The kitchen and dining room had water-damaged beige and blue vinyl flooring, with the rest of the house carpeted with grungy blue wall-to-wall carpet. I wanted it all out of the house before I moved in.
|The old flooring was water-damaged and peeling.|
Hardwood would have been the ideal replacement, but I could not afford to buy hardwood flooring for the entire house. I also could not install hardwood without renting or buying tools. The solution I chose was a vinyl plank floor that looks like wood. It was inexpensive, I could easily install it myself with just a utility knife, and because it’s a floating floor, future removal would be very easy. I expected this flooring to be a fairly short-term solution, but I’ve been very pleased with it and have seen no need to rush replacement. My only regret is choosing light oak instead of dark walnut.
|The new flooring was easy to install.|
The kitchen had a refrigerator, range and dishwasher that were old, mismatched and sort of gross. (The inside of the dishwasher was dirty… how is that even possible?) I wanted to replace all of them.
|The old fridge functioned fine but the side-by-side style doesn't work well for someone who often orders pizza. ;)|
|The old range was stained and scratched.|
|There was a lot of ash in the old stove. But I'm sure they weren't using it as a crematorium. Well, pretty sure...|
- Not overbuying. I don’t need a fridge big enough for a football team. I definitely don’t need a fancy Viking range when I barely do more than boil water twice a week.
- Buying black instead of stainless steel. Stainless steel may be what “everyone” wants these days, but I prefer black. It doesn't show fingerprints like stainless. And, well, it's black. :)
- Buying from the “scratch and dent” merchandise at an appliance outlet. An appliance gets a scratch or dent, and they mark it down significantly. It's still a brand-new appliance, it's just not in a box. (Bonus: No pounds of packaging to deal with or dispose of!) The two I bought were scratched on the side, where no one will even see it. Sweet!
- Buying a freestanding range instead of a slide-in range, which would have cost more than twice as much. I knew that the back of a freestanding range would show above the counters, but I also knew it would be temporary because I planned to reconfigure the kitchen. For a savings of $800 or more, I could live with the back showing for a while (the kitchen was hideous anyway…).
|New fridge is plenty wide enough for pizza boxes. :D|
|New range is shiny!|
|Still shiny! This photo was taken today, after 3+ years of (obviously very light) use. Julia Child I am not.|
The flooring and appliances played a role in making my first overnight at the house a memorable event...
After I closed on the house, I continued to live in my apartment while I prepped the house for move-in. Over a couple of weekends, I cleaned and painted all the walls, pulled up all the old carpet, and got rid of the old appliances. On the third weekend, I planned to install the new flooring. Then very early that Friday morning, a sizable snowstorm began moving in and my employer called a snow day. It appeared I was going to be snowed in for a couple of days, and I did not like the idea of sitting idle in the apartment instead of installing the new flooring, which was sitting in boxes at the house. Very quickly, before the roads became snowy, I packed up a few things and jumped in my car for the 30-mile drive to the house.
The house had water and power (and the boxes of flooring), but not much else -- no furniture, no stove, no refrigerator. I'd gotten rid of the old appliances but not bought new ones yet. No problem, I could sleep on an air mattress and eat cereal and sandwiches for three days. Snow works well as a substitute fridge. :D