Demolition Day!

dining room floorToday is our biggest renovation day to date. We are getting ready for the main act, or Plan A, as I call it. The Plan A reno involves gutting the kitchen, knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, ripping up carpet and linoleum floors and polishing up the wood buried underneath.

It also involves taking what used to be a mother-in-law kitchen upstairs and turning it into a laundry room and a master bathroom (with a wall dividing the two rooms, of course). And we’re bumping out two dormers at the front of the house to expand two upstairs bedrooms and adding closets to the enhanced bedrooms.

We’re looking at about 90 120 140 210 days of work. I made that up. I’ve been warned by renovation veterans that the last 10% of the project will seem to drag on f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

The roof will be ripped up in a day week or two. For now, it’s all about the main floor of the house. Speaking of which, check out that photo. So, yeah, some of the padding is sticking to the otherwise lovely honey-colored wood floor. I figured that’s not unexpected when the padding has been in place 30 or more years, but it could also be related to this:

dog pee stains

For the uninitiated (i.e. me, until this morning), that’s what dog pee looks like 30 years after you thought you cleaned up the mess.

The kitchen should be down to the studs by Wednesday, at which point the guys will come to measure for the new cabinets. We’ve already spent hours meeting with a kitchen planner at Lowes and once we have the measurements, we can place our order (assuming the numbers we’ve been using to plan aren’t that far off). We put in time at Home Depot, too. They gave us prettier renderings of our planned kitchen, but ultimately we decided to go with Lowes. (Disclosure: No special blogger deals or incentives involved.)


St. Charles cabinets with the counter top removed

Assuming they all come out okay, our St. Charles cabinets will be on a truck to Virginia later this month, where they will find a forever home with a family that can give them more love than we were able to. Mad props to Pam from Retro Renovation for helping us make the connection in her forums.


On a related note, any tips for packing vintage kitchen cabinets for safe shipping?


The wooden cabinets are headed to the basement where they will gather dust until we figure out where to use them. A couple of coats of paint and some varnish and they’ll be good to go…somewhere.

Speaking of going somewhere, it’s tempting to hover, but after asking a few questions and snapping a few shots I let the guys get back to work.

I can’t believe we finally got started on this. We should be so lucky that the biggest surprise we have is old dog pee and sticky padding. I have a feeling there’s more in store, though.

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Edited a few hours after posting to add:

Of course there’s a bigger surprise. After assurances from many that we likely had oak floors under the linoleum in the kitchen and hallway, it’s looking like we don’t. Okay, we don’t, but I’m not ready to admit it. This messes with the budget, but even worse, it forces me to make yet another design decision.

6 Responses to Demolition Day!
  1. GenaMazzeo
    October 3, 2011 | 1:08 pm

    Oh yes, be happy 30 year old dog pee is all you’re dealing with. When my parents re-did their house post-earthquake, they learned the weight-bearing wall of the house (on which the entire second story rested) was held up by less than an inch of stud all the way across. The builder had chiseled out the studs to run electrical conduit instead of boring holes through them. Needless to say, I think I learned a few new Italian swear words from my dad that afternoon.

    • admin
      October 4, 2011 | 8:00 am

      *speechless* Thank goodness the house had not collapsed! I’m sure we are in for more surprises, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  2. Building Up and Out Check Out Our Progress
    October 10, 2011 | 8:29 am

    […] last week was incredibly stressful. I can’t believe that I’ve barely posted since D-Day. Our builder, Rick, and his trusty sidekick, Dennis, completely hit it out of the park. They not […]

  3. Susan Bearman
    October 16, 2011 | 5:06 pm

    I say floating linoleum floors ( for where you thought there was hardwood, but wasn’t. Lots of color choices, durable, easy to install. Cool custom patterns.

    We had a weird supplemental kitchen on our second floor that we transformed into a laundry room. Honestly, it’s still my favorite change that we made to this house. Love the second floor laundry.

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