Do you ever watch the TV show Holmes on Homes? We do. All the time. Not that we ever watch it on purpose, it’s just one of those shows that’s always on. A few years ago, right after we bought our little fixer upper of a home, we were watching an episode when Holmes started yelling in the homeowner’s bathroom, “It’s not vented….rip it out!” Referring to the shower. For some reason, that line stuck with us. And for an even odder reason, we tend to yell it at each other when we’re working on house projects. #oddcouple Case in point, blog topic du jour, our front porch demo.
Oh yes, with ever sash pull that came out and with every rotted piece of trim annihilated, we yelled “IT’S NOT VENTED…RIP IT OUT!” Our poor neighbors. I don’t know how they deal with us. Anyway, the porch demolition day was a breeze! Maybe it’s because this was the first demo day we’ve had in over a year….or maybe it’s because this is the first demo day that didn’t involve plaster and lathe (you can read all about our previous plaster and lathe removal project back here when we gutted out our master bedroom). But this demo day was all about (1) removing all the porch windows and (2) removing all the rotten, nasty wood. We started by removing all the sash stops….both the lower sash stops:
And the upper sash stops (go baby go!):
Now, for normal windows, ones that are functioning, when you remove the sash stops the windows would theoretically fall out. But with our porch windows there was water damage and warping and windows painted shut (my bad on that one). So it took a little bit of elbow grease to get those windows out. Thankfully I brought my muscle to demo day. #willworkforbeer
Colby’s a window removal champ. And for the sake of full disclosure, Colby has the ins. He’s a window guy. As in it’s literally his job. He used to be the Andersen Window sales rep in our area before he switched over to the Brosco side of his company’s operations. Now he sells Windsor Windows. So Colby knows windows…like KNOWS windows. He’s always getting called out on service calls or sent to window trainings in North Carolina. So this little project, which I can see how it could scare off some people, is like second nature to him. He even knows windows enough (and old homes enough) to number the windows and their locations after removing them to make sure each gets put back in their right spot since there’s nothing even, level or square in our home.
After removing the windows, apparently I got a wild hair. I have a few of those mixed in with the (gulp) gray hairs! I can’t say I was ever in love the lower paneling. I wasn’t even “in like” with it. “IT’S NOT VENTED!” Out it came. We were kind of hoping to find old balusters behind the paneling but no such luck. But we did find some old planking that I’m envisioning sanding down and painting.
While ripping down the paneling we did find a little surprise. Sadly, it wasn’t a can full of money (we’re still waiting to find that) but a ginormous old bees nest. Nasty (she says in her best “honey badger” voice)!
The only other thing we removed in our little demo project was the old, aluminum that was covering up the wooden sills. Here’s the before:
And after removing it:
I wasn’t kidding when I told you we had a water/rot problem going on. Theoretically, the aluminum should have been protecting the wood sill from water damage. Instead, the aluminum was up against the sash, the silicone bead wore out, the sash/aluminum warped and tilted towards the windows, resulting in water seeping underneath the aluminum and pooling along the bottom of the sash. Hence the rot.
In the span of a day we managed to take down all the windows, remove all the rotten sections of wood, and make the paneling disappear.. We still have to take down the porch ceiling, but one thing at a time. Rain was looming. Leave it to us to pick the rainiest weekend of the summer to remove and repair our porch windows….doh…so we didn’t get around to porch ceiling removal. Windows first.
Our porch looks so weird without any of the windows! I kind of like it. I’m almost sad that we’re putting the windows back in it. But I love those windows and their old hardware. Besides, we have the deck for outdoor living space and it will be nice to have an enclosed space for chilly fall days or rainy spring mornings. Ah…I can taste that porch coffee now! I may like the windows, but I’m pretty sure Goose is going to miss having a front of the house perch for squirrel lookout!
He spent the day on high squirrel alert! Next up on the porch renovations, wood repair. You can kind of get a sneak peak of the process in the Goose pic above with all that putty on the old, wooden window sill. But we have a few other quick and easy DIYs coming at you as well. And of course more Goose cuteness!
Pssst…Okay, so I have to give a HUGE shout out to Beckie at Knock Off Decor for featuring our West Elm inspired lamp makeover! You can read her post here.
So we’ve shown you the progress we made with the bathroom vanity(a Craigslist buffet find, that we modified, and then painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore) but we haven’t yet shown you the bathroom progress. Game day bucket go boom:
We’ve been busy bees. Can you tell?! We not only removed the “temporary”, been there for three years, painted plywood vanity this past weekend, but we also patched the walls, and primed the entire bathroom. I’m a little sad to see the yellow go, but am uber excited about the new paint color, which is all up. I just need to snap a few pics of it to share with you all. Hint hint, it’s super fresh and clean…some might say it’s “minty” fresh. Did I do that (she says in her best Urkel voice)?! Anyway…while I was busy painting away on the new buffet turned vanity, the Colb-ster was hard at work prepping the vanity area, first by removing the old vanity. The hot tip for vanity removal…turn the water off.
