Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Carpet is UP!!!!

We have two cats and a yellow lab that sheds so much we could knit a sweater from her fur, one for every day of the year, and still have too much left over. We also have carpeted stairs to the second floor and a carpeted floor in our bedroom. Let me tell you, Lab hair does not like to vaccum out of carpeting. It has this attraction, almost magnetic, to the carpet and defies the suction of the vaccum. I'm convinced that as the dog sheds, her hair wraps itself around each strand in the rug individually, forming another layer on the floor. In order to get the hair out, we have to get on our hands and knees with those U-shaped wire dog brushes and scrape it out of the floor. Our indoor throw rugs have been moved to the porches because we couldn't keep them free from dog hair. SmallBoy has asthma and allergies that lead to asthma. We had two choices: Lose the dog or lose the carpet. The decision was to lose the carpet, although PC and I would have taken both of the above.

After our long day on Sunday celebrating my grandfather's birthday, we settled the kids down and set out to our task. Starting at the top of the stairs, we sliced the rug into sections thinking that would make our job a whole lot easier. We figured we'd have it knocked out in an hour or so. We started at 4:30 on a Sunday evening. Yeah, I know - never start a project that will only take an hour or so at 4:30 on a Sunday evening. We slowly pulled away the carpet, yanking it, tearing it, ripping it, forcing it from its bond with the wooden floor beneath. We encountered many more staples than we would have liked - many that ended up under fingernails or ripping legs.

A pint of lost blood later (no, I'm kidding), we finished tearing up the carpet and bringing it out to the trash. HUGE portion of this job accomplished - the stairs were a bitch! We could have paid someone to do this for us, but why? We don't have the money for it, and, even if we did, we will have a huge sense of pride in our beautiful new floors and stairs once we have completed the project. We'll answer the question, "Oh, you're floors and stairs are beautiful. Who did you use?" with, "Oh, we did it ourselves." It's a wonderful feeling.

With the promise of Dell Rhea's Chicken for dinner, PC was able to bribe his brother into coming by today and helping to pry out all of the staples from the wood. We just need to get our hands on some little sanders to fix the stairs. The wood is beautiful, but the stairs have this layer of goo on them that needs some coaxing off. My thought was Goo-gone, but it would take about 100 gallons of the stuff, plus a lot of elbow grease to remove it all and I think we'd all be too tired to actually USE the stairs. Ultimately we will strip and refinish the banisters also and match them to the stairs. I'm terribly excited about this project. The banisters will take a LONG time, though. A previous owner painted them and they are SO thick with paint that the paint is beginning to crack.

I am one of those people who likes to see the end result before beginning the project. This is going to make me crazy in the process, but little by little, the finished staircase will come shining through and we will be so proud. We'll show it off. Then we'll move on to the next project - removal of the bedroom carpet! Anyone want to help?

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