Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doing it ourselves!

I was feeling so down yesterday after the stuff with my paper, Matt took me to a local place to look at flooring.  Sounds strange, doesn't it?  Since I've been eager to see what there is available and what it's going to cost, going to the flooring place actually cheered me up.  They were really nice and took us over to see some laminate flooring that looks like hardwood flooring.  It's made by Quick-Step and comes in panels that look like two or three planks of hardwood flooring and clicks together through grooves, which is awesome, because it doesn't use any adhesives.  It just snaps into place!

The cost is about $1.80 a sq. ft., which is really reasonable since the room is only about 93 sq. ft. in total.  At that rate, if we buy 100 sq. ft. worth of material so there's some overage, it'll cost us about $180.  The price per sq. ft. includes the underlayment, which is roll out foam stuff.  The women there said that it was really, really easy to lay, making it ideal for do-it-yourselfers.  I asked about having someone lay it, they said installation cost was $1.50 per sq. ft. which effectively makes the installation more than the flooring, since the flooring is $1.49 per sq. ft before the underlayment.  We said no thanks, we're going to give it a shot ourselves!

Honestly, I can't wait!  It's going to be really inexpensive, as home improvement projects go, and it'll give me and Matt some time together which makes it even better.  He says he's going to help, and I'm going to hold him to that, because I think it would be fun for us to do this together -- I wish my dad was here to help us!  In addition to the floor, we're going to need some minor tools, like wood blades for the jigsaw and a rubber mallet.  Then, we'll have to get some quarter round molding to cover the gap between the flooring and the wall, which isn't terribly expensive.  The only thing I'm worried about with that is that the corners won't lay together, not sure how that's done.  I'm expecting the whole project to be about $250 after all the supplies.

When it's all laid down, depending on how it looks and the level of difficulty, we're going to do the living room.  The living room is a bit larger, so it'll cost a bit more, so we probably won't do it in the spring semester.  There's vents in the floor in this house, most of which are rusting and breaking apart.  I'm going to get some pretty ones, which are about $13.00 each -- I want to get these aluminum satin ones, but I'm conflicted about how they'll look against the natural colors on the floors.  It could be that the contrast will be amazing, it could also be that they'll clash.  I don't know.  In all, if I replace all of them in the house, it'll only be about $100.  I could replace them with plastic ones for $5 each, but I don't think they're sturdy enough... and they're ugly!

After the room is all put together, with the floor replaced, I'm going to get a bookshelf.  Ikea has one that's perfect called Expedit. It's big enough that it should do what I need it to do.  To be honest, my first inclination was to do the cedar block book case.  If it's done right, it can look good and be functional.  I could paint the blocks white or whatever, and get nice sturdy wood for the shelves. Since we're planning to move in a few years, I don't know that I need to get another huge piece of furniture I'd have to either sell or move.  Cinder blocks and wood can build a sturdy shelf system to fit my needs, but I'm a little worried it's ghetto, you know?  When I was a teenager, I built one from extra stuff my dad had laying around and I loved it!  Any suggestions or opinions on this?

So, all accounted for, the whole thing will be somewhere around $550, which I don't think is too much to spare for a small, but substantial home improvement project.  If I don't get book shelf, it'll be about $350 -- which is another really good reason to consider the cinder block shelf!  Anyway, The carpet must be replaced, even if we don't do anything else, because of the animals, but I'm hoping we can swing the whole project because I'm really excited about it!  We're probably going to do it in the end of January, or early February.  I'll make sure to take before & after pictures of the whole thing, as well as some photo's of the whole project in progress.

Did I mention I'm really excited about this?!