Dancing Echoes

Beats Stumbling Around in Silence

The Couple That Lays Together, Stays Together?

42 Comments

So how many of you have attempted home improvement projects with your spouse? Let me just say for the record that laying flooring with a spouse is right up there with paddling a canoe together. You try your damnedest not to go in circles while taking swings at each other. Seriously, the marriage vows should go something like “Do you solemnly swear, in sickness and in health and in home improvements”.

Some background: this is MDH’s house from before we were married. We consolidated and moved into my house since all of his kids were in various stages of adulthood and living on their own. We decided we should stop bleeding money on his house and because the housing market hadn’t quite returned from the 2008 crash, we decided to rent it out instead of sell it. Last fall we found (what seemed to be) a nice couple to rent out the house. After a few months they told us they couldn’t stay, breaking the lease agreement. OK fine, but then we realized there were two huge bleach spots in the carpet we had just paid several hundred dollars to professionally clean prior to renting. Then the stupid wenchasaurus had the nerve to ask if she could get the deposit back. She claimed the carpet already had a bleach stains on it when they moved in. Nice try sweetheart. I had pictures of every room in the house and the bleach stains were clearly not there before. NO DEPOSIT RETURN! Hence, we were now paying for our poor judge of character by replacing three rooms with vinyl flooring that looks like wood.

This vinyl flooring is all the rage right now. It is not expensive, it looks great plus it is durable which is what we need for future renters.

But back to the flooring. Why do this ourselves you ask? Why not hire someone to do it for us? First because we are cheap as hell. We are not going to pay someone $3,000 (per quote) to do what we can do. Second, we like doing things ourselves (some of my first words were, “I do it!”) including learning how to do new things like laying flooring. At least that sounded good until we actually got to the task at hand.

So this flooring claims to be the easiest to install, ever!

image

Suuure it’s easy, (eye roll).

This may be true, but easy is a relative term. ‘Scuse me, compared to what; building the Taj Mahal or the Empire State Building? These sheets of vinyl work by sticking two glue strips together on each piece. Once you stick the two halves together, you are committed. You have a few seconds to pull them apart and re-align them if they are off but it is not pretty and they may not re-stick. So as you can imagine the learning curve included a lot of swearing and yelling. At ourselves and at each other.

A good example of what NOT to do.

A good example of what NOT to do.

Let’s be real. This is back breaking work. Not as bad as prepping the floor a few weekends ago (now that seriously sucked) but laying the flooring was still hard.

To install the flooring I wore knee pads but they did little to avoid trauma to my poor knees. Not to mention that after many years of dancing I am left with the knees of a eighty year old hooker. So at one point I decided to give my knees a break and just install the pieces by bending over.

Butt-ass fugly knees complete with scars, bruises and knee pad marks.

Butt-ass fugly, swollen knees complete with scars, bruises and knee pad marks.

Being an ex-dancer I am still pretty limber. I can bend over and touch the floor and even bend my elbows a little. But after 8 hours of bending over, my hamstrings were screaming and I could feel the stiffness setting in to my legs and back.

MDH’s constant picking at my handy work did little to endear him to my heart either.
“I see gaps!” He would yell. My response, “Real wood has gaps!” all the while thinking to myself – Yeah buddy, “I’ll give you a gap you won’t soon forget”.

Mind the gaps. For the record, this is NOT a piece I installed.

Mind the gaps. For the record, this is NOT a piece I installed. Just sayin’.

On top of that he kept stealing pieces of flooring from my box even when I would growl, “Get your own box!”. At least we were smart enough to buy extra boxes of flooring to account for the fuck up factor. And there were fuck ups aplenty. But after a while we settled into a groove (see what I did there) and I worked on the big swaths and he did the detail work around the edges because I have zero patience for that shit.

image

Halfway through and no one’s dead, yet.

Here’s the finished product. One room down, two to go plus the quarter round trim to finish it all off. So lucky me, I have a few more weekends of marital bliss to look forward to.

The only thing getting laid today is flooring.

The only thing getting laid today is flooring.

So now we are back at our home. We smell like goats, our knees are chewed to hamburger meat and are backs are killing us. We resemble a scene out of the Walking Dead. But we finished laying our first room of flooring together. And while nothing will test a marriage quite like a good home improvement project, if you can both get through it, you might be a bit closer in the end. Bonus: now we have a common war story to embellish to friends and family. And who knows, if I’m given a good back rub tonight, MDH might just get lucky – as long as he doesn’t ask me to get on my knees.

So do any of you have any home improvement horror stories you’d like to share?

Author: Dancing Echoes

I am a scientist by trade and artist by soul. My creative outlet used to be dancing but due to injuries and age, I must now find another path. I am hoping my writing, poetry and photography can be this new path. Awards: While I am grateful and honored for the numerous nominations, I don’t have time to respond to them with the attention they deserve, so for the most part, I am an award free blog. All photographs and words are mine unless otherwise credited. © 2015-2016 Dancing Echoes ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christy Draper with appropriate and specific direction to the original content on Dancing Echoes.

42 thoughts on “The Couple That Lays Together, Stays Together?

  1. ‘The only thing getting laid today is flooring.’ … this was a hilarious read. Good luck recovering. I have a downstairs bathroom project that is needing completion. Started it three years ago … yep

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. Advise: keep it unfinished.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny story, and nice job with the flooring!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved reading you back-breaking knee-bruising floor laying post! Just a confirmation that I never want to take on such a project! You and hubby are brave adventurers! Good luck on the next two rooms! Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you. We’re gonna need it!

