To the dump and back again, and again, and again

I haven’t posted an update about our home renovation in a LONG time, but Alex and I have been working on the house quite a bit lately. We’ve been doing lots of demolition, and we’re getting very excited about seeing our vision come to life. We have set a goal to finish a large portion of the inside of the house before the warmth of spring arrives. That way we can focus on the outside of the house in the spring.

This update is a bit disjointed, mostly because we’ve been working on things all over the place. Please see the home & garden page for previous updates, and here is the post with the before pictures of the house.

Anyway, when was my last update…where did I leave off? Ah yes, it has been almost 7 months since my last house update. Oh my! I last mentioned that we were putting a new sliding door and front window in. Those did get put in, but I neglected to mention that before dropping out of the blogosphere for a few months. Oops!

sliding door

sliding door

Inside shot

Inside shot

one front window

one front window

Demo of the old kitchen

Several months ago, W & L came over to help us with the demolition of the old kitchen, and took a load to the dump for us (such a big help!).

All of us like a good demolition day

All of us like a good demolition day

Destroying that old, nasty, moldy kitchen was invigorating!

We found another gem of a message left for us from the teenage girl who used to live here (see the middle of this post for one of her previous writings). Apparently, she was fairly prolific. This was on the back side of the base underneath one of the cabinets. Who knows how she even stuck it there?

It says, "This will never be ur home."

It says, “This will never be ur home.”

No more old kitchen

No more old kitchen

The old kitchen is going to be our new master bathroom, and we had to take everything out of that room before we could close off and finish the new kitchen. So last weekend, I finished taking the drywall out of the room.

We'll remove the ceiling drywall, too

We’ll remove the ceiling drywall, too

I also knocked through one of our closets into our bedroom so we have an entrance to work on the new bathroom.

There's a lot of light coming into our bedroom now when those curtains are open

There’s a lot of light coming into our bedroom now, when those curtains are open

My combination bedroom/sewing room

If you recall, I had our clothes hanging where the opening is in the picture above and my sewing stuff in the closet on the left (because there is no other clean space in the house). I was forced to reorganize the room. So, now my sewing stuff is right beside my bed–which, I’m not going to lie, is actually pretty amazing. I can literally just roll right out of bed and on to my sewing chair on days that allow for sewing time.

Combination bedroom/sewing room

Combination bedroom/sewing room

Another positive is that I can be in the same room with Alex in the evenings. So I’m hanging out with him, but I can get some stuff done. ;) The sewing tables are also by the window, which I love!

Progress on the new kitchen

We had a few setbacks with getting our upper cabinets up in the kitchen. One of the problems was our table saw. It broke a few times, and Alex has been using a skill saw to cut the cabinets out. He was using his dad’s skill saw which is bulky and heavy, so one of his early Christmas gifts was a new skill saw.

We had one of the upper cabinets hung for a while.

We also have a lazy susan in and  some drawers in the bottom cabinet boxes, as well as our appliances and the sink

We also have a lazy Susan and some drawers in the bottom cabinet boxes, as well as our appliances and the sink

But we had to take it back down to re-cut because Alex changed his corner cabinet design.

So we got stuck in a rut for a while and didn’t make much progress on the kitchen. But last weekend, Alex put some of the upper cabinets up in the new kitchen.

My hot handyman hubby :D

My hunky, handyman hubby :D

Now all we have to do is add the trim, sand, paint and put doors on...

Now all we have to do is add the trim, fill holes, sand everything, paint everything and put doors on. Oh, is that all?…:)

Now that the old kitchen is all torn out and we have an entrance into the space through our bedroom, we can wall off the rest of the kitchen (to the right of the stove in the picture below) and finish the rest of the cabinets. YAY!

Once we finish the kitchen wall, there will be another set of upper and lower cabinets, as well as a full height pantry cabinet to the right of the stove.

