home improvement

DIY Remodeling plans for 2016 year.

The plans for this year’s remodeling include the front entry of the house and new french doors. We knew when we bought the house that the front entry area was in poor shape not only on the inside but on the outside also. There are several problems we will be tackling over the next few months and maybe even into next year.

Front French doors with stone surround

Front French doors with stone surround.

The Problems are #1. the exterior of the front entry is “Fake” stone. They are a molded cement that is the painted with the color and look of real stone. It is then applied to a board with mortar like tile. The problem is that the stones are attached incorrectly and the stones do not have enough mortar to hold securely. Leaving the stones open for water damage and just the effects of gravity have pulled the stones away from the plywood underneath . We have several “stones” that have fallen off and are just stacked up on the porch.

missing stone tile from upper door suround

Missing stone tile from upper door surround.

Problem #2 The doors are old and not very airtight, making them drafty and not as energy-efficient as they should be.

Light and air gaps are visible in the sunshine

Light and air gaps are visible in the sunshine.

Problem # 3 The amount of light that passes through the windows on the doors is not installed with U.V.Ray protective glass and the amount of heat and sun damage from the windows is an issue.

Problem #4 the inside of the entryway looks fine but needs updated with new lights and some wood and stone to tie it with the family room remodel.

inside of all white entryway before update

Inside the all white entryway before update.

So as spring approaches I need to get started on looking at new energy-efficient french doors. I want less glass and the glass that in the new doors must be U.V. Ray reducing.  We hope to install new flooring in the kitchen some time in the future and I want to eliminate the possibility of fading to a new floor. I also want less glass because the doors are on the western side of  the house. The sun just burns through the current windows allowing too much heat into the house the afternoons.

I will be working with a contractor who will be help us with measurements and ordering the new doors and will return again for installation. French doors are a two or three-man job for installation and Tom and I will need all the help we can get to get them into place in one day.

As for the tile on the outside of the house we will replace the doors first and allow any of the old facade to become damaged or cut away before we even think about replacement. Once the doors are in place, the removal of the fake stone will begin and we will be ready to order the new tile. We are planning on using Ledger Tile with natural colors of sandstone to blend in with the brick of the house. The application will be almost the same as the “fake stone” but done with better water-resistant backer boards and lots more mortar.

The inside may not get completed this summer as Tom is going to have Carpal Tunnel surgery, but the plan is to add two wall sconce lights on each side of the doors, remove a ceiling light, and add new wood trim and more Ledger Tile. So the summer work plan is just about to begin and I am excited to get started. The doors are the most important part of the project and our goal is to have them finished before the summer heat keeps us inside. The rest will wait on Tom’s recovery.

We have been having a hard time finding samples of ledger tile here in West Virginia. I am upset that Home Depot does not have them in their stores in my state but have them in Pa.  We can see them  online so Tom and I plan a trip to some of the bigger retailers out-of-state over the summer while he is unable to actually do the work but can see the materials. Sometimes living in the country can making things a little more complicated.

So when we get a few things ordered I will share the plans and photos as we update the doors and stone work. The year looks full of more fun and learning as we learn more about installing new doors, tile and mortar and correct applications outside.

 

Categories: DIY projects, hobbies, home improvement, home remodeling, ledger tile, light fixtures, spring | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This Sunday is the Airing of My Barnwood Builder Episode.

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

 

I am sorry that I did not share this information sooner, but here is your reminder. Sunday night on the DIY network at 9:00 pm will be the airing of my episode of our family room remodel. It has been a very long and very busy year. As some may already know we lost Grandma Powers to Cancer on Sunday( Oct 25 2015). Making a long story short the funeral was yesterday and we are moving Grandma out of her apartment today and I am sick… So I plan to enjoy a weekend of rest and relaxation. I have even given up the idea of taking Christopher Trick or Treating myself and plan to let his older brother Cody and his wife have all the fun this year. I just hope to not sleep through the episode and hope you all enjoy the story.

Mark Bowe hanging in the living room after shooting with the Barnwood builders

Mark Bowe hanging in the living room after shooting with the Barnwood builders

Categories: Barns, Barnwood, Barnwood Builders, Buckhannon West Virginia, DIY, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, Lewis County | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fall is Coming and so is My Barnwood Builder Episode

Fall has started to arrive here in West Virginia, squirrel and archery hunting season have begun, making my husband and son fidgety to get back out in the woods.The garden that I have not had time to write about was good and I am collecting the last of the tomatoes, peppers and squash this week. The aroma of roasting chilies and sweet peppers fills my house as the garden finally says good-bye. As the weather finally turns cold, I  will be ready to snuggle up and watch the new season of the Barnwood Builders. The season starts the first week in Oct and my families episode  airs  Sunday the 1st of Nov. So the weekend of Halloween looks full. Take the kids out Trick-or-Treating Saturday night and celebrate my birthday on Nov 1st with the a viewing party that includes cake and ice cream and a few close friends and family. The night should be unforgettable and I am still trying to figure out how this all happened to me.

I will post a reminder that week for those who want to see the show on the DIY or GAC networks that evening. Thanks for the support and cant wait to see what they have done with my little story.

Cinderella garden pumpkin

Cinderella garden pumpkin.

Queens Island blue squash

Queens Island blue squash.

