Diamond in the Rough

Since I moved in last fall, a couple of people have told me I paid too much for this place–built in 1909 and locally known as “The Old Casper House.”

I don’t know what they’re basing that assessment on. I made a modest offer–quite a bit below the asking price–and it was accepted.

But based on my conversations with the realtor, I think I understand. While the bones of the house are strong, there is a lot of cosmetic work to be done. Work that most people (according to the realtor) don’t want to do. They want a house that looks updated and finished according to their standards right when they move in.

I guess maybe my standards are a little different.

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One of my first priorities inside the house is removing every scrap of wall-to-wall carpeting. I’m almost there. On July 4th, I ripped out the second-to-last piece–the living room carpet. While that rug was tacked down with strips, it was laid over the remnants of glue and black foam backing from an even older carpet.

So, I’ve been stripping off the old gunk little by little over the last few days. The floor below has a little staining here and there–it is over 100 years old after all–but it is just gorgeous. I’m guessing it’s quarter-sawn oak.

And then I know for certain that as much work as it takes to polish this diamond, I got a helluva deal on this place–and that’s not even taking into account the 30 x 50 insulated pole building (with bathroom!) and half acre of garden space.

I’m about 1/3 of the way through the stripping now–hoping to be done by the end of the weekend now that I’ve worked out a good process that uses a bit less stripping solution and a little more scraping before I apply it. I thought about sanding, but according to my research (and the actual condition of the floor, which is very good), I think buffing and finishing will do the trick.

The last bit of carpet to be removed is in the upstairs hallway. I’ve pulled that back and peeked, and I can see that unlike the previously-removed bedroom and living room carpets, it’s glued directly to the hardwood. But it doesn’t have the foam backing, so the floor clean-up process should actually be a little easier to do–and I have all the tools and materials already at hand.

The only hang up with getting the living room stripped by the end of the weekend at this point is that I keep sitting back and marveling at the beauty of the floor. And taking pictures and writing about it.

OK–back to scraping!


2 responses

  1. love reading your blogs!!! wish i had the energy you do 🙂 happy for you that there are so many diamonds in your sweet life!!!

  2. Aww–thanks, Penny–you are one of those diamonds! I’m not sure I have as much energy as people think I do–I’m just physically incapable of sitting still unless I’m sleeping, no matter what my energy level.

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