Tuesday, August 20, 2013

House updates

Today Robert and I spent the day working in the sunroom at the new house (which we have named "The House Without Warning").

When we bought THWW the sunroom had this sort of pinkish/reddish industrial carpet with flecks of blue, yellow, green and red sprinkled throughout. It wasn't terribly attractive. And worse, it smelled awful. It smelled so awful, in fact, that after we'd bought THWW and it was too late I started to fear we'd never be able to get the smell out.

Our first step was removing the carpet. That revealed an ancient underlay with what appear to be cat urine stains. We removed the underlay (which, incidentally, gave Robert a rash from carrying it out), and discovered that the cat piss had in fact soaked through not just the carpet, but also the underlay and into the plywood subfloor.

Oy. Also visible in these pictures is the original wood paneling on the walls. I point this out because I a little bit regret not taking a picture of the carpet when it was in. Our "before" pictures are rather lacking.

At this point we didn't even know what we were going to do for a floor in the sunroom, but we obviously had to do something about the subfloor. We considered just sealing it all with something that would allegedly seal in the smell, which, in the absence of the carpet and underlay, was much fainter. But in the end we decided we couldn't risk that. I'm a super sniffer, and damn do I hate cat pee!

So we bravely began removing the subfloor. And we went to Home Depot and bought more plywood. Like big kids!

Happily, we discovered that the cat pee hadn't soaked all the way through the subfloor. Puzzlingly, we discovered that there was a subfloor under the subfloor. We briefly considered just removing the top layer of subfloor and calling it a day (and I must admit I was a fan of this seemingly easier approach) but our friend Stan, who was a carpenter for many years, advised against it. And since we're total home improvement greenhorns, we take the advice of those more knowledgeable than we pretty seriously.

So we prepared to lay a new top subfloor.

Bonus: in this picture you can see how the wood paneling is now covered in primer! You can also see the blinds that we aren't keeping.

It took a few more trips to Home Depot, but by 11am this morning we had the new top subfloor installed, and were ready to start putting down actual floor. At this point my enthusiasm for more floor work was so keen that I suggested we just coat the plywood in deck paint and call it a day.

But instead we pressed onward, and by 5pm our sunroom floor looked like this:

Not too bad, huh? Of course when we got home we pretty much collapsed, but rest assured that tomorrow we'll be back at it. Except that the "it" in this case is packing, because this is what our living room in our current house looks like.

Sadly, the rest of the house is far less boxy, and needs to straighten up, fly right, and start resembling the living room. Wish us luck!

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