Large chili pepper plant loaded and read to pick

Large chili pepper plant loaded with peppers.

two gallon harvest bucket

Two gallon harvest bucket.

fall leaves on wet step

Fall leaves on wet step.

Categories: About me, Barnwood Builders, Birthday, bow season, family memories, Halloween, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, seeds | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Completed DIY Network Project and Last Visit with The BarnWood Builders

So today I think I am a little sad, the project is complete and the Barnwood Builders on the DIY Network have driven off to another barn or cabin. The Barnwood Builders shared something with me and my family that I can not easily explain, it is a gift of course, a new family room, but it is something more also. It is when kindred spirits come together things get magical and create some thing better than if we were doing things alone. My family room would not have been half as beautiful without the lumber the we received from that old barn. Their show needed a willing and able family to take  truck loads of old lumber and make it into something. My blog would have never gotten the recognition it has without them finding me in cyber space. I would have never learned so much about the way TV production works and is filmed. Mark would have never put a shoe on a horse if it was not for people who deep down love West Virginia and the beautiful life this state has given us.

Barn in the Valley at Kenchelo road, Jane Lew< West Virginia

“MY” Barn in the Valley at Kenchelo road, Jane Lew,West Virginia

I have never in my life worked with a better group of people, the respect that is given to each person on the set from the littlest.. ( Christopher) to the Assistants, Caterers, and barn or cabin owners, to Tom or I and the real stars of the show is higher and deeper then I have ever seen at any place I have ever worked. The amount of team work these people have to put into creating a one hour show is hard to understand and they do it day in and day out.

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

It took almost three days to film the demo of my old barn and Toms farrier segment (it’s not mine by ownership but mine in my heart). It took three more days to film my house and cut in clips of landscapes and animals. Then 4 or 5  weeks of planing and travel ( We joined the band wagon a month before shooting started). Now 6 weeks to edit this one show and do voice overs and graphics before this show will air. All for a one hour on the DIY network. What an amazing experience, I am still in disbelieve that It all happened … it was a dream right?

Travis director of photography setting up on last day of filming

Travis director of photography  with his assistant (back to you)setting up on last day of filming

I am a fan of Mark Bowe for his love of this State, its people and its rich history. It is his vision that I share and will continue to pour into my blog. So that maybe one day people outside our hollers will see that we are not trapped in the past or unlucky.That we have made a choice to slow our lives to remember our past and see the beauty that is our countries rich history. With out our past we have no future and it takes time to build a solid foundation to live on. ( Notice: West Virginia was barely impacted with the housing crisis or the recession that followed something to think about as most states finances are in the red while West Virginia is financially stable.)

Mark Bowe hanging in the living room after shooting with the Barnwood builders

Mark Bowe hanging in the living room after shooting with the Barnwood builders

On the last day of filming our house Sean Mc Court(the executive producer), Travis( head Photographer) and his assistant arrived about an hour before Mark Bow to set up lights to make the room bright and homey. Well nothing ever goes as planed and the lights that Sean rented were really no help for us and Travis worked hard to get as much natural light in the room as possible. I still think you will see in the final cut that the room looks dark …… like well the inside of a barn… kinda hard to get past that.

Christopher look out on the light bounce screen

Christopher look out on the light bounce screen

 Mark was happy to hear all the stories of our home in a way that I have not seen any other episode. I have no idea what ones will be in the show but I am pretty sure you will see my art work, the Mason jar Chandelier ( how we made it here), Toms Elk and lots of neat things we took from the barn to decorate with. Travis even took closes ups of my family photos and bear skin rug. It is strange to tell my family stories in front of a camera, the tail of packing out our Elk and getting it mounted by an oral surgeon not a taxidermist, the print that my brother made from a lake not but a block from my mother’s house in Longmont, Co. and the story of Toms grandfathers 28 point buck photo are pieces of my family that I just shared with america and the world… strange feeling really.

The show works unscripted and is a very open to the nature of the people and places they are working with. The weather and moods of the cast and”guests” is real more real than you can imagine. The producers gave me a general over view of what they wanted us to cover in the show…  new floors, walls, the DIY chandelier, and my art work. Then turned to Mark and said “we will shoot this in reverse order and will shoot from this door way”. That is all the direction we got… seriously I just followed along…. if he asked a question or pointed any thing out I just told the story that I have been telling everyone for the last 5 months. Then we moved out side for the “Greeting” portion of the shoot… yea a little strange but this made it easier for the lighting set up and is the only acting my family did…. Christopher was a ham and Tom was nervous  and I thought it was all funny.We had to film the greeting three times over to get all the information into the shot that Sean needed us to say or to keep hammy Christopher from blowing the high-five that he gives Mark.

Then they filmed Mark giving us our gift and I get to finally see the photo present that they made for me. For a photography nut this was the very best gift I could have been given. I know the story behind the photo, the location, and the photographer and am so happy they got some blue sky in the photo. All I remember about that morning was cold and rain… It now looks lovely in my country kitchen and will be a treasured gift for the rest of my life.