You don’t want to flood your bathroom. I know an indoor swimming pool has always been a dream, but just not on the second floor…directly above the living room tv.
The second hot tip for vanity removal…score the caulking on all the vanity trim/back splash areas before trying to remove them. This makes trim removal easier since it breaks the paint/caulking seal.
Same goes for the sink. Don’t just try to pry it out, score the caulking around the sink first. It’s pretty much the only thing holding that sink in there so scoring it with a utility knife breaks that seal.
Since Colby and I are both big fans of salvaging wood, Colby removed the vanity piece by piece as much as he could. We’re always coming up with new projects and ideas for salvaged wood and love to recycle wood and trim pieces instead of buying new. Who knows, an old bathroom vanity may become new bedroom shelves someday.
Same goes for the baseboards. We had a decent amount of sheet rock repairs to do in the vanity space, which meant carefully removing the baseboards (scoring the caulk line first with a utility knife and then prying it off with a hammer). We’ll later put the baseboards right back where they were, re-caulking, and touching up the paint.
With the vanity and baseboards removed, it was just our usual sheet rocking/mudding/sanding song and dance. We’re getting to be pros at this.
It may be hard to tell in the above pictures, but the reason why Colby sheet rocked right over the lower half of the wall (where the plumbing is coming out of the wall) is because the wall there has always been uneven and adding a level of sheet rock levels it out. Way back when we first demo-ed our pink and ugly bathroom and re-sheet rocked it, Colby installed a piece of plywood behind where the mirror would go, underneath the sheet rock. This provided a nice solid surface to hang mirrors from…good idea. Bad idea…not leveling out the bottom half of that wall. Doh! So we took the vanity removal opportunity to rectify the situation.
After Colby finished the mudding/sanding process, I gave it one final sand, and primed the entire bathroom.
I know I didn’t necessarily have to prime the entire bathroom before re-painting it, but our yellow walls were super bright and I didn’t want to take any chances of the new paint color not covering it. And after all, primer is cheap at about $15 a gallon compared to our favorite Benjamin Moore paint at $45 a can.
So stay tuned for details on our freshly painted, minty bathroom. I should have those pics coming at ya early next week…or maybe tomorrow if I’m on my A-game. Let’s just say…the color doesn’t disappoint and I’m not one to ever choose the lightest shade on a paint chip!
Pssst…So what about you guys? Any painting projects going on in your neck of the woods? Or bathroom makeovers going down? Do share! We LOVE hearing from you all!
This weekend was a whirlwind…wait…uh…no…not really. We got snowed in this past weekend thanks to winter storm Nemo. Neither Colby or myself left the house the entire day on Saturday, but we stocked up and prepared for the storm Friday night. And by stocked up I mean we came home with a case of beer (Long Trail’s winter classics variety pack…mmmm mmmm good) and a couple gallons of paint. We got our DIY on this weekend…our guest bedroom DIY on, which when we last left off looked a little something like this.
We got some serious work done in the guest bedroom this weekend. It’s starting to really come together and I can’t wait to share all the details with you all. But as much as I would like to jump right to the painting part of this story, we gotta back it up a bit and go down undah…undah the floor. There’s still a little demolition to be had in this room when it comes to the flooring. We still had to take up the sub floor.
We had originally left the sub floor in this room since it was void of cracks and was nice and smooth, meaning it would make demolition debris and sheet rock compound dust much easier to cleanup off the floor. So we left it there for now knowing perfectly well that it would eventually need to be removed before laying down the wide pine planks for flooring. It was just one layer too many for this space. And this weekend was the ideal time for removal…just after drywall sanding and before painting, since you don’t really want to make a demolition mess after you’ve cleaned up and painted a room.
And the sub floor removal went pretty smooth and relatively quickly. It was as simple as using the claw end of a hammer (or even a pry bar) to hook underneath the sub floor:
And then pry up the pieces (while Goose relentlessly photo bombs):
This was my best action shot of Colby’s demo work:
I love how I captured some of the pieces flinging up into the air while Colby pried the floor apart. #photogeniussaywhat
After prying up all the sub floor pieces and tossing them into a heavy duty trash bag to take to the dump, the next step was nail removal. In our DIY relationship, Colby loves to make the messes (demolition, wood working, heavy construction) and I like to make things pretty (painting, trim staining, decorating). The other hat I also wear…nail removal.
