Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Demolition Finale!

Today is Day 23 of the bedroom remodel project. And boy, has this project evolved into something bigger than I every could imagine. In fact, if I had imagined it, I would absolutely never have started it. But incredibly enough, I have worked my way through every stage of the job, and on my own! Talk about liberating and empowering - this will do it to you.

Tonight I expect to put in the last hour of demolition work, then I can start to rebuild the room. Right now the walls are totally stripped down to the 2 x 4's. My brother-in-law has installed 5 new (!) electrical outlets and (even more importantly) has wired in a wall heater, which will bring actual heat to my bedroom. Tonight is basically clean-up. I've borrowed a shop vac and have a ton (literally) of plaster to get cleaned up and out of that room.

And how are the dogs doing, you ask? Well, Molly is taking the whole thing in stride. She likes to go into the room and check it out. She's sleeping on the floor beside my bed in the sewing room, where I had to move my bed. She's a dog that goes with the flow and doesn't get too excited about changes. Sammie, on the other hand, is confused and worried about all the changes, especially the sleeping arrangements. She has never liked to enter the sewing room (for whatever reason, I don't know), so she won't sleep in there. I moved her bed into the living room and she spends the night in there alone, which I find troubling. I like having my girls with me at night! I keep assuring her that everything will be all right and back to normal soon, but she can't remember what normal is so she is worried. Come to think of it, that's kind of how I feel too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bedroom remodel Day 6

I started this remodel thinking it was merely going to be a paint job, but boy has it grown into something much bigger. I now have nearly one whole wall demo'd down to the lath strips. I had thought that that would be as far as I would go, but I now plan to remove the lath strips, exposing the 2 x 4's so I can get insulation on the walls. Which will be a new concept in this old house. My bedroom is the farthest away from the wood stove in the living room, and because I heat with wood, that is the last room to warm up. So I think that some insulation on the two exterior walls in particular will be ultimately worth it. Although I admit it sounds a little daunting, even to me.

And you wouldn't believe the amount of RUBBLE that this is creating in my bedroom. Probably there is dust throughout the house at this point, although I'm trying my hardest not to find it. I'm going to talk to my 16-year old nephew and see if he's interested in making a little money and a lot of good will points with me and haul away the ton (or more) of plaster chunks, strips and strips of old wallpaper, and just plain old wall dirt that is 101 years old. Yuck.

Friday, July 8, 2011

DIY project day 4

Although this is technically day 4 of my bedroom remodel project, I didn't actually work on it day 2 and day 3 due to the depression hole I fell into once I figured out that I was going to be over my head on this project but was committed to forging ahead on it anyway.

Things got better once my brother-in-law came over and showed me how to open the stupid bucket of joint compound. As it turned out, I didn't need it anyway, at least not so early in the project. As so often happens with old houses, one thing leads to another leads to another etc etc. The easy fix that I expected to be doing on my walls by skim-coating over the rough and uneven surfaces didn't work. I discovered that under the top layer of wallpaper was at least one more layer of wallpaper, plus three separate layers of old plaster. Brittle, decades-old plaster. After consulting by phone with my son about the state of the walls, he and I both agreed that I was going to have to do a demolition job on the walls down to the strips of lath, the original 1910 wall surface.

I spent a couple hours this morning moving my bed and everything else that I could physically move out of my bedroom and into various places around the house. I set up my bed and the dogs' beds in the sewing room. The dogs, by the way, are having nothing to do with this whole thing. In one week's time their world has been turned upside down. First I got rid of my queen size bed and downsized to a twin bed. Suddenly they were expected to sleep on the floor! Although to be fair to me, I did invest in two really top of the line dog beds. They want their old life back though. Molly is stretched out on her mattress next to my bed, but Sammie is evidently on strike and refuses to enter the sewing room. Period.

Anyway, I bought myself a small crowbar at Ace Hardware and went to work ripping down the walls. And you know what?? I enjoyed every minute of it. I didn't get too far, although I felt like I made good progress. I'm back to feeling that this is do-able after all. It's not going to be a weekend project though. Probably more like a couple of weeks. But I can do it. All I have to do is convince Molly and Sammie to hang in there with me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bedroom Project Day 1

Here it is, July 4th and the last day of my 3 days off (well, 2 days since I had to work Sunday) and I'm just now getting started on my bedroom remodel. Just for the record, I already know that I'm WAY over my head. I did manage to get all the furniture (why is it so heavy??) moved to the center of the room. I've peeled off the old peeling wallpaper from one entire wall and half of another. And guess what I found underneath? Ancient old cracked plaster, several layers of it. Also more wallpaper. And worst of all: there's mold. I wasn't prepared for that. After I look up what kind of fix I need to do on that, I'll be heading to Ace Hardware. Oh, and here's another thing: one of the reasons why I didn't start this project earlier in my weekend is because I can't get the lid ofof the 60-pound bucket of compound mix that I'm putting (skim coat) on the walls. I worked and worked at it last night with every tool that I own, which admittedly is not a lot. Obviously those lids are put on for contractors, not for 60-year old women with more ideas than muscles (or sense).

Wish me luck.