Photo of my barn portrait gift from Mark Bowe

Photo of my barn portrait gift from Mark Bowe

 

Barn wood about finished on wall with windows

Barn wood about finished on wall with windows

Just like these treasured photos of the work we did and the time we spent together to make this all happen. It has been worth every moment of rain or mud, every long day of hanging wood boards in a 90 degree family room and hours of time on our knees with tile and grout. I think Tom, Cody and I logged 70 hours on the floor twice that of the walls.

drying slate tiles

drying slate tiles

Cody Power stripping old floor tiles

Cody Power stripping old floor tiles

Family room from the laundry room door

Family room from the laundry room door

Some how it all come together and is better than any thing I could have imagined. We now have a family room my family is proud of! Thank you to the cast and crew of the Barnwood Builders…. I cant wait to see episode# 5 of the new season that starts Oct 2015. I may just have a viewing Party with my family and friends in November when my show airs… who’s up for popcorn?

finished family room from laundry room

finished family room from laundry room with Jinn.

Categories: Barnwood, Barnwood Builders, Buckhannon West Virginia, family memories, Home Decor, home improvement, Mason Jars, slate tile | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

#4 The Finished Remodel and Final Filming with the BarnWood Builders

The spring remodeling project with the Barnwood Builders has finally been finished. It is the most surprising and wonderful experience I have ever be part of. It is a gift to work on this project, be included in this T.V. show and be able to promote some of the wonderful things about my West Virginia. The filming crew will return on Aug. 28th 2015 to do the final filming with a small crew and star Mark Bowe. After time to edit and do all the “Hollywood” magic I will receive a rough cut of the Jane Lew Barn show around Thanksgiving and then around April of next year the show will air.  I am proud of the work that Tom, I and the kids have done but in some way I am a little sad to see it end. So here is a photo over view of where we started and where we finally ended with this project that started with this blog and my love for my home in Wild Wonderful West Virginia.

Just a quick over view, The Barnwood Builders are an antique building, cabin and restoration company in Lewisburg, West Virginia. They travel all over the east coast collecting, removing and restoring 1800’s buildings and cabins for reuse.Many of their projects take old barns and turn them into new modern homes or finding old barns that can be salvaged to use in other projects. My home is one of the salvage projects of a barn in my husband’s home town of Jane Lew, West Virginia. The production company found my blog while doing web research on Jane Lew and the surrounding area. The project just grew from the contact they made with me and my family. Now 5 months later the project that started as just an idea over a phone call from New York city turned into a wonderful family room that fits my families taste and style. Who knew that writing a blog would take me on this journey.

We start at the old barn and my before photos. You can read more at the first link above but this is a couple of my photos from the day before the barn got torn down.

Kenchelo road barn before being torn down

Kenchelo road barn before being torn down

Tom walking to barn on Kenchelo

Tom walking to barn on Kenchelo

The before photos of my family room before the work started. We had just bought our house in Dec and received a wonderful blog message from Barnwood Builders about a the end of April. We had just started to get things unpacked and we were just starting to think about what we wanted to do to update the house when we jumped in to take part in this project.

Family room from the laundry room door

Family room from the laundry room door

Famliy room from the front door

Family room from the front door

office portion of the family room

office portion of the family room

The Family Room is clean and neat, but noting out standing. As the photo shows the floor was divided carpet and linoleum and the walls painted white. We started by hauling lumber from the above barn to our home Buckhannon. Then removing the old flooring and replacing it with slate tile. You can read more about the remodel here

Family room floor with slate tile in place

Family room floor with slate tile in place

Then started to remove and repair the ceiling.

Cody Powers doing mud and tap repairs to the ceiling

Cody Powers doing mud and tap repairs to the ceiling

Then the wall got covered in the 120 year old oak boards. During the build we got delayed for a few days with some of the cutest baby squires hidden in the barn wood, and you can see them here.

Barn wood about finished on wall with windows

Barn wood about finished on wall with windows

Covering the wall process went pretty fast compared to doing the tile floor. We trimmed each board to length and to straighten them, then applied the boards with an airnailer with 2 1/2 inch nails. Then added molding and base board and updated our lighting. We made our own chandeliers and you can see that project here. 

New light sconce light fixture and some of the base board and ceiling molding

New light sconce light fixture and some of the base board and ceiling molding

two mason jar light fixtures installed and working ... yea!

two mason jar light fixtures installed and working … yea!

So last week we finished up the cleaning, added curtain rods with drapes and finally the photos and stuffed animals back into the room.

finished family room from laundry room

finished family room from laundry room

Finished Family room from kitchen door way with desk in new place

Finished Family room from kitchen door way with desk in new place

 

Finished office space moved from one wall to the other

Finished office space moved from one wall to the other

Here are side by side photos

finished family room from laundry room

finished family room from laundry room

 

Family room from the laundry room door

Family room from the laundry room door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famliy room from the front door

Family room from the front door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Family room from kitchen door way with desk in new place

Finished Family room from kitchen door way with desk in new place.

office portion of the family room

office portion of the family room

Finished office space moved from one wall to the other

Finished office space moved from one wall to the other.

 

I know that this style of room and decor is not what everyone is looking for but with our families out-door life style and my love of art and photography it works for us. This room will inspire the rest of the house to slowly be remodeled in a similar way. With the use of hardwoods, stone and lots of warm colors. We are taking a break until next year when we need to do some work on the windows in these photos and hope replace the front doors. So as I get excited to see the Crew again I am also feeling a little sad that it will be a couple of years before Tom and I will have the time to head down to Lewisburg,West Virginia to see the guys again as we continue to add some of West Virginia history to our home.

