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September 1, 2016

The Renovation Has Officially Begun: Part One

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Hey you guys!!! I'm so excited. 

The renovation has finally begun! 

As many of you know (especially if you've been following on Instagram), we've been in our new house now for a little over a month, scheduling contractors and doing some light renovation work ourselves (aka me painting in my sweatpants every night). But, finally this week, we began the actual renovation.

Since we have a toddler who needs naps and normalcy, we moved out of our house for a couple weeks and into my mom's house (with Tootie in tow) while the majority of the big work gets done. 

We hired a general contractor to handle subs for the demo, drywall, and electrical work, and then we hired the floor guy that did such an amazing job on our last home. My top priority when hiring these guys was quality, but also speed. Our GC did two houses for a friend of mine (and both were full gut jobs that turned into dream homes) and our flooring guys did our last house (while I was pregnant) and were just a dream to work with. And both were able to give me timelines that had me back in my house in a couple weeks. So, you never really know how these things will work out, but so far I'm feeling really good about the work that is being done. 

The contractors have been in our house for two days, and we've gone over in the evenings to check out the progress and take pictures. So, some of these pics are from day one, and some are from day two. The lighting is kinda bad, but you get the idea.

So, let's get to the updates.
The most exciting one first: the kitchen was completely demoed! The cabinetry was removed and the old tile flooring was gutted. We discovered some sweet bright orange walls underneath. 

On day two, some of the damaged subfloor was replaced and they began framing the pocket door (if you look at the above picture, you can see where they completely took that wall out. When we went to go check the house out last night, Jesse was like, 'Oooh I love it without the wall.' And I was like, yeah, me too, but there will be cabinetry on one side and then a small child's bedroom on the other side. So, POCKET DOOR.

Y'all, I'm so excited to be able to demo a kitchen for the first time in my life and build it back from scratch. But, there are a lot of limitations with the space I'm working with, and with my budget, so although it will be the small kitchen of my dreams, there will also be a lot of things I had to compromise on. Like don't expect any sub zero appliances. 
I have a child to raise.

Speaking of that sweet child, here are the stairs to her bedroom. The carpet was removed.

On day one, they removed the partition in the room and discovered that it wasn't load bearing. So, we don't even need a header there. There are two boob lights and a ceiling fan in this room, so when they remove the popcorn ceiling, they will also be removing all of the lighting and replacing it with ONE light in the center of the room. Also, it was hard for me to tell with the partition, but this room is huge. Ava's room will be bigger than our bedroom, and about the size of the living room. 
What a lucky little bug.

This below pic is from day two. They removed the carpet, mudded the ceilings, and framed and mudded the new doorway for Ava's room. Remember how there wasn't one? Ava has been living in the bedroom on the below level, as it was the ONLY room in the house with a door on it. So, I'm so excited to finally get her in her big 'ol room and make it cute for her.

Here's her new doorway from the other side. So, she'll have her own little bathroom, but we decided not to enclose it in her room. That way the bathroom is accessible from the outside as well.

So, moving on....the carpet was removed on the stairs leading up into the master bedroom, too. I'm super excited about this, as the carpet was coated in about an inch of dog hair. Plus, it's just so easy to visualize what it will look like now that it's gone. 

When you walk up the stairs to the master, there was originally no door there (like, WHAT is the deal?!), so on day one they framed in the door.

And this is what it looked like on day two with the drywall up. Nothing has been mudded or painted yet (I'm pretty sure we are saving money by 'allowing' me to paint everything...hold me, mama.).
They also demoed the carpet and there were so many pet stains. I've dealt with this in both houses now, and there are few things that feel better than getting rid of someone else's pet pee carpet.
Also, no judgement there. I've lived with a cat named Cheese (RIP sweet girl) who liked to poop on my carpet on a daily basis. You do the best you can. I get it.

Also, let's take a minute to appreciate Tootie (who is bathing next to me as I write this in a bedroom at my mom's house), for being the cleanest, most low maintenance little gal ever.
Thanks, Toot.

Moving back in the main living area, the closet by the entrance was demoed. I'm so glad I decided to do that, as it really opens it up.

Here's a crappy picture from day two after they started fixing the drywall. It's obviously not done yet, but I'm excited by the quick progress.

Jesse also had them rip the wainscotting down (it was that kinda faux wainscotting where they just painted the wall with gloss paint and attached a few pieces of trim). I had planned on removing the wainscotting, but I knew Jesse was going to be the one rebuilding it, so I had kinda planned to leave it there until he got around to doing it. So, now, it's off and I'll just be staring at it until he gets a free day to fix it after we move back in.
It's ridiculous that our entire house is torn apart and I'm like, but when can you do the wainscotting, Jesse?!! Poor man. He's so good to me and I often don't deserve it.

Moving down into the basement, here's the pic I captured on day one. We were trying to hold Ava while we walked through the house (because danger) and the little stinker was attempting escape at every turn. She never stops moving, I swear. It's precious and exhausting at the same time.

In the basement on day one, they just took the drywall off the pole to see what was up. They do indeed need a header here, so that's being worked on now.

