#SHIPLAP



I mentioned in previous posts that behind the weird fiberboard was “shiplap“.  I’ve read a lot about shiplap and I wanted to clarify.  What’s on our walls is tongue and groove siding.  It’s very similar to shiplap but it’s not official shiplap…installed, it’s very hard to tell the difference.  Tongue and groove interlocks a bit more which helps keeps the elements at bay.  Shiplap is cheaper however so if you’re just going for the look then that’s what you’ll want to go with of course.

I had a few people ask me “If Joanna hadn’t made that popular would you have felt like you had to drywall over it?”

{doormat}

I’ve thought pretty hard about that question and I think the answer is that I hope not?  I hope I would know my own likes and dislikes enough to know I would have liked it enough to leave it.  Honestly I probably would have wanted to keep it from a budget perspective alone!  I sure am glad she made it popular though so we wouldn’t have to make a choice on whether or not to drywall!

{mug}

Due to the age of ours the gaps can really vary in places which I think makes the house look older and more primitive and it really doesn’t bother me.  I think once all the art and modern furniture is added in it’s going to be a nice juxtaposition.

Our siding wasn’t in perfect condition and we knew there was no insulation in the walls so we feared it would be a VERY cold winter or hot hot summer for a renter.  We had insulation blown in the walls by popping off the top board on all exterior walls.  If you were building a house this wouldn’t the best bet because vapor is going to cause the insulation to get damp and sink eventually but we had to do what we had to do to be cost effective at this point.

The ceiling in the master was actually in such poor condition that we decided to just redo the whole thing in new tongue and groove and we’re leaving it natural!

One of the most difficult parts of this house was that everything was covered in soot from what we guess was an old stove and fireplaces.  For a couple months every time we left the house we were covered in soot too.  I never realized what it takes to cover that stuff up! Let me save you the trouble of ever making the wrong choice….the only option is a shellac based primer.  It smells like Burnetts vodka and you absolutely have to wear a mask to be around it (seriously it makes your eyes burn)…but it covers in one coat which is just what you want!

The final paint color I picked out was China White by Benjamin Moore.  I had seen the below suggested white colors list and researched about each one, bought 3 test pots of my favorite three and ended up at the creamy, gray undertoned China White!

Can you BELIEVE some paint took things from this:

to this?!?

I’ll see you Wednesday friends with a fun little fireplace makeover anyone can do! 🙂

Got Chip and Jo on your brain now? Here’s a buzzfeed quiz to see which one you’re most like!

 



Demo Day…Days..Weeks….Monthsss



For weeks before this day I had closed my eyes each night anticipating ripping this house apart.  As per usual, things were more simple in my mind.  We closed on the house, picked up fast food (I don’t know WHY we thought we could eat there).  Anyways, I walked straight into the house and took a hammer straight to the “drywall”.  SURPRISE…it wasn’t drywall…it was basically cardboard.  A thin fiber board that was barely nailed to the wall.

The good news was it wasn’t crumbling plaster behind it (worst case scenario) but it was “shiplap” …it wasn’t HGTV pretty (and it’s actually tongue and groove…more on that some other time) but it would do and the price tag on creating that character from scratch would have been out of our budget.  We were thrilled to have found it on every.single.wall and ceiling.  The bad news was that it a) had some intense gaps in places and b) was covered in soot from the old stoves/fireplaces.

Probably the most rewarding part of demo was to look above the drop ceiling in the bedroom!

We took out nearly every wall covering, carpet, layers of linoleum flooring…it just kept going and going and going and going!

This is essentially what was left in the 4 rooms when we finished demo.

We severely underestimated the size of dumpster we would need.  If you ever reno a house, just get the biggest dumpster they will bring you…trust me, you’ll fill it.  We also found some issues that the inspector failed to identify in the inspection which was very frustrating…was it things that would have kept us from buying the house?  Probably not.  Was it stuff that would have been great to know on the front end? Obviously.  A foundation issue (isn’t there always one??) put us about 3 weeks behind schedule as we just stared at a giant hole in the floor wondering who we would pay to fix it.  Below is a picture after we took out all flooring…a rotten floor joist was here where the washing machine used to sit.

