Archives October 2020

Lake House Painting, Flooring, and Stairs

Over the course of the summer and fall I painted every wall of the lake house, using a less stark-white color that matches the walls in the Verona house. It took several weeks, but I wrapped it up about a month ago.

Once that was done, it was time to bring in the flooring and let it acclimate. I went with a lifeproof vinyl in the basement, and a light colored bamboo hardwood upstairs.

The basement flooring was installed first. After removing the old red carpet, we made a crazy discovery that there used to be red and white tile underneath it!

In any case, the vinyl went in smoothly and looks awesome. It has a rustic feel that complement the trim and decor in the basement.

Next, the upstairs flooring went in. My goal with this was for it to resemble an antique teak deck on a yacht, while complementing the upstairs trim color and adding brightness to the rooms. I think the wood I picked out did that perfectly!

I also had several custom rugs made which tied everything together even more. I’m especially happy with the huge basket weave patterned rug that runs under all of the couches, it was the biggest rug I’ve ever ordered but fits the space really nicely.

After the floors, I turned my attention to the stairs. Sort of like the surprise red and white tile in the basement, there was a (this time much better) surprise underneath the carpet in the stairs: they were built using old growth pine from the 70’s that was perfect for staining; I didn’t need to replace them with oak given how hard the old pine was.

After sanding and staining the wood once the carpet was removed, the final look was excellent. It tied both the upstairs and basement flooring together, and fit the rustic feel of the house while also providing a link to the original construction.

The very final part of this round of lake house remodeling was dealing with the fireplaces. The house has two wood-burning fireplaces, and while I don’t have any interest in removing the ability to burn wood, I wanted to have an electric option thats gives the feel of a fireplace that can be turned on at the click of a button, since we don’t need to rely on the fires for heat in the winter now that the house has central heat and air. I purchased two electric log sets, that go into the existing fireplaces and provide a really classy look.

With that, the summer 2020 lake house renovations are done, and we’re ready for winter!

End of Boat Season

Mid October is a beautiful time of year in Wisconsin, but unfortunately it brings with it the end of boat season. This past weekend, I had to take the awning off of the boat lift, trailer the boat, and take it to Skipper Buds for winter storage.

Always a sad day every year, but with the pandemic this year my wife and I really maximized the use of the boat, and had it in the water 30+ times which is a personal record. We’re already looking forward to bringing it back out of storage next May!

Master Bath Remodel

After the master bedroom remodel, one of the next projects on my list was a full master bath remodel. I worked with my interior designer to put together a full plan involving painting both the walls and the cabinets, new counters, sinks, and fixtures, new mirrors, new floors, and a completely new shower. Here is what the renderings look like for the project:

The project is still very much in progress, but certain elements have been completed. The painting is done, which involved taking the cabinet doors off and painting them separately.

After the painting, new counters, sinks, and fixtures went in, and the mirror above the sinks was removed.

Next, I painted the old tub fixtures matte black to match the new fixtures (since I’m keeping the existing whirlpool tub.

Most recently, the tiling around the tub was completed. It was a little bit of an adventure due to an initial bad batch of tile, but it ended up turning out really well.

Next comes the new floor tiles and the shower, which should go in later in 2020!

Dock Deck Staining

This is somewhat of a belated post, but earlier in the summer I had written about my project to build a deck by the dock to make it easier to enjoy the water and the beach at the lake house. When I last left off, I had finished building the deck but hadn’t stained it yet or setup furniture. I did that several weekends ago, and it’s been an awesome place to sit on fall afternoons looking over the water.

As mentioned above, the views from the deck are pretty incredible!

In addition to the dock deck, I upgrade the regular deck at the lake house with an outdoor TV, which has been clutch this fall since the pandemic prevents me from being able to go to live sporting events. Sundays with the Premier League and NFL RedZone (and plenty of beer) have been wonderful.

Updated Main Level Shower

Several years ago, I remodeled the bathroom that was off the kitchen in the main level of the Verona house. For the most part, it turned out well. Removing the wallpaper, painting, replacing the plumbing fixtures and replacing the cabinetry all went as well as I could have hoped. The shower was a slightly different story. Overall it turned out well from a plumbing perspective, but I was overambitious in the my selection of tile, and used an arabesque pattern that was above my skill level. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t look as professional as I like my jobs to look.

Given this, I removed the tile walls and installed more traditional fiberglass walls.

I also did a tile border at the top, and re-installed the door that I installed when I first did the shower. The new look is really sharp, and looks vastly more professional.

Lawn Regrading and Planting

After the Hardin Access Pipeline and underground electrical excavation projects from the past couple of years, portions of the yard were in rough shape, especially from the main house to the well, and from the well running behind the guest house to the wall. Planting grass is no big deal, but there was a bigger problem: all the digging had dredged up a ton of rocks and sandy soil, making it hard to get grass to grow, and making the ground unpleasant to walk on while barefoot. To solve this, I called in the pros to professionally regrade the land, bring in new top soil, and plant grass.

After the grass was planted, I diligently watered it and it started to come in nicely.

Now that fall is here and the weather is starting to get colder, the grass is thriving and should survive winter and look awesome next spring.

More Window Treatments

When the original remodel of the lower level living room and guest bedroom took place, one of the things I didn’t do was replace the old window treatments. Now that the master bedroom remodel is done, I did window treatments for it, the guest bedroom, the lower level living room, the library and the bar.

Everything turned out really well, and the roman shades in the living room allow even more light than before to come in.