Digging Right In
After finishing up taxes for the year and getting them filed, I decided to spend the rest of the day starting the great bedroom swap project by tearing out the flooring in my MIL's bedroom. It looks really good in this picture but was in poor shape. Our house was built on an uninsulated slab of concrete with no moisture barrier and concrete, no matter how thick it is, allows moisture to creep through it. If you've ever been in the bowels of a dam, that is why the walls are always damp even through 20 feet of concrete.
Previous occupants didn't account for this moisture movement and installed cheap laminate flooring on top. As a result, at a lot of the joints, the thin laminate layer has bubbled and looks terrible in the right light conditions. It also causes enough swelling in the summer that the entire floor will buckle upwards so it is like walking across a sail laying flat on the ground with air trapped underneath. It had to go.
I really don't want to remove all the baseboard trim if I don't have to but that meant I had to sacrifice one row of the flooring in order to pull it up so I did. It came out in chunks but was thin enough that it wasn't terrible hard to do. Once I got that row up, all the others were simply a matter of unclicking the floating floor and stacking up the planks. Fortunately for me, the previous owners went with a cheap installation for their cheap flooring and didn't glue it down to the slab.
Once I had it all pulled up, bundled up and stacked, I pondered what to do with it. I really didn't want to pay to dispose of it at the dump and as bad as it was, it was still usable for a room where one might not be overly concerned with how the floor looked, like perhaps a hobby room. So I advertised it for free on our local Marketplace site and was swamped with responses immediately.
Out of the two dozen responses though, only one typed in a personalized message instead of clicking on the prewritten (Is it still available) button. This gets me since I always state in my ad that it will be marked SOLD immediately upon it being sold and if they don't see the SOLD marking, it is still available. So I defaulted to interacting with the person who wrote the personal message first even though he was actually number 23 out of 24 responses. He immediately responded back and a time was set up for 90 minutes later.
Sixty minutes later as I was returning from picking up the girls from school, I pulled into my driveway where an apparently homeless looking guy was walking down our sidewalk towards a small sedan nearly full of refuse of various kinds. It turned out to be the same person who had written me the personal response. He was a nice old man who looked about seventy and I helped him carry all that flooring and stack it on top of all the refuse that covered the back bench seat of his sedan. By the time we just barely got the last bundle squeezed in, the back of the car was surely bottomed out on the springs.
He was a pleasant man and we talked a bit. At one point he said we were probably the same age. Since he looked 20 to 25 years my senior, I kind of laughed and said I'm only XX years old. Turns out he was only 3 years older than me. Quite sobering of what hard living can do to a body. Anyway, he is also interested in the rest of the flooring, which is in even worse condition, once I pull it up from the family room downstairs. If he comes and gets it, I certainly hopes he empties out his small sedan first so that it will all fit inside.
I also hate that "Is it still available" question. Of COURSE it is! Otherwise I'd take the ad down! I didn't realize it was a pre-written response, but that makes sense. (I use Freecycle rather than Marketplace but I bet it's basically the same setup.) Anyway, good for you for giving that flooring a second life.ReplyDelete
Yes, Marketplace gives three canned responses which means the conversation has to be one response longer by default. I would rather someone just message me that they are available at such and such time to come look at it and skip the "Is it available" step.Delete
Ed - As part of the Great January cleanout and Winter Storm, the same sort of organizing and posting has been going on here as well. The personal messages almost always win. Also, they scan for people who are forever asking for everything as it (apparently) is a likely sign they are taking the things and then immediately reselling them.ReplyDelete
I've recently tried selling a few things from the farmhouse with some minor value and was surprised at the number of people who flat out admitted they were only interested in it to resale. I'm was also surprised at the number of people who would ask me to drive to meet them and thus spend more money in gas than the item I was trying to sell was worth. I guess the positive to all this is I can quickly ignore and delete without much wasted time on my part.Delete
I hope he is able to put it to good use. I didn't think you were supposed to glue down vinyl plank, that it was to "float", which also makes it easier to take it out by removing the trim. I'm curious as to what you'll be putting down in its place?ReplyDelete
I'm not sure about vinyl but I have seen wood laminate floor glued down on slabs. They do that to give it a solid feel that the floating floors don't have. Since this is a bedroom where comfort is more desired, we are going with a floating vinyl flooring to replace it, vinyl for the moisture issues related to the slab and a thick padding to allow it some give so it isn't so hard.Delete
On the surface at least we age differently. I remember once being with a former student, so there had to be about 10 years between us, but a stranger couldn’t see an obvious difference.ReplyDelete
We certainly do, especially when environmental influences like smoking, alcohol, sun exposure are at play.Delete
Yep, a hard life can definitely age a person. For that matter, an easy one can, too! (thinking of women my age who spent way too much time sunning by the pool/beach)ReplyDelete
Sunning is pretty rough on people. I have described some "professional" tanners as looking more like saddle bags with eyes in their old age.Delete
Glad that it's already started! Progress always feels great. I wonder if that man is a hoarder. :(ReplyDelete
My guess would be yes. I would also bet that the flooring might still be in his wife's car as I type this a week later.Delete
I have my son-in-law post my give aways on Marketplace. It is such a great way to recycle.ReplyDelete
I feel better that it isn't being disposed of and although I complain a lot dealing with how selling stuff on it goes, it was still easier and much cheaper than taking it to the dump.Delete
Sounds like you found just the right guy to give the materials to. Looks like a big project!ReplyDelete
It is as far as a bedroom goes. Fortunately though there isn't drywall involved. That is my nemesis.Delete
Congratulations on your start! It's great you were able to find someone who wanted it, win-win. I agree about personalized messages; they are much more appealing. I notice there's a real trend toward those canned responses, but they feel more like dealing with a machine than a real person.ReplyDelete
They reek of laziness and of someone who might be interested if it is easy. It also shows to me those who never read that ad carefully since I stated in the ad that the flooring was available if they were reading this ad.Delete
I really miss freecycle. Even worse, to me, are the people who just hit "interested". What does that even mean? I have been using a lot of different sites, as I have so much stuff to rehome. It is nice, however, to know that someone can use things that would just end up in a landfill.ReplyDelete
I would assume interested means one party would like it but a spouse needs to be asked first. The one thing I really like about Marketplace is it's focus on being local to the area. It eliminates the need from having to box stuff of and figure shipping like eBay does.Delete
As much as I hate the 'is this still available' message, I hate (even more) responding with a series of questions only to find out the item is sold.ReplyDelete
I would be frustrated too being on that side of a losing transaction. I try to balance it out be being up front in my ad that I'm not going to hold it for people and the first person who arrives with cash is the one who will get it. I've been burned too many times by turning down many interested parties for someone who never shows up when they said, or shows up and is not prepared to pay the agreed upon price. I also am diligent to immediately let those who were seriously interested know ASAP that it has been sold and remove the listing. But I know I would still be a bit miffed to be on the losing end.Delete
Always good to have a project, right? And you seem to never a shortage of them! As always, I look forward to following your progress and seeing the finished product.ReplyDelete
It is always good to have a project but I prefer longer lead times!Delete
Thank goodness we did pay a bit more for our vinyl wood-look flooring which isn't glued down. In 15 years, it still looks new.ReplyDelete