One of the first things we did when we moved in was to take up the carpet (if that's what you can call it) from the stairway and the upstairs bedroom. The carpet on the stairs was that green indoor/outdoor carpet and the carpet upstairs was really old brown stuff. The indoor/outdoor carpet came out one of the first days we were in the house. The carpet upstairs came out soon after when the kids and I were out of town. J pulled it up and sanded the hardware underneath it. I was so glad to have both carpets out even if the floor underneath wasn't the prettiest. The stairs stayed pretty ugly until about a month or so ago when J took each step off and flipped it over. It is still not the most glamorous but looks a million times better, and they no longer squeak. We will eventually refinish them but we decided to work on the first floor before moving upstairs.
The next carpet to come out was the living room carpet. It was white, which looked really nice when we first moved in but add in a new puppy who wasn't potty trained yet, 2 other dogs and 2 children and after Christmas it no longer looked nice at all. I asked J if he thought there was hardwood floor underneath the carpet and he said he was pretty sure there was. So I figured it really wouldn't be a big deal to tear up the carpet. Well Surprise, turns out there was a reason the previous owner carpeted half the living room! Turns out there were two spots that were just covered with ply wood. Our house is old so it was likely where the old registers where. Anyhow, we thought about just sanded the floor and replacing the two spots of plywood but J decided it would be more work than it was worth and we decided to go with laminate floor.
What started as just taking out carpet turned into us replacing all the floor on our first floor, except the bedroom and bathroom. J has finished all the flooring except the kitchen thus far, and it looks amazing. It is crazy what a little bit of new flooring can do to a place. It makes the house look bigger and updated in my opinion.