Month: September 2015

Antique Mantel Makeover

As we finish up more projects in our first house, the fireplace is definitely my favorite. It started out so rough and has come a long way.


Since the closet under the stairs is behind the mantle we decided to put in an electric insert. The whole mantle had to be stripped, sanded, and stained.

I also decided I wanted to build a hearth so that the insert didn’t look like it was floating.

The finished project is better than I ever could have expected, especially with the baseboard and crown molding installed in the living room now.



It took a long time to finish, but it was worth every bit of work. After I finished the grout, I added some decorative trim stained to match. It frames the tiling perfectly. The white tiles have a slight glimmer to them when you look close and the mix of stone and glass is my favorite.


We are still working hard on the house and hoping to sell it soon. We hope to have more house updates soon as we finish the upstairs bathroom and stairway. Thanks for reading!

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Radiant Heat


When we bought our new house we knew we were taking a gamble with the in-floor heat. The house hadn’t been winterized properly and there was a good chance the heat didn’t work.

Once we moved in we started to open up each zone. We have 7 zones.

1. The basement heat tubes were broken right where they went into the floor. Luckily the basement stays really warm because of the boiler.

2. The garage hasn’t been opened up, but we assume it is also broken.

3. The kitchen/office heat works perfectly.

4. The master bedroom works great.

5. The upstairs bedrooms work.

6. The rooms above the garage work but we need to fix one small leak.

7. The living room/dining room losses water/antifreeze so fast that the pressure bottoms out on our system. This is bad.


Last year we lived without heat in the living room. The room is nearly 500 sq.ft. and is on a slab that gets extremely cold. This caused our heat bills for the rest of the house to skyrocket. This week we started to pull up the laminate floor to see what we are dealing with. Sadly, the laminate is the old style that is glued together so we will need all new floors in here.


Unfortunately we found that the heating system had so many leaks we couldn’t repair it, which leaves us with 2 options.
1. Jackhammer 6 inches of concrete and start over, or
2. Lay a new layer of heating tubes and raise our floors.

We have decided to go with option #2. Our plumber is going to get us the supplies and tools and let us do the labor to save some money. Luckily, we won’t have to raise our doors and the slight step down from the kitchen with be gone.

We have a bit of work ahead of us, but at least we have a plan! We will definitely update once we begin the process. Thanks for reading!

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