Rehab (House): Day 2

Pulling up the carpet on the steps yielded this 'house physics' lesson:  the dirt trapped on the steps reduces exponentially for each step that you go up.  Pictured left is three such steps and you can visually see the difference.  If I were a complete goob, I would have swept and weighed it and presented to you a comparative chart.  Don't think that the thought did not cross my mind.

The carpet covered the steps entirely, even to the point of covering the outside corner.  I have no idea why such pains were taken to cover that way other than the carpet would have had to be bound on an exposed in.  Anyway, the results were enough to remind me that I will never have carpet in my home.  If you live in the city and your feet don't touch the earth all day, then this is not a problem.  In the country, your feet are on the ground, accordingly, your feet bring that ground into your home.  In New Kent, we have this lovely, fine silt....great for your your garden, but as you can see, it becomes a permanent guest in your home (and you could conceivably grow a garden in your carpet).

The carpet was easy enough to pull up once released from the carpet tack strip.

Carpet removal tip:  after pulling it free from the tack strip, fold it over on itself.  Using a box knife, cut the back (it is easier than the front) it in 3-4' strips and then roll up for easy removal. Throw the tack strips in the middle of one of your rolls for scratchless removal.

The nice thing about a body and its muscles (and muscle memory!) is that it responds quickly to a work load.   My second day of removing tack strips yielded a tackless room in almost 15 minutes.  That efficiency was helped by a rolling work seat pictured right.  Mine is a Craftsmen that my husband had forever.  This one is from Northern Tool.  They have a higher end model that actually has a beverage holder.  When I broke my foot, I found this little guy indispensable for scooting around when I needed my hands for such valuables as coffee and food.
After my first session of tack strip removal, it occurred to me that this stool could come in handy.  In addition to the tack strips, I had to remove the staples.  Some of them were beaten down so much (though still had the carpet padding tufted in) that I resorted to using a scratch awl and a small nail pull. Using the little hammer side of the nail pull, I could tap the scratch awl underneath the staple.  More often than not, only one end was released.  Grab the recalcitrant side with the nail pull or needle nose pliers and you are rid of your stable.  In one room, where the carpet had been moistened (by God knows what and how often) the staples were rusty.

You can see, then, the beauty of this little rolling cart.  Your tools are right in front of you, you are not on your knees, and you are easily rolling.  If you had the souped up model, your beverage of choice would be at your side. Perhaps for a man, using such a stool would be unmanly.  We women are practical, and we would never be bothered by such thoughts other than how to best accomplish the task at hand using whatever resources we had available.  I should glasses.  These staples can fly up, so protect your eyeballs.

Now we come to climax of the post (put food/drink away!) which is where I unveil the carpet.....

Every room in the house sported carpet that looked like this on the backside.  The subfloor is also stained, and the edging in some places moldy/crumbly.

I plan to install engineered hardwood.  Engineered hardwood seemed to be a middle ground in quality between laminate and solid wood flooring.  Remember that I'm working with a very strict budget.  Also, (I must get this dig in) since my husband reminded me that I'm no spring chicken at 50, that rooster's
cock-a-doodle-do is 5 years older than I am, I want to get a floor that doesn't require the back-breaking, hernia/hemorrhoid-inducing work involved with putting those floors down.  Granted, it is easier with a pneumatic nailer.  But it is still work nonetheless.

It was about 26 years ago when he and I were putting the red oak floors down.  It was August in Virginia.  I was laying the flooring out for him and then wiping his sweat off the boards.  Gosh...what a miserable job.  But doing it that way was the only way we were going to afford putting hardwood in our home.  Otherwise, with our animals, we would have carpet that looked like the above!

I purchased my flooring from WoodFloorsPlus.  You can visit them here.  I found a Robina floor on close out.  It is $1.99 per sqf (v $4-5+ at other sites) and fortunately they had enough of it for my job.  It is in gunstock, which is a much darker color than my daughter originally wanted.  It appears to have a nice locking system--one that will help the job go more smoothly.  There is NO warranty with this product.  At less than 1/2 the typical (not inflated retail) price, I understand that.  In consulting with my daughter, she agreed that she would forgo color over quality.  I also ordered DIV Floor Muffler.  WoodFloorsPlus has it at $30 per 100sqf roll.  That is the cheapest price that I could find anywhere.

What I love about WoodFloorsPlus is that the are gimmick free.  No ultra-inflated retail prices that are slashed to "your price".  I felt that I could buy confidently.  They also shipped the flooring almost for free. I've not received it yet, and I'll give a report on that.

I am now moving to wall washing to prep for painting.  Stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by.


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