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cinder 01-03-2008 03:19 PM

Renovation frustration
Hi! My husband and I bought an old family farmhouse that we are renovating and have been since March. With two kids, including a new baby, and him working 50-plus hours a week an hour away, it's been kind of rough. I guess I'm looking for a little encouragement, because every time I look around, I get so frustrated and overwhelmed because things aren't moving as quickly as I would like. Anyone get the mid-renovation blues?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!!

ToolGuy 01-03-2008 04:10 PM

Hi Cinder, and welcome to the forum. :)

You're not alone. Actually, it's rare that any renovation goes as planned and on schedule. What I find helpful is to anticipate that everythign will take 2 or 3 times as long as expected. That way, I and my clients are not often dissapointed.

Also, focus on one project at a time. Don't take anyting apart until everything else is completely finished. I know that's easier said than done, but it's a good practice to stick with as much as possible.

Of course, if you need any how to advice, were here for ya. Inspiration? Yep, we can do that too. :D

cinder 01-03-2008 07:19 PM

I only wish I had read this six months ago. We're doing three rooms at once, mostly because we had to sheetrock all of them, and the two rooms that were almost done had to be put on hold. So now, we have five somewhat-finished rooms!
I guess I do have a question. We're refinishing the wood floors throughout the house. My dad seems to think that those giant orbital sanders that you can rent are best left to the professionals, but we really cannot afford to have someone finish them for us. Are those really that hard to use? Two of the rooms' floors are in very good shape, and one will require quite a bit of elbow grease.

glennjanie 01-03-2008 10:35 PM

Hey Cinder:
Tool Guy is right about taking one job at a time, even if it is too late to find it out. Try to back off and finish one room at a time, each finish will be a triumph and plenty of inspiration and encouragement to go to the nexe. You and your husband need to sit down together and write out a plan of attack and mark off each project as you go. Also, consider this, 1 out of three new homes and/or remodeling projects cause a divorce; covenant together that you won't allow that to happen to you then go at it as a team. I know the children need your time but if you can just kinda clean up after him and keep the house livable it will be a tremendous help.
Now, for the floor refinishing. The big drum sander is not for DIY projects. I have used them several times and my house still has several dips from the drum sander. They are wicked to handle. A good alternative is to rent a commiercial buffer and use sandpaper on it or Lowes rents a square based sander that has a small random orbit and works pretty well. Caution: be sure to use a wax stripper on the floor before sanding; the sandpaper just gets gobbed up with the wax and can't do much good on the floor.
Remember, we are all behind you with loads of encouragement and technical expertise; call on us anytime. Hey, we will even pray for you and your family.

cinder 01-04-2008 01:01 AM

Thanks again
This site is exactly what I need. And I apologize about posing questions. I guess I overlooked the "Do not ask questions here" rule. Sorry about that!:rolleyes:

ToolGuy 01-04-2008 08:46 AM


Originally Posted by cinder (Post 13838)
This site is exactly what I need. And I apologize about posing questions. I guess I overlooked the "Do not ask questions here" rule. Sorry about that!:rolleyes:

I don't think the forums will come apart at the seams over one little misplace question. Actually, I was going to reply but had to run out the door at that moment.

But about the floor sanding... Yeah, father knows best. It's seriously back breaking grunt work and requires some practice. You don't want to practice on your own floors.

I understand the orbital floor sander works pretty well and is easier to use, but have never tried one so I can't vouch for that. I think you're better off focusing your efforts on the do-it-yourself projects and leave the higher skilled tasks to the pros. However, if you decide you do want to tackle it yourself, you might want to get caught up on your current projects first. Get everything done in all the rooms except for the base shoe and the last coat of paint. You'll be glad you did.

wightie13 01-04-2008 09:45 PM

I was looking at refinishing a hardwood floor in my family room a couple weeks ago and found after a little research that it is a BIG project. I still plan on doing it...but I am planning on waiting till summer now. I want to plan it out a little better around the family schedule (we have 2 young children). From what I read (see you want to stay away from the drum sanders b/c these are easy to leave large gouges in the floor. They say that the random orbital sanders, available for rent, are not all that bad to handle. What I found to be the most headache was the dust and the amount of time and smell that accompanies the finishing of the floor. Like I said after researching it this is a major project.

inspectorD 01-06-2008 06:57 AM

Hang on...
I just did my floors with my freinds orbital sander. They work great but, You need to hang on or the machine will throw you around the room. They get some getting used and you need to do a lot of fine sanding at the end or you end up with swirls. This is from experience.:D
Swirlman says...good luck, it is all worth it if you take it in small bites.:)

Daryl in Nanoose 01-06-2008 10:25 AM


Originally Posted by Educator (Post 13926)
Hey cinder,
You are amoungst friends here and anyone who says they have undergone a major home renovation but not experienced what you are feeling would be lying...... :eek: we all have.

I'm still living through ours (started in July) does seem like it will never end.....our frustrations lead to us starting our blog on our home reno experiences as a way of venting.

I'll just second (nope, can't do that....Glenn beat me to it), um ....I'll thrid what Glenn seconded and what ToolGuy said, but I'll say it a different way. Focus on one thing at a time.................try to finish something, ANYTHING, even if it is minor and not necessarily the most important thing. Picking the low hanging fruit is easier, gives one a sense of accomplishment and before you know it the low haning fruit is out of the way so your access to the higher hanging fruit is easier (emotionally as well as project wise).

The gang here is great! You've come to the right place.

Couldn't of said it better myself, try to think of what it will look like when your finished not what it looks like right now.

Hack 01-09-2008 04:09 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Welcome, Cinder...

I agree with what is being said here...focus on one job at a time (wish I took my own advice :o ).

We did the floors in our own house. It really depends on what kind of quality you're looking for. Our floors are Fir, and they were painted with several coats of gray porch paint (some of them). We did ONE room at a time (for the most part). Is it back breaking hard work?...YES! Is it rewarding to do it yourself?...ABSOLUTELY!

We weren't sure if we should tackle this one ourselves, but decided to try. It wasn't about the money for us, but rather the experience, and the satisfaction of knowing we did it ourselves. We used a drum sander and disc edger. The drum sander is actually a "belt" sander, which is easier to use and is much more forgiving than the old style drum. We went through LOTS of belts and discs...starting with 25 grit.

We finished with a sealer and wax. No poly on the floor. Our neighbors have the same type of flooring we have. They hired pro's. It went much faster, and of course looks better...

I'd say give it a try. Rent one, use it in a room where it's not going to matter much. If you find it to be too much, then hire it out. Just my two cents...

Here's a couple of before/during/after shots of our floors. (not actually in any particular order...I can't get this attachment thing right)

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