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: