Home Renovation: What Was Left Behind
(Warning: The following images are graphic and may cause nightmares. And language may be a bit coarse.)
The first call I got from Paul after doing the final walk through was about the carpet.
“It looks like an abandoned meth den,” he told me. “What the fuck did we get into?”
Once we officially received the keys and finally made our way over together, what he described wasn’t far from the truth.
Dust piles, bobby pins, paper clips, feathers, cricket carcasses, paper scraps, countless popcorn kernels (the previous owner apparently loooved her popcorn) and 2 or 3 errant prescription pills was scattered all over. The listing agent’s excuse to Paul? “The maid didn’t have a vacuum. (followed with a chuckle)” Vacuum? It seemed like the entire place hadn’t been vacuumed in a few years.
One note: upon having our offer accepted, we informed the seller that she didn’t need to have the carpets professionally cleaned and stretched back into shape. We were planning to have all the flooring replaced including the vomit-inducing carpet in both bathrooms. (The carpets upstairs varied from room to room.) But not making an effort to vacuum for 20 minutes and instead leave it as-is was disrespectful (my words), lazy and just plain shitty (Paul’s words).
We spent a half hour Saturday morning picking up by hand all the leftovers before we vacuumed. (Last thing we wanted to do was replace our vacuum cleaner.) It was a crap job but knowing that we’d have to face the carpet a few weeks until it was replaced was unthinkable.
As I vacuumed, Paul removed nails from the wall to prep for spackle and painting. But we found another gem that didn’t leave with the previous owner: hanger cozies. What? You haven’t been so bored that you wanted to knit something for your hangers? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
With everything cleaned to a bare minimum, the next thing to set up is the flooring and popcorn ceiling removal.