Renovating our Family Room
When we moved into our house, we realized it had many shortcomings that would need to be addressed over time. As our budget, free time and desire allows, we tackle these major projects. The first was our kitchen, as that was the nerve center for functioning in the house. We then went on to tackle smaller projects in bathrooms and bedrooms, but the family room kept getting pushed aside as it would be a MAJOR undertaking.
Thanks to the previous owners who had a large dog named "Joey", their lack of discipline allowed him to use many parts of the house as his personal urinal. Although we cleaned all the floors and carpeting to the best that professionals could achieve, the padding and floor still had "remnants" of the canine that once was. Having a house full of cats didn't help, as they their their best to add their own personal "aroma" to cover the stench of dog. After a while, the carpet cleaners, stain and odor removers just weren't cutting it anymore. It was time to gut the carpeting and replace it.
We originally settled on a ceramic tile that would give the room southwestern atmosphere. Since we had also moved to a new heating system in our house, the old fuel oil system was no longer used. That tended to leave the family room and basement cold during the winter, even with the fireplace. We decided to install under-floor heating in the primary areas we occupied, to warm the room and keep our tootsies happy. That expense alone was greater than all the tiling, but the extra effort really paid off as winter arrived.
In the spring of 2010, a friend told me he was selling his entire saltwater aquarium setup, with all the equipment, live rock, gravel, etc., for a price we couldn't pass up. This spurred us into the second phase of the renovation project ... the walls. And what better way to show off a huge aquarium than to build it in as the main focal point of a library, something Kristy and I have always wanted ... a place to put our most treasured books.
As our employment has fluctuated over the past couple of years, the project has not moved along as fast as I would like, but the library is finally constructed, and we are working on the remaining walls of the family room to finally get rid of the '70's disco popcorn texture that had definite signs of mold from unreported flooding, and to do some electrical upgrades. I had a new 20-Amp circuit installed to handle the fish tank and to provide additional outlets along the outside wall.