Friday, August 10th, 2012...12:02 pm

Remodel: Week 13

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I left for BlogHer right after I posted the last remodel update. When I left, we still had no sheetrock, were living in the bedrooms only. I was away all weekend and Ken took time away from house projects to take on full time dad duty. He sent me pictures of himself looking exhausted (he won’t let me post them) and texts that cracked me up.

When I got back to Austin, even though we were still relegated to living in the bedroom space, even though Ken hadn’t eaten much and he had tired himself and the kids out with some high level dad fun, we had walls! We had sheetrock hung! And it looked pretty amazing.

And then I went back to work.

Since I wasn’t hanging out here all day, Ken began the great concrete debate of 2012 over email. I sat at work on Monday and I opened this:

Hello Sarah,
I’m still a bit confused on what to do with the floors, so i looked again for photos and found a technique that may be good for us? I don’t know though, it may be too cool for us?
Instead of resurfacing with a skim coat, they just “polish” what you have. All the cracks, and blemishes come through. They add some type of sealer as they grind that soaks in, so you don’t need a top coat. All the character shows. The patches for the carpet tack strip divots will show. The big trench will show. The old tile patterns will show.
- durable
- high character
- easy to clean/maintain
- cost? not sure how much this costs, probably a good bit, but the skim coat materials were going to be a grand and labor was going to be big.
- fun—it’s not adding color, but character is fun, can we embrace the story the floor tells? “here was where the wall was”, “this was covered in asbestos laden mastic”, “this is where they original owner put down tile”
- I think this random finish would allow us to be eclectic, as in, if we want too, go ahead and put marmoleum in the kitchen, and maybe retile the entry with bright red penny tile or something like that?
- this is a job to hire out, meaning it gets done while I work
- don’t have to worry about future patches, just polish them in
- I think the front entry tile area will need the tile chipped out and new concrete poured, and we can, if we want, embed things in that concrete, like sparkles of quarts or some shit like that.
- You can still stain, score the concrete, so we could do the kitchen or borders in a different color, maybe just a bit of black to darken it up in some areas?
- Is this the character equivelant of our old houses shitty oak strip flooring?
- I would think this is an easy process to blend other rooms into, so maybe we hire the polisher to come back after we do the bedrooms and bathrooms, and the whole house will match?
- might not look good?
- when we go to central market it will look like we are at home
- I have a hard time working with materials with character like this, but maybe I should try harder
- cost? not sure how much this costs
- Will the country exterior be cool enough that when folks walk into the interior they are not shocked at how modern it is? Will they say, when are you putting flooring in?
- I think normally this flooring would have big vaulted spaces with tall windows? Do we have enough light?
To which I replied:

Yes to all the cons. That is what I’m worried about.I don’t want the trench to show. Too ugly. The floors in the photos aren’t that messed up. And it doesn’t look “fun” to me. It looks lazy.

Marmoleum is fun. Maybe we do a checkered pattern on the concrete int he kitchen?

I like penny tile. It is fun.

So is red.

And then Ken replied:
well, then were back to floating it out.
I was thinking that the floating ads a bit of thicknes, and you can ramp up to a threshold a bit. So I was thinking this:
- Kitchen, marmoleum glue down tile
- Kitchen to Living Area transition/threshold made of 6″ wide, 3/16″ thick, raw steel. with exposed screw heads holding it to the floor.
- Living Area is floated concrete floor, natural gray.
- Entry is penny tile or something “fun” with the same threshold treatment of steel.
And then there were a few more back and forths about bedrooms (concrete with carpet tiles a la FLOR) and techniques and costs and stuff… And then the debate pretty much ended with this (isn’t this fun – reading our email exchange? Like a window into Ken’s amazing home remodel brain?)
So, I called you. hmmm. busy?
I also called Cory, the guy who did the hyde park house. He was super cool. AND he picked up the phone.
He said to have him do 1000 sq ft would be $6500 vs. $1500 for materials if i DIY’d it. I then asked if he ever sold materials, and expertise, and he said basically he’d thought about that before, and said ye’d like to do that, for like, $500, with some phone calls, and some written instructions.
He also said, to the idea of us doing our house in two halves, that he’s doing the same exact thing and he’s not sure if it’s a good idea either! ha ha. He said it is dusty and i’m right on to do it now rather than after tape and float and paint.
After you vent tonight, but before starting blogging, let’s look at Cory’s work, pick a direction, and email him to get it going.
 So we’re meeting with Cory tomorrow to pick a direction. And as I type, Ken and his brother are filling buckets and cleaning our concrete to get it ready for whatever direction we choose. And then we’ll have sheetrock and a pretty floor and maybe even be able to not live in the bedrooms! Yay!

Ken foot mopping

Ian filling buckets

Want the back story?

The Plan

The Preparation

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12

If you are interested in seeing more about what our plans are – how we hope this will take shape, you can follow my remodel board on Pinterest.

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