Once we finish the kitchen wall, there will be another set of upper and lower cabinets, as well as a full height pantry cabinet to the right of the stove.

The garage walls

A couple of weeks ago, Alex built the walls to close the garage off from the rest of the basement.

New garage

New garage

We actually have a door between our garage and the rest of our house now. :)

Looking from the foot of the basement stairs toward the new  garage wall

Looking from the foot of the basement stairs toward the new garage wall

The section just behind the garage wall (to the left of the door in the picture above) will be the laundry room.

Future laundry room

Future laundry room

Demo in the living area

As you saw in the pictures of my grandparents’ visit, one day this summer I took down the drywall in the living and dining area. While they were here, they helped me remove the stray nails and the stray staples on the floor left over from removing the carpet. I’m glad they were OK with hanging out in our unfinished house. They both like projects, too.

Our makeshift dining room - July 2012

Our makeshift dining room without walls – July 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Alex started taking apart the fireplace.

pile of bricks

pile of bricks

buh-bye old fireplace

buh-bye old fireplace

We both aren’t fans of that brick, and the hearth takes up too much space in the room. We’re going to put a wood burning stove in the fireplace opening, extending the pipe up the existing chimney. Eventually, we’ll put a nice mantle around the opening, too.

Open floor plan

We decided not to move the stairs, after all. However, we are going to make the stairs as open as possible. In preparation for building the new stairs and putting the beams in on either side of the stairs (on the living room side of the stairs), I ripped out all of the drywall and the door into the basement.

Before

Before

Before- other side

Before- other side

That framing will be gone, but we will, of course have a railing blocking off the basement stairs.

That framing will be gone, but we will, of course have a railing blocking off the basement stairs.

As you can see, upon Alex’s request, I popped the vertical boards off of the stairs, being careful not to damage the steps. We wanted to get an idea of what the open stairs would be like.

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The openings between the steps won’t be quite so big, but this gives us an idea of what it will be like.

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We will have large beams spanning from the front and back of the house to the middle of this wall. So, all of that framing will be gone and we will only have two small columns by the stairs.

I stepped on a nail for the first time after taking all of this stuff out. I’m always really careful, but since it had been a while since my last klutz moment, unfortunately, my number was up. It didn’t push too far into my foot, but it was still really painful. I kept thinking to myself, this must be what it feels like to get stabbed. Can we say, hypochondriac? Geesh!

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Looking from the front door toward the kitchen

We also tore out the ceiling, so we could see what the framing around the stairs was like.

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No more entryway ceiling

One of several dump loads from the past week

One of several dump loads from the past week

Demolition galore

As we looked at the open stairs, we wanted to see how open the entryway will feel when we’re done. So, I moved all of my sewing stuff and we started to tear into the walls of that weird cubby in the upstairs bedroom next to the stairs.

No more cubby walls!

No more cubby walls!

 

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The room on the right (the cubby extends across the entryway to the bathroom dormer), the landing of the stairs in the middle, and the bathroom wall on the left.

There are few things more satisfying than smashing into that nasty paneling and ripping it out. :)

The rooms will feel so much larger without those pointless cubbies creating a tunnel to the dormers. It makes the space more usable and bright.

Looking toward the bathroom from the bedroom, and Newton exploring. :)

This is looking toward the bathroom from the bedroom. Yep, there is a blue toilet in the bedroom, right now.

We then moved into the bathroom, and widened our path of destruction.

At the foot of Mount Destruction

At the foot of Mount Destruction

We removed the bathroom wall next to the stairway.

At the top of the stairs, looking through the bathroom wall

At the top of the stairs, looking through the bathroom wall.

Alex continued to remove the drywall between the other bedroom and the bathroom.

No more blue tiles, or a wall for that matter, above the bathtub

No more blue tiles, or a wall for that matter, above the bathtub

I had the task of removing tiles from the bathroom floor. I got to smash the tiles with a hammer and scrape them off with the shovel.

