Tuesday, February 8, 2011

According to Urban Legend... #1

We've been told many things about the house we purchased since we bought it.
We've been fondly referring to them as "urban legends". Some things we hear are very believable, but others we feel may have grown to legends as time goes on. Numbers get larger, the ideas get crazier, etc. However, at this point, we really would not be surprised by anything that has to do with our house - we've seen it all. As our friends Clark and Eddie would say:
Eddie: "You surprised to see us, Clark?"
Clark: "Surprised, Eddie? If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now."
 Unfortunately, we've thought this many times throughout the renovation process.
Example #1:
Why was the dining room light off-center to the room?
While some have been odd, but fixable, problems, others have caused chaos and result in an interesting story. The light in the dining room was off-center to the room and we had no idea why. Eventually, we came up with something that we believed - they wanted the light there to transition from the entryway to the kitchen.
WRONG. Come to find out, part of the front porch became the sub-floor in the dining room of our house. When the first family moved into our home, the wife had a dining table that would not fit in the dining room. Rather than find a new dining set, they bumped the front of the house out and what was once the cement front porch became the "foundation" for the new dining room floor. This was not a problem for them as, at the time, they could cover the cement with a plywood board so the floor would be level to place their carpet on. 
 Before - Carpet

After - The Hardwood Floors
Now, you're thinking M&J are idiots - how could they not have checked to make sure that there was wood floor under all the carpet?!? Well, in fact, we actually did - M&J pulled up the carpet it two opposite corners in the living room to make sure the wood floors ran the entire length of the room. Since the answer was yes, they started rolling the carpet back (of course, planning ahead to make sure they rolled it towards the door to get this carpet out as easily as possible). When they got about 7 feet from the door, they realized there was a patch of plywood along the outer wall of the home, but it was too late - this carpet and padding was not going back down on this floor. After all the debris was hauled out, the lifted the plywood board and found... CEMENT!

"The Floor" 

 Where the Foundation of Our Home Meets the Inside of Our Home

After a few choice words were silently spoken, (no tears could be shed over this) we packed up our things and left for the day. It sat like that for two weeks before we even began to think about what to do - we had other more important things to do, like pack up our old house and get everything moved into this one. And now, nine months later, we're finally solving that huge problem by adding self-leveling cement, thin boards and weaving in and out with old and new hardwood. Once this project is done, we'll feel as if we've witnessed a miracle!

 After Wood was Removed to Re-Weave New Hardwood In
The Removed Wood

So what have we learned from this lesson?
- The OBVIOUS one is to lift up all four corners of carpet in your room before you decide it's a great idea to tear up your carpet - M&J we halfway there...
- Don't assume or make up a story as to why something is the way it is - just ask or do some more research. We all know what assuming does "Ass - U - Me"
- After three flooring experts say they won't touch your project, turn to your friends and relatives that have assured you that this is no big deal and can easily be fixed. We are now converted and believe we will (someday) have beautiful hardwood floors in our living and dining rooms and it will be all worth it.

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