Updates on the Demo!

Sorry for the delay on the laundry room reveal guys! We’re having some technical difficulties, but the post should be up tomorrow morning! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little update on where we are with the demo. Part of me feels like things are getting done fast, but the other part of…

Sorry for the delay on the laundry room reveal guys! We’re having some technical difficulties, but the post should be up tomorrow morning!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little update on where we are with the demo. Part of me feels like things are getting done fast, but the other part of me is dying inside from impatience. Not to sound ungrateful but we’ve been living out of suitcases and sleeping on air mattresses for weeks now since our stuff isn’t here yet. I’m a little over it. The idea was to get the floors done before the moving truck arrived at the end of the month, so we’ve been hurrying as fast as possible to get the demo done. The turnaround was going to be tight even if everything went perfectly perfect (which, duh, it never does).

The floor tiles came up pretty easy and many of them were salvageable. The thinset was more like thick-set (almost a full inch in some places!) and that made for a major dust situation to get down to concrete.

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The wood upstairs was nailed down to the plywood subfloor, so it came up in big salvageable planks. So that was good news. The wood in the living room and in the master bedroom however was laid on the concrete slab. It had to be glued down and it was a royal nightmare to pull up. The stuff just shredded when we took a crow bar to it!

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(More after the jump)…

We ended up having to score the floors with a circular saw and then soak them (literally) with water from the garden hose to loosen the wood and the glue underneath. Thank goodness we only had two rooms of that glue down stuff, but just those two rooms have taken days and days of work.

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This is where we are today. Just the bits of glue left!

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There’s been some drama with the wood I wanted too, so the materials haven’t even been ordered yet. :/ This is the part of the reno process where the owner (bummer that it’s me this time) starts banging their head on the (dusty) walls, tears streaming down their face and dolla dolla bills flying out of their pockets at the speed of light.

But we’ll get there! I think we’ve figured out an alternative option for our wood floors that is more affordable and easier to install (I’ll share more next week). There is a bit of a light at the end of this tunnel!

The other aspects of the demo are going a little better than the floors. The walls came down fast, which was completely exciting and satisfying! :) The hearth was ripped up in about twenty minutes!

I had a mason come out today and now it’s looking like we’re only going to redo the fireplace in the living room. We have to have a fireplace specialist build an entirely new firebox because of the way the flu (or the lack there of – it’s sort of just a pipe?) was built. While it’s not cheap to have this work done, it’s not as expensive as I was worried it would be, so I’m happy to invest a little to make this fireplace special since it’s in the family room. I think we’ll save the cash on the master fireplace though and just paint the stone or something else DIY.

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In the front part of the house, we ended up taking off the pony walls and the columns completely to make the bookshelf built-ins easier down the road. I’m loving how open the room feels now! We’re building back some of the walls, but I think it will still feel very open. Can’t wait.

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I was hoping to put in a new front door in a couple of months (once the bank account had a minute or two to recover!), but because of the new floors we’re having to change the threshold and it just makes sense to do this now. I think I found one that I like that’s affordable, but it needs a little DIY magic to make it special. Post coming there, of course.

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The entry way opposite the front door is getting raised now too. Both the front door and the entry way were only 80″ tall and both will be about 100″ now without trim, which will better match the proportions of the high ceilings in the rest of the house I think. The short doors felt weird in person, so in a way I’m glad we were forced to take these projects on now rather than later.

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The rest of the house has been getting only minor updates so far. I started a few little projects in the mudroom and I took down the plastic plants in the kitchen. :)

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I’m totally dying to paint in here (well, everywhere actually), but we need to wait until the demo dust settles a little more. I think this weekend might be a good time to throw up some sample swatches. Pretty sure about 50% of my anxiety will be gone once that yellow faux plaster paint job is gone!  ;) …also that ceiling fan…

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35 thoughts on “Updates on the Demo!

  1. it's looking great. I know the feeling of renovations can be rather unsettling. we've been renovating our house in bits & pieces for going on 6 years now, and i'm so ready to be done. you'll get there too. just hang in & it will be beautiful!

