What's Under the Linoleum?

Just because I found a house, had my offer accepted and my mortgage amount was approved, doesn’t mean I’m any less stressed out. I’ve now got new things to worry about, and they all fall under the banner of decorating and renovating. Fortunately, my worries aren’t due to finding out the roof needs replacing, or that the basement is flooding. But I do have a list of things I want to do to the place, and I seem to be at max capacity for decision making. Just picking out paint colours took several hours over the course of a few days. I’m so afraid of choosing the wrong colour and then having to live with it, because I know I won’t want to go through all the trouble of painting again. It’s so hard to tell from a tiny little paint swatch what a colour is going to look like across a large expanse of wall. And the same colour looks different from one form of lighting to the next. I know, I’m stressing more about this than is necessary. But that’s just me.

Two of the more major projects I want to tackle are creating a backyard space by converting the gravel parking pad to a fenced in grassy area, and laying down new floors on the inside. The backyard conversion will happen immediately, hopefully before we move in. I’ve already been in touch with my landscaper. I emailed pictures to him and told him my ideas, next step is for him to come look at the place and provide me with a quote. This will be the biggest expense upon moving in, but having a backyard was in my search criteria when house hunting, and the only reason I bought the house without one was because I saw the potential of easily adding one. Don’t worry, my new backyard is in the budget!

Project #2 – floors. The living room at the front of the house has rather beautiful hardwood and there are nice, new looking ceramic tiles in the kitchen. But the rest of the house (entertainment room and the entire second floor) is covered in linoleum! And not just any linoleum, but linoleum that mimics the look of parquet! Two wrongs don’t make a right, my friends. I was at the house a couple of weeks ago to take measurements and one of my missions was to find out what was under the linoleum. The current owner of the house was there (who is amazing, by the way) so I asked her if she knew if there was hardwood under there. She wondered what the answer to this question was many years ago (she inherited this floor) and lifted up a piece in a corner of one of the rooms. She brought me over to it, lifted the loose piece to reveal… another layer of linoleum! Under that was hardwood, but it’s difficult to tell if it’s in good enough shape to refinish. I might just cover the original hardwood and both layers of linoleum with another layer of hardwood, if possible. These new hardwoods available on the market are pretty amazing – they slide and lock together like laminate so there’s no need for nails, but they’re better quality than laminate. Luckily (unluckily?) I can’t afford to re-do the floors right away, so it gives me time to decide what I want to do. It would have been nice to have the floors done right away, since it would be easier to do them before we move all our stuff in, but at least we have floors; we don’t have a backyard.

The kitchen renovation is a long way away. That’s the kind of room where I feel it’s necessary to do an all-or-nothing reno. The kitchen is in need of new countertops and the cupboards need refinishing. A gas oven/range is a must, just as soon as I can a) afford it, and b) afford the cost of getting someone to connect a gas line to the kitchen. At least the kitchen is in good enough condition that we can live with it for now. At least we’ll have a fridge with the freezer on the bottom!

I’m sure I’ll think of so much more to update the place once we actually live in it for a while, but there are some other little things that I can already think of that need to be done. A banister needs to be built for the staircase. An outlet in one of the bedrooms needs to be grounded. Caulking in the shower needs to be redone. But there really isn’t anything major to do. What it really comes down to is how we choose to decorate. We’ll spend more time decorating than renovating. Mathew and I have moved the furniture around so many different ways in our heads and on paper, moved the bookshelves, the art, talked colour schemes and accents so much that the options are endless. Really can’t wait to just move in already!!