Thursday, April 21, 2011

More than just another moving day/week….

The month of April has certainly been an interesting rollercoaster. I still have my health, thus I assume that is a good thing. The blessing in disguise has certainly allowed my mind to relax and focus on the task at hand. Prior to getting the news, I was beginning to feel rushed into things, which then I felt overwhelmed. The entire process was starting to make me feel unrest. I felt that nothing would be accomplished on time. The pressure of time and energy was getting the best of me. But I still created a plan and attempting to execute accordingly. I first set my priorities to the second floor.

The second floor wasn’t a total disaster. I only had to clean/scrub the refrigerator,stove and bath tub. I’m happy to report that nothing was damage. The second floor is now cleaned and also scheduled to be occupied for May 1st. It was originally scheduled for April 1st, however, apparently not many people were looking for a place in April. Now onto the next task… First floor…

The first floor was a disaster… I needed to move my stuff out of the three rooms so that I can sand and stain the floors. I rented a storage unit and started to move things there. Thanks to Wilson, we were able to move out the heavy things that I couldn’t do myself. Yes, I’m a strapping young lad of 35, however, let us not re-live the umbilical hernia incident, again (Thank you)… Ok, moving on… After Wilson’s services were completed, I began to move the small things myself. I realized that my stereo and TV manuals were missing, so,  I decided to take a picture so that the picture could assist me in recreate this mess later..

IMG_3385  IMG_3378

What a spaghetti mess…Not sure if I’m mentioned this before, but I hate moving… The packing, the lifting, the cleaning… The entire process is depressing… To me, moving is the realization that “I” have way too much junk and that about 90% of it can be thrown out…


After feeling a sense of “dis-accomplished”, I decided to take a walk. I walked down to the Hadley Falls bridge to clear my mind. The Holyoke Dam has been working overtime for the last couple of days due to the melting of the snow. In the summer, when the windows are open within the house, you can hear the rush of water from the dam… The soothing rush makes sleeping at night, extremely relaxing. However, the only drawback are the frequent trips to the bathroom during the night..

The Holyoke Dam is owned and operated by the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGED). The dam has been in service since 1906 to initially supply power to the textile and paper mills within Holyoke. I was able to find some history of the dam (Holyoke Dam History by HGED), hope you enjoy it. The file within the website, has a lot of information about the construction and debate about the dam…

Here are a couple of pictures from my walk.



After returning from my refreshing walk… I was hit with the reality that I need to get this place cleaned out.



I’m fortune enough that I’m starting a new job soon (April 25). Thus, I decided to take a week off before starting the new job. This break allowed me the time to sand and stain the floors. The first thing that I needed to do was clean out the rooms and get a sander… Here are the rooms prior to sanding them.



I have to admit, the floors were horrendous. The floor had paint spots and dark black spots that looked to be animal urine stains. Thus enter the beast….


I’m a big fan of tools and equipment that conduct a job efficiently and properly… I guess it is correct when people say ”Time is money”… This beast, has 4 orbital sanding pads and a vacuum to suck up any dust. I was done sanding the rooms within 3 hours. I was surprise how minimal the wood dust was flowing through the room. It certainly worked like a charm…Here are pictures of the finish work…


The paint spots and unwanted stains were all gone. After completing the sanding, I discovered some marks on the floor in the master bedroom. Within the photo’s above, top right, you will see subtle uniform lines going perpendicular to the grain of wood. It looks like the previous owners used a paint roller when they stained the floors. It is recommended that you use a rag to stain the floors. By using a rag, you minimize streaks and stain build up on the floor. Because of roller streaks, I decided to go with a dark stain color (red oak). I wanted to hide any imperfections like this with the darker color. Also, I’m a big fan of the rich bold color.








I was sure to not stain myself into any corners…Once the staining process was completed and dry, I was able to put down a nice clean coat of semi-gloss Polyurethane. The following picture were taken after putting down the first of two coats of polyurethane.




I love the reflection of the door and window frame on the floor. The house may smell for a few days, but I’m loving the floors. By the way, here is something for you to think about… I was talking with a friend about the cost of hiring someone to do the floor. Basically do the same thing that I just did. The estimating cost to do 3 rooms was about $1000… With the sander rental, 1 can of stain, 2 cans of polyurethane, and miscellaneous supplies it cost me about $200… The best part of doing the job yourself is the pride, satisfaction and $800 towards a vacation trip… And knowing is half the battle..

Anyway, next on the list is to add a second coat of polyurethane and then repaint some of the trim that was damage from the staining process. Well until next time, Happy building…

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A blessing in disguise…

The pressure of accomplishing things around the house has been pretty high lately. Of course, I’m the captain of my own ship and must stay focus. For the month of April, my agenda consist of attending a wedding in New Jersey, starting a new job (Yes again), move out of my apartment, finish fixing things in the first floor apartment and clean both apartments. By the way, did I forget to mention that all of this must be accomplished by May 1…The list of things that still need to be accomplished for the first floor apartment continues to grow of course. But the show must go on…

I was able to install the bi-fold doors in the master bedroom. It was certainly much more easier than I had originally thought. The installation was simple, however, I was unable to get the doors squared properly…However the doors look a lot better than the original sliding doors. The good news, I didn’t get hurt…


I next decided to install the light fixture in the living room. I had to first remove the old dust infested ceiling fan. The removal of any electrical fixture is far more easier when you (or I) shut the power off properly. I also replace the dimmer switch with a standard toggle switch.



Ok, one bi-fold door down, two more to go. One light fixture down, two more to go… But, I do have some bad news… The first floor apartment will not be occupied in May. The potential tenant had a personal issue, thus withdrew their request to occupy the first floor apartment. However, in reality, like the title of this entry states…”A blessing in disguise” which it certainly is…I can rest a little more easily… Anyway, I have a week off and will be sanding and staining the floors shortly.. Well until next time, happy building…


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