July 24, 2014

Removing Carpet(s)

From the start, my least favorite room in the cabin was the Woodland Creatures Bedroom.  You may remember this guy.

We spent days and weekends striping all that wallpaper from the wood paneling, sanding, priming and painting the walls.  And we got this beautiful blank pallet. 


 But there was still one more major update we needed to make in this room.  I'll give you a hint.

This nasty, brown shag carpet not only looked bad, but it smelled terrible.  Sort of like smoke, sort of like mildew, and a whole lot like get-the-hell-out-of-our-house.


So this past weekend it was finally time. I cleared out the furniture, I grabbed my tools and I started peeling the carpet in hopes of seeing an old, wood subfloor below.  Maybe if I was lucky, I could even get pretty blue painted panels like we found in the Dining Room.  

Oh no.  Instead we went the other way.  Waaaaay in the other directions.  


Peak a boo.


When I first peeled it back I started laughing immediately.  Of course this room would give us another kick in the shins on the way out.  The Woodland Creatures Room doesn't go down without a fight.  But the more I peeled back, the funnier it became.  I mean, who installs carpet that looks like this?


The worst part of this lazy carpet install is that they attached the carpet tack directly onto of the original avocado surprise, which made it 10 times harder to get my pry bar under the tack strips to get it out of there.


This part was terrible, and I've completed a lot of terrible DIY projects.  But sitting on this stinky, mildewy, decades old shag, attempting to pry out the tack strips, the clang of the pry bar literally ringing in my ears, was terrible. Maybe because it was a beautiful day, or the fact that I thought this little project would be quick and easy, but it was getting the best of me.

And then... well... it got worse.

Can you believe this insanely ugly linoleum that was underneath?  The fuzzy booger rug came complete with an attached pad, which stuck to the linoleum over the decades.  So not only did I have to pry off the tack strips and roll up the carpet, but then I had to scape off what was left of the pad.  

And with that, on our third disgusting flooring option in this room, I called uncle.  We'll clean and disinfect the linoleum, but there's no reason to pull it up.  Our new carpet and carpet pad should fit over this eye sore no problem.  So for now, I leave you with this.  Quite possibly the worst "after" photo I've ever published. 

You're welcome.

July 22, 2014

The New Cabin Deck

Up at the lake progress is going relatively quick, but those of you who are long term readers (thanks!) you'll know that for me, even ahead of schedule isn't quick enough. You may recall that we've been making some major changes to our cabin up north in order to accommodate a third bedroom and build a new door.  Here's a reminder of the before and after plan.

<--Before   After-->
We succeeded in creating the third bedroom and installing the new door as our new entry.  Inside the entry is looking pretty good, thanks to the entryway bench I built

But although I love the new, centered and symmetrical door on the exterior, it still needs a bunch of work.

For the time being, we've stacked some cinder-blocks and big slabs of granite that we found behind the garage and are using them as steps.  Yes, you heard me correctly, our cabin is located near an area of Minnesota that they call Granite City, and granite is so plentiful that you can find it everywhere.  Park benches, little league field concessions counters, and in a pile out behind your garage.  

While these "fancy" steps help us get in and out right now, they are only a temporary solution.  The next big project is to add onto the existing deck, curving around the side of the house and adding an additional set of steps up to our new front door.

So we began the deck project.  The plan was supposed to be simple.  Remove the decking from the top of the existing deck, add the posts and joists for the expansion, and then install new decking over the full new deck. 
But things never go as planned, and when we took up the old deck boards, we found this:


Rotten boards, eaten apart by 1" long, man eating carpenter ants.  
 These joist definitely wouldn't be safe to support our new decking


But what's worse, is that the damage also against the ledger board of the cabin.  Which means those little jerks were eating into our home. 

This, my parent's dog Winnie can confirm, was really bad news. Ruh-roh.

So instead of quickly removing the top, creating the addition and redecking the whole thing, we entered operation tear the whole deck down, eradicate the ants and fix the exterior of the cabin. 

Helloooo project delays. 

But if I'm thinking positively I can say at least we did have this plan and remove the deck.  If we hadn't, the ants may have continued to eat into our cabin until they ruined the foundation.  Now that, that would have been really bad. 

So here's to the terrible DIY discoveries, that could have been much worse.  Cheers friends.