Our Home Remodel Progress Report: Part I

Insulation

No turning back now!

We’ve made so much progress on our home and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done. But if I’m being honest, it looks like we haven’t done much. In reality, we’ve done all the unsexy stuff that renovation shows just breeze right over, but has taken us almost six months. Let’s review, shall we?

One of the most laborious things we did was tear out the old dry wall from the entire house. Floors, ceilings, everything. The pictures and video never really captured how bad the old dry wall actually was. It was sagging from the ceiling and it was patched very, very badly. Our home was a rental and unloved for a long time.

Tearing out drywall While the walls were out, we had an electrician rewire the entire home. Our home inspection had picked up on the fact that our wiring was old, none of our outlets were grounded and wouldn’t support modern electronics.

When tearing out the walls in the office, we also discovered carpenter ants. It was biblical. We were tearing out a wall and all of the sudden ants come pouring out like the freakin’ plague. I screamed. George yelled, “Get the bug spray!” I got it and sprayed and smashed those little devils into oblivion. In retrospect it was kind of funny. I wish I had it on video.

The next day I called a great exterminator and had him spray the entire house and re-check for signs of termites and carpenter ants. (We did not have any signs of bug damage during our home inspection.) Luckily, the ants had done very little damage and seemed to be contained to a very small part of the wall in the office. (If you need a good exterminator in Asheville, email me! Seriously, so professional and he even took a look at a very large anthill in our yard, gave us some advice, and sprayed it as well.)

We also tore out (what was left of) the laminate floor in the kitchen and former dining room. (We’ll be changing up the dining room into a home office.) And had to replace and build more subfloor to makeup for the rotting floor and add more area to the kitchen.

The floor in the kitchen after the laminate was torn out

The floor in the kitchen after the laminate was torn out.

We also took out the old wall from the living room to the kitchen. I had mixed feelings about that one. One of the things I loved about the home was the archway from the living room to the kitchen, but we knew that wall wasn’t load-bearing and it was making the house look smaller. So it had to go. Since I was so upset about it, George convinced me he could replicate the arch in the hallway door– which is on a load bearing wall and had to stay.

Taking out the wall from the kitchen to the living room

Taking out the wall from the kitchen to the living room.

When the walls and the old, nasty insulation was finally out, we discovered some fun things. #1 The ceiling was sagging because several of the joists were compromised. The joists were built out of wood with knots and the knots had begun cracking over time creating a sag. We replaced those. (You can see the sagging in the first picture.)

#2 The house had very little insulation. We knew the house didn’t have insulation under the house, but we didn’t know that the insulation behind the walls and in the ceiling would have deteriorated so much. Amateurs, right? So we put insulation back into the walls, under the house AND in the attic. The house is so much warmer now! But we’ve also spent thousands in just insulation. I’m hoping those up-front costs pay off during the summer and winter.

#3 We had an inkling of this, but some of the studsĀ in the bathroom were rotten. We knew the window in the shower wasn’t water-proof and had rotted, but we didn’t know if the water had gotten to the studs. It had. So we also had to replace those.

That’s all for today, I’ll share more of our progress later and I’ll eventually get y’all caught up to real time.

Phew! I’m worn out just thinking about it! As always, talk to me in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Our Home Remodel Progress Report: Part I

    1. melanie Post author

      I agree. At first I really didn’t want to take out all the walls and the ceiling, but I’m glad we did. We now know the house inside and out and we fixed problems we didn’t even know existed!

      1. amontereyblair

        That’s my plan with our Airstream. We’re taking up the floor and removing the interior panels cause I want to know there are no dead things behind my walls. It’ll be more work, but worth it.

  1. Lindsay

    The work you guys have done is so impressive! It will pay off when your house is finished and has been properly fixed up. And that insulation will definitely be appreciated during more extreme weather!

  2. Sarah

    So excited to watch you forge ahead in this renovation adventure. Do you have any experience renovating? Or are you making it up as you go?

    1. melanie Post author

      Hi Sarah, we renovated our Airstream and built our van into a camper, so we have some experience! We’ve just never done a house before. It’s a learning experience, but we’re getting through it.

  3. Pingback: Our Home Remodel Progress Report: Part II – a small life

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