Work on the Kuppersmith Project – my extensive renovation of a 1926 Tudor style home – kicked into high gear with the sanding and finishing of the antique heart pine floors, finishing of the concrete driveway, and installation of a beautiful paver patio.
To match the heart pine floors in the historic home, new heart pine lumber was milled from salvaged beams for the addition. Once all the flooring had been installed, the old and new floors were carefully sanded down to remove the worn finish on the existing floors and level the surface on the new flooring.
A walk behind, drum sander was used on the main part of the floors, with a handheld edge sander used next to walls, cabinets, and doors. Scrapers and hand sanders were needed for tighter quarters, such as the treads going up the staircase.
While sanding floors may not look difficult, these large aggressive machines can easily gouge and damage wood floors in inexperienced hands. This makes sanding wood floors best left to the pros, rather than a DIY project tackled by homeowners.
Once the floors had been sanded smooth, the wood was wiped down with a tack rag to remove any sanding dust. Stain was applied to give the freshly sanded wood an antique look, then several coats of finish went on to protect the floors from dirt, spills, and other damage.
For outdoor entertaining, a paver patio was laid between the back porch and garage by Southern Paver Systems. The process involved excavating dirt to a depth of 7 to 8 inches, followed by careful grading of the area. Filter fabric was installed, followed by layers of crushed stone, sand, and the pavers themselves.
After the pavers had been laid in a distinctive pattern that required several different sizes, the outer edges were cut square with a masonry saw and a border installed around the perimeter. The border was then secured with layer of cement to hold it in place.
When the patio was complete, a polymer sand mix was sprinkled on top of the pavers and swept into the cracks. A plate compactor was used to vibrate the sand down into every nook and cranny. The final step was misting the patio with water to activate the polymer in the sand, locking the pavers together.
As a final touch on the back of the house, a brick grilling station – complete with stainless steel doors – was constructed to house a gas grill. The grill was located under the covered breezeway next to the kitchen door, to make outdoor cooking easy.
Once the poured concrete driveway in the front had cured, pavers were laid as the border around the outside and in accenting rows across the drive.
After the border and accent pavers had been installed, the same polymer sand mix was applied to bind the pavers in place.
Circular Saw Crosscut Guide
Crosscutting boards freehand with a circular saw can be a challenge. The solution is to make a simple crosscutting jig by gluing and screwing a strip of 1/2” plywood at right angles to a piece of 1” x 4” lumber. To make the cut, position the plywood along the edge of the board you want to cut, and run the circular saw along the 1×4 fence.
Wood Raised Bed Kit
A raised planting bed is a great way to grow flowers or vegetables in your yard. Precut wooden raised bed kits are available in rot resistant woods, including cedar, which can be assembled in no time. Raised bed planting kits are available at The Home Depot.
Reclaimed lumber consists of wood that is salvaged from old buildings, wine barrels, and even railroad boxcars. The wood can then be reused or milled into boards for flooring, molding, and other building materials. Reclaimed lumber is eco-friendly, since it reduces the number of trees cut down as well as the energy that would be needed to turn them into lumber.