And boy were there ALOT of nails in that floor to remove. Lucky for me I enjoy a good ol’ tedious task such as this (I’m totally serious…I’m not sarcastic at all…ask Colby…I could remove nails all day long…you should have seen me in nail removal heaven after we removed all the plaster and lathe from this room). And nail removal is easy using the claw end of the hammer to gently pry up the nails.
After the floor was removed and all the nails were pulled, we cleaned and swept up our mess while Goose protected us from the dangers of squirrel attacks.
Goose is good like that…he’s always protecting us from squirrels…and the men in brown (UPS guys…and their trucks). And no, we don’t normally keep our window open during freezing February temperatures. We just find it easier to remove construction debris through the window rather than drag it through our pseudo clean house. Don’t believe us? Just check out this video of yore when we made a game out of throwing construction debris out the window. Told ya!
After cleanup was all done, we were left with a ready-to-be-put-back-together room. FINALLY!
And because I love a good to-do list, here’s what remains on the “Operation Finish The Guest Bedroom” list:
- Prime the walls and ceiling
- Paint the ceiling a bright white (Benjamin Moore’s ceiling paint is my all time favorite)
- Paint the walls a taupe/gray color
- Install new flooring and poly the crap out of it
- Install, stain and finish baseboards, window trim, door trim and even the new door
- Since the attic entrance is in this room, install a pull down staircase and finish the opening (paint or stain, still haven’t decided)
- Add some sort of flair to the window wall (maybe a stencil, maybe a pallet wall, maybe some wallpaper…still deciding)
- Add bead board to the slanted party of the ceiling, painting it bright white
- Decide on and install a new light fixture for the space
- Make some curtains (I’m thinking white with some fringe or pom poms)
- Build a custom daybed for the space
- Turn a little dumpster diving find into a sweet little night stand
- Add some storage and shelving
- Art, art and more art
Whew….that’s quite the list! I heart lists! There’s nothing better than a list to keep up the DIY motivation and also keep me on track so I don’t stray. Although I did stray a little bit already and worked in the master bedroom and entry this weekend. Whoops! But it’s just because we ran out of materials for the guest bedroom, I swear! Excuses excuses. Tell it to the judge. What if I just start crying? I heard that gets you out of tickets.
Pssst…Any other New Englanders out there who chose to bunker down and DIY their way out of the storm? And holy crazy amounts of snow! How much did you guys get?! We’re guessing we got about 24″ which was light compared to most places!
Yesterday’s post was all about Eminem, I mean, prepping our bedrooms for demolition chaos and today it’s apparently all about the Ying Yang Twins because “Boom! It’s on!”. And by “Boom! It’s on!”, I mean we completely DESTROYED our bedrooms. Consider this the calm before the storm.
Colby completely removed the window in our master bedroom so we could just throw all the construction debris out of it onto the ground below, instead of trekking it through our house, leaving a trail of dust and debris behind us. With both rooms completely cleared out, we said a few words during the opening ceremonies before Colby took the inaugural swing.
And actually did a little damage.
My inaugural swing was a bit more for show. I’m like the inaugural first pitch thrower outer that just barely gets the ball to roll to the catcher. The ball may have even stopped with this throw:
You should know that this was the extent of my contributions in the demolition arena. Our demolition system consisted of Colby going to town ripping and tearing and I was responsible for the cleanup. After a couple of hours, we were already making some progress.
See that pile of construction debris on the floor in the guest room? That was the mess that Colby made and what I ended up picking up. Even the ceiling came down in both rooms.
And of course we wore the proper personal protection apparel including dust masks. Thank you 3M for saving our lungs! But anyway, as I mentioned before, Colby went to town in the rooms tearing down all the layers of plaster and lathe with a hammer and Sawzall combo. Meanwhile, I walked the mile, the green mile.
That’s the roof above our kitchen, which is just outside the guest room and master bedroom windows. While Colby destroyed things, I grabbed an armful of construction debris, climbed out the window, walked the mile the green mile, and threw the debris to the ground. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I tended to grab armfuls of lathe but scooped the plaster into trash bags. I must have made a couple hundred trips back and forth. Oh…and I almost forgot, the path on the roof, that green stuff, is the carpet pad from the guest room. We tried to protect our roof from getting damaged from all the increased roof traffic. We also utilized the old, blue carpet and made a target out of it down below.
And took a little video.
Shortly after this, we realized it would be much easier just to back the pickup truck into the bullseye position and throw all the materials into the truck instead of onto the ground and then into the truck. It’s way less fun that way but it got the job done quicker and easier.
