When is the last time you started a home improvement project? There is no denying that this can be a very rewarding endeavor, but it can be wearisome at the same time.

Since my husband and I bought our house about two years ago, we haven’t had to do too many projects after we moved in. The moving in process was awful though. There were so many little projects that we wanted to tackle before we actually moved in the house. Our reasoning was pretty sound, we didn’t want to have to do these projects after we were living in the home.

One of my favorite places in our home is our living room. It’s got an open floor plan and our living room is the focal point of the whole house. It’s got high ceilings and can be seen from our loft area up stairs. It’s also open to the kitchen; so it gets plenty of attention when you walk into our home. 

The only problem I’ve had with our living room is that it had white carpet. I’m not a person who hates carpets, on the contrary, I actually like carpets in a home. They are more inviting and comforting feeling. They also make a great place for the kids to sit and play games or take naps. But when you have four kids and white carpet, it’s not hard to do the math. The white doesn’t stay white very long.

When we first moved in the house, I told my husband that we would love the carpets while we had them, but not to expect them to last too long. Sadly, I was right. Despite our best efforts and the steam cleanings that they took, our carpets could not survive our family. We made an executive decision at the end of November to go ahead and buy some laminate hardwood floors for our living room. 

When we brought the boxes of hardwoods into the home, it was immediately evident that this job was going to be a big deal. So we did what every respectable adult does in a situation like that...we piled the boxes up in the hallway and said we would do it after Christmas.

Well, we enjoyed our carpets through December but when Christmas was done, we knew that if we were ever going to get this job done, we would have to start on it then. We didn’t have children in the house for five straight days, so it only made sense to conquer this giant during that week.

I kept hinting to call family members and friends to help with this project, but being the macho man that he is, my husband started on it himself and within five days, the two of us had finished the project. I get to say that I helped because I did pull a few nails out of the stair section and I pieced a few of the boards together. No one needs to know that almost every board that I pieced together had to be redone and I have the arm strength of a gnat at my old age... Nope, you only need to know that I was an assistant in this home improvement project.

When we picked out the color and make of the flooring, I kind of thought that would be the hardest part of the whole project. To get two people to agree with each other on the main flooring of a home seems like a momentous accomplishment. Little did I know that the devil was in the details. I’ve heard that saying my whole life, but when we started moving on this project, the meaning of it really became clear. 

Once we started laying down the main parts of the floor, it was moving like clock-work (except the boards that I helped with), and then we got to the trim and the two stairs leading into the kitchen and the wheels fell off our project. We had to start matching stains for the flooring and cutting and measuring and whining (that was just my contribution). Once we finished this week-long project we stood back and looked at our masterpiece. His shoulders were held back, chest pumped out with pride. He knew he had done a good job, and I agreed. He had done a fabulous job. But I, on the other hand, whipped out my female card and said the first thing that came to my mind. “I don’t really like it. I don’t think this color goes with the house and it’s so cold and uninviting.” I immediately wanted to slap myself in the face, but it was too late. My thoughts had seeped out my mouth (as they usually do). 

My husband, being the amazing man that he is, assured me that it looked great and when we get a carpet in there it would be warm and inviting again. But after days of hard labor, I couldn’t believe I let my mouth overrun my head and blurted out the first things that came to my mind. Surely I have evolved more than this in my 35 years on this planet.

I guess it was the stress of the home improvement project that put me over the edge, but that’s not a good excuse. 

Just be beware if you start a project around your house with your spouse. These things tend to bring out the worse in each other and you’ll have to be prepared to handle that, on top of whatever situations arise in the actual details of the project.

It takes a strong marriage to withstand home improvement projects, and it takes an even stronger man to handle a woman who can’t even be happy with the floor that she picked out herself. Good look to anyone who sets out to conquer a do-it-yourself project. I pity you.

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