Sunday, January 27, 2013

Steady Progress

The house doesn't look all that much different this week compared to my post on January 4th, but that doesn't mean that we haven't been working!

As far as we can tell, the laundry machines have always been in the kitchen. We decided that in order to open up the kitchen space, we would move the laundry into the basement. Fortunately, there is a great spot for the laundry at the bottom of the basement stairs. However, the move required us to move the plumbing for the washer, the 220 electric for the dryer, and drill a giant hole in the wall for the vent. All done!

 Jarrod and I were successful in removing all of the cabinets from the kitchen.

Unfortunately we uncovered a bit of wall damage. First, water damage (curse of the flat roof?) in the corner of the kitchen.

As well as a bit of plaster damage to the breakfast nook area from removing the fake wood paneling. Really, did they need that much glue to hold up the fake wood? I expect not.

But never fear! The wallpaper is gone and the plaster and drywall guy will be over tomorrow to start the repair in the kitchen. I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's all clean and new.

I know that you have been anticipating a brick update! First the sad, sad news. We attempted soda blast the brick. It worked, but it also caused major damage to the brick. We were very sad.

But get this - the soda blasting uncovered a new color of brick! What? Blond brick? So, it turns out that the bottom of the fireplace is blond brick and the top is red. Wow.

Jarrod has been attempting to strip the brick a little bit at a time. Basically, he paints on this citrus stripper (that doesn't stink!), covers it in plastic, and then comes back the next day using wire brushes. It is an amazing result. It's just a seriously major bummer that the entire expanse of brick is likely about 200 square feet. The 8 bricks that he has completed took about 3 hours of labor. Sadly, this is probably not a viable solution.

 Finally, last weekend Jarrod and I removed the vanity and toilet from the upstairs bathroom. Here it is pre-removal.

Pieces gone!

Finally, with a bit of elbow grease (check out the back wall in the picture above!)

It's funny, I keep thinking that we haven't accomplished much. I need to remind myself that we both work full time, have two small children and just took on a crazy basket case house. We are really, really, really lucky that we get to do this work while living in our very comfortable current home.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Walls and Windows

We have been hard at work ripping out the many layers of wallpaper in the kitchen. In retrospect, it may have been easier to just have a plaster dude come in and plaster right over the wallpaper, but the journey through the layers certainly brings us a bit closer to the history of the house.

This is the in-process shot of the kitchen wallpaper removal. 

The bottom layer of wallpaper appears to be a faux brick pattern with vines. Likely this was the original paper in the kitchen. The red is my favorite (matches the floor!) It appears that they removed most of this paper prior to installing the lovely fruit print.

We managed to remove all of the curtains from the breakfast nook and kitchen revealing this amazing bank of windows. I need to get in there first thing in the morning for a bright and sunny shot, but this gives an idea. You can also sort of see the major damage to the plaster under the nook window from removing the fake wood paneling. Such a shame. We can't decide if we need to get new window coverings for this space. Depends on how much time we plan to spend naked in the kitchen, I suppose?