Sunday, June 24, 2018

Extreme Home Makeover: Epbot Edition

Sooo.. we did a thing. Again. 
(Remeber the Crack House? If not, go see!)

If you can, just watch this; I'll explain.


And if you can't watch that, then the tl;dw edition is as follows:

We're renovating another house! Funnily enough it's a house with the exact same floor plan as our own, so this is like going back in time 15 years and redoing our own place again. We'll be moving walls, gutting bathrooms, the works.

Along the way John & I plan to show you our progress and even do some tutorials on useful homeowner-type stuff, like how to replace a toilet or change out a ceiling fan. Beyond that, let me know what you want to see! We're doing almost all of the work ourselves, so your options include everything from laying laminate flooring, tile work, installing doors and hardware, electrical wiring, faucets & tile patching, and even the more decorative aspects like how to pick cohesive paint colors and fixtures - plus money-saving tips so you can see how we do it all on a minuscule budget. (Right now our budget is about $5,000 for the entire house. MINUSCULE, I say!)

I'm hoping to take some of the fear out of home projects, show you how fun and rewarding it can be to tackle some things yourself.

Normally we'd blow out a project like this in a few weeks, but between running both blogs, new kitten care, and con season just revving up, I think it's going to take us a little longer than that.

That said, my next update will have a fun time lapse of us sledge-hammering a giant wall, so stay tuned for plenty of power tools and shenanigans.

Now, tell us what we should film next!


Quick Safety Post-Script: John and I are former professional handymen (handypeople?) and faux finishers with years of construction site experience. I promise we know what we're doing. We'll also only be filming tutorials for things a homeowner can and should do herself. Pinky swears. So, cool? Cool.

92 comments:

  1. juliesmith.singer88June 24, 2018 at 3:18 PM

    Looking forward to seeing the house changes! Could you talk a little about how wiring works? I will probably never touch electrical wiring myself, but it would be handy to know the basics of how it works and how it runs through the walls.

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  2. $5K for the whole house?

    I feel like I need a tutorial on just the budgeting portion, because my little DIY house projects always seem to have ballooning costs.

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    1. Absolutely! John's keeping detailed records of what he *thought* stuff would cost vs actual cost (so far we're actually way under budget), and I'll be happy to share real numbers, where we're buying stuff, etc.

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    2. DH and I were just saying if it were his parents it'd be a 250k renovation. MIL also has questionable taste, she would LOVE those panel room curtains and would add armchairs piped in zebra print to "go"... actually she's pretty much done that except it was leopard piping and zebra (faux? I hope?) hide cabinets.

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    3. I would love this info too! We did some major remodeling a year ago, but plan on finishing most of the rest of the basement next year. Putting in a bathroom that is mostly plumbed already (had that done when re-plumbing the entire house last year), and making a playroom in the basement. Figuring out ways to stay on budget but still have it look good would be amazing!

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  3. I second the above request and add one for basic bathroom sink plumbing -- specifically how to re-engage the stopper when it's come loose from the little arm thingie underneath.

    I've done some remodeling around the house but don't do plumbing or electrical 'cause I don't want to flood the house or burn it down. Looking forward to all the tutorials!

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  4. As someone who is in a new house that needs a great deal of work, I am honestly interested in all of it. Seriously. I have no idea what I'm doing so I need guidance.

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    1. Maybe we can do a "getting started" checklist? It can be super overwhelming at first, even for us, so we can talk about how to prioritize, what to do first, that sort of thing. Sound useful?

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    2. Yes! That sounds very useful. I’m about to buy a new house and depending on which I get there’s different things that need to be done.

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  5. Definitely how to lay flooring - and rip up old flooring/installing over older linoleum floors. Also, ideas for dealing with walls that are in poor shape with lots of previous horrible repairs and generally old (built in 1960).

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    1. Second vote for anything having to do with flooring--most especially with the prep work involved. Do I tear up my current, really bad linoleum--and if so, how? Do I have to do anything to prepare where the new flooring goes down?)

