Hello, 2016! How have you been? What have we missed? Can we talk about Making a Murderer? (We devoured 10 hours in just a handful of days, yowza.) Even so, we kicked it into high gear these last couple of weeks – a little bit here, a lot bit there – but first, let’s wrap up the demolition talk! Week 4 made all the difference, with the most drastic change taking place in the bedroom. Let’s step inside:
When we first laid out our bedroom plans, we were confident in our decision to remove the poorly placed chimney. Eliminating this stack of bricks would give us room for a closet and a larger bed, but we quickly found out that the chimney was still being used to vent our first floor furnace and water heaters. Ouch. (It was an unexpected twist, but we have to say, we’re a bit shocked that was our only surprise!)
We panicked (my specialty), and we debated keeping it right where it was. We talked about somehow shuffling the entire room around, adding shelves to the left, moving the closet to our (now) window wall, and generally just trying to make it work. Every scenario made us unhappy, and so bit the bullet, re-routed the vents and purchased new water heaters. Although none of that makes for a satisfying Before & After story, it was the best decision for our house – especially after realizing that our old water heaters were way past their due date. Our HVAC contractor corrected a few other kinks along the way, and our home is much healthier for it! So, three cheers for proper venting and energy efficient water heaters! Hip, hip!
With the chimney issues resolved, our GC was able to take down the chimney once and for all. It took one day to remove the bricks (and plaster and peeling wallpaper!) and an additional two days to patch in the drywall and hardwood floor. Worth it. From now-you-see-it to now-you-don’t:
The bricks from the chimney were in poor shape, but we asked our GC if he could salvage as much as he could. They’re piled in the backyard for now, so we’ll see if they stand up through the winter. If we notice any deterioration, we’ll haul them into the garage, but – oh please, oh please – let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!
And although we’ve already shared the new view our windows bring in, they look so much prettier with the drywall repaired! They’re still in line for hunky trim, and we’ve yet to remove the teensy bits of remaining baseboards, but it’s already a hundred times better. No, a million. Below, where we started, to where we stand:
The drywall work in all three rooms has been patched, sanded and primed, so from here on out, it’s up to us to complete the look! To start, we’ll be shifting back and forth between the bath and bedroom, with an emphasis on getting the second floor bathroom to a functional point. At the same time, we’re itching to get working on the closet (more on that very soon!) and anxious to move out of the guest room. But we’ve also been hard at work on tiling the bathroom, and we’re crossing all our fingers that the wall tile will get here this week!
(Okay, but seriously, who wants to talk about MAM?)
Looks fantabulous! I love that you went beyond the aesthetics and got into the guts and structure of the place to make it the best it can be. Your house is so lucky to have you!
Also… MAM… I am CONVINCED Teresa’s ex-boyfriend did it. Someone on Reddit posted a screen grab of his hands during the search footage… Covered in bloody scratches! He just seems like such a creep, he hacked into her voicemail, he deleted a bunch of voicemails (??) and was the only citizen allowed on the Avery property to aid in the search. So STRANGE! And c’mon… isn’t it always the boyfriend??
We thought it was strange that they didn’t even consider other options of people close to her – the boyfriend, the brother that seemed a little camera happy, etc. Even still, we’re not totally convinced that Avery DIDN’T do it, but the police HAD to have planted evidence, right? Right?! And no joke about those voicemails. It’s like, oh yeah, the mysterious voicemails, calls and deletions… moving on!
I NEED to find that screen grab. The ex, brother and also that roommate who didn’t say anything about her being missing not for four days? Why only give a camera to the two people that are going to search Avery Auto Salvage? How do you guess that someone’s password is their sisters’ birthdays AND know those birthdays? To me everyone just seems so guilty besides the Avery’s. Everytime we heard anything from Sgt Colborn all I could think of was Slugworth from Willy Wonka. Barb’s husband also irked me especially that he was trying to get Brendan to take a plea deal. That poor kid.
COLBURN!! I know, right?!
This looks so good! The kitties are going to love all those windows! Are you going to install your extra wide windowsills? We’ve just started our house search, and I keep reminding Chuck that we will be adding those!
You know it! Extra wide, extra deep. I’m even looking into a little step stool so the girls can hop on/off the bed and on/off the window easier, oh, dear.
My mom did something similar, removing an old chimney that wasn’t being used from her kitchen. It was such an amazing change, opening up the formerly narrow kitchen.
Your room looks so bright and fresh, can’t wait to see the rest of it come along.
Is the transition from (original) plaster to (new) drywall noticeable at all? Or is it pretty seamless? We have plaster in our 1940’s ranch and wonder if drywall repairs would be noticeable. I’m guessing you went with drywall because plaster would have been super expensive.
At some point, the entire house was transitioned over to drywall, so the only plaster left are crumbles behind the wall and lath OR plaster behind items that are original to the house (i.e., the chimney). Unfortunately, I can’t give you any firsthand input on how seamless it would look.
Wow, what a difference a removed chimney makes! And did it go all the way up to the roof? I am just curious if you only had to remove the section just in the bedroom or if you had to take the whole thing out for structural reasons?
We have one that runs through all 4 floors of our house (from basement to walk up attic). We don’t use it to vent anything at all either anymore, and I would love to eventually remove it in the attic when we go to finish it for a master, but I worry I will be told I have to remove it from EVERY floor, disrupting living spaces I don’t want to touch (at least for now…)
Looks great though! Cant wait to see what paint color you guys choose!
For now, we only removed it from this room to keep the cost manageable, but we WILL have to remove it through the attic and roof later this year. In the meantime, they reinforced the ceiling to support the weight, but we still want to remove it and patch up the roof when all is said and done!
Liz- You can remove just the section above the roof and in the attic if you like, leaving the chimney column in the lower rooms if you like. If you’re not using the chimney it’s really just a roof leak waiting to happen and a way that conditioned air can escape your house. Removing a chimney can be very messy so I understand why you’d want to avoid disrupting your finished rooms.
This looks SO nice! I can’t imagine how much work and money went into all of this, but it is looking amazing. And those bricks?! They get me every time.
Hopefully they’ll pass the winter test and we can use them outside for future yard plans… time will tell!
Everybody is talking about MAM. I think I need to watch it.
Its such an amazing feeling when you make big progress, can’t wait to see how these rooms unfold.
You gotta! And thank you!
So totally obsessed with MAM right now, and 100% convinced that the police framed him. The hole in the blood sample, the key that appeared on the 7th search, the detective calling in the vehicle when supposedly it was missing, the unconscionable questioning of his nephew who clearly had no idea what was happening. It’s horrendous.
Also about to take on a big renovation, I wonder what our version of the chimney surprise will be :)
YES. Calling in the vehicle when it was still missing! That one still gets to me.
Good luck on your renovation!
Looking good! I am so excited every time there is a new post about these rooms. Can’t wait to see what you make of it, but I’m sure it will be good!
It’s all starting to come together! Can’t wait to see what the final product looks like!