When our alarm went off on moving day (in the form of toddler squeals from across the hall despite the still distant sunrise) Kirk and I got up, got dressed, and dropped Logan off at day care like it was any other weekday. Except that we dressed in shorts instead of slacks and it wasn’t just another Friday — it was Settlement Day!
To celebrate, we enjoyed a leisurely toddler-free breakfast in our new neighborhood and then headed to our title company’s office for these bad boys:
By 10:30am we were opening the front door to our new home, making a video tour, and otherwise documenting the occasion like the dweebs we are.
Then we got down to business.
We had less than 24 hours to remove all the carpet, padding, tack strips and baseboards before the crew arrived the next morning to install the bamboo floors. We had thought a lot about the logistics of moving with a baby and decided it was best to do as much as we could while Logan was at day care and keep things as normal as possible for him over the weekend. This was the right decision for our family for two reasons: 1) we didn’t want things to get too crazy for Logan and stress him out unnecessarily–the move itself was going to be change enough, and 2) since one or the other of us had to be on baby duty at all times, our manpower was cut in half and moving large items was deemed impossible.
Which is why we decided to divide and conquer. I went to work on the carpet solo while Kirk started moving anything and everything that he could manage on his own into the new garage (but not into the house because the floors weren’t in yet!). It took about 13 hours from start to finish to get the floor prepped for installation. We saved $1k doing this ourselves and Kirk, ever the mathematician, rationalized that I made just over $75 an hour for my hard work. Not bad, eh?
Screwdrivers, chisels, a hammer, putty knives, utility knives, cats paws in varying sizes, duct and masking tape, scissors, a garbage bag, knee pads, and a tee-shirt in case the long-sleeved number I was wearing as protection became too hot.
Getting down to business. A blurry action shot.
I got lucky that the carpet pad wasn’t glued down–duct tape was the worst adhesive I would encounter there. I was also thrilled that the carpet and padding, though worn well past their prime, were reasonably clean. The previous owner had a cat and so I was expecting the worst, but it really wasn’t so bad.
I actually had a lot of fun tearing up the existing carpet. There is an element of instant gratification when doing demolition work that appeales to me. Slice, rip, and roll. And, of course, repeat.
I cut the carpet down in somewhat manageable sections, rolled them up on themselves, and secured with duct tape. By manageable, I mean that I could manage to lug the rolls to the hallway and Kirk could manage to carry them to the growing trash pile in the garage. If I were truly working solo I would have cut them in increments smaller than the 4×8 sections that I did, but thankfully Kirk was able to double as my pack mule each time he arrived with another truckload of our belongings.
Demolition in the first three rooms went really quickly. I may have even bragged a bit about my prowess.
My mom had offered to come by and help when she got off work, but as you can see I turned her down. I was on a roll and at 3:30 I thought I was making good time. Unfortunately, things slowed down significantly from there.
Rest break. (My uncle loaned me some tools and these knee pads. Life saver!)
I was starting to run out of steam (I’d been at this for 5+ hours!) and the tricky nooks and crannies of the dual walk-in closets in the master bedroom made for slow progress. Before I knew it, it was time for Logan to be picked up and I hadn’t even started ripping up the tack strips and baseboards in the majority of the rooms. Whomp whomp.
So what’s a novice DIYer to do when she finds herself in a pickle? The same thing any other girl would do. She calls mom for backup.
My mom graciously abandoned her planned evening on the terrace with a gin and tonic for babysitting a sleeping toddler while Kirk and I returned to the new place to tackle those baseboards and tack strips. Again we were lucky: the baseboards came out relatively easy and the tack strips were nailed in and not stapled (I’d heard horror stories of glued down baseboards and stapled in tack strips). Kirk went after the tack strips with a screw driver and a hammer while I followed behind him with a small prybar and a second hammer. It was tedious, but not difficult work.
As the night wore on, we were a bit worried about the excessive noise, but what were we going to do? We had to get it done or risk delaying our move-in date. We thought about introducing ourselves to the neighbors and letting them know what we were doing and that the racket would be over soon, but halfway across the lawn we realized it was already crazy late. Instead, we did a quick test where I pounded away inside while Kirk listened from the street. He decided it wasn’t loud enough to be disruptive so we forged ahead. We adjusted our plan so that we completed demo in rooms closest to the neighbors first and left the interior rooms for last so that hopefully the noise would lessen as folks prepared to hit the hay. No one’s mentioned it so far, and I think we’ve met everyone on our court, so I guess it worked out alright.
We finished up just after midnight and returned home to find an exhausted babysitter passed out in the guest room. Sorry for the late night, Mama!
Luckily, it all worked out and the installation of the floors commenced a short 7 hours later.
Final reveal coming up!!
EDIT: see the reveal!