Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'll House You

We've been renovating our new house since January 15. Demolition started exactly one day after we took possession. For three weeks, as the walls and ceilings came down and the floor came up, we lived somewhat unaffected in our condo. But on February 4, we said good-bye to our first little home, packed all of our belongings into the basement of the new house, by that time just a dusty ramshackle skeleton of the house we'd bought, and moved to my parents house, where we've been ever since.

It's now been almost nine weeks since the renovations at the new house began. The changes are remarkable and I'm anxious to document them all here, but it's been difficult to photograph very often or very well because the place is such a mess, so many tools and buckets of debris and Tim Horton's cups. I could have rolled up about 25 rims when I popped in yesterday if I'd had the time. Of course I would have won exactly nothing.

I think the best way to document what we've done will be to do room-by-room posts once everything is finished. Problem with that is, well, let's just say it's going to be a while. So, in the meantime I thought I'd just do a quick run down of some of the areas we're tackling, with some photos of the very early stages of the demo (keep in mind this was eight weeks ago). You can see some pictures of the house as it was when we bought it, here.

1. We removed all the floors, ceilings and trim on the first and second floors of the house. This is the dining room, living room view.

2. We ripped up the existing entryway tile and are adding a door and transom window to close off this space and create a proper vestibule.

3. Here's the main floor staircase. This is getting a total overhaul. The wall that closes it off from the dining room is coming down, the treads and risers are being replaced. The railing is being completely rebuilt and we're adding a beautiful salvaged newel post, found on Craig's List for $55! Holla! Of course, whole thing will need to be painted and stained. Actually, whole house will need to be painted and stained.

4. Here's a shot of the wall that's being removed from beside the main stairs. This is taken from in the dining room.

5. And again, in the dining room, wall coming down, see that arch over the kitchen doorway? GONE. We're squaring it off, along with a second arch that you can't see here, over the doorway to the basement. All getting trimmed out and painted.

6. Fireplace (doesn't work, one day we'll refurbish) is getting new tiles in front and painted. Possibly a new mantel to replace that lovely concrete slab (budget depending, not looking good). See those shovels? Yeah, used to shovel the debris and dirt out of the house after the demo.

7. Up on the second floor, at the back of the house, was a strange little half-kitchen. Here it's well on it's way to becoming a proper room (secret: this is now one of my very favourite rooms in the house, just wait til you see how CUTE it's turned out!).

8. The second floor hallway, ceilings, floors, trim removed. All getting replaced and painted. Also rebuilding that railing, but keeping the original newel post you can see here. Should also mention that the entire house is being rewired. We removed every single light-fixture in the place. We may be living with bare bulbs until budget allows us to buy proper lighting.

9. Master bedroom. We are fixing the wall shown here so that it is flush with the chimney bump-out you can see. The closet opening on the left is getting sealed and will instead open up into Bella's room next door. We're having wall to wall closets installed on the wall you can't see.

10. Bella's room. Here you can see the opening that used to be the closet in our room. It will be an open space for built-in shelves. Her existing closet will be all finished up nicely with drywall and trim (secret: I saw this room almost totally finished yesterday OMG I DIE, I DIIIIEEEE.)

11. Stairs up to the third floor will be trimmed and painted. We're not doing any major work up there at this time because it's on the list for a future (deep future) total overhaul, but the whole floor will be painted and that alone will make a hell of a difference.

I think that covered the major renos for now. We'll also be giving the kitchen and bathrooms cosmetic updates, but no major changes at this time. They are also on the future list... my mind is churning with possibilities all the time. My pocket book just can't quite keep up.