Our first DIY project – laminate flooring in Ben’s basement office

In addition to moving in, buying new furniture, and unpacking, we got CRAZY and decided to completely overhaul Ben’s office before he moved anything into it.

Here is the BEFORE picture:

So this room is in the basement, and has no windows. The dark brown wall color was just not working at all. It felt like a cave. Also, the carpet was old and gross, so it had to go as well.

I started by painting the entire room, walls and ceiling, with Sherwin William’s Stucco in a satin finish. Aren’t my painting clothes so sexy?

Ah, so much better! Look how much brighter the room already looks! In addition to the paint I also swapped out the can light bulbs for some “daylight” bulbs to make the room less yellow and more bright. (If you are curious what that big wooden square on the wall is, it’s a door to the crawl space.)

Once the walls were painted, we replaced the floor. It was a busy day to say the least.

We opted to do a laminate floor instead of carpet because Ben likes to be able to roll his office chair around with ease. Once we pulled up the carpet and pad, I sat on the floor pulling up tiny staples. After that we swept and vacuumed the room really well.

Believe it or not, neither of us has ever laid a laminate floor. Shocking, I know! We just haven’t had a reason to ever install one. After reading the instructions on the box of laminate flooring I realized we would need a moisture barrier. We picked up this one at Home Depot.

We bought all our laminate at Costco.

Installation was straight forward enough, but getting the first few rows started was a little tricky because the walls aren’t perfectly square.

Instead of walking up the stairs and out to the front yard about twenty thousand times to cut each plank to fit, we set up the saw in the basement storage room. It made the job so much easier.

Almost done! Looking pretty good if I do say so.

As soon as we were finished with the floor we were so excited and immediately started moving furniture and boxes into the room before taking any “AFTER” photos. Doh! Now the room is a mess so I will show you the updated floor with the furniture as soon as we are done unpacking in there.


Get rid of that ugly cord hanging from your attic stairs

(I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.)

I’m back today to share an easy update to an annoying problem. Do you have attic stairs that have a standard pull cord dangling down? They are just not attractive! Here’s a great and easy tutorial to update those attic stairs and get rid of the dangling cord.

Here are our attic stairs “before” the quick update.

The first thing I did was give all the woodwork a fresh coat of white trim paint using a small roller.


Now, to get rid of that cord. You will first need to collect a few supplies. For this project you will need a screw hook, an eye bolt, and a wooden dowel (no smaller than 3/4″ x 3′).

First step, remove the cord. Figure out how your cord is attached and cut it off. Be careful not to let your attic stairs close or it will be very difficult to open them at this point!

Using the new eye bolt, push it through the same hole the cord was in, and tighten the bolt firmly on the inside of the stairs. You may have to use a drill to make your hole slightly bigger if your eye bolt won’t fit.

Now it’s time to make a handle to access your new eye hook. Grab your dowel and your screw hook.

Drill a pilot hole into one end of the dowel.

Screw the hook into your pilot hole. You have now created your handle!

Use the handle to hook the eye bolt and pull down your stairs.

Obviously it would be super ugly to leave the handle just hanging there all the time, so you will need somewhere to store your handle when you aren’t using it.

I used a simple hook inside our hall closet to store our pull handle. Now any time I need to access the attic, I grab my handle out of the closet, attach it to the eye bolt in the attic stairs, and I’m ready to go!

Now when we look or walk down our hallway, we aren’t greeted with an unsightly cord hanging down. The attic stairs are hardly noticeable anymore.

Genius, right?! Head on over to True Value to pick up your supplies today. This little project shouldn’t take you more than about 30 minutes tops. Check out True Value Hardware for all your DIY needs.


Easier way to install wall hooks

We recently updated our daughter’s bathroom (which also doubles as the guest bathroom) with some beadboard and a row of hooks. Now there are plenty of spots to hang all the beach towels that end up all over the floor each summer.

Today I want to show you how to easily install hooks. This tip can be used when hanging anything on your wall – nails, screws, anchors, hooks, etc.

Start by using pieces of painters tape to eyeball where you want your hooks. You don’t need to measure quite yet. This just helps you get an idea for how many hooks you want and how far apart you want them.

In one section I was debating between two or three hooks… I went with two.


Once you have your layout, use a tape measure to make sure each section is equally spaced. You might have to move your pieces of tape over a bit to make everything even. Now use larger pieces of tape and fully tape each spot where you want your hooks to be installed.

Using a level, mark a vertical line down the center of where you want your hook. Mark a horizontal line where you want your screw holes to go.

I wanted my screw holes 2″ from the top of my board, so I marked a level horizontal line 2″ down on each of my 7 pieces of tape (I’m installing 7 hooks).

Next I took the actual hook and centered it over my vertical and horizontal lines. I marked each screw hole with a pencil. This is where I’m going to drill my pilot holes.

Once your screw holes are marked, drill all your pilot holes through the painters tape. Once the holes are drilled you can remove all the tape. Now all your holes are perfectly placed and ready to attach the hooks, and you have to pencil marks to clean up!

And finally, attach all your hooks. I attached one screw of each hook then went back and attached the 2nd screw. I didn’t tighten the screws down until both screws were installed.

Now I have a lovely wall of perfectly lined up hooks without any pencil marks to clean up.

Here’s a “before” shot just for fun.

For a full tutorial on installing beadboard, you can check out my post here.

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