It has begun!

I am officially on vacation now! I am going no where. It’s a very affordable place, I hear great reviews about it. I will be spending my vacation tiling the downstairs of our house. I have limited it to the hallway, living room and dining room. If we can tear it up and make incredible progress then we will do the kitchen also. The kitchen is going to be painful as we actually have to remove one layer of subfloor and linoleum and work around the cupboards.

There are two of us, I have a helper, we will call him Mr. Experience. This is a novel experience for me as most of my help is fairly naive if not downright virginal when it comes to hands on work. Mr Experience has done construction for a long time and specifically tile and concrete work. This is an amazing change for me. I am not near as stressed doing this project. He is doing all the measuring and cutting of hardiboard and I am doing all the grunt work and screwing in the thousands of screws needed to attach the board to our existing floor.

Day 1 was spent clearing out the downstairs. We used the kitchen, the downstairs library, upstairs spare bedroom and our bedroom to stash all the furniture. The kitchen had to store the couch and the old safe as neither could go upstairs or into the downstairs library. You cannot even get past the door frame into the spare bedroom. It is jammed full of everything. The dogs do not get any more toys! We are officially in a dog toy buying drought. We must of found 30+ toys trapped under the couch and loveseat. I am seriously considering building a square frame that hides under the couch and loveseat that prevents any toy from rolling more than 6 inches under the furniture. It was amazing how many toys were trapped in hidden realms. We left the dining room table but could stash it in the kitchen when we need to as Annmarie is in Berkeley for school for a week. There will never be a better time than now to jam everything into the kitchen. I just need to be able to get to the fridge, stove and microwave. Access to the sink is crucial as that is where water for the coffee maker comes from! I have to keep up a steady stream of coffee to survive. The second half of the day was spent driving to the Big Box hardware store for the needed supplies.

This note about my chickens was on the fridge when I got back. It seems the housekeeper was looking out the window as our younger border collie was barking at the tree. She looked up into the tree just in time to see the eagle swoop down and go for my chickens! Luckily, the chickens had been warned and were scattering when the eagle dive bombed them. It tried for them one more time. “Everything loves chicken”! We may have to put a mesh cover over the chicken yard. I was told they may be nesting in the upper prime field in the top of the trees. We will see, I have not noticed a nest up there recently, but honestly, I have not been looking for an eagle nest.

Day 2 was spent cutting subfloor to fill in the gaps and level off the floor so we could lay Hardiboard down. I love Hardiboard for all tile underlayment except for in bathrooms. I will always use Wonderboard when it calls for a wet enclosure. We did get a few pieces of underlayment laid and screwed down. This is really confusing the dogs as they are unsure where to lay or sleep.

Day 3 is today, we laid more subfloor. The only room left to install subfloor in is the dining room. We also floated in all the subfloor that had mismatched heights so we have a solid base to install the Hardiboard onto. This is very nice and we are cutting the seams to utilize full sheets and move the joints away from high traffic regions. It is amazing how much stiffer and firmer the floor is with just a new subfloor. We called it an early day so Mr Experience could do other things and I do recognize that other people do have lives. I would kill it until 2300 every night if I could. But with Annmarie back in school and back teaching I have to do the morning and evening chores so my remodel time gets interrupted. I become totally focused and obsessed with finishing the project. It makes her crazy but the project is getting completed so she tries to limit her feedback. The goal is to start laying tile tomorrow by early afternoon.

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