Thank you to every one from the Production crew, to the friends, family, the guys ( Brain Buckner, Johnny Jett, Tim Rose,Sherman Thompson,Graham Ferguson) and Mark Bowe for his love and passion for West Virginia to make this all possible. It has been the funnest hard work we have done in a long time.

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham.

 

Categories: Barnwood, Barnwood Builders, DIY, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, slate tile, Squirrles | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Mason Jar Chandelier a DIY project: With Our Barn Wood Update

To add a real personal touch to the family room remodel Tom and I added two Mason Jar chandeliers. We removed an older ceiling fan/light fixture that did not properly light the large room and replaced them with 2 light boxes, with 6 bulbs of soft colored pendant lights. We got the idea from a looking at web pages that had barn wood and county rooms that had used Mason Jars as shades for light fixtures. Tom and I worked out what we wanted and the did some experimenting before settling on two lights instead of just one large one. This is what we ended up making out of the scrap wood left over from the walls. This is just one of the two light boxes we made.

Mason Jar chandalier made from old barn wood

Mason Jar chandelier made from old barn wood

Each box houses three lights (like the one above) and each light has a 40 watt clear appliance bulb inside a pint mason jar. Using the ring and seal as our bracket to support the jar. Each jar is removable can change in color or size, up to a quart jar with many decorative colors… This is my first combination Green, Clear and Blue. At some time in the future I will stain a few clear jars a warm yellow if Ball does not produce them soon!

The room looks like this with both light fixtures, you can see in the photo where the ceiling fan/light used to mount. These lights are about 8 feet apart and mount to ceiling rafters with brackets in our attic. The brackets attached to wooden blocks on the drywall part of the ceiling that slide into the wood boxes and attach with double-sided blots that have wood screws on one side and machine screws on the other, topped with acorn nuts and washers.

two  mason jar light fixtures installed and working ... yea!

two mason jar light fixtures installed and working … yea!

 

The lights are pretty easy to make and there are a lot of ideas on the internet, some have “how to” videos and others are just photos. So to explain what we did here I have added some photos and descriptions that may help if you to make these  yourself.

First, Tom and I had to decide three things, how much light we wanted, how many fixtures we wanted and finally how big should the shades be. So with a little test light that Tom wired up we started with clear quart jars and the idea of having 8 lights on one fixture using 90 watt clear bulbs. Wow that was just toooo bright.Unless we wanted to buy Edison light bulbs ( they appear sepia in color) at 9 dollars a bulb we had to come up with something less bright.

So we started to scale down what we wanted to make. The one big box idea changed to a two box light set up so that the light would fill the entire room and not blind people watching  the T.V.  Then we needed to rethink the amount of light we needed. I could have used the Edison bulbs at 60 watts they are still a less bright light than clear bulbs but the cost of the bulbs was just silly about ($100.00 ). The bulbs would cost more than the whole fixture.I still wanted clear bulbs so we went smaller and lower wattage. The standard 40 watt clear bulbs cost me 4 dollars for 4 bulbs, so the price was good and we could use a smaller shade and I had many jars to use.I have some clear jars and some colored already. I like the colored ones to use for drinking glasses,vases and candle holders. So I had no money in the colored pint jars and had lids and rings in my collection of canning supplies.

We then decided that 4 lights was really more than we needed wattage wise and the look of three pendants looks better than 4. So the two light boxes with three small jar covers with 40 watt bulbs became the plan. Tom made the boxes out of scrap wood we had left over from the Barnwood Builders remodel and drilled three holes for the light cord wiring. The wire was the most expensive portion of the fixture and we bought a 25 foot roll and had about 4 feet left over. Tom wanted the wire to match the socket and fill it completely so we kind over did what we needed to produce a 40 watt light but it looks great so the extra money was worth it in the long run.

light box with three holes the box face is 36 inches with a 1 inch frame on all sides

light box with three holes the box face is 36 inches with a 1 inch frame on all sides

Tom wiring in light cords into shallow wiring box

Tom wiring in light cords into shallow wiring

wiring for Manson Jar chandelier

wiring for Manson Jar chandelier

From here you can see how we could wire up more than one light to a single fixture. We mounted two Grounding Bars ( found in the fuse box section) to the side of a shallow blue wiring box. Each bar has room for several connections we would only use three on each bar. One bar is the ground and one bar is the hot,then the wiring box  mounted to the center of the light box with wood screws. The cords were then cut to length on the other side and a zip ties  applied to the cord so there was a stop on the cord. This prevents the weight of the shade and bulb from pulling on the cord and possibly pulling the cord out of the grounding bar. Then sockets attach to the cords. We used two-part sockets so that we could add the lid to the socket as the bracket to hold on the jar.

Adding sockets to cords of three Mason Jar light fixture

Adding sockets to cords of three Mason Jar light fixture

Chandelier light test

Chandelier light test

After adding the sockets to the cords it was time to make sure the wiring worked and add bulbs to see how bright the lights were. Tom just stripped an old extension cord down and wired it into the power bars on the inside of the box, plugged the other end into the wall outlet to see if what he had made worked properly; this is what I saw. Now we just needed to get the lids cut for the shades and add them to see if they were going to look good.

Cutting the lids was pretty easy if you leave the lids on the jars and tighten up the rings. Otherwise it is almost impossible to hold the lids in place with either your fingers or small clamps. Tom used a 32 mm hole cutter to cut the holes … the cutters hole is just shy of what we needed and the fit was rough from the cutter.

