Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knockin' down another wall

We took down the wall between the kitchen and the living room on the second floor. "We" as in Leah and I. That Leah - what would I do without her? I think I can get her a sledge hammer for her birthday and she would be thrilled. She'd be running around Philadelphia looking for walls to knock down.
It was a very successful day. As usual, I had visions of being completely finished today. Perhaps someday I will learn that enthusiasm for a project does not necessarily correlate with the space time continuum - as in, the more enthusiasm for a job one has, the faster the job will go. In fact it seems to be just the opposite. Does this make sense? Or am I just that pooped out that it only is perfectly clear to my little brain?

This is the before wall from the living room view:This is the before view from the kitchen:
And here is the first wall taken down: (which we did in 2hours. :)
I did have a little moment of panic towards the end of this. I'm not sure what the construction guys were doing, but at the bottom of the wall was about five inches of plaster piled up. It was quite a job getting that loose - I tell ya! But we did it. My panic was over whether or not the floor really does extend all the way through to the kitchen, and whether this was might actually have been a support wall. But it's not, the floor is perfect underneath the wall where the plaster was. Yippee!!! Can't wait to get the HIDEOUS linoleum up.
The inspector had to take a look at our handy work:
We cleaned up, had lunch, then attacked the second wall.
Lookit! Leah with a sledgehammer! We did a much better job taking this wall down than I did taking down the one downstairs. Talk about learning on the job!
It was so exciting to see daylight through the lath! It was a preview to keep us going. And look now:
Look how you can see the orange hallway all the way from the living room! Won't it look spectacular next to my blue wall? And the sunlight comes in the kitchen windows now and lights up the entire living room in the afternoon. I could type a million happy-faces here now, but I shall refrain. Needless to say I'm pretty excited about this.
We only had one oops. And I'm not sure I can explain it. Bottom line is we (that is I) took off too much drywall on the side where we wanted to keep it. It happened when I tried to cut the lath with a reciprocating saw. It vibrated against the boards and they popped the wall off. So I may have to replace the whole thing with dry wall. And it may even be a blessing in disguise because I may have to put a beam in the wall - not sure yet.
Well, now what? I decided to keep the top three feet of the wall to put book shelves on. This is a wise choice for me, since I currently have about 75 boxes (not exaggerating) of books in storage that have to go somewhere. However, - oh, just by the way, for those of you wondering - I know that this wall can be knocked down. Way back in July when I moved in a structural engineer came out and told me which walls can be knocked down and which ones can't. This one can. So all of you who've been panicking that I could have killed myself, or knocked my house down - it's all good. I also made sure there were no wires in the wall etc. Back to "However", now, I plan to anchor the book shelves to the studs. But the studs are just attached to the ceiling joists so they need some support if I'm going to put some weight on them. SO - we cleaned a bit - I put some makeup on and off we went to Home Depot to see what we could see.
Home Depot was empty - because the Eagles were playing the Giants (apparently the Eagles won?). And we started worrying that all of the guys who would know how to help me were at home watching the game. But we were in luck. After standing around and thinking for a good 10 minutes Al showed up. I know what I'm doing now! :) I'm going to take two 2x8s and use that as the support bean (turning them sideways so that the 8in side is vertical. They can be set into joist brackets. These are some heavy duty brackets that would just hold the beam. I'm so glad I asked. Meanwhile Leah got on her phone and talked with her dad who suggested asking what Jeff would charge just to put up the beam since we had done all the demolition. This, I think, is an excellent idea. I know what his first question is going to be though, why weren't you out getting tile??? Well I tried yesterday - I'm talking to that lady again on Tuesday and Uncle Ralph hasn't called me back yet. When I called this afternoon he didn't answer. Probably watching football. So we'll see.
Now - why am I pulling this wall down now, when I'm in the middle of six other projects? Because I've been paying for a storage space for a year and a half, and I'm done with that. But before I can move that stuff in here, the floors in the living room and kitchen need to be sanded. And since I've been kicked out of my bedroom anyway - I figure, why not just be ready for Henry Sanding Floor the minute Jeff & C0 are finished, so that I can move back into a practically brand new second floor? Makes sense in my head.


Scrappy said...

My goodness, what are you going to do with your time when you finish this house? Breathe?
You are seriously amazing!

Leah Mackin said...

oh that sledgehammer was so empowering!!