March 23, 2009

Remodeling – Day 1

Posted in Home at 3:51 pm by ListenMaudy

This weekend was the start of demo on the house. Since we don’t have permits yet, we started small, with the lanai in the backyard, the built-in in the living room, all of the carpet, and the popcorn ceiling in the spare bedroom. My dad and my sister-in-law came up to help with everything. My sister double-booked herself, so she had to cancel. My mom stayed home to watch their baby, my adorable little niece (who just started saying my name!).

We started with the lanai at my dad’s suggestion, and I’m so glad we did. It didn’t take longer than I had anticipated, but it was so much harder. The lanai basically just tipped over on its own. We removed the crossbeams that were supporting the main posts and then got ready to push. All four of us got in position to give it a mighty heave, and as soon as we all started pushing, it tipped right over. The metal brackets anchoring the beams just broke right in half. After that, we spent the next hour hauling wood and breaking up the grapevine.

I had thought that the grapevine was completely dead, but when we came over this week, there were little buds all over it. I’m really sad we had to prune it so badly. I hope it recovers and we can keep it. I don’t think Muffin will want to keep it, but it would be so cool to grow grapes in our backyard!

After the lanai, we got to work on the built-in in the living room. It was a hundred times sturdier than the lanai was, so it took a huge amount of sledge hammering to get it out of there. It was anchored to the floor and to the wall, but we finally got it all out.

Next, we moved on to the carpet. That was surprisingly easy, but getting the tack strips out was so difficult. It took what seemed like hours to get them up. There are still nails from the strips in our concrete. We did find really old linoleum tiles under the carpet. It’s no hardwood, but it’s really entertaining. You can see the footprint of the original house because they had lino tiles throughout the whole house. I mean, everywhere. Awesome. I hope we can just put our new floors over the lino, so we won’t have to remove it all. That would be ridiculously difficult and time consuming.

While we were doing all of this, Muffin had started scraping the popcorn off the spare bedroom ceiling. We switched places after I had done one room of carpet, so I did about half of the popcorn scraping. My forearms are completely exhausted today; it was so hard to keep your wrist at such an awkward angle while scraping the ceiling. Now, the ceiling is plain drywall, and it makes the room seem so much smaller. It’s also so much creepier.

After all of that, one of the last things we did was removing two decorative posts from the living room. They were horrible, carved posts that looked like a giant banister. They were also a weird and gross putty color. Once they were out, the room looked even bigger than after we had just removed the built-in. It was a dramatic improvement.no-more-built-in

Muffin also repaired the gate, so the dogs now cannot get out of the backyard. The first two boards looked like they had gotten chewed apart by a big dog, so the whole bottom corner of the gate was missing. Since Figaroo is too adventurous for his own good (or ours), he would have been off to explore the neighborhood. Loth probably never would have made it out the whole. There isn’t any food out there, why would he want to do that?!

Luckily, after all of the demo, we think that our design and our plans will work out really well in the house. I was afraid that we were making poor decisions in the long run, but now, I am convinced that we are on the right track. We might ruin it by picking terrible colors and finishes, but the basic remodel is looking good so far. I’m really excited, even though it now seems like it’s going to be ridiculously tiring and difficult. I think it will all pay off in the end.

(You can see pictures at my Flickr page here.)

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