Kitchen Post Demo

August 19, 2007



Here is the kitchen of our rehab project house. Scary, heh? Demo is completed and the kitchen has been opened up and the new stairs to the lower level have been framed in. Now we are waiting for Kitchen Floyd to complete the design of the cabinetry so we can:
1. order granite tops
2. order appliances
3. call electrician Jamie to update electrical before closing up the walls.
4. so then we can get the dry wall guys (and gals)
5. so then we can install the cabinetry
6. then call the hardwood installers, pick out sink and fixtures, paint……….

The list seems endless at this point. But exciting to see our first accomplisments:

1. Old fireplace surrounds removed.
2. Old spiral stairs replaced with a well located straight stairs to lower level which brings more light into the space.
3. Tons of debris from demo removed.
4. 3 1/2 rooms of wallpaper removed.
5. Most of fencing and stacked stone walls have been power washed sparkling clean. Thanks Liza.
6. Preliminary meeting with heat and air Tom. Waiting for his quote.
7. Lots of planning and dreaming about the final product. (my favorite part)

Tomorrow: more blasted wall paper removal. But it is just more time to think and plan and dance with my scraper to NPR classical tunes in the morning and sassy blues in the afternoon. Time to bond with this place. Time to discover what this house has been, how it passed through different reincarnations. Time to dream of what it might become.


Power Washing Fun!

August 13, 2007



Something Liza loves more than taking photos… power washing! For her recent birthday, this Leo received a new power washer and what a difference it is making to the brick courtyard of our rehab house!

So much to spray wash, so little time!!!


Wallpaper Removal Art

August 13, 2007



Here is the result of a day of wallpaper removal. Somehow the heap of removed paper was more interesting in this form than gracing the walls.

I understand that centuries ago wallpaper was used as art and to mimick the look of luxurious fabrics.

Personally, I can’t wait til it is all removed from our rehab house. Let’s see… bedroom #2 and #3 completed. That just leaves bedroom #1, the foyer, a hall, the living room, dining room and one bathroom! YIKES!


The Ups and Downs of Wallpaper Removal

August 13, 2007



Apparently the wallpaper in bedroom #3 was a single ply paper that came of easily. Different situation in bedroom #2! This shiny embossed paper is two ply!

I found that I could scrape off the first layer easily, but under neath I found a thick backing that required a repeat of the entire process. Ole well… it got done!

And as it came off I uncovered the lively avocado green that was original to this 60’s rancher. I kind of like it!


The Wallpaper has to Go!

August 13, 2007



This is a close up of the “lovely” wallpaper in bedroom #2.


Wallpaper Removal Tools!

August 13, 2007



At our local Lowes, we found this product for wallpaper removal from the Zinsser people. Actually, it is a multi-step process after you remove window coverings, switch plate covers and picture hangers, etc.:
1. Use the special wallpaper scoring tool. This tool is rubbed over the wallpaper to make tiny perforations in it that will allow the liquid goop to seep under the wallpaper and loosen it.
2. Roll on, sponge on, or spray on the removal goop.
3. Wait a few minutes.
4. Start scraping!

This process worked well for me on bedroom #3, so now I will see how it does in this room. Wish me luck!


Wallpaper Removal Day!

August 13, 2007




OK. Today is wallpaper removal day! Here is the “before” shot of bedroom # 2 in our rehab house project.

I am having flashbacks to the old Victorian house I grew up in on Olive Street. My amazing mother scraped wallpaper from 10′ walls in room after room, replacing the tired coverings with fresh peach paint in my bedroom. I remember the tall ladder she bravely mounted and the labor required to remove layer after layer of the hideous stuff.

I am lucky. I beleive there is only one layer in this room with standard 8′ ceilings. Still… seems daunting… but here we go!


dark kitchen

August 3, 2007



Our “before” kitchen was quite the 60’s/70’s charmer. The avocado green built in can opener was our favorite feature!

Seriously, the room is a good size and the basic layout of the appliances is the perfect triangle. But the room still seems dark since the only natural light source is through a cut-out over the sink adjacent to den’s glass doors.

The first day I stood in this room I could see the difference opening up this room would make.  I envisioned the cut-out expanded and the entire left wall above the bottom cabinetry removed. I could imagine slicing cucmbers at my sunny kitchen counter while bird watching through to the lush, rear courtyard.

Within the first few days of ownership we knew we would be spending half of our renovation budget on the 600 sf. kitchen and den areas. It is the heart of the home and the area in most need of updating.

Here’s what needs to be done in these rooms:

1. Demolition of kitchen cabinets, old flooring, paneled walls.  This involves calling the plumber and electrician to disconnect what ever we can not unhook!

2. Build new staircase to lower level and remove impractical and unnecessary spiral.

3. Prepare floors to receive 3/4″ hardwood flooring.

4. Install support header beams where needed.

5. Have plumber Chris and electrician Jamie come back in to update, reconnect, run new lines, etc.

6. Sheetrock on walls and over popcorn ceilings. Sand and paint.

7.  Order and install cabinetry from Kitchen Floyd.

8.  New appliances, countertop, backslash, and fixtures.

9.  Hardwood flooring.

Not particularly in that order… but you get the idea. Total overhaul. It’s OK. I can see the results, smell the food cooking, feel the revived energy of the home’s spirit.

Our project kitchen will be “starting over” too.


demo day one

August 3, 2007



Here is a picture looking into the kitchen from the den. Our rehabbing always gets scary after demo day one. You think…”I just spent a pile of money to purchase this home and now we have torn it apart.” Something about it must get worse before it can get better!


dumpster day

August 3, 2007



The day the dumster was delivered I knew we were nearing demo day. Out with the old and in with the new. I wonder what the neighbors think or how the old owners feel when they drive by and see this 22′ long hunk of steel parked in the drive.

I hate thinking about the debris to go to the land fill but I tell myself it is better to throw out an old kitchen than the whole house. So we will forge ahead in our attempt to recycle this home.

When demo started we filled this metal cavern in two short days with old kitchen cabinetry, rusty filing cabinets, the jade shag carpet from downstairs, and old flooring and paneling from the kitchen.

Time to start anew.