Brave new floor

Spence with floor

Spence. He is le tired.

I know I promised a home tour, and . . . it’s coming. I really, really promise! But I just can’t muster the strength to show you our new homestead still filled with boxes, crumpled newspaper and a fireplace covered to protect us from bees (bees. I can’t).

We chip away a bit more at our epic “to do” list each night, and we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were just two weeks ago. My mother- and father-in-law were here to help us with the big move last week, and they were such a tremendous help. It felt strange when they were gone, actually, because we hadn’t spent a night there without them.

To be honest? It was sort of nice to feel like a “kid” again. With Spence’s parents here to help, we had ready assistance and other folks to help with decision-making. Though I’ll be 29 next week, I’m still not used to being an adult in the house. That probably won’t change until we bring a child home ourselves.

I just don’t feel grown-up to own property. Call it arrested development or fear or uncertainty, but part of me still expects to wake up in my childhood bedroom with my ‘NSYNC pillow propped in the corner. I slept in a canopy bed until eight months ago, and I’m not ashamed to tell you that. It just was what it was. I was a 28-year-old who still fell asleep with sock monkeys, and all this? It’s . . . challenging.

Exciting. But tough.

For the most part, though, I think Spence and I are settling in pretty nicely! It still feels strange to open my eyes in the woods and not our bustling apartment building (or the aforementioned canopy bed), but I’m getting familiar with my new surroundings and slowly unpacking all that needs to be unpacked. We have a spare bedroom across the hall that’s currently filled with the contents of our future closet (the one we’re working on at top), so I dig through trash bags for beloved shoes or work tops or accessories and eventually find what I’m looking for.


Our biggest stride to date — and I use “our” loosely, given my handy husband has been putting in most of the sweat equity — is in finishing the floor in the closet. The house came with large built-ins in the walk-in closet, but the carpet was stained, buckling and generally gross. An unattractive mirror was cemented to one side; the walls were builder’s grade white with scuffs and discoloration throughout.

It looks different now.

My mother- and father-in-law were kind enough to patch the busted walls and paint the closet last week, and we tore up all the carpet to expose the plank sub-floor underneath. A fortuitous find at Lowe’s had us coming home with three boxes of laminate flooring for about $40 after two trips. At a time of terrifying financial undertakings, that was a major score.

Spence finished putting down the last of the laminate on Tuesday night, then caulked around the baseboards to seal it off. We just need help reinstalling all the cabinetry (it’s super heavy) and we will be finished, and my clothes will no longer be strewn haphazardly throughout the upstairs.

I can’t wait.

I lack decent photos to demonstrate the scope of the change, but here is a tiny before-and-after while we’re still working:

floor progress

Great strides! Great strides.

Lest I take credit where credit isn’t deserved, my help was limited to bringing Spencer tools he needed (after he described them by color) and making sure he always had a drink in the hot room. I did help hold down portions of the floor while we snapped it together and carried boards down to the garage for cutting, but . . . yeah. My assistance typically revolved around doing a mountain of laundry down the hall.

I hate to be a female stereotype, but I was mostly in the way. I fully intend to pitch in on all sorts of other home projects (and have been cleaning like crazy), but Spence worked faster when I wasn’t hovering in the cramped room. I think.

And every little bit helps, right?

Also, I know what baseboards and sub-floor are now — and can talk about them without sounding completely ridiculous. We’re all winners here.

15 thoughts on “Brave new floor

  1. The new floors look GREAT! What a score! And lucky that Spence can install them, bet that saved you a ton on hiring a contractor. Your closet looks so big! Bet you’re excited to fill it with all your clothes.


  2. I love each small step you share! I’m not a handy girl, I support very well. My own husband isn’t all that handy, in time we’ve been able to pay someone to do updates in our home. The man’s an accountant, what can I say. Looking good, it will all happen.


  3. My husband is extending our engineered hardwood floor. The house has been a mess from pulling up tile and boards just getting ready to lay the floor. I sympathize with you and Spence. My hubby is getting tired out, but he won’t stop. Blessings to you both…


  4. Don’t worry – I’m a female stereotype as well. You won’t see me near any tool-involving work. I can take care of decor and stuff.

    It’s all looking great in there! Love how much progress you are making!


  5. Meh–you’ll be able to put LOTS of feminine touch into the house. I promise you. We did a lot of demo on our very first house and my work was limited to ripping things up and cleaning. And even some of it we contracted out to others. Spencer looks exhausted in that picture and y’all will have such a great pride in everything you’ve built! Can’t wait to see more!


  6. Ack, that IS so grownup! I just turned 35 and still feel a bit like a college kid playing at being an adult (so much so, I still wonder why anyone let me get pregnant, or try to buy a house, etc.!). The floor looks marvelous and I hope the house stuff keeps being delightful and awesome (and less and less exhausting!).


  7. I sympathize with you. When we moved into our condo, we had a lot of work to do. We painted and had to put in some new floors. We were fortunate to get a lot of help but we still have projects that we put off. My closets still need to be overhauled something similar to yours!


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