Monday, March 30, 2009

Demolition Pictures (finally!)

I've finally found a moment to upload some before and during pictures of our demolition/remodel projects on our new home. Besides my classic procrastination, we've been a bit more busy than usual with a case of influenza (Iain, who besides sleeping more, coughing a bit and being generally more clingy and grouchy than usual, is well on his way to recovery.) Additionally, and much more happily!, Mark's parents are visiting from across the pond and between visiting friends, of whom they have quite a few in the cities, they are helping us with the house, be it sanding, demolishing a wall, taking Iain for a walk, etc. It's been so wonderful to spend time with them and of course their help is a blessing as well!

Ok, that intro aside, here are the long-awaited before/during pictures.

West view of Kitchen, and door into "mud room" hall, before:
East view of kitchen and the east wall between the eat-in kitchen and the living room, before:
"Mud room" hall and exterior door, kitchen to the left, before:
Main floor bath, before:
Demo Day 1, Bathroom: I removed most of the nasty plastic wall tilesDemo Day 2: Kitchen (Day 1 was removing the cabinets and I thought I had included a picture of that, here, but apparently not). Day 2 was removing the ceiling soffits.
An aside: this house could probably withstand a bomb being dropped on it. The walls and ceiling are classic plaster construction taken to the next level: on top of the studs is a layer of drywall, then a layer of plaster holding on a sturdy metal chicken-wire type frame, on top of that is a thick layer of plaster.
Apparently, drywall was first invented as a substitute for the wooden strips that plaster was applied to. It took a few years for some genius to realize that they could skip the plaster step and simply mud and tape the drywall. Needless to say, it's nice to know our home is solidly built; it's also a bit of a pain when it comes to tearing through it and it's causing demolition to go a bit slower than anticipated.
Demo Day 3: No more west wall between the kitchen and "mud room" hall (after that exterior door is walled-up, that space will be part of our kitchen). Yay, Mark!
A view of the same, from the garage-entryway.
Very impressively, for a person who has never so much as held a sledge-hammer, much less used power tools before, Mark has done the lion's share of the demolition on his own (made possible by great guidance from a contractor/carpenter friend of ours). Mark has also had some wonderful help from various friends, as well as his father. Dad actually tore through the plaster on the east wall of the kitchen, yesterday. This will eventually be fully open to the living room.
In the meantime, I've been diligently working on all my little projects. These include removing all the doors (about 10 I think) for sanding and painting, trying (!!!) to replace the locks (it's a long story and perhaps I'll go into some other time) begining some of the sanding on the miles of trim, and trying to decide how to best make the existing beautiful crystal doorknobs work in our new home. (Another long story, but I think we're close to a solution, and that's all I feel like saying at the moment). ...Oh, and taking care of a sick, clingy 14 month old at the same time. Ahhh, life. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Demolition Days 1, 2 pictures coming soon

For any of you faithful followers who actually check to see if I've updated this blog, well, here you are. I hope to consistently post updates on the demolition and remodel of our new home. I took before pictures and have so far taken pictures of the end of Days 1 and 2. I left the camera at the house, so you'll have to wait on those pictures until I get them uploaded, hopefully this evening. Honestly, I feel as though I've seen a whole different side of my wonderful husband. Sledgehammer, crowbar or reciprocating saw in-hand, he is a force to be reckoned with! My meager contributions of childcare, removing doors and their hardware and removing plastic tile from the bathroom walls have in no way compared to his accomplishments in the kitchen (with the help of 3 friends over 2 days). In a matter of hours (about 8 total) the kitchen has become an empty room and the soffits have been removed (hurray!).

In other news, please keep us in your prayers as we eagerly await our next ultrasound, a week from tomorrow (3/31) at 10:30 am. We can't wait to see our baby and are hopefull that we'll be able to find out if we're welcoming a boy or a girl! :)