Demolition Day Part 2
Our day didn’t end with just one wall coming down. They decided to carry on to the wall framing the stairs. We were working with ending points in mind incase something happened and we wouldn’t be able to finish a job. Monte didn’t want to leave them in a mess and jobs half done. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get it all done in one day but Monte and boys decided they could make it happen.
This shows the stairs surrounded by walls. In the previous post we managed to get the wall down at the end of the stairs. So we carried on to the other wall. This wall not only enclosed the stairs but created a cramped hallway coming from the back door. This was also the wall we were concerned about being load bearing. Removing it will make an enormous difference to the home.
This picture is taken from the back entry looking down the hall. It also catching a glimpse of the living room wall that we just removed. At the front of the house are the kitchen, dining area and living room. The stairs and hallway separated the front from the back portion of the house. At the back of the house you have three bedrooms, bathroom, laundry and half bath. It was such a blessing to have a workable layout with only a few walls needing removed. It will open up the home and make it truly functional.
We started on the back side of the stairwell wall and pulled off the drywall. There was a little more electrical in this wall then anticipated. I am not an electrician so I don’t understand the reasoning behind what needs to happen. There was a light switch on this wall that turned the light on at the bottom of the stairs. It was a 3 way switch because there was a switch at the bottom of the stairs that also turned the light off and on. They were also pulling power from the upstairs light switch. Which meant another wire was present. According to my son who has worked with an electrician it’s not an illegal way to wire just not the smartest. Because they did things a little different my son needed to rework a few things but nothing he couldn’t handle.
Taking the ‘stair’ side of the wall down was a little trickier because we had the stairs to work around. You had to watch your step a lot more. The basement needs some upgrading too but is going to have to wait. It will be several months before they can start down there. Because we weren’t working in the basement anytime soon we wanted to leave what was going down the stairs in tact for now.
Having some fun
To make things look the best for now we decided to eliminate all the drywall that was above the floor level and leave every thing else for a later date. I truly enjoy kicking out the drywall. It makes me feel strong and is a great way to take out some aggravation.
After the drywall was out it was time to bring out the saws-all and cut off some 2×4’s for a make shift temporary railing.
I think our youngest son thoroughly enjoyed the power tools and demolition. He works in the construction world so it wasn’t anything new to him but it still feels good to do some damage. The final bit that made a huge difference was taking down the doorway that divided the front of the house from the back of the house.
All the drywall is gone and the 2×4’s are cut down. They still had to remove the wood nailed to the ceiling but I wasn’t having it until they got the stair railing up. I could picture them on ladders pulling on the wood and loosing their balance or needing a place to put their foot for stability. I was fairly sure someone would end up in the basement if the railing wasn’t secure first.
They ran into a small time consuming glitch when they started pulling down the wall headers. The pieces that ran parallel to the roof trusses were a non issue. Take them down put up a piece of drywall and texture it to match the ceiling. A fairly quick and easy way to finish a wall demolition.
The portion of the ceiling that was inside the closet gave us a little grief. There wasn’t a piece of drywall supporting the insulation when they pulled the closet out. As we were trying to take the headers out we had to keep the insulation from falling out of the ceiling. The closet ran in the opposite direction as the roof trusses which was the reason for the problem. You can tell by the foot placement of my men that me insisting they put up a railing barrier was a smart idea. With all of us working together we managed to get the headers down and a piece of drywall up without loosing too much insulation.
That was the only piece that gave us any grief. We got the other pieces covered with drywall and then had a drywaller come out so he could match the texture on the ceiling. Monte has done a lot of drywalling so mudding is not a problem for him. He is a pro at flat walls, which is our preference. He runs into issues when he needs to match a texture. In small less obvious spaces he can definitely make it work. Since this is the main living area bringing in outside help is the right decision.
It is staggering how much better the home looks with just a couple walls taken down. There is still some work to do in order to get it completely done. It’s all about finding the joy in the construction journey. It takes time and money and it is hard making all the decisions at once. I think it is a good idea to live in a home and figure out what your needs are. That takes time and shouldn’t be rushed.
Some fresh paint on the walls, door and window trim make a huge difference. Yes the carpet needs pulled up and new flooring put down. Yes the stair railing needs some work but we were thrilled with the progress we made after a few days of hard, fun filled work.
The only cost to the demolition project was our time and maybe a little of Monte’s blood. He has a habit of injuring himself on most of our projects.