Levelling the Basement Floor with Levelrock

Many years ago, we applied to be on one of those home reno shows and they chose to renovate our basement! – or so we thought. In the planning stages of the reno, the show’s contractor discovered that the slope of our basement floor was too steep to build on. The floor was inconsistent and out of level by over half a foot in some areas! There wouldn’t be enough time in the production schedule to fix it properly so they were going to have to take a pass on us..

At first, we were disappointed: who wouldn’t want a crew to come in and take care of a major renovation while we sit back and let them do all the work? But on the flip side, as avid DIY’ers, it was going to be hard to give up full control of the project. In the end, it worked out in our favour because there’s no sense in finishing a basement when there’s still things to renovate on other levels of the house (i.e. our kitchen still needed to be renovated). You really need open access to the plumbing and electrical in the basement before closing those things off forever once the basement is done!

Anyway, since we had cleared our stuff out of the basement for the show, it seemed like a prime opportunity to level the basement floor and get it over with. Once that was done, we could take our own sweet time to renovate the basement ourselves when we were ready. But with 700 square feet of space in our basement, it wasn’t going to be something that we could tackle ourselves. We needed an expert.

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12 Tips to Shopping for Engineered Hardwood Floating Floors (Pt. 1)

If you’re thinking about installing flooring, whether it’s below grade or above, an engineered wood floating floor is the way to go – especially if you’re planning on installing it over a concrete slab. Nothing adds beauty and warmth to a home like hardwood. In this first of our series on how we installed engineered hardwood flooring in our basement (a part of our broader Homeowner DIY Series for 2018), we’re exploring how to shop for it first. We wondered if engineered hardwood would be as good as solid wood and were surprised to learn that neither one is better. Only by weighing the pros and cons of each can you determine which one is a better fit for your own situation.

If you’re not really sure about the differences between engineered and solid flooring, engineered wood is produced with three to five layers of plywood topped by a wear layer of real wood. The wear layer can range in thickness; thicker layers can be re-sanded just like a traditional solid floor. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure to make it dimensionally stable. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed at all levels of the home. As far as installation is concerned, there are far more methods to choose from with an engineered product: you can staple, nail, click or glue.

Fusion Flooring Classical Elegance Oak Baroque / Dimensions: 9/16″ h x 7 1/2″ w

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Valentine’s Paint Stick Pallet Art

Birdz of a Feather will be on Hiatus soon, so with Valentines Day just a month away, I’m resurrecting an old Valentine’s project – which will be new to recent subscribers 🙂

I wanted to make a little something for my sweetie that would have meaning on multiple levels. Since we’ve done so much DIY renos together, I was inspired by a pallet. In keeping with our mission to lead a more sustainable life, and keep things from landfill, I repurposed paint sticks and 1″x2″ lumber to make a miniature version of the pallet that hubs could easily display in his office. It turned out to be a great way to use up old paint sticks amassed over years of painting and renovating past (and present) homes.

I started by designing an 8 1/2″ x  11″ picture using the charicature we had done for our wedding. I superimposed it into a ‘puzzle piece heart’ I drew with the words ‘you complete me’ – the perfect sentiment for any soul mate!

Of course, if you choose to make your own Paint Stick Pallet, you’ll use your own personal artwork to make it unique to you! Watch the quick two-minute video below to see how easy it is (and subscribe to our YouTube Channel while you’re at it!)

Let’s Get Started

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Water Leak Repair (Part 1) – Install a Frost Proof Faucet

Happy New Year everyone! For our first post of 2018, we’re getting down to some serious home repair issues.

Some of you may remember the reveal of my craft studio in our newly finished basement. I was also supposed to reveal the mancave right on its heels, but there was a good reason why that didn’t happen for a long time. One morning I went into my craft studio and noticed a swooshing sound coming from the area carpet underfoot; not a good sign. I then found this on top of my dresser:

The cup was supposed to be empty and now it was full of water! Then I looked around and saw that all of our perfectly fitted and caulked baseboards had warped and popped off the walls. Continue reading

A TV Remote Control Caddy Worthy of the Mancave!

