Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Big Remodel

Over the past year, we've been remodeling our first house. It has been a very big job encompassing every room, and we did most of the work ourselves with help from family and friends. We hired out for some of the more complicated tasks, and we could not have done this without the help of many people (thank you!). I have a few hundred pictures of the entire remodeling process, so I thought it would make sense to show just a few pictures from the living room.

We began by removing all of the carpet in the house. In this first picture. you can see the front door as Vanessa is cleaning the floor. The rest of the pictures are taken from the front door (on the right) looking towards the back door (to the left).

When you first walked in the front door, you used to see this big structure which contained a couple of closets and was made of wood paneling. It created a short hallway which you would walk through to get to the living room from the front entry. We decided to remove this completely to create one great room.

After a significant amount of demolition, the closets are gone along with all of the wood paneling. Now you can see the old sliding glass doors in the back of the house from the front door. We replaced these with french doors. The water bottles are marking large nails embedded in the cement which we later cut out with a circular saw. (fun!)

Fast-forward ahead a few months, and we have hardwood floors, new drywall, paint, and we're moved in.
The master bedroom was actually the first room we finished, followed by the kitchen, then this, the living and dining room. I'll probably post more pictures at some point in the future. There are still a few details left to do, but the big remodel is basically finished and it feels very very good to be so close to completely done.


Benjamin P Lee said...


looks great.

Kevin Berridge said...

That's gutsy. How'd you learn what to do? I'd be nervous that I would seriously mess something up because I didn't know better. Did you have any resources that taught you what to do?

Benjamin P Lee said...

I agree and have the same question.

I have a few minor/medium projects in mind for our house but those won't start for some time.

Any suggestions?

Jeff Scudder said...

It really helps to have parents and in-laws who have worked on houses before. Both my dad and father-in-law donated countless hours on weekends and time off to help with demolition, drywalling, painting, plumbing, installing doors, etc. Also, don't be afraid to learn as you go. After painting a couple of rooms, I decided that I had been pushing down too hard when I was using a roller.

The most difficult part I did (I didn't touch the plumbing :) was mudding (filling in gaps between peices of drywall with plaster/compound). It took me quite a long time to get the walls smoothed out, but since I knew how to sand it down or completely start over, I didn't need to worry if it looked a bit rough after the first pass or two.

There are probably some good instructions online, maybe some videos. I think hardware stores often have classes as well, though I've never attended one.