Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(1) The Great Flooring Fiasco of 2011 (2) Yay! (3) OMG

It is time to tell you the story of the floors. This whole saga really starts with our dog, Cassidy. Cassidy has started having some incontinence issues, which makes our house really smelly and unpleasant to live in. She, however, only pees in certain carpeted areas of our house, which are impossible at this point to get fully clean and deodorized.

In lieu of murdering the dog, which, honestly, is starting to look more and more attractive, Alex and I decided to pull up the carpet in our TV room and put in hardwood floors. This was at the beginning of Sucktober. We have a friend whose husband works for a flooring company, so we decided to have his company do the work. We hired them and they showed up to pull up our carpet and put in the floors. I showed them the room and then departed to the living room.

About 15 minutes later, one of them called, "Ma'am? Can we show you something?"

That something was this:

Oh. Look. Hardwood floors.

Cut to Facebook:

Is it Dipshit Friday yet?

On one hand, yay, right? We saved a crapload of money that we were then able to use to re-tile the kitchen. (Which we did with the same company and they did a fabulous job. Let me know if you have flooring needs and need a referral.)

On the other hand:

(a) We are morons.
(b) How did no one check to see if there was hardwood flooring underneath? I'm looking at you, Alex.
(c) Who builds an addition onto a house (which this room is), then puts in hardwood flooring only to cover it with carpet?
(d) Way to make your friend, the flooring salesman, look like an asshole to his company. Nice going, Team Stimey.
(e-z) We are morons.

Anyway, at this point in the process, the flooring people told us that we could cancel the job and get all of our money back, deposit included. No penalty for the time and effort they put into coming out. I was astounded. And grateful.

Our order canceled, the installers left and I was left staring at our half-ripped up floor, which now required that we (1) move all the furniture out of the room, (2) take up carpet, floor staples, and tack strips, (3) refinish the floors, and (4) kind of wish that there had just been subfloor under the stupid carpet.

To make it worse, we decided that we should rip up the carpet in Sam's room as well, because it (i) has hardwood floors as well, (ii) the dog pees in there too, and (iii) it is a small room between two rooms that would (now) have hardwood floors.

We found someone who could come in to refinish the floors over the weekend. Originally, Alex was going to do it, but he walked into the room after work, got a really sad look on his face, and said that he didn't care if he COULD do it, he really didn't WANT to do it. Fair enough.

This was all on a Thursday and the refinishing people were coming Saturday and Sunday, so I spent my Friday crawling around on the floor with a crowbar and a screwdriver to get the floors ready.

Fortunately I had help.

Not only did I have to pry everything off of the floors, but whereas you can install floors without taking all of the really heavy furniture out of the room, you can't really refinish floors without doing the same. Happily, I then got to dismantle some furniture that wouldn't fit through doorways.

Again, Algernon tried to help, but he was less effective here.

Put some shoulder into it, dude.

Once we I moved everything out of those two rooms, we ended up with two entirely empty rooms and the rest of our house PACKED FULL of stuff. It turns out that if a room has a lot of (*) closets, (#) drawers, (^) books, and (%) assorted crap, when unorganized, its contents will take over three entire other rooms.

We literally had about 20 square feet of space left in which to live on the main floor of our house. We made do.

It's sad how deprived my kids are.

With so little room for the human occupants of our home, other members of Team Stimey were forced to hang out elsewhere. I'm not naming names, but it was someone who kinda started this whole thing.

Yeah. Pee on it out there, jerk.

Once the refinishing guys showed up with their sanders and their oils and their finishes and whatnot, we mostly bailed for the weekend and let them do their magic all ensconced in their little plastic prison.


Awesomely, they were done in two days, which is a substantial improvement over the, you know, nine-day process it would have probably been for Alex. (Because he has a job and all.) I sort of half-heartedly suggested that I could redo the floors myself but was really happy when Alex told me that I was insane.

Anyway, pain in the ass later, we went from (one):


to (two):


That last photo was taken on October 10. I have ALMOST managed to put everything back in place. It will please you to know that I also got rid of a lot of stuff that was in both rooms. Honestly, that's what has taken so long. I could have thrown it back willy nilly, but I didn't want to recreate what was there before. Now I have empty shelves and drawers. Empty. This has never happened to me before.

The new floors did actually create one new problem. Ever since the time I spilled soda on my computer, I put my drink on the floor by my desk when I'm working. (You should too. Really. Trust me on this.) Well, now I have to worry about drink circles on the new floor. But when I went to IKEA yesterday for something completely unrelated, I found the perfect solution: a little round $10 rug that I can put next to my chair. A sort of über-coaster, if you will.

The unforeseen bonus of the über-coaster is that one of my cats really likes it. I find this adorable and it makes me really happy. Also, please notice how huge my cat is. And how she has, like, six extra toes.

It's kind of like she's a fat, hairy frog on a dead lily pad.

The whole process of the floors was a huge pain in the ass—because of Team Stimey, not because of Team Two Awesome Companies That Made Our Floors Pretty. We've finally recovered (mostly), and I've even learned some lessons from the experience:

(uno) Always, ALWAYS check to see what's under the carpets. (subfloor...hardwood...bodies)
(dos) The dog is never allowed to be unattended inside the house ever again.
(tres) The probability that we will have to re-undertake this whole project for the three remaining carpeted rooms in my home makes me really, really tired.

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