Standard 32 mm hole cutter to cut holes in canning jar lids

Standard 32 mm hole cutter to cut holes in canning jar lids

cutting hole in lid of Mason Jar for light fixture

cutting hole in lid of Mason Jar for light fixture

ruff hole cut in canning jar lid

rough hole cut in canning jar lid

To make the edges smooth and increase the size of the hole Tom used a small grinding stone bit in his drill. He ground off the edge until the socket fit into each hole and the edges are not super sharp. Then he fits each socket into the lid and drills ventilation  holes 4 each in the lid.

Tom grinding down the lid and enlarging hole for socket

Tom grinding down the lid and enlarging hole for socket

drilling 4 vent hole into lid of Mason Jar light shade

drilling 4 vent hole into lid of Mason Jar light shade

When complete the lids and rings were added to the sockets, then we screwed on the jars and tested again.

Mason Jar light shades... blue green and clear ready to add to light fixtuer

Mason Jar light shades… blue, green and clear ready to add to light fixture

Testing Mason Jar Lights these are ready to install

Testing Mason Jar Lights these are ready to install

The installation was a two person job as the boxes are heavy. The barn wood box with wiring is held in place while the wires connect at the ceiling for a long time. I would suggest using two ladders it makes installation much easier. Be prepared to use a strong set of arms as you push the fixture on to the screws hanging down from the blocks attached to the ceiling. Once in place we were so excited to see that they both worked and the light filled the entire room instead of only in the middle that we just stopped working for a couple of days to enjoy what it looked like.

View from back of room to front with both Mason Jar Chandeliers

View from back of room to front with both Mason Jar Chandeliers

 

We have also added a small sconce light to the back wall over my computer desk so that we can see at the desk without turning on all the lights. Again it needed rewired because I did not want to open up the wall to install it. Tom added a switch cord and we stuffed the cord between the boars on the wall. It works great and in the future I will get a brown cord and tack the cord in place.

New light sconce light fixture and some of the base board and ceiling molding

New light sconce light fixture and some of the base board and ceiling molding

So I am slowly getting the furniture back in place, photos hung and rugs put down. It will be next week before we have every thing back in place and I can take after photos but this gives you an idea of how far we have come. It has been more work then I imagined and took about a month longer then I hoped. But we did this ourselves no contractor was really needed.We did call on lots of friends and family to help out over the last 4 months and it was all worth it in the end. Can’t wait to share the after photos.

Categories: Barnwood, Barnwood Builders, DIY, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, light fixtures, Mason Jars | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Baby Squires Interrupt a Day of Barn Wood Building: Home remodel #3

We have been working like mad to finish up the floors and get a good start on the barn wood walls that are part of a remodel that we are doing with the T.V. Show titled “The Barnwood Builders.” Then all of our work just slowed to a stop on Monday. As Tom and I removed some of the larger boards from the lumber pile to see if we could find one that was wider then our fuse box door, we came across a nest built-in our barn wood. The babies are Gray Squirrels that normally would nest in a hard wood tree. It seems the mother felt that our huge pile of wood was a safe place to raise her young. She made a beautiful and warm nest out of the large amounts of green grass that is growing under the lumber piles. The little guys never even opened an eye while we banged around. Tom and I had no idea that they were sleeping under where we worked. By that afternoon we named the little ones and had a conversation about moving them in the house ( my vote was”NO”to squirrels in the house ) so here are Chipper and Splinter. The fearless squirrels that slowed the entire construction of my family room for a day.

Opening up the nest in the barn wood

Opening up the nest in the barn wood

Two baby gray squirrels in the nest sleep through all of our activity

Two baby gray squirrels in the nest sleep through all of our activity

meet Chipper and Splinter the Barnwood builder Babies

Meet Chipper and Splinter the Barnwood Babies

Tom and I just did not have the heart to really move the little guys even though they are resting on the very board that we need to make a door out of. So we are working on another portion of the family room for now. I hope within the next two weeks they will be ready to head into the trees with their Mom, we see her regularly going in and out of the nest.

As of Friday I had finished grouting the tile floors and sealed them. They turned out really nice with a muted color pattern of gray, sand stone red, gold and rusty orange. The same basic colors in our barn wood. I spent about 30 hours of time putting in the grout and cleaning it back off. It was a long week of feeling like Cinderella scrubbing floors on my hands and knees but the results are wonderful. The one trick I did learn over my week of scrubbing is that it saves you large amounts of time to seal the slate before you install it or grout it. The extra couple of hours I spent washing the tile and sealing it meant that I could trust that the grout would not stick to the slate when I put them together. So I could actually sweep most of the extra grout off with a broom. Making the cleaning up of the floor go extremely fast with one good washing getting all the extra grout off with no residue to worry about.

After using a grout bag I am able to sweep up a lot of the lose grout before washing

After using a grout bag I am able to sweep up a lot of the loose grout before washing

 

Slate tile floors with grout and sealer

Slate tile floors with grout and sealer

We also got almost half the wall boards up over the holiday weekend, even with the squirrel delay. Tom and I decided that we both really wanted a room with a barn feeling, so we chose to keep the boards running in the vertical pattern as they were hung on the old barn. It gives the room the feeling of a general store or cabin from the old west that we both love.

