Renovation Diary: An Introduction

It's winter, allegedly, and since we can't get started on our most exciting projects yet (did someone say WILDFLOWER MEADOW?!) we're instead turning to the most pressing first: getting the house in shape.

The house was built in 1974 -- a good year for safety stuff, like lead paint and asbestos, but, and I think this is a purely objective statement, a less-than-good year for aesthetics.

We're lucky that the house is generally in pretty decent shape, so much of what we're dealing it will be cosmetic. (Hopefully.)

Here's a little peek of how the house looked when we first saw it, back in August:

The house was a little like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree: it just needed love. We got started right away with phase 1 of the reno. Can ya guess what that was?

Yes, it was removing the carpet. Here's a great tutorial on removing carpeting, the pad, and the tack strips. I definitely recommend using a dust mask, and even safety glasses, if you're removing a carpet that has, erm, known our rodent friends. Read: there was a lot of flying mouse poop when we ripped up the carpet. Also an inordinate number of dead ladybugs.

And, it takes a bit longer, but I also recommend cutting the carpet into 18 inch strips as you rip it up, and then rolling and taping the strips -- that way, you can toss the rolls in the regular garbage. No dumpster needed.

I feel compelled to reduce these home improvement tasks to a simplistic rating system, so here:

RATING: 3 stars -- carpet removal is easy, and makes a big impact quickly. The job is only as gross as your carpet is. Which in my case, was very very gross.