25 October, 2009

Remodel - Phase I (Flooring): Removing the Stove

Day Two of demolition this weekend is to do a little more wall work and take out the fireplace. Sounds easy enough. We're getting pretty good at destroying walls - too bad it's always harder to create than destroy. But demolition is a nice way to release tension and frustration! =)

Taking the fireplace out was a joint effort. The chimney tubing (whatever that's called) is actually pretty heavy - I know that now, since it bounced off my head when we were taking it down. Hadn't really thought of it before, but it's got insulation - which makes sense, since you wouldn't want hot air & flames going up a metal tube that's sitting inside a sheetrock wall surrounded by wood studs. Too bad we weren't filming for U-Tube or America's Funniest Videos, but (you'll be glad to know) it appears my noggin is fairly thick.

From there, it's just a matter of getting the fireplace on the dolly and locked in place. I think we may have dented it a bit on the side from the last step down, but since we're not planning on re-using it, I don't suppose that matters. I'm just glad I didn't have to be part of the crew taking it down a flight of stairs.

Greg had to get on the roof to finish (for now) the fireplace job. Need to make sure we're not going to be getting water down the stack that's not connected to anything anymore. We do have a small drip from the pipe that's in the attic - but since the last few days have been clear (and COLD), I'm thinking it's condensation. I'm not sure if we're leaving the rest of the pipe in and just putting in new sheetrock for the ceiling? Or if taking out the rest of it is for a different part of the project. I leave those kinds of things up to Greg - I know enough to know what I'm supposed to do and how I can help. There will be some days where my best help is to stay out of the way (and make sure there's plenty of food & beverages). I'm okay with that.

I do fine at cleanup crew, which isn't glamorous or fun but it's still important. Kind of like the filing in an office. Not fun; pay is lousy; but oh so necessary to keeping track of those important documents; and surprisingly satisfying when complete. =)

We had to put some cabinets back up (drilled right to the studs - I kind of like the look, although I'm glad it's not permanent). We're having a Halloween party next weekend. Need to have at least some of the storage space back so the kitchen is fully functional for a large get-together. I'm looking forward to seeing how the extra space works out for seating and having lots of bodies moving around, even if it's just bare plywood right now.

Next step is to take the studs out of the kitchen/office wall and frame in the new layout (including making the new closet in the office/bedroom). But for now, our work here is done.

Remodel - Phase I (Flooring): More Demo

This weekend we spent more time doing demolition. Step 2 of the demo - the wall between the kitchen and the office. Which means that what didn't get boxed up and shoved into the spare bedroom (downstairs) is currently taking up space in the middle of the living room, and covered by a not-so-fine layer of dust and de-construction debris.

Have to start with pre-work pictures, right? All the speckles and fuzziness in the pictures is because of dust in the air. If I use the flash because it's a little dark inside, it looks like it's snowing. If I don't use the flash, it looks a bit grainy. That's what I get for using my little point-and-shoot instead of the fancy-pants camera. So I'll just deal. =)

Saturday morning, I woke up to the smell of bacon, eggs, and coffee... Ah, sweet nirvana! Apparently Greg had been up for quite a while, and James was already over. I made it out of bed and upstairs in time to get a couple pieces of bacon and a cup o' joe before they started dismantling the kitchen.

Cabinets and cupboards have to come out before we can take the wall down. Makes perfect sense. Also had to turn the water off in the kitchen so we could detach the hose from the fridge. (Have I mentioned that I *love* the ice maker & water dispenser in our refridgerator? Well, I do!) Nita & Todd came over just in time to help remove the last of the cabinets, and Nita made the first hole in the wall. Another one bites the dust... yay!

From there, it was rather like an assembly line. Lots of ripping down, followed by breaking into smaller chunks and shoving in the trash bags. When the bags are full enough, move them to the deck & start the process over again.

Not sure how many bags of trash we took to the dump, but it filled two truck beds (debris was from last weekend and Saturday - we have a couple more bags already from work we did today). It's nice that we had a free dump pass from this spring. Sure came in handy this weekend!! All this was done in a few hours on Saturday, with more demolition on Sunday. Throw in a zombie bout of roller derby, and it makes for a packed weekend... Whew!