Barn wood about finished on wall with windows

Barn wood about finished on wall with windows

This photo shows a late afternoon sun shining on the walls so the floor colors appear shadowed and darker than they really are. The wood on the other hand is really that bold and different in color. We chose not to plain the wood and only lightly sand the rough finish off the boards. We are trying to give the room a true rustic barn feel and I think we really are getting that feeling so far.

The work is going faster than I though, mainly because we are using an Air Nail Gun to attach the boards to the walls. The nails we are using are 2 1/2 inches long and we nail the board at the top of the walls frame and then at any stud that we can find and at the bottom frame of the wall. Some of the boards are very warped and need cut to straighten them for use and others are fine off the wood pile. So each piece is an individual in a larger puzzle. We have chosen to keep the imperfections and natural coloring because that is what people really do when building a barn. You don’t toss out a good board due to a knothole  or split in the grain,  you just use it and move on, so we have saved and used the knots and splits as part of our over all design plan. Not every one is comfortable with the imperfections of the barn wood like we are, but this application is simple and less time-consuming then other wood treatments.

The remaining walls should be pretty easy to cover up until Tom needs to cover the fuse box. He will need to make a door with country hinges and an old fashion lock for decoration. Then 4 inch molding will go across the base of the wall and 2 inch molding around the top. Again this will be nothing fancy just simple cut boards and nails to finish off the look.

So if you want to read more about how we got the boards for this project or have interest in reclaiming barn wood check out some of my other posts about working with The Barnwood Builder TV show and Our House Remodel #2

In the future I hope I am able to post more photos of the family room and our new little friends I just wonder if I can get more photos of them before they leave the nest forever? We will see!

Categories: Baby Animals, Barns, Barnwood Builders, hobbies, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, nostalgic, slate tile, Squirrles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Slate Tile Floor and Ceiling Work Almost Finished

The floor is almost finished, yahoo! If you have been following along you already know about our remodel and the adventure we are having working with the Barnwood Builders and their TV show.  If not take a look at where this mess all started and here is the idea we have for the future. The slate tile floor is about finished and the repaired ceiling is looking better than ever. It has taken about a month of weekends to get this far and we need about two more real good days to finish up the last couple boxes of tile and get about 10 cut and set in the hard to reach areas. Then grout will be the final step. I  am not looking forward to spending 8 hours on my hands and knees trying to get grout to set up in between all this tile.

Family room floor with slate tile in place

Family room floor with slate tile in place

Slate tile missing from entry area and stairwell

Slate tile missing from entry area and stairwell

One of  the unexpected things we have learned is that you need a tile saw, even if you do not buy one and only rent one they are wonderful and save you hours of work and worry when dealing with slate. Slate is layers and layers of sediment pressed together over thousands of years making it flaky and brittle and it is not as stable as ceramic tile. We tried several ways to cut the tile before finding that with delicate stone a tile saw saves you hours of headaches. Tom and I bought this portable one from E-Bay. This is what the company does best, selling used equipment that is still in great shape but not new! Tom and I found this same saw at Home Depot listed for $ 235.00 we bought this used one that was complete in the box with all the paper work and blade for $ 106.00 including shipping. We will use the saw at least 10 times this coming week and again when we redo our bathroom and kitchen making this a wise 100 dollar investment. Tom just set the saw on a piece of plywood over two saw horses as our work area. As shown the saw did a wonderful job of cutting a hard to fit piece of tile for the cross over between the family room and entry areas.

Used tile saw

Used tile saw

Then while Tom was at work my oldest son Cody came over to help with finishing up the mud and tape that we added to the old ceiling. The old ceiling looked like this and was in rough shape. The 4 x 4 trim across the ceiling was loose and pulling away from the drywall in places and the lag bolts that you see are not hooked to anything and are not holding the ceiling up. The trim around the room was 2 x 2’s and did not fit well at the corners. All the trim just needed removed and the ceiling just needed a traditional finish.

ceiling was decorated with 4x4's and 2x2's and lag bolts.

ceiling with 4×4’s and 2×2’s and lag bolts.

So in the process of removing all of this from the ceiling we also removed a sheet of paneling from one wall. The paneling made the wall surface uneven and lumpy. It was white so you would not have noticed it until the barn wood was up and the boards were uneven. So here is what we found under the paneling.

Paneling removed and ceiling exposed

Paneling removed and ceiling exposed

For a couple of days Cody and I worked on taping the ceiling, sanding and painting. The amount of glue you see on the wall is not bad so the paneling came down without ripping any huge holes in the walls. We did fill in some nail holes but over all the wall would just be painted white again and covered with barn wood to give it a uniform appearance.

Cody Powers doing mud and tap repairs to the ceiling

Cody Powers doing mud and tap repairs to the ceiling

Then a fun photo of Christopher and I after sanding the ceiling and getting ready for paint.

Christopher and I after sanding the tape on the ceiling.

Christopher and I after sanding the tape on the ceiling.

The with two coats of paint on the wall and ceiling we are only left with removing the single board that holds my light fixture/fan up. This board has my only light source attached to it so I am guessing that it will be in place for a long time.

 

Ceiling repair finished for now and wall painted white

Ceiling repair finished for now and wall painted white

Tom and I are so happy with the over all appearance of the floor that I am sure we will be doing this flooring in the kitchen in the future. It may take a little more time then rolling out linoleum but the results will last a life time and are so much nicer in quality. I just can’t wait to see it polished.

