Back this summer, when it was warm outside (as opposed to the 40-or-so degrees, rain, and howling winds outside tonight) and the kids were on summer break, I tore up the carpets in three of the bedrooms and replaced them with laminate.
I started with one room first, to see if I could actually swing it. This room used to be the kids' playroom. It is the largest room in our house (approx. 230 sq ft) and the only one with a vaulted ceiling. It gets lots of natural light, and has big double French doors to the backyard. It had a loft bed in it, but nobody ever slept in there.
Because this room was only used for playing, and because it "belonged" to all the kids, nobody felt it was their responsibility to keep it tidy. Toys for all different age ranges were always scattered everywhere. The huge closet in this room also held all of the kids' clothes, which made the room even messier. Therefore, this room used to be a constant source of irritation for me. Glancing at it on my way to bed at night was frustrating.
The kids did not like playing in the room when it was messy, so I felt like we were wasting the nicest and biggest bedroom.
There are no good "before" pictures of the whole room because I forgot to take any. These are just some pictures of the kids playing in there to give you an idea of what it looked like.
First I tore out the carpet, which took me two full days because all the carpet boards had to be ripped up. To break up the large space, I had a 4 ft high dividing wall installed. I spent two more days painting the walls. Installing the flooring took several more days. After the floors and baseboards were in, I made this room our bedroom and moved all of our stuff in. Then I hung curtains and did some other decorating.
Before this remodel/move, my husband and I shared the smallest bedroom in the house (100 sq ft), and both girls usually slept in our room with us. It was a little cramped, as you can imagine.
This is a picture of the (mostly) painted room, floors undone...
... later that night, I had worked around the wall...
And, the finished product:
A closer shot of Miriam's little area and what she calls her "princess bed":
With this new room, we have a lot more space, and there was even room to put a little craft/sewing table in there. It's nice not having to get the sewing machine out and having to set it up every time I want to sew for a few minutes.
Look at all my fabric nicely sorted and stacked. I bought about 80% of this fabric from a lady on Craigslist for $20. It's a lot more than it looks in the photo.
The next room was the one that all three boys had been sharing as their bedroom. Again, I didn't take a before picture, but it was basically wall-to-wall beds, which was terrible with trying to keep stuff and dust out from under the beds. The boys insisted on all being in the same room, with enough extra space for us parents and the girls to sleep in there with them "as needed". Oh, how I miss those days when I would go to bed at night, with all five kids sound asleep in there, and from where I was lying I could reach out and give each of them a pat on the head in their sleep. Now that I am not used to it any more, they disturb me too much and I prefer my own room.
After I did the floors, only Isaac and John stayed in there. They like everything to do with firemen, so I sewed the curtains and also put in some other cute firefighting decorations (which you can't see in this picture since it only shows about one fourth of the room). Solomon hung the picture of George Washington, his favorite president.
Solomon moved into what used to be our bedroom, which means that he is the only person in the house who has his own room. At 100 sq feet, it is the smallest room in the house. He is actually pretty good about keeping it clean on his own.
His loft bed has a pull-out desk, book shelf, and chest of drawers underneath it. There is also a bookshelf in his room with bins to keep his stuff. The closet is not in the picture, either.
All in all, start to finish, I spent about 3 weeks to do all three rooms. Several of those days were spent buying and hauling the flooring to the house, as well as going back to the store for little stuff I needed along the way.
Becky was only 8 months old at the time. Without Solomon helping take care of her, I would not have been able to do the floors.
I have honestly never looked back. Not once has the thought that I wish I had carpet again even remotely crossed my mind. My allergies (that I never had before moving to Arizona) have all but disappeared. I never wake up all night long any more, having to blow my nose incessantly.
And just in case you were wondering, I did all the work wearing skirts. And kneepads. And I didn't chop any of my fingers off with the table saw, although there were a few close calls (don't tell my husband).
The reason why I spent so much time tonight putting together this post is because I needed a reminder to focus on the positive. I am bummed about the fact that both our washer AND our dishwasher broke this weekend (what are the chances of that happening?). And our indoor plumbing had a leak last weekend, and really the house needs to be repiped. And our windows and doors need replacing; the draft from them is freezing me out. But hey, my floors look great!