Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Floors and Door

Today, I am continuing the ongoing efforts on the NewOld house, that farmhouse around the way that Boo bought. Similar to the Creepy Crawl Space, we hired for skill for the floors. So, this post is really just before and after shots. We also replaced the front door. Something that relatively insignificant didn't really warrant it's own post, so I tacked it onto the end of this one.

I regret that I do not have pictures of the floor before we got the house. We saw them and they were scary. Once the place was fully vacated, we could see what we were up against. There were historic pet stains. There was water damage. There were sticky spots, discoloration, kitty litter dust and general filth throughout. So, while Boo was cleaning the kitchen and bathroom for the second time (the first was while I was power-washing the outside), I took a first run at mopping the floors. I found that I was able to rinse the mop two or three times before the water was gray and needing changing. So, I started nearest the water source to shorten my trips. I spent a few hours doing this, and never really got the water to stay mostly clear for more than a few rounds with the mop.

Once the overall mopping appeared to be becoming fruitless, Boo switched to focusing on the worst spots first. This improved the spaces, but, again, there was a lot of floor, and simply getting them cleaner was not going to make them good enough. We needed them to be sanded and clear-coated. This is not a skill I have, nor is it one I want to learn on a floor I intend to see every day. So, we hired the guy who did the floors in the house we're currently in.

Sand and Stain
Thomas and his crew arrived on a Monday. By the middle of the afternoon, all of the quarter round was removed, the plastic was up to seal off the kitchen and half of the floors had already been sanded. It really makes sense to pay for others' expertise on some things, and, in my opinion, this is one of them. They hit the main floors with an upright belt sander, and did the tighter areas by hand. Once sanded, they vacuumed the entire floor and them applied a thin veneer of putty to fill the imperfections and fill the seams between the boards. The next day, the putty was dry, so they hit the floor with a sander again, vacuumed again and then applied a stain. Why a stain? Well, even after sanding there were some stains that just would not come out. Some of the animal waste and water stains were too deep. By using a uniform darker stain, those inconsistencies disappeared. Our current house is very dark in the winter, so we were really hoping to not have dark floors, but the alternative would be an inconsistent "distressed" look which might look interesting, but may not appeal long term.

After letting the stain sit for 2 days, they returned to apply the high gloss clear coat. This is applied with what looks like a long, thin, flat mop. The resulting coating stands up to animal claws, dragged furniture, etc.. all within reason, and has a brilliant shine to it. Boo and I were not thrilled with a darker stain, bit the high gloss may help offset the darkness.

Close the Front Door
When we acquired the house, it was apparent that someone busted the deadbolt on the original / existing front door. The door frame was damaged to the point where a good shove with your shoulder would open the locked door. The existing door was effectively a "contractor grade" door intended to be the door during construction that is later replaced with a fancy door. Back when I painted houses, the reason for this was obvious: we sub-contractors banged into everything, especially if it was nice. It's not like we looked for that stuff, it was just always right in the way.. like the front door. So, one of the last things done before handing the house over to the owners is to hang the fancy front door. Unless they didn't buy one, in which case the construction door remained. Such is the case here. 

Anyway, We hit the Habitat for Humanity rebuilding center and bought a replacement pre-hung used solid wood front door for $65US. It is not perfect in that it does not close perfectly, but it will keep the bad guys out when locked, and it hangs level so it will not swing open or shut without someone moving it. The upper leading corner (the end with the handle, not the hinge) and lower leading corner do not sit all the way into the frame, so we will need some thin foam in the door jam to keep the wind out. Or we may need to fiddle with the middle section so that sits deeper in the frame to help seal the edges. Regardless, it is a much nicer looking door and it locks.

That's it for today. Thanks, as always, for following along-

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