Our Current House

So Long, Stinky!

Yes, we named the rug in the sunroom Stinky. We were feeling literal, and it was damp in the corners from moisture seeping into the sunroom from bad seals in the old sliders and some wood rot. The previous owners knew there was a moisture issue (along with a serious smell issue) in there, which definitely came into play when they set the low-enough-to-be-in-our-range listing price, so although this rug sounds like a curse, we actually consider it to be a blessing (heck, if we can take care of something that might turn off other buyers and it helps us afford a house that we LOVE, we’re all about it).

So here’s how we got that rug up and outta there along with the glued down rug pad underneath – and some pretty serious nails and staples that were lurking below. First we yanked up the rug in the corner using a small crowbar to free it up from some of the nails in the tack strips around the perimeter of the room that were holding it in place.

After we got the rug free from the tack strips around the edges of the room, we rolled each side like a scroll, towards the midpoint of the room. Once we got them there in the middle, we used a box cutter to slice the rug in half so it was easier to carry out of there (you can cut a rug before you roll it, but we found that the extra slack that it gained after it was rolled made cutting it easier once it was in this position). Then we carried each section away while trying not to inhale or think about how much of our body it was touching.

Next we attacked the rug pad, which sadly was glued all over the place (we hoped it was just a floating pad so the concrete under it wouldn’t have glue stains out the wazoo). Soon enough… we hit glue. Boo, glue, boo. And suddenly this post is an ode to Dr Seuss.

Oh well, still had to get it outta there, glue stains and all. We yanked up as much as we could with our hands and for the areas that were super stuck to the glue, we used the same $25 floor scraper from Home Depot that had come in handy when we removed the carpet in the upstairs bedrooms. It has a pretty sharp and smooth blade at the end of it, so just like you’d use a razor to get paint off glass, you run it across the floor with some force and it basically slices the glue right off so the floor is smooth and flush again.

So glad the glue bumps could be removed, even if the glue stains were still there (I’ll show you those a little closer in a second).

While I was slicing my way around with the floor scraper (yes, with my dangly earrings on because I’m cool like dat) John got to work on busting the tack strips out from around the perimeter of the room. They were basically spindly old wood strips with nails sticking up that had held the carpet in place, and they were a pain to get up since they were so brittle (they kept splintering and breaking instead of coming up all as one strip – even when John worked the prybar under them every few inches to pry them away from the floor). It probably took a good hour and a half just to get the rug pad, excess glue, and tack strips up after spending about ten minutes pulling up the carpet itself.

Once all the tack strips, random nails, and glue spots were up it was time for the shop vac. First I picked out the longer shards of wood to bag and dispose of separately (no sense in trying to suck up a foot-long shard of wood with the shop vac) but all of the small splinters of wood, nails, balls of glue, and tufts of old carpet got swept into piles and vacuumed up.

And with that, the room turned a corner. The raw concrete, even with the glue stains that it has, is definitely an improvement on the swampy old carpet.

And thanks to my little scraper action, the entire floor is flush and smooth now, even with those frustrating glue stains that have soaked into the concrete (at least they no longer bump out along with a slew of nails and staples).

So we think a good cleaning followed by a coat of stain & odor blocking primer (just to be sure the stink is really gone) along with some porch and floor paint will cover up those stains, seal in any lingering smells (so they won’t waft out to greet us on a hot day), and we’ll have a room that’s approximately 98% more pleasant to be in.

And down the line we have big plans for this room. So beyond this little carpet’s-gotta-go first step, we’d love to…

* This is just a first-thought brain dump, so if we learn that painting the floor won’t allow us to tile it down the road, we’ll course correct and share the new plan as we go

So glad to have that old carpet gone. Even though we had to carry it out to the garage ourselves (which sends a shiver up my spine every time I think about it) it was totally worth it to have it outta there.

Psst- Clara’s having more conversations over on Young House Life. Number 5 made us laugh until we cried.


