Tuesday, October 16, 2012

House Renovation: Week 1

Amidst our efforts to unpack, I was finally able to compile all of my photos of our house progress. These are all from our first week in the house — starting September 24th — and it's weird to look back and think this was only a couple weeks ago. We got so far in such a short amount of time, thanks to 12-hour days and having lots of help from our families. 

Since we were having our hardwood floors refinished throughout the house, we were on a very tight timeline to get our projects done before the floor guy showed up. It was a crunch, but we accomplished all of our goals (and then some).

Here's everything we accomplished in the first week — I'll follow up with weeks 2 + 3 later, because it was just too much to show all at once. So, let's get to it!

 

This was the second floor hallway — the linen closet is behind those white doors, the master door is on the left and the guest room is across the hall, on the right. The door in the front right goes to the attic, and the third bedroom (which will be an office) is behind me to the left, at the top of the stairs.

 

Here are the stairs going down to the first floor landing. The striped wallpaper and the carpet not only didn't fit our aesthetic, but they made the hallway feel very closed in and narrow, which it was not. 

 

The night we got our keys, we looked around, took some 'before' pictures, and got to work demolishing stuff. This is Jim ripping down the wall in the linen closet, which backed up into the master bedroom closet (below). Meanwhile, I got to work taking down the wallpaper.

 

The linen closet was very deep, and had some removable wire shelves in it — pretty makeshift. Our plan was to expand the master closet into that space, thus making the linen closet shallower. We also wanted to install some permanent wood shelves and replace the bi-fold door. And trash that old red carpet.


This was the master closet. It was actually pretty large, but the small door opening made it very difficult to access the space. This door fit the linen closet space, so we planned to use this door as the door for the linen closet (which would match the other original doors in the hallway) and install large bi-fold doors for this closet. We also removed the carpet so the hardwood floors could be redone. *I also just realized that "tah-tah!" should have been spelled with an 'h' but it's late, and you get the point.

 

Jim and his dad are cutting open the new door frame...as I stand and chew my nails.

 

I was a little scared when I saw this plaster disaster (hehe) but they knew what they were doing. Fun fact: did you know they used to mix horse hair in with the plaster in these old homes? It acted as a sort of "mesh" to hold the plaster together. I'm not sure how I like the thought of 90+ year old horse hair in my walls, so I'll just pretend I didn't hear that.

 

My mom, Jim's mom, and I handled the wallpaper, and it was a bitch. To make matters worse, we found a BONUS layer of wallpaper underneath! Oh joy. So we were at it for an entire day.
 
 

Hallway has been sanded, cleaned of old glue, and primed...

 


Here's the living room — the plaster ceiling had some damaged areas from previous problems that had been fixed, so that was at the top of our list. So was taking care of this paint color which made the room so dark and heavy (and just...weird).

 
 

These photos make it all look so easy, don't they? ;) Oh, and the walls have been painted! They look a little weird in the bad lighting, but they are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. While the guys handled the construction work, I was on paint-till-I-drop duty. I actually enjoy painting, but this definitely tested me! Thankfully, everyone pitched in so we could stay on track.

 

Here's more closet progress...

 

Getting there! We are just waiting on the doors at this point — they were a special order —and we've just added some finishing details. And I am digging this wall color. Majorly. It's Sherwin Williams Gale Force.

That pretty much ends the projects from week one — the other two bedrooms and the hallways got painted but I'll be able to share those in my next post since they were a bit of a mess during all of this. Next up: floor sanding and moving in!

12 comments:

  1. AHHH. This is so pretty Rachael. Cannot wait to see it all when it is finished. You and Jim have great taste. Aunt Missy

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  2. I am absolutely in awe of your determination and work. House renovations suuuuuck but it looks like you're making some amazing progress. Can't wait to see it all finished :)

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    1. Thanks! It's hard not to just drop dead and give up - thankfully the end result kept us motivated.

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  3. Looks great so far! Yep, the pictures always make it look so easy and before you know it, even you will forget how hard it actually was!

    We have plaster walls in our home and it makes a mess anytime we do anything. And the horse hair thing totally weirds me out too. Can't wait to see more of the progress!!

    Laura

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  4. Hi Rachael, I had to comment! The renovations look awesome and I can't wait to see everything else that you have done with the house! Looks like you know what you're doin :) I'm actually house hunting right now in Houston and am only looking at older homes, so I'm very inspired and encouraged by your before and afters thus far. Can't wait to see more!

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    1. That's so exciting! Looking for older homes is a challenge, but the uniqueness (and truthfully the quality of the building, they really don't make houses like they used to anymore) is totally worth it. Once we found "the one" we were able to easily prioritize our projects and figure out what we could do before moving in. It made the renovation a lot less stressful because we weren't living in the house at the time. Wishing you lots of luck! Keep me posted!

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  5. Wow you guys did so much! I love the navy walls and I can relate on that horrible wallpaper task! Our house is also old and plastery (horse hair?! ew didn't know that.) and was completely covered in disgusting wallpaper when we bought it. Ugh, it still gives me night sweats! You look like you've done an awesome job and I can't wait to see all the finished pics! I love before & afters!

    Nicole

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    1. Thank you! Yes, plaster and wallpaper totally gives me nightmares :) I actually had a dream one night that I was peeling back layers of wallpaper and the layers never ended, there were more and more underneath! Obviously I'm glad that's all over with ;)

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  6. Rachael! Unreal! It is amazing to hear about the depth of work you guys have done on the house but to see photos of the before really puts it in perspective! You guys have done a fantastic job from floor to floor and wall to wall. I am so impressed!

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    1. Thanks! Now that you've seen it in person it's got to be weird to see what it used to be! :)

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  7. OMG. At first I was like ok cool they are gonna tear some wallpaper down and change the carpet. Then....I kept reading and couldn't believe my eyes, especially when they straight up cut the wall for the door frame! Hahaha this is so cool!!! You have a beautiful home, it's totally worth it.

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    1. Hahaha aww, thank you!! It was honestly the craziest week of my life. Make that two weeks. I still haven't shared full 'after' pictures, but they'll be up sometime this spring!

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