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  6. I'm loving that yins are doing this- with home renovators being all the rage, I think it's really cool to have fellow geekery people doing the same! <3 Have fun, I look forward to seeing the vids!

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  7. I am really looking forward to following along, seeing your progress, and especially learning from the tutorials!

    I would love to hear more about modernization, especially how to choose colors and fixtures that update the look but can stand the test of at least 10 years of time :). I admit my own tastes are a bit dated (as am I!), but I'm terrified of chasing the latest trend just to have to do it over again in a year or two because what was the "must have" is now out.

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  8. Regarding trim - I know you answered questions in the comments on your paint-a-bedroom post, but I'd love to see a tutorial on how you guys repaint the trim, especially where it's next to the carpet!

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  9. Also, I want to reverse what you are doing to the closets. My house is short on storage and I can't access the top two feet of our closets very well. I plan on just using curtains as "doors" but I want to take out the drywall extensions.

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    1. I don't blame you; that's part of why we've left the ceiling-height closet doors in our own home, it's great access. These old louvre doors are so ugly & hard to clean/paint, though, and replacement doors that height are prohibitively expensive, so... shorter doors it is! Plus new flat-front bifolds will help modernize the house, which is a big goal here.

      Anyhoo, removing the drywall/studs in your situation isn't all that hard, just a bit messy. Remember to cut the ceiling line with a blade first, so you don't tear the ceiling drywall when it falls!

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    2. ooo. Yeah. I wouldn't have thought of that.

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  10. I would love to see how to replace baseboards and door frames (my kitties tore up one of my doorframes using as a scratching post!) and also, how to paint an exterior front door that is metal. :)

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  11. You guys are just unreal with how much stuff you do (and can do!). I about lost my mind with our house renovations (granted, I'm no EPBOT or Carter, my roommate). But watching your work brings me such joy!

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  12. Love love love. Can't wait to follow along!

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  13. Oooo! I do some modestly difficult handy stuff around the house already, but I get intimidated when it comes to changing framing. Unlike your house, I desperately need more closet space; I know where I want them to go, but don't know how to properly frame them in, particularly when I'm going to partition existing spaces (e.g., blocking off a few spare feet of bedroom width or a corner of the bathroom). Questions I have include: do I need to cut out the ceiling drywall and connect directly to the ceiling joists, or can I leave the drywall between? Do I need to cut out existing flooring (tile or carpet) to get the footer directly on the concrete slab foundation (presuming yes)? Do I raise a prebuilt wall into place (how to clear the ceiling drywall?), or install the header and footer and then place studs between? The door installation/change stuff that you mentioned you're planning will also be of interest to me for these closets and a tweak I'd like to make to a bathroom.

    I'm also interested in knowing how to remove a ceramic tile floor from a concrete slab foundation (to prepare for replacement), but it doesn't look like you need to do that in this house.

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  14. I would love to see the process for moving that bedroom wall out. I have a friend with some construction experience that has offered to help me with a similiar project, but I'd really like to have a better idea of what I might be getting into before I get there. Best of luck to you both on this project! I can't wait to watch along!

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  15. You aren't removing any doors and putting up walls by chance? The most intimidating house thing we've got at the moment is a completely unnecessary door from a tiny bathroom to a tiny kids room (they are next to each other and both have doors to the hallway!). I will also be watching closely for how to replace a ceiling fan, for reasons.

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    1. We ARE putting up new walls and removing a closet door, at least. We're still debating how much of the new wall construction to film since it's very much in the "you should probably hire someone" arena, but maybe I can get John to do a time-lapse and talk about the basics you need to know.

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    2. If you do that you might want to concentrate on the taping/mudding part. Since after the drywall is hung...you can save yourself some money on that if you diy

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    3. This - we had a split way to do our bathroom. Hired someone to do the stud work, hang drywall. It was my sister's father in law so he gave a very quick crash course on the taping/mudding but that's going to need a part 2 renovation once babybot is older and I can get in there and bang out a quick two weekend fix to the walls/ceiling and paint afterwards.

