November 28, 2016

What do you do after Demo?

It has been some time since the last post.  There's been the holidays and an unfortunate few days of illness that have caused a few delays with the progress. Nevertheless, the work has progressed.  It's still fun too! 

Honestly, making the transition from demolition to putting it all back together has been hard.  There's so much to do, and all of it seems important.  Although it has gotten colder, we have been really fortunate to continue to have good weather.  Today was 45 degrees, which isn't bad for Ohio at the end of November.  We have continued making significant progress, however much of it doesn't show well in photographs, like we've basically got the entire upstairs rewired, and we moved a bunch of salvaged insulation from the first floor, to a room upstairs, and from there to the attic. 

Below are a few pictures of some things that do show well in pictures.

Here are the cement contractors prepping for the new garage floor. There was a really small window of opportunity with the weather, so they stayed until after 8 pm one night, and started at 6 am the next morning.

Cement Trucks lined up.

The guys getting the cement spread evenly and sloped properly.

The final product.

We also got a new attic ladder installed. This was the old access into the attic.

Here's the new one.

And another angle.  I actually forgot to double check to see if the door was level before I attached it. So I got to uninstall and reinstall it. That was fun x2.

Once the attic door was in, it made it easier to access the attic to install all of the register vents (as seen on this diagram)

The attic has blown in fiberglass insulation, which I'm told is a really good exfoliator.

Here's a shot of the other side of the attic.
CJ's room (not to be confused with Alli's room - ignore the door), had a closet with drywall. I removed that and installed plaster board so that the plasterer can make it all look the same.

The finished closet.
 I've gotten to know Menards well. And sometimes, you need your helpers to come with you.

And sometimes when you start too early, your helpers fall asleep in front of the fireplace.

That's it for this episode.


November 13, 2016

Time to get (un)plastered!

Still working on the demo this past week.  In my last post I showed a couple of pictures of the bathroom demo.  While doing that, I discovered that the walls needed some more insulation. When we started the project, I knew that there was a possibility that we'd need to re-insulate, and early on we discovered that the ceilings had been lowered.  The existing drywall had some damage, and we are rewiring and re-plumbing the entire house, and all of that taken into consideration resulted in a decision to remove the drywall and plaster of the entire downstairs.  Some before and after photos are below. 

Just getting started on mater bedroom closet demo.

My demo partner for the week. Jeremy swings a mean sledgehammer and crowbar. I couldn't have done the demo without his help.

Obligatory selfie, mid-demo.

Ceiling down and drywall off the walls.

A couple of days later my friend, Matt, joined in the fun.  This shows the walls with the plaster completely removed.  The entire house has these 12" wide boards.  Would those have been the original walls?  I've never seen anything like it before.  Please comment if you know.

East End of the living room. Pre-demo.

West End of the living room. Pre-demo. 

Low Ceiling removed, and drywall off of the walls. The beam in the middle of the room was used to hold up the lowered drywall ceiling.

Wall drywall and plaster removed.

Demo completed around the fireplace. The fireplace still made a nice fire.

Without the drywall, there wasn't a need for the beam anymore.  My Brother-in-law, Seth, helped Matt, Jeremy, and I on demo in this room and in the kitchen.

Kitchen pre-demo.

A view in to the kitchen from the living room.  The kitchen ceiling is out.  Soon this wall will be replaced with a beam and the entire space will be opened up.

Kitchen ceiling removed.  This one was tougher, because there was drywall and also a plaster ceiling only one inch above it. So I guess we technically removed two ceilings.  The higher plaster ceiling will stay, and we will just put drywall over it.  If I open it up, all of the insulation in the attic above will fall down.

We all wore respirators and safety glasses or goggles during this phase in the demo, but I still came home pretty much like this every night. Only a small bit of drywall remains to be removed.  That should happen right away next week.

This coming week is a big week.  The garage foundation goes in, and then the garage construction can begin.  Additionally, the plasterers said that we did a great job on the drywall removal, and that they will start plastering as soon as we have the plasterboard install on the ceilings, and any additional outlets installed in the walls. Finally, we've got our furnace and A/C picked out, and should be ordered next week as well.

It's exciting to be transitioning from wrecking to fixing.

That's all for this episode.

November 7, 2016

Behind Schedule . . . but so much fun happening!

The amount of work getting done has really picked up, but we are about 3 weeks behind the schedule I was hoping to be on.  As a result, it's been a lot of late nights, and not much blogging.
We had several rooms upstairs that I decided to strip the wall paper to repair, rather than replace the plaster.  We had a tremendous amount of help from my in-laws, my mom, and my grandma.  It took us two weekends, and unfortunately we lost all of the photos of the first weekend but I managed to capture a couple of pictures of the process on the second weekend.  All of the help was amazing, and I'm sure everyone was pretty sore - I know that I was.
There were at least 2 layers of wall paper, each one painted. We had a steamer, which was a huge help, but sometimes wasn't up to the task either.  I had two remove the border area of one room (3 boarders, 2 of them painted, one with an oil-based primer) with a 1" chisel.  Not fun. The plasterers come tomorrow to tell us if the plaster is salvageable.  It better be!

In addition to house work, there were a couple of fun family milestones.  CJ our oldest turned 10. "I'm finally double digits," he exclaimed all day. I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home, and he insisted that I take him out for Chinese.  He didn't have to work that hard to convince me.  He had a themed party and most of the family came dressed up as Star Wars characters.  I'd post those pictures, but I have a feeling there might be some retribution in some way if I did.  I am super proud of this guy.  Even outside of the house project, it is a pretty busy time in our lives right now, and he is almost always positive, and is a huge helper to his mom and I.

Besides the big birthday, our youngest decided that she was going to start walking.  She quickly figured out that if she could walk, she could also climb the stairs -not good!

I've started seeing some mouse droppings in the house, so I wanted to get some predators.  I'm not sure how effective these are going to be (we did get a bigger one as well - it's just camera shy), but the kids have already fallen in love.  The kittens were wild, and I wanted to keep them that way, but it seems like that's not going to happen.

Our new 3-car garage.  The cement foundation is supposed to go in this week, and then the garage will go up the week after that!

Finally, I've been primarily working on demolishing the former downstairs bathroom and laundry room.  We will be converting them into a guest restroom, and separate master suite with walk-in closets.  This part of the project requires gloves, sledgehammers, crowbars, flatbars, reciprocating saws, goggles, respirators, and friends.  Prior to this demo, I had cut out all of the plumbing from the basement, so it just needed to be demolished upstairs.  My brother-in-law, Seth, was working on the electrical to make sure I had power where I needed it, and didn't where I was demoing.

Through that doorway is the bathroom and a hallway to the laundry room.

The bathroom lost some of it's privacy.  My dad did most of that work.  Once all of the interior walls were out, I removed the wood paneling from the laundry room area.  I discovered a lack of insulation, and what looked to be some damage because of how the dryer vent was run, so I decided that we needed to remove the drywall on the walls.  It was already my plan to remove the ceiling because we wanted to raise them back to their original 10' height.  Also, I needed the ceiling open so that I could do the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom from the floor below.  I discovered 2 layers of drywall, on top of lath and plaster, on top of 1" thick wide planks.  Tedious to tear off is a massive understatement, but thanks to the help of a few friends, we got it done.  I was pleasantly surprised to fund that most of the exterior walls have adequate insulation. 

This is where the doorway to the master bedroom will go. 

The ceilings are incredible, and appear to be in really good condition.  We are contemplating how we might be able to leave them exposed.  Tomorrow, we begin a similar demo in the rest of the downstairs. . . after work.

Until next time!