30 September 2011

D-Day (Demolition Day!)

This past weekend was a big day! It officially marked the beginning of the reno. When I arrived at the house, I could hear jack hammers and voices in my basement. To my surprise, the concrete and sewer crew was happily working away, digging out my basement but that will be another post, another day.

Prior to the weekend, Nick removed the bookshelves from the dining room and the kitchen cabinetry. My plan is to try to use the existing cabinetry for other rooms in the house; the shelves will either go in the den or in the basement for storage and the old kitchen cabinets will be used in the laundry area.

My cabinet maker hard at work.

This kitchen will be demolished, so I have saved anything
of value for either other areas of the home, or to use for
trade at other used stores.


Saturday's demo began with the paneling on the wall. After consulting with drywall expert, Andy, the decision to remove all the paneling was based on the idea of starting "fresh". Because some of the paneling was warped, troublesome and down right ugly, the decision was made to put some elbow grease into those walls and tear it all down. The boys really enjoyed themselves during this process. I also rewarded them with cold beer, which helped.


Paneling coming down.

First wall exposing plaster and it's ugly wallpaper.


This is the construction of the walls. Layer 1 is the lathe (wood
slats), Layer 2 is where the plaster is spread over the wood to create
a solid wall. Lastly, and only in this home, there is a third layer of
wood paneling that covered the plaster and lathe.

The lathe was in surprisingly good shape. We have decided to leave it up and cut around it for heating/cooling ducts. While the boys were downstairs working, Mom and I were trying to salvage some of the okay plaster walls to avoid drywalling the whole house. Instead, we peeled a stucco like adhesive on top of old wallpaper(s).


I ditched the hand scrapper and used the floor
scrapper. It worked great, but be careful about
the corners digging into the paster.


This is the beginning of the mess...definitely just the beginning.

And while we worked, this is what was happening downstairs....


Crow bars. Mess. Shovels to clean.

Dusk Masks. Safety Goggles. Safety always first.
My workers. My mess. My gratitude for all their
hard work, and joking personalities ;)
This is now the state of the old living room, new kitchen.
Can you visualize it yet?!

Once the plaster started to come down, and my anxiety rose, I realized that this was the right thing to do. There is nothing better than figuring out what is behind the mess versus covering it up. Imagine after all the work is finished, painted and beautiful, then suddenly you find out their is mould or any other issue? That would be worse than experiencing a day of mess and dust! Fundamentally, working from the basics and making sure all of your "ducks are aligned" is one of the most sound pieces of advice I can give you for a reno, especially on an old house. Surprises will come up, and I am lucky that thus far, I am in the clear but let's be honest...it's only the first week of the project!!

Thank you to all of my helping hands. I truly could not have done it without you.

Next up on the schedule is fixing the dungeon basement and removing the kitchen....

Stay Tuned!



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