The Philly house is on the fast track for completion of the renovation and the downstairs is the last bastion of original shabby not chic (and not functional, etc). First to go, the white early 80's kitchen. It was way past time. This was our fifth full kitchen gut job and it, like those before it, was a messy but necessary part of the process. Plaster demo is always way worse than sheetrock, but we were prepared, braced, and ready.
All of the furniture downstairs was moved into a single room - currently known as our living room, kitchen, dining room and tv room all in one. And, this is not a large room, so it's very cozy right now at our house! It brings back a lot of memories of our first home together - a mobile home that we borrowed the funds from my parents to buy.
Here's the "before" pictures (hoping we can get to the "after" soon):
We bought this fridge when we bought the house, so we are hoping it will have a place in the finished kitchen.
Packing up the kitchen was the first order of business.
Then the cabinets came out.
A look at the lathes behind the plaster during removal.
Behind the black curtain at the back of the dining room is the single front room currently serving as our living room/dining room/kitchen during this project.
Then, the real demo began in earnest.
Interesting things were discovered under the plaster - like this channel in the brick shared wall that had been tunneled out for an outlet.
The ceiling was cracking and failing, so that had to come down, too.
Talk about a MESS.
Here's the dining room after clean-up and with the ceiling and floor removed.
The kitchen floor had three layers and at least a million staples and nails that had to be pulled.
And, again, with no dumpster, the debris all had be bagged and loaded into a rental for transmittal to the disposal site. Handling this heavy plaster was no picnic.
With the worst over, we were able to "open the curtain". It will be hung again for anything that produces a lot of dust.
The coveted "blank slate".
Unbelievably, we accomplished the entire demo over a weekend. We worked hard and long and it was hot (we couldn't run the air conditioners due to the dust). The worst on this house is truly behind us!
Despite the lack of posts, we've been beyond busy - we are pushing to get the Philly house done so we can move on to a new project. One nice week in August, Rob both demolished and rebuilt the back porch of the Philly house. The steps were deteriorating in a big way and were becoming unsafe (and especially for our elderly Chihuahua). Rob made this project look easy but it involved moving hundreds of pounds of concrete after the demolition and in the heat of the summer no less.
It was a nice mess after Rob took a sledgehammer to the back porch and steps.
Then we both got our "he-man" on and bagged up and hauled the oh-so-heavy bags of the concrete debris to the side of the house until disposal time. I'm not going to lie - Rob did the lion's share of the heavy lifting. It was HOT out and exhausting, but we got it all cleaned up. Demo bags full of concrete chunks and rocks lined our house and blocked our walkway. The challenges of renovation when there is no place for a dumpster are amplified, for sure.
That left Rob with his favorite: a blank slate (and a back door to nowhere):
He wasted no time and in three days flat we had a replacement porch and steps fully completed.
Much safer (and better looking) than the disintegrating porch and steps it replaced. And, like all of Rob's projects, this porch was built to withstand anything - hurricane, earthquake, you name it, that sucker is solid.
The upstairs at the Philly project is finally done. We survived the bathroom remodel and moving bedrooms twice to complete all the rooms upstairs over the past year. Totally worth it. Rob may have a different view since he did all the work!
And, I am SO happy with the carpeting. It's been a long time since we purposefully installed carpeting with everyone's raging preference for hardwood floors, but truth be told, I prefer a carpeted bedroom.
It's a good thing the upstairs is finished because now we have to live up there. Literally. The downstairs is the next, and hopefully last, project in Philly and the demo needed to gut the kitchen and living room is going to require that we once again play musical furniture, in a big way. All downstairs furniture will be moved upstairs (hence the lack of furnishings in the pics - we are living sparsely on purpose). Renovating in 1000 square feet while living in that same 1000 square feet is not an easy task. I'm dreading being without a kitchen for a month or so, but it won't be the first time (and it probably won't be the last).
We have a three week hiatus before this next round of fun begins so, for now, I'll just enjoy the carpeting (and having a kitchen).