Tear Down That Wall!

When we last left the inside of our renovation, we had progressed from having an open-air kitchen to a much smaller kitchen with tasteless wall coverings:

tyvek-wall

For several weeks, the carpenters had been working on the inside of the breakfast area, climbing in and out by a ladder. I had no idea what it looked like, and even had to plan lighting placement with the electrician by drawing on the floorplan. I could rejoice in the new porch, even though it was not finished, but I was getting really tired of eating in the living room. Plus, I was so curious to see our new space!

We knew that several things had to happen before they could tear down the wall separating the work area of the kitchen from the new eating area. The framing had to be completed and inspected, then the electrical and HVAC had to be roughed in and inspected, and finally, the insulation had to be installed and inspected. All of these things had to happen one at a time, so that stretched out the days. Oh, and we had to have windows and a door installed! I was eager for natural light in the kitchen again.

Furthermore, you may have noticed that it is December. Tick, tick, tick. My entire family is coming to our house for Christmas. I was supposed to host Thanksgiving this year, but, obviously, we missed that deadline. I let Greg know about my slowly growing panic, and he decided to move all work to the inside. The weather was iffy, anyway, so there was no use waiting for clear skies to nail up siding, when you could easily be inside tearing up stuff.

In the spirit of Joanna Gaines, I had decided to widen the opening between the kitchen and the living room. I had considered this idea and discarded it until I had a group of people over, and we all hung around the island in the kitchen. No one could walk around on the living room side, and that night, I knew I had to open up the space. This was the first task the carpenters accomplished:

old-opening Here is the old opening at David’s birthday party last year.

The day that they uncovered the wall to widen it, they discovered a problem:

problem-with-opening
Mason and Greg are thinking, “Hmmm.”

The original builder of the house had put the two-by-fours over the beam, rather than under it. You can see that this is not working out well after fifteen years. We had discovered a similar problem on the outside wall, where the breakfast room will be. Both times, Greg and his guys have had to install a new beam. This is not fun for them, since it requires lots of sweating, and, quite possibly, words I’ve never heard before. But they got it done.

new-opening
Beam replaced, and Saulo moves on to the next task.
larger-cased-opening
The new cased opening from the living room side.

new-back-door

Finally, one day I came home from work to discover a new back door!

new-windows

The new triple window!

Once the window and door were in, I knew that the opening would be soon. The next day, the wall was gone!

wall-gone-from-lr
My first sight of the new space, standing in the living room.
view-from-dining-room
As you can see, I’m standing in the dining room, looking at a room that didn’t exist a couple of months ago.
sheetrock-stack
The next day, a delivery of sheetrock let me know that this ugly, brown insulation would soon be covered up.
unlivable-1
It was getting pretty impossible to get around downstairs! Those are the new baseboards running the length of the room.

3-level-floor The floors are disappearing. The vinyl in the kitchen will be replaced, but also the stained, used-to-be-white carpeting in the living room, and even the original hardwood that I never liked.

dining-room-floor-gone

Dining room hardwood is gone!

pantry-upstairs

The pantry needed to have the popcorn ceiling scraped and hardwood floor installed, so it was packed up very systematically, but unfortunately somewhat permanently, by David. No, we did not drink up all the liquor in the boxes before packing, although it might have helped. This was a very stressful evening. After I went to sleep, David moved on to color-coding and numbering the shelving units in the pantry before removing them, along with the hardware. You can see that the baseboards have already been removed throughout the entire downstairs.

pantry-tags-green pantry-tags-orange

drawers Why clean out the china cabinet and buffet drawers into boxes, when you can just remove the whole drawer and bring it upstairs? Unfortunately, my Christmas wrapping paper is in this closet, so no wrapping for me!second-guest-room

These white chairs will go in the new eating area. The contents of the bookcase cabinets landed in this bedroom, along with the paintings from the walls. The oceans of books already lived here.

coffee-bathroom
Never fear, we will find a way to have coffee, and we will not compromise. Saturday mornings are for freshly-ground French Roast. Shower, sip, brush, all in one convenient place.

imag1078 David’s desk in the family room upstairs: sweeteners, cutting board, laptop, toaster, file folders. We are completely squeezed into this one room.

living-room-draped

And here is why we have escaped upstairs: everything is coated in sheetrock dust! But it’s worth it, because when we turn around:

breakfast-room-sheetrocked
The new addition to the kitchen. Waiting for paint, flooring, and lighting– all happening this week!
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