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Day 9: 40 Square Feet of Floor!

[This is part of an ongoing series chronicling our one and half week attempt to finish a handful of moderately involved home improvement projects.  See the whole series here.]

I’ll be brief today, as there’s lota lot to do on our second-to-last day before returning to our day jobs.

partial floor

first 40 SF!

Our goal yesterday was to finish the floor, but there was some staining & painting we wanted to do before we started.  We didn’t end up getting going on the floor until after lunch, and then made reasonably quick work of getting the underlayment in place.  It took us a while to get the hang of the tongue-and-groove connectors our laminate flooring system uses, but once we did that and got our system for cutting the planks down things moved pretty well.  We proudly cut around our first obstacle (or “obsticle”, as the atrociously edited instructions say) — a floor vent — and started moving toward our first corner, beyond which was a longer run into the front hall.

And that’s when the need to undercut the doors became very clear.  It all makes sense in retrospect (as things generally do), and a door or two isn’t a big deal.  Inside of one ~9 square foot area in between our bathroom and pantry, though, there are twenty door jambs and/or equivalent pieces of moulding that need to be undercut.  And they’re not pine.  And they’ve been in place for probably the life of the house (~100 yrs).  And the subfloor that we left in place is obscuring access to the bottom of the part I need to cut out.

It quickly became clear that we weren’t going to finish the floor last night, but I still wanted to get a sense of what would be involved in addressing this.  I started working on the first door with a dovetail saw and a chisel, and after maybe 2 hours had the first 4 frames done.

dremel multi-maxAnyway, I’ve just now returned from Home Depot, and the Dremel Multi-Max oscillating tool has joined the heat gun and belt sander in the “tools we bought that will be nice to have and still didn’t cost nearly as much as installation services would have” list.  It should make this a whole lot easier, and I’m excited to get back to it and finish the floor.

While I was sawing, sawing, sawing on the door jambs, Amy took the first few baby steps in putting our construction zone, er, house back together.  After all, we do have kids returning imminently.

We had an artist of the day yesterday instead of an album:   The Mendoza Line.  We were listening to our existing collection, which we played for weeks while fixing up our first house (2 houses ago) right before we sold it.  I love the music, and it’s a nice juxtaposition of memory, as part of our motive in doing this work now was to actually live in the house after we improve it, rather than improve it because we’re moving, as has been our pattern.

Today, the floor.