Posts Tagged ‘wood’

The Patio Day 1

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Posted by Michael, May 2nd, 2011

Ok, I’m seriously about to change the name of this blog to “Mike’s lil house that could.”  And when I’m on HGTV one day talking about geeky pieces of art, Rebecca will be jealous! :fist in the air:  End rant, I promise.

We knew May would bring our concrete patio, but we just didn’t know exactly when.  After all, New Jersey (Snooki!  What up!) has been getting hit with rainy days so we just kind of penciled the patio in our brain for some time in May.  Our patio design sort of changed from the last time you saw it as we bumped out a corner about 3 or 4 feet to fit a … built in grill and bar.  Oh yeah.

And in order to do the built in, we needed electricty to flow to this area under the concrete patio (for the mini-fridge).  So I spent Saturday digging a hole to run some pipes so that we could eventually route electricity to this location.   It was probably more than just digging since our soil is straight up clay.

But!  Good thing I did begin to run the piping needed, because … We got a phone call at 7pm on Sunday night from the concrete company saying they will be there tomorrow morning to start the patio.  Wait, what?  Woah!

And now it’s today and the company has finished day 1 of the job.  Here are some quality iPhone pictures for you to get an idea of what we’re doing.  Enjoy!

The walkway from the driveway to the patio.  We totally changed what we were doing with this pathway.  I’m not one to do the whole “tune in next time” thing but I’m not even quite sure how to describe what we changed.  So, uh, tune in next time!

Last but not least, the chore I did on Saturday.  There are two pipes there; one for electrical and one for speaker wire.

And finally, for those people who need a video tour to get an idea of a space, we have a video tour!

Back to the Drawing Board

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Posted by Rebecca, April 7th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I headed to Ikea to check out the Arholma outdoor collection we were thinking of as an inexpensive alternative to my beloved Crate & Barrel set. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling it.

That’s my sad face. Not to be confused with my some dude is circling this couch as I’m trying to pose for a picture for my blog and I feel totally weird about it, face. It’s just very low, the cushions are meh and I just wasn’t feeling the material. I wanted to like because it was affordable, but I don’t even think adding throw pillows would make me like it. I think it would be good for a small patio/city balcony area, but I think the scale would have been off for us.

After this, I figured we’d have to suck it up and go with the West Elm set.

We stopped in there this past weekend to see if they had their outdoor furniture displayed yet. They didn’t, but said they would have it in a few weeks. They asked me what I was looking for and when I said the Wood Slat collection, they told me they had a lounger in the corner I could look at to get an idea. I excitedly ran over only to realize I had walked by it minutes before, but I didn’t notice that it was what I was looking for because it looked black. I really want a nice wood tone to go with our upcoming stamped concrete patio. Whaaaamp whaaaamp #2.

So I was back to the drawing board. Then our friend Robin informed me that Pier 1 had a set similar to the Crate & Barrel/Ikea one.

We also went to look it and though it was still low, it was a step up in quality from the Ikea set and could work. But the table only sat 4 people so we’d still have to find one of those.

I’m feeling a little defeated at this point and I think I’ve lost track a little bit of what we want. Though I love the Crate & Barrel Ventura set, I think I need to stop trying to replicate it and just find something else that I like. So I revisited some sites with zero expectations, as if I was starting from the beginning. I was strangely attracted to the Target Belmont Collection, even though I have seen it and even posted this picture before.

I’m still not in love with this conversation set, but I think it may just be how the picture is staged. I looked at some of the other pieces and I really like them.

I think I wasn’t sold on this furniture the first time around because of a) the conversation set looks a little awkward to me in that first picture and b) the color of the cushions. But before I wanted a West Elm white and navy look, I wanted a bright color. I figure I can still do white and navy throw pillows since the striped pillows pictured here are not included. All of the items in this collection ship for free, except for the armless chair. Just an added bonus to think about…

As I told Mike yesterday, the last thing I want to be picky about is the color of cushions. An affordable price and a good shape/base are much more important to me. I think getting a bold color could be a fun challenge to work with. Margarita green anyone? 🙂

The “New” Floors Are Done!

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Posted by Michael, February 3rd, 2011

It’s deja vu all over again.

