Floors Galore

Have you ever had trouble deciding what kind of flooring option to use?  Well, flooring is one of the hardest decisions we have had to make with this project.  Lots of other things are less permanent or easy to update, which makes the decision much easier.  Have you ever watched one of the TV programs where they’re looking to buy a house and their only issue with the house is the paint color?  I always think – that’s an easy fix.

With our half bath remodel we completed at our house last summer – we repainted 3 times.  We tried a dark gray brown – the sample looked great but the color on the walls was terrible!  We kept thinking it would look better once the room was complete.  Ha!  Then we tried another gray color that looked equally as bad.  So we went with what we had in our living room and dining room and it turned out great!  It’s a nice cool gray color – the same color we painted our grand daughter Hazel’s room.  With paint, it’s much, much easier to fix than if you chose a flooring option you aren’t happy with!

A few years ago, we removed the carpet from our foyer, living room and dining room and laid what was supposed to be a nice high end laminate.  We absolutely do not like it at all.  It’s not wearing well and has multiple issues.  It will be replaced within the next year.  We also had vinyl laid in our kitchen a few years back, due to a dishwasher leak.  We ended up getting a full refund from the flooring company due to a mismatch of the seams.

If you remember at the beginning of this project, we tackled the what-seemed-like-forever project of sanding all of the floors (over 6500 sq. ft.) and applying boiled linseed oil.  But we knew that we most likely needed to do something about our baths, kitchen and the not so good areas.  If any of our readers have real wood floors in their bath or kitchen, we’d love to hear what you think of it, good or bad.  I’d still love to not have to use something different if we could find a way around it!

So, fast forward to now and you can kind of see where our reluctance comes from in making a final decision on our floors.  It also doesn’t help when you have so many floors.  Luckily, we are only focusing on our baths, kitchen and areas of the wood floor that have fairly big issues.  We know we definitely do not want to use laminate, vinyl or linoleum.

As of last night, I believe we have a winner for our bathroom floors (unless we can find a way to keep the existing wood floors.)  For our kitchen, we are toying with the idea of adding tongue and groove plywood.  We would then prime, paint, stencil and poly.  I’ve already picked out a great stencil for the floor.  What do you think of this stencil?  I love it!

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Thanks for joining our journey!


We’re Back – next up plumbing!

Going into the holidays, shortly before Thanksgiving, we decided it would be a good idea to take a break from our project and focus on family time.  We had a great break and we spent a lot of time with our family.  We hope you were also able to enjoy the holidays as well!

Looking back on 2018, I realize it was very ambitious for me to think we would have this project almost complete by Christmas.  (Although Brian knew this all along.)  Christmas of 2018, ha!  At one point I thought we could at least have our half bath and kitchen ready so that we could host our Christmas celebrations with our family in the loft.  Well that couldn’t happen because, even if we had a half bath, we’re having trouble deciding on kitchen counter tops.  So we have a new year and new goals.  Our current goal is to get back on track and get things moving along quickly.

We’re very excited to get back on track with our plumbing today as well as a lot of other pieces to our project!  Our HVAC system has been installed for a while but we still don’t have heat.  Our plumber is scheduled to start working today on running the line up to the roof for the gas so that we can have heat, which we will definitely need for our drywall installation, painting, etc.

Also, our plumbing rough in is almost complete and we finally have a plan for our bathroom floors, so we should be able to start on those very soon.  I can’t wait to at least have our half bath ready to use!  No more running down from the third floor to the first floor!  I’m very excited about that!

This week we’re also back to work on our windows, too.  Our new replacement windows have been ready for a couple of weeks but we aren’t quite ready.  Brian and I are working on creating the frames for the windows.  Once we had a system in place and figured out the best way to construct the frames, we started moving right along.  In just a couple of days, we’ve been able to partially complete 3 of the 6 windows.  Brian will be sharing some how-to’s on that.

Thanks for joining our journey!



We’re Still Here!

Boy, it’s been busy around here. Especially with the holidays. We hosted about 35 for Thanksgiving and will again at Christmas. We haven’t posted in a while, but things are happening.

We took out a window on the 3rd floor in the front and had over 100 sheets of 12′ drywall delivered through the window.

We’ve had conduit and electrical run to the HVAC unit on the roof and the same run to our service panel in the loft. We got our electric meter installed yesterday.

We’re hoping to get our gas line run and hooked up to the HVAC next week. Then, we’ll have heat!!

Lisa and I have been working on framing out for new windows and framing in the ones in the back that we’re not going to open.

Anyway, that’s where we are right now. Thanks for following our journey. ☮️❤️

What a Windowfull World

Man, it has been crazy busy around here for the last few weeks. HVAC almost finished. Plumbing rough in waiting on inspection. Electricians working as I type. Bricks cut out for 4 windows in a part of the building that hasn’t seen sunshine in 50 years or more. Lisa and I framed up temporary plastic covered windows to keep out the elements until we can do the new, permanent framing for the new windows. And, Window World just left after measuring for the new windows.

So, things are moving along nicely. Sorry we haven’t blogged much lately, but we’ll get back to it. Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to VOTE!! ☮️❤️


Well, we didn’t get as far as we wanted this week because of the threat of rain, but I’m happy with how far we did get.

Billy and the crew from Hager and Son are doing a great job. They show up when they say they will and get things done. The leveling curb was installed, thanks to Rusty’s Sign Company’s boom truck. The flashing and weatherproofing is done thanks to Gilford and Son.

Next up, the spiral duct and the actual unit installed. Can’t wait.

