Five years ago we moved from the city to the country, well the mountains actually. It was hopefully a dream come true. Originally we started looking for a second home to retreat to, however the more we looked, we decided that the upkeep on two homes would be somewhat costly, and we probably would not get any rest at either home. Everyone in the community we were looking at said we’d move there permanently. They were right.
The idea of living in the mountains was heavenly and we loved the idea of slowing down to the pace of life enjoyed here. We began our quest to purchase a home in the mountains. Our house had to sell first before we could make the big move.
We had already spent a considerable amount of time upgrading our home of fifteen years to the way we wanted it. My mom and I literally spent hours painting every wall, every door frame, window frame and shoe molding. The job was made a little easier by the fact that we were ultimately going to replace all the carpet so we did not have to put down any drop cloths. If I was vertical, I was painting. I went to sleep at night with my arm moving up and down in brush strokes. I had nightmares of paint dripping off the ceiling. I always kept one room in order as the clutter of paint cans, brushes and ladders throughout the house drove me nuts. I love for my home to be orderly and neat so I was almost ready for a rubber room before we finished. Something clean, white and sanitized was starting to sound very appealing. I had even taken down and re-painted 31 cabinet doors in our kitchen and put on new hardware. My husband stayed out of the way until it was time to install the flooring. I don’t know that he really had any projects going at the time, but he found lots of reasons to hide out back in his shop.
Once the painting was finished everything looked fresh. We discovered that we could install our own hardwood floors and this part fascinated my husband. He took a “quickie” course on floor installation and we were off. We took up the old flooring which terrified our dogs and made sure we had all the proper tools for the project.
Now just as a side note, we had a private joke about our house which was built by a man that begged, borrowed and bartered to custom build this home. All of the closet shelves hung at an angle, towards you. The clothes rod was galvanized pipe (he was a plumber). There were holes big enough to hold sixteen penny nails over the stove top to hang pot holders on. His wife probably nagged him to get her something up there to hold her pot holders in a handy place…..so he drilled three big holes over the cook stove, stuck three big nails in there and probably said, “there you go honey!” I’m guessing she lived with it since they were there when we moved in. Bless her heart. The basic gist is….in our house it wasn’t just cheap….it was Bonker cheap. (Not their real names to protect the guilty).
While prepping the floors for hardwoods we worried that the house was not plumb. We were certain that there would be some major cutting involved and lots of anguish and gnashing of teeth throughout the project. Some good friends came to assist and much to our surprise the house was plumb and the project flowed from the living room to the kitchen and the laundry room without a hitch or a transition piece. We were elated!
Next we were to install the remaining flooring in our guest bath off of the kitchen. We had a “soft” spot next to the shower so my husband decided to inspect the problem. Much to our horror, the floor joist had been cut out to provide room for the toilet pipes! We could have fallen through to the crawl space at anytime while taking care of business. I personally would have died from embarrassment. Headlines: “Woman Lands Cheek Down from Falling Floor and Dies from Over Exposure.”
We were finishing the project around the holidays and had to shut down the bathroom until after Christmas. My husband was frantic knowing this had the potential to put me over the top while decorating and hosting a family Christmas event. He admired my resolve and maturity as I posted an “Out of Order” sign on the bathroom door. I went to the other bathroom and threw up. Oh well, so much for maturity.
We did manage to complete our project before Christmas and were very proud of our accomplishments. Our improvements were going nicely and I had managed to maintain and element sanity throughout the process until the carpet delivery. The carpet dimensions had been mislabeled and there was not enough to finish every room. The installers decided to go get another piece and make the cut for the hallway. That was fine until we discovered it was a different dye lot and didn’t match. Our sales lady tried to convince me it was the shadows from the darker hallway. Who was she kidding? I know beige from slightly darker beige any day of the week. She made a trip out to the house to inspect the carpet and she was immediately convinced I was right. Could have been the dogs growling at her the whole time, but I doubt it, the color difference was obvious. In a good faith move the store agreed to remove the hall carpet and allowed us to put the hardwood flooring down the hall and gave us all the transition pieces for five doorways. It made all the difference in the world. The dogs, however would not leave the carpeted rooms and it got rather tiresome to have to carry them across the hardwoods to potty. We bought rugs to put down the hallway. Figures.
After almost fifteen years our house looked more like us than the previous owners. It was time to sell.