October 31 2018 we bought our first house. My cheapness went into overdrive. I REFUSE to pay someone for something I could do myself. So I at least have to try it first, then eventually give in and call the plumber after I’ve made it worse.. My house was the definition of a fixer upper. I’m almost certain nothing was touched or upgraded since it was built 30 years ago. The walls were black from dust and grime. The closet doors had thick grease all over them from the buildup of filth. The carpets were soaked with cat piss. On top of all that the prior owner left so much crap behind for us to deal with. We purged, we cleaned, we scrubbed, we scraped, and we painted for 3 days straight. Thankfully our families came together to help us or it would have been an even bigger nightmare.
Oh man, the improvements we have made to this house. We got a good deal on it and it truly didn’t feel like a good deal with the condition it was in. However we have sexed up this place so hard. I’ll tell you that a little bit of paint can change an entire room. At the time we really didn’t have a lot of money after closing costs and moving so most of our bandaids to this place were in paint form. The baseboards were originally white. After 30 years of neglect they were definitely brown and decaying. A nice white high-gloss paint and moving furniture in front of the decayed parts seemed to do the trick. Most likely will have to revisit that in the future..
Our main goal was to replace the carpet. The majority of the house is Spanish tile, which we have grown to accept since its way too expensive to replace. The bedrooms and the hallway all had the same carpet and all reeked of urine. I had every plug in the house equipped with one of those cheap fragrance things with the dial turned to high and that still didn’t help. We used so many powders, chemicals, and home remedies on this carpet over the months but any fix we found was only temporary. It was time to rip that filth out. I wish I wasn’t so absent minded because I always seem to forget taking before pictures.. Seeing the finished result is not the same if you don’t see or smell the way it was before. The only before picture I could muster up was the thick dust and grime on the closet doors. just picture the below but ALL over this house…
I was not prepared for the horrors I encountered when I ripped this carpet up. The thin boards on the side meant to keep the carpet in place were so rotted and decayed with cat piss that they were still wet. Not from our cleaning solutions either. They were just soaked all the way through. They were black… I don’t know if y’all have ever seen the wood they put down when its fresh, but its WOOD color. Its not pure black. The cement underneath the carpet was even stained. Thats even under the mat of insulation they had down. A massive puddle stain of piss. Took me a week to get the smell out. Found some “Urine Destoyer” from my local pet shop and just had to rinse and repeat for a few days.
We got Legacy Oak Vinyl Flooring from Lowes and I started laying them down room by room. First had to make sure the cement under the carpet was clear and clean. Then had to lay down some moisture barrier because my dad told me to. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I was just gonna go straight into laying the floor. I was told I’m a dummy in the most loving way and that I needed to get the moisture barrier, so I did. Which is honestly a large trash-bag you put down. Take this opportunity to write something profound on your cement for the next schmucks that have the AUDACITY to rip up the hard work you put into that floor.
There are plenty of tricks to get around corners or door frames I wish someone had told me. instead I did it the hard way until my mom gave me the best tactic. She said to get a piece of paper and make a kind of template. That paper should at least be the width of your vinyl board so you know where on the board to cut.
You can cut and/or bend the paper to fit in the weird crevices.
Trace the area you need.
then trace that outline on your board so can cut it with a razor blade. I tried an exacto knife first because I didnt know where my box cutter was. That was the worst idea ever. don’t do that, its too thin.
Trace it, then take your razor blade to it.
Then snap it. I’m sure there are other ways but this one worked best for me. Just know the snap method wont work on anything other than vinyl.
Then just lay that bad boy in and lock it in place!
Hopefully that will help you if you ever have to be in the situation where you’re laying floor by yourself. A razor blade and measuring tape will be your best friend. If you don’t see yourself ever laying floor and you’re like “why the eff did I just read all that?” then I’m glad you made it to the end.
Here is a reminder that you’re wonderful and you’re enough. Keep it up homie. you got this!