Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Living room, dining room and kitchen remodel

For those of you who still check in on me and leave me comments, thank you! I know, I haven’t posted for AGES! Due to computer issues (which I still have), my laptop got a raging virus, and well, it’s dead, but libraries do work out for occasional posts. But, I do want to share what I have been doing with my time.

It has been slow finding the right person for the construction part and money, yep, it’s always about the money, with labor mostly being the highest cost…... The cost of the drywall, the 2x4s, small electrical parts/wire etc. is minimal. The cost of the flooring will be painful, basically the whole house floor needs replacing. I am hoping the type of styling that I plan on will be what will set it off to give it the updated finished look that I want.

A little history on my decision to remodel…

A year ago, on a sudden epiphany I decided to take my small parameter of control that I have over my life and live for what makes me happy now. I decided to go against ALL conventional wisdom and changed my three bedroom home to a two bedroom home. Ow! I can hear gnashing of the teeth, sighs of disbelief that I have committed one of the cardinal sins against real-estate resale.. But, the way I see it is that I have no plans on ever selling my home ( I don’t have a crystal ball, but I just don’t see me moving..unless it’s to a more permanent place if you know what I mean.) My DD will get my home when I pass, and she can do what she wants with it, I figure she will still be one house ahead of the game.

Any hoo, I set about tearing down the wall that divides my old living room from the 3rd bedroom, and hey, while I was at it, I had also decided I could no longer stand the 10ft x 7.5ft kitchen that I have suffered in for 12 years, so 3 walls came down there too. What a difference! The peace and happiness was immediate and so very satisfying.
Not. One. Ounce. Of. Regret.

My plan:
Turn the 3rd bedroom into living room. (90% done) needs flooring and crown molding.
Turn old living room into a dining room (50%) done) I still have flooring, the back wall and ponywall/column to do.
Turn the old dining room into a much larger kitchen addition. (well… the walls are down sigh…)
I am also gaining a foyer of sorts, before company just “landed” in living room, I really hated that, now the living room is behind the entry door and ponywall/column, so some division and privacy is maintained.

Disclaimer, this MESS is NOT how I normally decorate, I had all the contents of the living room, dining room and the bedroom moved, shoved, anywhere I could put it in order to do the tear down. And, no, it was not easy to live with, but I had a vision, or perhaps it’s really called blindness. It would have probably driven anyone else nuts, but since this is something that meant so much to me, I managed to overlook the chaos, but I am very glad that it is more ordered now.

These next 2 photos are of the entry and the living room are NOT mine, they are from a MLS posting of another house that was built exactly like mine just so you can get an idea of where I started.

This is what the dividing wall between the original living room and a very tiny bedroom.  I remodeled the wall right after I moved in so that I would be able to recess my tv and not have it stick out into the walkway. I also added 2 lighted niches (the secetary hutch is blocking one of the niches in this photo.)

I ripped out the walls myself, it fit my pocketbook (free), and it was very satisfying to take out all of my frustrations out on the walls.  I highly recommend tearing out walls yourself, it burns calories and stress and is cheaper than a shrink. ;)  

The electrical and first part of the build was handled by someone I hired, and then fired pretty quickly, but that is another tale.

Photo looking in the direction of the entry and windows of what was the old living room, now to be the dining room.

Below is the start of my tear down, I put up the plastic paper to keep down some of the dust and debri that would come out from the bedroom during the knockdown. If you are going to live in a tear down, it is really worth the prep of trying to keep down the drywall dust.

Next photo shows me working from the inside the bedroom tearing out the wall leading to the new foyer and new dining room, you can see the mess it makes!
Moving right along:

Looking into the old dining room and the walls that will be coming down in the kitchen. (I had to stuff the LR furniture where the dining room furniture used to be in order to start my tear down.

Photo from MLS listing of the kitchen (remember this is not my exact kitchen, it is same house as mine, but another listing, one difference is that this kitchen has a dishwasher, my kitchen does NOT, and mine has the washing machine in it-HORRIBLE!  The original kitchen was about 10ft x 8 1/2ft.  So tiny!

Ah, what a difference with the walls to the kitchen being down.  Looking into my future LARGE kitchen after the walls were torn down, you can see my "pretend" island, I placed it approximately where my future island will be. I had to tear down the horrible fake tile board that was in the kitchen before. I will probably do a faux country french type of wall treatment in there until I can do the major fixing in there. (the exercise equipment sitting in the DR is long gone) LOL A new wall is planned to be put up to divide the DR and the kitchen in the future. The new wall will enable me to have floor to ceiling cabinets for all the storage of my smaller kitchen applicances and my extensive collection of dishes.

Looking into the new living room...I moved the living room furniture in to see how I wanted to set it up (plus, I was still living there so it had to be somewhat functional for me inbetween building spurts. There is still lots of teardown and building to do.

Pony walls and columns, dividing the entry from the livingroom and dining room. The back wall, and the old bedroom door still need to be removed and drywalled over.

Stay tuned....more coming

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