It all starts with a small detail. Some water damage by the corner of the sliding glass door in our kitchen. And a little water damage in the bathroom ceiling in the basement, directly under that door.
We've been talking replacing carpet in our family room for a while. Hemming and hawing over what to replace it with. We like the idea of wood. Or bamboo. And then we watched four kids dragging toys across new wood floors in my sister-in-laws house of Christmas. (Truthfully, mostly my kids. The cousins aren't quite as...unrestrained in their physical activity levels as mine are). Maybe laminate would be better.
Which rooms? The family room is the worst. 9 year-old "builders grade" carpet in the most trafficked room in the house. One spot in particular is the main thoroughfare between the garage and the rest of the house. Road grime. Tracked food. Toddlers.
Decision time. The family room is one large room with the kitchen and breakfast room. It would look nice to do all of them at once. But the kitchen has "builders grade" cabinets that are groaning under the weight of my dish addiction. And the vinyl was run under the cabinets. There is no removal of vinyl possible without removal of cabinets. The family room is also very open with the front room (the formal dining/sitting room). Upgrading the floor there would be very nice for the show-off appeal when you walk in the front door. Oddly, there is little or no carpet damage near the front door from foot traffic.
Back to the water damage. My husband cut up a small section of the vinyl near the door, to examine the results. Water is flowing into the house, not out of it, from the door. Probably poor installation. And the subfloor there needs replacing. Badly. Maybe the door as well.
Decision time. The kitchen floor has just received a unanimous nomination for floor replacement. There is no repairing the small patch of vinyl removed. And really no repairing the much larger patch that must be removed to fix the subfloor. But the $%^& vinyl is run under the cabinets. We will have to put new flooring on top of it.
Or remove the cabinets. And there's no way to remove and reinstall them gracefully. So that means new cabinets. And countertops. And everyone knows that I've been itching for double ovens, which means a complete re-design of the layout (where to put them? And how big of a fridge will fit? And can I get a 6-burner stove? Gas?) And did I mention my idea of moving the laundry room upstairs and using the existing laundry room as a walk-in pantry?
Ok, now its time to panic. Could we afford to re-do the kitchen? Possibly. Perhaps not with the laundry-room move idea (Plumbing. Re-configuring walls. And closets. And new flooring for the affected rooms).
But should we do this at all? Or should we cut enough of the vinyl back, repair the subfloor, and just install laminate in the family room and kitchen? And what if we feel like refurbishing the kitchen in, say, a year? Take up brand-new floors? What a waste.
Ack! Time to go hide now. Because I dream big, but when it comes to actually spending money, I freak bigger.