It’s Demo Day!
Well, actually for us, it’s demo week… And a half! Ten days in and the demo is finally done.
We’ve been working in the new house for just over two weeks and it has been the most overwhelming and fun project Matt and I have ever taken on. The house has a super unique floor plan which we adore – do you remember me telling you how we offered on it 3 different times starting last August. The moment we walked in, I just knew it was the house for us and I am excited about the progress happening so far. We have gutted nearly the entire thing. Except the three bathrooms which will be done over the next couple months, because my brain can only compute so many things at one time.
Although it is slightly crazy and pretty scary, it has also been so much fun! Feeling confident in my past of interior design and the crazy amount of crafty skills we’ve developed running this blog over the past years, we decided to jump right in. We hired out a few of the really skilled things like replacing windows, capping off the gas, and rebuilding the ceiling after Matt knocked down the drop one you see below.
Basically anything that could kill someone we left to the pros.
The rest of it we googled, searched Pinterest, and got to work!
The rebuilding of all of this – from the kitchen, to installing the flooring, electrical work, painting, tiling, molding and trim is currently happening. We have had some great help from family and good friends. Matt’s dad was here for nearly two weeks working super hard alongside us. It has been all consuming to say the least.
And I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The floor is in about 60% of the house. We have our pretty new kitchen cabinets installed right on that wall above, and a sink. My dream sink! We are supposed to move in next week and I promise it looks worlds better than these photos right now. I’ll be sharing the progress and my plans for a lot of the rooms next week.
Matt who has been doing most of the work (he’s amazing at this!), is standing here on really poorly laid flooring that has come out and next to a wall that’s come down – massive TV contraption and all.
I’ve learned a few things about demolition along the way that I thought would be helpful to share for huge jobs like this, but also for small everyday jobs you might be tackling.
1. Find someone who knows what they are doing to talk through it with
This was probably the best thing we did. Before we started demo we toured the house with an inspector asking loads of questions (Is this wall load bearing? How will we know if the fireplace can burn wood? Can we slant the roof along the entire side of the house?). Being amateurs there were a lot of important things we needed to know before beginning. It’s worth the $200 for an hour of time from someone who knows what they are doing to answer your questions, climb up into your attic for you, and save you money on very expensive mistakes.
2. Make a fun to do list
Everything is better with a fun list to check off! Finally checking off every item on our demo list was a huge thrill. Download a blank list like the one we used right here and fill it in as you go. It was helpful to have a list for what needed to get done, what was asap priority, and what was on the eventually list.
3. Break well and often
The demo took so long partly because we were learning as we went, and partly because we took a lot of breaks. Going out to dinner, spending the day up at Tahoe. Doing little things to refuel as we go allows us to work even harder when it is work time. Resting has made a huge difference.
4. Include pretty things
Even in the midst of demolition having something pretty to allow my eyes to rest on can really change my entire mood. As soon as the dust began to settle in a room I brought in little things like flowers, pretty paper cups, or a bright piece of artwork to lean against a wall. It’s much more fun to rebuild having small reminders of our future style for the space.
5. Make a party out of it
Like everything in life, making it a party makes it better. We started with the idea of having a “hammer party” which meant Matt inviting over friends to give us ideas, hammer down a few walls, and have a drink together. It was a fun idea, and I love that a bunch of our friends got to see the house in its raw before state.
Have you ever knocked down a wall? It is quite fun.