On day two (sorry for the night pic), they had removed the scary wooden light fixture and pulled up the stinkiest carpet ever. Like you could smell it from up the stairs. I wasn't really all that jazzed about that situation. But, it's gone now and I can start to imagine what it will feel like down here. Still a lot to do, but progress has been made. The flooring guys just got to the house today, and it looks like the upstairs flooring will be done by next weekend. We may move back in by the time they are installing the tile down here, but time will tell.

And here's the basement stairs with the carpet removed. All of the stairs in this house had problems, and they all need a lot of work, but my hope is that some improvements can be made and that one day I will have Carrie Underwood legs as a result of buying a house with 4 sets of stairs.

So, those are the updates so far. I'll be back next week to show you the progress. In the meantime, we'll be livin' it up at my mom's house. She's been so sweet to let us invade her house, and trust me we have totally invaded. Here's a pic of Ava sorting through my mom's mail, and doing a mighty fine job. (Also, can we talk about those finger puppets we found at my mom's?! That's a snail, a pig, and a flamingo. The best part is that my mom did not buy these for Ava. She just had them.)

However, my mom did dig out my 33 year old cabbage patch dolls, and Ava is totally obsessed. It's the little things in life.

Oh, and we took Ava to a park near our new house that has a splash pad. Never has she ever been so excited. This was the first picture I took of her, when she was just standing there like 'WHAT IS HAPPENING.'. 

And here we are the other day when we visited the house, exploring the driveway, which basically just means she gets to run around like a little maniac, obviously her favorite activity.

We love her so.

That's all for today, friends. Thanks for being here. Hope you have a good weekend.

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  1. Excellent progress and thank you for the update! Your blogs are always a happy part of my day, and I look forward to your keeping-it-real perspective as I embark on my own whole-house flooring redo. Many thanks to you!!!

  2. I've been following your blog for a couple years now and love to see a new post! But, I also have a daughter that I think is similar in temperament to your Ava. Sweet, hilarious, curious, inquisitive, and totally outta control! �� So I give kudos to you for keeping up with her AND renovating your new house at the same time! I have three other kids and all of them combined are easier than chasing the one busy one. So thankful for naps! :D

    1. Thanks Courtney! Sounds like you totally get it! :)

  3. Looks fabulous! Can't wait to see it all come together. Great job!

  4. Eeek! So exciting to see the transformation begin! And nice that you have somewhere comfortable to stay for the messy parts. Tough to live in a demo zone with a toddler. We get our keys tomorrow for our fixer-upper - so excited/nervous to start working on it. Eagerly awaiting your updates! So inspiring.

  5. Yay! looking good, I look forward to following you throughout the adventure. And I bet the house is smelling a whole lot sweeter now the carpets are gone!(been there, done that).

  6. I was wondering how you were sleeping there!! Glad your mom is near. It's going really fast it feels. Tearing out this and adding that. It will be fabulous!! But my favorite most unexpected line was your last line. It really touched my heart💜✝

  7. I do wonder what goes through some peoples minds when they choose their paint! I had a feature wall in my main bedroom and in my living room that exact shade of orange, it was blinding!
    The house looks gutted, but at least there is progress! :)

    Kez |

  8. How exciting for you guys! I'm hoping (fingers crossed!) that we'll be doing the same thing next year in our next house. You are truly an inspiration. Your house looks fabulous and Ava is so adorable! hugs

  9. I can't wait to see how this house progresses! You do the most amazing things! I had a house with no door in the master bedroom a few years back, but I also only had a half a wall. The whole upstairs was like a giant loft! I know your pain!

  10. I can't believe Ava is already walking! Seems like just last week you were posting photo's after she was born. :) Your house is going to be lovely. I will look forward to future updates!!

  11. Boob lights + Carrie Underwood legs = dying. Love the updates! gives me hope that maybe my sweet little fam will be fortunate enough to find a gem in the rough like you all did!

  12. Thanks for the update; enjoyed it immensely! God Bless your Mom! Little Ava looks a lot like her dad (lucky girl). Looking forward to your next progress report!

  13. Looks like everything is coming along nicely , the house and Ava .I can hardly wait to see things after you have finished.You and Jessie compliment each other beautifully.

  14. I realized that I haven't been keeping up with you so I just read your past 8 blog posts! I am so excited for you and your new home!! I can understand why some folks were like, "omg why would you sell now that you're finally done?" But I admit I'm the opposite - there is almost nothing more exciting then starting a renovation and getting to see all your plans start to pan out. Can't wait to see it all finished in the end, good luck!

  15. Look'n good! Can't wait for the next update. :)

  16. I am such a lurker, but I love your posts. It's fun seeing Ava grow and what you are up to. I'm seriously waiting for an update! LOL. I watch my 14 month old granddaughter, so I completely understand many of the things you are dealing with. Except, I'm not doing a total redecorating job. 😀 Be thankful you are young and have some energy and such. I say that with envy. And a smile.

  17. My relief knowing the carpet is gone from those stairs is almost inappropriate.

  18. Would love to see an update soon on the progress!

  19. I miss your posts, Virginia. I hope all is well with you.


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