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  16. I've done a bunch of renovating and am confident about a lot of it, but one thing that always frustrates me is patching up a wall/ceiling and making the paint blend nicely so the patch is near-invisible. I'm currently tidying up a rental and that's the job that has been left to last because I hate the patches being visible (to me, at least), even though I'm using the same paint and feathering it out etc :-( Bet you guys know some good techniques that would help!
    Or maybe I just need to learn not to be so darn persnikity about it, especially since I only ever have to look at it once or twice when the place is empty...
    Oh, and how to remove old silicone before putting new silicone sealant in (e.g. in the bathroom)- that stuff drives me nuts!
    Kahurangi, New Zealand

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    1. Second the 'how to fix drywall so it looks nice' part! There's a couple seconds that I need to cut out a 6"-square section and replace. House seller threw up a curved shower rod that screwed straight into the drywall, but it should have been screwed into a stud... it fell out and now there's two holes in the bathroom wall : < So if there's anything you already need to do that involves patching a large section of drywall (i dunno 6-in-square feels large to me), that is relevant to my woes.

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  17. Yes, how to change out a ceiling fan! I feel so intimidated by the thought of even attempting this, but it’s something that I really want to do.

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  18. I told my husband I want to buy a house in Florida and he said no. :(

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  19. I want to see it all!

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  20. Congrats! My house was built in '64 and those square ceiling tiles look familiar.I took one down in the basement, basically ripped it out to search for a wire, and have no idea how to get it back with its brethren in the ceiling other than glue. If you take yours down to rewire the ceiling fan I'm super curious to see how to get it back.

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  21. Very Impressive that you know how to do that stuff. And even more impressive if you can keep it anywhere near the $5000 budget. I hope you can re-purpose the leopard print curtains into something for the kittens, like a cat bed or something.

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  22. Exciting! I will happily watch anything you guys want to film. As a new homeowner I second the "getting started" checklist mentioned above, though I am particularly interested in how to replace doors and door frames.

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  23. I would love to see the tilework and the closet door overhaul! I have both issues in my house (built in '67 and the tub is baby blue).

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    1. Tile patching for sure and anything doors. We've watched the painting video dozens of times and it really helped (1 room painted and 2 more to go)

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  24. Ooh! I'm doing a renovation of my laundry room (literally the last room I haven't touched in the house), so this is perfect!

    I'd love to see a how-to for removing wallpaper/patching the wall/prepping for paint, and any electrical and new plumbing stuff y'all are planning. Thanks!

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  25. You are like the most amazing peoples ever. I just purchased my first home (a condo), and it...it needs work. I WANT IT HALF AS COOL AS YOU HAVE DONE.

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  26. I second (third?) the getting started, budgeting, and trim/mouldings. I'd love to see how you update the kitchen, too. My house has oak cabinets and baby blue formica everywhere and I can't think of how to update it without painting the cabinets. Thank you so much for doing this! I'm (slowly) making my craft room steampunk thanks to y'all's wonderful ideas and tutorials.

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  27. A number of years ago I helped to clean out a house near ours that had the same layout only smaller. It was really interesting seeing the differences and what they had changed or was different.

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  28. I wonder what scary, horrible thing is hiding under that raised area on the floor of the closet in the pink room. I'm hoping for a possessed doll.

    Also, nice that John filmed his ass for us at the end. Yeah, like that was an accident, John. ;)

    Can't wait to see the before and after photos for this entire project. I looooooooove home remodels...especially budget-friendly ones.

    KW

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  29. Matching colors, kitchen backsplash, electrical work, and how to utilize tiny spaces (or confined spaces) better are things I'm totally interested in. We're working our way through some renovations of our 30+yr old house and I would love ideas.

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  30. Paneling! We have 70s paneling in our house (not as dark as the paneling in the Leopard Room though), and I'm SO not a fan. But I'm not sure if we should just paint it white (easier and cheaper), or go ahead and remove it an replace with sheet rock (more $$$ and time and effort)

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  31. Seriously, anything and everything you do! Hope to be a new home owner a
    Soon and need all the tips I can get :)

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  32. I'm actually jealous of the the yellow bathroom and the teal tile/tub you guys had. I'm in a midcentury house and would love to "retro" my bathrooms. I'll watch all the tile and flooring tutorials you can make! :)

    Basically, I'd love to watch anything you guys decide to post -- even if it's along the lines of "don't try this at home -- we're professionals!"