Revamped just in time for Christmas, this post has been totally re-written with better step-by-steps, a supply list, new pictures and variations on the project for gift giving (see Step 9: Variations for an updated colour scheme and versions for a two and three-remote caddy).

My husband spent all his spare time over the span of almost two years building a craft studio for me and a mancave for him in our basement. When he was nearing completion of this challenging project, I knew it meant he would be spending many a lazy weekend doing nothing but watching TV in his mancave. And why not? A little R&R is so well deserved after all his hard work!

But with a new TV, soundbar and blue-ray player, he suddenly had a ton of remotes that kept getting lost. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a lazy day only to be sidelined by spending time looking for remotes! I couldn’t wait to step in to help solve his problem (after all, I had no excuse not to with a brand new craft studio waiting to see some action)!

I gathered up some pipe fittings – some pulled apart from another project I wasn’t happy with. I also scrounged up some scraps of horsehair braid that I had used 25 years earlier to make my sister’s wedding veil. Lastly, I reused some magnetic hooks that used to be on our fridge before we replaced our old appliances.

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Ugly Christmas Socks!

Whenever my brother-and-sister-in-law host Christmas, it’s always a hoot. They go out of their way to make it interesting with games and competitions – for the little kids and big ones (aka the adults) alike. A few years ago, my B-I-L and S-I-L introduced an ‘ugly sock contest’ to the festivities – a twist on ugly Christmas sweaters. I don’t know how they came up with the idea but I’m always up to a fun challenge so was eager to get started.

I ended up making matching ugly socks for both me and hubs. I started with some festive dollar store toe socks and an empty lip balm container (the one I actually used was shorter than the one shown below).

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CO Detector Wall Safe: Hidden in Plain Sight!

Sunday marked the first day of daylight saving time. In addition to turning back the clock an hour, it’s a great time to change the batteries on your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and also check to see if they need to be replaced! Our CO detector was getting close to 10 years old, so we replaced it with a new one.

Birdz of a Feather has always focused on upcycling whatever we can, so instead of throwing the old CO detector away I had an epiphany about using it to create a place to hide my valuables in plain sight! Sometimes necessity – and a penchant for upcycling – is the mother of invention!

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Mancave Transformation and Reveal

My husband spent over 2 years renovating our basement in his spare time. Our basement is small so we split up the basement between three functions: a craft studio, laundry room and a mancave. I took the majority of the space for my studio; not very magnanimous of me given that he built every single bit of it himself – single handedly (with the exception of pouring a new basement floor as shown below).

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Upcycle Kitchen Cabinets Into a One-of-a-Kind Desk!

Today marks the first official post under our new Birdz of a Feather domain (if you don’t count the old post that accidentally republished a few days ago). Moving to a new domain is not without its challenges, but things will hopefully run smoothly from here-on-out!

The only real change you might notice is that Birdz of a Feather Home and Birdz of a Feather ~ Craft Rehab are now roosting together in the same nest – so to speak.There’s nothing we love more than sharing our tutorials with you, so making the decision to combine our DIY and craft blogs under one roof allows us to spend more time doing just that!

If you were subscribed to both blogs, you should only receive one email from us when we post. If for some reason that’s not the case, just let us know through the contact form on the home page and I’ll get it resolved 🙂

There’s a separate tab for Craft Rehab projects on the Home page so if you’re only familiar with our DIY projects, I hope you’ll check them out (and vice versa if you originally found me through Craft Rehab)!

Now on to today’s tutorial!

When we renovated our kitchen we saved two sets of drawers because we knew we could upcycle them into something super useful again. You know how they say that necessity is the mother of invention? This upcycle is a prime example. After the kitchen, next on our list of renovations was the craft room so storage and a desk area was at the top of the list of needs. The bank of drawers was just what we needed to create a one-of-a-kind desk for the office area!

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