Not So Ugly


The Ugly House is now mine. With some hard, fast work, it’s not looking so ugly anymore. Within the first 2 hours after getting the keys at closing, I had ripped out all of the carpet in the house, with the exception of the master bedroom. My real estate agent knew how much I hated those carpets and gave me a carpet cutter as a gift at closing.

The floors under the carpets were about 100 times better than I had hoped for. They’re not perfect by any means, but they look pretty damn good. (This picture makes them look super nice, they aren’t)


The next piece of annoying bullshit was that there were no less than 100,000 staples in the floor that held the carpet pad down. And by in the floor, I mean, balls deep in the floor. Tiny, little, rusty, staples, like an inch deep into the hardwood, and they snapped off into tiny needles if you tried to grab them with needle nose pliers. I had a bit of a panic moment when I was looking at how many rusty needles were sticking out of the floor. I envisioned what an impossible task it would be to get them all out and be able to get the floor to a point where it wouldn’t cause you to bleed out immediately if you stepped foot on it. Not to mention the two rows of tack strips surrounding every room that would shatter and splinter when you tried to rip them up, causing me to only be able to tear them out in 4 inch segments. Fun.


I took a deep breath, and did what I do best. Google things until I find a solution. A few DIY blogs later, I discovered a suggestion that I use locking vise grips (which I have!)… For the staples that snapped off, I bought a tiny little tool, like an awl to sink the pointy ends of the staples down into the floor so they’re less stabby. I have no idea what this tool is called, but it looks like a pencil, with a long, thick lead. These things, along with a pry bar with rubber mallet, CHANGED MY FUCKING LIFE. Lesson learned: the right tool for the right job… That’s an incomplete thought, sounds like there should be more to that saying, but whatev.

After about 12 hours total of pulling staples and tack strips, the floors are finally done. Maybe some day I’ll sand and strip them, but they’re fine for now. After moving two car loads of stuff, and spending hundreds of dollars at Wal Mart and Ikea, the house is pretty much outfitted with the essentials, and ready for me to move the rest of the furniture in. It’s starting to look like a house and is no longer so ugly. Just getting rid of the old lady shit and the rug has made such a difference.


photo 1 photo 2photo

It’s so nice to be done with the whole house hunting and buying process. No one ever told me what an emotionally taxing pain in the fucking ass it would all be. But it’s done. I love the house, I love Kingston, and it couldn’t have worked out any better. I guess things really do happen for a reason. On top of all that, my monthly payments and closing costs all came in lower than expected, which removed a lot of my stress and anxieties about being house poor. There’s a lot of work left to do, and lots of projects that I’ve already started. I need to be better about taking pictures of the “before”. I usually end up starting a project and then kicking myself for not taking a before shot. I will also try to be better about blogging. Baby steps.


7 thoughts on “Not So Ugly

  1. A great big hurrah for you Danny Foley. The house is charming, the area is breathtakingly beautiful and , in short, you did good. Real good. Hope to get a chance to see your new digs soon and hope you enjoy many many years of contentment in your new home.

  2. Wow what a cute place….you’ve done a wonderful job/so remember my first place and all those darn wood strips and staples…..think there were thousands….your floors are just beautiful! Welcome to the country and all it has to offer and Adams too. 🙂

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