Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Take Down a Ceiling - The Safe Way | #PBJreno

I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

It's raining...ceiling insulation and plaster!

One of the messiest stages of our kitchen renovation has been this part of demolition - taking down the ceiling. Up until then we've been able to get away with wearing respirators, gloves and protective eyewear... But for this phase of the demo - we amped our up protective gear to full blown space suits.

Just a quick before of the ceiling... it was plaster with a popcorn finish.  We wanted to just take it all down and put up a brand new flat surface ceiling to give the kitchen all-over update.  Yes, we could have scrapped off the popcorn and refinished it but with the material being plaster... and since we're redoing so much electrical work and fixing their bad electrical work it's easiest ultimately to just get everything open and to the bare bones.

We ordered coveralls from 3M because we wanted to protect our bodies, heavy duty respirators and full safety eyewear because we knew we were going to get COVERED in insulation.

Those bad boys worked REAL well!

Most of the plaster came down really easy, we'd be able to pull on the edge and a big sheet would come down... along with gallons and gallons of insulation.

taking down a ceiling | PBJstories.com

taking down a ceiling | PBJstories.com

After we'd pull down one or two big chunks of ceiling we'd just use a big shovel to clean up the pile insulation and bag it.  I believe by the end of the ceiling we had 11 big black garbage bags full of ceiling debris.

taking down a ceiling | PBJstories.com

taking down a ceiling | PBJstories.com

taking down a ceiling | PBJstories.com

Does that picture make you cough just thinking about all that dust?!  AGAIN... if you do this project do NOT go lightly on protective gear!

Once we got everything cleaned up, we shop vacuumed the supports and the spaces we could reach to remove any extra debris.  We left a lot of the insulation that was to the side of the kitchen, and tucked back in the little edges.  We didn't want to remove any unnecessary insulation since that's something we have to replace anyways.  We shoved cardboard up along the sides of the back and side wall where there was still a lot of insulation so when we were continuing to work in the space insulation wouldn't keep falling down.  Overall the project took us about 3 hours with clean up time too.

 Here's a few of the products we used:
  • 1 each 3M Half Face piece 6000 Series Respirator
  • 1 pair of 3M Particulate Filter 2091, P100
  • P1003M Coverall
Additional 3M™ Safety Products: 
3M Paint Sanding Valved Respirator (we've used this during all other stages of our demolitions)
3M ForceFlex Plus Safety Eyewear
(these too, super comfortable!)
3M SecureFit Safety Eyewear

3M Professional Hearing Protector

3M Disposable Earplugs
Some tips for this type of demolition:
  • Be prepared with your protective 3M safety gear - it is DUSTY and MESSY
  • Have a large shovel and plenty of garbage bags ready
  • Work slowly and don't let the insulation/debris build up so much you cause extra dust to circulate in the air. Do little bits at a time, clean up, seal the bag. Move on.
  • Seal off the room you're doing this in so dust doesn't move into other areas of the home.
  • Shut off your heating/cooling air ventilation system - otherwise that debris/dust will just get sucked into the vents.  It's even good to cover your air vents in the room, and surrounding rooms.
  • After your project is complete, replace your air filters with new fresh ones to help clean out the air better.
  • *Remember it's best to replace your air filters more often during renovations!*

    Check out the video too for more safety information and tips!
You can get more DIY safety tips and ideas from 3M DIY website and social media channels:


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Need a bathroom set upgrade? WIN ONE NOW! | Giveaway Time

One of my favorite parts of having relationships with companies and brand's are the opportunities to bring YOU, my READERS, the chance to win some pretty awesome things! 

It's been a while since I've done a giveaway here on the blog and so I'm happy to be able to give the chance to my readers THREE different prize opportunities to win!

I've teamed up with National Builder Supply and Pfister for three different prize packages.  It's easy to enter, and who couldn't use an awesome bathroom set upgrade?

Not going to lie... I need one myself.  We have ONE bathroom in our new house and it's dated, and icky.  But, sadly I cannot, so do me a favor and enter to win and ENJOY it if you win for me :)

Dates: June 11 at 12:30pm EST – June 25 at 12:00 EST
 Grand PrizePfister Contempra Bathroom Faucet and Bathroom Accessories Set (TP holder, towel bar, robe hook, etc.)
               Second Place – Pfister Contempra Bathroom Faucet
               Third Place – Pfister Bathroom Accessories Set
To Enter: Visit Sideqik landing page (link below), earn points by liking and following National Builders Supply and Partners’ social media profiles!
good luck!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Ultimate To Do List for our House

You all know we're literally knee deep in our kitchen renovation and that was the first project we really jumped into from Day 1 of owning the house. 

We have big dreams for this house, and buying a fixer upper it's important to know what projects are sprints, and which are the marathons. There isn't one nook, one cranny, one spot in this home that will "eventually" be made over by us. The first of which was our kitchen - and that my friends is what initially will take us on our journey of turning this house into a home. 

