Remodeling My House Before Moving In (Need Home Improvement Advice)

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by dangerouschicken, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    We are buying my parent's old house in Portland. It was built in the 1950's and needs LOTS of updating. The kitchen and bath are completely unuseable as is. It needs flooring in all the main living spaces, bath, and utility room. It also needs a lot more than that done, but these are the crucial things that have to be fixed before moving it. I have 4 months to do it.

    Here are some projects I want to undertake myself. I have been reading quite a bit about how to do home improvement, but I am interested in knowing your personal experience with the following projects:

    -- floating engineered wood floors over a concrete foundation (click lock flooring)

    -- removing popcorn (aka cottage cheese) from ceilings

    -- gutting a kitchen and bathroom

    Any suggestions or stories greatly appreciated!
     
  2. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    Another thought, are engineered wood floors worth the investment?
     
  3. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    Been there done that! and actually still doing it [​IMG]. I have a little experience with all of this.

    floating engineered wood floors over a concrete foundation (click lock flooring) We used the engineered flooring in our kitchen in both our home and my mothers. Mine is not on a concrete slab But my mothers is on a concrete slab and has done beautifully. You definitley want to use the barrier that is required and you will want a high grade (thick) flooring. Also invest in the correct tools and knee pads. It will make the job go much easier and faster.

    -- removing popcorn (aka cottage cheese) from ceilings. I ended up just ripping down the ceiling (sheetrock) ours was a cheap, thin sheetrock so we ripped down the whole thing and put up new.

    -- gutting a kitchen and bathroom. Just finished the kitchen. I think this was our best project so far. I wanted new cabinets, appliances, counters, and flooring. I was able to talk our home improvement store into discounting a couple of broken cabinets. I was able to repair the broken drawers and finish them myself so the cost was lower. I also saved by having them order my counter top. I had the bar style ordered (it doesnt have the lip, or backsplash on the back. I found it easier to install, I got a designer color and I didnt need the back splash since I was going to tile it. It saved me about 30 bucks. I also talked the price down on the appliances that were on sale by asking if 1. I got a discount if I bought multiple appliances. 2. If I purchased their floor model (who cares if theres a scratch on the side if its going to be up against a wall). and 3. asked if they did veterans discounts (husband served in the army). Cant hurt to ask especially in this economy.

    You can also save buy looking at the home improvement stores clearance section. I bought great tile for my backsplash and found a faucet fixture that was on sale. Oh yeah if you go to your post office they have moving packets, there are always discouint coupons for home improvement stores in them (Lowes 10% off). I'm still working on the bathroom [​IMG] I'll post pics if I get a chance.
     
  4. FrChuckW

    FrChuckW Father to all, Dad to none

    Sep 7, 2008
    Louisville, KY
  5. tomcio

    tomcio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As the previous poster, I also just 'finished' renovations.... They never end do they?

    Here is what I would suggest

    -- floating engineered wood floors over a concrete foundation (click lock flooring)

    It may be cheaper to begin with, but keep it mind it is a lot less durable than real hardwood and most types of engineered flooring will not be re-finishable. Spring for hardwood if you can. You'll be glad you did.

    -- removing popcorn (aka cottage cheese) from ceilings

    Just rip down the ceiling, drywall and all. That will allow you to inspect the roof/joists and maybe re-insulate if needed as well as provide you with smooth surface to paint. You will never be able to just scrape off popcorn (it's paint mixed with paper mache which binds to the paper cover on the sheet rock).

    -- gutting a kitchen and bathroom

    This is very time consuming. if you go for pre-engineered cup-boards, I'd set aside at least 2 weeks for the bathroom (tiles, floor & vanities) and about 3-4 weeks for the kitchen.

    What I found the most annoying is how much the demo drags on. I.e. trying not to destroy walls while removing cabinetry, or chiseling out tile backsplash. It's messy and grueling.

    Any suggestions or stories greatly appreciated!

    If you are do-it-yourselfer, be prepared to spend ~15-20k on the update (I am basing this on ~2000sq.ft. home and moderately priced materials). I couldn't tell you how much extra labor would be. I'd also assume 3-4hrs during weekdays, 6-10hrs per weekend day to accomplish this within 3 or so months (You'll need time to relax and sometimes things have to dry too :) ).

    Ah. If you are looking for cheaper cabinet hardware try leevalley.com they have a huge assortment reasonably priced! I'd say I spent 1/4 of what it would cost at Home Depot for similar hardware.
     
  6. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    Thanks for the many suggestions! I am fairly sure the popcorn will come off with water and scraping. It hasn't been painted, and basically falls off when you touch it already. I will just plastic cover the walls and floor, spray, let soak, scrape, let dry, and then sand and paint. I am confident I can do this after researching it today.

    http://www.diy.com is becoming my favorite place to hang out. Sorry BYC [​IMG]

    I can't do real wood because of the concrete foundation. Nothing to nail the boards into. The floating floor has been scrapped as I am not sold on the durability. Laminate is out of the question, as we have it now, and the top layer starts to rub away after a few years of wear. Not okay with me. May end up going with high end vinyl as I live in the moist armpit of America... OREGON! [​IMG]

    Demo will be a trip. I am not worrying too much about damage. There are not many cabinets or tiling to remove. I think the bathroom will be a nightmare, though. Giant gross tub!

    Thanks again for the insight. You guys rock [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  7. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Instead of covering the concrete, have you thought about a really pretty paint treatment? I've seen some stained concrete that is gorgeous. That way you wouldn't have to worry about moisture under anything. Enough throw rugs would soften the floor and clean up would be a breeze! Plus, I don't think the cost is all that much. If you have any faux painting ability you might be able to do it yourself.

    I have redone both a bathroom and a kitchen (partially). Just plan on it taking about three times as long as you think it will and know that it will cost about twice as much. Plan for an alternate bathroom and/or kitchen as well. My weekend remodel turned into four weeks with no water in the kitchen. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
  8. fosterchick

    fosterchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can't do real wood because of the concrete foundation. Nothing to nail the boards into.

    You can nail into concrete. We made a basment into a finished room. We had to rent a nail gun that took some kind of blank bullets to dive the nails into the concrete.

    I am in the middle of doing a bathroom. I stripped it down to the studs. I have been doing it myself and it has taken me longer the expected because of things that we found by stripping it. So always expect the unexpected.

    Good Luck
     
  9. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    My mom had all the popcorn scraped off and it turned out great, no need to tear down the drywall. I think some retexturizing had to be done but that wasnt difficult. Her ceilings look great and it sure modernizes a place.

    Good luck with all your remodeling!


    Nancy
     
  10. tomcio

    tomcio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am actually helping a friend of mine install hardwood over concrete later on this spring. There is a couple types that will work with concrete. You don't nail them, you glue them down.

    I can ask my flooring guy for the types if you wish.

    Good luck. And remember, crowbars fly back if a nail head breaks (and make nice scars on your face when you whack yourself [​IMG] ). Yea, first hand experience.

    Tom
     

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