rest of the work across a wide expanse until.....

The downstairs is such that there is a great room with two adjoining rooms on the right hand side of the house.  Laying floor required that we do a fair amount of planning to ensure that we had seamless entryways into the other room.  The back hall presented a problem--a bit too much float (which I call sponge).

So Mark and I spent a good bit of time on Sunday de-sponging and re-checking other "problem areas".  Here is husbando cutting one of several shims that we used to shore up uneveness.

I cannot bring myself to throw away aluminum, and as this is a construction site, there is a pile of rubbish, including cans, that needs to get transported to the dump.

Mark left, and I stayed lay as much floor as I could.  I had some help.  She'd be more help if she had an opposing thumb.

I did pretty well.  Thankfully a junction point that exceeded my saw skill to navigate combined exactly with my gas tank being empty.  I packed it in and went home with every bone in my body (particularly my knees) reminding me of every inch of floor that I had installed. A few more wall/opening work arounds on the flooring to be cut, and the balance can be finished.  I made another executive decision to install this flooring in the utility and the upstairs bathroom.

Now, I know there are better choices....but we (read me!) are in no mood for other color or installation choices given that I have no floor differential to worry about nor color choices to make.  We have plenty of flooring, and engineered is not a horrible choice.  I see it as a temporary solution.  The total spend is about less than $100 in materials, and the labor is free.  She can pull it up easily without compromising the entire install.  I'll put high quality silicone caulk around everything, and she'll have to ensure that she has a good bathroom rug, plunger! and shower curtain.  I think that it will be fine...and off my watch when ultimately resolved.

I believe that the worst (heavy lifting) of this project is over--though we have 'carpenter doors' to hang--and that will be a bit of work.  I thought I had done a great job getting these solid wood doors at the Habitat for Humanity ReSource store. However, my husband only grumbled when he saw them.

I also was successful in getting another house.  This one is a bank owned.  Plenty of work that needs to be done, but none of it involves repairing floor joists! Like the current project, it needs to be painted--which includes transforming the dark wood trim.  It is a rancher with 3 bedrooms--it also has a full basement.  Both floors have a fireplace.  I'll write more on that later.  Time to put this baby to bed.  Today was my expected end date.  That is not to be...but I can almost taste the champagne that I'm going to drink when this project is done.


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