Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

Yes, You Can Do It Yourself – But You Might Need Help!

So, as I mentioned recently, last month I bought a house. This has, naturally, led to a series of do-it-yourself projects. There were some of the usual things that I have done before: painting, putting up shelves, minor repairs to toilets, water valves to be open/shut/tightened, and lots of cleaning. But we did embark on one major project that was brand new to us, refinishing our hardwood floors. How hard could this be? We’re both college-educated, reasonably intelligent, semi-handy people. We should be able to do this, right?

As it turns out, yes, we can refinish floors. It just took some patience, cooperation, a few rental tools, some library books, several Google searches, multiple trips to the home improvement stores, and lots more time than we thought it would. (Turns out that it works best to do this type of thing when you’re on vacation. Coming home after a hard day at work to sand floors is not that fun.) Below are our before, during, and after pictures. Do the floors look like a professional did them? No, but that’s OK. We like the results, are proud of ourselves and each other, learned a few things about being handy and about our relationship, and (here’s the best part) we get to tell everyone that WE DID IT ALL BY OURSELVES!

Boys’ Room – before

Boys’ Room – during (stain is half done!)

Boys’ Room – finished!

Our Room – before

Our Room – during (after all sanding was done)

Our Room – finished!

Hall – before (we took up mauve carpet only to find tile made to look like wood was underneath!)

Hall – during (under the wood-look tile there was a layer of particle board nailed to the floor)

Hall – finished!

If you’d like to embark upon some home improvement adventures for yourself, the library has a plethora of resources available to assist and guide you.  Below is just a small sampling…

How to Cheat at Home Repair: Time-Slashing, Money-Saving Fixes for Household Wear Hassles and Breakdowns by Jeff Bredenberg

Same Place, More Space: 50 Projects to Maximize Every Room in the House by Karl Champley

The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement

Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want by Duo Dickinson

The Portable Dad: Fix-It Advice for When Dad’s Not Around by Steve Elliott

Refresh Your Home: 500 Simple Projects & Tips to Save Money, Update, & Renovate by the editors of The Family Handyman

What’s a Homeowner to Do? by Stephen Fanuka and Edward Lewine

The Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions by Mark Alan Hewitt and Gordon Bock

The Complete Guide to Green Building and Remodeling Your Home: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply by Martha Maeda

Money-Wise Makeovers: Modest Remodels and Affordable Room Redos That Add Value and Improve the Quality of Your Life by Jean Nayar

So, You’re Renovating! Do-It-Yourself Video Collection (DVD)

Spend-a-Little Save-a-Lot Home Improvements: Money-Saving Projects Anyone Can Do by Brad Staggs

Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle by Gale C. Steves

Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live by Sarah Susanka and Marc Vassallo

Ultimate Guide Home Repair and Improvement

-Melissa M.

P.S. The floors even got the thumbs-up from my hard-to-please mother! That was when we knew we had really done an OK job.


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