Almost Two Weeks?!?
Hard to believe that I haven’t made a post in twelve days. Life sure went into overdrive in a hurry. The full-time job is back to requiring it’s regular load of hours. The kids now have an additional evening activity (swim lessons: extra expense but necessary). We’ve also decided to tackle a little bit of DIY renovation.
Background on the Renovation
Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to set the stage a bit so you understand our current situation.
We’ve currently been living in our home for around six years and most of the furniture either came from our apartment or was hand-me-down. We have some antiques from family, some craigslist items, and some stuff that came with the house. The last time we bought new furniture was the dining room set in 2008.
We also have two small children and three dogs (at one point it was four). Needless to say, the sofas are starting to show the abuse they’ve received. It’s been mostly OK, but when we came back from holiday visits we found a large rip in the top of the ottoman and a lot of stuffing had been pulled out (Jack Russell’s love to pull stuffing out of things).
It’s time for some replacements.
And That Leads To…
“We should fix up a least one room in the house to look nice”. Yep, the first thing through my mind was dollar signs. My wife even said as she laid out her idea that she could tell I was only thinking about how expensive this was going to be.
There are two bits of good news. First, we had prepared for this a bit by asking family members to contribute to furniture instead of buying Christmas gifts for us. Second, I’ve laid out the financial projection for the year and I know that I can spare around $1500-$2000 and still make my goals (if everything goes according to plan). If we’re really good about keeping the monthly budget, there may be more room.
The plan is to put up a plank board ceiling in the living room. It’s a cathedral ceiling and I estimated around 400 sq ft. Based on the material she wants to use, that should cost me ~$650. We’ll also need about $50 in paint. The second part is to put together some in-wall book shelves (which i’ll probably just hang with French cleats). I haven’t estimated the cost of materials there, but I think we’re still OK.
We had a slightly serendipitous moment last weekend while having dinner with friends. I almost didn’t go along but was glad that I did. One of our friends just moved in with another and had a load of stuff in a storage unit. He needed help moving the bunk beds to their condo. He also mentioned that he had an almost new leather sectional with recliners that he wanted gone. Since we were in the market, I said I’d take a look.
The couch wasn’t a good fit for the living room, but we also had a dingy old couch downstairs in the den and this one was a perfect replacement. I asked how much he wanted for it and he gave it to us in exchange for the use of the truck and not having to pay for the storage unit anymore. Basically, it was free!
I was lucky enough to have MLK day as a holiday and made use of the three day weekend by getting started on the DIY. We went and picked up the planks for the ceiling and paint on Saturday. Total cost of materials so far is $660.
We spent part of Saturday and Sunday painting the planks. We did 180 total one at a time. Once we got a rhythm going it really wasn’t too bad. I think we spent around five hours on painting.
Yesterday I took advantage of the project and ran some speaker wire along the ceiling in preparation for some wall-mount room speakers. I know there are a lot of wireless options out there, but I still prefer a wired speaker to the receiving device. Call me old school.
I also managed to get a few planks up so that we could make sure we liked the color and that the hanging technique was going to work out. We’re going right over the stomp ceiling with the planks without scraping any of the drywall clumps off. I’m using construction adhesive on the back of the planks and a couple of brads from a finishing nailer.
Off to Work
It’s time to go focus on the day job. Hopefully, I can get back in a routine and post regularly. I’ve got to keep you guys updated on this project. We’ve got another lead on a friend that is downsizing and maybe we can score a couch for the living room on the cheap.