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before & after: vinyl tile

You really see the benefits of being a good steward when you go to sell your house. I’m talking a cold, hard cash reward for making it nicer than it was when you bought it.

Our first house in NC was built in 1960, and a lot of it was still dated (wallpaper, old linoleum, and other “vintage features”). It also really just needed some TLC and cleaning, since it was unoccupied for about a year before we bought it.

Before we moved in, we ripped up the old, gross, and sticky carpet (I do NOT want to know why it was sticky) and refinished the beautiful old hardwoods hiding underneath. If you ever have this opportunity in an older home, I recommend it, as long as the hardwoods don’t have too many major/deep stains. When we went to sell the home, the real estate agent we worked with said the hardwoods were probably the one thing we did that added the most value. Score!

But, the other half of the house still had these awesome mismatched floors (the puppy makes it bearable–get it? His name is Bear!):
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Well, before we put the house on the market in the fall of 2013, we just knew we had to update those bad boys. As with all home improvement projects, we wondered why we didn’t do them a long time ago so we could enjoy them.

Since our floors were kind of uneven (consequence of an old house), we decided to go with a vinyl tile, since they are flexible and forgiving, and also easy to cut. BUT, when they are in, they look almost exactly like real tile! It’s sort of a nifty new invention–you still use grout between them. Plus, did I mention they are very affordable?

So, we began our tiling adventure. It took a long time to do approximately half our little house, but we made it!

The bathroom, half way done, and already so much better. Goodbye, 70s “stone floor” linoleum!
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Phil placing tiles in the dining area:
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Phil trapped in the kitchen! Did I mention he is amazing and cleaned years of mysterious stickiness off the floor from under the fridge before we put in the tile?
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After putting in the tile and grouting it, we finished up with new white quarter-round trim and new silver-tone transition strips to the hardwood floors.

As you can see, it was a much needed update! I’m confident this vinyl tile, costing us some hundreds, helped us get thousands more when we sold the house. A little hard work really paid off!

Have you done last minute improvements before selling a house?

enjoying the present, and the Bear

Phil worked really hard this weekend in the front yard spreading around all the dirt they drilled up from drilling the well and making the yard level again. I helped for about one wheelbarrow full :). Bear helped by digging in the dirt. He got some on his nose.20121119-171402.jpgI’ve been thinking today about making the most of what you’ve got. I looked out the window this morning at our back yard, which is fairly large (we have over .6 acres total), and about all the possibilities of what we could do with it. We have this land that we own, and we can use it–how fun!

We are planning to put in raised beds this winter for the coming spring, and we found some nice pre-cut 4-foot wood at Home Depot on Saturday. We’ll probably use something like that to make some 4×4 beds. I suppose I’ll try out this whole square foot gardening trend. I like the idea of less weeding.

Anyway, I got to thinking that I usually don’t fully utilize what I have already, whether it be our house, our food, the gift of holy spirit, etc. 🙂 And I think there’s a lot to be said about enjoying what you’ve got. We have already made lots of improvements to our house and our yard since we moved in this summer, and this weekend I looked around and was really blessed by our home. It is really becoming our home, and it is really looking a lot better than when we moved in (with the exception of our torn-up front yard currently from the well drilling.) I’m just really thankful for what we have and so blessed that Phil and I have our first home together and get to make it our own.

In other news, the pup is teething! His big boy teeth are coming in! It’s so cute because he kind of looks buck-toothed right now hehehe. Check it out:20121119-171502.jpgAnd below you can see his little bottom teeth coming in front of the baby teeth hehe. 20121119-171213.jpgSo I guess this has turned into a puppy post. In other Bear news, he got a new dog bed today at walmart that he is loving. (And I’m loving that I finally found one for no where near $100!)

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sleepy bear

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Just a quick iPhone pic of the pup sleeping curled up in a little ball. He’s so tired he won’t move haha. Have a great night everyone.

puppy Bear

ImageIt’s such a beautiful day today. Sunny and a little fall chill in the air, which my husband loves. I sat outside with Bear, our black lab puppy, for a while on my lunch break (I work from home), and he had a great time running around, eating fallen leaves, getting lost in bushes, and being a pup. He’s hit that age where he needs more activity. We might have to start running with him soon. He’s already faster than me at 12 weeks, but my husband can slightly outrun him still.

I recently got into the idea of growing my own medicinal herbs like echinacea, etc. instead of paying big bucks for them at the pharmacy. I’d like to plant lots of herbs in the back yard, but we need to train Bear not to run all over the flowers and eat whatever plants he finds interesting. He’s been snacking on all those green berries that pop up from that green grassy border plant (agh, what’s it called again?) and so far he hasn’t been showing any negative affects… but he needs to learn not to eat random wild berries! I think some of the herbs I’d like to plant might be bad for him to eat, so we’ll see how it goes. If he can’t learn that by spring, I’ll have to keep them in pots for now.

Silly puppy. Every time we go outside he tries to quickly grab a stick or piece of mulch to stealthily carry back inside in his mouth on the way back in. We aren’t fooled. 🙂 In the photo above, you can see him chewing on some mulch, with dirt on his face, and crushing my hosta plants. He’s too cute for his own good.