Archive for the ‘Demolition’ Category

The floors are finished! The floors are finished! The floors are finished! Yes, I could run around our neighborhood screaming this at the top my lungs. I have been waiting for this project since we moved in and I am ecstatic, thrilled and in love with the results!

I’m really happy I have this blog to document our renovation. It is so much fun to look back and see what has been done to our house! Hopefully I’ve explained everything below and/or in the previous posts about our progress, but if you have any questions or need more details, please email me! I would be happy to share whatever I can.

This is where we started, only three short weeks ago. Surprise to you all – we left after we made some holes in this wall and covered everything with plastic to move in with my parents in Stillwater. That’s right, we commuted and carpooled for 2.5 weeks so we wouldn’t have to live through the mess of this project. Whew – I am very happy to have my freedom and own car back!

Seriously though, we are really lucky they had no problems letting us, plus the dogs, invade their space! What would we do without supportive parents? (This is why the posts on the floors have been random and sporadic – we didn’t see the progress every day so I only got to post when we came by after work to take pictures and see updates.)

This is a close-up of our beautiful new wood floors. Did you know that flooring could be so gorgeous? I had hoped, but didn’t really know, until these 3.25″ wide planks of oak were brought into my life. I loved just the raw wood stage but after being sanded and cleaned off, then stained with the color “Antique Brown” and given several coats of a satin, industrial-strength polyurethane, I love them even more. There is a nice sheen to the floors but they aren’t too glossy – just perfect!

Side note: I don’t know the brand our contractor used for the stain or polyurethane, but if you are interested, email me and I will find out for you!

I’ve always hated how the hallway and the side of the living room were constantly dark but now all we see is sweet, glorious light! Tons of morning light floods into the living room now, thanks to the removal of the dining room wall. I am obsessed! It makes the commuting, the dust and the dirt so worth it to see something this wonderful.

The floors are just stunning! I love that the wood is continuous from our front door all the way to the back door in the laundry room and back to our bedroom as well. The house seems 10x larger than before and looks just incredible. The removal of the wall and putting in these new floors did wonders for this space. Seriously, the pictures don’t do it justice. When we got back from Stillwater, we moved in to a new house!

This is a picture of our breakfast nook, the weekend we were packing it all up. This brick tile is the infamous McDonald’s tile and didn’t look good. It got really scratched up the moment we moved in and never looked nice. I wasn’t sad at all to lose any of this!

Now the floors are like butter (or, butt-ah) and look perfect in this space! The white cabinets pop off of the dark wood and look exactly how I’ve been picturing it from the beginning. The white baseboards just got put back on (I’ll have updated pictures of that very soon) and they are fabulous against the wood!

Fun new project – I’ve finally decided that since I don’t like the wall color in the kitchen, I’m repainting it all. Yup, that’s right. I haven’t ever been really happy with it, it has always been too yellow instead of soft tan that I was going for, so I decided that now was the time to get it done! Our floors are too great to have a not-so-great wall color. I’m crazy, its okay.

We have had some casualties during this process. Several areas and dings like these can be found on our cabinets and painted baseboards. Totally okay though, some paint will make it all like new again! I found out we used the wrong type of paint in this area (the shine is too flat and doesn’t clean easily, very annoying) so again, it is the perfect opportunity to clean this project up as well. Told you, I’m crazy!

Luckily you can’t see all of the dings and scratches from a distance and hopefully the pretty floors distract your gaze, so if you come over before I get it all repainted, don’t judge. We are not a perfect house so come in with a judgement-free attitude and just like my favorite quote from the movie, Bridesmaids, “be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person.” Hah!

This is what it used to look like when you came over for dinner at our house. You were trapped in the boring, beige room! Or, if you came over for a party you most likely missed this room and walked on by to the living room. Several people have told us they forgot we had a dining room because you don’t notice it when sitting in the living room or kitchen!

I love nice dining rooms and definitely want you to notice our room, so removing this wall makes it all so much better for everyone! You won’t be trapped or feel removed from the house when you come over for dinner. When we have parties, we can use this table as the food table and open up a ton of space in our kitchen. The possibilities are endless!

That sunlight in the top corner of the living room just gets me! This was taken at 8:45 a.m. and made me so giddy. I kept watching it get brighter and bigger and light up this room, so cool! We love natural light and like to keep lights off until it really gets dark so this new found light is perfect for us.

Wow – what a difference three weeks make! Here is the progress with links to the posts: 1)The original before. 2)The dining room wall was removed. 3)The floors came up and demo got really serious. 4)Plywood was laid to even out the floors and make them all level. 5)The raw wood went in. 6)The wood was sanded, stained and given two coats of polyurethane to create a beautiful floor.

The baseboards and casings on the wall openings are in and really make it all look more finished. A cleaning team is coming in (my first time to have someone else clean for me – SO excited!) and they are going to scour our house from top to bottom…then I can get to work painting! The casings, baseboards, dining room walls, dining room ceiling, hallways, moldings and hallway ceilings all have to be painted and I am ready to make it all look the way it looks in my head. It won’t be fun but the result will be!

