Earlier this week, I shared the vintage farmhouse inspiration behind our fireplace room remodel. We actually started renovating this space early last year, working away on it every single weekend and night after work for nearly four or five months straight. It was just a little crazy, as you can imagine. But I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Our fireplace room is my favorite spot in the house now, and I spend almost all of my time in there! (You can see the “before” tour of our split-level fixer upper here.)
Even now, a year after we started this renovation project, we still have a few finishing touches left to wrap up. But sometimes life just gets in the way, and you have to put things on hold. We actually had decided to put this project on the back burner over the summer to just enjoy the warm weather, with the plan to start back up in the fall.
But then my grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the holidays were approaching, and it was much more important to us to spend those final months making as many sweet memories with him as possible. I will forever cherish that time we got to spend with him. He ended up passing away in late January (ugh… tears already!), and I really do miss him dearly. My grandparents mean the world to me. But as hard as that experience was, it was also a much-needed reminder for me to slow down and cherish those small moments that I sometimes let pass me by when I get too busy with other things in life.
It’s been a few months since his passing, and I’m only now really starting to jump back into projects around the house. We have a long (and seemingly never-ending) list, but I’m excited for the journey ahead.
And speaking of that journey… there has been a lot of work involved with our fireplace room remodel, so I thought it would make the most sense to share a series of blog posts that show our progress along the way. This morning, I’m sharing our demo phase!
As with all of our home projects, my super-handy dad and I started out with a “to-buy” list and headed over to Lowe’s to pick up all the supplies we’d need. Matt got to skip this process because he was at work that day. And lucky for him because it literally ended up taking us nearly four hours – no joke. I was soo ready to sit down by the time we were done lugging our four over-filled carts around the store all morning. But at least we got (almost) everything we needed in one trip, which really saved us from having to drive back and forth too much!
Here’s a little rundown of what we bought:
- (1) pre-hung French patio door
- (1) keyed entry door handle
- (2) single-hung, double pane windows (got them on sale!)
- (1) pre-hung, two-panel interior door (for half bath)
- (1) privacy button-lock door knob
- (2) bi-fold closet interior doors
- (2) arched cabinet pulls
- (4) 1×6 primed MDF boards (for baseboard molding)
- (7) 1×4 primed MDF boards (for crown molding)
- (16) 1×6 primed MDF boards (cut into thirds length-wise for 2″ board and batten strips)
- (2) 2×10 lumber boards (used as headers for French door and windows)
- (12) 2×4 lumber boards (for framing and studwork)
- (1) 4×8 sheet of ½” plywood
- (17) 4×8 drywall panels
- (3) fiberglass roll insulation
- (2) two-gang electrical boxes
- (2) one-gang electrical boxes
- (4) electrical outlets
- (1) multipurpose construction adhesive
And guess what? We even managed to get a 15-percent discount on all of the primed MDF boards! Scoooore.
Thank goodness we had an extremely patient cashier helping us check out… she was a real trooper, let me tell you! It was no simple task to get through our massive stockpile of supplies.
After about 45 minutes, we were finally done checking out and it was on to our next challenge – loading all that stuff onto my dad’s trailer. Oh, right. I forgot about that part. At least my dad was thinking ahead and brought a trailer! Three employees, an SUV, one trailer, 45 minutes and a cocktail later (kidding…), we were ready to hit the road. But not before first filling up the trailer’s back tire, which had literally deflated from the weight of our cargo. You just can’t make this up.
FINALLY we were home, and it was officially demo time! We got a pretty good amount of work done during the first weekend (back in March of last year). We ripped tongue-and-groove paneling off half of the fireplace room, near the back door and window. We also replaced all of the (original) insulation, and my dad completely rewired our cable and electrical outlets – which, by the way, were a COMPLETE mess. Naturally.
It is always a little nerve-racking wondering what you’ll find behind the walls of an old house. We learned that lesson pretty quick when we first moved in. But at least now everything is in top working order, and we won’t have to worry any safety issues moving forward!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… thank goodness we have my dad to help out with our home projects! He really is a jack of all trades. I was always in awe of him working on house projects as I was growing up, and now I can say that he helped with ours! That’s really special.
And look at what was hiding behind those walls and all that old insulation that we removed… solid pine board planks! How cool is that? I tell you… houses today just aren’t built the way they used to be. It is so neat to see the amount of work that went into each home that was built.
So far, we’ve been able to get by without contracting out any of the work. Not that I’m against that at all, but we just wouldn’t be able to afford to do all of the projects we want to do if we hired a professional. I’m sure that will change at some point, but for now I’m just happy learning as we go along.
How’s that for starting from scratch? After the demo phase, we framed the walls and replaced the old door and window with a new pair of French doors and two paned windows. That really made the biggest difference in this space, I think! I’ll be sharing all of that on the blog next week!