The third room that we worked on caused us the most anxiety and the most joy so I'm going to split this up into 2 posts so that I can tell the whole story. I mentioned in a previous post that we were totally shocked to find hardwood floors under our carpeting in our dining and living rooms. Honestly, we were both totally shocked and heartbroken at the same time.
We were totally shocked because we had checked under the carpet to see what was there. We had checked years ago when the carpet became stained. We pulled up the carpeting where it connected to the kitchen and there was simply plywood underneath. We could see back a couple of inches, saw the carpet tack strips nailed to plywood and that was it. All we could see in either direction was plywood.
So, we knew when we took on this renovation, we would have to pay for new carpeting and that it would be a huge expense. And it was. It cost us $1100 for carpeting. And that was with us tearing out the old carpet on our own and us moving all of our own furniture. Otherwise, it would have been $1800. Knowing that we were hosting Thankgiving this year, I ordered the carpeting in October so that it would be installed by Thanksgiving. And I had to pay the $1100 up front.
Fast forward to the evening of November 17th - two days before the carpet was to be installed. I had already painted the dining room and the living room and the only things left to be done in those two rooms was the floors. So, Tom and I started moving furniture out of the rooms and got ready to rip up the carpet. We were practically giddy at the thought of finally getting new carpeting later that week.
And then Tom knelt down and pulled up the first corner of carpeting. I heard him say something ominous under his breath. I couldn't tell what he had said but the tone of his voice told me something was not good. I looked over at him and he was holding his face in his hands. We had joked about how beautiful hardwood floors would have been in there and that conversation came rushing back to me. My blood ran cold and I said, "No. No. Tell me that there's just plywood under there."
All I could think about was the $1100 that we had paid for new carpeting. He slowly looked up at me and said, "I don't know how we missed it but it's all hardwood floors." He was devastated and it was all I could do not to burst into tears. We had just spent $1100 that we really didn't have and now it was totally wasted. It was not a good night. Yes, we could tell the floors were going to be beautiful but we were heartbroken about the money we had spent.
And once we pulled up the carpet, we could see why we had been fooled. Where the hardwood floors ended, there was a larger than usual gap between the wood and the kitchen flooring so the first row of carpet tacks had been nailed down into plywood. There's no way we would have seen the hardwood in that location. Because it wasn't there.
I called Lowe's right away and explained what had happened. The man on the other end of the phone was very nice but he said I'd have to call back the next day and I could tell that there wasn't going to be anything they could do.
I don't think I slept at all that night. I cried and cried about the new kitchen countertops that we could have bought if we hadn't had to pay for the carpeting. I cried about how long we'd been working without a break and how I was just sick of renovations. I cried for a lot of reasons but most of them involved exhaustion, I think.
The next morning, I called Lowe's back. I had to speak with numerous different departments and a couple of managers. I explained it over and over and got a lot of sympathy but not a lot of hope. Finally, a sales manager said she would handle it herself and she would try to get me at least some of the money back - at least a couple hundred dollars since we weren't going to need their installation services. I was thrilled to get anything back. Losing $900 is better than losing $1100 was all I could think.
A couple of hours later, the sales manager called me back and this was the conversation:
Chris: "Hi Stephanie. Well, I'm sorry to tell you that I couldn't get it all refunded for you. You're going to be liable for the shipping charges but the manufacturer will take the actual carpeting back."
Me: "Okay. How much are the shipping charges?"
Chris: "$56.80. I'm so sorry I couldn't get those refunded for you."
Me: Hysterical laughter and screaming.
Chris: Dead silence then she burst out laughing. "I guess you're not upset with me then."
Me: "You just made my day! I love you!"
Chris: Still laughing so hard she can barely talk, "I'll consider this a good start to my work day then."
We hung up the phone and I screamed out loud again, called Tom and told him the news, and then cried again. Our lovely, beautiful, GORGEOUS hardwoods floors had cost us $56.80. It felt like we had won the lottery!