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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Remodeling Nightmare

I’m taking a much-needed break from talking about my family to sharing my latest remodeling experience with you. There’s something to be said about pulling concrete chips out of my hair while explaining to a tool rental associate what tool I need.

Let me start at the beginning – I have vast maintenance experienced, in my working days, I was a Maintenance Manager for several large apartment complexes and when my partner suggested that we rip out our carpet and replace it with laminate floors, I was confident in my abilities to perform such a task. So, we ripped out the carpet in our entryway and extremely long hallway. Now, let me say this – we have always kept our carpets clean, vacuuming regularly and steam cleaning at least 3 times a year. We even bought one of those portable steam machines and go after the carpets regularly. Why? Because we have pets and they don’t care about wiping their paws.

We found an inch of dirt happily living under the carpet and pad we had just pulled up. Yes, really. After all the money, we spent on cleaning our carpets, dirt and a lot of dirt was still residing under it all. Nasty. Now, with new motivation, we are determined to pull up every bit of carpet left in the house but that story is for another day, today, I’ll focus on the hallway.

See, here’s the thing – we had a curved brick step leading from our living room up onto our hallway. I found out the hard way that you can’t put laminates on a curved step. It just won’t work- trust me. After a couple of hours of slowly and painstakingly chiseling the brick away, I hammered my hand. That’s when everything turned into a bad Hollywood sitcom. Ice pack on hand to control the swelling, I went to our local Home Depot Rental Store, love those guys. Several minutes later, I walked out carrying a red case with a Hilti Mini Jack Hammer ready to tackle the stupid brick again. I got home, plugged it in and took it for a test drive. My dogs, who up to this point have been curiously watching me, scrambled. Our 120-pound Great Dane crawled under our little coffee table for cover while our Lab, bless his soul, hid under the kitchen table. I should have realized that they were telling me something.

The Hilti did its job well, too well. The brick was finally gone along with my hearing and it took two days for my arms to stop vibrating. All I had to do now is build a frame for the step and lay my laminates. I was almost done, or so I thought. Having to anchor the frame to the concrete, I went back to Home Depot to buy special anchors and to rent yet another tool to drill into concrete. Five special drill bits later, two of which are still embedded into the concrete because they broke and I couldn’t pull them out and my frame is done.

We put down the floors and I can tell you that when they recommend that you lay them from left to right, they’re serious. It’s not just something they fabricated. All in all, I’m bruised from head to toe, my dogs are now a little skittish about anything red coming into the house but the floors look wonderful. Would I do it again? You bet! I loved saving everything penny of the two thousand dollar bid we got.

Now for some selfish self-promoting. My new book, Dying to live, book 3 of the Hightower Vampire Series has a Halloween release date. I’m so stoked! It couldn’t come on a better date, so check it out and don’t forget to visit my website for contest information: www.anniealvarez.net
See you next month!

1 comment:

Patti said...

Annie, loved reading your remodeling story. Aren't those fun! And you can save tons of money. Hope you start feeling better soon. Being sore is no fun either.

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