Chris and I have decided to do something both intelligent and ridiculously stupid. Amid all of the chaos going on within the next 4 weeks till we leave on our amazing renovation road trip we have decided to pay to get our hardwood floors refinished. Though we have learned how to refinish the floors ourselves through trial and error (and I think, frankly, we're pretty good at it now), there were a few factors that figured into the decision.
1) We'll be gone for 2 weeks on the renovation road trip and that's a perfect amount of time for someone to come in to refinish as well as give the floors enough time to cure and seal before we move everything back in.
2) The work to refinish is labor intensive. We're not being lazy by any means, but frankly, the idea of being on my hands and knees for 8+ hours again sanding sanding sanding does not make me excited (over the course of likely 3 separate sanding intervals to get the rest of the rooms done)
3) It takes 4 times longer when you do it yourself. A refinishing company can come in and have the job done in 5 days (for the whole rest of our house). But each time we do a room it takes about 3 weeks. With jobs to navigate around you can only work a day here and a day there, so sanding, patching, sanding, staining, sanding, staining, sanding, poly-in, sanding, poly-ing and then waiting for it to cure takes a LONG time when you can only fit in a day or two at a time.
4) It's just a BIG HUGE HASSLE. It makes a mess that we hate cleaning up. And though we've tried a lot of different ways to make it not nearly as messy, it still doesn't work too well. And the rooms we have left are ones we spend a lot of time in so the idea of having to move our bed out of the bedroom for 3 weeks and into, well...some other room to sleep while we refinish in there doesn't sound like any fun.
Still, there were 2 variables that were left: we wanted to make sure it was okay with our neighbor to check on the house each day while we were gone and the work was being done, and we wanted to make sure we got a good price. Thankfully, our neighbor thought it was a great idea so I all I had to do was find a good price.
I got quotes from 3 places. Chris and I decided that we would only do it if the price came in for $2,500 or less. The first two places quoted us $5.25 per sq. ft. and $4.25 per sq. ft., which based on the rough amount of square footage we have left, these came in at $4725 and $3875. Yikes. I hoped that the 3rd place worked out. The 3rd contractor was the only one who actually came to the house (the others did it over the phone), he was super friendly and his quote came in at.....$2,250! Hooray!!! The best part, they have 4.5 stars out of 34 reviews on Yelp. Chris was still really hesitant about the whole endeavor (I'll get to that in a moment), but we resolved to get it done because the price was awesome and we'd NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE FLOORS AGAIN.
Now, here's why it took a little convincing to get Chris on the refinishing train: there is a LONG to do list we have to complete in the next 4 weeks before we leave on the trip. And of course I wrote it all out as a to do list. I like to write down each little item (instead of pack up closet for the hallway I write pack demo closet, pack middle closet, pack closet furniture). It always makes me feel better to check off 3 items rather than just 1 :)
Here's the to do list:
Thankfully this list isn't took long:
1. move fridge
2. move stove
3. move side table with microwave
Laundry room/back bathroom
This list is also thankfully small:
1. just to condense everything. Because these floors aren't getting refinished we'll use this room (and the front room and TV room) to store EVERYTHING in all the other rooms that are getting refinished (the kitchen, nook, hallway, art room, bedroom and office).
This is the last room with a small to do list:
1. baseball cards to attic
2. house stuff to the garage
3. all that other misc. stuff packed up
(hello laundry day)
1. sell bed frame (we've been meaning to upgrade our bed for a while to a king so we figured now was a good time to get that ball rolling because it would be one less thing that needed to occupy space elsewhere in the house).
2. sell mattress (if we got lucky enough and the timing worked out)
3. buy and transplant new mattress (likely one of the few things that will be in the TV room, most everything else will be in the front room and laundry room).
4. move dressers
5. move clothes and shoes from closet
6. move closet furniture
7. move rug
8. move side table
9. move misc.
And here's where it gets a bit more complicated:
10. remove baseboards (the trim in this room does not match the rest of the house so we've always planned on replacing it)
11. bust out for the door to the back bathroom (we've been planning on doing this for 18+ months so we might as well do this now to make sure those couple pieces of flooring are correctly stained)
12. bust out for a bigger closet
This was on our list for further down the line, but to make sure that the floors in the closet match we'll just do this now. How do we make the closet bigger? Well at some point they changed the floor plan of the bedroom (you can tell from the floor inlay pattern) and they added square footage to the art room closet, but that closet is ridiculously long and skinny and actually not very usable
So we'll knock down part of the wall and steal some closet space from here and use it for our bedroom's closet.
Another longer-ish to do list:
1. cut down shelf (I've got plans to have Chris cut down the big wall unit by about 3 feet)
2. pack up shelf
3. move shelf
4. move sewing machine and sewing machine table
5. move work table
6. pack misc.
7. patch floors (there is a bit of damage to a few pieces)
8. move rug
9. clean out closet
That's a totally doable list.
Thankfully another doable list:
1. move dresser
2. pack up computer
3. move desk
4. move misc.
5. remove doors to front room
6. pack up DVDs. And let me tell you, that's a big undertaking because we have a whole closet full of DVDs
Chris and I met while we were working at Tower Records, so we clearly put our employee discounts to work.
And the laaaaaast space: the Hallway
This list isn't too long, but it's a tad invasive:
1. patch floors
2. remove trim (around the middle closet)
3. pack middle closet
4. remove middle closet furniture (we built a couple simple shelving units)
5. unpack demo closet
6. and then we'll demo that closet. Why demo? Well, the closet isn't original to the home and it's super hulking and feels really big in that corner so we've got plans to tear it down now and then eventually build one in place that's smaller and fits the architecture of the home better.
So there you have it, our to do list of 40 items to accomplish in the next 4 weeks
And if that isn't difficult enough, between now and the renovation road trip I only have 2 weekend days that I will be home (work at Raiders and A's and 2 days of family adventures for Chris and I), though during the week I've thankfully got a pretty flexible and open work schedule. Let the madness begin!