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Home Improvement

Just over 4 years ago (it was 4 years last month) we moved into our house. I was about 25 weeks pregnant with the boys at the time and this is what the front of our cute little house looked like.

Pretty cute, but honestly it needed some work to make the outside look a bit more inviting. So we planted some plants in the really bare spots and put down some mulch.

Yikes! I honestly had forgotten just how bad that area looked…

This was a couple of weeks after we moved in, so I was about 27 weeks pregnant. This is also the last picture I took of myself during my pregnancy with the boys. I’d say I was about the same size here that I was when I had Lily. Notice the tiny little plants? This is what that area looks like now (minus the pregnant woman, of course!).

Much nicer to look at!

You might also notice the windows look different. We replaced all the windows in the house over two springs. So much nicer to look at and so much more energy efficient!

That crew of kids is a new addition too!

Considering we have 4 kids under 4 (and I can’t say that for much longer!) we’ve actually done pretty well in the “home improvement” department. I feel like the outside of our house is much more inviting now than it was 4 years ago. Now it’s time to make the inside more inviting!

Our carpet is gross. Cheap carpet and a bunch of children don’t mix well for the long term. I’ll put it this way – in addition to the occasional Sonic slush being spilled on it, other various uh, liquids, have landed on it… we did potty train three boys after all, and the stomach flu has made it’s way through our home a couple of times. A fellow triplet mom may have put it best when she called her old carpet “a petri dish”. Yep. That’s a good description.

For months and months Nick and I have discussed ripping up the carpet and putting down wood or fake wood. About a month ago, Nick got inspired and peeled back a corner of the carpet to make sure we didn’t already have wood underneath. Guess what? We did! We checked in the living room, dining area and way back in our bedroom – wood all around! Hooray!

On Friday night, Nick enjoyed our carpet in the dining area (who puts carpet there?! Silliest place ever.) one last time and we started ripping.

90 minutes, 2 blisters (on me) and 1 cut (on Nick) later, we had all of the carpet, staples and nail strips off the floor in the dining area. Wow. Rough shape!

Some of the marks are a result of lazy contractors who figured the floor would be covered anyway, so just let the paint and putty drip wherever. Some of it is from who knows what. We’re now pricing out what it would cost/take to fix ourselves and what it would cost to have someone come in and do it for us. After we figure that all out, we’ll decide if we can do the dining area, living room and hallways (We plan to leave carpet in the bedrooms) or if we should just tackle the dining area for now.

In a couple of spots, we can see what great potential this floor has and we’re excited about it! I’ll definitely post the finished product.

What about you? Have you refinished a floor before?

  • July 18, 2011 - 10:14 am

    Alisha - Yay for wood floors!! When we moved into this house we had a hideous faded pink carpet throughout the house … awful. Lucky I’m married to a carpenter … he laid down wood floors … SO NICE for the many crumbs kids produce. Even if it takes you a while to get them refinished, it will be nicer to sweep after a meal vs. dragging out the vaccum. Looking forward to seeing how the finished product looks.

    PS – Why didn’t you take pregnancy pics with the boys? I’d figure you’d be all over that … plus to document how really big you got (even though you only made it to 33 weeks)ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2011 - 10:43 am

      Helen - I stopped taking them at 27ish weeks because I hated how big I was getting and how I perceived how I looked. Huge regret now that I at least didn’t take one just before going into the OR!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 10:36 am

    deb - I love the style of your home. It’s so homey and inviting! That’s exciting to find all that wood underneath the carpet!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 11:28 am

    Sarah - Helen – our first house was built in 1880. It still retained the original wide pine flooring in most of the rooms. Some had carpet over untouched flooring while in other rooms, the floors had been painted (green, red and/or blue) many, many layers. We did refinish some of the rooms ourselves and it is a TON of work. The dust and smell alone are horrible. We rented a sander from Home Depot. Definitely not something I would want to tackle with 4 young kids.

    From the pictures you posted – those black stains look like water damage and may not come up when the floors are sanded. This happened in our kitchen so we stained the wood a dark walnut to cover the damaged areas.

    Looking forward to see what you do!ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2011 - 11:46 am

      Helen - Wow, sounds like your floors were so colorful, Sarah! Thanks for the story – I think Nick and I are leaning heavily towards having someone else do it to save our own sanity.ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 12:11 pm

    Jess - On the dark spots you could try a folded towel and an iron. Put the towel down and iron over it an it may lift some of the (whatever it is) out. When we moved into our house there was carpet. Took it out and found spots on the floor. My sister-in-law suggested the towel and iron trick and it worked pretty well. Just a thought……I still want to refinish ours and stain them dark…..maybe I should’ve left the dark spots…..lol ;) ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2011 - 12:27 pm

      Helen - Fascinating! I’ve never heard of this… Do you do it before or after you sand them?ReplyCancel

      • July 18, 2011 - 4:00 pm

        Jess - Before. I never sanded mine, but some of the stains came up…..turned out to be from pets. It was kinda gross but I was impressed that it worked!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 2:07 pm

    Cheryl - My parents did the same thing before they sold the house, had someone come and repair the hardwood flooring that had some water damages, never came out but he managed to make it look pretty and the water damage spot was more beautiful than before! LOL

    Had to be out of the house all day though to let the floor “cure”.ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    Nellie Bragg - Never have we refinished floors, and wouldn’t think to attack that project ourselves, although my husband is a great do-it-yourselfer. We prefer wood to carpet, but expense was a factor when we built this house, so we don’t have wood everywhere we wish we did. Maybe that’s a project for later, whenever that is.:-) How fortunate you are that there was wood underneath the carpet.

    Are you staying cool? Heat is coming our way throughout this week!ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 4:43 pm

    Lisa H. - We just pulled up our carpets and had our floors refinished by a KCK fireman. I love them so much that we are going to have them installed in our kitchen next month.

    Draw back that it is more work keeping them clean and dust free. (we have a shedding dog)ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    Sarah - How exciting!! :) ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2011 - 8:45 pm

    Kelly - When we found out we were expecting Triplets the first thing we did was rip out our carpet. We figured it would be easier to do with only 3 family members to trip over than 6. Turns out we were right!! I can’t imagine if we still had carpet with the many spit-ups, bottles dipping, & sippy cups leaking. And we haven’t even gotten to potty training yet! We put laminate flooring throughout the entire main floor and I LOVE it!!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2011 - 8:47 am

    Carl Comstock - The wood floors in our new home had been scratched badly by a big dog that had been running through the house. Also, during the winter, the boards had dried up due to low humidity causing spaces between them and some were slightly cupped. We contracted with a major flooring company to get an estimate for what was suppose to be HEPA filtration sanding, etc….and they got started when we were able to be away for about 4 days, on our time schedule. However, the workmen that came out described how much dust would be involved and basically built a plastic wall completely around the entire floored area (kitchen, eat-in area, hall and entry area. They sanded, filled in the spaces, stained the white pine flooring the color of our choice and then applied Polyurethane (semi-gloss). After 24-36 hours, they came back out and sanded lightly before applying the final coat of Polyurethane. This process started early Monday morning and we moved back into the house on Thursday night. The fumes were still very apparent for several weeks but became less noticeable as time passed. I have pictures that I can share.I’m pleased with the floors now but believe that the crew that came out must have been contracted due to my timeline and therefore perhaps did not use the process advertised by the company. I’ll be happy share details. I also know how to reach them directly without the middle man if you’re interested in getting a quote.ReplyCancel

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