Week 19: Martin Acres Pop-Top

Martin Acres Pop-Top focus moves to the inner self

Like all good improvement plans, at some point its time to take a good look inside and focus energy there. With a solid foundation, secure walls and protective roof, we are now starting to beautify the inner self.  It’s time to smooth the imperfections on the walls and prime, in preparation for painting, tiling, trimming and the like.

First step was to cover the windows for the priming. I miss the view already.

martin acres pop-top

martin acres pop-top

It sure was a stinky Martin Acres pop-top after priming! You forget what primer smells like until it’s already up your nose and in your eyes. And there is only one way to ventilate this:  Tear some holes in the plastic to crack a few windows!  (Yay, for the tiny bit of view again!)

The wood floors: Circa 1955, these 1.5″ oak boards were worth the effort to save, IMHO. Early on, they were covered in plastic and cardboard to protect them from the weather when there were large holes in the roof – or no roof at all. They were under constant attack by feet, tools, debris etc as the Martin Acres pop-top forged ahead. When uncovered a week or so ago, it was found they survived rather nicely but if that was the end of the story, you’d not be reading this paragraph…

The wood floors were  combo of red and white oak. It is not possible to get the white oak in 1.5″ wide planks any more and patching the areas where walls were taken down, the front room was extended out 3′ and the back room needed to be floored entirely was proving to be complicated. You would notice the difference in wood types rather obviously. Or at least I would.

Plan B: Since my neighbors were next on the pop-top roster and wanted to patch their existing wood floors, we thought we could remove mine and donate it to them, then they could save their floors.

The older wood had other ideas. To say it was uncooperative when it came to pulling it up, was an understatement. The grooves that slot together were splitting apart and not a single board would be moved without substantial damage. It was toast! Sadly, after a day of hard labor with a pickaxe, all that was left was a pile of giant splinters in the dumpster!

There is always a bright side and I was determined to find it. My budget? Hell no. That was not the bright side! Honestly though, there was so much labor cost built in to the original budget for patching and refinishing the floors that the additional cost to putting in new wood floors really wasn’t as bad as I thought it could have been. I believe I have to come up with $4000 at the end of the day for about 1200 square feet of new flooring. Not chump change but manageable.  Now… Getting back to the bright side; If you had ever visited 285 Martin Drive before this project, you might have noticed the floors were quite squeaky. Somewhere between the front door and the kitchen was the worst part, but there were other areas scattered all over the house. With the old flooring gone, the guys were able to screw down the existing 1/4″ plywood firmly to the joists, then glue and screw another layer on top of that. Trust me… the squeaks are gone. I have danced about on this new subfloor to test it – because that’s what you do in these cases!

martin acres pop-top

martin acres pop-top

It smells like freshly cut wood in here now. Mmmm….

And did I mention the kitchen has been uncovered?

martin acres pop-top

martin acres pop-top

A quick update on the exterior:  I had another appointment with my landscape architect (new favorite person!!!) this week. She is pretty awesome and yes, I think that because she humors all my crazy thoughts, control-freak tendancies and ignorance! This week I visited her personal residence to check out her work and then took her to a house that is for sale, so that I could show her the garden. (Uh-huh, the benefit of being a Realtor!)

Like I said, she humors me. You see, I’m asking this poor woman to create a “feeling” with landscape design. You heard me right. I’m showing her things I like and asking her to create a yard that makes me feel a certain way. Sure, sure, I give her pictures of things I like.  She also knows that I need privacy, peace and dappled shade. I’m looking for low maintenance and a yard that attracts bees, butterflies, birds and all manner of critters. Color and leaf variation that provide interest and look pleasant all year round, are a must.

Oh and perhaps most importantly… I want a plan that I can implement over time. Aside from sprinklers and some rock work, there is nothing much going to happen here in 2017. Time and money are limiting factors this year, but perhaps next year I will have some extra time, energy, money to get started on something fabulous and it would be better if I had a master plan.  That is why I have hired Becky Hammond, Landscape Architect.

martin acres pop-top


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