The tricky task of leveling our floor

The main level of our house has changed a lot since we purchased the home. We removed several interior walls, including a brick wall in the rear of the house. We also removed several radiators, which left behind holes in the floor that you can peer through to see directly into the basement. On top of that, the “bonus room” addition out back was half an inch lower than the rest of the house.

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Note the holes in the floor. The current floor flowed in all different directions, was different levels, and was uneven or missing in some places.

All of these issues were not conducive to installing brand new hardwood floors. So Jeremy and I did what we do best and set about making the floor level and even ourselves. We purchased 35 sheets of half-inch plywood and laid them across the entire first floor of our house.

Before screwing them in place, Jeremy had the bright idea to shore up the floor in the bonus room addition by adding a layer of thick plastic (to reduce heat loss through the floor) and a layer of metal mesh (to block mice and other critters from sneaking through the space where the floor meets the walls).

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These were covered by two layers of plywood to bring it up to the same height as the rest of the house. Jeremy cut the plywood sheets with a circular saw to fit it around walls, columns, and other annoying barriers throughout the house.

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Measuring where to cut the sheet of plywood.
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Cutting the plywood with a circular saw

Then we got to work screwing each piece of plywood in with approximately 24 screws. The goal was to screw them into each joist but after a while I gave up and just screwed them into the floor. They are definitely secure and not going anywhere–plus they’ll soon be covered in our new floor.

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For anyone thinking of doing this yourself, know that while it’s not technically difficult, it is physically grueling. My knees and back were killing me after the first day, and it took two days to complete.  Knee pads are a must!

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My face looks unhappy because I was miserable at this point from so much kneeling on my knees.

The house is now ready to have our floors installed tomorrow! EEP! We spent the whole weekend painting the ceiling and walls in an attempt to get the majority of the painting out of the way before the floors go in. Unfortunately we wont finish painting 100% of the main level of the house in time, but we got a huge chunk done.

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