Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone

As I mentioned last week, we’ve put new flooring in our once-was-living-room-then-became-playroom-and-once-again-will-be-living-room. And now, I have pictures.

I think I mentioned that in our tiny home of bad spaces, we have an open-ish main floor. It was once a tiny kitchen and tiny living room but, once Stinkerbelle came home, we took all the furniture (there was not much to begin with) out of the living room, leaving just an old TV and an Ikea chair, and added a bunch of toys. And hey, presto! A playroom.

It worked well. For five years, I could work in the kitchen and cats and kid could play, supervised, with easy access to toys and snacks and doors to go outside (well, not the cats, but me and the kid).

But, during said time, the already showing-its-wear carpet took quite a beating, with messes and barfing and peeing and spilling of both the human and the feline variety. Over the years, it’s fair to say our poor little carpet steam cleaner got quite a workout.

And our carpets were beginning to show their wear: IMG_20140427_091958It was just as bad, if not worse, elsewhere. So we decided it was time to replace them — eventually, we’d replace all the carpets, but we’d start with the living room.

Our home improvement guinea pig.

To do things as cheaply as possible, as we’re limited in our budget, we decided to do it ourselves. And after looking at our options, full-on hardwood was way outside our price range. But we found a nice faux-hardwood laminate that was on sale, looked easy to install, and seemed durable and easy to maintain. SOLD.

But we also had other things to do before the flooring — namely, painting the room. So, we started by tearing up a portion of the carpet and the baseboards. IMG_20140428_083559 IMG_20140428_083612 And we discovered, as we went, what a mess had been left by our crappy builders. Blades from cutting tools, garbage, piles of plaster and sawdust, nails and screws and staples… and badly cut vent holes, as well as holes cut for venting where they should not have been.

So once the walls were painted, we pulled up the rest of the carpet and cleaned up the mess. IMG_20140517_144844 And we started cutting and laying our first bits of flooring along the longest, straightest (HA JUST KIDDING NO SUCH THING IN THIS STUPID HOUSE) wall in the room. IMG_20140517_154555 IMG_20140517_154559Several boards were sacrificed to the saw gods. Creative cursing was, as ever, the order of the day. But slowly we began to get into a rhythm and began working our way across the room. IMG_20140517_164029 IMG_20140517_164034 We did some figuring and BDH did some quite frankly inspired and precise cutting around the many stupid bulkheads and badly cut vents. IMG_20140517_175903 IMG_20140517_175917 IMG_20140518_121501 We cut the stupid angled step-down LIKE A BOSS. IMG_20140518_175911 And then all that was left was the last little bit of bulkhead and angled step, and fitting and snapping in the final piece of flooring. Which, it must be said, because of the shape and size of our stupid living room, had to be cut way too small and way too long and made certain of us in charge of saw operation fairly peevish indeed.

IMG_20140518_175926 IMG_20140518_180029

But we did it! And now it is done — well, we still have not done the baseboards, but STILL. Done enough for one weekend.


And, I have to say, done fairly cheaply. Outside the initial outlay for tools, the room cost us about $300. And it took two relative newbies about 6 hours all told to do. Which bodes well for the rest of the house, I think.

If we take it slowly, and don’t stress, and work as budget allows… it’s starting to look like a possibility.

3 thoughts on “Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone

  1. laminate floors are almost-sort-of-fun to do. Aside from bastard vent holes and angled steps. (Good work, I would have been cursing that one out like crazy.) It looks GREAT!

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