• The Renovation

    Date: 2014.04.01 | Category: Family, Home, Mark, Style | Tags:

    We bought our house about five years ago. It was originally built in the 1970’s, and has been “updated” by the various tenants who lived in it over the years. The people we bought it from had five children (in a three bedroom house) and had almost no sense of interior decoration. The master bedroom was neon purple. And while they had replaced some of the floors, they chose a cheap floating laminate that was SO LOUD when the dogs ran across it.

    We’ve been slowly working on small improvements since we bought it. We immediately re-painted the neon purple bedroom (with four coats of paint), took down the borders and the stapled-to-the-wall Winnie the Pooh balloon in the other two rooms and painted them, and painted the office. Before Sarah was born, we tore up the original blue carpet from the two other rooms and replaced it.

    The living room though, has always been a bit of an eye sore. While it has awesome vaulted ceilings and plenty of room, it was so drab. It had dated white carpet that I think was original, white walls, white ceilings and brown beams. We kept intending to update it, so we never hung pictures. It was just this awful room of blah.

    I didn’t take any great “before” pictures, but I found some on my phone featuring Sarah. You can see the living room and the hallway in these photos.

    When Cassie came to visit, she insisted we paint it – and we did! It’s much warmer and more inviting now.

    The carpet, however, became a problem. We have two dogs, one who liked to pee in the same spot by the back door. We had juice stains and dog hair and everything else you can possibly imagine to irritate allergies. We had enough and decided to replace it. While we were at it, I insisted we replace the loud laminate in the hallways too to keep the dog toenails from waking up the kids.

    After doing a lot of research and pricing, we ultimately decided to buy the floors through a distributor in Georgia and install it ourselves, saving us somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500.

    Mark ripped up all the old floors and it’s amazing how much better the house smelled!

    Well, like most home projects, other tangent projects started popping up. Mark wanted to replace our front and back doors before the new floors went in so the thresholds would meet the new floor without looking weird – so he and his dad did that. And then he wanted  to cut down our extremely long to-the-wall fireplace hearth off to give us more room – so he did. And then we needed to prime and paint our hallway, which was a ridiculous and ugly seafoam green, so we did that too. On and on and on. We kept working at it, but still the floors weren’t going down.

    I began to worry because we both wanted it all done before Sarah’s fast approaching birthday party. And while Mark and I are happily married and have been together nearly 11 years, it turns out we have very different philosophies on home improvement projects that result in a lot of arguing. (For example, I’d rather tape and paint quickly, so we can finish a room and move on to the next project, while he was concerned about the direction of brush strokes and meticulously painting around the painters tape “just in case it bled through).

    Needless to say, the thought of taking on the floors ourselves while under the time crunch would have been a very bad idea for a number of reasons.

    Good thing Mark’s parents knew a good floor man. He came and scoped it out and gave us a fantastic price. Plus he has the experience and all the tools to put the floor down. Oh, and he and his brother can do it in one day. What we are paying them is more than enough to save our sanity and the potential arguments that come with home renovations.

    So, as of today, we are the proud owners of new floors, new doors, and a newly painted hallway.

    Oh, and we also paid someone to build us a new gate into our back yard to accommodate Mark’s giant new-to-us lawnmower.

    All we have left to do before the big birthday party is paint and install some new trim… and put together the birthday girl’s new trampoline.