In the next couple of days  I will likely  be moaning that my hands and knees hurt from crawling around getting the grout cleaned off and the floors polished. I will complain that my mother’s day is at a restaurant instead of at our house because the kids can not play on wet grout. I will fall in to bed that night knowing I have just created not only a lovely home but wonderful memories for my kids.

Categories: Barnwood Builders, Home, Home Decor, home improvement, Memories, Mothers Day, slate tile | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Out with Old in with the New, Slate floors.

As part of the barn wood remodel on our family room Tom and I decided that it was best to also replace the flooring in the family room before adding the barn wood to the walls. The wood is thick, 1 inch thick, making the boards stick way out away from our drywall, so changing the flooring after the wood is hung is a little more challenging than doing the floor first and setting the wood on top. So we agreed that gray barn wood would look great with slate tile. Barn wood and slate tile have unpredictable texture and color variations  that makes them work well together. The natural feel of both the wood and stone with my leather furniture should give the room a rustic feel that we hope to slowly bring into the entire house.

So to achieve the new look we took out the old flooring. The house came with a white Berber carpet at one end and a rolled linoleum at the other.It took a whole day to remove the old tile and carpet and the hundreds of staples and nails that were in the old flooring.

Family room carpet end

Family room carpet end

Cody Power stripping old floor tiles

Cody Power stripping old floor tiles

After a much-needed rest Tom began to install the cement board that would be the base for the tile. It is a water-resistant and mold guard product used for bathrooms, kitchens and in this case sticky floors.

Tom installing cement hardy board

Tom installing cement hardy board

The Hardy Board comes in sheets like plywood but much heavier. Each board is a cement  fiber mixture to make it stiff, hard and water-resistant. I could barely lift one board at a time. Tom guesses each board weighs about 25 pounds and is 5 feet long making moving them very inconvenient. So keep in mind that you will not want to move them once you have them home. Mine took up a large portion of my kitchen floor for the two weeks we had to wait for the tile to arrive.

Remodeling supplies hard board, mortar, screws

Remodeling supplies hard board, mortar, screws

Then finally the tile arrived, all 30 boxes and I got to unload it alone. Where do you store them I thought as I drove home from Lowe’s…. In the kitchen with everything else, of course. We are still cooking in the kitchen but eating is getting a little hard at our small 4 person table.

Tile boxes stored in the kitchen behind my french doors

Tile boxes stored in the kitchen behind my french doors

The next thing was to prepare the tile for installation. Slate is a natural stone product and not factory made so it has some funny characteristics.Each tile is different in color, texture and thickness. Some will be close to matching but almost nothing is really the same. When you first open a box you discover the slate is brittle and flaky and the boxes are full of chips of stone and are very dirty from the cutting process. So dirty that you hands will change color in a matter of minutes while handling the tile. So before sealing the tile, to prevent staining to the tile in the future, I washed everyone in the sink with a scrubby to remove any loose flakes and dirt. That is about 300 tiles and about two full afternoons.

slate tile getting a good washing in sink before adding sealer

slate tile getting a good washing in sink before adding sealer

The water really brings out the wonderful colors in the tile and we can glaze the tile after installation if we decide that we want a shiny tile surface. I let the tile dry for about 2 hours and applied the liquid pre-grout sealer. I let the tiles dry for 4 more hours and Tom installed them on the floor.

drying slate tiles

drying slate tiles

He started last night with getting his center of the room measurements and his chalk lines on the floor and setting the corner stones for the floor. Now he will work back to these tiles and fill in around them as time at night allows. We are hoping to have the floor finished this weekend or next and the wood for the walls started by the first week-end in May.The final touches should be finished by the end of June, mostly light fixtures that Tom and I hope to make for this room. One will be a multiple colored mason jar chandelier and a wall mounted fixture that we need desperately over by the computer desk that I hope to also convert to a mason jar globe.

Corner slate tiles set and ready to fill in

Corner slate tiles set and ready to fill in

This is so far my favorite of all projects we have done as a family and I am looking forward to doing more tile in my kitchen. The colors are wonderful and I am so happy with the speed that we are moving forward. I know we still have a lot of work to do, but if all goes this well,I see a slate floor in my kitchen very soon.

I will post a more photos when all the tiles are down and we get the furniture back into this room. I also think I will use some of the broken tiles to make a mosaic top for the old coffee table we had in this room at some point over the summer. We should have enough broken pieces(one whole box is either chipped or damaged  already) and I should have some mortar left over from the floor so it will only cost me some time to make. So in the future I will have two posts about how we are making a mason jar chandler and one on a mosaic tile top for an old table.

I cant wait to see what this room looks like with one cohesive floor and wall covering. Over the years the room was divided and I want to feel that the kitchen and family room are large open rooms that connect in style and function. So “Out with the Old and In with the New” in a couple of summers the house we envision should really start to come together.

Categories: furniture, Home, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, slate tile | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Shoeing a Horse with the BarnWood Builders T.V. Show and Spiker farm.

As part of every episode of Barnwood builders Mark Bowe  always likes to show off other skilled craftsman or tradesman who do things the old-fashioned way. So when producers from the show discovered that Tom was a farrier,they were thrilled to add his skills to their show. To film his farrier skills we needed a willing client and a farm to work at. We were able to contact Sue Ann Spiker, also from Jane Lew, and include her and her farm in the last portion of the filming of this episode.

