Monday, November 17, 2014

Paper Bag Floor and Pina Colada, Part 1

Hi everyone,

Today I'm going to go over the first project I did in my new (to me) house. I had just moved in and was dead broke after closing costs/down payment. As I walked through the house my mind was buzzing with ideas. Some were DIY, some were purchases, and some just popped up in my head. On top of this I needed to increase the value of the home in order to get a new roof. The appraisal was a bit low and I know it was because the house was stuck in the 70's. Now the 70's had some great stuff back then but my house had the worst of them.

My first project I decided on was my son Max's bedroom. He had gold, green, and white shag carpeting. Now the picture makes it look better than it was. A dingy, icky smelling carpet. My problem, when I researched the cost of replacing the carpet, was I had no money. I love to google stuff and looked up the search term "Cheap flooring ideas" and found several links for the Paper Bag floor. Looking at the pictures I loved the leather look. Plus the cheap cost was a bonus.

Before you start go to home depot or online and get a roll of brown contractors paper. NOT Butcher paper. Over several days I tore them up into pieces while sitting on the couch. Sweetpea, my cat, had fun chasing after the balls. Tear off an irregular piece and crush it into a ball. You should get a variety of sizes between 6 to 12 inches around. I also did a few strips. Just get them torn up and crunched up really well. Tear, crush, tear, crush, and so on till you have a garbage bag full. To make things easier the strips I tore from the sides of the roll (straight edge) I kept in a separate bag because the straight edge made papering the border of the room a piece of cake. I kept at it till I had a garbage bag of the odd and straight edges. Then I knew I was ready to start this project.

First thing I did was remove the carpet. Now because of the age of the home I took precautions. You should always take precautions but even more so if your home is an older one because of the risk of asbestos. There is a kit you can buy to check for asbestos and also lead. I highly recommend getting it if you plan on remodeling your home. If you aren't then you are perfectly safe as long as the affected material is in good condition. Not flaking, exposed, or damaged. It's when the fibers get in the air that you're in trouble. My carpet/pad was fine but because of it's age I was suited up in what I call my bunny suit (full body suit), hat, gloves, safety glasses, and mask. Who knows what kind of junk was in the carpet and dust.

Tools needed:

55gal. garbage bags.
Razor blade and extra blades.
Safety Glasses
Bunny Suit
Spackle knife (make sure it has a sharp edge)
2 hammers
Trash can or 5 gal. bucket

First step: Grab a corner and pull the carpet back. Once you have pulled back around a 4 foot wide section run the razor down the middle to create a 3 ft. wide strip of carpet. Roll it up and place it in a black garbage bag. (Will explain why later.) Pull again and repeat. After the 2nd cut my razor was dull and I had to change the blade. Depending on the age of the carpet, be prepared to change the blade often. A dull blade creates a lot more work where a new one glides along like butter.

Now that each strip is individually bagged and set aside, start pulling up the carpet pad. Have a Spackle knife on hand and chisel out the parts stuck to the floor. The contact cement used to tack down the carpet pad can be sticky years after installation. So rip and scrape away till it's completely gone. You will still have some residue leftover from the glue on the floor, don't worry about it right now. Bag up the mess and set aside.

Water breeeeaaaak. Stop and have a cold bottle of water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You don't want to pass out from dehydration. Well, if you have no shame and want to meet some cute firefighters, then skip this part. NO alcohol yet. Save that for later.

Now we come to the fork in the road. . If your sub floor is wood then taking out the tack strip with a hammer and screwdriver/crowbar is easy. If it's concrete like mine, get ready to work out those arms. The best way, I discovered, to remove those evil things is by using two hammers. Now if you are newbie there is the claw and the head of a hammer. Pretty self explanatory by the names. Take the first hammer and butt the claw end up against a section of the tack strip. With the other hammer hit the head of the first hammer. Basically you are hitting one on the head with the other. The impact drives the claw under the strip and when pulled back the strip pops out. Slide the claw forward till tight, hit away, and pull back. Little by little the strip will come out. Don't worry about those little craters left over from the nails. 

Now watch out as those strips are sharp little suckers. I had a broom and dustpan on hand to sweep and pickup the pieces as I went along. They HURT LIKE HELL when you step on them so please be careful. How do I know, you ask. Well I'm an amazon and like to work around the house barefoot. Painting, cleaning, doing projects, doesn't matter as I prefer being barefoot and lemme tell ya, I stepped on one section by accident and holy crap did it hurt.

Now step back and applaud yourself on a job well done. Who cares how much blood, sweat, and tears were spilled. You did it!!!!!!!

Oh, bet you are wondering why I had you bag the carpet strips individually. Well, if you don't want to pay for a dumpster, like me, and have strict garbage rules. This is a sneaky little trick. Because the rolls are bagged they are easier to store and control. Each garbage run put two of the rolls in the bottom of the trash can and fill it the rest of the way with your regular trash. The Garbage man won't even notice what you did when he dumps the can out. Next run do the same thing until all the rolls are disposed of. I did that and saved myself about $70 in dumpster fees. Not bad eh!

Final step:

Take a shower and put on your comfy outfit, bunny rabbit slippers and all, and get snuggled up on the couch. Have your drink/treat that you saved as a reward and enjoy the satisfaction you did something by yourself. Me, I was in my recliner with my favorite Pina Colada and a good movie on the TV. Granted I made my drink extra strong as I knew later that night I was going to be crying when I tried to get up to go to bed. If you have a hot tub, immediately go sit in there for a couple of hours. I guarantee you won't be sore like I was the next couple of days.

Rocky Point Pina Colada

Blender 3/4 full of fresh chopped pineapples (chill beforehand)
1/2 c. Condensed Coconut Milk (you can adjust this amount to your taste)
1/8 c. Condensed Milk (unsweetened)
Pineapple Rum, add to desired strength
Top off blender with ice (don't overfill as mix will rise as it's blending and you don't want to lose any of the good stuff)

Blend until smooth. After pouring into a chilled glass (large in my case, heheheh) sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top.
If you want to be fancy then garnish with a wedge of pineapple on the rim of the glass. This makes plenty so invite the girls over for a girl's night in. Have fun and show off all of your hard work.

Have a great day and Part 2 coming up soon.


No comments:

Post a Comment