The day we got the keys from our realtor, we immediately went over to the house. After toasting to our new financial burden, we set to work ripping up the nasty carpet that had been there since, oh, the dawn of Western civilization.
The process was not fun. Donning face masks, we sliced at the carpeting and underlying pad, blinking at each other thru the years of dust and potentially hazardous germs we were releasing into the air.
Then.........we reached the subfloor. Now, we stood blinking in disgust at the stains the previous owner had left behind. Apparently he thought "floor" and "pets' bathroom" were synonymous. Add to this a layer of water damage near the back door and well, we were stoked about our new abode.
But before we could attend to this matter, we had some prep work ahead of us. Armed with pliers and a hammer, I went all over our house pulling out carpet staples and pounding down portruding nails. Meanwhile, Mr. FC put screws in areas where the floor creaked (to ensure no creaking once the hardwoods were installed). Then he proceeded to use a shovel tool thingy to scrape away exposed tacks left over from the carpet installation.
After 2 thick coats of Kilz Primer (to eliminate the gag-inducing odors and seal the surface), a day for drying, several tasteless jokes about "hardwood", and a few beers, we were ready to move the boxes of hardwood into the rooms of the house. This is recommended so that the wood can acclimate to the air/humidity. Hardwood boxes = heavy = sore arms = very few "before" photos taken.
*Sunlight darkens it over time, as opposed to bleaching it. We get quite a bit of sunshine where we live, so the change was quickly obvious in our case. What started out as a light cinnamon color, has now deepened to a richer version.
*For dog owners, it is extremely resilient. It has stood up so far to our 75 lb dog with huge paws and killer nails. Granted, there are some scratches here and there, but nothing worthy of us disowning Hiro for =)
What about you guys?
What home/condo/apartment improvement have you made that you couldn't have lived without?