Do it myself?
For close to the wall a belt sander is great.
Sweep up all the dust .. then go back with a tack cloth to remove all the rest of the dust.
It is a big project. But it can be done with patience, and time.
It definitely takes some courage. I have to mentally prepare for it. This time I'm planning to rent a 120-volt sander instead of the 240v 'beast' I used last time. It actually looks somewhat user friendly.
Graham's comments about the belt sander are interesting. Before I've rented the little orbital job to do the edges. I may have to try that myself.
Usually when DIY'ers do floors, you can tell--because they generally leave tiny 'ripples' that the pros don't. Pros just are that much smoother with the drum sander. They're not that big a deal--but they're there just the same. Hopefully my next time (and yours) will be really smooooooth!
One problem I had when we did a floor before: it was a little too chilly when we put down polyurethane, and it turned milky. It was definitely not the look we wanted--but we lived with it thereafter. (After all, who's to know--besides us--that it WASN"T the look we wanted?) (I guess a flooring pro might have recognized it immediately.) So I'd definitely heed the finish's instructions regards temperature/conditions.
Oh--one more thing. Hardwood specialists sell some really beautiful wood floor registers--to replace the common steel ones. They're expensive ($60-100) but wow are they pretty. I think we're going to opt for these ourselves.
Good luck....and please wish us the same
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