Out with the Old, In with the New!

It is thrilling to stop all the de-constructing and tossing, and finally add something of our own. It is fresh, new and clean. It is ours.


Okay. It’s just subfloor. But I want to dance all over it. Stand back, y’all. But that’s not all we’ve accomplished on this 4 day “vacation” of ours. We also removed some hardwood in the living room to make space for our future seating nook.



Bold. Bold to remove the hardwood. After that, we rented an electric stapler with 1″ staples to lay down our first subfloor. My dad supplied an air compressor. While Kevin cut subfloor to size, I stayed inside and stapled everything down. 1,700 staples later, that floor isn’t going anywhere.



Fun drinking game: take a shot every time our Rigid Wet/Dry Vac photobombs. What’s next? The trim on the windows needs to get a healthy dose of paint. We have to spackle up some damaged areas first though.



I have an extreme distaste for badly stained wood. I simply CANNOT wait.


Something’s Missing…

Spoiler alert: It’s a wall. Lets recap. Here’s where we started:


Here’s where we are currently:


Maybe it doesn’t seem that huge to those online viewers… But if you’ve seen it personally, it’s a jaw-dropping, whopper of a difference. Wanna see how it all went down?



Psych. These are staged photos. Don’t lob sledgehammers over your head, fool. 


The real process took about a week. We would swing the hammers for a bit, clean-up, and repeat. Once the plaster and drywall was out of the way, we used a reciprocating saw to cut out the beams. As for the outlets and other electric in the walls… we know a guy. If you don’t know a guy, find one in the phone book. Electricity is a scary, bright blue ninja that will strike at any time. Friends don’t let friends play with wires.



Don’t judge me for my mess. We plan on using the beams for other projects or firewood. Still, the total waste of this whole project including cabinets that could not be salvaged, scrap pieces, flooring, subfloor, plaster, drywall and rubble was over 1,500 pounds. We are saddened that it got tossed at the landfill. When you can, save old cabinets to donate to the ReStore or sell them on Craigslist. Trust me, there are people who want them… no matter how ugly.


Here’s my little brother lending a helping hand last week. Look at all that junk! Huge shout all y’all that jumped in to help or let us borrow tools, vans, etc. You are amazing, and our lifeline.

Destroy, Destroy, Destroy!

I feel like we are moving backwards. Maybe that’s normal? Here’s a series of photos of what we’ve been doing the last few days. I took them all from the same point of view. You’re welcome.


Above: “Before”


Above: “The floor is coming up! We’re excited!”


Above: “Wow… That’s skeletal-looking…”


Above: “De-Evolution.”


Above: “Why haven’t we ripped out that chandelier yet?”

I know that we are accomplishing quite a bit. I just wasn’t expecting a space that is quite so… empty. It’s like a black hole developed right where we used to eat breakfast. It feels odd. Also, it makes me feel a little sad for the kitchen. I want to give it a big hug and whisper “Get well soon, friend”. Meanwhile, Kevin has other feelings.


“I love you, sledgehammer” feelings.

How about you guys? Working on any fun projects? Do you have an attachment to a room or other in-animate object? I want to hear about it!

First Obstacle Crossed: Shut-off Valves

We have dove head-first into our kitchen project… catch our little video to see what was the first piece of kitchen to get the boot.

Just so we are on the same page, here’s a list of what is being done (not necessarily in this order):

  • Tearing out existing cabinets
  • Taking out the wall that connects our kitchen and living room
  • Remove linoleum flooring
  • Re-plastering some walls
  • Adding sand texture to kitchen walls
  • Re-vamping the pantry
  • New Cabinets
  • New Countertops
  • New Flooring
  • Painting window trim
  • Adding a 3-4 person counter-height “bar”

We are very aware that there will probably be some problems and small projects to tackle in-between now and whenever we finish. I think we will try to keep to a schedule, but tantrums won’t be thrown when deadlines aren’t hit. The goal is to be finishing up by early to mid-May. Our budget is very modest, but we did score some super deals on cabinets and flooring already… and we are currently holding out for a sale with the countertops we have picked out. We’ll share the nitty-gritty detail$ when everything’s all said and done!

For now, we have “lovely” pictures to share of the current status. Here’s where we started:


I’m kicking myself for not cleaning up a bit in this photo… or this one:


I promise the new kitchen won’t be so sloppy. Can you see some progress though? A hint of missing cabinet doors? Maybe the unattached/not-so-subtle hood vent for the oven? Can I get a whoop, whoop! We have been busy this Easter weekend! We did snag a few problems though- after moving the fridge, the realization set in that we’d have to take care of an unexpected water line for the ice-maker- ‘So that’s how that works’. Anywho, Kevin ran to the store and managed to easily cap that water line from the basement.

When we finally got the point of moving the existing countertops out, we went to shut off the water valves for the sink. There were none. At first, I sort of freaked at the thought of having to keep our main water valve off. That means no showers, no laundry, no washing hands… you get the idea. Luckily, we live in age where there are many solutions to this problem, though we were gritting our teeth at the thought of hiring a plumber. Then, we pondered our ability to solder pipes ourselves. It was an untouchable DIY project, even for us, the people who hire NO ONE. Then I consulted YouTube. I found a few videos that seemed promising, and required no soldering like this one and had Kevin watch. He gave it the stamp of approval, and off to the hardware store we went!


Not many pictures of the process, since I was the flashlight holder, but the afore mentioned video is very straightforward. I really like the quarter turn shut-off valve versus multiple turn. Humble opinion. We are very happy with the result, as you can see.


I am loving learning so much through this project, though there better not be a quiz anytime soon. I’m corking more destruction until tomorrow. Tell me what you all did for Easter weekend! I hope it was more relaxing than ours!