Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wall-to-wall . . . something

So in the latest installment of our never-ending “the previous owners were idiots” saga:
The stairs to the basement are carpeted. It’s hideous carpet, and wearing through in several places. I’ve been wanting to do something about it—replacing that carpet has been on my To-Do list since we moved in—but other things keep coming first.

Well, the other day my lovely wife had a small incident with a bag of dirt and rocks (see her LJ for more details). As a result, several steps are now saturated with dirt. Since it was trash night anyway, I figured “let’s tear this old carpet up and toss it out as well. Then I can see what’s under there and, if necessary, find something else to cover the steps with later.”

Ah, this sounds like a good plan. Except I had once again failed to consider the previous owners’ idiocy. Because instead of using carpet tacks and tacking strips to hold down that ugly carpeting, they decided to use nails. Big ones. All along the edges, all across the front, all along the back. Lots and lots of big, rusty nails.

And because it’s a narrow little staircase, there’s no room to get in there with the hammer. And that ratty old carpet is surprisingly hard to cut, though part of that may have been the lack of leverage.

It took me something like twenty minutes to get the carpeting off the first step. And as much or more time to get the next step clear. By which time I was exhausted and filthy. And this was a weeknight, which means I had to go to work the next morning. I had to stop there.

Oh, and the dirt-covered steps? You guessed it—they’re halfway up the staircase.

I managed to cut through the old carpet near the back of the second step and toss out what I’d removed so far. The rest will have to wait until next weekend, probably. I suspect it will take a full day to remove all of it.

Oh yes, and beneath the ratty old carpet? Nicer carpet. And in better shape, at least on those bottom two steps.

Why yes, we love the previous owners. Really we do.


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