Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Agony of Home Renovations

Really, why do they all have to take six times longer than you estimated?

Over the weekend Mr. Field Notes and I decided, after one of our usual 'Yeah, I totally agree with you' brief-but-weighty conversations, that we would rip out our carpeting and install wood flooring.

Good Bye Carpet

With a baby on the way and carpeting that just three years ago was brand spankin' new but now is worse than horrid, we thought it was time to do something about it. I know you can't tell in the photo, but that carpet is seriously stained and spotted.

You see, the youngster Yuki (worst Newfoundland puppy on the planet) continues to not sleep through the night and then pees all over the carpet when no one magically wakes up to let out Yuki, the silent dog standing by the back door in the dead of the night who expects people to just know when she's communicating via mental telepathy that she needs out. Her communication is piss poor.

This was never a problem with Katy. She always cried at the back door to go out. No matter where you are in the house, you know when Big K needs to go out. She cried to go out early on so it was easy to reinforce. With Yuki, the only way she communicates is through barking. But never at any point did she spontaneously use that bark to go out. Very, very, very rarely she cries to go out. It's almost inaudible, but everytime we hear it, we let her out immediately. You'd think she'd learn but no. No one is up in the middle of the night to correct her for peeing on the rug. I know we have got to figure something out, and I have some ideas, so at least until we get that worked out, clean up will be a lot easier.

You'd think Yuki is the only impetus for the house transformation, but Katy isn't perfect either by any means. Katy (most sensitive Newfoundland on the planet) has done a number on the carpet her fair share of the time. She throws up, not constantly, but just enough to be annoying when it's on the carpet — which for her is nearly every stinkin' time. She has hang-ups, one of which is that vomiting cannot happen on any other surface than carpeting.

So, we decided to make clean-up easier and improve the smell of the house in one easy step: Install wood floors. Piece o'cake.


We're 2 days into the project and it is looking really, really good. But, like all DIY home improvements, problems ranging from small to large creep up. Non-square walls, non-level sub floors, transitional wood pieces that don't fit right, etc. It can all be fixed, but it takes time.

We've got all the furniture (except for the bedroom which we're leaving the carpet in) crammed into the dining room which already has wood floors. It's a real obstacle course. And we had to unhook the internet. We've got it going again now that the "Baby Room" is finished enough to plug the Airport into.

Yeah! Internet again! It's kind of crazy how dependent I am on the internet, but when it goes out it cramps my style like nothing else. I think I'd sooner do without hot running water. Okay, maybe not, but that's the best thing I could come up with for comparison.

Hopefully I'll have some finished pics to show off by the weekend. Right now it feels like we're just moving into a new house. It's fun and exciting and a pain-in-the-butt all at once.

But these floors are looking sooooo good and the house already smells a thousand times better.


Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

Congrats on the new flooring! That sounds like quite an adventure -- DIY flooring...beyond our abilities, that's for sure. ; )

Have you thought about crating your pup at night? It might sound cruel, but we found that our dog actually liked having a cozy spot that was just hers. My daughter is now the dog owner of the family, and her dog responded well to crate training, too! They generally won't mess their own sleeping space...

Field Notes said...

Yuckster is crate trained but she only goes in while we're not at home. We tried to crate her at night while she was younger but she protested so much no one could get any sleep. She only took to her daytime crating because she could bark and 'cry' herself to sleep since no one was home to get sick of the crying and let her out. We could hear her pitch a fit every time we left. Who knows how long she carried on but she protested for weeks. No one around here wants to wait out a barking dog at night so that in three weeks she'll finally put up with it. I really feel like it's a Catch-22.

But I'm also thinking that I can get her to ring some jingle bells hung on the back door so that maybe that would wake us up. And, there's a lot to be said for a nice long walk about 30 mins before bedtime.

Two things we can try =D


Nice choice to go with the clean slate of the wood floors, it's just so much safer and easier all around.

Do be cautious even still of the glues the craftsmen use. If you can smell it, stay away. Use a medical mask if you have to stay inside and crack a window if the weather allows.

Keep a bottle of half vinegar/half water, to deal with the future smelly mistakes. It is the only neutralizer.

Albatross said...

How often to you cut their nails? We put in some new wood floor and it is so scratched up by our German Shepard! Is there some other trick to protect the floors?

Field Notes said...

Nail cutting? We do that maybe once a year. We don't do it very often because their nails are always so sharp after they're cut that one of always seems to end up being stabbed in the foot. We thought abut getting one of those nail file tools to file them down instead of cutting so that at least they'd be less sharp. But really, we've found the best approach is to just not cut them.

We installed laminate flooring after testing some hardwoods. The hardwoods scratched easily but the laminates — nothing. With 2 huge dogs and a baby on the way it just made a lot more sense to get a floor we could live on and not worry about. Laminates these days are looking nicer and nicer. Not as nice as hardwood flooring yet, but close enough for us.

SquirrelGurl said...

If Yuki isn't willing to be crated will she tolerate being gated in a certain part of the house?

Stormy dog was hard to housetrain, it took months for him to get it, even with crate training. He too protested loudly to the crate but tossing a sheet over it usually settled him down. And eventually we moved to gating him on the tile in the kitchen- messups were easy to clean and we were close to the door for a quick exit.

Tip for dog toe nails, you might have mentioned this but filing them does work well. I know people that use a dremel tool, though most just purchase the "Pedipaws" tool. It nicey rounds the nail and no more sharp cracks!