Shell Shocked

This is the most fast and furious progress on the house yet. As you may have read in my last post, Nick systematically destroyed the downstairs of our house. In a good way. Though my mother did walk into our house the other day and said “Oh, this is devastating.” So that gives you a bit of an idea of the scope of the demolition.

The final step on that demolition was removing the ceilings in all of the downstairs rooms. This had to be done only to satisfy all the sound-proofing and fire prevention requirements for the renovation. This is extra tricky because we were determined to preserve the original crown molding and medallions. Nick had to cut around them carefully so we could tear down the rest of the ceiling:

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This was going to be pretty messy job. Thankfully our lovely friend Christian was eager to use the crowbar and help Nick rip down all our ceilings (thanks buddy!). I was hoping I could be helpful here, and carry out debris to the dumpster and clean up. I even had some reasonably sensible shoes on:

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And then it started. This horrible, groaning, smashing sound. And then dust started filling the air. And upstairs, I started to feel nauseous. Like itchy and gross and panicky. And I started thinking about this insane thing that we had taken on, and weren’t we absolutely crazy to do it, and everything I own would be covered in dust forever, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel…….etc etc etc. Clearly, I had to get out of there. So I quickly put on some non-work clothes, grabbed the car keys, bid Nick a tearful farewell, and headed to Starbucks. I drank some camomile tea, went on Pinterest, and tried to relax after what was clearly an actual (mild) panic attack. After a couple hours, Nick texted to say the tear-down was over and things were cleaned up, and I headed home.

Clearly, I had reached my threshold.

From there though, things have been looking up! I was away for the rest of last week, and while I was gone Nick made some significant progress re-framing the downstairs! This is a shot of the dividing walls between kitchen and bathroom before:

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And by walls, clearly I mean studs. Because that is what our house was stripped down to. Studs. Nick took down some and put up new ones and now it looks like this:

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Kind of hard to tell exactly what’s happening, but you can see there’s progress. The next big task that we’re working on is the downstairs bathroom. That bathroom has to get finished so we can then tear apart and rebuild the upstairs bathroom. The joys of living in a house you’re renovating mean that you always have to make sure you have a functioning bathroom. This slows down progress but also keeps me sane so….

Nick has started framing in the shower and even laying down the mortar for the shower pan! From this photo you can actually get a sense that it one day might really be a shower (!!):

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More updates to come on the new bathroom as it takes shape. It’s so satisfying that we’re finally BUILDING stuff instead of just tearing it down. Phew! Reno life is hard, y’all. Constant change, constant chaos. But that sweet little hint of progress…SO satisfying!

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