Friday, February 5, 2010

Home Improvement projects

Toward the end of 2007 Frugal Chick and I knew our carpet was worn out. We both knew we wanted to tile the kitchen and bathrooms and put hardwoods throughout the rest of the house. We priced this out to several contractors and came to the conclusion they were charging more than we were willing to pay. We decided that we would either have to put off this project or figure out how to do it ourselves.

Luckily, Frugal Chick and I have a friend who has laid hardwoods in his own house. We asked him if he would help get us started in our home. Thankfully he was more than willing to help, and was more than generous with his time and letting us borrow his tools.

We priced around and found a very good deal for interlocking hardwood, quarter round and tile at a wholesale outlet called Surplus Warehouse. We even went a day in which it was raining so we would get more individualized service. They were having an extra sale; if memory serves me right an annual coupon day. I would recommend everyone looking for a Surplus Warehouse ( a store like it in their area before purchasing from a big box hardware store. We actually got Bruce Hardwood ( for a very reasonable price.

So with 1,200 square feet of hardwood and 300 square feet of tile in hand we were ready to start flooring. Some of these items had to sit in the guest bedroom while we worked our way from room to room, but the savings far out weighed the inconvenience. We had a Miter Saw, a jigsaw and a circular saw and borrowed a table saw. Our friend helped us floor the first three rooms in our house, without him we would have had a real mess on our hands.

Frugal Chick refers to this kind of work on your house as sweat equity. I will not lie to you it is hard work and there is a definite learning curve. When you attack a project like this you will have to accept that while a room is being floored the house will be in disarray.

The benefits are both evident and unexpected. It is obviously cheaper (in our case 3 1/2 times cheaper) to install the wood and tile than to contract it out. There are unexpected benefits of doing it yourself. I have learned how to use tools that may assist me in many projects and that may allow me to help others in the future. I am not a handyman but have come to love doing this kind of work, not only do you save money doing it yourself there is also a sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you did it on your own.

Out with old in with the new

Finished products

And here is our house after all our renovations

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