    -Martine

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  33. Replacing doors! Both the for to the inside and the for to the outside in my garage are swollen or warped and need to be replaced. I can do some plumping and fixture replacing, but the thought of tackling those doors my self is intimidating .

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  34. show me ALL of it!! You guys are the bestest!

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  35. Yeeeeessss!!! Yay, any tips you guys have would be most welcome - it looks like we're moving again next summer and might need to do a fair amount of work ourselves (again) and although I learned a lot of electrical last time (replacing fixtures, switches, outlets), I'd like to learn more about electrical for the house overall (we want to get off the grid!) and get better with drywall, window replacement, and grout repair/silicone seal replacement in the shower...

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  36. ps. I forgot, we also need to redo the kitchen in our current house on a tiny budget before selling, so any tips on the best way to update cabinets and countertops would be lovely! Home Depot vs Ikea (self install)?

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  37. OMG! I wish I didn't live 1,000 miles away. I am working to "retro" fit my 1960's bathroom. I have that exact same yellow tile. I would kill for that matching clam shell sink/countertop. Doubt I can convince my husband to take a 19hr road trip for a sink. The house looks so cute. I can't wait to see all the how to videos you make and what it looks like when it's done.

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  38. OMG you guys are the best!! Could you show how to put up base trim in a bathroom (or any room, really)? Husbot NEEDS this tutorial - we've been THIS close to a finished bathroom remodel for about a year now. Also - any tips on joint compound, funny orange spots showing on bathroom ceiling, and suggested finish for bath paint? We went with the big box store's recommendation and have eggshell but it seems to look not right. And I'll happily soak in all the videos and plan additional projects for the future.

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  39. I'd love to watch faucet repair/replacement. I assume it will come at the end of it all, but I can wait. Flooring too, and maybe even walls; I have a basement room that was done on the cheap (I suspect), but I'm reluctant to pull down the cheap paneling until I know what do with what's beneath. I started ripping up the floor (plywood "tiles," I think), but they're VERY well glued down, and I can't get most of them off.
    Sandra

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  40. I would like to see how to replace water-damaged drywall, especially in a bathroom (the wall above my shower stall is in sad shape). Also, if you do any tile installation, I want to see that as well! I have experience with it myself, but I always like to see the tips and tricks others employ. Especially people I like!

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  41. PLEASE - how to pick paint colors!! related: how to strip paint from pretty door/window casings (and when to just give up and buy new).

    We just finished our reclaimed hardwood flooring (a year long adventure as we only worked on it on Saturdays), and I'm totally comfortable with the *doing* of the things, but choosing colors / stains / etc? Totally overwhelming.

    Really looking forward to watching!!

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  42. How to replace the outer windows? If this is something a super novice could do

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  43. A helpful tip I'd like to see is how to measure a window frame for a new screen. I had a friend who is a cabinet maker come and measure a window that needed an new screen. I'm so glad he did. My measure skills for the 8ths & 16ths measurements are horrible.
    -SM3

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  44. I'm so looking forward to this! My husband and I just bought our house a couple of months ago, and are planning on gutting and making over each room! Our first room is going to be our main bathroom, so I would love to see how you do your bathroom floor tile. Every tutorial I've read/seen does something different and it's so confusing!

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  45. If you guys will be replacing any of the window screens by making your own custom screen, PLEASE SHARE! I have a screen on my bay window that's busted and we were told you just buy the framing and put it together yourself, but we haven't gotten to it yet. Your tutorials are always great so if I have you for guidance, I'm sure I could figure mine out. Thanks! Looking forward to your videos.

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  46. Oh cool!!! I love house re-do's! I can't wait to watch it take shape.

