I was going to make a joke about the floor, but then I realized it was beneath me

Our story so far: Sanding hardwood floors in the old Methodist church we were turning into our home was dirty work.

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Sanding hardwood is hard work. To the elbow grease, add a flurry of sawdust and you’ve got good reason to hire out the work.

But we didn’t. We hired out the duct work, we hired out the electrical, we hired out the plumbing, we hired out the drywall and we hired out the painting. Unlike those other tasks, sanding didn’t require any particular expertise, only numerous trips to the Big Box rental desk, attention to detail and a willingness to endure dust (a lot of dust). It’s the job you often see novices attempt on DIY Network’s “First Time Flippers”; viewers see about ninety seconds of effort, even though the rehabbers probably spent weeks doing the work. Though the investment in time is big, the investment in cash is small, and the return is potentially huge. Everyone likes the sound of “original wood floors.”

And so, we found ourselves sanding floors in the old church during cold days in February and hot days in June.

Fundamentally, sanding is granular demolition and despite labeling it the “flooring phase,” the truth of the matter was we were still demoing the flooring seven months after we purchased the old Methodist church to turn into our home. The layers of flooring and gunk covering the original wood floors were beginning to feel as if they would never end. During the official demo phase we peeled back the old carpeting and padding that was two decades old if it was a day. Then there were the thousands of carpet staples and hundreds of nails covering every square foot of the sanctuary.

mastic covered floor
We knew there was beautiful wood somewhere under all that ugly mastic.

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Tomorrow: Oh, you can’t sand yet. Look out for the tin! Check it out here.

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3 thoughts on “I was going to make a joke about the floor, but then I realized it was beneath me

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