Little House on the Prairie - 2005
Remodeling a 1920 Midwestern 'Foursquare' Farmhouse …

This page documents work on the house during 2005. Entries are in reverse chronological order (most recent first). For reviews of work done in other years, please click the desired year from the menu to the left.

December 31 , 2005

As I make the last update for this year, I'm still working on stripping the varnish off of the stair components (the varnish was gumming up the belt sander, so after determining that stripper will still work in 35° temperatures, I'm hauling all the pieces outside one at a time to strip them before sanding).

While there's still much to do, I'm finally starting to feel like the end may be in sight.

Have a Happy New Year, and pick up the continuing saga in the next exciting chapter: "2006: Repaint and Thin No More".

December 28 , 2005

Today is our forth anniversary in the house! Here's the window (back then) in front of which I'm sitting writing this today:

Yesterday, I finished painting the LR trim and installed all of the heat register grills and outlet covers. Other than flooring, the Living Room is DONE! I also put the outlet covers on in the upstairs hall.

I also started putting the stairs back together last night. This is kind of like refolding a large map - the pieces are not wanting to go back together the way they came apart... I am also going to be doing a LOT of belt sanding on the treads and riser pieces - they were pretty badly scuffed up when I started four years ago. We're going to paint the stair trim white and restain the treads.

December 26 , 2005

Merry Christmas! I got the first coat of paint on the trim Christmas Eve, and also corrected the ceiling fan issue mentioned below. It's looking good!

December 23 , 2005

Except for the stairway trim and bannister, the Living Room trim is installed and just needs painting. I installed the light fixtures in the LR, stairwell and upstairs hall last night. Unfortunately, I have to de-install the ceiling fan and put a shorter downrod on it - it's hanging a bit too low for a person of my height!

December 18 , 2005

One week until Christmas! The Living Room walls are painted, the ceiling is done, and I put up most of the trim yesterday.

December 14 , 2005

Living room is sanded and primered. It almost killed me.

December 3 , 2005

Chad turned sixteen today, my New Beetle rolled over 100,000 miles, it snowed again and I finished sanding and primer painted the upstairs hall and staircase. Woohoo!

Now it's onto the monumental task of sanding out the living room. Don't look forward to that one at all...

November, 2005

We've made a little progress on the house, but don't expect to see significant progress until the weather turns really cold and drives us back inside from the fall outdoor activities.

Beth and the boys finished painting the trim in the downstairs guest bedroom recently - it looks great! I did some weathersealing in the upstairs bathroom, as we were getting a bit of a draft around the baseboards. Other than a few other minor maintenance items, that's about all to report for now.

Late August, 2005

Once again, a lengthy period of radio silence. However, work has progressed since the last report. We got the downstairs bedroom completed (well, almost) in time for Dad's visit. I was still putting up trim the first few nights he was here, though. We left the trim unpainted for now.

We also built the main section of our deck, along with a wheelchair ramp:

After those projects, I moved back upstairs and worked on finishing out the bathroom. Here's the shower tile going in:

And here's the home-made attic fan I installed. We leave this on low (or high if it's really hot) during the night, and it pulls cool air in through the bedroom windows. It exhausts into the roof/attic area over the kitchen addition.

June 1, 2005

In the past three months, progress has been made, albeit not exactly the way I had planned. The current status is that we have completed the downstairs guest bedroom with exception of painting the trim. The reason for shifting to this room was that my Dad fell and shattered his knee, requiring reconstructive surgery. We offered to have him stay with us for about 8 weeks while he recuperates, thus we had to get the room done, and pronto! This room was a bit of a challenge due to it being in the corner of the house that had sagged the most (over 2"). I had to replace both windows, and misjudged my sheetrock work (which was done before I changed the windows out); thus a little rework was in order:

I've continued working upstairs, and the bathroom is now painted and has the laminate floor installed. I went ahead and installed the toilet (for obvious reasons, I hope), and the next step will be to finish the wood trim and install the tub tile and fixtures. I will probably install one of the old standalone porcelain sinks as a temporary measure to finish the room until we can save up for the vanity, sink and fixtures we want.

The upstairs hall needs one more sanding and it's ready for paint, while the stairwell will probably need another sand/mud cycle before it's ready to paint and trim out.

Finally, due to my Dad being crutch and wheelchair-bound, we built a deck off the back of the house with a wheelchair ramp. It's worked out really well, with easy access, and a buffer zone to trap some of the mud before it makes it into the house.

Out in the machine shed(s), I've also done a lot of rearranging and cleaning. It's starting to get to where I'd like it to be. I plan to eventually pour a concrete floor in the smaller shed and make that an insulated/heated workshop, leaving the large shed for the farm stuff.

May 6, 2005
This year is slipping past faster than I can keep up with it! This house update coincides with a refresh on the website design, so I'll blame the lengthy radio silence on that.

Since the last update, I've gotten virtually all of the drywall seams taped (this is in all rooms with new drywall, up and downstairs), and have the upstairs bathroom almost ready to prime. Just a little touchup to do on the mud first. I also have the upstairs hallway almost ready to sand and then prime.

Other than doing a lot of general cleaning up of construction materials, that's about it for now. I see lots of sanding in my future!

The plan is to finish out the upstairs bathroom next, before finishing the sanding and painting in the rest of the house. Only having one usable bathroom is a bummer!

April 6, 2005
Back again… I did finally get the bathroom sanded out to my satisfaction, and it has a couple of coats of primer on the walls and ceiling now. The next step is to install the backer board and then the flooring. We had just enough of the wood laminate left over from the mud room to do the upstairs bathroom, so that's what the floor will be.

A friend from church has come over several weekends to help with the mudding and sanding, for which I am very thankful!