It didn’t take long to fill the truck up this way.
Once the truck was filled, we took a trip to the dump which is only a few minutes away from our home. And as planned, we took FULL advantage of free dump week. Five trips to the dump later, our master bedroom looked alot like this:
Just about everything came down except for the old closet. That space actually had modern sheetrock so we kept it.
We left alot of the old insulation but some of it had to come down. There were some areas where the insulation was damaged from a fire way back when, other areas where it was missing altogether, and other areas where it was sparse. But that’s another post for another day.
It’s amazing that it only takes a day to demo a room and it will probably take about three months to put it all back together again. But that’s the fun part! I despise demo…absolutely hate it. I think it’s all the dust and displacement of the norm and did I mention the dust?! I hate the dust and the dirt and the mess! But once we finish insulating and put back all the sheet rock, I’ll be much happier. But I am so thankful that we were able to finish the demo in one day. It’s hard! Really hard! I still can’t stand erect and I feel like an old lady (so sore). It certainly made me appreciate my desk job!
Pssst…I promise, this is the last, let’s make a mess post for this week. Two is more than enough for one week. Back to something fun and exciting tomorrow, like bling!
By now you should know that both Colby and myself suffer from house project ADD. We often jump from room to room and from project to project. It’s what keeps working on the house fun and interesting…working on what we want, when we want, but obviously to an extent (we TRY to finish projects before moving on to new ones to keep from making a total mess of our house). And this weekend was no exception. I felt the need to refinish the hallway floor…again…but REALLY didn’t want to. So we did something else…a project from way out in left field…we worked on the kitchen closet. In a murder mystery this would be the part where they go…duhn, duhn, duhn, duuuuuuhn.
First off, I rarely let you all see the kitchen because frankly, it’s condition embarrasses me. Secondly, the kitchen closet has never been photographed or blogged about before because it is horrendous…truly and utterly horrendous. Consider yourselves lucky that I’ve shielded you from this mess for so long. Warning…what you are about to witness is not for the faint of heart. Women who are pregnant or nursing may want to consult with their physician before viewing and the elderly are strictly banned from viewing this closet due to the threat of heart attack or stroke. Our closet:
Oh it gets worse…..here is the ceiling/light fixture:
Sorry for the blurry photos. The Nikon was rebelling from photographing such ugliness. Don’t you like how the closet wall is just a hot mess of poorly installed sheet rock and glooped on joint compound?! Oh and check out the shelves:
Of course there is no form or function to the closet and it ends up as a placw to stack hunting gear, boots, coats, the vacuum and random things that don’t belong.
Our plan…make the closet opening bigger, install a pair of double doors that we picked up from the Viking Lumber bargain bin, finish up the walls and ceiling, and install some organizational shelves and a coat rod. And maybe some hooks, but let’s not get too crazy! First step…demo. We wanted to save as much of the trim as possible since we had just barely installed it a year ago. To do this, Colby used a knife to cut through the trim paint joints.
Then he carefully removed the trim from the wall using a crow bar.
This left the closet looking pretty naked.
Now with the trim removed and everything out of the closet you can get a better look at the shelves in all their rough lumber, contact paper glory.
And the floor…can’t forget the ugly floor of utility ply wood…scratch that AGED utility plywood. Some things just don’t get better with age.
Since we were doubling the opening of the closet, meaning easier access to all the innards of the closet, we had to cut pieces of the wall out. Colby did this by first marking out all his cuts…making sure to level up everything and keep the opening square. Which by the way, is easier said than done in an old house! Old home owners know what I’m talking about! I’m sure you all have epic horror stories of renovating your old homes, which I always love to hear about!
With the marks laid out, Colby took the Sawzall to the wall and chopped it down the like George Washington and the cherry tree.
And we were left with a big hole.
Goose helped cleanup. He’s great like that. Oh…and the light fixture…it went bye bye…see it on the floor? We decided we didn’t need a light fixture in the closet anymore since it’s contents would be much more open to the kitchen, which gets great light. It was wired to the outlet beside the closet so it was easy to un-wire (is that a term?).
With demo complete we (the very liberal we) turned to Pinterest and blogs and a Lowes trip to get some inspiration for how we wanted to finish up the closet, make it pretty, and organize it. But that’s another post for another day. Maybe tomorrow…if you’re lucky. But we also tackled another dozen, random projects this weekend so who knows what my blogging mood will be like tomorrow.
Pssst….The house tour page is finally done! Woohoo! And just in time to go back through and re-do a bunch of the pictures since they’re already dated! The game plan is to try and update the tour pics every weekend in hopes that the page stays current. Go check it out!