Ripping up carpet and next steps

Well, we are officially out of our apartment and in the house permanently! The big jobs that we wanted to get done before moving in (ie. painting the walls and ripping up the carpet) got done just in the nick of time. I was hoping to do a lot of purging before we moved but there just wasn’t time with all the stuff we were trying to finish at the house, so a lot of boxes went into the basement for Future Cathy and Future Allan to deal with (suckers!).

It’s funny because I have discovered that there are jobs that are time consuming and don’t have much payoff, like painting trim, and then there are jobs that take no time at all and make a huge difference, like ripping up carpet. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent prepping and painting trim- and sure, it freshens things up and makes a difference to the final look once the walls are painted- but until you get to that point you don’t feel like you’re making any progress. But the satisfaction of spending a few hours cutting and rolling carpet to reveal the hardwood underneath made up for it.

If you follow me on Instagram @cathyatdeardiy, you will know how disappointed we were when we discovered that the hardwood ended before the hallway. We were hoping that it extended at least to the threshold of the bedrooms, which we discovered after the home inspection had vinyl tile under the carpet.

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Ah well. After we got over it, we set to work. We had to be careful when removing the carpet in the living room and dining room, so we folded it over a 2-3 foot section and then cut along the folded edge to protect the wood.

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Then we rolled up each strip and bundled it with twine so that the lovely waste management workers of Ottawa would take them along with the trash.

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You can see that carpet removal is fueled by beer and cider.

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This is what it looked like before we patched and primed the hell out of the space above the fireplace, because the previous owners had never painted the drywall where the large mirror had hung. No stud finders needed here!

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The new colour (Dove by Behr) is not that different from the original paint, which was a blessing because it went on in 1 coat! But it freshens it up and having a grey beige as opposed to a yellowy beige really modernizes it.

We lucked out in that the carpet underlay was in really good condition, I’ve heard horror stories about it disintegrating into dust but ours came up in one piece. There was also hardly any dirt underneath, which speaks to how clean the previous owners must have kept it. Now we will be spending a lot of quality time with our friends Messrs. Hammer, Pliers, and Cat’s Paw to rip up all the nails, staples, and carpet tack.

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Seeing the mountain of rolled up carpet was also very satisfying, and it will probably only take a few months of our biweekly garbage collection for them to take it all…

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Seriously though, how gorgeous is that hardwood? It’s a bit on the orangey side but it’s in really great shape. We think it’s red oak but I’d love to hear if someone knows for sure. Now we just need to figure out what to do next… start the bathroom reno? Paint the kitchen? Refinish the original hardwood or install new hardwood first? Stay tuned to find out!

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Progress, slowly but surely

We have had our house now for a week and a half and I am exhausted but happy. I ended up taking last week off work to try to get as much as I could done, and my mom came and stayed in Ottawa to help us out. This whole experience has definitely made me feel very blessed- we’ve had so much help from our families and friends. When you have a few people who will donate an hour or two of their time, it makes such a difference to the amount of work you can accomplish! It’s also so much more motivating working with someone else, when I was by myself I definitely wasted time just staring at everything and wondering what to do next, because everywhere you look there is something to do. Our biggest accomplishments so far have been finishing the master bedroom

Master before and after2
and painting the kitchen cabinets.

kitchen cabinets before and after

Here’s what else we have ticked off the list:

  • Painting ceilings in all the rooms, except for the kitchen
  • Painting trim in the guest room
  • Removing quarter round from all the baseboards to prep for ripping up the carpet
  • Scraping and sanding the baseboards to get rid of the ridge left from the quarter round
  • Prepping walls by filling holes and sanding
  • Filling cracks in the trim with paintable caulking and wood filler
  • Cleaning up the various messes as we make them

So that’s why I’m exhausted. We thought we would be further along by now but we weren’t factoring in how time consuming all the prep work before you can even paint is. Also, painting the kitchen cabinets was not at the top of our priority list, but my parents had experience refinishing their kitchen cabinets and offered to help us with that. I must say they look fantastic, it really makes a huge difference to brightening the place up and taking it out of the 1960s.

People tried to warn me about how much work there is to do when you buy a house, and they were not exaggerating. I have made so many trips to Home Depot, only to get home and find out I’m missing one thing so I have to turn around and go back.

I will try to post updates when I can but the next few weeks will be crazy while we try to get as much done as we can before we move in. If you want updates in real time (ish), you can follow me on Facebook (Dear DIY) and Instagram (@cathyatdeardiy)!

Thanks for following along!
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