Home Improvement Update…Sort Of…

I had such big plans for this week. I knew we would be in a lull between big home improvement tasks and I thought I would have time for some crafting, but it hasn’t happened yet. Let me tell you what has. Fair warning, there are lots of ups and downs!

We finally found the hinges we need…we think. Local sources, including the specialty cabinet shops and woodworking stores, don’t carry what we need so Jay started scouring online forums and researching replacement options using the patent number of our old cabinet hinges. (I didn’t realize one could find those numbers on old hinges, but he did it!) We were getting discouraged because the few replacements he was finding were incredibly expensive, but he persevered and finally found what we think we need at a very reasonable price.

We were happy but only cautiously optimistic since we had to order online without being able to able to physically compare a new sample to our old hinges. Then we received an email that our new hinges were back ordered and the company couldn’t tell us when they’d be available. *cue dramatic music* We debated canceling our order and getting some of the expensive hinges, but knowing we could work on the back splash with or without installed cabinet doors, we decided to give it some time. The company got back to us the next day and said the hinges should ship in about a week, and then a couple of days after that with the glorious news that our hinges have shipped! *cue fanfare*

We purchased this larger piece of sample tile to bring home for a color check before buying all of the tile for our project. Then we took it back and purchased the tile for our project. | A Chat Over Coffee

We purchased this larger piece of sample tile to bring home for a color check before buying all of the tile for our project. Then we took the sample back and purchased the tile for our project. | A Chat Over Coffee

Speaking of the back splash, we purchased the tile. The back splash will go above about 22 linear feet of work space, so it was quite a bit of tile and a big chunk of our budget. We brought the tile home, held it up to the old counter (that we’re keeping) and the brand-new wall and cabinet paints and decided we’d made a great choice. But since then we’ve run into some problems with the wall surface on which the tile will be installed. We have a couple of friends who know more about this than we do and are getting their opinions before we proceed. We really want to make sure we have a solid installation, so we’re going to get this right before we install the tile.

Meanwhile, Jay started ripping up the living room carpet around the edges so we could paint molding/moulding. We had been told there was hardwood beneath it and assumed it was the same as we had in all of the bedrooms. Imagine our surprise when Jay uncovered parquet flooring!

We were surprised to find parquet floors hidden under our old living room carpet! Now we'll have to figure out what to do with them. | A Chat Over Coffee

We were surprised to find parquet floors hidden under our old living room carpet! Now we’ll have to figure out what to do with them. | A Chat Over Coffee

This was a nice surprise, but refinishing the floor will take time and money that weren’t in our original plan. Additional investigation also revealed some places in the floor that will require remediation. We’d love to refinish the parquet in a darker stain to match the new laminate we’re putting in the kitchen, but we need to make sure that’s feasible.

This is a sample of the floor we've purchased for our kitchen. We would like to refinish the parquet to match it if we can. | A Chat Over Coffee

This is a sample of the floor we’ve purchased for our kitchen. We would like to refinish the parquet to match it if we can. | A Chat Over Coffee

Besides running around looking at hinges and tile and tearing up carpet, we also did some work on the back splash surface, painted the powder room vanity, and painted some molding and doors in the powder room and kitchen. None of the changes this week were as dramatic as painting the fireplace but I know these little details will pay off when we’re finished.

Since we had a slower schedule working on the house I had hoped to do some crafting and prepare a tutorial to share, but instead I spent time working on paperwork for my daughter’s dual enrollment classes, cooking hearty meals while I had access to the stove and oven (including an apple crisp one evening for dessert!), and doing volunteer work for the church. We also had some unexpected things happen in the lives of church members that took priority.

My point in sharing all of this is to point out that even the best-laid home improvement plans can be delayed or totally changed by unexpected discoveries or supply sourcing surprises. If you’re considering an update for your house, be sure to plan and budget for the materials and supplies, then add more margin than you think you’ll need to cover the surprises. There’s some truth to the old saying that, “It’s not a problem if money can fix it,” and money certainly can pay for help or supplies you didn’t know you’d need.

I’ve been sharing project highlights and totally unrelated “fun” things on my Facebook page and Twitter feed since that’s a way I can post short updates and snapshots quickly and easily. I’d love to have you join me there and maybe give me some real-time advice if you’ve been in any of the situations I’m encountering!

And if you missed the Quick & Creamy Fruit Salad recipe I shared, please take a look. We’ve been enjoying it as a simple-to-make, stash-in-the-fridge side for our project work day meals.

Do you have a story about a home improvement surprise?

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5 responses to “Home Improvement Update…Sort Of…

  1. What a pretty floor you discovered. I personally hope you keep it lighter. If you’d like it darker my husband recommends you sand it, stain with a darker stain, then sand again. The dark stain will stay in the grain and the crevices. Then seal. But you’ll still have lovely warm toned wood with contrasting light and dark.

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    • Hi, I went through the same thing and uncovered these parquet flooring. However, mine are not as clean as your and instead have black sealants coming through (called beecham apparently).

      I am considering ripping them up to replace with new flooring unless anyone has a good idea of how I can fix it.

      Help please…

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      • Oh, how disappointing! Jay had to re-glue some of ours but it’s usable now. I don’t know what we would have done in your situation. Would sanding & refinishing the floor remove the sealants from the surface or would it continue to come through? Please let me know if you find a solution.

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  2. Pingback: Easy Black Bean Dip | A Chat Over Coffee·

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