Home Improvement!

+shane circle
The Beginning (Dig that light fixture – Original shabby chic!) Here, I learned how to install a sub-floor.

My house in these photos is a wonderful house, well it had the potential to be a wonderful house. The only thing I truly disliked about this house was the location, location, location!

So, this was a bank owned house. I fell in love with the bones of this house! I saw the potential it had and set out to make it the stellar home of its potential. Nobody told me that flipping a house is extremely difficult. And costly. And time consuming. I lived in that house for six years and I never got to finish all the upgrades I dreamt of doing. They flip houses on TV in an hour! Not this house!

The first thing I had to do was fix the flooring. I served in the US Air Force and used my G.I. Bill and Veteran’s benefits to purchase this home. I had exactly seven days, including weekends to get that floor up to standards in order to pass the VA inspection. I was in a quandary! The house would not pass inspection without a few minor renovations, but I could not do the renovations because it was not my house. I was able to strike a deal with the VA to allow me to do the renovations during the pre-inspection period, but if the house still failed the inspection, the deal would fall through and I would lose my money. I accepted the gamble.

Low on funds, I drove to Dalton, Georgia, to the flooring capitol of the United States. I had heard that deals were just waiting to be had there. If you knew what you were doing, you could indeed get a deal. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know what I was doing! I bought a pallet of laminate flooring, hired their floor installer to drive the 100+ miles down to Perry, Georgia, and had just a few days to get this accomplished.

The installers could not do the job until Saturday. The inspection was set for Monday. This was cutting it short, but everyone was confident that this would not be a problem. The installers showed up, got to work, and quickly discovered upon pulling up the old, filthy carpeting, that there was a variation between the dining room and living room floors. Someone had built the dining room floor up a few inches, which would throw the whole laminate job off. We would have to put a subfloor down in the living room to match the dining room floor level. That meant the laminate guys would have to leave and come back on Sunday to complete the job. Very quickly, some friends and I went into action and I learned how to install that sub-floor! We worked into the night to get it finished so the laminate could be installed on Sunday. On Sunday, the guys discovered that the pallet of flooring consisted of no less than ten different lot numbers. The laminate was not going together well at all. They had to finish the job or I’d lose the house and my money. I had them finish the job, even though the planks did not go together. There were huge gaps in between the planks. I bought some area rugs, put them down, and the inspector never even looked under those rugs. The house passed inspection!

Now, the dilemma was what to do with the flooring. I had no more funds available to purchase more flooring! We would have to make do with the flawed flooring. My sister came to visit and discovered that some of the planks fit together better than what was installed. We pulled it all up, and I got to put it all back down. I learned how to install laminate and use a chop saw! I still wasn’t very good with the circular saw, but I got that floor finished and it was much better than what the pros did!

Would I ever want to do it again? No. Just no.

gaps in floor

Gaps in the laminate planks that did not fit together.

gaps in floor fixed

Gaps gone! Floor is fixed and looks better than what the “pros” did!

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