best of 2009: big project

i hope that everyone had a great christmas! we drove to columbus last saturday and stayed a week. it was a very busy week but it was so nice to see everyone and we had a great time. i have some pictures of the family and fun, i will post those after i unpack my camera cord. based on how little i unpacked last night, it could be a while... the cats are enjoying playing in the pile of boxes and bags that are in our entryway though.

with only 4 days left in 2009, i thought this would be a good time to highlight some of my favorite house projects from the past year. plus the blog has been lacking house posts lately and i thought it would be nice to do a follow up on some of our projects. i'm hoping to do one post a day for the next 4 days - starting with my favorite big project.

looking through the blog archives, i think we have only done 2 larger projects in 2009 - refinishing the floors upstairs and some landscaping/grass planting in the backyard. based on those 2 choices, i'm going to have to go with... favorite big project of 2009 - the floors!

we started and completed the floor project in feb. this is the only project that we (so far) have hired out. we debated trying to diy the floors but after reading so many horror stories online, we decided to call in a professional. we interviewed i think 5 different people and picked the one that ended up being not only the cheapest, but also came with the best recommendations. we did all of the prep work ourselves to save some $$ - starting with removing the carpet right after we moved in and removing all of the staples.
the office was the worst before - it had glued down yellow carpet pad that had turned to dust over the years. this was as clean as we could get it after hours of scraping.
office during...
and office floors after. we went with no stain - just 3 layers of poly. it really brought out the beautiful wood and i think it looked the best with the darker stained woodwork.
den before - it appeared to have some kind of area rug stuck down at some point with super sticky carpet tape, with the outside edge finished a different color. strange.
so pretty! i think the floors look the best in this room just because it gets the most amount of natural light. this is the best picture of the true color of the floors, it is not as orange as it looks in the other pictures.
our room before - lots of paint splatters on the floor.
and our room after. we decided to repaint the room and to paint the baseboards white before moving the furniture back in. our room is missing all of the door moldings and these baseboards were not original and actually very red in person. it looks a lot better now.
it's been about 10 months since this project and i have to say that i have no complaints at all. even with our dogs walking around i haven't noticed any scratches in the finish. the color has stayed the same (some people have complained that the finish turns a yellow/orange color after a while when using just poly). i am so glad that we brought someone in to help us with this. if anyone in the stl area is looking for a floor guy, let me know! once the floors were done, we were able to focus on painting and completing rooms upstairs. we're getting there...

as for our other big project - it didn't turn out as well. this was our yard before:

and the during / after. i'm very happy with how the flower beds turned out, but i think we may have made some bad choices in the plants that we picked. luckily the worst seemed to be the marigolds, so i think i'll just try to pick something smaller and more low to the ground next year and see if that helps. the scrubs we planted didn't hardly grow at all because the marigolds basically took over the entire bed. also, the 2 weigela that we planted on either side of the stairs grew a lot taller, but did not fill in and seemed to be half dead at the bottom. i'll see what they look like next year, but we might need to replace those too. and the grass? yeah... we had some grass for a little while, but it started to die again in the same area later in the summer. overall the grass looks better than when we first moved in, but it still needs a lot of work. luckily mike seems to have taken an interested in the landscaping and doesn't seem to mind researching these things. i really just like to plant flowers and i'm good about watering them... but that's about it.

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6 Responses to best of 2009: big project

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I'm tempted to hire out the refinishing of our upstairs floors, but since we know how to do it I can't justify the extra money. It might be worth it to not have to deal with the mess, though. Your floors look amazing, and oil based poly will yellow a little bit, but it only makes the color richer!

Katie said...

after pricing out all of the equipment we'd need to do it ourselves, we found that we really weren't saving that much... but we also had to factor extra rental time for learning how to use everything.

honestly, just having it done in a week made it worth the little extra $$, esp since we were living there!

micah @ the yellow front door said...

Your floors are gorgeous! We want to refinish ours (under carpet) and aren't sure whether to hire someone or try it ourselves.

Mrs. Everlasting said...

Your floors look AMAZING!! I am seriously so impressed with how well they turned out. We also are having trouble with growing grass in the backyard and our plantings in the front garden. We'll be doing a lot of transplanting and new purchases come spring. I can't remember if I told you but we joined the Y and I LOVE IT! I'll be there spinning away tonight :)

Katie said...

mrs everlasting - how is the spin class? it looks so hard but i bet it's a great workout! i'm sure that we'll be there tonight at some point too :-)

micah - i can try to find exact #s for you if you want, but i think we paid just under $2 a sqft for the sanding and refinishing. good luck with whatever you decide!

Dennis and Su said...

Those floors underwent such a huge transformation! Remarkable!


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