Sunday, September 12, 2021

Cuttin' the Rug...

 Cuttin' the Rug...

Slowly, Laase is revealing herself to me. As I work on trimming back the fluff that was added on over the years, and help her get back to her true self, she rewards me with glimpses into the things that made her grand in her day.

Recap: Remember the white carpet?

That's my able assistant, Cody at the top of the stairs!

I have never done much in the way of renovation myself, so I called a floor specialist to see about removing the carpet. As anyone with pets knows, white carpet will look nice for maybe 5 minutes after you clean it, before a cat vomits on it, or the dogs track in dirty footprints from the yard. It really had to go!

The floor specialist confirmed that there were hardwood floors under the carpet, but would not consent to remove the carpet without an additional contract to refinish the floors. I'm more of a look and see kind of gal. I wanted to see what the floors looked like before agreeing to that, especially since it would mean removing myself and the pets from the house for 4 - 5 days while the work was completed.  Total cost for the effort was about $6000.

Next call was to a handyman service to see if I could just hire the labor to pull the carpet and the tack strips. After calls to 3 different services who would not even return my call, I found one! It would be about $3000 worth of labor to spend the day pulling the carpets.

At this point, I started to seriously consider tackling the project myself. How hard could it be? I took a deep breath, and dived in.

I decided to start on the stairs, as there would be no furniture to move, and there was already a corner pulled up to confirm that there was wood under there. The little landing area went pretty easily, and I started to get the hang of how to pull up the tack strips, which the thoughtful carpet installer had seen fit to nail down pretty thoroughly. I worked my way down and .... what???

The area between steps (there must be a term for that) was painted! Ha - I just Googled it. It's called a riser. So, the risers are painted. I wonder how long ago that was done!

Now I was excited! It was like archaeology - digging in and finding something that hadn't been seen in a long time.

I called my friend Eric and rattled on about my discovery. Intrigued, he gave up on his planned bike ride and came over to help.

The carpet was so thoroughly nailed and tacked to the stairs that it required a good bit of strength to pull it loose. I left the stairs to Eric and got to work on the main floor carpet, which was much easier to pull up.  My hope was that I would find the floors to be in good condition without immediate need of major repair or refinishing. Eric was skeptical but, there was only one way to find out.

I started in a corner, and signs were very encouraging. 3/4" fir that looked to be original, and was in super good condition. I used a carpet knife to cut manageable pieces of the carpet, and a hammer and the flat end of an old rock hammer I had, to get the tack strips up.  Eric had some better tools, but the stairs being more of a challenge, I did not try to mooch them from him!

If you take on a job like this, make sure you have some gloves. Those tack strips they use to hold the carpet down? You don't want to work with them with bare hands, trust me on that.

Hey, let's check back in on Eric and the stairs! (Does that sound like the name of a band? )

Such pretty painted steps! I still have about 20,000 staples to pull out, we just ran out of steam yesterday, and I don't need Eric's muscles for that! Then, some Murphy's oil soap I am thinking? They are pretty dirty but I want to clean them carefully so as not to damage the painted sections.

OH - the main floor! It's not totally done - I cut around the heavy furniture, and we will move that another day and pull that carpet, but here is a sneak peek...

That's Hannah modeling our beautiful new/old wood floors for your enjoyment...They need to be gently cleaned, but the finish is good. It looks like they've been under carpet for a long time! No damage, no traffic patterns, no fading really. Just beautiful wood floors that completely change the character of the room.

And Laase House, herself? She's happy to have shed that extra, unneeded layer of wool. She feels happier and lighter and more like her old pretty self. I think the two of us have some fun times ahead. I do know that by doing the work with my own hands, I feel a deeper connection to her. We are partners now - this is becoming more and more a joint venture between her and I. Who knows what treasure we will discover next?

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