Closing In On Ten Years (The Challenge & How I’m Handling It)


Yesterday’s post really struck a chord with many people, not because of the awesome home improvement tips that I provided 😀 , but because I mentioned that Matt and I are closing in on ten years in this house. TEN YEARS! We bought the house in August 2013, and even though we didn’t move in right away, I did get started pretty quickly on some big projects, like removing all of the carpet, removing the hallway closet, and refinishing the floors.

I know that many of you have been with me from the beginning, which just blows my mind. Y’all have stuck with me through all of my indecision, all of my mind changing and flip flopping, all of my trials and errors, but also all of my DIY victories. You’ve stuck with me as I’ve worked my way, slowly but surely, from one room to the next, tearing rooms down to the studs, ceiling joists, and sometimes the floor joists, and rebuilding them.

It’s been a long, sometimes challenging, sometimes exhausting, but very rewarding process for me. But seeing that 10-year mark coming closer and closer into view really has me taking on a somewhat different mindset.

The bottom line: I want to be finished with all of the interior rooms of the house as it currently stands (i.e., obviously not including the addition) by our ten year anniversary in our home. That’s almost exactly six months from today.

So my plan is to keep that goal at the forefront of my mind until I reach that finish line. And with that goal in mind, here are a few recent decisions and purchases…

Home Gym Flooring

I’ve had several people ask me why I’m not just refinishing the hardwood floor in the home gym. The reason is time, money, and effort. I want our home gym finished ASAP, and spending time on the floor just isn’t in my time budget right now.

If you’ll remember, the hardwood floor in that room has issues. There was the one floor board that looked like it was being eaten by some sort of fungus. (I never saw any evidence of bugs.)

So I took that board up and filled it with dense foam. The floor also has a big stain, and I’m pretty sure there are two different kinds of flooring in that room. This is the one room where the flooring has only been refinished once, and it was refinished the first time I sanded and finished the floors before we moved in. The hardwood floors everywhere else turned out great. But this room was the exception because it looked like part of the flooring had been replaced with a different species of wood, and they didn’t match.

All that to say that it wouldn’t be a matter of simply refinishing the existing floor. I would want this floor completely replaced. And if the flooring is coming up, I would want the subfloor replaced, too. This house was built before plywood subfloors were a thing. So the subfloor under the original flooring in this house is 1″ x 10″ lumber, and some of it has big knots, and even pieces that are broken out completely. This is the subfloor in the closet area of the home gym…

home gym floor - 4

So if the floor is replaced, the subfloor will also be replaced. And that’s just not something I want to take on right now. I’m not concerned at all about the strength of the floor in this room. It’s been holding up fine for over 70 years, and I’m sure it could continue on for many more decades. But I’m not the least bit interested right now in spending time, effort, or money in trying to make it pretty.

I’d much rather just cover it, and I think that’s an appropriate solution for a home gym floor. And I’ve already purchased what I’ll be using. It’ll be delivered on Thursday.

I decided on Flor carpet tiles in the pattern called Rush Street in black.

It has a very subtle stripe, which gives some nice variation so that it’s not just a solid black. I think it’ll look great with the walls. It’s supposed to be delivered Thursday, so I’m hoping to make good headway on the installation on Friday and Saturday.

The Swedish Ladder

I had been planning on building a Swedish ladder for the home gym. That’s the whole purpose of this wide stripe between the two windows. That spot is specifically designated for the Swedish ladder that I had planned to build.

Well, I didn’t change my mind on wanting a Swedish ladder, but I did change my mind on building it myself. I’m on a roll, and I want this room finished ASAP (not only just to be done, but also so that we can start using it fully), and I didn’t want to drag it out while trying to figure out exactly how to build this thing. Plus, I just wasn’t so sure about how durable a DIY version would be.

So I decided to buy one. I also decided to go with a very strong, heavy duty one that I know will be safe.

I bought this 78″ x 26″ commercial grade stall bars from The Beam Store.

The additional cost was worth the peace of mind knowing that this thing is very well built and very strong. And they ship very quickly! It’ll be here tomorrow. I won’t be able to install it until after the flooring goes in, but at least it’ll be here and ready.

Studio Cabinets

I feel like I’ve weighed every possibility out there, and with my new goal of having everything finished by mid-August, I’m about 95% sure that I’m going to make IKEA cabinets work.

Ikea Pax wardrobes for builtins in studio - desk wall

After going through the ordering process with Shelf Help, and seeing how much the plywood for the cabinet carcasses would cost, I decided to go back and give IKEA another look. After seeing how much other options cost, and also knowing how much work and additional money I’d have to put into the Shelf Help option, in addition to my August goal, I’m much more open-minded about IKEA these days. the prices are great in comparison to Shelf Help and the RTAs that I’ve looked at.

The only issue is going to be sizing. But if I can get past the sizing hurdle (i.e., if I can find the correct widths to work around my windows), then I think I can be happy with IKEA cabinets in the studio. I just need to decide on the exact configuration and get them ordered ASAP because it looks l like some of them are out of stock for a few weeks.

So the main goal is to be finished by August! If that means DIYing fewer things, and ordering more ready-made things, I’m okay with that. There will still be plenty of DIYing along the way.


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