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Today was Day 5 of demolition. I’m counting Sunday as Day 1 since we did take a few shots in the wall and we had to tape everything up to protect it from the dust and debris that was about to start flying. I went by at lunch to check everything out…oh, and give our contractor a check for the wood floors. We are a chaos-living, check-writing machine right now!

This is what I walked into today. Holy moly! I knew it was going to be crazy and there would be a lot of dust but I wasn’t expecting an outdoor construction site. The hallways of our house are brick. Like, real brick. The patio that is in the front? It continues on inside and onto our hallways. Crazy!

This is the view from the corner of our living room, facing the front of the house. I can completely ignore the plastic-covered furniture, the torn up flooring and the dust everywhere because all I see is light. I’ve seen the light people and it is fabulous! The gray part of the wall in the right corner of the picture has never seen this much light. I love it!

It is so weird for me to see this second living room (aka Conner’s man room) as just a slab of concrete. The hallways were real brick, the kitchen was brick tile and the second living/dining rooms were carpet; aka three levels of flooring! Our contractor will be using plywood to level out the hallways to make them even with the other floors so we can have one continuous line of wood.

This is the heavy-duty, serious jack hammer that was being used when I walked in. It is one bad mother-shut-your-mouth and to be honest, I would love to try to use it! By try to use it, I of course mean take about 20 seconds to see how it would control me instead of me controlling it and then hand it back over to the professionals.

I loved seeing our “McDonald’s tile” out of the house! Have I told you that story? I’ll have to write a post about it this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle as much as the next person who had too much fun the night before but in general with this flooring news, me = not happy.

The best news of the day was when I saw that our wood (specifically 2 1/4″ oak, stained antique brown) would butt up against, and be level with, our living room carpet. None of us had any clue what we would find until all of the floors were up so this is GREAT news! It reduces the amount of leveling we would have to do and there won’t be any transition pieces acting as a reducer from the higher floor to the lower floor. Instead, we will be using a normal, mini transition piece to go from one floor material to the next.

This is the view from the hallway leading to our bedrooms, looking back to the main part of the house. Tomorrow the contractors will finish tearing out this brick and get the house cleaned out. Saturday they will level the floors with the plywood and then start installing the wood floors on Monday – yes!

When I showed this picture to Conner, he had to figure out where he was in the house. Hah! We are still getting used to that wall being down and seeing the house with almost no flooring – so much different from Sunday morning!

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It feels like forever since I’ve been talking about, thinking about or planning for the demolition of our dining room wall that separates that room from our living room. Technically, it has been 19 months and 20 days (since that’s how long we’ve lived in this house) but it feels like forever.

Last month I talked about what I didn’t like in this room. You can see a bunch of examples written on the photo but the main problem was the wall and the fact that it blocked so much natural light from our living room. I was more than ready to see it go!

When we walked into our house tonight, this is what we saw! To simply say, “I was excited,” is a complete understatement. I’m not sure how I can express it to you. I screamed, I got really giddy and was jumping all around…maybe those images help define how I was feeling after work today?

The light!! Sweet, sweet natural light. It already makes everything seem so much bigger and better even though we still have a long way to go here. We couldn’t get rid of the whole wall, the ceilings are lower in the dining room than in the hallways so we needed to leave support, but it still makes such a huge difference!

Here is another picture of the room before today. I am standing in the corner, next to the window and looking toward the living room/kitchen/entryway…

Here is the room, from the same angle, today! You can see the living room, entryway and the openings to the kitchen. I am obsessed and ready for the rest of the demo to be complete. That plastic isn’t the best look for our house, it kind of stresses me out to see it, so lets move on.

I’m standing in the doorway from the kitchen to the living room in this picture. The front of the house gets so much more light than the back and we just knew that opening up that wall would help lighten up this room that seems constantly dark.

SO MUCH BETTER!! Seriously. I don’t think I could even imagine how much this would change-up our house and how much I would love it like this. Even with the mud and sheet rock that has yet to be textured and painted, it still looks so much better than before.

Here is a before and after comparison that I have condensed into one picture (I love the iPhone apps that do this!). It is just crazy to me how much I already love this new look! We still have a way to go – demo on the floors, new wood floors installed, casings on the openings of the walls, crown molding and then new paint on almost everything. Luckily the work is being done for us (except for paint – hard to hire that out when it is easy enough to do ourselves) so this process is a lot more fun when done as a spectator!

Demo on the floors starts tomorrow – I can’t wait to see the progress!

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It is snowing outside right now and even though it might delay our house project, I would love a snow day tomorrow. We worked on the house all weekend and I’m exhausted!! I need a snow day to recoop. We did a ton of prep work to get ready for the real demo that will take place starting tomorrow but of course had to have a little fun for ourselves first.