This hole really did sit here like this for at least two weeks….

We can’t say enough positive things about Cantey Foundation Specialists!!! Reasonably priced and they treated us like we were their #1 customer even though it’s likely we were their smallest.

The demo honestly seemed to go on forever as we took out walls, parts of walls, and kept deciding to expose more and more tongue and groove siding.  On the exterior we were paying a neighborhood guy $15/hour to clear the brush…that alone about put me in the grave as we started straight out the gate REALLY over budget on weed clearing (if you’ll remember, I personally didn’t think it was an eyesore….which is laughable).

During that first week we had to get a roof put on (we of course knew and planned for this) and they suggested taking out the chimney all together because the fire places had been cemented in and would never be used. We also have great things to say about Consumer First Roofing Company…we got several quotes and they were by far the NICEST and also most reasonable.

This demo hit everything….truly nothing was safe.  Next post I’ll show you a couple of ways we rearranged the layout to be more functional!

Like I mentioned in the last post our sweet Finley died 3 days into this project and things just felt so dark for a while…   He wasn’t new to the demo and renovation world, often keeping us company through various projects.   I resented this project for having me so distracted during the month leading up to his death that I felt like I didn’t play with him or talk to him enough.   I know in my heart that dogs don’t keep score like that but Blake and I both felt an enormous guilt for the way Fin had taken a back seat often to our kids and our projects…

This before and after of these same walls feels like a pretty accurate depiction of the transformation the house and our hearts went through together! 🙂

Demo is messy for sure and it’s easy to get carried away! When it comes time to actually pull out tiny little carpet staples and nails you realize just how big 850 sq feet is! Besides the obvious of gloves, glasses, and hammers, our favorite tools for demo are:

3M respirators

 

 

 

 

 

This saw

 

 

 

 

 

This nail puller



Silverside vs. Topside

Well, we have finally (5 months later) managed to cover the giant hole we put in our wall right before Christmas.

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You see, we tried to do a little rewiring and install some new breakers right before Christmas. Let me paint that picture for you…it was nearly 1am and the bathroom light switch down the hall was causing the Christmas garland lights to blink on and off in the living room. The kitchen lights were turning on the upstairs lights and blowing 8 bulbs at once while they were at it. Luckily, we figured it out and all is right with the electricity around these parts. However, we left the scene of that crime unfinished and exposed because we are still too scarred by that day/night to relive it. So for now, we cover the mess until sanity over this breaker box returns. Lose the battle, win the war has become a common motto of mine.

I talked about in this post how I started some homemade art a while back. I let that cow graze around on the dining room floor for a couple of weeks and decided today was enough…she was going on the wall.

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I’m not sure what to think. I think I might love it? Blake loves it. It’s industrial? But maybe still a tiny bit charming? I think it kind of goes with the pulley light system we have over the island.

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PS: see that sweet piece of milk glass on the “command center”? A sweet family friend gave that to us and we just love it. We keep our candy in there and it’s really just become one of those special things that so makes our house feel like a home.

Blake hung this for us and I might as well tell you about our method of heavy hanging with plaster walls. Step 1: use a magnet to try and find a nail in a stud. Blake tied a small magnet to a piece of dental floss and gently swung it back and forth. The magnet somehow, even through plaster, will grab hold where there is a nail. Now, sometimes we find that our house is held together with rainbows and unicorn poop magic and somehow along a whole surface there won’t be a single nail. So fun. Times like these resort to Step 2: drill small holes back and forth until you hit a stud (this is not a joke…we drilled more than 20 holes in our ceiling trying to find a joist to hang that pulley on)

This is just simply hung on two nails for easy lift off when the breakers need to be accessed.

It’s sort of cool how you can really see the wood grain through the paint!

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The good news is…if I decide I don’t like it then all I’ve outed myself is some paint. This was just scrap plywood (not even paint grade) found in the basement. The best part is that I’ve learned all the cuts of a cow…that is all we need to do, right? just learn yourself something new everyday.