Do It Yourself

My “To do” list is growing by the day!  After the 2nd visit to the trailer and conferring amongst ourselves it looks like our first project will be to pull up the carpet (geriatric dog – need I say  more?) and replace it with vinyl sheeting wood-look floors (Vinyl Trafficmaster Allure). I don’t like carpet, especially with kids and pets and these are supposed to be super easy to install, durable and waterproof. We like the  light oak model.  I’m weighing whether to try it myself or enlist professional help ($1.50 per square foot, ~80 sq feet = $120).  I’m one of those people who can neither draw a straight line, nor cut one, so it might be worth the money.  The floor has to go in before we move in and before any built in loft beds are constructed.  So far Wednesday looks like this once the trailer is delivered and set up: rip out carpet, clean, paint (I got the blocking primer to cover the dark colors and dark wood) and if the primer drys in time, paint walls with the warm cream color we’ve chosen.  Then the floor can be laid.  The kids are disappointed that they won’t be able to move in right away but these sort of projects will just be so much more difficult to do after we’ve moved in!  Due to a very tight budget we may have to wait some time to get the beds built and just sleep on blow-up mattresses for a while.  We will also need to replace window coverings and some screens and that’s another project that will just go lower on the priority list as will buying necessary furnishings (table and chairs, computer cart, mattresses, etc).

Several of you have asked and I wish I had job news to share with you but I don’t.  Hopefully something will open up soon!

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15 Responses to Do It Yourself

  1. maja says:

    The new place looks great in those photos! So exciting 🙂

  2. docdave says:

    Before you start cutting sheet vinyl, you might see if you can find a deal on “floating” strip flooring–is applied a “plank” at a time, adheres to its neighbors, not the underlayment, and is easy to trim down to fit when the time comes to install the last row. Is high density so it stays down, but flexes a bit in case the floor does, too! Main advantage–if you screw up teh cut on a plank, you can always replace just the one plank.

  3. Nancy says:

    I installed Allure-type vinyl flooring, and I have a lousy skill set. It really wasn’t all that hard. You could use paper to make a template around the tricky areas, like doors, then cut from that pattern.

    Also, on kid beds, have you thought of having them sleep in the Japanese manner? Just roll up bedding during the day?

    I am so happy for you to be able to find this home! Thanks for sharing with everyone about how the fix-up is going.

  4. Sheila says:

    Just caught up with you again. Donation sent.
    for beds- Maybe a trundle style bed under one bunk to free up floor space during the day for the Lego man. A few casters on it to slide under the other bed.

  5. Catherine N. says:

    We have a place here called ReCONNstruction, where people donate kitchen cabinets, lighting fixtures, construction materials, etc. And they’ll sometimes have flooring, or blinds, or paint… check and see if you have anything similar near you…

    And I agree with checking craigslist, freecycle, etc…. and ’tis the season for yard sales too.

  6. Nancy says:

    Do not try to do everything at once. Do the floor. Do the painting. Then live there for a bit and see how you use that room. Are they in there all day, do they like having the extra floor room? Would beds on the floor be okay?

    Doing a quick search, it looks like there are two types of bunks for RV, ones with two narrow beds top and bottom with the bottom one able to be folded up leaving the loft bed solid all day, or one with a double on the bottom and single loft on top, leaving about half the room open (because no bunk opposite the first one).

    And the tables and couch? Wait! See what you need. Live with least amount of stuff you can. Purge! I love living bare.

    • boxcarkids says:

      Trust me – we know all about living bare. I doubt many families live with as little as we have had for the past 2 years! I am looking forward to a little more space and plan on filling at least some of it (kitchen counter) with things from our storage unit. Can’t wait to get the slow cooker and rice steamer and such back.