We got a bunch of plastic drop cloths and covered everything we could to help reduce the amount of dust and debris that will be everywhere. I know that you can’t avoid it all but maybe we can help control it a little bit!

We didn’t want to have a bunch of boxes everywhere so the cabinets are still filled but are now covered to help dust from getting on plates, glassware, etc. Again, it might not be perfect but hopefully we keep a majority of the dust from settling on every little nook and cranny in the house.

Luckily our two extra bedrooms are pretty empty so we were able to fit most of our smaller furniture and decorative items in these rooms. It was a pain, but we did it as organized and arranged as possible. The drawers of the buffets were emptied, carried into the bedrooms, and then loaded up again so it wouldn’t be so chaotic and clustered in each room.

And now for the main event…

We took out a little agression on the wall coming down and it was a blast! I was proud of myself for swinging the hammer and not letting it fly away or hit anyone else. (I’m definitely not known for my ahtletic/coordination skills!) I didn’t use any video because we didn’t have a big sledgehammer so it wasn’t as dramatic as you would want to see but it was still a lot of fun with our regular hammer! The only tricky part was watching out for electrical wires and studs.

Once the first hole to the other side was made, I had to try and fit my face in the space. What a thrill to see little bits of light shining through! It makes me even more excited to see how open and light this space will be once the whole thing is down.

My brother, Chris, and his girlfriend came over for a little demo fun as well. They thoroughly enjoyed getting to whack away and make a mess. Maybe that’s why we were also having so much fun – the mess! It is going to get a whole lot worse so we didn’t have to clean anything up. My first reaction was to get a broom and start sweeping – I’m a clean freak!

Conner got home just in time to stick his face through the bigger hole that we had made. He took a couple of kicks to the wall and got out his frustrations from not getting to see the final day of the PGA Pro-Am today – hah!

This is how we left it…like that smily face? Chris had fun getting that one done. My mom came over and got some really good kicks in with her foot. She enjoyed it so much, maybe a little too much, and I wish I had gotten a picture! I know our contractor is really ready to get in there and do the main demo. He said it’s his team’s most favorite part of doing a project – I totally get that now!

If the roads aren’t too bad tomorrow, the wall will come down and the first layer of mud will be put on. Tuesday is mudding/texturing day 2 and Wednesday the demo on the floors starts! What a fun week. We will be taking lots and lots of pictures and I’ll update as much as possible. Pending no delays, this whole project (floors, wall, trim/casings, etc) will be finished in 3 weeks – I can’t wait!

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It was a busy weekend in our house! We had three different contractors here, each measuring and talking options with us so they can give us estimates for new floors! I am so excited that we are finally moving forward with knocking down the wall in the dining room, which will open it up to our living room, and then replacing the flooring in our dining room, hallways, kitchen and second living room – so much to do but so much fun!

This is a view I rarely show you because I hate it. I have always despised this wall with these sconces that are not our style at all so here is what I detest and what will be changed…

I put up the circle candle holder from our old house just to have something on that wall when we moved in but didn’t put more thought into the wall because I always knew we would knock it down…I knew but I had to convince Conner! The outlet at the bottom hasn’t ever worked. We need to add crown molding to the top and the ceiling needs to be painted white. The walls will be painted the same light grey to match our living room, once this wall comes down.

Here is definitely a view you’ve never seen…the other side of the wall! This was taken at 11 a.m. in the morning, when our house gets the most natural light. Isn’t it crazy how dark it is in the hallway outside of the dining room? To the right of the hallway is our main living room with huge windows but you would never know it with how dark this area is. I absolutely can not wait to see this gone!

The light from the dining room is going to flood into our living room and is going to be so wonderful! The overhang of the roof and the big trees in the backyard prevent a lot of natural light from coming in so having the light from the front of the house is going to make a huge difference.

This is looking from the dining room into the front entryway. You can also see the hallway with the gallery wall I recently did and still love!

The wall we’re knocking down will have an opening like the current one in this room. The ceilings are lower in here than in the hallways so I want to keep the two room openings the same and have some balance. The only thing that will change is the addition of casings and moldings around the entry to really make them pop and give some serious detail to them…again, so excited!

(Thanks to Max for modeling his favorite ‘sunning in the front room’ position) I still have some projects that I need to do before we get this whole dining room project started/finished…like finishing Memaw’s chairs that flank our buffet (the gold ones in the pictures above) and this curio cabinet from my grandma. There are several glass shelves as well as a mirrored back that are all so cool in the cabinet. I can’t wait to lighten this piece up by using some chalk or milk paint before displaying some gorgeous serving dishes in here!

So, that is our current plan. What do you think? Most are convinced it is a good idea but when you say ‘remove a wall’ people get weird that you’re making a mistake that can’t be fixed. I know this will be exactly what we need to update and freshen up this part of the house so I’m ready to do it! We have some plans for other rooms as well but for now, we’re starting with this. I will definitely keep you updated with our progress when we finally get started (hopefully next month!).

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