Sunday, I decided enough was enough. I ripped up the carpet and decided to let the hubby figure out the whole step/vent issue. It felt so good to pull back that ugly carpet and see hardwood. Carpet, if you didn't know, is practically sacrilegious in my opinion. I'm a hardwood purist. The floors could be in better condition, there are a few stains, but the end result is much better than the carpet.
All in all I'm quite pleased with our "new and improved" hallway!