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

Barnwood Builders promotional photo. right to left is Tim, Sherman, Bryan, Mark,Johnny, Graham

If you have been following along with my last couple of posts about our house remodel these are the guys who invited us to join in the fun of their T.V. show and help us get barn wood for our family room. I have already shared the barn at Home remodel #1  and showed off the set and my house in Home remodel #2. But the last part of our day of filming really was about my husband Tom and his client Sue Ann Spiker and her farm.

Tom has worked for Sue Ann for years and when Tom was in middle school she was his Art teacher. When setting up this portion of the show Tom and I needed to find a horse and farm family willing to have a film crew on the farm.  Tom thought of Sue Ann’s horse and farm right away. Sue Ann and her husband John, have historical buildings on their farm. This also excited the show producers and we ended up not only shooting Tom with Sue Ann holding her horse but getting a guided tour of their Guest House, Barn and 1700’s cabin. A real treat for everyone that was on set that day.

Actor Mark Bowe talking with the Director of Barnwood builders

Actor Mark Bowe talking with the Director of Barnwood builders

Sue Ann has spent about 5 years or more restoring and decorating the buildings on her farm. The Guest House is a lovely two-story house built-in 1862. The family rents out house, cabin and barn for family gatherings and weddings. More information is on the families website at Sunny Pointe Guest House. com. The main excitement for the show is the little one room cabin or as The Spiker family informed us is the “Loom House” where linens were woven for the farm family 1700’s. The cabin is now set up as a bedroom with a lovely fire-place to keep couples warm at night.

Sunny Pointe Guest House side yard view

Sunny Pointe Guest House side yard view old cabin in shadows

 

Cellar steps into the basement to Sunny Pointe Guest House

Cellar steps into the basement to Sunny Pointe Guest House

back of cabin at Spiker Farm

back of 1700’s at Spiker Farm

Sue Ann Spiker and her 1700's cabin

Sue Ann Spiker at the front of her 1700’s cabin

bed inside cabin at Spiker Farm

bed inside cabin at Spiker Farm

Christopher walking in front of fire place  in cabin at Spiker farm

Christopher walking in front of fire-place in cabin at Spiker farm

Front door of cabin with photo of Gen. Thomas "Stone Wall" Jackson

Front door of cabin with photo of Gen. Thomas “Stone Wall” Jackson

 

One of the secrets of the cabin revels it’s self around this door… the builder and his family will be forever remembered.

door jam of old cabin with fathers initials and 8 of the twelve children that lived and used the cabin

door jamb of old cabin with fathers initials and 8 of the twelve children that lived and used the cabin

Cabin door jam with more initials carved into the frame

Cabin door jamb with more initials carved into the frame

After the tour it was time to get Tom working on Sue Ann’s horse and here he is getting his microphone.

Tom getting ready to shoe. sound engineer hooks up his micriphone

Tom getting ready to shoe. sound engineer hooks up his microphone

Sue Ann also getting ready to talk about the farm and her horse.

Sue Ann Spiker with sound engineer getting her microphone

Sue Ann Spiker with sound engineer getting her microphone

I can only tell you that the portion where Tom puts a shoe on the front of Sue Ann’s horse went fine. I was with them, holding on to the horse’s tail so that the camera man would not get kicked in the face. He was so low and close to the horse that we all just were a little worried about his safety. So, sadly I was not able to get photos of that portion of the filming. In the end, I was glad I was at the rear of the horse. She was a little wiggly and it took a while for her to get comfortable with all the attention. So the photos I have are of Katie the producer getting some time with “Miss Lee” the Tennessee Walking Horse before everyone got busy working with her feet.

Katie Rolnick the producer with Miss Lee the Walking horse

Katie Rolnick the producer with Miss Lee the Walking horse, Bruno the donkey is in the back ground

The shooting ended with Tom letting Mark Bowe try his hand at nailing on a shoe and talking to everyone at the end of a very long day.  The sun was setting, Tom, Christopher and I climbed into the truck to head home. The day was perfect and we learned more than we ever expected to from this experience and we still had one more day of filming to go.   The view of the rolling hills and green grass of the Spiker farm were hard to leave behind but after 9 hours of filming and a couple of hours of driving and unloading lumber. I was ready for my home and bed.

Rolling pasture of Spiker Farm

Rolling pasture of Spiker Farm

The following day was time to film my house and to take the film crew around our local area to find beautiful scenic and rural images for cut-ins during the show. This ended up being my favorite part of the filming. I was not on camera but got to spend the day with this wonderful people and get my only photo taken.  I got this photo of me in a e-mail a few days after the team left never even knowing Katie had taken it of me while in my kitchen.

Jolynn Powers holding  television camera from the Barnwood builders crew

Jolynn Powers holding television camera from the Barnwood builders crew

The remaining portion of the story is more about demolishing my house and the actual rebuilding process and that will take a while to do and write about. In the future I will share more photos and stories about the mess we make.  In the mean time,I though you might like to see the lumber from the barn. It is beautiful and we have plenty to do our walls and some other projects.

10 pounds of nails came from the lumber

10 pounds of nails came from the lumber

 

Categories: Barns, Barnwood Builders, blacksmith work, family fun, family memories, Farrier work., history, Home Decor, home improvement, home remodeling, Horses, Jane Lew, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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