Preparing for New Floors!

FLOORS ARE COMING!! (Said like Ned Stark, but with more enthusiasm).

The last month we have been busy. busy. busy getting ready to have flooring installed in our laundry room, kitchen, back foyer and dining room. Our foyer currently looks like this and yes, it is a struggle to resist the urge to pet the new tile every time I walk by.

pile of tile

We opted to save some money to do the demo ourselves, which ended up not saving us anything because we bought a demo hammer ($270) and then realized we were in over our heads so we had to pay the contractor ($200) to finish the demo. Learn from my mistake friends- just pay the people.

Let’s look at some pictures to show you what we’ve been up to!

The laundry room has been emptied out completely (washer/dryer are in the garage while everything else in is the formal living room) and the white linoleum was stripped. The black stuff is the glue from the laminate. Watching cats walk over sticky floors- HI. LARIOUS. They keep going in there looking for their food bowls which I moved upstairs for them…. cats. The tile will go right over the glue.

laundry room

You can’t see it in this picture, but I painted the ceiling BM Simply White, installed can lights and a vent. I also started testing paint colors on the wall. I still have no idea what paint color to do in here! The utility sink is not staying, but we figured the installation team might need to rinse stuff and they can totally destroy that sink before we remove it.

The kitchen is looking pretty similar. We joke that this process has been like passing go twice- the kitchen was essentially done except for the floors, and now everything is ripped up for a second time!

2016-07-30_175907068_3B355_iOSIn the back foyer, the slate was demo-ed out (by us). I kept a little piece of the pink carpet because I want to put a small piece in a frame. That pink carpet has been such a thorn in my side for over two years and I think it would be fun to keep a little piece to reminisce.

back foyerJohn bought the Bosch RH328VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS Rotary Hammer (affiliate link) and I think it may be his new favorite tool. We’ve already used it to take off the shower door in the master bathroom, as well as take up all the baseboards downstairs, so this thing may end up being used enough to justify the price tag.

demo hammer

The pink carpet in the living room was removed, tack strips pulled up (using the demo hammer) and the glue was scraped off the slab.

dining roomIt’s always interesting removing wallpaper, carpet, cabinets, anything that has been in a house or a while. When we pulled up the pink carpet, we found remnants of lime green shag carpet stuck to an old register!! At some point our house was changed from forced air to wall unit AC’s, which we knew, but we didn’t know about the green shag! Oh I would love to see a picture of the house in all it’s 1970 glory!

green shag carpet

In some other big news- we decided to take down the little wall that separated the dining room and living room. You can see it used to be here and our buffet sat against it.

living room wall

And from the living room side.

living room

It was a non-structural, kind of weird separating wall. There were two big reasons I wanted this wall gone.

1) I would like the dining room to be less formal and more inviting. By opening up the two rooms I hope to encourage people (um… us) to use the dining room more and not feel so isolated from the rest of the house.

 2) The living room is dark. It’s dark, dark. I think it was just a bad design (or maybe a good design, if that was the plan), but there are only two windows in the room which are placed smack under the two balconies. What??? Before we installed the ceiling fan and light I called this room the Bat Cave because it would get pitch black as soon as the sun started to set. I hope that by opening the living room to the dining room this will create a much brighter space overall since the dining room is south facing and has a huge bay window- this room has the best light in the house!

Since it was non load bearing it was really easy to remove. Disclaimer: I’m going to tell you how we knew this wall was not load bearing. I am in no way a professional. Please consult a contractor/architect before taking any walls down.

First, we had a contractor come over an tell us. Hah! Did you think there was some secret trick we knew? ;) Then we checked the direction of the rafters just to double check the info from the contractor. This wall ran parallel to the rafters which is a good indicator it was not load bearing. But again, always consult a professional.  To take it down, we just went at it with a sledgehammer, which was oddly satisfying, and then pulled down all the drywall.

removing wallI was hesitant at first, but once we got to this point I knew it was the right move. You can see how much more light goes into the living room already.

living room wallWe still have some work to do to patch the wall, rewire the electrical and then re-paint, but overall I am sooooo happy with how much lighter and brighter the living room feels.

living room wall

Here’s a before and after.

before and afterYup, good move.

So that’s what we’ve been up to- basically destroying our house and working on 15 projects at once.

The floor timeline is looking like they should be done by Friday, but honestly I’m hoping they can be done before that! I have most of my furniture ready to go right back in and I promise I’ll have an update for you next weekend!