Progress … I think

Outside 2

You guys, it’s kind of a miracle that we’re smiling in that picture up there. Right now, our floors consist of piss-stained particle board. The toilet in the master bath started spewing water from under the tank every time it’s flushed. There’s a black widow in the garage with the IQ of Steven Hawking that refuses to be killed, and I spent three hours pulling staples out of the sub-flooring and I’m not even halfway done. But look at what we’ve accomplished!

08.05.13 Living Room Progress

08.05.13 Dining Room Progress

I know it seems kind of backward to refer to ripping out all of your floors as progress, but when your flooring is saturated in pee like ours was, I think walking around on particle board is considered an upgrade. Just in case you think I’m exaggerating:


Nice, right? While most of these spots didn’t cause serious damage to the boards, we didn’t want to risk the smell lingering. First, we mopped the subflooring with a combination of bleach and water. (Note: If you’re thinking of doing this yourself, be sure to wring out the mop REALLY well before touching the flooring, since you don’t want to get the boards too saturated. You can also run a stiff broom over them after mopping to help soak up excess moisture.) Then we covered the worst spots in two coats of an aerosol stain sealer called Kilz that blocks and seals smoke and pet smells. Fortunately, the smell is gone and we only have to replace one board. Here’s an action shot of Dave “Kilzing” the floors:


Wondering about that red mess on the wall? It’s wax. Look for a tutorial later this week on a quick and easy removal process. Also, don’t be like us. Wear a mask when spraying chemicals indoors.

And speaking of flooring, here is a super easy, one-step tutorial on how to tear up carpet: Call your family and beg for help.


Note: This will only work if you have amazing parents who are willing to drive three hours round trip to spend their Saturday helping you tear up floors and wash all your walls. At one point I looked over and my mom was IN THE SINK. That is dedication. And possibly the reason our faucet started leaking this morning.

Mom in Sink

While they were working themselves to the bone, Dave and I lounged around and took selfies.


Seriously though, we got so much done this weekend. When I got home from work on Friday, Dave had removed all of the baseboards and stacked them in the garage to be cleaned and painted. That night, we went to Lowe’s and spent roughly the GDP of Guam on paint, flooring, a refrigerator, and a bunch of other things we randomly threw on the flat because we enjoy the thrill of not knowing if we’ll be able to pay our bills on time.

On Saturday, Dave and my dad got all of the existing carpet/laminate up while my mom and I washed all the walls to prep them for painting. On Sunday, I spackled all the holes I could find in the walls and painstakingly ripped up all of the leftover staples from the carpet padding that were sticking up. While I was working on that, Dave ripped up all the tack strips and fixed our leaky kitchen faucet.

We also installed a new showerhead in the master bath, even though it seems overconfident to assume this bathroom will be functional in the near future given the fact that a small geyser shoots out of the crapper every time it’s flushed. So glad that problem waited to show itself until after the inspection.

This week, we hope to wash and paint all of the baseboards and get started on painting the walls. And we’ll probably wind up taking the toilet apart to see what’s up. I’ll do you a favor and not take pictures of that process. If these people treated their carpets like a bathroom, I’m afraid to find out what went on in the room devoted to bodily functions.


6 thoughts on “Progress … I think

  1. SMcMullin

    If it leaks when flushed it might be as cheap as replacing the gasket from the tank to the bowl. (I think it’s called something idiot-proof like “tank-to-bowl gasket” in the hardware store.) Are you guys doing all of the paint and flooring by yourselves?

    1. heatherhomefaker Post author

      I do believe that’s what it is. It may also have something to do with the kibbles of dog food we found under the tank when we removed it. And yes, we’ll be doing the paint/floors ourselves, along with some awesome family members who have offered to help us.


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