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Remodel or Simply Blow it Up?

August 24, 2006

A few years ago, when we bought our first house, we were so excited, and overwhelmed, that we overlooked a few “flaws” in our new house. Let’s just say that anyone who has seen the movie “Money Pit” knows all about our house! Slowly over time I have done a few repairs, updates, and slight remodels.

When we first bought the house, there was carpet everywhere except the bathroom. Since 4 of the 5 of us in the family have allergies to dust and mildew/mold, carpet did not make sense. I ripped the carpet out of the kitchen first, holding my breath, hoping that what was under it was not worse that the carpet itself. Turned out to be 70’s orange and gold linoleum. I could live with that. Next I ripped out the carpet from the dining room, living room, stairs, and upstairs hallway. Fortunately under all that was hardwood floors. Unfortunately, they need to be refinished…someday.

After removing all of the carpet, I rearranged the kitchen cabinets and moved the fridge. This was prompted by the Sears installation experts who refused to put in my new stove because they are not allowed to lift appliances over cabinets. Someone decided to put the cabinets in in such a way that the entrance to the kitchen was a whopping 19 inches. Now it is 35 inches.

Next I started removing the drop ceiling from the dining room. I was going to do both the living and dining rooms together, but when my husband Jeff came home to find a fine coating of plaster dust on everything…he was not happy! Then I ran out of steam, or got bored, or something. So for months the furring strips hung from the ceiling, a constant reminder that yet again, I did not finish a project I started. Then one fateful day it happened…

The bathroom plumbing leaked and the ceiling in the living room fell down. I was watching television when suddenly the drop ceiling dropped, onto my head. We called the plumbers and they came to our house to see what the fuss was about. After removing a sizeable chunk of our living room ceiling, our bathroom floor, and our bank account, we had new bathroom plumbing from the sink to the toilet to the bathtub. Then the toilet cracked, unrelated to the new plumbing, and we got a new one of those too. I was too overwhelmed to do anything with the ceiling, the floor, or anything else for a long time.

After about a year of exposed plumbing in the living room, I invited (begged) my parents to come help me put up drywall on the ceiling. It looks much better now, about a year later. But alas, another unfinished project…no joint compound, no pretty joints, no finish…just drywall and screws. So the other day I got to thinking…I need a project. As soon as my hubby left for work yesterday, I began ripping up the nasty linoleum in the bathroom. When the plumbers finished putting in the new plumbing they simply sealed the giant holes they made with cement and left the floor. So some of the floor was the original little, white, hexagonal, ceramic tiles, some was cement, and most was nasty linoleum. The nasty linoleum left even nastier smelly black sticky stuff that is like licorice that smells like a cross between tar paper left in the hot sun and rubber cement.


I found some very potent adhesive remover that dissolves it into a black, gummy mess that is oh, so fun to clean up, but it does get rid of the nasty black stuff. Much of today was spent removing black goo. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to finish the removal and begin the installation of new vinyl tiles. Not my first choice, but we are just trying to get the house to a point where we can sell it. Don’t want to put too much cash into a house we don’t intend to stay in for long.

This picture is the end of day one. As you can see, much of the mess is gone, but I still have more than half the floor to finish.

One comment

  1. Well, IF you were to blow the house up, where would you live???
    And, we helped WORK on that house.
    Patience!!!

    Now, listen to your MOTHER and FINISH one project BEFORE you begin another!!!! Yeah, I KNOW how hard that is!!!! But, slowly, things do fall into place!



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