Welcome to spring and home renovation season! We are currently living in a construction zone.
Our house has needed some work since… well, since we moved in, honestly. But money and time can be scarce, not to mention the human resources (two tired people like us) to get the job done. But this year, we decided to bite the bullet and just get started.
It took a little prioritizing. We have so many things that we need or want to do, and very limited funds to do so. So, it was a matter of just making some decisions and getting started.
The first priority for us, we decided, was painting. A coat of paint always makes you feel better about your surroundings, and if I am honest, some of the rooms in our house have NEVER been painted — not since we had the place built in 2000. Others have been painted but the walls are marked up and dinged over the years, so we knew that almost the whole joint is going to need some freshening up.
But the other thing that needed doing was flooring. When we built, we decided that with cats and (hopefully) kids, there was no sense spending a lot of money on carpet, when what we really wanted was hardwood — and we couldn’t afford hardwood (or so we thought). So we just got a basic carpet put in, with the intention of replacing it in 10 years’ time.
Well, 14 years on, and the carpet is in a sorry state. It’s worn, and stained, and in some places, scratched to hell thanks to two very stupid cats. So the second priority, we decided, was new flooring, probably laminate. And that was something we could only do piecemeal, since we would have to do it ourselves to save money.
And, we decided, the best place to start with all this nonsense was on our main floor.
We have an open concept-ish kind of main floor, with a kitchen with an eat-in area and a living room. When Stinkerbelle came home, we decided that we would take all the (quite frankly awful) furniture out of the living room and leave some shelves and a TV, and that would be That Girl’s playroom. That way, I could cook or whatever in the kitchen while she had a safe place to play under my watchful eye. And that worked really well.
It also got really grimy, with spills and cats and messes. So that would be our first construction zone.
And thus it was that, on the weekend, we cleared out the remaining furniture in the playroom-slash-living room and trucked out to Home Despot and Canadian Tire for supplies. And while BDH began ripping out the carpet and baseboards, Stinkerbelle and I started prepping the walls for painting.
It is at this point that I have to say OMG OUR BUILDERS WERE CRAP.
Seriously. Our house is like a supermodel — it ain’t pretty, it just looks that way. Pretty on the outside, I like to say. I can name the myriad problems we have with this house — not one door or doorframe hung square, heating venting that completely fills a bedroom closet, siding that is continually coming loose — but a lot of it comes down to absolutely shitty workmanship.
And I don’t know why, then, that I was surprised when BDH started pulling up the carpet, only to find that the builders had basically laid the underpad and carpet over piles of sawdust and drywall dust, tool blades and trash, and plywood flooring with holes cut into it in the wrong places and screws screwed into nothingness.
So we may have a bit of work ahead of us that is not just cosmetic.
At any rate, we have started painting our living room a blue colour, which will also be the kitchen colour too. That Girl has her own little roller and is doing her part on the bottom third of the wall. We plan to just do a couple of hours a day, and don’t stress if there are days, like today, when appointments and activities mean nothing gets done.
We’ll finish the walls, and then we’ll tackle the floor — laminate, faux hardwood, just in the living room, since the kitchen has ceramic which seems to be holding up fine. After that, we’ll do baseboards and trim, at which point we’ll have two freshly painted rooms, one of which will be devoid of furniture for awhile until we can afford to decorate.
That fine, though. Lots of other rooms to paint, yo. I’ve got hallway and bathrooms and bedrooms that need it as well. Not to mention, two storeys of stairs that need to be stripped of carpet, sanded, and painted as well. And the rest of the carpet to be ripped out and replaced.
It’s going to be a long year of construction. We’ll have to see how long we can live in rooms of chaos and tools and such, not to mention trying to keep Stinkerbelle from running around or tripping and falling amid all the junk.
But hey! I’m going to look on the bright side: No more vacuuming for the foreseeable future!