Carpet, You've Gotta Go...

We signed the papers and were officially homeowners by about 1:30 on a Friday afternoon in late June. By 4 o'clock on that same Friday afternoon, Josh, myself, and Josh's dad had started ripping up the carpet in the living room. By the next evening, all of the carpet in the living room, dining room and hallway had gone the way of the dumpster. 

When we first looked at the house, the living room, dining room, and hallway looked like this...

The pictures are blurry (except for the one of the hallway that I took myself) because I took them from the online listing before we bought the house and they don't exactly hold up to zoom very well. But, at least they allow you to get a true idea of how the house looked when we first looked at it. We fell in love with it immediately and despite the slightly outdated feel, we believed that we could really make this home ours and that it was home. 

Using a few very necessary tools - a large and a mini crowbar, heavy duty pliers, a razor, and a hammer - as well as some physical strength, we got the carpet itself pulled up in no time. And we took it from the above photos to a carpet free environment.

We started with the living room, slicing it into sections, then rolling up those sections and moving them to the garage. After getting the carpet, and underneath padding, out of the way, we set to work getting rid of the tack strip and staples on the edges of the room and down the middle.

After the living room, we moved on to the dining room. Again, first pulling up the carpet and the pad, and then working to remove the tack strip and the staples around the room and in the middle of it.

With every step of the carpet removal, we were more and more THRILLED to see the gorgeous hardwoods that had been preserved underneath the old carpet. If there's anything great about 50+ year old carpet that has been well kept in a well maintained home, it is the original floors below it that you can count on to be in great condition. Our last step was removing the carpet from the hallway and hallway stairs, and while I don't have any in progress photos - Josh's dad and I moved pretty quickly through the area - I do have some lovely carpet-free photos.

After ripping up the carpet, we did hire someone to come in and refinish the floors - and replace the wood by the front door. Did you notice the tile?

It matched the kitchen tile and it just really didn't go with the image that we had in mind for our finished living room.

Josh worked to pull all of the tile up, using a hammer and a crowbar, and yes, it was exactly as loud as you would imagine. I'm sure our neighbors loved us those first few days.

And of course, he ripped it all up only to find that underneath it was a piece of plywood that had been nailed very securely into the floor. Even if we had been able to pull up every single nail (which didn't seem very likely), the floor underneath it would have been a disaster. So, instead, we had the floor guys cut out that section and replace it with matched wood. The color difference is so slight that it isn't noticeable at all unless you are really looking for it and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out. 

We somehow don't have any pictures of the house completely empty after the floors were finished, but this is not too long after we painted the living room (sneak peek of the color!) and you can clearly see how nice and shiny the floors turned out. And don't worry, the room doesn't look like this now! 

And so, from carpet to no carpet, one last side by side comparison...

Makes quite a difference, doesn't it? Even before the refinishing! Have you ever ripped up carpet? Was it harder or easier than you thought it would be? For this low cost and minimal physical effort, we could not have been happier with the final outcome! Goodbye carpet, you won't be missed!

In the next post, I'll show you how that back paneling came down, and start talking about some of our ideas that we originally had for the space!



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