House plans

After agonizing over the idea for over a year, and fretting and wondering if it could ever work out, I've set a major house plan in motion today: we've ordered replacement flooring for the house. We're taking the yuppie plunge, and shifting from carpeting to engineered flooring, because that's the best quality we can get, given that our house is on a slab foundation.

So ... yeah. That crazy idea is finally a thing, a real thing that we've now put real (ouch) money (ouch) down for. We caught the beginning-of-year sale that the local flooring shop has, and we're paying someone to do the furniture moving and installation, but this is finally happening.

I know it won't make the house hypo-allergenic, because it is well-established at this point that the little furry bastards are going to be, well, Little Furry Bastards, and when it comes to Edmund, the shed-o-meter does in fact go to 11. But ... it'll help. It has to. I've been increasingly angry over the state of the carpet in the years since the accident, and despairing of knowing that I had two solutions:

  1. Clean All The Things, put all the things away, rent a steam cleaner, spend a ton of effort and need to redo it in a year's time
  2. Clean All The Things, put all the things away, write a check, and theoretically be done with flooring issues for a lifetime.

I realize we're going to need a ton of felt pads and furniture-protector thingies (anyone have any brands they want to recommend or avoid?) but I am so very ready to be done with dealing with carpet. I realize we'll end up with a few rugs, here and there, but I am so looking forward to sending the vacuum off on a slow boat to Tahiti.

I hate vacuuming. Loathe it. Almost -- but not quite -- as much as I loathe cleaning the bathtub drain, which has to be one of the worst homeownership penances in the history of ever. I think I loathe it mostly because with two cats and an old carpet, it feels completely and utterly futile. By the time you've finished the house, it's already time to start again. Depressing, really.

I should buy a Roomba and saddle it for Tenzing.

The flooring company called back this afternoon and wanted to set a tentative schedule. I've got a moderate travel schedule until the end of February, but the real killer is that it's my turn in the on-call seat. I'll be primary on-call for a week, and then secondary on-call for another week, and during that time frame I don't want random workmen tromping through my house, moving things, tearing up my carpet, and terrorizing Fang. 

(Have I mentioned how we're looking forward to the humor of watching Fang cope with hardwood? In-house entertainment at its finest...)

So -- no installation while I'm traveling, and no installation during my on-call. They'll try to fit me in before then, but it looks increasingly likely that we'll be doing the installation around the first week of March. It's going to be an utter horror show while things are being torn up, but I keep reassuring myself that when it's done, it's going to be nothing short of amazing. The house will feel different, sound different, and clean up different.

As Jacob likes to remind me: progress. Slow and measured progress. If I have learned nothing else from these past two years I must remember those life lessons: if you cannot make major gains, make small daily changes and they will, over time, accumulate. While it's true that I've been thrashing toward this goal for many months, and I'm a bit disappointed that it won't happen in February, it will indeed happen in March.

* * * * *

Oh, right, details. Shaw's "Abilene" line, the "Ranch House Hickory" color. From flipping through different woods, I gravitated to hickory's color tones, and I wanted a mid-toned hickory with a lot of color and grain variation. Not polished and perfect; I erred toward slightly uneven hand-scraped finishes to hide some of the wear and tear these pieces will inevitably receive.

In the meantime, how does one saddle a roomba?

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Not exactly felt pads, but we ended up making boards with holes drilled half through to take the couch feet, to keep the couches braced a certain distance from the wall.  (They're not visible unless you crawl around.)  Without them, I expect that several of us would sit down with enough momentum to eventually crack the plaster.

Congrats on the (eventual) removal of your carpet. I cannot tell you how excited I am by the prospect of home shopping, because no matter where we end up, the carpet is GONE.

As someone with kitty allergies and dust mite allergies...  Taking away the carpet will definitely help.  One of the biggest improvements to my health was when I moved to NYC, and I attribute that to the fact that almost no one has wall to wall carpet in their apartments here (vs in NH when you can scarely go into anyone's home and not find wall to wall carpet).  I actually can have a cat now and not feel like I'm going to die.

Jeff has allergies too -- this has been an ongoing consideration of mine. Life-without-cats, while theoretically possible, is not something I want, so life-with-turdcats is pretty much permanent as long as I'm breathing. But oh, the number of our friends who are allergic. It is sad. I want to have people come visit and right now they cannot. Bah. I would love to have a minor social life again.

Yeah. My allergies are very mild (and I take some meds to help with them), but having them go away is a very positive thing.

I imagine a saddle on a roomba would be something like this:


Speaking of cats, I was thinking about that RFID food bowl idea today and now that ThinkGeek is soliciting ideas, I think it's worth sending in.  Mind if I do that?  I'll split credit and the check with you in the unlikely event they want it :-)

I went to that video and saw a link to another one which is, perhaps, a little more relevant: :)

I love the Swiffer. It was made for cats and wood floors. You will sweep up hairballs the size of large cats, and it's almost fun.