Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nearly Complete

I'll keep this short and sweet but wanted to throw some of the most recent status pictures up for the conversion of our shed in Maine to a small studio or bunkhouse or maybe a bar. Regardless, the point is simply to convert it to usable space and as such, I have devoted a fair amount of time and resources this summer to doing just that.

When last I discussed the project here, I'd finished up the pine on all of the walls and ceiling I think. The next step was to lay down the floor. We decided to go with an inexpensive laminate floating floor, which we had used in the past with great results. The stuff wears like iron, goes in easy and is as cheap an option as you can get, beyond using plywood.

With that, Cathy and I spent a lovely Friday afternoon a few weeks back fighting traffic on RT128 and trekking to the Lumber Liquidators store in scenic Woburn. Those places remind me of the old Grossman's Bargain Outlet in look and feel but also have lots of overweight chain smoking types trying to upsell you on crappy flooring. We also discovered that the online inventory claims are vastly inaccurate. What they ended up having wasn't really what we wanted but would do the trick and was a solid $.12/sq-ft less than Home Depot and a more desirable color and pattern,while still similar quality. The total cost was $93, not bad. For this flooring, which was 6mm thick, you had to use foam padding underlayment, which usually costs as much as the flooring. I suspect it is to absorb shock and reduce cracking or breaking. Fortunately, I was able to score a bunch of similar foam sheet wrap used in packing from my brother, which saved a ton of dough.

A couple of weeks back I threw the foam and then flooring down. It went in quickly and easily as long as you were careful and didn't force it. I had to cut on section per row of course, but was able to use nearly all of the sections with almost no scrap. As a bonus, I didn't have to rip any of the sections either as they fit the space nearly perfectly. No problems at all and the total job took only a couple of hours. Of course, I only needed one piece from the final box of the five boxes we purchased, meaning I have a nearly full box left over that I have to store. It now lives happily next to the other nearly complete box I have from the last floating floor project.

Next on tap was to shim and then case the door, throw down the baseboard, case and trim the three windows and trim the corners to hide the small gaps I'd left by doing a hack job putting the planking on the walls and ceilings. It's all about covering up your mistakes. The trim gives a chance to add a little flair as well with some bits of whimsy that serve no real purpose but add character.

Most of this went pretty well but not having a table saw made it challenging to rip multiple 1/4" x 82" door casing shims from pine planks with a Skilsaw and no saw horses. To compound the challenge, my Skilsaw is a PoS Black and Decker with an ultra low end stamped steel fence/base. I've been meaning to buy a nice, smaller Makita with an alloy fence/base but have been too cheap. It wasn't pretty and I probably could have been nearly as successful with the chainsaw but I got it done. The window cases all required ripping as well but on a much smaller scale, so they were all fine.

In the end it was a mass of pine on pine, with faux pine barn-board flooring, which gives a nice rustic, warm look and feel. I'm almost done and only have a small bit of molding left to make and install on the vaulted end. That should go up pretty quickly I hope and I'd like to bang it out next time I'm up there, possibly next week. After that we just need to throw some sealer on the pine and we are done and ready to decorate. Window treatments, an area rug, an end table and a lamp and maybe a small corner desk. Then a loveseat that we already have saved for the space and a set of adult sized bunk-beds. Either that, or a wrap-around bar and a bunch of stools. It would also make a really nice bike shop area.

Can't wait to see the space when it is done and then actually use it. Seeing and using something that you create is for me, one of the most satisfying things in the world. It just makes me happy every time I enter.

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