Let There Be Heat

Just in time for the weather change, Danny Hager and his crew from Hager & Son Heating and Cooling is preparing to install our HVAC unit.  This beast of a unit will go on the roof.  Lots of planning and preparation goes into the install.  They are going to use a crane large enough to lift the unit over 50 feet in the air and extend it 90 feet over our roof top.  Danny said they can have this part done in about an hour.  That’s impressive!

How are we going to get that lift in here?

Danny will coordinate with our electrician and roofer to make sure everything goes smoothly and as planned.  It’s nice living in a small town where most of these trades people know each other and work well together.

Discussing branch placement

After the roof top unit is installed, then the work comes inside.  While on-site, Danny and Billy reviewed the plans to finalize locations of the spiral duct and the branches that will extend from the main spiral into each room to make sure every room gets adequate heating and air.  The spiral duct will run along the side of this beam:

It’s going to be so nice to be able to finish up this project without sweating like crazy or freezing our butts off!  We highly recommend Danny Hager and his company for all your heating and air conditioning needs.  Thanks for taking care of us Danny!

Thanks for following our journey!


Taking A Little Break

Everybody needs a break right? We’ve been crazy busy this week, even though we haven’t physically worked on our loft project too much. I guess you can say we’re having a little break from our project but we’re still working on lots of details.

We finished all the framing we could when we realized that if we put up the last couple of walls, we’d have trouble getting some stuff up the existing stairs. Eventually, before we finish our project, we’ll be adding an exterior stairwell. But we want to make sure we can use the existing stairwell for whatever we need for now. We also built the half wall (or pony wall) for our island.

This week Brian worked to get our replacement windows moving along. He also worked on getting quotes to reopen our veranda and bedroom windows. We accepted a bid, scheduled the work and pushed out the installation of our front replacement windows so that we can have all the windows installed at the same time.

The plumbing and electrical work is starting this coming week! It’s hard to imagine having a bathroom on the third floor. That in itself is a dream come true!

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend and the cool crisp air, for those of you located in the vicinity!

Tonight Brian is playing his first gig with his new band – The Valcoes. They practiced 2 nights this week and Brian also practiced another night with our church’s praise band. This is one of the reasons we had to take a little much needed break.

Thanks for joining our journey!


What’s Coming Up?

A lot of cool stuff happening at The Elm Loft Project. We passed our framing inspection so now the trades (electrical, plumbing, HVAC) can begin.

We got our electrical permit late Monday, so our electrician will begin very soon. First thing will be getting power to the HVAC units and installing the service panel.

The plumber has ordered everything he needs to rough in, so he’ll begin soon, as well.

I met with the window installer last week to finalize his requirements, so I’ll start working on that next week. The masons were in yesterday to discuss cutting out the back windows that have been bricked in.

And we got pricing on the drywall. I’ll have to remove a window in the front so the drywall can be unloaded from the lift.

Finally, we have a very unique business opportunity that we are considering. More to come on that later.

Thanks for following our journey.

The Bunk Bath Design Board

Have you ever designed a room around one standout piece?  This wonderful up-cycled garage workbench turned into a vanity set the stage for our bunk bath.  It also helped us decide that we didn’t want to use a lot of new things in our loft.

Garage workbench up-cycled into a bathroom vanity!

This workbench sat under a tree in our backyard for a while.  It was covered with green peeling paint but I thought it could be turned into a really cool piece.  Our son, Matt, asked a few vague questions and took off with a great idea.  I absolutely love it!

But when I saw the top, I wondered how I could put a sink on top.  I love the look and feel of the wood and really didn’t want much on top.   And then I found this sink and vessel faucet.  We thought the bright white of 2 sinks would look great on the wood.  I also love the contrast of the near black faucet.  It’s actually an oil rubbed bronze finish that looks completely different in different shades of light.

Next up the shower.  We planned to use a one piece built in shower unit until we discovered we couldn’t get it up our stairs.  It just wouldn’t fit.  And along comes our second black and white tub to save the day!

We’ve come up with an idea for using the tub in place of a shower.  We plan to have corrugated steel walls surrounding the tub.  We really like the contrast of the modern look of the tub and the rustic look of corrugated steel.  What do you think?

I think we’re going to have an issue with the fixtures we picked out for the tub.  The faucet isn’t long enough to reach into the tub.  I’m also not sure if the shower head will work either.  We’ll work with our plumber to come up with the best solution.

I hope this design gives you some inspiration!  Maybe not to remodel an entire room but just find a unique statement piece to really standout!

Thanks for joining our journey!


What’s Next at The Elm Loft Project?

What’s up next for The Elm Loft Project?  Lights, camera, action!  We’ve been working really hard and rarely taking a break.  But now I feel like the really fun stuff is starting to happen!  Last night we laid out our kitchen, what do you think?

This is our back cabinet wall.  The blank spot by the tall cabinet is for our refrigerator and the other blank spot is for our stove:

This is our island wall.  Where the drawer is on the floor is where our island desk will be and the other blank spot is for our dishwasher:

Thankfully, we were able to incorporate the antique drafting cabinets we purchased at auction from Crafton’s Office Supply.  The stove has a small drawer cabinet on either side and the drafting tables are on the other side of the drawer cabinets.  The drafting cabinets will be a little taller than cabinet height but we love the look.  What do you think?

What’s up next is we need to build a pony wall behind the island cabinets.  The wall is needed for our plumbing, which should be started soon.  After building the pony wall, we’ll move on to focus on our electric.

We’ve been working on light fixtures decisions so that we know where we will need an electrical run.  Since our walls do not go to the ceiling, we’ve had to think about how to light each room.  But we’ve got some really fun ideas and can’t wait to share our projects with you.

One of those projects includes creating a Pottery Barn inspired chandelier for a cost savings of hundreds of dollars!  And the actual cost should be just a tad over $50.  I’m really excited about it.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!  Thanks for joining our journey!