27 May 2009

[renovations: Oh Dear. Really??]

This photo is NOT of my home ... if it were - then there would be no need for this post *grin*.

I love my home. I say home, and not "house", because it IS home to me. We've been in the same place for almost 5 years now, and every year we sit down and decide what changes need to be done to keep up our biggest investment (our house *smile).

One year, it was to put in another room in the basement and a bathroom because our cousins were moving in with us for a couple of months.

Another year, we worked on the outside. Our backyard is a swamp, and we decided to halve the yard with gravel so that at least it was USABLE. The boys love to dig in it ...

And some years we haven't done anything ... and that's what I thought THIS year would be - especially with a new baby coming in a few months.

But, alas, that is not the case - and we are now starting the process of redoing the flooring in our home.

Our place was built with CREAM carpet (what sort of MAN decided this? I'll never know ...). With two boys, and half a swamp in the backyard (figuratively speaking, of course) we now have permanent blackness on our carpets. I could get them cleaned, but have been warned to save my money. The stains would most likely return within a few weeks. PLUS - my boys and the swamp won't change either ... and it's not like I'm not on top of them to take their SHOES off ... but when they get their feet dirty too and run to the potty ... ugh. *smile*.

SOOOO ... I'm starting to ask questions ... Right now we have carpet plus laminate. I really don't like the laminate (but it IS 12 years old ...) b/c it just streaks when cleaned and we have large windows that make it ALWAYS look dirty.

Do you have advice for me?? Laminate vs hardwood? I don't want to be a slave to my floors ... and I want to make sure that my boys can be boys and play cars or whatever on the floor. And we're THINKING of doing the stairs and upstairs in carpet (I don't like hardwood/laminate on stairs ...). I'm thinking Berber, with a small fleck in it to hide the small sins?

Then - there's the whole baseboard thing ... we have none upstairs, and downstairs is 2" right now. My hubby wants 12" - but I think that's INSANE. Maybe 6"?? Thoughts??? We do have high ceilings ...

The whole thing is, is that once you start one thing - it leads to another. Headers. Crown. Changing banisters. Redoing the drywall-fireplace with REAL mouldings. And obviously, there is a budget ... so when it's gone, we're done.



sugarcube said...

I LOVE when people as my advice. I LOVE IT!
1)Check out an engineered hardwood - benefits of hardwood but stability of engineered core.
2)Baseboards have to relative to the room and all the other mouldings. 6" to 8" might work well. Get a couple samples and leave them around the different rooms - you can see what looks best that way.
3)I had an oatmeal berber with coloured flecks in it in one of our homes...not my favourite carpet...however...IT NEVER LOOKED DIRTY. EVER.

alisa said...

Yes, engineered hardwood is very nice. i'm having new floors put in in a few weeks in my whole place (right now they're HIDEOUS 23-yr old carpet that's peeling & did I mention hideous?) Since my parents own the house, we all chose the flooring together & spent a fair bit of time looking at many different places, and comparing hardwood & laminate. End of the Roll has extremely good(maybe unbeatable) prices on really good quality stuff. We found some laminate that looks exactly like hardwood & is very thick & good quality, with all the textured grainy-like effect, which doubles as looking very modern but also is very forgiving. My parents' whole rest of the house is real hardwood which is stunning, but theirs is quite dark & glossy, which shows every little scuff mark, and also really dark shows every speck of dirt or dust in the tiniest bit of sunlight. The other thing is, altho they both can't get wet, hardwood will fare worse with moisture than laminate. Are you guys doing the floors yourself? If not, I have a good friend who's a pastor & does floors for a living & can highly recommend him if you need someone who's very good & reasonably priced.
Re carpet, my last house had some berber - oatmeal with a few flecks, and just like your friend, it never looked dirty, altho it wasn't my very favorite looks-wise either. But there are a lot of different berbers out there so I'm sure you'll find something nice.
It really is fun picking exactly what you like. I recommend bringing home samples of wood/laminate from a few different places & see how they look laid on your floor in the lighting that you have. Tell us what you end up getting. So exciting!

Anonymous said...

Lu needs a "hockey" themed room to spend time to ponder his thoughts and to get away from things...

Tawn said...

"anonymous" *grin* ... don't know who you are - boy or girl - but I'm THINKING that you know him well :-) ... And heck, not just him - but the boys too ... I'm SO outnumbered 'round here *grin*~

Anonymous said...

we just put in flooring and we used something that goes in like linoleum (glue it down), but comes in strips like hardwood and looks exactly like hardwood - it does okay with water, and harder than the hardwood laminate (the thicker kind that doesn't need glue and fits together).

You can get finishes with ridges and bumps just like real hardwood - I'll bring a piece for ya to preschool Friday.

Lori F.

Canadian Kristin said...

I HIGHLY recommend checking into the awesome shag carpets that are available now. Gorgeous, comfy, super great for hiding stains. Berber is awesome for stairs and hallways, make sure you get the non-running kind (so that one snag doesn't take out and entire line of thread in the middle of your room) and ask about traffic wear patterns for on the stairs (the wrong berber can get quickly crushed up the center of your stairs... not great).
I really really really recommend the nicer laminate, it's got the detail (forgiving), the colour choices (not too dark or too light if you want more forgiving), the excellent price range for purchase and install, and fairly kid-proof (forgiving) which will make YOU a happy and FORGIVING Mom when the boys ride their tobaggan down your stairs, or drop a butcher knife, or drive their T0nka metal dumptruck through the kitchen... not that that happens in real life at all [eye roll]!!!
Happy NESTING!!!

Tawn said...

I'll be posting pics later (hopefully) but wanted to thank ALL of you for such GREAT advice!! We opted for engineered hardwood, shag carpet for the family room (sooo cozy!!) and berbor (sp?)for the stairs & bedrooms .... fingers crossed!!!