Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How exciting for everyone to get what they want.

As we were drawing the plans for our forever home, we made a list of priorities that each of felt we couldn't live without.  (I'll go into more of the list at another time.)  However, high on my husbands list was a TV, entertainment room.  Since we were not planning a basement, his solution was a loft.  I was resistant to this idea because of the wasted space.  Finally he convinced me that a barn like feel would be just what we needed.  So we settled on the idea of a loft area.  We made sure the area was large enough for our leather sectional sofa  and we also decided to add a 1/2 bath for convenience.  My priority quickly moved to making sure the railings had an industrial feel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So we opted for custom steel railings, painted black.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How we saved money by pouring our own concrete countertops

As we were planning our new farmhouse, we knew we wanted concrete countertops in our kitchen.  I love a very eclectic look and we wanted an industrial farmhouse feel.  I just couldn't see granite tops working in the space.  So as the construction process was in full swing, we started experimenting by pouring sample slabs.  I do want to say, if you are looking for a perfectly flawless piece of countertop, then concrete isn't for you.  

The material we used for the frame was white laminated melamine boards.  These boards provide a smooth non-porous surface to pour the concrete into.  So we cut a board larger than we wanted the finish slab to be.  Then stripped out side pieces, with a table saw for the frame of the slab.  We decided on 1 1/2 inch thick countertops.  So the stripes we cut 1 1/2 inch wide.  We marked off the dimensions on the flat melamine board and screwed the strips to the board using wood screws.  This formed a tray on the surface of the larger board.  (sorry, I don't a photo of this) 

Once the frame is built, you want to run a bead of chalking along all the corners inside the frame.  Then remove any excess chalking so the corners are still square.  I just used my finger to run along the chalking line and wiped off the excess chalking.  This allowed me to feel that there was no large buildup of chalking  in the corners.  We also experimented with using 1/2 round shoe molding to form a beveled edge to the overhang.  We decided it was worth adding the molding.   We cut the molding to fit snuggly into the frame along the front and used the chalking to hold it in place.  (note: if using the molding, do all the chalking after the molding is in place.) You also want to keep in mind that you are pouring the countertops upside down.  Be sure the beveled edge is where it needs to be once the tops are flipped over.