Our beautiful homestead, held together with dreams and hard work. The same things our new up-cycled plank wood floors are made of.
There are so many countless times during this journey the last few years, that I tried to see ourselves through an outsiders’ perspective. I imagine even what I would have thought, had I peered through my own window, as a young girl, from Baltimore. I think these things out of sheer curiosity, and never apprehension. We do not leave a footprint on this earth to satisfy the Pinterest page of our spectators.
But still. I know how unconventional we are. And I love considering how patched together our homestead is, much like a quilt. It actually delights me.
Perhaps I should have called our blog, “The Patched-Together Homestead” instead of Hope Valley. But isn’t that what “Hope” really is after all; tiny glimpses into what we hope for, sewn together with the threads of belief? Welcome to our “belief”, that beauty really is “In the eye of the beholder”.
Plank Floors Minus a House
Allow me to start off with update on the old house. The very generous gentlemen who offered us the old house, has made the decision to burn it down after all, with winter being very present.
We were a bit disappointed, but he still kindly said we may have anything from it we wish to salvage!
Which is actually wonderful news, since we do not have the additional job of cleaning up the “leftovers” of a torn down house. Historically, this is the most unpleasant part. So thankful we are!
In the meantime, we have the joy of up-cycling particular pieces that still hold charm and beauty.
This weeks’ project is the gorgeous honey plank floors Yvan removed last week (Click HERE for video on him salvaging these boards).
Waiting for the Right Time
My husband is so patient with my wild ideas. He has always accepted the intricate wanderings of my very bohemian soul without judgement beyond an occasional smirk.
I have always wanted wide plank floors. The problem is, we did not buy a farmhouse from the 1800’s. So, we have been piecing together little bits of curious historical beauty, over the last several years.
There have been innumerable moments Yvan and I almost purchased ‘store ready’ flooring for our house. We have had simple painted chip board floors upstairs, since the beginning of our renovations.
Obviously this is not our preference, but we are simple folk, and willing to wait for what we want most.
I was determined to find flooring we could up-cycle. it was a dream for me. We wanted flooring with charm, history and beauty earned by generations.
Pouring over “This Old House Magazine”, I felt in my gut that I just needed to be patient. With the right timing and a little hunting some planks would find our home.
Here are several of my favourite DIY resources that can help you simplify some of your own home projects!
DIY Problems With Our Plank Floors
BUT, as with any ‘home-improvement’ project, there is a learning curve for anything DIY. Particularly if you are up-cycling anything.
These plank floors were no exception.
They were actually “harvested” from the walls in the upper room of the original part of the old house.
That meant that they came in different sizes and thickness, and we were unsure if they would work for flooring.
Yvan worked very hard to make them fit lengthwise in our hallway upstairs.
But hit roadblock after roadblock.
Wildly different thickness. And discouragement.
But, like all seasoned DIY’ers…he decided to “sleep on it”.
The morning always brings fresh ideas.
Check out our video on this project below!
Welcome to Our “Boardwalk”.
Keep it simple. Sometimes when a DIY idea doesn’t work, you have to flip it a few different ways to find a solution.
Yvan realized that placing our plank floors in a very ‘chill’ boardwalk style solved the problem of thickness, cracking and missing square footage.
Some Handy Tools for Salvaging and Up-Cycling Floors Boards:
- Flat 18″ Pry Bar for removing boards.
- Sliding Miter Saw for cutting precisely.
- Measuring tape
- 2″ Nails
- 1 1/2″ Screws
Tips for Up-Cycling Wood Floors
- Take your time when salvaging your boards, being sure to not break the “tongue and groove”.
- Make sure your boards are the same thickness, and that the tongue and groove is placed in the same ‘middle’ of the boards.
- Measure, measure and measure again. Yvan was very precise and careful, but our boards were still slightly “off” in their first fit trial.
- Have a PLAN B for your project, so you don’t give up on your hard work.
- Sleep on it. If you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, step away from your project for an evening. It will still be waiting for your fresh creativity in the morning.