Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Next Project

If you were to ask J what the next project is on our list, he'd tell you that it's getting me motivated to unpack/organize/de-clutter the upstairs office.  I'd be inclined to agree, but by the time I get the laundry and ironing done, the bathrooms cleaned, the upstairs swept with uniform vacuum lines (we both appreciate that), and plan the weekly menu followed by trips to the grocery store and Target, I just want to curl up with the Kindle and read some more Hunger Games.  Can I get an amen?  Not to mention I need to write blog posts!

So I present to you the last major project we need to achieve before selling the house: replacing our wood floors.

The first level is comprised of the kitchen and the living room and the half bath.  The half bath, as you remember, has gray tile floors.  The rest of the first level has wood floors original to the house.  As in the house is 100+ years old and the floors are too.  Here's a couple of shots of how it currently stands:

You might be asking yourself, does that floor flow in two different directions?  To which I'd have to answer yes, yes it does.  And you might ask yourself does that mean the joists also go in two directions?  Again, I'd have to reply yes, yes they do.  I'm willing to bet the kitchen part could have been an addition onto an already existing house but one can never be certain.

In addition to the multi directional joists, the floor has created some interesting discoveries for us.  First, there is no sub floor.  Something J learned when he did the initial tour.  That means there is nothing separating the floor from the joists and therefore nothing separating the floor from the basement:
That's the floor riiiiiiight there.

In fact, you can even see the basement light from the floor in certain areas:
In all fairness, I made that hole with a shoe.  And then I promptly covered it up with a rug, later to be busted.  Read on.

Early last year, J and I did some looking at different kinds of hardwood floors.  Bamboo.  Distressed.  Cork.  Raw hardwood that we'd finish ourselves.  We looked at discount flooring outlets, asked for quotes from Lowe's and Home Depot and even checked out Lumber Liquidators.  J finally found it at a floor store that works with contractors: 3/4" maple in Kahlua:
The shinier part on top is the bottom stair to illustrate the color match.

We had the stairs going to the second floor custom stained to match the impending wood floor and I love the color.  I think it would look amazing with the cabinets and the wood work.  Our dilemma, however, is that as we budget and plan, we're wondering if this is the floor that would get us a decent return on our investment.  We look at homes as a "how can we boost the value?" since we won't be staying in them forever.

One option now is to leave the floor as is.  I don't see this as a strong option just because I've already fallen through the floor in areas when I'm wearing heels.  I'll just be going about my business and all of a sudden I drop down and inch or two.  It's happened twice and the first time I covered it up with the rug, only for J to ask me that night why he found a piece of floor in the basement.  Whoops.  The second time he was standing right next to me.  

The next option is to find a cheaper floor.  This is a more realistic option because no one wants to buy a house where everything is fixed up except for the floor.  At least not in my opinion.  But every time we have people over, they compliment us on the original floors.

The third option is to go with the floor that we originally picked out even though it will be expensive.  And as master house planner, I have to say that's a decision for J to make.

I believe our next move is going to be calling in the real estate agent to get his opinion on what sells.  We don't want to pump a ton of money into a floor that has no return on it.

So, much like the kitchen counter project, this is a beginning work in progress and will probably experience much back and forth until a decision is made.

In the meantime, J will research floors and I'll be putting off unpacking that office.  Even if he tries bribing me.  Which he did last night but saying I'd get presents for handling it.  And I told him the only present I'm interested in is a size 6 1/2 and is measured in carats.  Once that present is on the table, we'll talk.  I'm just sayin'.


Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

Ugh. I love original wood floors, but it sounds like yours have some issues. Is there a way to repair them? We don't have sub floor under ours either, and I can see light upstairs from the basement through them, but my floors all go in the same direction. This is such a dilemma!

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