I wanted a spot I could document, along with all of you, what are big To Do list for projects are, and which we've accomplished.  So I thought I'd do a full Home To Do list here, and come back often to scratch it off our list, if and when we complete any of our tasks.

Now this is actually a very "broad" list at this time.  I think I'm going to do individual posts with a more detailed list per each section, or project come closer to that time.

Cosmetic Changes:
Removing popcorn ceilings in bedrooms and hallway
Replacing hallway door with glass door
Removing hallway "laundry shoot"
Replacing hallway lights
Replacing hallway doorbell

Exterior of the House:

Remove cedar shingles

Replace with new facing - siding?
Replace Mailbox
Scrap paint off exterior windows
Repaint Exterior Windows
Rebuild front "garden bed"
Add lighting/features

Add unique house numbers

Demo Screened in Patio
Create paver patio with seating and fireplace

Tear down old "kid swing set"
Sand and re-stain existing wooden play set
Replace wire fence with wooden fence

Home Maintenance:

Landscape entire yard (front, sides, back)

Cut down multiple trees

Break up existing driveway - replace
Replace Foundation around garage

Replace/Add Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Replace deadbolts/locks on exterior doors
Replace door knobs for bedroom doors
Add proper exterior lighting at entryway, garage, and driveway

Replace all new baseboards

Replace all new door/window casing

Add crown molding
Expand Den doorframe

Flip Basement Stairwell

Expand Exterior Entrance

Build new deck in back yard

Room Makeovers:

Front Living Room


Dining Room


Work Space

Master Bedroom Phase I and Phase II

Jackson’s Room

Makenzie’s Room

Upstairs Bathroom

Downstairs Bathroom

Laundry/Utility Room

Obviously each "room makeover" has 100 to do's for each room, as not a single room is just a cosmetic change.  With each room, I'll be doing an entire gut and making it over including rebuilding closets, replacing doors, adding new trim and molding, new fixtures, etc etc.

Now, who wants to come help us?


Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Install Sub Flooring | #PBJreno

We finally added something back into the kitchen! Felt nice to ADD something instead of the continuous removing we've been doing!

Last week I shared how we ripped up the original flooring in the kitchen here.  

If you were to look downward on our kitchen floor joists you'd see this layout.  Just about two-thirds of the room with vertical joists, the last third with horizontal boards.  Typically a room will have joists all in the same direction so once you lay your first board down you can continue through with tongue and groove until you hit the other wall.   Since our room had the varying direction of joist boards we had to lay them a little different than "usual".  (If there is anything ever "usual" when you DIY).

The layout of our joists & each 4'x8' plywood sheet:
The order we put each plywood sheet down:
1. Blue - 4'x8' plywood
2. Brown - Cut to size plywood
3. Green - 4'x8' plywood
4. Red - 4'x8' plywood

When laying sub-floor you want to look for plywood that has "tongue and groove" that run along the 8' long sides.


When you lay the boards against the wall frame you want to leave about an 1/8th of of room in between the board and the wall.  This allows for a little give and expansion over time.

Before you lay your board down, you'll want to put a line of sub-floor glue along the top of the joists like below. To permanently hold down the subflooring, it is best to use adhesive.  There is special adhesive for subflooring which is more workable than other construction adhesives.  Standard construction adhesive will not allow you to slide the tongue into the groove as easily.

Then once you lay the board down you'll want to use 2" wood screws for one layer of plywood. Screws should be set 6 to 8 inches apart (best to always check local codes too!).  We marked the middle of each joist using a long straight edge and drew the lines right on the sub floor so we were sure to hit directly in the middle of the joist each time.

After this -- stretch, stretch and then stretch some more because it gets hard on your back!

The second board we put down (the brown color in the diagram) we had to cut to size in order for it to fit in the remainder section of the horizontal floor joists.  We were still using the full 8' long side, just cut it down from 4' to fit properly.  Be sure to take note what side you're cutting because you want the tongue and groove edges to fit together. 

Then more adhesive and lay the board down.  You don't want to hit the plywood into place on the edge as you can damage the tongue and groove.  It's either better to use a 2x4 against the edge and hit that to apply pressure evenly.  Or, you can do what our Father in Law did and do some dance moves/jumping that slid it into place (should have video'd it!).

When you're lining two boards up on one joist, you want to be sure they're equally met in the middle of the joist for the best support.  Here's my attempt at showing that.... if it makes sense!

But then we just marked the center of the joists again, and screwed a lot more screws again.  You'll want to get as close to the edge of board as possible without splitting the wood.

Next came the next two boards to cover the vertical joists and those were just two full 4'x8' length boards fitted together in the middle again like or horizontal joists.

I think by the end of it we had over 500 screws in just the upper part of the kitchen area!
But all said in done it felt so nice to have flooring back in our kitchen - even if it was just sub floor! Next up is the lower level of the kitchen, well technically the dining room!

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