I understand real estate agents find houses inhabited by smokers for a long time a hard sell. You wanna knock twenty or thirty thousand dollars, maybe more, off the resale value of your house, be my guest.
I think it's a lot more that a few hundred - replacing all the carpets for a start will be thousands. That said, if a smoker chooses to do that, who are we to say they can't or even to try to make it difficult?
Wash. Post: Ridding A New Home of Tobacco Smoke is Time-Consuming and Expensive [03/17-2]
Excerpts from: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes -- and in the Carpet and the Curtains . .
By Cheryl Kenny Washington Post [03/17/05]
It's the unwanted houseguest that just won't leave: the stale, lingering odor of tobacco smoke. Getting rid of it can be time-consuming and expensive. Just ask Kathy and David Houle.
Six years ago, the Houles bought a 1947 Colonial in Arlington that had been owned by chain smokers for 25 years. "We were very nervous that we weren't going to be able to get the smell out," said Kathy Houle.
Their worries were well founded: It took a year to get rid of the odor.
The couple stripped wallpaper and washed the plaster walls beneath it, then painted. They scoured trim, windows, light fixtures. They scrubbed the mahogany front door, then sealed the wood with tung oil.
They replaced carpeting, the kitchen's linoleum floor and the dining room's hardwood -- changes they probably would have made without a tobacco problem -- but the odor persisted.
They turned to professional cleaners, even having their metal window blinds cleaned and the nicotine-yellowed cords replaced. They hired a chimney sweep to clear cigarette odor from their fireplace. They even had their HVAC ductwork cleaned. "Getting the ducts cleaned was key," said Houle. "[The cleaners] told me it was some of the worst they'd seen, filled with black gunk. And they said it was from smoking."
The Houles eventually eliminated the odor, but it took countless hours of labor and thousands of dollars to do it.
To tobacco! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.