Saturday, April 28, 2012

Uh...about that Kitchenaid

I know I SWORE I would get a green one.  100% for certain.  Yup, a shiny new green Kitchenaid would be mine.

Well, that was before I came across a 4C locally for $30.  Yeah, it's white-but it also has CHROME.  And about as full of old grease as the stove.  But I brought this WORKING beauty home for $25 and an hour drive.  It will look awesome with our Floyd Wells stove and our old Silex blender.

I will post the after cleaning pics..well, after I get it all cleaned up!  Just like the stove, it will be elbow grease and vinegar.  Maybe a soft toothbush.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So, about the floor...

I mused more on the idea of a pallet floor yesterday.  The main problems being: collecting enough pallets to actually generate the needed amount of planks, the taking apart of all of those pallets, and most importantly the fact that most won't be an equal thinkness requiring planing and sanding as well as getting them all to stay put (since they won't be tongue and groove).  I'm not sure face nailing will keep the planks from cupping up in areas where the dog (or the people) might bring in more water on their feet.

So I got to thinking about inexpensive white pine floors.  The problem is, they would look  I know they wouldn't stay "perfect" looking long, since pine is so soft, but they would have that light pine color that just wouldn't match the Cottage and might look weird with the ceiling in the living room.

And then I researched old fashioned stains.  I alread figured on using linseed or tung (or a mix of them) oil as a sealer.  So I wanted a similarly toxin free option to make my new floors look old (er).  After looking about, I found this blog about coffee staining and distressing: with this final photo as the result (ok, so it's not a floor, but same idea)

Not bad, huh?  I also know that iron can leave darker stains (think of old nails in wood) so I am thinking of doing a base coffee stain with bits of iron left on it to darken some areas-or just put some steel wool in vinegar and brush it on after letting it sit.

The flooring might not be settled, but one thing is for sure, when it is, it will be unique and it won't look new or perfect!  Exactly how we like it here at the Eclectic Cottage.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flooring frustrations

So, you've seen the livingroom remodel, and it's pretty obvious we are going to need a a new floor in there.  After all, it wasn't like we could save what was there, lol.  Well, aside from the bathroom, the rest of the Cottage could really use a new floor also.  There's lumpy/dippy spots where it's carpeted and we are pretty sure that's from water damage and possible rot from it (from back when the pipes burst before we bought it).  Then there's the flexible parts in the kitchen, and we think that might have been from an older fridge (remember those early self defrosters that tended to leak water out of the trays?  We're thinking that was the culprit there).  So basically, everywhere but one tiny room needs a new floor. 

Here's the thing.  We don't want to spend thousands of dollars on hardwood, carpet gets to dirty and linoleum...well, enough said. 

I've been hunting and hunting salvaged floors, but it seems that's the in thing, especially nice worn ones like you'd find in a barn that was being dismantled.  So those are in high demand and are commanding more cashola than we want to spend.

But I think I might have hit on the solution.  It's going to take time, effort and scavanging skills.  And I'm not entirely sure it will work.  But it will be cheap!  Er...inexpensive.  Uh, eclectic even.  I think we are going to try to find old bricks to put under the stove, and so the rest in...wait for it...

pallet planks.  Yup.  Pallet wood.  We're going to need to scavange a LOT of them, as well as painstakingly remove the planks from the framing.  And figure out how to adhere them to the subfloor as well as nail them down most likely.  And probably sand them to prevent splinters.  I had already wanted to finish our floors with tung or linseed oil, so that part is covered.  Hopefully the adhering and or nailing won't be too cost prohibitive.

I found these pics when searching the idea online, so I guess it isn't entirely original...

We will have to be careful to be sure it doesn't end up "lumpy" like this though, I see a lot of stubbed toes and tripping here:

I don't like the pattern, but I am in LOVE with the worn, homey feeling of this floor.  Reminds me of a barnwood floor:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Stove...Part II

Well, we decided it was time to get the stove in.  So, here's the rest of the story (well, mostly anyway, I still have to clean the oven, broiler and storage and get the oven and broiler working)!

I still needed to clean inside of the stove, where the gas lines and burners are.  This is what I had to work with (the burners/plumbing is out in this photo, as are the crumb trays)-the round "thing" in the middle is for the pilot:

This was the main tool, a scraper.  I scraped the layers of grease with it and created the pile of grease you see in the photo above.

After that, I sprayed everything down with vinegar and a 7th generation cleaner and used a brillo pad to scrub the rest of the grease off.  Then I wiped it all out with a towel.  Which left me with this:

Now we also had to get it working.  Originally, it was used on natural gas.  We don't have natural gas.  We have propane.  So, that meant we needed to figure out how to change it over.  Online research lead me to believe we needed to change the orifices.  Then I found a company selling a valve they said would eliminate the need to change the orifices.  I was confused.  Honestly, I didn't know what an orifice was or where to locate it.  This was a problem.

So, I turned to the forum that helped us learn a bit about our lovely Lopi,  And thanks to Daksy and Coaly I learned a LOT about my little stove's inner workings.

Turns out we have adjustable orifices!  We still need to get the oven and broiler working.  The pics below where taken before I finished cleaning.

This is the needle inside of the cap:

If you look at this photo, the needle with the cap off is on the right side towards the middle.  Above and a bit to the left is the adjustable orifice with the cap on.  Up above and a little more to the left with the screw on the top is an adjustment for the pilot light, and below that is oven control.

