Friday, January 29, 2010

Hit the deck...well, it's concrete, so be careful...

As promised, here's what up with the basement floor...

So, we have your standard concrete slab floor. The nice thing is, it's pretty even. It's mostly level, not perfect, but there are no major mounds or valleys that would cause a problem with laying laminate.

To update, I did not want tile flooring. It was going to be expensive to cover the entire floor in the family room regardless of what we went with, and tile just was OUT of the question. Too much work, too much money and too cold a result.

So I wanted laminate wood-pattern flooring. But I was worried about water seeping under the floor and ruining it from underneath. So I decided to go with a product many of you might know about: Platon. It's used on foundation walls, but is also recommended as a waterproof underlayment for floors. It creates an air pocket between the floor and the concrete, which also helps insulate the floor somewhat too. I wanted this in case the drain (now UNDER the floor) backed up again. My thought being, if it backs up a little bit (like last wasn't much and it was clean rainwater from the pit in the backyard), it will spread out underneath the floor, eventually drain back out and eventually dry (the floor "breathes" around the edges beneath the baseboards). Mold should not grow because there is no "food" underneath, and the Platon is sealed together. Yes, if the drain backed up really badly, the water would eventually overwhelm the space under the floor and overflow into the walls and onto the floor, but if that happens, I figure I've got a lot of other issues to worry then the whole basement will be done for anyway.

On top of the Platon, according to manufacturer's instructions, goes the pad and the laminate right on top of that. Right now, I have to do half the basement at a time (because we have furniture already), so I have the Platon laid and sealed on the largest part of the basement, and the padding spread across about half of that area. Tomorrow I expect I'll start laying the laminate. I'm excited, as I just bought a table saw for the project -- so I'll get to open that and "play" and also get this project even closer to done. My goal is to get the floor down before the Super's going to be tight, but I think if I can knock out a major portion of it tomorrow, I'll be OK. The remainder of it is a much smaller section, and even better, is mostly a straight square (whereas this part of the room has a few jogs in the wall that I'll have to cut around).

Pictures when I'm fair peeking! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is it 2010 yet...

house decor 2009
Originally uploaded by southsideandy
Here's what the bungalow looked like all decked out this year. We actually expanded our decorations to the lawn and the yew bushes, special thanks to our getting our pre-lit tree 75% off the previous Dec. 26 at Target. So we had extra lights, which we then traded in at Home Depot for LEDs (during their trade-in coupon deal prior to Christmas).

Now, I'm obviously way behind, so here goes nothing ...

2009 is in the rear-view mirror, and we're none the worse for it here at Building a Better Bungalow. Sure, there are folks out there who fared far, far worse than we did -- hell, we both kept our jobs, even though I took a tremendous pay cut and tremendous staff cuts all around me. Basically, the old adage: more work, less pay.

That led to far less time to work on the house, as did A.J.'s rapid growing up. We are preparing for birthday No. 2 -- suffice to say, the attention and love we've given him along with everyone else around him has paid off. He can recognize every single capital letter of the alphabet, can now mostly count to 12 (though he doesn't know what "counting" is...) and can "sing" a couple songs, such as a few lines from "Frosty the Snowman" and most of "Baa, Baa Black Sheep." He's a great communicator for his age...of course, with all this attention being given him, he's only now finally learning how to even consider playing or "reading" a book by himself. Either way, I love him, of course. But he has obviously taken up tons of my time (and that's a good thing, of course).

Since my last post in September, I'm not sure what I can say has gone on around here. We've fixed some things, decorated the house big-time for Christmas (as you can see). But really, there wasn't much "bungalow-related" action around here for a while. My garden indeed was a hit. I actually was able to harvest some broccoli ON THANKSGIVING and cook it up instantly for our families. It wasn't much, but as many of you know, there's nothing that beats fresh-picked produce.

Since December, though, things have been picking up. We got the family room to the point of being drywalled for A.J.'s party last March, but then work fell silent down there for quite a while. Well, aside from a few touchups, painting is finally DONE, finished a couple weeks ago. That allowed me to move on to more fun tasks, such as laying the floor...I've been waiting for this for a while. I'll post more on my progress and step-by-steps in a future post...

Once I get the floor in, we'll be ready for trim work and final electricals...we already have the TV, sectional and most of the furniture we after that, we're done. That will be a great, great day!

We recently also bought new dining room table and chairs, mission style from Broyhill. They look much, much better than Gina's iron-and-glass set, in the sense of they fit the room and style much more. We're fighting through getting bedroom furniture -- but that too is another story for another day. Suffice to say, the Chicago Bungalow's staircase has foiled us once again.

I got a seed catalog in the mail the other day, and that got me itching to put in an order...I'm excited to get the veggies going again, building off what I learned last year. I also planted a TON of tulip bulbs in the backyard, and I'm hoping to see the fruits of that labor in the spring. Then, of course, there are plenty of flowers and perennials to deal with.

Lastly, I'm hoping against hope that the relatively dry winter we've had (relatively) continues. One of the main projects this year will (MUST) be to basically blow up the backyard and "start over" -- ripping down the hot tub and "carport" over it, and filling in the areas adjacent to the alley to prevent flooding of the yard backing up into the house. I cannot and will not jeopardize the work and money we've put into the basement because the city thought the alley should sit 8 inches above our yard decades ago. Too much at stake.

So, anyway, I leave you with that, for things move along well into 2010, I wish you well and look forward to actually having projects, photos and stories to talk about again -- thanks for sticking with me! :)