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  47. Refinishing trim? And how you decide whether to leave it and paint it in place or pull it off, repaint it, and re install. We’ve done both, and I am interested in the criteria to consider in deciding which to do. And I subscribed to your YouTube channel ;)

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  48. I'd love to see the wall building part :) We have little half-walls that serve as a partition/"oops here's a step" warning to our sunken family room. We want to tear them down, and re-build them about a foot or so shorter, so they can still serve as a barrier/step warning, but be at a good hight for a drink rail. Also make it easier to talk over, if someone's in the family room, talking to someone in the living room.

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    1. I am intrigued by the wall building as well - its something i want to do in my current house to really finish off the laundry space.

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  49. Just a comment on your italicized post script: A tutorial on the things one should NOT try to tackle on their own could be just as helpful.

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  50. I know the lighting isn't great, but that yellow tub looks to be in awesome condition for over 50 years old. Do you not get water stains in Florida? Did every previous owner scrub it 3 times a week? Is it actually newer/or in much worse shape then this makes it look? I'm not saying I would want a yellow tub/bathroom, just that it is very good condition for it's age.

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    1. The previous owner - who was the ORIGINAL owner from 1964 - maintained the house beautifully and kept it very clean. She also lived there alone for the last several decades, and that was the guest bath, so I assume it didn't get used much.

      Oh, and no, we don't get water stains here! (I don't speak for all of Florida, just this neighborhood.) We're lucky, I know. :)

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  51. I cannot wait to watch this play out! Please show us all the things along the way!!

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  52. Tile, both floor and bath. Our floor is worn out linoleum and the bath is some kind of board which is starting to crack. I’d rather be proactive than reactive, but tiling scares me! I’d love to see a video on that!

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  53. Can't wait for the bathroom work. Ours looks similar and needs to get done. I also second the budget stuff. And if you break it down by room that would be awesome.

    Also as a side note, remind people to check with their city, village, county, etc. to see what needs permits.

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  54. I'll be tuning in. We're about to tackle some home renovations in the next year and have absolutely NO idea what we're doing. lol

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  55. TaraLee and I must be on the same wavelength! I've been slowly redoing a bathroom but can't get myself to rip up the terrible linoleum floors because I'm nervous about tiling -- either real or vinyl; I'm also nervous about how to deal with the unexplored subfloors. Would love any hints you have on tackling a bathroom floor!

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  56. I want to know how to use the tools! The electrical ones and the others! I've already put your painting advices to good use!

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  57. Oh wow, this is gonna be so fun! I want to see everything, because you never know what might spark an idea.

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  58. I’m very interested in the “getting started” checklist you mentioned above, as well as the bathroom remodel. I have a downstairs bathroom where I’d like to replace the current vanity with a pedestal sink, but I’m pretty sure the tile flooring stops at the vanity. I don’t know if you guys will have that same issue, where the current flooring just kind of ends, but I’d love to see how you tackle that! Also replacing the sink, faucets, and countertop would be really helpful. I’m so excited to see the end results of your project!

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  59. Be careful with those old ceiling tiles in the addition. Some of the tiles in vintage homes have asbestos in them. That could be why they didn't run the fan wiring through the ceiling.

    If you suspect asbestos, there is a test you can do to check for it. But even taking the sample for the test can release asbestos dust, so be careful.

    If you do find asbestos, the best/cheapest solution may be to leave the tiles in place and paint over them as needed. But don't cover them with a paneled ceiling because the screws to attach the panels raise dust... and of course you're leaving a bad surprise for the next homeowner to find someday.

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  60. I am excited to see anything and everything you guys post. It will be way more interesting seeing and learning it from you than a boring home improvement show and I am always interested in learning new skills in whatever arena they may be! The plumbing in my house needs a serious upgrade as I believe it is all original to the house and starting to really show it's age so I would love to learn to change some of those sink fixtures out myself but bring it all on! lol

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  61. I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about the prospect of these upcoming posts. My own precious house has been in stasis for a while due to funds and lacking a partner who is into home reno like I am. Now, though, my extremely handy boyfriend has moved in and he's just as excited to kick some life back into my 1910 baby. Thank you, Jen and John!

