Monday, February 24, 2014

Adventures in Flooring

(Also, how we spent our Valentine’s Day)

As I have mentioned before, I moved in with C over a year ago.  Since my condo was sitting vacant, I decided to work with a vacation rental company to make some money on it while it was sitting empty.  They have been renting it out to various guests for days, weeks or sometimes even months and I have basically made up the costs to keep it, which I love. The company also takes care of pretty much everything for me, which is great. Cleaning, maintenance, new light bulbs, service calls for the water heater, you name it, they do it.
Last Tuesday I found out something that they don’t take care of. 

The vacation rental company called me and said that the last guest had complained about the state of the carpet in the two bedrooms.  I knew that the time was coming where I needed to replace it (I mean its white and I’ve owned the place for 5 years, who knows how old that carpet is), but I was thinking that I would do it over the summer this year when it was “guest free” for a while. You know, because no one comes to Arizona for vacation when its 115 degrees outside. Thing is, the company thought it would be best if I replaced the flooring before the next guest came in since they’d be staying for a month and a half. If they were upset, it would be a lot of lost revenue. 
Problem was?  The next guest would be there in a mere 3.5 days.

Um?  Time for C and I to grow up and make adult decisions, and quick!

Obviously I freaked out.  I dropped everything, left work and headed to Home Depot.  I needed a flooring guru.  I knew nothing.  Did I want carpet? Did I want laminate?  Was there a huge price difference? After our talk I was leaning towards laminate since I thought it would keep better in a rental. My guru taught me what I needed to know, but then dropped a bomb on me.  There is no way they would be able to get anything installed that quickly. 

Freak out moment #2.  How in the world would I find a place that would have enough of a product that I liked in stock and be able to install it in 3 days?  Google, that’s how.  I found two places, the Carpet Depot and Express Flooring, and set to work.

The Carpet Depot was down the street from me so I headed there first. Basically they buy left over flooring from commercial installs so what they have in their warehouse is what you can choose from. They had both a decent carpet and a laminate I liked.   When I asked the price, I was told it was the same for both. Woo hoo!  I confirmed if the price included install and if they could for sure install on Thursday or Friday of that week (basically in 2-3 days).  Both answers were yes.  Oh man, I felt the relief flood over me!

The next day (Wednesday) I had an appointment with a “Design Consultant” from Express Flooring. I wanted to compare what they had in stock (as well as their prices) to the Carpet Depot.  The rep showed us what he called fiberglass flooring that looked a lot like wood.  It was hard and he ran his keys across it briskly to show us that it was pretty scratch resistant.  A lot of restaurants and grocery stores use it.  I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it.  With the time crunch it was one of our only options, or so I thought.  He also kept trying to tell me about carpet, but I knew I rather pay the relatively small difference for something that would last longer.  Then he told us their prices, which were 1.5 times the price of the Carpet Depot. Naturally, I sent him packing.

I immediately called Carpet Depot to schedule the installation of the laminate I had chosen. Right away, the owner told me he had “forgotten” to include the price of installation and it would be $700 more.  I know that I clearly asked him this when I was there to confirm, which kind of upset me.  I had limited time though, so I gave in.  Fine, I’ll pay extra.  Then he tells me he needs to check with the installer. Of course, the installer says he can’t do it until the following week.  This was also something I KNOW I confirmed before I left.  Ugh. So let it be noted, don’t go to Carpet Depot if can manage it. They will jerk you around!

So I call the Express Flooring guy back and twenty minutes later he is standing in my living room again.  We pick out the fiberglass flooring we want from his limited supply of color choices (again, he keeps pushing towards that darn carpet), pay, and set up installation for the next day (Thursday).  We are now real adults who have made big, expensive, life decisions. 

That evening we moved all of the furniture out of the two rooms.  Then because we knew the flooring was getting replaced and there was no furniture in the room, we took the time to paint one of the wall in the master as well as some of the bases boards that were black.  Going from black to white is not a simple job, but we got it done. 

Since C had a few free days, he willingly volunteered to be at the condo for installation all day on Thursday.  He’s clearly amazing right?  Ten minutes after the installers show up, he calls me and says the product they brought for the floors is basically like a roll of linoleum.  Say what??  It felt like plastic and its one whole sheet.  The only thing that is even slightly like what we thought we were getting is the color.  It is the “color” of wood, which isn’t saying much.

Obviously I am livid at this point.  The installers are awesome and licensed contractors so I basically tell them I will pay them cash if they can install something before the guest arrives in their off time and I call Express Flooring to cancel my order.  The regional manager gets on the phone and swears he can right the wrong and wants to bring over some samples.  I tell him I don’t want him to waste my time with crap products or things that are more expensive, but he insists.  I relent, but not before telling him that if he is lying, my big football player boyfriend will be there and he will beat him up.  Yeah...I actually said that. I’m not proud.

Much to my surprise, he actually brings something I like! He also doesn’t charge me a single dime more even though the product would normally cost between $700 and $1500 more. What great customer service. We chose a color and I was fairly confident, as long as what showed up for installation the next day was the product I chose!
I picked the top one to match the cabinets....though I loved the others too!
C again offered to spend all day overseeing the installation (cause he’s awesome) and what do you know, the installers brought the right thing!   The guys arrived at 10am and said it would take 3-4 hours, which was even better. 

Too bad that didn’t work out.  When they pulled up the carpeting, the concrete was crumbling around the edges so they had to resurface it and wait for it to dry. Then,  halfway through the process they realized they only had enough glue for one room, so they had to leave for over an hour to go get some.  Finally, they weren’t planning on taking off the baseboards, which would have left a huge gap between the baseboards and the new flooring, so I gave them $40 cash to take those off and lower them (which allowed C to give them a fresh coat of paint too). 
One room complete!
All said and done, they weren’t finished and out of there until after 6pm. Keep in mind this was Valentine’s Day. After they left, it was up to C and I to clean up a little and put back all of the furniture before the maids came in the next day.  Also, since the baseboards had been moved, I had to spend time painting the newly exposed wall in both rooms as well as the tops of the baseboards again.

So what did we do?  We headed to the store for some beer (Red's Apple Ale for me...yum) and spent our Valentine's Day finishing all of the things listed above.  We weren't done until after 10pm.  Obviously, our Valentine's dinner plans were foiled and we were starving by that time.  So we did what anyone would do.....we headed to Jack in the Box!

A part of me wished we would have had lavish plans for the  evening, but honestly it was perfect.  We spent hours working together to complete something that looks awesome and had fun in the process. Sometimes its not about the fancy things you can do on a day like that, its just about being together.

Now here are the final transformation pictures!  Sorry they aren't so great, but you can only do so much with an iPhone!

The guest bedroom (we painted this last fall after C's season):

The master bedroom:

What do you think??  I kind of love it.  The only thing that stinks is I don't actually live there so I can't enjoy it!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


  1. Dang! What an ordeal! It looks really nice though...good grown up decisions :)

  2. It looks good! But what a nightmare - I can't believe they brought the wrong kind of flooring the first time.

  3. Oh my gosh, flooring stresses me out. We are needing to get hardwoods so badly but I keep hesitating because I'm scared, ha. Yours turned out so good!! ♥



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...