Flood Restoration, Do It Yourself
In later testing of the new 'Frost Proof' faucets, I found that they are greatly diminshished in volume of water. The original outside silcocks were capable of shooting a water stream from a 5/8" hose, a considerable distance. In retrospect I should have had the larger diameter 'washer valve' (commercial?) silcocks installed. Experience is not a nice teacher.
After using the shop vacs to their fullest, we are down to the replacement mode in carpet. Our choice of laminate flooring in two rooms, with wife getting her nice soft carpet in two rooms. Checking all available prices and qualities at several flooring stores, we settled on some diverse solutions.
The carpet is coming from, and being installed by Jim's company Floors and More Inc
You Tube per son's advice, had several installation videos, some were jokes, other's worthwhile. The Lowe's series seemed to be helpful. One comment suggested the 'Installer' be our next president. I think he could do the job better than what we have at the time... Lowe's plastic tape, precision formed plastic hammer block, their 1/4" spacers and the padded Pull Bar looked useful. The deadblow hammer, though nice, cost close to $20 so it was bypassed for my rubber mallet.
One appraised cost of 2 rooms of laminate, certified installation was $950...more than the cost of flooring, so it is definetly a do it ourself project. Number One son is the appointed crew chief. He was always very talented with Legos as a youngster. That alone is the qualifier, as far as we are concerned. He did an excellent job when we had him crew the tile installation in our bathroom. The fact that he owns Crown Coachworks
We borrowed a neighbor's table saw. It is a must have, to rip the laminate boards. the closet is done to 'Lego spec' in one room now. The 'tilt snap click' of each adjoining board, is very important. If not done, the bevel edges of adjoining boards are not level.
The You Tube vids indicate a 1/2 board length cut to start. They run along the left wall as you enter the room. I found this to be slightly erroneous, as the doorway is sometimes more complex and to start there, often works out better. Laying each consecutive laminate board is a simple 'tilt snap click'..very important. Leave a 1/4" expansion space at sides and ends of flooring against walls and at 'transition' channel. The temporary little spacer blocks are usefull along walls. Laying heavy full boxes of laminate on top of the first three rows you have in place, holds them firmly while the rest of flooring is installed. The laminates tend to 'float' otherwise.
We cancelled the order for 3 'transition' ends to carpet. Son figured that we could easily transition by starting the run from the closet glide door rail entrances, ending at the back wall. The only Transition to carpet required, was at the two entrance doorways. One six foot 'trans' was enough to cover both entranceways. The old baseboard was salvaged then painted, and went down easily over the 1/4" gap to wall, required for expansion of the flooring.
The base 'felt' with plastic membrane, was plastic taped and seamed after cutting. Membrane down, facing concrete, per most recomendations. Of course we cleaned the concrete well before laying the felt. Son is great at trimming out the corners around door jams. He has a critical eye for seams and joints. One little mistake in setting the first board has a joint slightly out of line. He didn't like it, but I don't think it is noticeable.
When he has customers drop off their wrecks for Collision repair, they take little notice of their own door dings collected over time. When they return for pick up of their pride and joy cars, they sure are fussy, noticing every 'old' flaw on sections other than where the damage was, insisting they weren't there before. This attention to detail carries over into his newly aquired flooring trade.
My painting skills were put to work. One room had not been painted for many years. Walmart paint had that thick feel when you shook the can, without the high price that accompanied it in other paint stores. Walmart's Glidden ceiling paint covered the thirsty 'popcorn' in one gallon. The helpful man from the automotive dept is a 'jack of all trades'.
He has always helped us out on automtive and tool purchases. His 'paint dept' hat fits well. He added more whitener to give the ceiling a brighter look. Walmart's 'Color Place' Satin wall paint came out to cover the entire wall surface with one coat and is easy to clean according to our helpfull paint dept at Walmart. Good stuff and the price was right. Fluffy 'stucco' rollers did a great job on both ceiling and walls.
The dingy old electric sockets were loose internally, the appliance and computer plugs fell loose often. Samon's electric had the latest safety 'code' decorator switches and sockets with little doors in the slots for the same price as the old style.
The installations all went well, even though the aluminum wire required a bit of oxguard dope on each connector. The much overhyped 'fire danger' from aluminum wire, proved to never be a major problem. Our subdivision area of thousands of homes from the 1970's is completely 'Al' wire and NO homes have burned. Some socket and switch connectors came loose, got crispy and failed from the poor connections and overloads. Copper pig tails and oxguard fixed them.
The baseboards and trim are getting scars patched and new paint. I am now laying the other room floor, following our son's Lego routine. It should proceed well following his learning curve of the very important 'tilt snap click' to get perfect alignment. Starting point is the entrance doorway on this room. Measuring the first board for 1/2 cut of finished surface, is keeping in mind to flip the board, end for end for mark and cut, so the cut edge is the exposed threshold end.
The cutoff piece is saved for use at other end of next row. Always cut off the end that is NOT to be locked into position (such as walls) away from Joining surfaces. A 'Transition' piece will cover the cut edges under doors where carpet or tile meets laminate. Closet joints will match...if I do pre-layout correctly.
Picked up the 'transition' strip from Connie at Raby's today. It was not of the highest quality that comes with metal channel. This manufacturer uses plastic channel mounted (in this case concrete drilled, anchored and screwed) to floor under doors, and does not grip the wood finished transition strip with sufficient force to prevent flexing and creaking.
Frank, always the professional carpet layer, discarded the flimsy plastic channels and glued the doorway transition thresholds, directly to the concrete and laminate cut ends, for a tight perfect transition. Frank did an exquisite job of laying the high quality new carpet over white 'Glacier' pad.
Working the entire job alone, he 'hot joined' the seams, carefully aligning the 'nap' in one direction throughout the halls and rooms. Stretching a 'high pick' backed, quality carpet is tough and he was sweating. I had removed much of the 'tack strip' in flooded areas, due to it's moldy black look. The remaining, I bleached with Clorox to ensure no contamination. Frank had to reinstall many new tack strips with an epoxy caulk.
All is finished, and remaining carpet is installed. Called Kevin our neighborhood yard man to assist in the heavy relocating of furniture. Now it can be moved from the rest of house, into it's rightful position. He works an hour at a time due to his main yard jobs. Wife is a bit overwhelmed by the mess, as I. We know "It is like eating an elephant...one bite at a time".
As 'Citizens' of the United States of America, we are blessed to even own a home. Most of the world's countries with their 'socialized' economy, allow no such luxury for it's 'Subjects', as is demonstrated daily around the globe.
Only in the USA, "One Nation Under God" do we take it for granted.