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Good bones, I told my husband as he side eyed me…watching me trace my fingers along the basement staircase wall where the railing used to be, judging from the trio of little holes.
We bought a fixer-upper.
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It was a cute little ranch home in a great neighborhood practically across the street from the K-12 school in our tiny town. We got the house for a steal, considering it has 5 bedrooms and 2 baths. It came in under budget for us (see How Much House Can I Afford), and our mortgage payment was almost $250 less than what we paid in rent.
The house has a ton of storage – which is perfect because we do a tremendous amount of canning.
There was a small problem though. The previous owner had had ten dogs in this house.
Yep, you read that right. Ten.
Now, the house smelled fine – no odd odors that would even suggest a hint of animal had occupied this place…but as a pet owner myself, I know that looks can be deceiving, and smells can be masked. After all, the living room and hallway had wall-to-wall carpet. The carpet felt a little…stiff. Ok, maybe very, very stiff. And it was pretty grey in color, and not in a good way.
We pulled up the carpet in the corner and were surprised to find hardwood floors underneath – score! So, we tore the carpet up completely.
The living room had significant damage to the floor, which are obviously pet stains. Crap.
For the living room, we used hydrogen peroxide on the stains and they came up significantly. I couldn’t believe the difference just a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide made! Our next project is to sand the floors and poly them. But for now, they look ok!
The hallway didn’t even have hardwood under it. In fact, it actually had really freaking old linoleum with that disgusting, super-difficult-to-get-up tar. We had the linoleum and tar tested for asbestos before we moved any further – and we were in the clear.
I used a heat embossing gun like this to heat up the tar, and a crow bar to scrape it up. This literally took us months to do. Hour chunks on the weekends…which left our hallway with much to be desired.
I wouldn’t say that it was all 100% off, but it came off for the most part and we sanded it all down by hand so that we could lay underlayment down and our flooring. We did all of this by hand, which was a little overwhelming for the odd corners and near the doors…but for not being much of a DIY’er, I am pretty darn proud of us.
We ended up putting these laminate planks in the hallway, dining room, and kitchen. We had to have everything tested for asbestos, am one layer came back positive in the dining room.
I’ll add more pictures as we continue to make improvements to the house. Stay tuned!