Demo

My ambitions of maintaining an active home renovation blog, while undergoing a remodel, starting a new job and raising two kids (3 and under) may have been unrealistic. Something had to give, and in this case, it was this blog--and at times, my sanity.

It's mid-August and we're one month into life in our new home. I'm just starting to see straight. I thought I'd finally share some of our progress--backdating to April!

We started with demo. Lots of demo.

The removal of the 45-year old green shag carpeting was controversial, but it had to be done.  

The removal of the 45-year old green shag carpeting was controversial, but it had to be done.  

We maintained the general footprint of the kitchen but we knocked out this wall to open up the space to the dining and family rooms.

We maintained the general footprint of the kitchen but we knocked out this wall to open up the space to the dining and family rooms.

Lots of shingles were removed during this phase. LOTS. That whole giant hood went bye-bye, actually.

Lots of shingles were removed during this phase. LOTS. That whole giant hood went bye-bye, actually.

We also did some significant tree work. The house was literally encased in trees, to the point of creepiness. At times, it felt a little stabby walking up to the front door. We also didn't want limbs falling on us in the middle of a winter storm. So we had a small team of TWELVE tree workers out to climb 200 feet firs and give us the light of day. It was an inspiring process to watch (hot young men with chain saws saving you from danger?) and I recommend having tree work done at your house, if you ever get the chance.

You couldn't pay me enough to do this.

You couldn't pay me enough to do this.

Edie liked it, too.

Another thing we embarked on right away was deck demo. At one point, you could walk out the kitchen door and fall 30 feet to your death, but the construction team was kind of enough to warn us.

Like any construction project, you encounter the unexpected. In this case, we found a few rotten beams and had to get creative in terms of how to reconstruct. This is because, as you might imagine, these giant beams aren't easy to transport--especially when your house is on the side of a cliff. We would have had to rent a crane to deliver the beam from the street to the deck. The crane was going to cost $1,000 per day. Okay--I'll pay $1,000 for the assurance of safety. However, the crane could only reach 75 feet max. The measurement taken from the street to the deck was 74 feet. If, once on site, it wasn't actually feasible for the crane to deliver the beam far enough, we still had to pay the $1,000 day-rate for the crane rental. Screw that! No new matching giant beams.

We were told we'd have add multiple, different shaped/sized beams to make up for the lost giant beam. However, there's just something about keeping it original. Am I right or am I right? We didn't want to add totally different looking beams amongst the originals, so instead, the deck dudes replaced sections of the rotten beams (with new funny looking new beams) below the deck (where nobody will see) and used a knife joint to join the old with the new. 

That metal piece in the middle of the deck joined the new section of beam (below deck) with the original beam (laying on its side).

That metal piece in the middle of the deck joined the new section of beam (below deck) with the original beam (laying on its side).

We opted for aluminum and glass railing--kid and view-friendly. 

Powder coated aluminum railing (with tempered glass--not installed yet in the photo). The color we chose was called Rideau Brown.

Powder coated aluminum railing (with tempered glass--not installed yet in the photo). The color we chose was called Rideau Brown.

It's been a wild few months, and at times I have questioned why we were doing any of it--but at night, when the kids finally pass out and I pour myself a glass of white, I take a deep breath and have a moment to realize...this is pretty great.