Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Remodel Part I

The extension rooms have been the epitome of our house (before all the work we've done since moving in). Nothing in them was broken necessarily, but they weren't particularly nice either. The carpet was stained, the walls were covered in poorly installed panelling and none of the trim matched. For all it's faults however, I love those rooms. I love that it has two large windows looking out at our apple trees, a sliding glass door into the back yard, a warm pellet stove to rotisserie yourself in front of on cold winter days, a large amount of space for hosting parties and a slanted roof that makes it feel somehow special and tucked away.

While we were away in Mexico, our house sitter burned a whole in the carpet with a misplaced heat lamp. This finally gave us the push we needed to look into new flooring. We bit the bullet and decided to go with hardwood to match the rest of the house. It costs a pretty penny more than just replacing the carpet, but this is a HIGH traffic area from the backyard and is often the site of family dinners and parties. I could ignore the falling food as long as the carpet was already terrible, but new carpet + food = crazed Robin. Our beautiful hardwood will be installed as soon as we finish....the WALLS!!

If we are going to replace the floors, I thought to myself, why not go all out and just redo the room. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Jeffry say he thought that was a good idea, and I set to work researching how to hang drywall on the Internet. The process is really pretty simple. What isn't so simple, is the fact that nothing in the room is level/straight so our attempts to hang matching seams in the drywall have been, well, a character building exercise. We were lucky in the fact that two of the four walls we have to deal with have drywall hung behind the panelling already so those just need to be taped and mudded. This was a merciful discovery that has greatly reduced the amount of work we have to do.

There were also two windows in the wall that used to belong to the outside of the house that we also had to take care of. A large portion of one of our days was spent figuring out how to remove said windows and then frame them in so we had something to nail the drywall to. Many petitions have been sent up to the saints of mud and texturing to plead with them to cover the sins we've committed while hanging the drywall. At the end of the day I must simply remember that anything is better than what we had, and we have a lot of furniture along the walls in that room anyways!

At this point we are a bit behind where I thought we'd be but not bad. It took us an evening and a day to move all the furniture into the garage and tear out the panelling. The carpet tear out has been a bit more of a pain because the interior walls of the room were build ON TOP OF the carpet. Who does that!? It has meant that tearing out the carpet in a nice clean line along the walls has taken much longer than expected. First we had to cut it as close as we could to the wall and then use pliers to tear out the rest of it. I don't know how anal we have to be about it, but I don't want the flooring guys to show up and charge us saying they had to do some clean up (we got the quote reduced by saying we'd have the room completely ready for them).

So on Sunday my mother came down to help us estimate materials and  then brainstorm how to deal with the windows. By the end of the day we were able to start hanging drywall. This process has continued through today thanks to Jeffry and some friends and family members who have come over to help him while I'm at work. By the end of today we will hopefully have all the drywall up and will be ready to start mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding, mudding.....well you get the idea. there are several layers involved. I'll be checking in over the next couple of days with updates/lessons learned as the process progresses!