Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family Room, Weekend One - the DRAMA

Before - A Pink and Green Paradise

As with most 401 Cape projects, the family room renovation began with an organized and well-padded timeline in place. We peeled back a corner of the carpet to reveal that there were subfloors in the room (score) and confirmed that hardwoods and beadboard would be installed. The room color was still under discussion. The team had also volunteered to host Thanksgiving, so we went around and around about starting this monster project before or after the holidays. While hotly contested, before the holidays won out.

Last winter proved a severe lack of heat in the family room, thus the installation of radiant heating was discussed. Research was conducted and an informational DVD was ordered to learn how to install it. Upon viewing the first five minutes of the DVD, it was determined that we were in over our heads. Plan B (a.k.a. having the existing electric baseboard repaired) was implemented. That went smoothly and we even had the electrician install a wire to add another baseboard later if we needed it. Look at us thinking ahead...

A scouting mission revealed that Home Depot had the best deal on the floors we needed, so we ordered them on Saturday afternoon and headed home. Then, in a Trading Spaces-like frenzy, we cleared the room and ripped out the carpet. That's when we hit the first roadblock of the project - only half of the room had subfloor and the other half was cement.

We called in the Glen Squad.

For those of you who don't know my Dad, Glen, he's always the first to swoop in to help with a home improvement catastrophe. Since he signed up to help us hang the beadboard and install the floors, the cement issue was a problem for him, too. Some drilling revealed that we weren't dealing with cement board that could be pulled up and replaced with subfloor, we were dealing with a cement slab. HOT!

We went back and forth about what to do:
  • Install another carpet: Nope.
  • Split the room and put tile down on the cement side and hardwoods on the other: That would make the room look small and stupid.
  • Tile the whole room: Too cold.
  • Put in new subfloors: Nope - Expensive and would require raising the doors and heater.
We went with the one that was unspeakable for the first 12 hours after our discovery - engineered hardwood (Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made up of a core of hardwood, plywood or HDF and a top layer of hardwood veneer that is glued on the top surface of the core. The product thus has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to a photographic layer. The "engineered" product has been designed to provide greater stability, particularly where moisture or heat pose problems for solid hardwood floors. )

This decision required returning the flooring that we had bought (but luckily not picked up yet) and finding engineered flooring the same width and color as the floors in the rest of the house. The only one we could find was ordered at Lowe's. That's when we found out it was on back order. Until November 10. As a reminder, Thanksgiving falls on November 27 this year. Looks like the timeline is shot to shit yet again.