In 2004, after nearly a year of searching, we bought an old house.
This is a bad shot of the entrance way, but you can see the wall to
wall carpet, which covered the house. Sniff that? Yes, it's cat pee in
the corners. See that closet? It's covering up a window and part
of the stairway. And that 50s door? Yes, it's beautiful, isn't it?
Here are some shots of the original kitchen. Betty Draper uses that oven in Mad Men. Totally serious.
The previous owner had favored dirty, lacy curtains and fake flowers. It all went in the trash, the minute we took possession of the house.
So, we signed the paperwork and they gave us our lovely, overpriced Money Pit. My mom and dad came over with a bottle of champagne and a thoughtful gift — a crow bar.
We then brought in every sucker friend and family member that owed us a favor and put them to work pulling out carpet.
Here's dear old Dad pulling out carpeting on the stairs. I actually grew to like pulling out the tacks that covered the floors. It's sort of like extracting rotten teeth from a mouth. Not that I've ever done that. When we pulled out the closet that some idiot put in the 1950s, we found the original wallpaper from the 1910s.
This is Steve pulling down a brick wall. The brick wall had been put in behind a cast iron stove, probably part of a oil saving measure in the 1970s. The brick wall was not secured to the wall. It was just a swaying tower. You can sort of see the hole where the pipe for the cast iron stove attached to the chimney. We brought in someone to plug up the chimney hole, but we left the gaping hole in the plaster there. We have some bookshelves covering the hole right now.
This is my brother in law, Reid. Hi Reid! When we pulled up the carpet in several rooms, we found linoleum that had been tarred to the hardwood floor. In some cases, there were several layers of linoleum. In one memorable room, the linoleum that had been tarred to the floor had a wood imprint. Why?
During all of this, we still had to deal with children. We set them up in a corner with a movie in my laptop. There was so much dust flying around that my laptop got kind of sick after that. Don't move, kids! There are nails everywhere.
Here's how the floors came out. Much better, right?