    Like

  6. omg – my husband and I laid laminate wood flooring at my mother-in-law’s cabins – I heard words from my husband I’ve never heard before – very hard work – love the post..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. omg – my husband and I laid a laminate floor at my mother-in-law’s cabin – We’ve been married 16 years and I heard words from him I’ve never heard him use before! Love the post..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ya know, having been single now for… more time than I want to admit, I often envy my friends in healthy, committed relationships. .. except for the ones who do their own home rents. Them I pity. And I would be happy to remain single forever if it were the only way to avoid becoming one of them .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Renos. ..not rents… evil awfulcorrect.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you! Yes, this was quite the eye opening experience. Ha! That is too funny. I’ll bet the cabins are beautiful though.

    Like

  11. I hear ya. Part of the problem is I was single for 15 years so I am still adjusting to the compromise that comes with marriage (I was married for 14 years before that). I am very independent too. It’s not that I can’t ever take direction from someone else but MDH was clearly and rightfully in charge of this project and I didn’t like it one bit. Nope.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Aha! You need a project you can be totally in charge of!

    Oh, but YDM may not survive that…

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. U tell this hilarious tale as well as those whose day job is telling such tales.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Why thank you! Your words are very kind. I try to bring humor into my every day life as a coping mechanism. I am glad to know it translates into my writing. I haven’t done may of these “ramblings” because they are outside my comfort zone. The nice folks like you that have had encouraging words make me want to try to write more.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dunno where U get the energy to do so much in your blog as well as your job and DIY projects. Am sure any more ramblings U write will also be good reads.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well I don’t sleep much. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ermagheard.

    ‘Kayso, hubs and I installed a new screen slider on our deck door recently. You would THINK that this would be a quickie. Door sizes being standardized and whatnot.

    Except our replacement door was only one sixteenth of an inch shorter than the groove-to-groove measurement of the top and bottom tracks, and there is a lip on the bottom of the frame, and the house – which we purchased in December – is 14 years old. Which means the frame was about as warped as a beat cop’s sense of humor.

    There was much sweating, a bit of grunting, and copious swearing. We panted, we strained, we groaned, we yelled obscenities.

    We glared at each other. We huffed. We stomped.

    We got MAD. “You think you can beat us, you punk sh*t?!?! You are DOOR! You are NOTHING, you mutherhumping inanimate object!”

    Oh yes, we are a fiesty pair. 😛

    And a creative pair…

    NINETY MINUTES LATER, after employing a step ladder, hammer, 2 screwdrivers, pliers, spit, and – wait for it…

    LUBE…

    We nailed the f*cker in place.

    Yes, *that* kind of lube.

    We were like, “This mofo is TIIIIIGHT! What can we use to make it slide open? It has to be safe for metal *and* plastic…”

    Hahaha!

    Astroglide should consult with us on staging a new commercial. Seriously.

    Home improvement projects: %+#@!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Terrible things tenants can be and they are SO good at glibly lying. Of course there are good ones too but certainly bullet-proofing the house is the best way. As for renovating with my husband … I have learned already that zone into a trance is the only way to succeed 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OMG, I think I just peed a little. This is a best response ever and all doors completely suck. I love the way you think too; improvise and use what you have. Using Astroglide is brilliant. Their commercial could be something like “A hundred and one uses” or “For all your tight parts”. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hmmm, I’m going to have to try that. We have two more rooms to go…..

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s interesting for me to read the ‘landlord’ side. I am a tenant and the landlords are HORRIBLE. Having said that I know that tenants can also be horrible. Once you start something like this you are committed to move forward. Hope this ultimately worked out for you and the hubby.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you. I’m sure it will. We just have to finish the floor plus a few odds and ends to get it back up to spec. I’m sorry you have a bad landlord. That is terrible. If we had good tenants we would do just about anything to keep them happy. We decided to hire a rental agency because we got so badly burned before. They will get a small cut of the rent but we just work too many hours to keep up with it all and the agency provides a legal buffer for both parties.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Good idea. I know this is a two sided story and stupid comes from everywhere. I’m a great tenant :), so they are out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Great laying, DE. It looks fine in these shots, for sure. Ouch on the knees and back spasms from those deep bends. We put Pergo floors in three rooms and the hallway this winter that looks almost exactly like your new floor. We hired our carpenter friend to do it on the side from his regular job, very reasonable rate. Phew for me on the home improvement end. I always try my hardest, but … MDW Karen and I do better on the outdoor co-gardening projects. Inside, she put down tiled-style carpet in our smaller laundry room and painted the living room and both bedrooms by herself telling me she’d rather they be her projects. OK. 🙂 Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I agree. I painted this entire house last fall by myself because it was easier and I did not want any interference.

    Like

  26. I feel your pain! ……have been there many times for the sake of “saving ” money! I don’t even like the little projects now. I believe our big projects are over….too old for that now.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I am quickly getting there -which is part of the frustration. Getting older is hard to accept.

    Like

  28. That you two are even talking to each other after that experience is amazing! something is working out
    thanks so very much for following. Eddie

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Love your tale of flooring. I can appreciate being married to a carpenter. Way too critical.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Sorry, also meant to say looks like a great job. Thanks for the follow too.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Oooh, that’s not fair! Thank you.

    Like

  32. My pleasure! Can’t wait to expire more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Oops, I meant my hubby bugs me about stuff, so I liked what you wrote. What a difference a left out ‘it’ makes. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  34. This post inspired my own effort at writing up some homeowner’s misadventures. Writing about them is definitely more fun than going thru them. Anybody who wonders how buying a fridge relates to an old Beatles song can look at [Fridge Follies] in my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I am going to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Pingback: Welcome To Vagina! | Temperature's Rising

  37. Thank you for the link!

    Like

  38. Pingback: Welcome To Vagina! - Temperature's Rising

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