Tiles almost removed

Tiles almost all removed

Tiles were flying everywhere since everything in the house was so open, at this point. Two nasty blisters later, I had the tiles removed from the bathroom floor. I have a feeling we’re going to be finding those bathroom tiles everywhere for a while.

In the bathroom doorway looking toward the stairway and opened cubby

In the bathroom doorway looking toward the stairway and opened cubby

For anyone wondering, we will eventually have a bathroom on that level. The new upstairs bathroom will be in the same place as our original plan: in the corner behind one of the rooms.

An expanded vision

Once we had opened everything up, we started making some changes to our original plan. We’re going to open the entryway even more, meaning we will push into the attic. The entryway will feel so open and bright.

Alex cut through part of the subfloor above the main level, as you can see in the picture below.

Everything from the wall beside the stairs over will eventually be open space

Everything from the wall beside the stairs over will eventually be open space

That whole area from the stairs over to the wall below in the main level will be open to the entryway.

Looking up from the foot of the stairs

Looking up from the foot of the stairs

Again, everything over to the wall on the left of the front door will be gone

Again, everything over to the wall on the left of the front door will be gone

We also decided that we will open up the attic space behind the wall at the top of the stairs and put a skylight in. That attic space will also eventually be open to the kitchen below. So from the kitchen and the entryway, we’ll be able to see all the way up to the top of the inside of the house.

We’re also thinking that we may add loft spaces above the upper level rooms on either side because the space in the attic is tall enough that Alex can stand in it. Those loft spaces would be open into the middle section of the house (with railings, of course), and we would add skylights on the backside of the roof for light.

It’s difficult to explain what it will look like, but Alex and I are definitely on the same page and we’re ready to make some progress putting the house back together.

To the dump and back again

Yet another dump load

Yet another dump load

By the end of this week, we will  likely have been to the dump about four times. We have been to the dump so many times they probably recognize us now. I’ll be glad to no longer be on such familiar terms with the landfill.

We’ve taken so many loads to the dump that I think we may have to wallpaper our house with these sheets.

We thought that the guy who weighe us in was actually named Cookie, but were disappointed to discover that the name never changes. Too bad, I was looking forward to making a cookie monster joke next time the same guy weighed us in. :)

We thought that the guy who weighed us in was actually named Cookie. How great would that be!? But we were disappointed to discover that the name never changes. Too bad, I was looking forward to making a Cookie Monster joke next time the same guy weighed us in. :)

Last time we were there, I decided I’ll have to come back and scavenge when it’s time to decorate and furnish our house. I saw several items in one of the trash piles in almost perfect condition. I spotted one of those bases from an old Singer sewing machine table. I’m kicking myself for not ignoring Alex’s protestations and taking it home to use as a base for a table in my future sewing room.

“Where’s Newton?”

Did you see curious little Newton exploring in some of those pictures? You’ve no doubt noticed that he pops up randomly in pictures on the blog. I’m thinking it might be fun to create a “Where’s Waldo?” type of game for readers to play, only it’ll be called, “Where’s Newton?” I’ll award a prize to the first person who can spot him. He won’t be in every post, but occasionally he’ll show up, and if you spot him, you’ll win something. What do you think? Anyone want to play? :D

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5 Responses to To the dump and back again, and again, and again

  1. GA says:

    I’ll play because I noticed him immediately and wondered why you didn’t mention that he was there helping you!! LOL

    • Becca says:

      Haha! So, which picture(s)? Oh, and I just noticed that several edits that I made to the post and several of my pictures of the opening in the floor were missing. I fixed it now, though.

  2. Rachel Victoria says:

    The picture with the tiles in the blue bathtub.

    • Becca says:

      Oh yeah, he’s in that one, too. Ha! I was actually thinking of a different picture. Can you spot him in another one? I’ll email you to get your address so I can send you a goodie when I get back home next week. :) You still crochet, right?

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