We spent a bit of time tweeking the amount of gas coming in through the orifices.  We have one perfect and the other three still need a bit of adjustment.  We also had to adjust the amount of air coming through the air flaps to get rid of the yellow in the flames.  These were easy to find, they looked like air flaps.  They are located on the tubes that feed the burners:

And now we have this:

We also hung some of our cast iron on the wall, since we have less storage space in the new stove.

Of course, your stove might vary!  This is just how WE got our new old stove in, we certainly aren't professionals and my little blog is just here to document our stove install (and of course all the other fun stuff we do here at the Cottage).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Random stuff...

Ok, here's a mix of a few things we've got going on.

First, we have the stove in place.  It is not hooked up yet, but it's there.  We need to change the orifices and clean more inside of it.  Here it is:

And now back to the living room.  This is the ugly window install I mentioned.

Check out the drop on this side, this is closed and latched shut:

These are the studs above it, note the lovely angles they are cut at.  Lots of support here:

This lovely stud is BELOW the window.  Nice huh?

That wall is on the project list for this coming summer.

And this has been keeping busy this past week, we got these lovely plants (hosta, lily and peony) from a gardener splitting some overcrowded beds:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Living Room, Part III, The Rebuild

So now you've seen the ugly truth hiding below the's time to see what all that demo led to!

Once we had all the joists out, we cleaned all the debris off the dirt and replaced the sills:

Then it was on to new joists with vapor barrier below on the dirt:

We insulated between the joists so the floor wouldn't be so cold:

And layed new subfloor on top:

Now we had to deal with the ceiling.  It was covered in popcorn, there were several light fixtures we were removing and replacing, and the biggest problems of all-the ceiling was different where the closets were and there was a hole down the center where a faux beam had been.

This is the ceiling:

We had some choices.  Try to repair it, rip it all out, or leave it and cover it up.  We originally tried to cover it with 4x8 sheets of beadboard from the home store.  We got two pieces up and decided it looked awful. Then we talked about drywall, but thought it would look off in the room.  So we went with a product we've worked with before in our old house, tongue and groove pine planks.

By now, you're seeing the white washed paneling in the photos.  It's the same paneling, just sanded and white washed with Minwax Whitewash Pickling stain.  We DIDN'T follow the directions, which is why it has the vintage-y worn look.  We brushed it on, let it sit for 10-20 minutes then wiped it off with a towel.  It dried in some places and not in others, giving it that worn barnwood look.  It has to be done carefully, you don't have to use pressue when wiping the stain off, just let the towel run over the boards.

And now, the more recent "now" photos from the left corner to the right:

Next up, information on the cool stuff you're seeing in the now pictures, and the "what were they thinking" photos of the "framing" of the window you see in the last image.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Living Room Part II, Demo

The very first thing we did was to work on removing the stone surround and old Fisher stove in the corner.  It actually took much less time than expected, and we were surprised to find round feet on the Fisher-they had mortered them right into the pad. (we have since sold the Fisher and it is now heating a house in PA)

The stove is out, and you can see the copper piping from the old heating system running along the wall and over the window even better in this photo:

We moved the stove to the center of the back wall to get an idea of what it would look like when we got the Lopi in.  Truthfully, looking back, this is a poor replication since the windows were replaced and the walls white washed.

With that done, we decided to remove the tile, since it obviously didn't continue under the hearth pad.  At this point, we didn't realize quite what we were getting into.  We also removed the radiators and copper tubing because the pipes were full of "blow outs" (holes from water freezing, due to improperly winterizing them).  We hadn't decided yet that we wouldn't be replacing them.  Additionally, we removed all of the paneling on the back wall to make it easier to frame in the sliding glass doors.

Here you can see where the closet had been (the white painted portion).  While it was great to have a closet in the bedroom, it was small and really closed in the living room.

And we found this hole in the subfloor from what appeared to be water damage.  This was where the broken tiles leading from the "original" portion of the cottage into the living room were.

And that led to this-we decided to just rip out all the subfloor and replace it:

And we also found this-there USED to be a sill plate there somewhere,which meant we were going to need to rebuild a sill plate:

You can see how rotted the floor joists were-they would all be replaced as well:

This is the corner where the first pics in the last post were taken, through the hole in the foundation:

That's the demo work.  We were left with four walls and a foundation (and roof of course), with a dirt floor.  Next we had to rebuild the floor system with a new sill, new floor joists and subfloor.  Sadly we aren't done, we still have to tackle a poor job of installing a window (just wait until you see THOSE of my favorite, or at least most repeated, phrases during reno work is "what were they thinking").  I'll save the reconstruction for the next posting.  And I took some "now" photos I'll have to post soon too!

Here's a parting thought for you-WAY back at the beginning of the blog I mentioned when we first looked at the Cottage, the real estate agent told us that he thought we were wrong, that there wasn't really anything wrong with the living room...hmmm...I almost sent him the above photos.  Almost...

Moral of the story-don't listen to real estate agents!  Get an inspection or take your chances like we did (we knew we had work to do-granted, the MIA sillplate was a shocker, but we weren't overly surprised to find the condition of things under the tile was less than stellar), but don't base your purchase on what they are telling you.  We encountered more misinformation and unbased opinions while house hunting than I can count.