Group 6 3 minutes Read

the aftermath

Lauren Zerbey

Friday, April 2nd

Kyle and I took some time off work to prep for the big event.

Our friend Dustin came over and we finished moving out furniture and pulled the “temporary” trim around the new windows.

A few finals shots of the kitchen, before its demise.

(The greenboard above the sink was a temporary patch job from when we removed the old window last summer.)

Before we could tear out the ceilings, we needed to get up in the attic and move all the loose fill insulation over to one side of the attic.

Kyle and Dustin quickly got to business…

…but were more than happy to be done.

On Friday evening we installed temporary collar ties in the attic. We didn’t anticipate any issues with removing the joists that span parallel to the ridge beam, but it couldn’t hurt to take a few precautionary measures.

One of the rare times I handed the camera to Kyle…


Saturday, April 3rd

We woke up bright and early and took care of a few last-minute items. Masks, gloves, glasses, crowbars…time to go! (We covered our dining room table with a sheet up plywood so we could continue to use it to store things on during construction.)

First of all, a HUGE thank you to our awesome demo crew! You really brought your a-game.

After a safety briefing and a soundtrack of heavy metal pumping from the bedroom, a cloud of dust quickly filled the house.

We discovered that, like the bedroom, plaster walls were not original to the kitchen. Under the lath and plaster we found about 4-5 layers of wallpaper and then the 3/4″ ship lap.

Since the dining room ceiling was just lath and plaster over the joists, we knew the easiest way to take it down would be to attack it from above. So Kyle and Dustin went back up into the attic and stomped it out.

And it worked!

These are the joists that will be exposed (we’ll install sheets of MDO over the top) in the future living room.

One of the joists had the word “Carkeek” written on it. It’s a local name (i.e. Carkeek Park) but we’re curious if there was maybe a lumber yard with the same name a hundred years ago.

Around noon we took a much-needed break in the basement for pizza.

After lunch, we attacked the kitchen ceiling. Unfortunately, this area was lath and plaster over 3/4″ ship lap which meant we couldn’t stomp it out. We also need to remove the joists since this is the section that will be vaulted. So the architects of the group put their heads together and decided the best strategy would be to cut the ceiling out in sections from above…

Boom! It worked! (Mostly, besides the section that swung into the backside of the bedroom wall and left a small puncture right by Kyle’s nightstand.)

We should pause to say that Bailey was safe in the backyard (tied to the tree) during all this. At least he got to keep an eye on the dumpster action.

Phew, done for the day!

And this is what was created:

Sunday, April 4th

After a good nine hours of sleep, we were up and it again. Kyle started by pulling all the old electrical from the panel.

We also made sure to uncover all the registers and reconnect the thermostat.

A few glimpses of our new space. It feels a lot like a barn right now, with our bedroom and bathroom as a smaller box that sits inside. It’s very cool.

Once we saw this vantage point, we couldn’t help but think “LOFT!”.  (More on that later!)

We were also really pleased with our plastic zipper doors (bedroom on the left, bathroom on the right). We simply cut sheets of plastic, stapled them to the wall, covered the edges with tape and then applied the zipper (it has a sticky backing). After the zipper is on, you just unzip and cut the plastic behind.

And they keep Bailey safe inside the bedroom!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get any action shots of the wheelbarrow process, but it worked out really well. We added another small ramp up to the dumpster (the doors in the back swing open) and were able to wheel all the debris straight in, dump and then head back into the house for a refill. And yes, we completely filled the dumpster!

So there you have it! We are completely exhausted but really happy with how everything went and the work that lies ahead. Our next step is to redo the framing around the stair to the basement (which Kyle started yesterday). So far, the strategy is to just take it day by day and not follow a schedule too closely. We realize that some days we’ll come home from work and plug away till 9 or 10 and other nights we’ll just want to relax. The ultimate completion date is mid-September. 

So we have plenty of time, right?