Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the walls come tumbling, tumbling down

On Monday, 
our contractors arrived and the dismantling of the second story of our home began.
Wood trim was meticulously dismantled and carried out, piece by piece as they began
the project that had been long awaited.

Yesterday, my birthday, they began the loud and very dusty process of ripping out 
plaster and lath walls and ceilings while I sat quietly on our bed, which is now located in
our living room, listening to little pieces of plaster trickling down in between the downstairs walls.

As I sat there, 
sealed off from the upstairs hallway by a few layers of plastic and duct tape,
I thought about how far the idea had come before the first piece of plaster ever 
had a chance to hit the floor. 

For me, the idea to "remodel" the upstairs came about 3 years ago. 
At the time, my in-laws were still living here and Chris's mom, Karen, had just put in new carpet that didn't quite mesh well with the blue and white striped wallpaper that adorned the walls of the stairway and the upstairs landing. My brother-in-law, Michael, and I got permission from Karen to try steaming
off the wallpaper so she could apply a new layer of paint. Many musty-smelling, damp hours later, after 5 layers of wallpaper and adhesive were scraped away, we revealed to the world a plaster surface in very bad, cracked shape desperately in need of a major facelift.

From the lost cause that was the stairway wall, we made our way into the "master bedroom", the
newest part of our home, to see what the walls were like under that wallpaper. With 4 smooth walls worth of wallpaper stripping under our belts, we made our way to the smallest portion of wall in the room and found a sooty hole where a corn-cob burning stove once vented into the wall and with that, we lost hope at salvaging that room's walls. 

When Chris and I moved in during the spring of 2011, we had high hopes of a DIY renovation.
I posted about some of that here and here

Long before, I'd ever set foot in this old house, however, Chris's mom had her own hopes
for an upstairs remodel that would have taken place one room at a time over the 20+ years
that she lived here. Unfortunately, she was never able to get that far due to "life happening"
as they say, and a husband who was fine with things the way they were.

As I sat there, I thought about the new life growing inside of me, more and more with 
each passing day. I thought about the the hunks of plaster hitting the floor and the lath
boards, clanging together as they made their way into a jumbled pile. I realized that that
baby would never know the upstairs that all of us were so excited to get rid of. It would
only get to experience the new & improved version of things, where extension cords didn't
have to snake their way across the hallway due to an insufficient amount of outlets. That
baby's version of the upstairs would not include having to sleep under layers of quilts to keep
warm during our windy winters due to little to no heating ducts. 

I sat there smiling because change, in this case at least, is a good thing. 

Stay tuned for more photos & progress updates that I will be so happy to share!


  1. How exciting!! I can't wait to see pictures!

  2. happy birthday btw. we are going to be doing some remodeling of our own soon. cheers!


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