Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

Chaos Reigns Supreme


Chaos has come to call in the form of DIY home improvements, fencing renovations and on-the-job accidents.

Remember this?

I was actually kind of shocked to see this picture of how our sunroom looked when we moved in when I was prepping the post last night.

The sunroom (a.k.a. the Florida room, a.k.a. the covered porch) was one of the reasons we fell in love with this house – louvered glass windows on two sides?? Heaven – but it was also covered in moldy carpet and was home to a half demolished (and very sad looking) tikki bar.

The week we moved in our friend Amy and I ripped out the tikki bar and the carpet, leaving a concrete slab, coated in carpet glue.

K and I discussed what to do with the space. We played around with the idea of sandblasting the concrete and then staining it, but finally came around to tiling as the best option for a more finished look in this indoor-outdoor space.

The problem is, neither of us had either done anything remotely like this. Luckily we have a friend (Mike) who has, and was willing to do a little hand–holding and tool lending in support of our first true DIY endeavor. And his wife Liz was willing to lend him to us for the weekend.

We picked a weekend, K arranged to have a couple of days off of work. Because we had decided that the red brick walls would look odd with the new tile, I started painting the week before.

The brick was covered with two coats of warm white, and the closet housing the washer dryer a deep hot pink (NOT my usual palette, but I sort of love it, and I think K secretly does too).

The week of the project arrived and I got a phone call from the company putting in our new fence – they would be arriving on Thursday to tear down the old fence and set the poles for the new fence and back on Tuesday to finish installing.

Before and after fence removal

Gulp. A whole FIVE days without a yard for Miss Stella. How did we ever have dogs without a yard?????

Thursday and Friday were spent finishing the painting, gathering supplies, sweeping and mopping the floor in preparation for the tile.

Sanding down the tufts of old carpet, the tile!! Our Hyundai was riding pretty low on the way back from the hardware store.

Smaller tiles will fill in the uneven sections of flooring by the doors

Mopping the floor. As soon as the water touched the old carpet glue, it started to soften become goopy and release from the floor. Saturday morning it was no drier.

And so, after seeking the advice of my pop, and the flooring guys at Home Depot, we (and here I mean K and Mike, I mopped up after them, rather ineffectually) spent the day heroically scraping glue off of concrete. And thus this meant the complete demise of our schedule, as well as the contents of my proposed blog post.

Before and after glue removal

Cleaning up. Now on my list of must-haves? A shop-vac

I just have to stop here and say that Mike and Liz deserve an award. Or maybe a plaque in their names? Some ice cream at the very least. Mike stayed positive and kept going when we would have thrown up our hands, and Liz kept me company at Home Depot and helped me make design decisions. And after all that, Mike offered to come back and get us started on the tiling Monday.

The plan for Sunday was to take a break and kick back poolside with some folks from our old neighborhood. K and I worked on the patches of the floor with stubborn gluey patches, and then proceeded to clean up in preparation for our departure to the memorial day festivities.

That is, until I stepped on one of the scraper poles we were cleaning, taking off a couple of inches of skin from my heel and necessitating a trip to the ER. Three hours and six stitches later, we were poolside, and I was nursing a mimosa.

The offending scrapers

Bright and early this morning, day five ouf our project (Monday) Mike was back and we were getting ready to begin tiling. Only two days behind schedule. Once the tiles started going down, I immediately felt a surge of excitement, beginning to see the end result.

As I’m writing K and M are hard at work, knocking out what they can today. We’ll still have more days of tiling ahead, then the grout, clean up. Maybe we’ll be done by the time my stitches come out! And of course the fence *might* be done tomorrow……..

8 Responses to “Chaos Reigns Supreme”

  1. ruchapowers

    And this is why I tell my boys to ALWAYS WEAR SHOES when doing projects involving tools ; )

    The tile is going to look great and the shade of pink looks Fabu! Kudos to Liz for assisting you with design choices at the HD. Everyone needs a level-headed girlfriend when making decisions that involve permanent adhesive!

  2. Norman Ross Powers

    The tile job is even much more challenging than I had pictured. All that cut-in around the doors and cabinets in addition to it being quite a large area AND covered in ugly glue! Mike deserves recognition, indeed, for leading the charge on the project….how about a party for him, maybe? The room’s going to be smashing when it’s done and the perfect place for a nice soire. Meantime, East Twin, your wound is worrisome, so I might pester you about it until we know it’s well healed (no pun intended).

  3. Sandra

    oh gawd – all of that sounds hellish! But Oami – you have a very good attitude and the right aptitude for diy. I am impressed by all of you for taking on such a job!

    And hey – we almost bought one of those floor scrapers to remove mortar from the wall of our garage. There is a serious razor edge on those things – I’m so sorry you got hurt!

  4. Ursula

    Hey – sorry you got hurt. I was wondering what that room was! Sounds fantastic. Your dad’s right, nice place for a party. What’s that little ineffectual hand sander doing there? I know that didn’t work did it 🙂
    so what are you going to put in this room?? How are you going to decorate?
    Excited you’ll be here soon!! The champagne is chilling!


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