We didn’t think we’d have a problem finding reclaimed fir flooring. It seemed like something we saw all the time at salvage yards before we needed it. But when it came time to hunt some down, we were out of luck. We called around and everyone pretty much told us the same thing, “Good luck!”
Plus, we learned that when the salvage yards did get it in the cost was about $5.95 per foot, which was a bit more than we wanted to pay. One day while scouring the internet I saw a listing for some fir flooring that was deemed “Unusable for Flooring” at a salvage yard a few miles away. I drove down to take a look at it and thought that it would work for us. We were trying to match the existing 100 year old flooring in our house and didn’t want anything that looked too perfect. Plus at 65 cents a foot…I was gonna make it work one way or another!
Not perfect? Perfect!
I got straight to work cleaning it up.
The first few pieces were the most difficult because we had to make sure they were as level as possible with the existing flooring.
Obviously the stain doesn’t match, but we were pretty confident that once the floor was sanded the wood would take the stain the same way and match perfectly.
With the help of a friend, the new, old fir was installed, and it was time to sand, stain, and coat with polyurethane.
We moved into our recording studio for “three days” in order to refinish the wood flooring in the kitchen. We thought it would be smart to do this over Christmas since we were able to take time off. Plus, Home Depot was closed on Christmas so we were able to keep the sander for an extra day without being charged for it!
It was the worst Christmas ever. And the worse New Year’s.
The “three day” floor refinishing lasted for sixteens days. Our house was a dusty (seriously dusty!) mess that smelled of polyurethane.
Note to self: do not sand and stain wood floors in the winter when you can’t keep windows open, or run the heating system because of the dust!
We were sleeping on the floor of the recording studio, with two cats, a kitten, and a dog. We had no way to cook food. We were eating ramen and take-out. We were mad at each other. It was kind of horrible.
Everything in our life was like the picture above. A tangled mess!
There are also other things, like life, that happen during a renovation. The world doesn’t stop just because your house is turned upside down and covered in dust. My Grandmother passed away and I had to return to the East coast for her funeral. Our dog nearly died and spent 5 days at the emergency vet clinic, and that cost us almost as much money as our kitchen renovation.
Feeling defeated, tired, sad and completely overwhelmed…while scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook feed I saw a photo of a kitten at a local shelter. He looked *just like* my beloved Henry, who passed away 5 years ago. So, I brought home a kitten.
Charleston moved into our house in the midst of our biggest renovation. Although he was often covered in dust, he really had fun climbing ladders and “helping” us rebuild!
It’s true that renovations can be really difficult on relationships. Trying to keep a sense of humor is key. We didn’t keep our sense of humor during this renovation. It was long. It was expensive. It was difficult. Still, there were moments when we caught ourselves from falling and laughed about the mess. Our motto, “It can’t get any worse”, has helped on many occasions. We don’t have a perfect house, and we know that anything we do is an improvement, even though we often feel like we’ve gotten in over our heads.
I always try to see the good in things. Life is so short. As my Grandmother said, “If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” And she was a nurse, so she knew. Rather than dwell, I’m going to appreciate what we’ve got. Perfect, or not.
And, look! Once the floors were sanded and stained…they matched perfectly!