Thursday, May 31, 2007

Summer Projects

We first saw our house on a house hunting trip last year. Our realtor understood that this was the house we were going to buy. As we drove away, discussing the information that we needed to find out before making an offer (restrictive covenants, etc.), Bruce said: "Of course, we'll have to replace the carpet."

My observant engineer--I had not even noticed the color of the carpet, being enamored by two (count 'em) pantries and a second master suite. I certainly did not notice that the sculpted Berber was worn in the hallways and fraying at the seams. Only 4 years old, it was definitely well used.

And the color was realtor neutral--very blah. But last year, we had bigger fish to fry. We needed to paint before we moved in. We had work to do to sell the old house, and we bought furniture. My very first--and probably last--good, matched furniture. So the carpet had to wait.

Not that I let it go. I showed Bruce the regular updates I got from Lumber Liquidators. I dreamed over flooring options on our many trips to Lowes and Home Depot. I got samples of wood flooring to show my mom when she came out for the Bar Mitzvah.

But I expected we'd be waiting another year or so.

When I was cleaning for Pesach, I accidently caught some unraveling carpet in the vacuum, making the hall look more rag-tag than before.

But last week I showed Bruce the latest sales flyers about flooring. And he said, "I suppose we ought to take care of this before the hallway carpet completely unravels." My astute husband! He noticed. "And before the prices go up due to cost of gas." My financial wizard! "Anyway, it will bring up the value of the house." My fine investor--as long as he doesn't want to sell this house!

So last Friday we went to Lumber Liquidators. There we saw some Brazilian Cherry that we really liked. And we shopped at FloorMart. Just to compare. There we also found a great sale on carpet and I brought home some samples. But we also learned that the cost of installation on the hardwood flooring would cost more than the materials cost per square foot. Ouch! I could see my dream of hardwood fading before my eyes.

When we woke up on Saturday morning, my intrepid mate said, "Last night I dreamed that we installed the flooring ourselves." And I said, "Funny, so did I." It was basheart*! Obviously, we are meant to do this. So on Sunday, we got out the house plans and did some calculating. We decided that we will have the master bedroom suite and the guest suite recarpeted. And we will put in the hardwood flooring--Brazilian Cherry--in the rest of the house. We are DIY people anyway. We painted our house ourselves, we put in the faux hardwood flooring in my son's room and the office of the old house, we have done landscaping and we have put in a bathtub.

Today, the carpet man came to measure the two rooms that will get carpet.

It is funny how that worked out. At FloorMart, I picked up a sample of carpet and said to Bruce, "This will not look as dark in our house." It was a sample of Stainmaster Manic series called Desert Pebble. I brought it home with two other samples, both lighter. On Monday, when we scheduled the measure, I took the other two back and came home with three that were darker. But it was Desert Pebble all along! It is a frieze, that has a very light pinkish-tan base with yarns of green and brown mixed in to give it texture.

Tomorrow, we pick up the wood. Putting that in is going to be a job! It is Bella wood, which is not engineered. That means we put it in plank by plank. But in this house we do not have any curved walls to deal with, as we did in the old house. (Picture from Lumber Liquidators page).

This weekend, I must finish my stonescaped steps out on the hill. Because the wood has to sit here for a week before we can begin. I expect we'll be very busy throughout the month of June!
Hurrah for sweat equity! I will have beautiful floors at less than half the cost. The sale price on the wood was incredible. And by installing it ourselves, we'll have lots of "togetherness."
It's gonna be fun!


Melora said...

That is very pretty wood! Since your honeybunch enjoys DIY, sounds like you will have a fun project together and Gorgeous floors!

Are you already familiar with what a dog's long nails can do to a hardwood floor? Our (very big) dog loathes having his nails clipped, so they are too long, and our wood floors, which were lovely when we moved in last August, are now crisscrossed with scratches.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Hi, Melora,

Yes, we did think about the dogs. That is why we chose the Bella Wood. Instead of a Polyurethane finish, it has aluminum oxide--the same stuff that coats airplane wings. It is prefinished with this stuff. If we drop something really heavy on it, we could dent the floor. But you can rub the edge of a quarter across the aluminum oxide and it does no scratching.

Our Faux wood floors in the old house (it was composite, I think) had the same finish, and we found that worked well.

However, we do need to keep the dogs' toenails clipped anyway. They are deadly to our leather furniture! ;)