Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Upper Floored: Preparation (H)

In between me buying a new motorcycle and looking about 50 years into the future, we’ve been working on putting down wood flooring in Daughter Dearest’s bedroom. We’d done the hallway before — we know what to do now, it should be a breeze, right? Rip up the carpet and glue down the new floor….

Of course, any job at FAR Manor is going to turn into a complete hairball.

Blood? on the plywoodFirst, we found a mixture of plywood and particle board under the carpet. And that’s not all: I’m not sure exactly what those spots are, but they look like blood. It wouldn’t surprise me that FAR Manor was causing pain even while it was being built.

The instructions for the new flooring specially say that it can’t be put down over particle board. To make things even more “interesting,” there was a pretty significant sag in the middle of the floor, almost two inches (no, I’m not exaggerating). I looked at Mrs. Fetched and said, “I was right about this place.” (While she was going completely berserk, and driving me berserk wanting to buy this place, I saw its many flaws and described it as a pig in a poke. Like any data that doesn’t fit the previously-made decision, she ignored it. At the time.)

We got two opinions on what to do. Our carpenter friend, who advised us on the last floor job, said it would be fine to just glue (and possibly nail) the strips to the floor as it was. A second person, who would be the one to do the work, said it had to be straightened out — we could either jack it up from the ground floor (yeah right) or put some shims between the sub-floor and the plywood that would eventually be the substrate for the wood floor. Cosmic Rule of the Universe Number One: given two choices, Mrs. Fetched is always going to pick the most complicated option. If I don’t fall in line immediately, she’ll besiege me with whines, nags, dire predictions, until I throw my hands up and say some variation of “Do what you want — you’re going to anyway.” Of course it’s not an issue to her: she’s not the one doing the actual work.

CrowbarIn a vain attempt to get some peace, I had The Boy help me measure the sag and mark some spots. I figured I could partially even it out, enough to satisfy Mrs. Fetched’s mania for complicating things. I wasn’t having much luck, and she called in the people who caused all the commotion. Upon inspecting the floor, they informed us that there was a layer of plywood under the top layer, and if we could crowbar it out it would save them some time. Well… taking a crowbar to FAR Manor is a pleasure surpassed by very few things, and one of those is taking a crowbar to the chicken houses. J (the son of our carpenter friend) has been our extra resident for a couple of months now; he tends to be quiet and helpful so he doesn’t get quite the coverage of M.A.E. or Lobster. We spent a happy evening of echar la casa por la ventana (literally, not the Hispanic idiom for a wild party) because the particle board came up in pieces and we could toss the small- and medium-size pieces down to the front yard instead of carrying them. In fact, Mrs. Fetched caught me singing some happy 80s tune, and wondered why I wasn’t mad anymore. How quickly we forget. :-P

Heave Ho!Somewhere in there, Mrs. Fetched got one of the farm trucks, and we finished up by loading up the fragged particle board. I got a perfect action shot of J tossing a big chunk on the first attempt.

That got us through the long weekend. Last night, Mrs. Fetched and I cut 1/4-inch plywood to lay down over the new floor (the guy who did the work said it would be best if we did). I was hoping to come home to find it already nailed down, but Cosmic Rule of the Universe Number Two says: if I don’t do it around here, it doesn’t get done. Taking a hammer to FAR Manor is less satisfying than a crowbar, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Tomorrow, we get to glue down the floor… since it’s Daughter Dearest’s room, she gets to help. A lot.

4 comments:

  1. Hi FARfetched.

    I wish I had you're patience for doing things around the house. I've learned over many failed attempts though, not to do it myself. I always end up paying twice what it would have cost just to call in the professionals. First for my mistakes and then to have the professionals fix them.

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  2. Ouch. The way it works for me is to do something smaller (like a hallway) before tackling a bigger job (like a bedroom). As I've gotten older, I've found that I'm getting a little more handy with tools and such. Maybe it's just practice (from being an extra pair of hands on a farm).

    Or maybe it's that technical writers have to muck around in things to get any work done.

    We're doing to do Mrs. Fetched's office last. It's pretty small, maybe 180 sq ft. The good part is that it's on the ground floor, so if it's sagging we *can* jack it up from underneath. After that, it's carpet all the way. We'll call in people to do that.

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  3. Hi FAR. That sounds like quite the job ... and of course there's a sag in the floor ... lol. I'm in the FM camp: I don't have the patience, although, I've never done it so who knows. Actually, I think I'd be overwhelmed by the size of the task.

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  4. Hey Olivia... cutting pieces of plywood & nailing them down isn't any big deal. I had to bring in someone else to de-sag the floor though.

    I figure we'll get at least one or two boxes of flooring laid down this weekend. But I'm serious about Daughter Dearest helping... Mrs. Fetched will the miter saw & the two of us will do the gluing and so forth.

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