I figured it was about time to introduce you to the main part of our house. You’ve seen pretty much everything else, but I haven’t really shared our main living space. This is where we are going to be concentrating our efforts this year (not sure when we will start, yet), as we plan to exchange all of our carpet and tile (except the new mudroom, obviously) for hardwood floors.
There are a few reasons for the switch to hardwoods. First, our flooring was never great. We have lived in our house just over 5 years and there is lots of cracked tile, and the carpet has a lot of wear just from walking on it and vacuuming it. On top of that, our dog had health problems over his last few years, so he did a number (1 and 2 hahaha) on the carpet. Finally, our kids have both been diagnosed with dog allergies over the last year and a half. I think getting rid of the dog dander that still lives in our carpet would be beneficial for both of them. So we have a lot of reasons to make A switch. But why hardwoods? For me, its all about the appearance. I think hardwoods are beautiful and add so much character to a home. We loved them in our first house. Also, like I mentioned in my first post ever, Parker grew up in an old house and is definitely partial to wood floors.
Right now, here is my favorite floor that is a real possibility:
Ok, I got totally side-tracked on floors. I’m just so excited about the possibility this will really happen! I think it will make an incredible difference on our first floor. However, I am also slightly nervous because getting these floors signs us up for several other projects. Let me explain as I give you a little tour of our first floor:
Its important for me to explain that when building a production home, your choices are limited. There are basic plans with basic finishes and then there are things that you can upgrade for extra money (but again, even those upgrade choices are limited). I do plan to write an entire post someday about our strategy for making these decisions, but basically we tried to spend our budget on things that would be hard to do on our own. For example, we added a sunroom. This is not something we could have easily done on our own or done for a price even remotely close to what they were asking for this upgrade ( I think we paid $8000 for the sunroom). On the other hand, can we “easily” switch out flooring later? Yes (let’s hope anyway 🙂 ). Will we end up liking the flooring we choose from unlimited choices (within our budget) more than any of THEIR choices? Yes. So it might seem like we are making a lot of changes to a 5 year old house that WE built, but that was always a part of our plan. It’s also nice that these upgrades will be paid for in cash rather than financed over the life of our mortgage. So keep in mind as you look through the photos that there are a lot of things that are not indicative of our style. This is not a finished space. These are “befores” 🙂
This will be the hardest part of the flooring switch. The tile is layed on 2 layers of plywood glued together. This is the reason it is cracking. Cement board is a much better base for tile. Flooring is our biggest complaint about our builder. I do not feel like the floors were made to last. I would be extremely upset if we didn’t plan to change it anyway. I was kind of extremely upset anyway. I do feel like we could have put this off for longer if the flooring were higher quality/ installed more professionally.
So here is my first example of what I mean when I say that floors affect everything. You can see that our cabinets and banisters are cherry. Not real cherry, just cherry stain. We will not be choosing cherry stained floors. I don’t want red floors. I refuse to spend a bunch of money on flooring I don’t like just so that it will match other stuff that I don’t really like. SO, something will need to be done with the banisters. Again, that requires a whole other post. Now, I DO think we could have made a better decision on stain when building. We could have gone with a browner stain instead of the cherry. That probably would have been better, but I still don’t think it would have been ideal. That was one of our harder decisions and I do think we may have gone the wrong way. But, I might be saying the same thing if I had made the other decision. We will never know. The cabinets will just not match for a really long time. Or we might try to paint them. I just don’t know how paintable they are. Eventually we will remodel the kitchen, but that is a long way down the road.
This is exhibit 2 of “flooring changes everything.” This tile is fine but nothing I am excited about. If we ever want to change it, changing it along with the floors is easiest. Not sure how this will pan out. I’ll keep you updated. Also look forward to a post with fireplace inspiration photos!
These last two pictures highlight the challenges of two-story rooms. This room can feel a bit cavernous with only that one window. I would love to do moldings on that wall to ground the room a bit. This project would be silly before the flooring change. So while adding moldings to this wall is not necessary, it will be possible after the floors. On the other hand, it WILL be necessary to remove and replace all of the baseboards to replace the floors. We will take this opportunity to upgrade the baseboards to the same ones we put in the mudroom. So that’s example 3 of how flooring affects everything.
SO, there is our first floor. I feel like this post might leave people with a lot of questions. Shoot! I’d love to answer them! What do you think about the floors I like? How awful does this project sound? Would it drive you crazy to upgrade your house slowly, which results in stuff not matching? I do worry that our kitchen will stick out like a sore thumb after the flooring upgrade, but probably not enough to change my mind on anything. I’d really like everybody’s thoughts!!