So I shared our good news with you last week - that we finally got the keys to our new house!
As of this past Wednesday morning at 7:30am, our crew was there getting started on our remodel. Because it was the kids' first day of school, I couldn't arrive until 9:30am and by the time I got there, floors were torn up, trim was taken up, cabinets were being ripped off the walls and the first holes were being made in the two walls that needed to come down. These guys mean business. I walked in with my jaw to the floor, blown away by what had been accomplished in a few short hours.
Before we get started on the remodel deets, here is a little info on the house. Our tri-level home was built in 1987. It has had one owner - a couple now in their 60's who raised their son and daughter there and eventually put their home on the market as they entered retirement. The home itself was in impeccable condition - we couldn't believe the condition of all the original surfaces in the house. But alas, nothing had been updated in 27 years. But we got what we hoped for - a "blank slate" in great shape that we could revamp as time went on with the ultimate goal of a total house flip. Yippee!
We went into escrow initially thinking we would do a partial remodel on the main floor, updating just a few things this first year. But after some discussion with a beloved family friend, who is an expert home builder, we decided to take advantage of his expertise and go for the total remodel. So we are digging deep in our pockets, daily scouring Pinterest and home design magazines for inspiration, and jumping in without looking back!
And you know what, I haven't been scared for a minute! I have heard horror stories of major home remodels - of major road blocks, design disasters, houses that become money pits. This could all be true for us at some point, for sure. We get that. But for now, the little hiccups here and there haven't caught me off guard. (It could be that we hired FIVE inspectors to look at the house before we signed on the dotted line - best $1,000 we spent - we knew exactly what we were getting with our purchase.) And I think I've been trained for this - my love of home design, of rolling up my sleeves and doing things for myself the last few years, of painting and refinishing, of taking something old and making it new again. Managing this project has felt really natural and I've really enjoyed it thus far.
We will get around to taking pictures of the whole house at some point, but since we are tackling the entire main floor over the next four weeks, let's start there. Here is what we started with:
When you walk thru the front door, you enter into the living room. The down side - ugly parkay floors, old carpet, outdated fireplace. The upside - awesome vaulted ceilings, curved front windows that would make for a great window seat down the road, and a nice flow into the dining room and "boxed in" kitchen (I'll get to that in a second).
Do you see that boxed in kitchen? What in the world was the original builder thinking? We actually think this layout is what scared other people away. But I took one look at those 3/4 walls, knew they weren't load bearing and could be yanked out of there in under an hour.
These panoramic shots Kyle took with his iPhone, but they capture the main floor better than I could with my camera. Needless to say these are raw images, untouched, so sorry for them being a little dark.
Here you get a peek-a-boo shot from the dining room into the kitchen.
Ooooh, and the kitchen! The downside - tacky 80's oak cabinets, bizarre window placements and sink placement, terrible layout, old school linoleum. The upside - with those 3/4 walls yanked, we have a GREAT room space and a large kitchen space to create a whole new layout. (Oh and you get a peekaboo view into our two-tier backyard.)
Another kitchen view, just cause I love you. I don't want you to miss out on all it's glory.
Alright friends, are you ready? Here's what a half day demo can get you:
...the after - so long walls! (And floors and trim and cabinets and appliances)
And we've made even further progress. By the time I arrived the next morning, they had already started implementing the new kitchen layout, which includes:
(1) removing the two kitchen windows and installing a new giant window over my soon-to-be farmhouse kitchen sink (fingers crossed)
See it there to the right of this photo...old small window yanked out, new window getting framed in...
...and a couple hours later, old large window yanked out (and reframed and insulated) and new window installed..wha la!
More demo shots of the main floor.
From the corner of the dining room looking into the kitchen and living room.
From the corner of the kitchen looking into the living room...
...but then Kyle ripped the tile and side-framing off the fireplace, so the pic above became outdated in about 30 minutes. Things move at lightning speed around here!
Okay, I think that's it for now.
I realize demo shots aren't as exciting for the non-homeowner, but alas here they are in all their glory - mostly so that we can go back and see how far we've come.
These photos are from day 1 and day 2. Since then, our plumbing and electrical have been rerouted and installed in the kitchen, new siding on the back end of the house (where they took out the big window) has been installed, and we have two layers of tape and mud on the walls in the kitchen.
(1) Paint great room space
(2) Tile fireplace surround
(3) Install new hardwood floors
(4) Install new kitchen cabinets
(5) Install new energy efficient ductless heating/air conditioning
...and TONS more.
Stay tuned - I'll do my best to keep you up to speed!