Sunday, December 12, 2010

What do you do when you're snowed in? Epoxy the floor of course!

Hurrah for a holiday blizzard! 18" of snow fell over the course of about 30 hours here in the fine state of Minnesota - and the falling snow, combined with the winds and temperatures equaled an official BLIZZARD! It was the 5th biggest snow storm to hit the state of Minnesota in HISTORY! The last time we had a snow this bad (or great...depending on how you look at it) was the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. WOWSA! I was fortunate enough to not have to be anywhere in it just added to the holiday spirit over here. Jeff may disagree as he had to work all weekend and ended up digging quite a few cars out of the parking lot. The fortunate part was that, along with most other businesses, Bloomington Drug closed down early and I got to have my Jeffy home with me:-)

Being snowed in means knocking a few things off the old to-do list if you can keep yourself away from that snuggly warm bed and cozy fire. Jeff and I compromised with our bed and said that if we got the storage room floor done, we could retire for the evening with a fresh batch of Chex Mix and a little glass of vino. So after we wrapped up a mean game of Memory with Rosemary by the Christmas tree, we headed down to the basement to start the process. There is a crucial step of mixing the paint with the actual epoxy that requires a predetermined amount of time to allow the product to properly cure. So we mixed the paint early so it would be ready for us precisely after Rosemary's bedtime.

We began the process of epoxying (glorified painting - but the product involves a hardening agent that keeps the finish on the floor virtually damage-proof no matter what you set, park or do to it). I was the cutter-inner and Jeff was the roller (our typical painting roles).

It's a VERY simple process: cutting in all of the edges first followed by rolling the epoxy in 4 foot x 4 foot sections.

The kit also comes with a bag of "sprinkles" that you often see on an epoxy'd floor. If I can just say, I was the "sprinkler" at our last house when we did this and it's harder than it looks. I kept getting big blobs of sprinkles vs an even dusting (here's an example of a little blob we accidentally got this time).

And below is a nice evenly dusted area:

So Jeff was sprinkler this time and did a much better job. We like to require that the sprinkler yells, "Wooo, Wooo" while spreading the sprinkles. Makes the job much more fun...ha!

My paint brush first touched the concrete at 8:30pm and we were cleaned up and done by 9:40...not bad! An hour of work with a great looking finished product. Here's a picture of us celebrating our accomplishment with a brew.

Now, I should clarify that this is a two day process. Earlier in the week, Jeff did the elbow-greasin' work of cleaning and preparing the concrete. It doesn't take a terribly long time, but the only way to get the epoxy to properly bond with the concrete is to have a perfectly clean surface.

My favorite part about this epoxy is that MOST concrete (especially in older homes) has some sort of stains on it from this or that. In our case, there was rust on the concrete from an old furnace that has since been replaced. Here are the before and afters of that area:

Now that we have the floor looking all spiffy, we'll eventually get around to deciding what we are going to do in here next. When we are gathering bids for the remodel, we are actually having them bid out finishing the basement as well. By finishing it, it would mean the addition of a large bathroom (with ample storage and sink/shower/counter space for GIRLS), putting in an egress window (it is code in Mpls that you add an egress in your basement if you do ANYTHING down it's not an option), framing out a separate utility room for the water heater and furnace, building out a laundry room and completing the living space with drywall, new carpet and a bit of cabinetry to house toys, tv, etc. Included in that scope of work would be drywalling this storage room at which time we would install some nice shelves to stack all our holiday decorations, camping stuff, etc on.

Our prediction is that for now, we will focus our efforts on doing the main floor project and the exterior as adding the basement bathroom will be QUITE an expense in itself as it requires moving the electrical panel and moving quite a bit of plumbing. However, after being in this house for a month now, we figure we could make it about 2 years without having that additional space/bathroom. Having only one toilet once we have two potty trained girls (which seems only possible through some sort of miracle) is going to be a challenge. Plus, once the kids are in school and we are all trying to get out the door in the morning, we are going to need another place to get ready outside of ONE tiny sink. So...until we see the numbers, that is our plan. We would do the main floor and exterior remodel immediately...and wait 2 years to finish the basement. Those two years would give us the time we need to be sure this is where we are going to stay for a while. If in two years we feel like this home is a 5 year house for us, then we'd scrap the basement all together and move on. However, our feeling really is that we will be in this house for a lot longer than that. So, here's to hoping we someday see these plans come to fruition!

And finally, a few pictures from the weekend:

Future Pharmacist? Here's a shot of Rosemary whipping up a little "medicine" (lotion) at dad's work.

I thought it seemed a little quiet in the playroom. I found the girls playing like this:-)

Another batch of homemade Chex Mix baking in the oven

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