Our Life in Northern Michigan

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5 Tips for Buying Home Decor on a Budget

5 Tips for Buying Home Decor on a Budget

Anyone who knows me knows that I love getting a good deal. In my opinion, if it’s not on sale, it’s not worth buying. In the process of renovating our house, I’m on the hunt for a lot of new furniture and decor. In the […]

Patience and Progress

Patience and Progress

Right around the time we started to wrap up demolition and move into re-building, I started to think about writing this blog. That being said, I have a few more pictures of the work we’ve done up to this point. This post will just be […]

Demo Day(s)

Demo Day(s)

Don’t be fooled, people. HGTV calls it “Demo Day” but my family and I have come to learn that completing the demolition process in only one day isn’t reality. Not even close.

But, before we get into the details of all of that, I just wanted to point out my beautiful new website! If you viewed my first post last week, you would’ve visited my starter blog. I’ve made some changes since then! A big thanks to Paul for his expertise in all things technical. I’m learning as I go and I’m excited to create my own image. Stay on the lookout for new content and features!

Now, we’re still playing a little catch-up here. I’d like to bring you up to speed on the demolition process of our renovation. Basically, the wallpaper, carpet, popcorn ceiling, and wood paneling all had to be removed. Unfortunately, I don’t have the greatest photos from this process because I hadn’t yet made the decision to blog, but I will share the ones I do have!

We started with the popcorn ceilings. After covering all cabinets, outlets, and vents in the house, Paul used a large sprayer bottle with a hose attachment to spray a water/fabric softener mixture on the textured ceiling. He then used a metal scraper to remove all of the material on the ceiling by hand. (Side note: you may begin to notice that a lot of the work is done by Paul and not by me… Don’t forget about our five month old! Although our family has been so incredible with helping us with Kinley, there are times when I’m unavailable due to #momlife.) He then sanded the ceilings to be sure they were smooth and ready for painting. This project took about three days. Here, a poor quality photo shows the finished, smooth ceiling. It also gives you a peak at the lovely mess of destroyed drywall in the living room.

After the ceilings were done, we removed all of the carpet in the house. That part was fun and it was so rewarding seeing it all gone! Scraping all of the nails and tack strips out of the floor wasn’t so nice but you win some, you lose some. Next, it was time to start on wall coverings. Paul tried everything he could to remove the wood paneling in the living room without damaging the drywall underneath (including using a heat gun to loosen the adhesive) but in the end he was unsuccessful. Some of the adhesive was left behind and some of it ripped the surface of the drywall. After a professional came in and took a look at it, we decided it was going to be best to have it all replaced…

Notice the cabinet in the middle of the living room? You may recognize it from the original kitchen photos. This cabinet was the peninsula in the initial kitchen configuration. We decided to remove it and the cabinet that hung above it. This really opened up the space into one great-room, exactly the layout we were going for! We will be re-purposing the cabinet as an island in the new kitchen – stay tuned!

Last but certainly not least, we had to remove all of the wallpaper. The kitchen, master bedroom, master bathroom, guest bedrooms, guest bathroom, laundry room and hallway ALL had wallpaper. After reading horror stories about removal of the pretty paper, I was a bit apprehensive about how this step would pan out. In some rooms, we got extremely lucky. The paper would peel off in full sheets and leave no residue behind. In other areas, we were not so fortunate. Many of the rooms required a strategy often used for wallpaper removal. A scoring tool is used to create tiny holes in the surface of the paper. Then, a wallpaper remover solution is sprayed onto the paper. After waiting about 5-10 minutes, the wallpaper loosens and is easier to remove with a scraping tool. Well, it is easier if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, you end up spending an insane amount of time in one small area picking off tiny pieces of paper all by hand (example below). Unfortunately, some areas were so difficult to remove that the drywall underneath ended up getting damaged. We will go over the repair of those walls in a future post.

Please note: tiny pieces of paper all over the floor.

Overall, the demolition process was a great learning experience. There may have been aspects about it that were unpleasant, but in the end, the reward for our hard work is going to be so worth it! From here-on-out, we get to see our vision for this place begin to come together. Keep an eye out for Wednesday’s post to see the improvements we’ve made so far!

A Little Catching Up To Do

A Little Catching Up To Do

So. We did a thing. A big thing. A grown up thing. We bought a house! And not only a house but a “fixer upper.” Yep. Just call us Chip and Jo! But let’s back up a little… This past February, my husband Paul and […]