My fourth day of vacation turned into something very productive, readers. It started out as a bit of catch-up on unpacking boxes, and while Simon was finishing up some work in the basement from the water shut off installation, Dan got ambitious and tore up a small section of the carpet on the stairs to see what was underneath. We talked about this when all the rec room carpet was coming up and decided that we would take up a small piece first, at the bottom step, to see if we could live with the surface under the carpet. It all turned out OK! There was plain looking wooden stairs under the carpet, which had been painted once in their life.
The very first step, with a very nice bluey-grey paint and more carpet staples than I can shake a stick at. After Dan ripped off the carpet from the first step, I played around with tools to see what was the best thing to get these little suckers out.
There are three different kinds of staples in the stairs. The short flat ones are on the run of the stairs, near the edge, and they came up nicely with a flat head screwdriver. The same staples were also on the lip of each stair, but someone really put some weight behind the staple gun, and they were in flush with the wood. Those ones took some digging to get out, but they still came up with the screwdriver. The other two kinds are skinny and long, and are along the back of the run of each step, and on the rise. The ones on the rise are sticking out a fair bit, so they’re super easy to grab with needle nose pliers. I used the screwdriver to wedge under the pliers and act like a little see-saw, which doubled my productivity compared to just yanking them out. The worst staples are the ones that are holding down the tufts of orange carpet. That carpet was ripped up before they put down the new carpet, and it looks like no one bothered to pulled up all the staples. Some of them are rusty and break off when you pull them up, and some of them are REALLY stuck. I developed a multi-tool system to get them up, which included sliding the tip of a pocket knife under the staples to pry it up a little bit, then pull it up with pliers and the screwdriver. If it broke off, I used a different flat-end screwdriver to grab on to the pokey broken-off pieces and yank them out. The whole process was exhausting.
Say goodbye to the carpet,
This pile of carpet garbage filled two garbage bags:
And speaking of garbage, I took a quick picture of the garbage man hauling away all the carpet from the basement yesterday. We had all the pieces bundled up and sitting on the back patio for two weeks because we always seemed to miss garbage day (mostly because no one told us when it was. It’s Thursday). So long cat-stink!
And then this is what I was left to do:
One step completed. It was at about this time that Dan was getting tired of playing this game. He was working on the staples at the top of the stairs, on the two steps that go up to the kitchen from the side door.
I powered through more staples until 6:00, then ate dinner, and kept going until 7:15. Then my hands and back were hurting, and it was time to call it a night. Here’s where I got to last night:
The very last strip of carpet in the whole house is at the top step, mostly underneath an edging strip. We may just cut it off really close to the strip and leave it until we one day do something with the landing and stairs. See those little orange tufts? I have to work up the enthusiasm to pull those out. They’re going to be tough.
And under the steps that go up to the kitchen, we have a slightly different story:
The next steps after pulling up those last few staples are sweeping, washing, and painting the steps with the odour sealing paint we used in the basement. Then we’ll paint every floor surface as part of the basement and rec room Stage 1 project. But first, can we all take a few moments and appreciate that my house is now carpet free, and the last of the cat-stink is gone? Yes? Thank you.