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  62. Awesome! I'm always game for learning something new. One thing that came to mind is how to put the finishing touches on cabinets, trim and the like, and getting rid of those pesky cracks that food seems to always get into right at the bottom of the cabinet. How do you know what to get and how to install it? We replaced our kitchen cabinets a few years ago with some from my parents' old kitchen and still haven't put up trim or anything. They also didn't quite fit our kitchen right so there are a couple of gaps. Any ideas on how to cover those over? It didn't seem like you would be replacing the kitchen cabinets, but maybe if you do the bathroom ones you could cover some of that stuff. Good luck with all the renovations, I'm looking forward to seeing what you accomplish!

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    1. You probably just need the right trim pieces to cover those gaps; the skinny decorative stuff you tack up with finishing nails. If the cabinets are wood then the tricky part will staining it to match, but since the trim is so thin you just need to get "close enough." :)

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  63. This is going to be fun to watch! And you look super cute!!

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  64. I love this. Anxious to follow along. We are 5 years into our home remodel- time and money are always enemies, and it get tough when I battle severe PTSD and depression, and my boyfriend works 80+ hours a week in his main job. This is house #3 for him, however, and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Same deal here though- completely changed the floor plan, redid all the electrical, plumbing, flooring, drywall, rebuilt the stairs, ran duct... if it could be done, it was done in this house (thank goodness the drywall is DONE). In the midst of it all, I actually started a woodworking and vinyl decal business, and think that we may be about to branch out to "custom contracting" as well... I'm working on my first bid to remodel a car garage into a mother-in-law suite / apartment. EEK!!!!!
    But, back on topic, I'm so excited to watch you two. I'm a serial lurker and I learn so much from you all!!

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  65. Also, I'm hoping you plan to put notices on this webpage that you have these videos up, and not just rely on social media - for the sake of us Luddites with no Facebook or Instagram or anything? I can't even really read your (or anyone's) FB page because FB is super aggressive about trying to get non-users to get an account, and show only a tiny window of anyone's page and constantly pop up boxes telling me to sign in, so I just don't even bother trying to see anyone's FB page any more...

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    1. Not to worry, all the videos will be embedded here on the blog - no way I'm missing out on potential post content! :p

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  66. I would love love to see tiling demos! I am hoping to buy my own house here in about a year, and my plan is to get a fixer-upper, and turn it into my dream house. Part of that is a really kick-butt shower. Looking forward to following along!

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  67. Yes to everything! Do you do sprinklers? Or is that not a thing in Florida? Whatever you do, I'm excited!

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  68. Mine was how to troubleshoot electrical in a fairly new house; hubs says it's fine and I worry bc I hear buzzing when some light switches are turned on, & we had a breaker go off when trying to repair built in micro wave which also shorted out an extension cord plugged in nearby... leaving a nasty burn mark on the outlet cover... which I haven't re-plugged anything into since then.

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  69. We have that same bathroom sink, except ours is marbled peachy-tan -- and the faux-marbling is white and only in the sink [not in the counter portion] so it just looks like someone did a horrible job cleaning up spilled white paint. The cabinet underneath is very similar to that one, but with two doors on the left and two large drawers on the right. I hate the color of the sink/counter, I hate the marbling, I hate the scallops [which are annoying when cleaning], I hate how tiny the faucet is and how low the cabinet is [I'm tall so these two things together are murder on my back when I wash my face], I hate the color of the cabinet [I'm in the minority of people who hate wood; I don't want to see ANY wood grain and I usually don't want anything to be the color of wood, especially if it's light-colored (I know I'm weird)], I hate how deep the drawers are [again, I might be in the minority on that one, but they make it difficult to organise and quickly access things because they get buried]. I already wanted to replace the entire thing and then it started leaking through holes IN the faucet -- it's so old that it corroded. Overall = ugh.

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  70. What a fun project! I would love to see what you do with the painted wood trim. We have the same situation in our new house and I'm hoping for a solution before painting!

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  71. laying laminate and maybe laying tile, if you end up doing that!

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