The Most Beautiful Site In The World

I refuse to believe there is a more beautiful site, meaning jobsite, in the world right now. Yep, I’m willing to throw out the entire geographic area of the world. Why? I finally get to share with you the second floor before and after demolition shots. The same room that had been our bedroom for the last five years. Keep in mind this room is about 22×16. Yep, it’s huge.

This is the side facing the road. The crib was something my Pepere made for me when I was 5 and the two stuffed bears I’ve had since I was a baby. I’m saving them for our future kids (no mom, gram, dad, any other family reading this I am not pregnant).

This is the side facing the hayfield and towards the new addition. Behind the tall wall of unpainted boards is another nook we used for clothes.

As you can see, it’s pretty stellar with the no door / paneling / not a real closet / gross plywood floor. You know what looks even more stellar? When I start ripping boards off the walls. I have never enjoyed demoing something so much in my entire life. First came down the half wall…board by board. There was some pretty interesting structure holding it up including a piece of welded metal holding it together. See that block of long boards on the floor with the dark base on the bottom? That’s the metal. It’s pretty indicative of the guy’s “handy work” who built this addition. Anytime we see it, or something is weird, we refer to him and call it “Lestered”. I.e. “Uh oh, I just found something all Lestered up” or “Son of a Lester!” Sorry to any of Lester’s children who may perchance stumble across this blog. At least he built things to last, there’s no doubt about that.

Once we had all the boards off I managed to pull the entire framing down with my hands. My hands. It definitely took some force, but the fact is that I still ripped it down with nothing more than these two palms and adjoining fingers.

It was at about this point Andy walked upstairs with the maul (also lovingly known as the “wood splittah”) to take out the tall boards above the stairs. Sometimes all you need is brute force.

Then came taking out the platform above the stairs, so we can eventually put in a switchback staircase.

Once Andy got started there was no going back. During this time I was pulling nails from all of the boards and stacking them.

Showcase showdown between Andy and the final boards. He noticed these after some drywall and insulation removal and wasted no time taking them down.

The boards didn’t even stand a chance. Here’s a shot of the bedroom once all the boards were gone, and a little more. Primrose was loving the renovations. I’m not even kidding. Through tons of loud noises, she was with us almost the entire time. Winnie was laying on our bed downstairs pretty much as far away from us as she could get, not scared, but just entirely uninterested.

Since we’re keeping the boards for future use on another project it was important to make sure we stacked them and saved them all. Piece by piece we hauled them out the second floor slider and loaded them onto the Mahindra.

With lumber out of the way it was time to focus on the drywall. Andy took the lead on this and taught me how to properly remove drywall. You know those shows where an entire house is renovated in 30 minutes? I watch them too, but I was always baffled why they would slam their hammer all over the drywall to remove it. As it turns out that’s really not how you’re suppose to do it, but I guess it makes good TV.

Drywall tip time: Don’t smash it into a hundred pieces. Why? You’ll have to pick them all up! And holy cow would it create a lot of dust. Dust that you should really try to contain. When you want to remove drywall, cut/hit with a hammer where you have to in order to get underneath of an edge/side, etc. Try and go where the drywall tape is if you can see it. Then gently and carefully start shimmying and wiggling the drywall. You may not get the entire piece out, but you’ll get a lot larger pieces that will be significantly easier to clean up. When you’re done your pieces should look more like this and less like rubble.

It was getting later in the afternoon, but we weren’t done yet. With night only a few hours away we started pulling the insulation out for the dumpster. This stuff is no joke. The reason they tell you to wear gloves when you handle it is because the fibers are glass hence fiberglass. It itches because of the micro-cuts it can cause on skin and it’s incredibly irritating. Not only should you wear gloves but it would be a good idea to keep a protective mask on as well as eye protection and long sleeves, since the fibers get air born easy. I learned the mask part the hard way, and I ended up coughing a lot. Bad news

Fiberglass Insulation Tip: You’ll likely find this insulation between your studs whether on the wall or in the ceiling. To reduce the fiberglass becoming air born during removal, push the insulation in near the top of the wall. Instead of pulling straight out, slowly roll the insulation towards the wall. This will keep the paper on the outside and the fiberglass tucked inside the roll, greatly reducing the effects.

On Sunday night we stopped while the drywall and insulation were out but the ceiling was still up. The sun was set and it was too dark to keep going so we cleaned up. Earlier this week Andy was right back at it and he took the ceiling down (and smashed my radio in the process – it was rather funny).

In the end, this is the final shot of the second floor interior demolition (the hanging piece of drywall is gone now). I’ve never seen it look more beautiful. So you don’t have to scroll back up, here’s the before and afters again. Excuse me while I wipe a tear from my eye.

We are OFFICIALLY done with interior demolition in the old addition. This means in just a short time walls will be coming down while new walls are framed up.

I wish I could give you step by step instructions on how to do every single step, but since I can’t I promise to try and put in a post here or there with specific instructions and/or tips, like above, in these broader posts. While crafting is my thing and I can definitely give step by step tips, renovations are not.

We have an interesting dynamic here in the house where Andy is a professional, and I am a DIY newbie more or less. My mom made sure we knew how to use tools, which means I at least know basics. Even though over the years I’ve learned quite a bit from watching Andy, with this renovation it’s like I’ve been hit upside the head with the nerf gun of knowledge. I can’t wait to see what else I learn in the next couple months. Whatever it is, I’ll share.

You have my promise.



Psst – Just a quick note: my twitter handle has changed from @homesteadandtea to @lkacupoftea.

2 thoughts on “The Most Beautiful Site In The World

    1. Thanks Barbara! Sometimes I so wish I could be more detailed about how we’re doing what we’re doing, more like a tutorial but c’est la vie I guess. It’s probably better – considering I once called construction adhesive “caulking”.


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