Thursday, March 26, 2009

"It's been a long, long, long time..."

A little Beatles to open this up. And it has been a long, long, long time since I've posted. Almost a year. And that's because all of last year was full of travel and very little changes to the house. But that has changed, pretty drastically. We have finally updated the rest of the den.

The first phase was over a year ago--a simple removal of one old heating solution, nasty cork tile that had all but melted/frozen/something into the wall, and the result was re-drywalling the whole western face of the room and painting it. Not to mention painting the door and windows in the room. Somehow that took a month.

This project took only two weeks, but that's because we enlisted some help from a professional. So let me plug Sally Loomis of Loomis Improvements right now. For any of you in the Denver area needing a friendly, dependable, capable, and fairly priced contractor who will get things done, we highly recommend her.

I should also take this time to thank Michael Eltrich of Invision Architecture, who supplied the concept drawings/elevations for our new stairs.

Anyhow, I'll try to let the pictures do the talking, but we basically contracted Loomis Improvements to turn the stairwell in our den to accomodate a new couch, and to really allow the room to do what it was meant to do--basically be a lounge around watching tv or chat with friends kind of room. In doing so, we also added some heating ducts to the room (it's always cold), so they did so by poking some holes through our foundation walls and adding a heating duct and a return to get air circulating down there.

The rest was simple stuff done by us which included using Dricore subflooring on top of the old asbestos tiling that was under the carpet (just leave that stuff alone--better to cover it up than to break it up and try to get it out!). A little painting, putting down some new FLOR carpet tiles (our second adventure with FLOR--we really like their new shag tiles!) and the addition of a new EQ3 couch that we picked up at Invironments in Boulder. We have to highly recommend Invironments as well. They do all sorts of custom cabinets/countertops/etc. and some really cool furniture. We've been looking for a couch for two years now, and Invironments helped us find it in addition to having it shipped to the store for next to nothing. (They can help arrange getting it to your house if needed, but now this is sounding like an advertisement.)

That's it in a nutshell. It was a lot of work for all involved, but besides waiting for the last of the carpet tiles to come in (we changed the design on the fly and were then short on what we needed), it's all done. We might add a railing at some point, and we will finish the oak platform and stairs when we refinish the rest of the floors in the house...which hopefully will happen in 2009 sometime. Here we go, from how it looked to now:

As it was....note awesome brown carpet and smelly blue couch. No bueno.

Bye bye, last of the brown carpet.

Anyone want some lead paint stored beneath our stairs for the last 50 years? Too late, it's already gone, as are your chances for serious birth defects.

Trying to have fun with mundane work.

Note awesome cinder blocks. No they don't go straight to the crawl space, but they might as well have. Serious drafts come through there. Got some insulation to fill the holes and had Loomis cover with drywall.

Loomis removed the old stairs and built a new oak platform by the back door. Note sweet brownish asbestos tiles that were under our equally sweet brown carpet.

Gus enjoying his new playground.

To cut all the Dricore subfloor, I had to invest in a small and cheap, but effective, table saw. Made cutting the Dricore a breeze!

Laying down the Dricore all Saturday...weirdly satisfying to make it fit as perfectly as possible. This stuff is pretty cool--we'll see what I think in 5 years, but it was very easy to use and is great for any basement/dropped room with thermal issues. (Aka, it's always too damn cold in the room.)

Ask Jamie about our fun trip up to Boulder to retrieve our couches.

The old couch was one of two bains to our existence. Now the only one left is our entire kitchen.

Sachi (left) and Gus (right) approve of the new couch. It's IRELAND green btw. Guess where we're heading in May? Ireland. How appropriate.

Jamie getting the carpet tiles adhered to the subfloor. Meanwhile, Gus is curious as usual.

All that's left now is 7 more tiles (we changed the design as we laid the FLOR tiles down, and that resulted in not having enough to finish beneath the stairs), and finishing the wood on the stairs/platform.

And maybe a railing. I think we have to have one to be up to code, but while we're living here, there's really no reason...helps keep the space open. And of course, it's easy to see the tv from the kitchen table.


Deirdre said...

Wow, I'm totally impressed! It's beautiful. We'll have to pick your brain when we finally get started on the home improvement projects we have in mind.

Hal said...

Totally ya'll !! Modern, unique, colorful, simplistic, and utilitarian (which is different than Unitarian!) The effort and planning shows, not to mention the craftsmanship. A wonderful addition to your home !

Leslie said...

Hi -

I love the green color you painted the outside of your house, can you tell me what color paint you used? Also, what blue paint color did you use in your tv/living room?