  2. Love the changes – especially the removal of the decorative trim on the front rooms and the plastic plants in the kitchen! Looking forward to seeing your ongoing progress! Awesome blog!

  3. I am SO anxious to see what you end up doing with your house because I'm in the exact same situation right now. We just bought a home in Phoenix and we're in the process of replacing the flooring with wood and redoing the fireplace and laundry room among other things. You're a fantastic inspiration!

  4. Hang in there! I'm living through year 6 of a gutted old house reno and know that melt down feeling too well! Always worth it in the end to make the house work for your family!

  5. Did you get those stools from Target? What a steal, right?! I bought the plain steel version. Can you convince my husband to love them too?

  6. Did you get those stools from Target? What a steal, right?! I bought the plain steel version. Can you convince my husband to love them too?

  7. I can relate: two moves ago I had to wait 6 weeks for my stuff to come on a boat. I watched the ship leave England, do a tour of the North Sea, cross the Atlantic, do a tour of the Eastern seaboard, come through the Panama Canal then finally dock at Long Beach where my container took a train (?!) to Seattle. Oh, and I was 9 months pregnant! Stuff arrived 9 days before baby. I have NEVER been so happy to see a truck come down my street as I was the day my stuff showed up!

  8. Good luck! I know how crazy my mini kitchen remodel made me… Given we are trying to finish before the baby comes and we haven't touched the floors… That will be next year's project… and waiting for moving trucks so not fun… we did that when we left Boston and the twins were expected in a couple weeks. Hang in there!

  9. Your deliberately flooded bedroom made me smile. It must have been strangely exhilarating to do that, kind of like that trash the dress thing.

    Also, it is remarkable how taking down all that faux victorian trellis work improves the space. I'm amazed how that changed the space from western/pioneer to elegant, and you haven't even painted and put your stuff in there yet!

  10. This is the best extreme makeover ever. It is literally thrilling me to watch the updates! Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

  11. It is amazing how much better it looks without that pony gingerbread columned business. Really changes the whole personality of the room – hurray! You are such a hard working mama. I am continuously impressed and amazed by all you do.

  12. Despite the setbacks, I think your progress is still AWESOME. What potential you saw in this place. And, off-topic, those windows–are they steel beauties? Swoon!

  13. Jenny I know you have your hands full! When ever you get a chance would you consider doing a top ten of your favorite projects from your last place in New York? I know I am asking for a ton! However, while these redos are underway it would be an awesome way to recap some of your best successes!

  14. Curious about the taking down of entryway opposite the front door. Is that a header that was removed? Will that cause any problems structurally?

    I wouldn't have the guts to undertake this kind of reno myself. Every single column and doorway I'd be worried that I'm screwing something up. You guys are getting some impressive work done, I'm sure the results will be beautiful!

  15. Ugh – reno is such a nightmare. But you're doing great, and it's going to be amazing. (You're also reminding me why it's good to call in the professionals – I would never in a million years thinking of raising the doorways, and yet you're completely right, it'll make a huge difference!) Thanks for sharing, and hang in there!

  16. Can't wait to see you work your magic in this home. Just curious though, have the previous owners seen your blog? I wonder if they would say "Oh no, my precious plastic plants!" or "Ahhh, I always wanted to do that!"

  17. Yowza, you move fast! I love all the changes so far and can tell that this place is going to be amazing once you're done with it!

  18. Oh Jen, I'm having anxiety issues for you, regarding the budget….eeek! Your husband must be a very calm kind of guy, cause mine would be in a straight jacket in a padded room by now ;-).
    We are thinking about buying the ranch next door & doing a total gut remodel & already I think we need marriage counseling & we're only in the talking phase!
    So I really am enjoying living vicariously thru you.
    Stay calm & carry on.

  19. I can totally relate to this post! My husband and I are renovating an old home in the Boston area and it really does seem like it's always something!

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