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And the Ceiling Goes Up!

And when the first floor ceiling goes up, the second floor floors also go up. But let’s take one step back.

As mentioned earlier this week, we met with our contractors* over the weekend to firm things up, triple check the estimate and discuss any more demo that Scott and I could tackle ourselves (therefore, saving us even more money off the bottom line). During this meeting, we found out that an unplanned opening in their schedule had them starting work on our house this week – which was pretty incredible, since our last discussions had us planning for the end of the month.

Although they were able to start right now, it will still be several weeks before completion, as they’re handling our job between another – but we were 100% okay with that since it got them through our door sooner than later. On the list of contractor to-dos? Raise the 1st floor ceiling / level the second floor, drywall patching where we took down entire walls and ceilings, electrical / more drywall in the entryway and repairing a leaky roof access hatch.

But this post is all about our straight, wonderfully level first floor ceiling and second floor!

For the first half of this week, our home looked like that. It was noisy, messy and dusty – and we loved it! Because now? We (well, our team of contractors) took this 100-year-old-plus house and gave it a nice little facelift. Want to know how?

A-hem. Here goes:

Using hydraulic jacks, they were able to put temporary support beams in place to the outside of where the new permanent support beam would go on the first floor ceiling – directly between the living and dining rooms. (You can see the jack more clearly in the above second photo, and the floor-to-ceiling beams are supporting the weight of the second floor.) Over the course of two days, they slowly raised the roof – er, ceiling (you saw that one coming though, right?) – more than 2,” allowing them to put the permanent beam in place.

Above, you can see the new beam in place (see it all clean and shiny, there, dividing the living and dining?), which stretches the entire width of the room. It’s crazy to think that just a month ago, there was drywall boxing in a half-chimney, when now, the new beam will be supporting the second floor chimney (that’s here to stay!) and the first floor chimney remnants will be completely removed.

When all is said and done, the beam will be hidden by a soffit, the walls will be seamless from living to dining, and – jumping even further ahead – the entryway will lead into the living room under an arch (just like that on the second floor). And of course, all new drywall will be installed, too!

On an adorable side note, Mike (head honcho contractor) set aside these century old nails for us. When I lit up, he said, I thought you might like those. The funny thing is that I had saved one dirt-old nail from the entryway demo, but in a fit of this house is falling apart! (because yes, we’ve had those moments), I threw it away. Like an idiot. We don’t even have plans for them; we just simply thought they were cool. So, Mike, thank you!

There’s a lot of movement in this home with even more to come this weekend, when we’ll be picking up the sledgehammers again. We. Can’t. Wait.

*After receiving a few quotes and in-person meetings, we’re working with MRB Construction, and the verdict is in: Thumbs up.

PS… We assure you, no Jacks were harmed during demolition. He keeps me company in the studio during the day, but he can’t resist a good drop cloth while his mom documents.

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  • Hannah K.8.9.13 - 7:20 AM

    I LOVE that photo of Jack among the rubble! Congrats on your soon-to-be-level floor. And those nails? Awesome. Can’t wait to see what you do with them.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel8.9.13 - 7:28 AM

    Wow! So much is getting done in your home and it’s awesome! I didn’t even see Jack in the photo until you mentioned it and he looks so peaceful – what a cool pic :-)
    And I love those nails – something about the history of a place and people living and going about their lives in a totally different point in time is just so fascinating to me. And now the home will have your story embedded into it and that’s a beautiful thing.

    Happy happy Friday!ReplyCancel

  • kristin8.9.13 - 8:15 AM

    I’d definitely be framing those nails!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica8.9.13 - 8:26 AM

    Holy cow, this is CRAZY! But it’s also really darn amazing that they can do this. Call me impressed (and excited to see it when it’s finished)!ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House8.9.13 - 10:18 AM

    Woohoo!! Such progress! And those nails are awesome! Maybe frame them alongside the photo of Jack above?ReplyCancel

  • Mary Kate8.9.13 - 11:00 AM

    That really was SO sweet of your contractor. Makes me happy.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble Abode8.9.13 - 11:15 AM

    Aww, that Jack sure is a cutie pie! Congrats on the level ceiling and floors! What a game changer.

    It would be kind of cool to put the nails in a frame because old nails are just interesting. I have a few old fuses I’d like to do something with… Totally mundane, but a change from current designs.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.9.13 - 8:01 PM

      Ladies! Thank you for sharing in our enthusiasm :) Jack loves you!

      And excellent ideas with the older-than-dirt nails. They’re just too awesome not to show off somehow!ReplyCancel

  • Molly @ Mint Atelier8.11.13 - 11:03 PM

    A ceiling! I am absolutely loving watching your home come together by the way. And the nails are super cool. If I had those, I’d frame each one so that’s it’s floating in like a 5″x5″ frame and then do a little grid.

    Molly @ Mint AtelierReplyCancel

  • Julia @cuckoo4design8.12.13 - 5:10 AM

    I always love hearing when people actually get lucky with a contractor and you certainly sound like you did. Love seeing glimpses of your furry kids chilling in the mess.ReplyCancel

  • Kim8.12.13 - 9:50 AM

    A grid of frames would be very cool, Molly! Great idea – thank you!

    Julia, we really do feel lucky. Even Jack gives Mike his “lick” of approval every day that he’s here!ReplyCancel

  • YAY! Two thumbs up for progress and another two for contractors saving cool building bits!ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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