It has been a LONNNNGGG “couple weeks.” About 8, actually. But the floor has been replaced. Yay!

This  was probably the most involved project we’ve done around here, and *we* weren’t really even the ones to do (most of) it.

Where the furnace was.

When we got back from vacation, we were told that the insurance was going to pay for a new floor, but they didn’t approve the labor expense that would have gone into removing what was already there. I didn’t quite fancy having the floor become even thicker (and the cabinets become even shorter), so I handed each kid a crowbar and we went to town. 🙂 We removed the vinyl tile and subfloor from the dining room, kitchen and hallway. The laundry/furnace/pantry room off the hall was not part of the repairs either, but we got a quote from the flooring place and decided to have them do that as well.

In the middle of THAT project (tearing out the laundry room floor) we discovered that the propane furnace’s drain-thingy had come loose from the pipe that drained it through the wall to the garage, and had been draining from the condenser into the floor of the furnace.. and the floor of the room. We had to tear out the furnace (a blessing in disguise, I think) and dry out the floor that was black from mold. Ugh.

The furnace sat on this.

With the furnace out, we could see where the dryer once was supposed to be, and where I’d long wished for it to live (Builder/owner put the furnace in as an afterthought, and displaced the dryer to do so). So I altered the dryer to vent out the side, cut a new hole in the wall, and balanced it over that hole for a while, after Hubby found the old outlet-wires and rewired the dryer plug-in. We decided to install the furnace in the garage – just on the other side of the wall where it sat before – and  got some help to rip out the duct-box in the floor, and I patched the hole.

You can’t tell where the hole was, can you?

I also patched the wall behind it – the original dryer vent hole went DOWN – between two studs in the wall and through the foot of the wall and the floor into the creepy crawl space below. Mice were using it as a fantastic thoroughfare and cozy nest of dryer lint and fiberglass insulation. Yuck. I boarded over the downward hole and replaced sheetrock where the hole was. At this point, the pantry shelves had been emptied (into the basement and the schoolroom), the washer and dryer were moved every time I turned around (to rip the floor, to patch the floor, to bring in a blower, to bring in peroxide-spray for the mold, to scrape and vacuum dried mold), and we were waiting the 2 weeks for the flooring installers to get to us on the docket. It wasn’t pleasant living on that osb wood!

The dining room – ‘during’

According to the neighbors, the builder/owner had moved his family (of 9 kids at the time) into the house as soon as it was remotely livable (from about 1000 sf almost-condemned home on the other end of the property), and they had no carpet or vinyl for a few years, at least.

View from the dining room towards the schoolroom.

We also took up the baseboards and pulled about thirteen million staples.

View from the hallway into the kitchen.

You can see the stained osb wood – we had to live on it for 2 weeks and I’m sure that had an effect, but a lot of this was from long before. Ugh!

View from the kitchen to front door. Laundry on the right.

These pictures were taken the morning the floor installers came. We had moved out the dining room furniture, the kitchen appliances, the furnace, washer, dryer, and pantry contents, as well as the shelves that I had used to block off the hallway – an annex to the laundry. The little ‘nook’ behind (to the right of, in the picture above) the door had a small bureau dresser and coathooks on the wall. That was moved as well.

Space behind front door.

Non-livable room! View from front door.

The living room was anything but ‘living.’ In addition to its already-large furniture, we drug in the 8′ dining table, my homemade bench, about 7 chairs, 5 bar stools, the plants (their shelves became the schoolroom pantry), the dresser from behind the front door, the shelves from the ‘laundry hall’, the washer and dryer.

Part of the (poorly white-balanced!) schoolroom.

The stove and fridge moved to the schoolroom, with some laundry hampers and the shelves of pantry contents (not shown). We had to get that huge refrigerator through the doorway sideways (see ‘dutch’ style door in earlier photo above) and up the little curb where the old vinyl was to remain.

Dining room with underlayment.

When the installers finally showed up, we did our schoolwork amidst loud air-compressor noise, and a pneumatic stapler going like crazy. Each of those little ‘spots’ in the wood is an ‘x’ marking where to put a staple. They’re about 4″ apart, and along the edges of each sheet they placed them about 2″ apart. The guys said they thought they’d probably use 10,000 staples that day!

Hallway, from kitchen.

After living on the dirty osb, this was looking fantastic already! 🙂

The laundry room. Pantry shelves missing their ‘last leg.’

The men would draw a large circle in pencil on each board or piece of board that they had completed stapling.

Kitchen, from schoolroom door.

After this they applied a dark ‘mud’ to fill in the cracks and smooth it out. This had to dry, and then they would start with the vinyl. At this point we left for town to vote, do some errands and shopping and to get out of the way. When we came back, it wasn’t completely done, but they’d laid the vinyl out to cut and dry-fit it. When we came home, it looked like this:

Dining room.

Okay, it didn’t look *quite* like that. That photo was taken the next day after they’d glued it and put down a lovely metal strip against all the transition points. But it was close enough to bring a modicum of peace while we crawled into the living room to eat pizza cooked in the neighbor’s oven and grieve over the election results that were coming in…

As of today, I’m working on installing new baseboard, have plans to put some beadboard on the kitchen island & peninsula, *almost* finished a solution for behind the front door (details and pics soon, I hope!), and still haven’t completely dug out of the schoolroom nor have found a home for the little white dresser that *was* behind the front door. We’re still trying to install the furnace in the garage, and since the floor was finished, daily temps dropped from the 70s to the high 30s some days. We switched out a pellet stove that is NOT working right, so we’re kindof freezing on our lovely floor. 🙂

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