I remember the days when a big project involved something that would start on Friday and be done by Sunday. Ah … those were the days. When you work in an office setting (yes television hosting is oftentimes an office setting) you pretty much have to restrict your DIY accomplishments to things that take no longer than a weekend to accomplish.
That was the case when I installed my central vacuum and my dishwasher. They both took a day or two.
Then I semi-retired from television and decided to give this whole blogging thing a shot. In that time my big projects have become even bigger. How big? Instead of a weekend they usually take up the better part of an entire season. Usually spring and a good chunk of summer.
Several years ago it was redoing my entire backyard .
2 years ago it was building a modern Chicken Coop.
Last year it was ripping out my entire front yard and putting in a Front Yard Vegetable Garden.
All of those projects took months and they were all dirty. But as I begin my next Big Spring Project I’ve decided this may be the biggest and baddest yet.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “That doesn’t sound so bad.” It is at this point in our conversation that you have to trust me. Trust me like you would trust your priest. Or dry cleaner. It *is* that bad. It is very, very bad.
Ripping out these old ceramic tiles means also ripping up the cement underneath them and the wire mesh holding them in place.
It means getting rid of all the old flooring. It means a dust covered house and cuts and scrapes and using a crowbar to pull up sheets and sheets of plywood subflooring. Which then turns into pulling up thousands of nails from the floor. It means repairing the floor, installing and wiring the radiant heating. It means pouring a thin layer of self levelling concrete over the radiant heating and hoping to God, or your priest or your dry cleaner that nothing goes wrong and wrecks the heating coils.
It means levelling and gluing and measuring in order to be able to lay the commercial tiles perfectly so it looks like a professional did it. As opposed to me.
It means work. A lot of work.
The floor I’m ripping out is in my mudroom, kitchen and bathroom. Oh. Did I mention my floor at this point is so unlevel that last year I started charging admission to ride it? We call it the Twitchin’ Kitchen Roller Coaster. Two tickets please. Try not to vomit until you’re out of the park.
The floor doesn’t look all that horrifying in pictures but it is. It’s impossible to clean, the grout is all falling out and because the floor is so unlevel it’s all cracked. Plus the tiles are way too small. And I hate them. Did I mention that? I’ve hated them since the day I moved into this house.
The other problem with the kitchen is it’s FREEZING in the winter. Enter, radiant heating. I looked up a few different types and settled on Warmly Yours because they seemed to have the best customer service and they had an office in Canada.
In addition to doing the floors I’m also going to be doing a mini-overhaul in general. The mudroom will get a new cleaner look with an Ikea wardrobe, a place to hide shoes and a mix of rustic country and clean contemporary. Maybe some gold glitz as well.
The kitchen will get a new coat of paint, possibly a new table and also possibly a new lamp. I’m also going to pull things out and shove as much insulation into wherever I can.
The bathroom will get new everything. New toilet, new vanity, sink, storage and new fixtures.
And did I mention we only have one bathroom? So picking the exact right moment to pull out the toilet for several hours will be a bit of a crapshoot. So to speak. My budget is $5,000. Which is actually twice as much as I think it should cost. That way there shouldn’t be any surprises.
Other than what I end up finding under these 140 year old floors.
Some things to note before I leave you to start on my Big Spring Project.
1. I have never ripped up a ceramic tile floor before.
2. I have never laid down radiant heating before.
3. I have never poured self levelling concrete before.
4. I have never laid commercial grade vinyl tile before.
5. I have never done anything this stupid in all my life. At least not since last spring.