Liz has taken on the challenging and stressful task of removing all the tile in our dining room fireplace. They’re all pretty loose, and need to get re-installed.
This really is an amazing thing, and a tremendous milestone for me and Liz. We’ve been working for a long, long time on the house and so much of that work has been subtractive in nature: demo and removal.
To be at a point where we are adding new things, shaping the house anew, is incredibly exciting. Every time I come down and stand in these rooms, it just takes my breath away.
Liz reminded me that we were not going for distance here, which took some adjusting for me, mentally. Ultimately, the snag made the candy delivery easier for the children. And I guess this whole thing is about them. I guess.
A lot of planning today, with a majority of the time spent figuring out what needed to be done, measurements for the fireplace tile frame, and framing up all the floor vents.
I also took the shop vac and went over every inch of the floor. This was pretty time-consuming, but ended up taking less time than I figured. In a lot of spots, the plywood had more dirt and grime than I realized, and lightened up considerably with each pass.
After work tonight, Liz and I relocated a lot of material… elsewhere. We’ve got the flooring guys coming in a matter of days, and we needed to remove as much excess material (leftover drywall, plywood, wood) as possible.
Bob found a “MultiLite Polycarbonate” sheet, which was similar to plexiglass… but thermal-insulated (and about half the price). One downfall with this sheet: it was composed of small-ish boxes, resulting in a kind of gauzy appearance (though it was technically clear).
We ended up going with Plexiglass, which was more expensive but more clear. Part of our desire for the window (at least for now) is to be able to have more natural light in the main hall. We’ll be deciding on a floor stain very soon, and the more natural light we can get, the better.
Bob was over today, framing out the south side hall window. The sashes will likely need to get re-built, and Liz wants to re-use the glass from the old windows. This is a longer-term project, so in the meanwhile we’ll likely have something temporary here.
The jeans I had on had a slight rip to them. And that rip got a little bit worse, every time I stopped down. Eventually, it got so bad that I was concerned about going outside (for fear I’d get some kind of indecent exposure fine).
It’s been a busy time for both me and Liz with work work (though I’d argue she’s been markedly busier than me). As a result, Liz hasn’t done much additional house work beyond the critical stuff we need to get done.
She’s been working long hours, extra hours, evenings and weekends. There’s been a little bit of free time here and there, but it’s not been much.
The taper has two more trips over, to sand and smooth things down. In the meanwhile, we’re aiming to get what we can done in the first floor bathroom and stairs. It would be nice to get the rockers and tapers to handle those areas as well, but timing-wise we’ll see.
The rockers came during the week, while Liz and I both were upstairs working. I got to see some of the early work, but on walking down as they were packing up… the whole area looked completely different.
The main hall felt like a room again, and not a bunch of exposed studs. It was a very shocking thing to see.
Rockers are coming tomorrow, and tonight we had some last-minute prep work to do. Put up the remaining backer boards, and move all the drywall so it’s accessible (the ceiling drywall is tucked away in the kitchen).
But those stressors aside, the fact that we have our flooring physically here? The fact that we’re at this phase in the process, aiming to get actual new floors down… it’s really remarkable. It’s a tremendous milestone for us. And amidst the whirl and bustle of everything that has happened (and has yet to happen), it’s easy to lose track of that.
One of the strong arguments against renovating your home while living inside it: the lack of available space. We’ve gotten used to shuffling things around, but things on the first floor are starting to get a bit cramped.