Demolition Day Part 1
I love a renovation project. After our son and DIL purchased a ranch with a 1980’s home on the property I knew we’d get the chance to help with some fun remodeling projects. The home has good bones and a workable layout that was in need of a few “minor” adjustments.
When we walked through for the first time I got excited about the potential hidden in the house. Our daughter in law had a great vision for the space. For weeks and months I envision the renovations we could do that would turn this into their dream farm home.
In the 80’s homes were divided into separate living spaces. There were walls everywhere. Each room in their house were good size but seemed small because of the walls. Open concept living areas were not a design 40 years ago.
Since they had just moved in and had a ton of work to do on the ranch, a full renovation project was not possible. It is nice to take your time with big projects. Often we don’t have the money to invest in a complete renovation. You can also learn a lot by living in the home and see what functions and what your needs are. We knew taking down a few walls would be a good start to making and creating a beautiful farm home.
Before we got started
Before you start knocking down walls you have to figure out which ones are load bearing. Deciding if the walls you want to remove are load bearing requires some investigation. Step one was getting into the attic and seeing which direction the roof trusses are running. Next they had a lengthy discussion to verify there wasn’t going to be a problem if they took down a few walls. Monte and son were fairly certain the walls they wanted down were not load bearing. Just to be safe they decided to call a friend in the construction business to support their decision. He confirmed they could take the walls down with no worries.
View from living room to kitchen
We moved the furniture to the center of the room and covered everything with plastic in hopes of keeping things somewhat clean. This view from the living room into the kitchen shows how closed off the space is.
The front door sits right beside the wall dividing the kitchen and living room. There is also a coat closet at the end of the stairwell in the living room. To create the open concept this was the first wall and closet that needed to come down.
View from kitchen to living room
Being a renovation girl at heart I am all in for the good, the bad and the dirty. It is crazy how giddy I feel when we are about to start a demolition project. Monte and I are always game for some renovation fun. It isn’t easy living in the house while you’re remodeling but with some patience and planning it is possible.
The wall is coming down
Thankfully out youngest son was there to help with the demolition. I’m really good at pulling off drywall and hauling debris out to the dump truck but I don’t have the muscles of my sons and husband to pound out 2×4’s. It was helpful to have another man on the job.
The open space looks stunning. We never doubted pulling this wall out was the right decision but it was comforting to see how amazing everything looks with the wall gone.
I can’t believe the difference
It doesn’t even look like the same place. The transformation was unbelievable and we still had more walls to take down. They live in the most beautiful area with majestic views of the rocky mountains which they can now see from all areas of the house.
Before I let them move onto the closet demolition I made them figure out what they were going to do to close in the stairs. Not that I can really make them do anything I just wanted them to have a plan to keep everyone safe.
I know my husband, when he gets going on a project he doesn’t pay attention to danger around him. I knew if I didn’t force the issue someone would end up falling into the basement before the day was over. To keep me happy they decided to cut off the 2×4’s instead of pulling them completely out. Then run a piece along the top for stability and along the face horizontally for a temporary railing.
I can’t believe the difference it made to pull one area of wall down in the farm house. It opened up the main living area and stairs and this was only the start of what they were going to take down.
They plan to add new railing to the stair but that wasn’t going to happen right away. We contemplated ripping up the rusty orange carpet and leaving the rough wood floors for now but decided to leave the carpet until the new flooring was purchased and ready to install. I can get a little over zealous trying to get it all done in not enough time. I’m learning to be patient with the process of making and creating and enjoy the journey.
Worth the Work
The wall and closet came down without a lot of trouble. We worked to stay ahead of the mess but that is impossible. As they pull and knock things down there is wood, drywall and dust flying everywhere. Our DIL and I worked hard hauling garbage out and cleaning up so workers weren’t tripping over wood or stepping on nails.
It was a great day. There is something special about working together and making a remarkable difference to a space. This will be their forever home. We want them to not only love their house but enjoy the process of making and creating a charming home.
I’m glad we took before pictures because it was hard to remember what it looked like just a few hours earlier. The transformation after only one day was remarkable.