Fast Forward – Inside the House

The kitchen is still 3 years later in shambles, why? That would be due to the fact that custom cabinet maker never delivered the goods. The goods were very simple: 1 bottom cabinet to be custom fitted for apron front sink (still sitting in the box), 1 custom full cabinet to go over refrigerator, 3 shelves and a piece to pull it all together all made of white oak. We are still waiting; actually we are looking for new cabinet guy – for some strange reason we just don’t trust the bastards.

During our adventures with the “crap trap” issues in 2007 there is nothing like releasing all that anger on a couple of walls. It has always been the intent to open the 1st floor of this house up. The space needed to be reinvented.

Husband’s kin folk squished 5 rooms into 624 sq. ft. it was like living in a cave with many caves in it. This house had no cross ventilation, it was dark and the floor plan made no sense.

Now the husband and I could have gone crazy and made kitchen larger, moved the bathroom and made that larger but for us that really wasn’t the issue. The issue was we needed a damn dining room so we may invite people over when it rained/snowed and would have somewhere to actually sit and consume food. We needed cross ventilation. We needed natural light. We needed to make this home inviting and comfortable not the cluster – f*& it was.

The beauty of our dysfunctional little city is that like minds seek each other which brought us to “B”. I met “B” a year prior and actually had his business card filed away as a possible contractor for our projects. He had impressed the hell out of me when we had a conversation about urban buildings and restoration. He spoke my language and understood the reinventing of old spaces which is why I held on to his business card.

“B” sat down with us and we explained what we wanted to achieve, this vision of an open floor plan with kitchen remaining the galley kitchen it was, the bathroom left in the same place but to have a dining room, a space to gather and an office with a long window seat to lounge on and a book case/cases for all our books.

“B” assessed the wall that divided old large bed room from the living room and determined it to be a non-bearing wall – whooo hooo! He also assessed a closet wall in small bed room to make sure that it also was non-bearing. We agreed that we would do all demo and clean up. He would have to do dry wall and finishing work.

Commence the firemen’s tools and sledge hammers. Firemen’s tools are the best when you are taking out large walls.

The living room wall came down in 30 minuets – clean up 2 hours – detail around ceiling and structural walls. Approx. 3 hours.

The wall in the small bed room – now office – took 30 minutes. “B” was in a bad mood that day and after demo of the wall, felt much better – he was just stopping by to check in.

The section of a small old closet was opened up which took me hours. I had to hand cut out against next to a stud with out destroying the wall and take out very carefully the upper half of a closet opening and not destroy the ceiling. I found this to be the least fun while doing the demo. The space was tight, very little room to maneuver and I’m only 5′ 0”.

There is no plaster and lath in this house, the wall material is made up of a 2 part material and is extremely heavy. It will trash a saw blade in minutes, bottom layer reminds me of very dense cardboard and the top layer has a plaster skim coat over this very grainy rock like material.

All the sections that were opened up have been dry walled. All baseboards have been stripped and custom-ed stained. There will be a post about the new floor.

Rest of the to-do list are as follows:

-Take out old entry way door jams, widen, strip/stain replace.
-Brother to finish HVC cold air returns.
-Finish window seat cabinets and install.
-Place and secure finished bookcase.
-Replace door molding.
-Secure baseboards.
-Make new couches for living room.


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