Many, many thanks to the extra hands that have helped us tear things down and move things out - it's *greatly* appreciated!!

18 October, 2009

Remodel - Phase I: Flooring

We're commencing a large remodel project for the house. It's going to take quite some time, and will affect all the rooms upstairs. It particularly started with the kitchen - we want to redo the kitchen to make more room. That led to talk about moving the wall between the kitchen and the upstairs bedroom (the office), to give us a little more space in the kitchen. And if we get rid of the fireplace, there'll be more room in the living/dining room.

We don't use the fireplace anyway - it doesn't produce heat more than 2 feet from the fire, doesn't have a fan to blow the heat out, and there's no way to arrange furniture to watch the tv *and* have a fire. And since we're doing all that, we may as well get rid of the *lovely* (there's a bucket-load of sarcasm in that one word) rose-pink carpet that we've been living with since we bought the house.

We've discussed several ways of approaching this whole project and finally settled on starting with the flooring. Which means we have to demo the walls, so we can at least frame in the new ones to lay the floor.

We're going to lay bamboo - the kind you get from Costco. It's got a nice pattern and color, and it's not nearly as much per square foot as the other ones that caught my eye. (I really like the look of tiger wood with a light finish, but I really *don't* like how it'd affect my pocketbook...)

Step 1 is to remove the fireplace. (Pre-Step 1 is to move a whole bunch of crap out of the way - we've got to go through it before it gets moved back upstairs to see what we really want and what we can get rid of!) It's amazing how much cleanup is included in a demolition job. First the faux rock, then the sheet rock, then the studs & nails... not to mention the vacuuming, and I actually swept the carpet with a broom. There's a reason I don't normally do these kinds of things.

But I'm keeping focused on the end. I'm excited to get the new flooring done. If I don't think too much about all the work and effort in between now & then, I'll stay positive. Baby steps. Already the room looks bigger. We've got the first wall down, now just have to move the fireplace out - which also means some whatnot about capping something to make sure the snow & rain don't leak down the thingy.

Step 2 is to tear down the wall between the kitchen & office, so we can reposition it to expand the kitchen. Move stuff out of the way; take down the upper cabinets; move the lower cabinets; demo the wall; and at least frame in the new wall. Not sure if that's for next weekend? I know that roller derby is next Saturday - yay!! - but we may be able to get some demo in on Sunday. All the demo here happened in an 8 hour period Sunday afternoon - and we have to have a functional kitchen for the Halloween party... =)

**Note: If you remove the filter on the shop vac and then try to vacuum dust & debris, everything shoots out the other side of the machine - and then, if you had a little film (since, if you're like me, you don't dust that often), now you've got ashfall. Fortunately, I can blame it on a volcanic eruption... ;)

10 October, 2009


It's Friday night, after a hectic day at work... the end of long week. What to do to celebrate?

Why, it's time to go support my friend Stacy at the BizBee. And what is that, you might ask? It's a fundraiser for literacy, where businesses put together teams to participate in a spelling bee. Stacy tried hard to get me on the team this year, but I was lucky to get to the event only 10 minutes late. (I *hate* parking down town. Even after business hours it seems like there's no place to park.)

In lieu of helping with the spelling, James, Greg, & I were part of the support crew. (Pictures are courtesy of Greg's fancy-pants camera, since I left mine home again...) Fortunately, some of the other people at our table brought props to help us get in the mood. And because we were loud and rowdy (is there another way to be at a spelling bee?!?), our table got the spirit award.

My favorite word was "pangolin" (which Stacy spelled correctly - way to go!!). Apparently it's a toothless, scaly mammal that looks like an artichoke. According to Wikipedia here: "The pangolin is often compared to a walking pine cone or globe artichoke." Is that cool or what? I told Stacy that maybe next year I'll be a speller instead of a cheerer. Who knows... maybe I'll get rich and famous based on my mad spelling skilz... Nah! =)