Walk the Plank, bub…

18 Nov

As our 2014 ISBU season begins to come to a close, we’re getting calls from families finishing up their residential projects before the weather turns ugly.

Some of those calls are to pile blessing on our houses. Some of those calls are to ask us how to extricate all the relatives who helped build them.

SOME of those calls are from families who have had a change of heart and are looking at making some last minute changes…

Here’s one we got last week that we thought we’d share;

Hi Alex,

We’re making terrific headway. The way you’ve laid things out, building a home using ISBUs is like building a children’s toy out of Lego Building Blocks.

(4) ISBU containers, 2200 square foot and it’s working like magic. Neighbors who originally cussed us are now showing up with tools, to help out.

It’s gone really, really  well, up to now. SO well that Momma has decided to bump the build up a notch and we’re no longer at Lowe’s looking for appliances.

She keeps using words like “Viking” and “Sub-Zero” and she’s not talking about the temperature or Sweden…

Now, I’m a big subscriber in that guild that believes “Happy wife, happy life”, so…

I need to find more money in our build.

That means that our hardwood floors are out the window. There’s no more budget for them. Man, I loved those floors…

And now, I’m looking at a “house half blessed with hardwood”…

I know that you guys love polished concrete floors, but I need something a bit “friendlier” as Momma has laid down the law.

Her exact quote was;

“You better lay down some cool flooring or you can find yourself another place to lay down…”

Help Me, Obi  Wan Kenobi… you’re my only hope…


Relax Youngling, just as soon as I finish this “Midichlorian Mai Tai”, I’m gonna hook you up. In fact, it’s been said that I was conceived by midichlorians… or was it “people that had  gone medieval on each other”?  I forget… :)

Here at the shop, I have to admit that we’re big fans of hardwood. But we’re also big fans of eating and sleeping without looking for poison in our foods or a skillet crashing into our heads.

You’ve said that you have budget for  “half a houseful of hardwood”. We suggest you use that hardwood in the place where it’ll make the most impact. Start at your foyer and work your way into your living room and family rooms. If you can swing it, continue your hardwood into your hallways. Use carpeting in your bedrooms in lieu of hardwood with rugs.

Now, go find that old coffee can that you keep your beer money in. Can you afford .99 cents a square foot?

I am a big fan of vinyl plank flooring; While it’s true that some folks are concerned about vinyl in general and released VOCs, sometimes, you make compromises. Vinyl Plank isn’t really that much of a compromise, frankly. Not only is it easy to install and replace, it is also economical, durable, and has a lot of resistance to the water damage issues that affect laminates or hardwood flooring materials.

And relax… I’m definitely NOT talking about that crappy vinyl material that comes in rolls. You don’t cut it to fit and then glue it down.

Vinyl Plank FlooringIt is a vinyl plank material where each piece snaps or lays into the one before it.

There are two basic types of vinyl planking. The first is “easy click” where the material clicks into the edge of the piece of the material next to it. The second is called “loose lay” and it lays right next to the piece next to it, as the name implies. I favor the “easy click” flooring as it creates a “more positive” locking floor surface.

It LOOKS like wood flooring. In fact, some of it is so good that it’s hard to tell from a distance if it’s real wood or not.

The floor is “floating”, so there’s no glue on the floor (or your hands, or the dog)  which makes it easy to install and repair. Installation is easy. Even your “idiot brother-in-law” can do it. Seriously, I’ve taught 14 year old girls how to install it.

And that’s part of vinyl plank’s charm. In rooms where sharp things will be dropped (like kitchens or crafts rooms) and locations where liquids are spilled regularly (like kitchens or bathrooms), a durable  and easily repaired flooring material may be a pretty good thing – unless you like surrendering time spent on the sofa watching footballs games on Cable for time spent “cursing and hacking” at damaged flooring while your head fills with glue fumes or sawdust.

If you have kids, pets or are prone to spilling things and you like the look of wood, vinyl plank is an excellent flooring choice. It’s durable  and inexpensive.

Try places like Lumber Liquidators to find great deals on flooring.

(NO! We’re not affiliated with, nor do we receive compensation from these guys. We’ve just seen many, many families get outrageous deals from them. We LOVE saving our families money. That way, somebody get’s ambushed by their significant other about what the savings can be applied to! What can I say? We’re just evil that way…)

Muwahahahah! ;)

Truth be told, while most of my own farmhouse is scheduled for hardwood flooring, I intend to use Vinyl Plank Flooring myself in places where the floors are going to take a beating – like my mech room, my mud room, my workshop and my guitar lab…

You know where to ship the beer… You know what we drink. It starts with a “G” and ends with a “ness”… We’ll be waiting…

RR Avatar