Home Improvement Makes Me Happy

I suppose this post doesn’t really have much to do with the general themes of this blog, but whatever.  This has to do with improving the house that all the writers of this blog live in, so, um, it’s totally relevant.

Yesterday I took on the unpleasant project of removing the urine-soaked carpet in the back room of our house and replaced it with new, stench-free vinyl tile! Seriously, the puppy is adorable and often hilarious, but it’s like she’s having a personal pee party everyday all day and, while we are all apparently invited, we are not in attendance willingly.

I began the project by myself initially by starting to lift the carpet and yank it off the floor. There were staples and other pointy sharp things, but the most terrible part was the wave of eye-burning odor I was hit with as I progressed.

It was at this moment that I learned that there is something that is the opposite of aromatherapy.  Aroma-torture?  Aroma-needling-and-nagging? The cloud of putrid aroma instantly stressed me out, made me sad, and had me spiraling in a negative feedback loop of epic proportions. I was questioning various life decisions that brought me to this juncture and was honestly afraid that “Urine-Soaked Carpet Maven” was going to be the value I represented to everyone.

I’m being a bit hyperbolic of course, but I definitely had a mini-meltdown and cried for a while. Jessie found me staring helplessly at the pile of offending textile on the floor with a tear stained face.

Jessie often has a way of finding me when I’m having one of these moments. Last year when we rented a little house in the mountains for Wes’ birthday, I managed to forget my meds for the weekend. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, but by the last day I was truly not in my right mind. At one point, I was vacuuming various rooms while in full throttle weeping mode. I feel like a weeping woman vacuuming is the perfect embodiment of the 1950’s. Jessie found me though and calmed me down. She did the same thing yesterday. She’s pretty awesome.

After that, I was talking with Jessie, Wes, and Amber and we came up with the thought that it was the pee that threw me off my rocker. Then I got to thinking that the permeating aroma of decomposing waste had likely been making me generally less happy and calm for days.

I pulled it together and went off to brunch with everyone and when we got back, Jessie helped me roll up the carpet and underlayment and get it outside. It was gross, but freeing to get that awful stuff out of the house. I then cleaned the floor underneath with Nature’s Miracle, followed by some heavy duty floor cleaner I got from the tile aisle, and then I put a sealer/primer down so that rogue pee molecules could not escape from the wood. Then I put down the vinyl tile, covered the gaps with trim, and the back room looks fabulous AND (most importantly) the stench is gone. I spent a while back there just breathing happily.

As it turns out, while there are other offending spots in the house (all of which are on my list to fix with various cleaning and floor coverings), the back room was supplying the bulk of the stink to the whole house. By fixing that, the rest of the house was remarkably not awful in the smell department.

As you can tell, I am quite proud of myself. Wes took me out for dinner and drinks to celebrate the floor project. All in all, with shopping for supplies included, the whole project took about 6 hours to complete and cost us about $200. About $50 of that was made up of tools that we will use again and again, and some supplies that I didn’t use much of and can use next time (since this project is a big one). And it looks like this:

Back Room Floor

Pretty neat, huh??? The improvement is amazing. With the stench gone, I am way less angry to be home. It’s also much easier to clean (since the puppy is still being a jerk about ONLY going outside), which is a plus. The next project is the stairs! This is much bigger and more annoying project (I think) but it will be awesome when it’s done. After that, laminate flooring in the living room. Then? Who knows???

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