What lies beneath the carpet (a prequel)

11 Jul

Before we got all SoFlo-y with the paint colors and even put our gloves on for battle wallpaper, we had to deal with floors. The house featured this indoor/outdoor carpet Aaron shows off from the guest room:

As much as this turf carpeting screams tropical location, we were looking to get down to the bones of 1958 Florida. So we ripped it up and rolled it into the carport, where it was quickly snatched up the next day thanks to a Craigslist curb alert. People love turf!

Here’s what we found post-ripping/rolling/lugging:

Terrazzo floors! For decades, people covered them up with carpet or tiled over them, but luckily, it’s coming back in style now. Cost of pouring a new terrazzo floor? $30/square foot. Our house is roughly 1000 square feet of living space (more if you count the screened porch & shed). Turns out we have $30,000 floors. We faced a time crunch here–for us to learn how to trial-and-error it ourselves guided by the internet, it would prolong moving in even further because the process roughs up the walls some, and that would postpone painting, etc. So we decided to get professional help–there are entire businesses down here built around refinishing terrazzo floors. We prepped the floors by removing the nail board from the carpet:

Then the sparks started to fly. Aaron used his Dremel tool to grind off the nails left from the nail board. When I used the end of the hammer at first, the nail coming out led to shattered floor pieces, so we had to adjust our course. Grind on, grind off:

Then the terrazzo refinishers showed up to grind down the stone to make it even and smooth. Next step was filling the holes with a clear coat substance, followed by polishing. Above is what I walked into once they were finished. The flash is supposed to show that it’s shiny, but since it’s a bad photo, let’s focus on my then-recent pedicure.

After a late night of floor-prepping, we made a stop on the way home at the famous Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor. We were there at just the right time. I do not find delicious ice cream worth the long line and parking lot of insanity. But late on a Sunday evening with minimal line and park-where-you want? Perfection. The ice cream-lover in me remembers why:

Home sweet canal

While the view is an obvious plus, it’s not all bliss living on brackish water. On the final walk-through before we closed, a salt water crab was waving to us from the water. Our romantic side led us to swoon “it’s a sign; it’s a sign!” Then we moved in and saw what that cute little guy and his crab army can do to your yard:

It’s all very “we have crabs!” now. That is one hole of many, by the way. But we still love the crab, because when you see him waving your forgiveness is immediate. We also have barracudas, though, less cute but more badass and set to a Heart soundtrack. We purchased a vase from Ikea that Aaron turned into a rotating aquarium by dipping it into the canal every 24 hours to discern what’s living in our backyard.

Wait, is that a jellyfish medusa?

Yes, yes it is. Mini jelly for the win! We spotted puffer fish in the lake around the corner, and Aaron cannot make it through a dinner on the intercoastal waterway without spotting fish.

Behind his head and slightly to the left is where we live. I’m trying so hard not to say “living the dream,” but it does feel that way. Especially when we arrived to dinner by bike. I hold my breath every time I cross over the waterway on the bridge because I don’t want to miss a moment of this life.

1000 square feet of paradise will do.

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6 Responses to “What lies beneath the carpet (a prequel)”

  1. Gayle July 11, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I’m so excited for you all! What a find under the carpet! I guess I don’t need to say don’t let your cat go outside, but you’re smart, so you probably figured that out all on your own. Love the house posts. Love even more that you’re happy! I think we need to get Aaron and Brenton together. That’s very much what our dinners on the water are like, but usually it’s birds for him. Miss you and looking forward to seeing you at GYE!

    • Kara July 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

      Gayle, it’s bird too. Ramona kitty is inside for sure, although I often find other cats sleeping under my car who think they belong to us. We keep Ramona in the dark about all this. Oh and there are frequently baby ducks in the carport. It’s a lot to handle.

  2. Catherine July 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    This post made me so happy! So glad you’re living the dream in paradise. šŸ™‚

    Please keep the house posts coming. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. The floors are awesome!

  3. Jane July 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    So glad you are loving your new home. These memories will stay with you forever. So much to see and enjoy, Live the Florida life to the fullest..

  4. Sarah B. July 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Great post Kara! Especially love your pet medusa:) Miss you!

  5. Ida September 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Congrats on the new house. You are brave to keep the floors. I see those and I see the floor of my elementary school cafeteria. I am sure your house will change my opinion on those floors. So far your changes look great!! I remember catching minnows and those jellyfish in the canals behind my old friend’s house in NMB. SoFlo really belongs to the wildlife and you two are the perfect neighbors, ones who can really appreciate the nature for what it is and not what a nuisance some consider it.

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