An adventure in home improvement

I think I have a curse when it comes to tackling home improvement projects.

It never seems to fail: I get a great idea, I get the gumption to tackle the project, and then something goes horribly, horribly wrong. I don’t have the right tools, sometimes. Or, more often, I do not have the brain needed to know what in the hell I am doing.

My husband and I decided to refloor my breezeway area – which for the entire time I’ve lived here has been an ugly brown indoor/outdoor carpet. However, it was durable and stood up to the muck and grime that inevitably got dragged into that area day after day, so I kept it.

We had recently made an effort to turn that area into more usable space. We purchased a small square table from a local furniture store and put it in there. However, the area was also inhabited by my husband’s numerous drum cases. He’s a drummer, hence the cases. And when he plays gigs as often as he does, it is preferable to have the cases in a location where you can just grab and go. Some of that stuff is darn heavy. The breezeway seemed like a great place to put that stuff.

But now we have tired of the brown “turf” carpeting and we wanted something that made the breezeway a place to hang out, if one desired. We went to Menards and picked out some Mohawk laminate plank flooring (Lexington Pine) and loaded up our cart with everything we needed, and we picked a day to get the project started.

The day the project was to commence, we cleared out the breezeway, carried all the drum cases to the basement, and temporarily relocated the case called “the coffin” to the back patio. (The coffin contains all the hefty chrome drum stands, and it requires two people to move or lift it – it is so freaking heavy. Even rolling it on its wheels involves grunting, back pain, and general agony. So that damn thing sat outside while it thought about why it makes our backs hurt.)

Yeah, look at this Hershey chocolate brown goodness, will you? While you’re at it, please note a couple of highlights regarding this picture: that giant stain in the middle of the floor is from a leaky oil container that my car-loving son left there, which is also the same spot that the same kid, then 3, dumped almost an entire bottle of car wash soap out. That was SO much fun to clean up. I accidentally made a bubble machine out of the wet/dry vacuum. This floor has seen some stuff, man. Note Molly’s tennis ball lying there, dejected. Oh, and the next project that we will be tackling is GETTING RID OF THAT GOD-AWFUL FIREPLACE. No one is fooled by orange-glowing logs. NO ONE.

We hauled in all the flooring, read the directions, and then got hung up on one little detail of the directions. We had to saw off the “tongue” that went against the wall. No problem, right? Just whip out the old band saw and go to town.

I don’t have a band saw.

I have manual saws.

They did not work worth a darn.

After doing some Googling, I discovered the solution: a utility knife. So I went out and bought a sturdy utility knife (the one I had was old and rusty) and cut that tongue right off.

We also decided to paint the baseboard a darker color to match the dark tones in the wood. Yes, I know we should probably replace it, but there are some funky holes/contraptions in the baseboard along the house side and I would have no idea how to install new baseboard while taking those thingies into consideration. I have limited tools and even more limited knowledge. The baseboard is now a mid-toned chocolate brown. Eventually, once we are able to get that gawd-awful fake fireplace off the wall (it is hooked up to a gas line, so I need professional help there), the walls will be repainted a more gentle color. I’m not sure what sort of mood I was in when I bought that turquoise paint. Obviously, I was in the mood for change!

My hubby and I hope to get a start on the flooring sometime today. Wish us luck!

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