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Renovation Progress

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So many times in the last week, I’ve taken pictures with the intent to show all of you our renovation progress. But it keeps changing so fast, that by the time I have them edited, it already looks different in person!!

The pictures I’m going to share today, have already changed again, but it’s enough to give you an idea of everything that’s been happening over here.

Let’s start with the original floor plan. It looked very similar to this rough sketch-up that I shared in my 1st post about our renovations:

floorplan larger

And then something magical happened. I shared how we were struggling with a new placement for our half bath and how to reconfigure the dining room. A friend of mine, who lives clear across the country, asked if she could try her hand at a new design.

This is what she came up with and instantly my husband and I loved it! It was one of those, “why didn’t we think of that??” moments!

final floor plan

We had already known before my initial post that we wanted to remove the peninsula in the kitchen and turn it into an island, but we weren’t sure if it was possible. Her sketch of a possible layout made me want it even more, though! To be honest, we still aren’t sure if it’s going to work.

kitchen before renovations

We have to remove the countertop anyways, because we’re getting new cabinets installed. While it’s removed, we’re going to try to tape it off and cut off the peninsula countertop. I already bought the beveled edging that matches our countertop to patch it off. It’s going to just have to be one of those things that we try and hope it works!

Following along with our new design plan, we did already get the garage door moved. It’s no longer in the kitchen and the fridge will slide down 6″ to fill in that spot. The cabinets between the fridge and stove will be 15″ instead of 9″. Between the fridge and then wall, we will have a spot for our trash can and recycling can.

kitchen garage door moved

And the new garage door is at the front of the house in what was the old dining room. Right beside the garage door is the framing for the new half bath. Behind that is the pantry being framed out (the door to the pantry is the old dining room doorway that went into the kitchen). We will eventually build a big mud room bench in the framing cut-out to square out this new wall.

dining room during framing

This is what the dining room walls used to look like when I was standing back in the eat-in part of the kitchen.

desk hallway before

This is what it looks like now that we doubled the width of that hallway and took down the dining room wall that separated it from the hallway.

dining room after

And this is what it used to look like when I stood in the back living room and looked towards the kitchen.

living room into kitchen before

back living room before

That giant wall in the middle is what use to house the half bath, coat closet and the smallest pantry you ever did see.  Here’s what it looks like now that the wall is gone.

living room into kitchen during demo

And sometimes, we just plop ourselves down and eat dinner! (everyone is still smiling!!)

eating dinner during construction

I think opening up the stairway at the front of the house has been one of the most dramatic changes, though! It was SO hard for me to even get a before picture, because it was just so closed in. Here’s what it looked like from the dining room trying to look across the front of the house.

dining room towards front door


And now!! The dining room wall is gone and both of the walls on either side of the stairs have been opened up. It actually looks a ton better than this just since I’ve taken the pictures!

stairwell during construction

The one wall we couldn’t quite decide what to do with was the wall between the living rooms. I was hoping to open it up completely and make it one large living space. That wasn’t really possible with the duct work, support beam issue and our budget.

back living room into front

That brick wall was the hardest part of demo for my husband and I! We used a Ryobi hammer drill, and I honestly don’t know how it’s even possible to remove something like this without one! But still, it took the better part of 2 days and my shoulder was aching by the end of it.

But the wall is opened up. Because we couldn’t take the wall on the right back any further, it still doesn’t really feel like one room, but I’m still happy we opened it up. What I end up doing with that space is still undecided, though…

opening up the living rooms

Of course, with any renovation, there are always surprises. Ours came in the form of ripping up the laminate floor right inside the front door and finding holes.

They apparently had water damage that was coming in through the threshold. They ripped up some of the original hardwood, put down plywood just inside the door and then put the laminate over that. Without ever fixing the problem. You can just push on this plywood and make bigger holes.

front door rotting

So now we have to get an entirely new front door with 2 sidelights that we weren’t budgeting for. There are also structural issues with the way it was installed, so we have to go from a 36″ door down to a 32″. I’ll explain more later, but basically this is going to be a $2,000 expense because this water leak wasn’t fixed properly when the door was installed 2 years ago.

BUT… we are very pleased with the progress of everything else so far! Seriously, I can’t believe how quickly everything is moving along!! From the time I took these pictures 2 days ago, everything is already drywalled!!

Be sure to check out all the BEFORE pictures and the Progress Report on our 2nd floor!