Adventures in Homeownership

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's been an interesting (and busy) couple of weeks, as far as our house is concerned. As I mentioned in my Ketchup Post, we scheduled our new cork floor installation for the week of August 20, and we have a number of preparation steps to complete before that happens.

I've actually FINALLY painted (two coats) three of our new six-panel doors that we installed forever ago. I must say, they're looking nice. Too bad I still have eight more (upstairs) to go. *whimper*

In the middle of all of this...
...THIS happened. That is a gigantic branch down on our deck, in case you couldn't tell. In fact, it's actually two gigantic branches. The photo above was taken after Michael ran out into the pouring rain to pull our table and chairs out from underneath it (we were worried that the weight could end up cracking the tiles on top of the table).
The top one had come down first, and when the lower one was bearing the extra weight, it buckled, too. Awesome.
For some perspective on how big this mamma-jamma is, here's Nora's little house sitting beneath it. Anyway, the most troublesome thing was that the branches didn't come COMPLETELY down (which, of course, is a really good thing in many cases). We have a chainsaw now, but still couldn't easily get up that high. Thankfully, our neighbor came over with a pole saw and was a huge help. Even so, it took a week to get the backyard cleared and the limbs down completely.

Last week, it looked like this:
Again, I say... awesome. But Michael chipped away at it throughout the week and then he and our next door neighbor took care of the rest yesterday.
Our backyard is looking a bit different these days. Poor old tree.

The good news is that we now have some extra (and free) fire wood for the winter. The bad news is that all of the time spent on tackling the tree severely cut into the prep time for the floor installation. Which means we need to catch up. Michael started a small patch on Friday night, and I set out to tackle some of it last night. (Michael would've helped, but he had some work (work work) to do last night, and I figured I'd do what I could.)

Well, we've put in a total of about three hours at this point, and here's where we're at:
That's only 25 sq. ft. of floor cleared, mind you. And we have a total of 340 sq. ft.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen this photo and my plea, but it's worth repeating for all of you: If you're ever thinking about gluing some kind of flooring to your subfloor, DON'T.DO.IT. Because I, and any future owners of your house BEG YOU not to. The subfloor is so jacked up from the removal that we're going to need to put new subfloor down anyway (over top of this old stuff, apparently), but that doesn't save us from having to chip away at this parquet piece by freaking piece.

We have a floor scraper (basically a flat shovel) that we've been using to pop up tiles, too, and it's helpful--when it works. But some (most?) of the tiles are glued down so tightly that there is no getting under them without a mallet and chisel. And it is HARD WORK. By the end of two hours, my back was killing me, my shirt was soaked with sweat, and I had multiple blisters forming on my right hand (despite wearing work gloves). In fact, I *still* don't have feeling in my fingertips.

You can imagine how excited I am to get back to it tonight.

Our flooring guy originally quoted us $750 for demo/removal of the old floor. If I knew that it was going to be only $750, I would--after testing this out on my own--GLADLY pay that money. However, after seeing what this is like, I know there is no way in hell we could get away with paying only $750. In fact, now that we know that we need a new subfloor, that adds costs to the job already. We're hoping that by ripping it out ourselves, we can at least cancel out that added expense. Ugh.

So, pardon me if I'm quiet in the blog world these next couple of weeks.

Has anyone ripped out a glued-down floor from a wooden subfloor with success? Any trees down in your yards from the summer's storms?


Anonymous,  August 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM  

We just redid our floors, they had glued AND stapled the old linoleum down. We spent hours pulling them out with pliers because they were 2 inches long. I also the linoleum in our half bath was glued so good to the cement it took two days to chisel it off. I feel your pain.

jduda August 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM  

Is it possible to cut up the subfloor with the tiles still on it? I feel like I've seen them do that on HGTV, but have no experience in the matter. If you are going to have to replace it anyways it might save you time.

Kari August 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM  

As someone who works in flooring, unfortunately I see people put flooring directly on their subfloor all the time. They don't think about how much of a bitch that's going to be to take up later in life. Are you putting luan down over your new subfloor? Make sure it's stapled-NOT nailed down. You'll get rust spots otherwise. ;)

Anonymous,  August 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM  

In my first house I got a quote on putting down laminate flooring. They promised the whole job for a certain amount and later realized they needed to remove the parquet floor beneath old carpet. I didn't know what was under the carpet and the guy that did the estimate didn't check. They were annoyed, to say the least, but to their credit the company stuck with the quoted price. Meanwhile, a commercial property that I've dealt with has glued down tiles and we found out that there is asbestos in the adhesive that was used for the tile so the process of removing the tile is extremely expensive (due to managing the asbestos).

Anonymous,  August 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM  

My ex and I pulled up tile from the kitchen that was glued alllll the way down as well. We ended up just breaking most of the tiles and chipping away at them that way (I don't think that'll work with yours, but it's a good story!)

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