  7. Maryl says:

    Curtains? Those are called bedsheets (shop yard sales/thrift stores) which have that nice big top hem more than adequate for a curtain rod to be run through. Of course, you’ll want to hem them, and that is why God made stitch-witch, the iron-on hemming tape stuff.
    Do you have a Project Restore around, which is a part of Habitat for Humanity. They sell all kinds of household things.
    And by the way, are there screens there that are in bad shape? Screen material and a spline tool are not expensive AND you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to replace a screen.

  8. Lynn says:

    PS…for fast (temporary) window coverings, I have been known to tape up tissue paper sheets on the glass.

  9. Lynn says:

    We were at Lowe’s in Ventura last night looking for a floor covering for Jim’s mom’s Victorian house, which has uneven floors, and they showed us a wood look material that is a solid sheet. They suggested it because it is edge glued which makes it easy to apply, waterproof (no seams unless you need to go wider than 15 feet) and covers irregular surfaces well. It’s also inexpensive and looks quite good, either in wood look or tile look, and there are several patterns which are being discontinued at something like 44 cents a square foot. You might want to look at it before you buy the Allure, which looks much trickier to install.

  10. Barb says:

    We installed Allure about a year ago in an entry way, half bath, kitchen and dining area. Lots of material. But we did do it ourselves. All you need is a utility knife and sharp blades. Not that bad to do. Now there are mistakes, mainly by my lack of cutting abilities. Around doorways was the hardest. But here was my trick, I caulked the gaps and painted them to match the grout pattern. We chose the ceramic tile pattern. I bought a small jar of sample paint to match the “grout” color and now the gaps look like they are grouted. No one is the wiser. The materials ran $700, but to hire someone to lay sheet vynal, it was around $2,500. We have kids, pets too and I wanted something practical. So far so good. Only a couple of dings after a year. I could fill those in with paint if I wanted to.

  11. From your own description of you lack of line cutting abilities, maybe you should enlist professional help or ask friends to help.

    Also, I would not pay for blowup mattresses. It will be money wasted, in my opinion. Just camp out and use blankets to make pallets for the children to sleep on the floor. We had beds, but it was a treat for us to sleep on the floor when I was a child. We begged to be allowed to make beds on the floor, padded with only a twice-folded blanket. If you have the blowup mattresses, okay.

    Window coverings? Cheap at thrift stores or second hand. No curtain rods? put a nail at top corner of each window, thread a curtain on a wire and attach the wire to nails, pulling taut.

    Advertise on Yahoogroups Trader or Freecycle. People here give away things like tables and chairs all the time.

    Screens would be at the top of the list if you are willing to open windows for breeze or to save on ac. However, I am not one to open windows in extreme heat and don’t expect you to, either! Your child may need the ac for his health.

    Oh, check with social service agencies about a certain kind of thrift store. You can work out the cost of what you need from them. You sort, price, or hang things up for a certain number of hours and get what merchandise you have chosen. Of course, with children you may not be able to do this.

    Whatever you have in storage will be like all new things to you. Good luck with the floor. By the way, the floor under the carpet may have retained the urine odor.

    • Jynet says:

      But there are chemicals at the pet store that might help with the urine odor. Check around the internet for reviews first… some are good… some are not!

  12. Lili says:

    We’re looking at installing Allure in a couple of our bedrooms. It’s supposed to be fairly easy to install per a woman at Home Depot. My 9 year olds and I laid in 420 sq feet of bamboo flooring so I’m ready for something easy. Of course, having a professional install it would get it done much faster if you’re anything like me. I usually have to make several trips to the hardware store and have numerous interruptions from the kiddos so it takes me forever to finish a project. $1.50 per sq foot is a great price for installation. It’s more like $2.50 a sq foot where we live. Which ever way you go, good luck. We so very happy for you.

  13. Jynet says:

    What’s that old saying? You can have it good and cheap, but not fast; good and fast, but not cheap, or; fast and cheap, but not good….

    Personally I find doing things myself often result in: bad (never as good as I think it should be), expensive (in wasted materials), and slow (as I re do it over and over) 🙁

    Good luck with your decision. It does look like an easy product to use… maybe your carpenter friend could help?

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