Friday, May 29, 2009

What was I thinking???

My house is over 80-years-old, bought about four years ago as a first-time home buyer. The house had been completely gutted and renovated by a retired couple who flip houses. Everything was new when I moved in, including the carpet. Even new, I wasn't loving the carpet. Carpeting is kind of gross. You can't really keep it clean. You might be able to have it cleaned, but it's still not clean. So I knew when I moved in the place that the carpet's days were numbered.

I may have lasted a year. I can't remember when I decided that I had enough. It wasn’t long after I fell in love with and began sharing my home with a puppy. The house has wood floors, I knew, because I asked the sellers about it when I purchased the house. They mentioned that the wood floors weren’t in horrible shape, but I had my doubts. I live in a "transitional" neighborhood. I've been told that my house was condemned at one point in its history. Pulling the carpeting up, I didn’t know what I would find underneath. As suspected, the wood floors were beyond rough. This discovery was ok. Given the choice between badly blemished wood floors or nasty carpeting, I’ll take the wood. At least it can be swept and mopped.

As a consolation, and sanity saver, I decided I would at least begin the process of floor renovation by starting with my living room. This would give me one good area of escape from the eyesore. I didn’t think that the original wood floor was salvageable. There were multiple areas of patching. One patch consisted of a large square plywood cut-out that had been placed over what at one time was a furnace register. I was overwhelmed when considering restoration. It seemed the easier choice was to cover the floor with new hardwood or laminate. Choosing top of the line Dupont laminate, and with the help of a hired friend/handyman, we put the new floor down in a day’s time. I felt almost immediate regret. The laminate was alright, but it was very expensive and while we were careful in its installation, it seemed to chip rather easily. I don’t hate it, but I’m not sold on it either.

Fast forward 18 months or so. By this time I had become really tired of the paint splattered state of the remaining un-renovated floors. No amount of decorating could mask the flaw and I knew the time had come for a fix. Something had to be done. I couldn't afford new flooring, laminate or hardwood. A call to the town’s equipment rental store netted me a drum sander and edge sander for the weekend, and for exponentially less money than laminate or wood. The project was labor intensive, but I found the dust clean-up to be a lot more tedious than the actual sanding. At any rate, now that it's done I can say that it was totally worth it.

Edit: I realized after posting that the pictures are in the wrong order. The first picture shows my spare bedroom/sewing room in the process of being put back together after the renovation.

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