Come And Knob On Our Door

Don’t you love a good forced pun on a Wednesday morning?

Ever since we shared a bunch of doorknob options last week (and ordered the ones we liked the most), we’ve been waiting for youuuuuu them so that our upstairs doors could finally have some closure. Literally, we couldn’t close any of the doors. So when the box landed on our porch, we got right on installing them.

Like many DIY projects, adding the new knobs was a bit more complicated than we anticipated. The latch assembly was bigger than the existing holes in our doors, so I had to use a drill to carve them out a bit wider. I tried a file at first (as the knob instructions suggested) but it took a lot more time and effort than using the spinning drill bit to chip away at it, so that became my preferred method.


I had to do that on every single door (all eleven of them), so it definitely added to the timeline (and mess) of the project. On five of the doors I also had to chisel out this notch a bit deeper because it wasn’t allowing the latch to stick far enough into the hole where it had to line up with the knobs.


So, what I thought might be an hour of work turned into a four hour drilling and chiseling marathon (oh DIY, you unpredictable beast, you). But in the end, it was time well spent.


I didn’t really realize how unfinished the upstairs hallway looked with all of the naked doors staring at us. Although I’m sure Clara will miss peeking through the open knob holes and making faces.


This is the best I could do to get all of the doors into one shot (the master bedroom – seen above – is behind me). Taking this shot was actually the first time we’ve ever been able to close them all since moving in, which has been especially nice for rooms like Clara’s (no more propping the door shut with a floor pillow for naps) and the bathroom (for, well, obvious reasons).


We’re really happy that we went with the knobs with the big back plate too. They’re a nice traditional touch without looking overly ornate. Sherry says they’re like little exclamation points on every door, which is pretty accurate I think. They sort of quietly make a statement without being crazy and compete-y if that makes sense.


And as mentioned in last week’s post, we opted to put versions without the back plate on the closets and bathrooms to save a bit of dough (they were $10 less). We ended up putting a plated version on the hall bathroom too, just so that it didn’t stick out among the other doorways in the hallway when you get to the top of the stairs. So the plate-less version ended up going on the attic door, since it’s tucked away beyond the laundry area.

There’s also a two-doored linen closet in the hallway (you can see half of it in the fourth picture), but we thought two of the plated doorknobs right next to each other would be too much for that, so it got the basic closet ones on it as well as all of the other closets, which is nice. It blends since everything is the same finish, and it’s sort of a subtle reminder that the doors with the back plates are rooms, whereas any door with a regular knob is just a closet (or the attic storage room).


Last week some folks wondered if/how these doors locked, so we snapped these detail pics. On the inside there’s a little button behind the knob that you can push to lock it, and it unlocks when you turn the knob from the inside. We like having locks around so Clara’s exposed to them and can learn about them (we worry she’d lock herself into her friend’s room or a hotel bathroom or something if she never learned what they were and not to touch them). And it’s nice to know that if Clara were ever to lock herself in, there’s a keyhole on the other side that pops it right open with a flat silver key (see that small hole in the photo on the right below?). We’ve stuck the keys in our junk-drawer for easy grabbing, but so far we have lived with the doorknobs for a few days and Clara has heeded our “please don’t touch that part” requests. Update: Thanks for the tips to put the keys on top of each door! We did that in our houses growing up, but these keys are larger and flat (sort of like a hinge) so they wouldn’t balance on the door frame.


Which is good because we don’t want any funny business going on behind closed doors around here. We already caught Burger playing with Clara’s old play mat. Sneaky chihuahua…


So we’re glad that we don’t have a bunch of holey doors giving us the stink eye, but when it comes to furniture placement, window treatments, closet organization, and paint picks for the walls… let’s just say that we’ve lived here for two weeks and it looks like we moved in two weeks ago. There are still chairs and boxes in weird places, bare walls and mostly bare windows, and a whole lot to be done. But planning is the fun part for us. We’ve been brainstorming late into the night until one of us stops talking and we realize they’re asleep and we’re talking to nobody.