The latest chapter in our home improvement saga occurred today. We are redoing our living room, foyer, and stairway. We hired a contractor to tear down the walls and ceiling, put up insulation and new blue board, and redo most of the moulding. The walls and ceiling and woodwork came out beautifully and we are almost done painting everything (after several weekends dedicated to sanding, putty, priming and painting). You can look at photos from these events here:
Today, we went with step 2 of our plan, which is to rip up the carpeting on the stairs so that we can get all the floors refinished. Ha. We first knew that something was wrong when I pulled up a piece of carpeting and part of the wood came with it. The stairs have huge gouges in them, cracks, holes, and are extremely worn. We realize now why they were carpeted.
We also realized more fully that most of the spindles on our banister are not original. The previous owners decided to replace the spindles with ones that did not reach fully to the floor - only to the carpet. So they're completely uneven now and clearly don't match with the rest of the spindles. In fact, it looks like there are only 4 original spindles left.
Our friend Jen happened to be over while we had this epiphany. She had come over to help us paint. Ironically, she is thinking of purchasing a condo in about a year. She got an eye-opening lesson in home improvement: when something is covered up, it's usually for a good reason.
So it looks like we have to have our carpenter come back and rebuild our stairs. (Jim mentioned today that maybe he should just arrange to have his paycheck deposited directly into our carpenter's bank account). Did I mention that all of our of furniture is either in the basement or piled high in our dining room? Did I mention that it's been that way since early February? I want my house back!!!
Here is an abbreviated list of things that we've done with our house since we bought it in May 2000:
- New support beams in basement
- New electrical wiring throughout entire house
- Garage: termite extermination, new roof, windows, siding, wood underneath, side door, garage door (basically rebuilding it one wall at a time)
- New windows in house (1/2 finished)
- New roof on house
- Floors refinished in upstairs
- New main drain in basement (old one was held together with duct tape)
- New furnace
- New installation of air conditioning
- New walls in kitchen
- Chimney: pointed, liner installed, capped
- New front stairs and walkway
- New air duct returns on 2nd floor
- New fence
- Garbage disposal from behind and next to the garage (the prior owners used to throw or bury their trash back there).