The Long Never-Ending Project

Posted by Brette in Home and Decorating
The offensive pink carpet (and a very cute dog)

The offensive pink carpet (and a very cute dog)

It all started with the carpet. Our stairs and upstairs hallway has pink carpet. It’s horrific. And guess who picked it out? Me. Yup. When we moved here, we replaced the carpet in our bedroom and hallway. It made sense to make it all one color. The dusty pink is perfect in the bedroom which has a kind of English garden theme going on, plus you don’t really see much of the carpet in that room. But in the hall and on the stairs, it’s awful. It’s also gotten dirty and worn over the years.

Replacing that carpet has been on my wish list for several years. Last year we went and picked out replacement carpeting. We never got around to having someone come to measure, because the dominoes started to fall.

Before we replace the carpet, we really needed to paint the metal railing the runs along the upper hallway. We pondered if we should replace it and went to look at replacements which couldn’t hold a candle to this. It’s actually very pretty, with scrollwork, but over the years the paint has chipped and dogs have been known to rest their mouths on it. It needed to be painted. And it would need to be painted before we replaced the carpet.

We then  realized we needed to paint the baseboards in the hall to match the railing. And then we would need to do the doors in the hallway (4 bedroom doors and one bathroom – several of them have big chips and since the paint in this house is over 40 years old, nothing ever matched it for patching). But then what about the hallway downstairs? We have area rugs there that match the living room carpet. Replace those? Paint down there?

This was a project that kept expanding every time we talked about it.

Finally we found a painter and got an estimate for the upstairs and downstairs halls and the stairway. We ripped up the carpet so that he could do a thorough painting job. And in doing so, we remembered it’s all hardwood underneath the carpet. It was also at this point that I realized we would have hallway carpet that butts up against carpeting in several rooms – it would look like a patchwork of carpet, all different colors.

Maybe we should just put runners down and leave the hardwood to avoid this problem? The

Pre-paint railing

Pre-paint railing

wood was in very good condition it seemed. So off we went to the store and picked out runners. Then we finished ripping up the carpet and discovered two major problems:

1. Some of the hardwood doesn’t quite make it to the walls, so we would need to add shoe molding

2. The strips of wood and tacks around the walls leave giant, awful holes in the hardwood when you remover them. There are also huge holes around the posts of the railings where carpet had

Imperfect hardwood

Imperfect hardwood

been tacked down. It was really awful looking.

So if we wanted to go with hardwood, we would need to have it repaired and refinished. We thought about this for a bit but then realized that all of the hardwood floors in this house run into each other. If we’re going to redo them, it would make sense to do them all at once. Suddenly the simple project of getting a small amount of new carpeting was expanding to a major remodel.

After painful financial calculations, we gave up and ended up where we started: we’re putting in carpet in the hall and stairs (waiting for it to come in – I’ll post pics when it is finally installed).  We had both halls and the stairway painted and we’re calling it a day. It’s not perfect, but at least I no longer have to look at that horrible pink carpet.

Do you have any home repair projects that take on a life of their own like this?

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2 Responses

  • Isn’t that always the way? We started out replacing the carpet and floors in the kitchen of our old house to sell and then ended up painting and replacing ALL of the floors because the new ones made the old ones look worse. Personally, I will never have another stitch of carpet in a house I own. What’s underneath, even when you think it’s clean, is horrifying when you have pets.

  • Brette says:

    There was nothing bad underneath this carpet when it came up – I was pretty surprised. I do get the carpets cleaned regularly though so that helps I think. If you take up carpets in a house when you move in though (carpet other people took care of) it is pretty horrifying though. We had to clean the floor with bleach in our bedroom when we removed that carpet and let it dry overnight before we could re-carpet – there was mold.