Dec 23, 2014

the renovation: demo days

I can't believe how quickly Riley, with some help that wasn't me, completed the demo work on the house (and fortunately, before his tools were stolen). Besides running errands, delivering food, taking pictures, and wearing a mask inside at all times, I was otherwise useless at this point in the game. So for the record, you can pretty much assume that all of the manual labor was done by Riley and I was standing on the sidelines cheering him on.

This is the view from the kitchen straight on through the bathroom.  We decided to bump the bathroom wall a few inches into the kitchen to make enough room for the vanity and a bathroom door that opens properly.

A lot of people suggested removing the archway into the kitchen because it closed off the space. While they're probably right, that arch was the first thing I saw when I walked into this house for the first time, and I fell in love with it. I can't help it, I just like it. So to compromise, Riley built a new arch and raised it significantly. In the very first photo above, you can see that the framing for the original arch came all the way to the window.  It was a good move, I think.

Several of the floor joists were rotted, so they had to be replaced.  Riley cut up the flooring that was underneath of the kitchen cabinets to allow him access since the crawlspace is so low.

The view of the bathroom from the kitchen.  Several layers of vinyl flooring had to be removed, as well as a ridiculously thick layer of concrete.  Then the crawlspace had to be dug out in order to replace plumbing and sanitation lines and run both for a future additional bathroom.  There were floor joists to replace in this room as well.

Now, we're not necessarily proponents of knocking down walls in older houses. An open floor plan wouldn't suit this house and it wouldn't be feasible anyway. However, I'm losing my breakfast nook in the kitchen (the wall with the two windows) to create room for a fridge and a few more cabinets. In order to have a little bit of seating accessible to the kitchen, we decided to enlarge the doorway into the dining room and add a short bar (not framed in yet).

This is the view of the dining room from the kitchen. After opening up part of one wall, and removing the wallpaper and faux wood paneling, we decided that it would make more sense to gut the walls and put up new dry wall rather than try to repair all the damage to the plaster. And look, a hidden doorway!

After all of his demo work, Riley is pretty sure that the kitchen and bathroom area was an addition made to the original 1910 structure. It was so well executed though, that you'd never notice unless you were looking at the bare bones of the house.  How cool is that?

Bonus!  Fun things you find while demoing an old house:

I really wished I had checked the expiration date on that, just to see how long it's been hanging around.  I'm thinking awhile.

I'm not sure who Tracey Welborn is, but he has a very nice robe.

Up next on the agenda… putting our design ideas into action!


  1. omg you guys are getting so much done!! I cannot wait to see more (:
    It's really coming along. Hope neither of you are needing any of that cream lol
    Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks for sharing this great information with us. It is very nice blog and giving me a lot of tips about the remodeling of bathroom. You are doing great job. Keep it up.
    Vinyl Flooring


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