Ok, it was a bit more funny when Yogi said it (Go Yanks!).  It seems like just yesterday we walked into a brand new house with brand new hardwood floors.  Wide planks, dark cherry color — we were in heaven.  But unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst.  Boards started to chip, some started to “creak,” “crack,” and “pop,” and some just decided to no longer stay flush against the subfloor.  Fortunately for us, the builder was willing to rip everything up and install new flooring.

They started on the area that used to push up and against the wall.  If this incline had some more time, it’d be a skateboard ramp for Macky.

And before we knew it, the wood just started to pile up.

After some hours coding away in the office, I came out to discover a good portion of the new floors were already installed!

Here is a good shot from the formal living room looking into the entry way.  Please ignore the the room covered in plastic — that is my office and you can’t see it until the master reveal!  I’m kidding, there was dust flying everywhere, the contractors felt bad for me while I was working.

Not quite kid tested, but…

And finally, some shots of the completed floors.  Almost as if nothing ever occured these last few days.

The install wasn’t too bad.  A bit of dust here and there and some scuff marks on some of our molding.  The builder is sending in a cleaning crew tomorrow to, well, clean and also a painter to touch up some of the molding.  Good stuff.  I’m hoping everything works out with these floors; they already feel and look better compared to the previous floors.  I am, however, a bit concerned about the previous floors.  Where will they go?  Will they sit in a landfill for the next X hundred years or can they be used/recycled?  I’m hoping to get some of these answers tomorrow morning when the builder stops over.

hello there, “project”

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Posted by Michael, January 24th, 2011

We are about to embark on a rather large “project.”  And by “project” and we, I really mean they (the builders) are ripping up our existing hardwood floors and laying down new wood.

Earlier today, the builder dropped off several large boxes of wood flooring and it is currently sitting in our living room.  It’s enough hardwood to replace our entire downstairs.  I know, I know, we just moved into a new house with new floors, how could this be?  Well, pick your jaw up off the floor and I’ll tell you.

During the first few weeks of living here, we noticed some areas of the wood floors “popped” and “cracked” while we were walking.  We shrugged it off thinking it was just the wood settling into place.  Several weeks went by and it started getting worse.  A lot worse.  And then we noticed the floor was slightly raised towards the front of our living room.  You can slightly see the wood slanting and pushing towards the wall in the photo below.  This rise in the floor also exists in our dining room.

On top of the bulging up at the walls, the floors also didn’t lay complete flat.  As time went on, they began to bulge and “ripple” throughout in various locations.  You can kind of see a “ripple” in the photo below.


Oh but it gets worse.  Every which way, little cracks and chips started to appear.  Before we knew it, we had several of these guys.


And finally, planks started to pull apart from one another.  We have quite a few of these “gaps” downstairs.  I understand hardwood can swell, contract and what not, but these are now permanent.  These gaps aren’t a result of humidity or anything like that.

Growing tired of our new floors acting as if they’re hundreds of years old, we filed a complaint with our builder.  They came out to check everything out and confirmed everything we were experiencing.  A few days later, a floor company was sent out to further inspect.

As we met with the floor company, they explained the humidity was a bit high in our house and the builder should have installed a dehumidifier in our basement or at least told us to do so.  To them, our issues were a direct result of the humidity.  They explained they could fix our bulging floors and our popping wood planks by driving some hundred tiny nails in various locations.  They proceeded to do so and for a few days, all was well with our floors.  We also immediately purchased a dehumidifier and proceeded to run that puppy 24/7.

And then they started to pop.  And then bulge.  And our issue was alive again.  We filed another complaint with the builder and they asked if they could put an industrial sized dehumidifier in our basement to see if that would resolve anything.  We said sure and for three weeks, we heard an annoying humming noise coming from the basement.  And you know what happened after three weeks?  Absolutely nothing.  Looking back, we had a much larger issue than just the humidity.  This was a bad install job with bad flooring.

At this point, I’m ready to start war.  In my head, I’m drafting letters and going over what I’m going to say to the builder.  When the builder came to pick up the industrial sized dehumidifier, my heart was pounding and I was incredibly nervous over how the “I want new floors” conversation would work out.

Much to my surprise, the builder informed us that they’ll be working everything out to have new floors delivered and installed for us completely under warranty.

Later next week, we’ll have a company ripping up our floors and installing new hardwood.  While we’re happy these issues will be completely resolved (cross your fingers), we’re not exactly looking forward to the mess this will create nor the stress it will cause our precious Macky (we’re pretty sure he suffers from stress induced seizures).

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