More walls coming down

Well, at least the coverings on the walls are continuing to come down. Dave worked diligently this week, and got the paneling off over the stairs/north dining room wall, some tongue-and-groove along the stairs themselves, and paneling on the west dining room wall removed. Now you can stand in the master bedroom, and see who’s eating in the dining room.

Or, you can stand in the dining room, and look out the guest room window.

Here’s Dave in action, taking the final full piece off the dining room wall.

If you’re standing at the top of the stairs, you can see that the paneling on the stair-side of the pony wall is gone now, too.

If you enter from the front door, then go into the dark and dingy hallway that leads to the lower rooms, you can see where Dave removed more tongue-and-groove planks at the side of the stairs. Before we’re done (I use the imperial “we” here, as Dave’s the one doing the work, as usual), the side of the stairs will be open to the hallway, making it lighter and more welcoming. That’s the general idea, anyway.

While Dave was working on those things, I was running from bathroom to bathroom removing ancient, ugly, dirty, disgusting contact paper from the drawers, cleaning the drawers and cupboards, and also giving the toilets and counters a little much-needed attention. I wish I’d thought to take a picture of the paper that was in the drawers in the master bath. Remember how all the curtains were either dark brown or dark red? Well, the contact paper matched: dark red brick print. Really?

This lovely paper (and even better papering job) was in the bathroom off the living room. It was there so long that the paper was brittle, and actually broke, often, in response to my attempts to remove it. I won in the end, however. These drawers are now paper-free, and washed.

I replaced the original paper in the master with this little floral print that I’ve probably had since some time in the 1980s. Brand new roll. Well, never used, still wrapped in the original packaging. That’s “new.” Right? It’s so old, though, that it didn’t want to stick. I ordered some brand new contact paper that I use in all the bathrooms after it arrives. I expect that it’ll stick better than this poor old blue floral.

I didn’t take any view shots when we were there, so I’ll leave you with a photo of Ansel looking out the window.

Cleaning up a bit

We went over to our house on Sunday to do a little tidying up. You know how it goes. Work is messy. Sometimes time needs to be taken to get control of the mess that had been made.

I started with the totally easy stuff, and cleaned up the pile in the master bedroom that had accumulated with the walls coming down.

Maybe about half (or so) of the flooring in the dining room has bothered to let go of the underlayment so far. Ask Dave about the amount of work he’s put in on that little chore, and how much he’s looking forward to doing the rest. LOL Oh my. That pile of flooring sitting there over by the window has been driving me a bit bonkers, so clearing that away was my next task. I decided to play with the settings on my phone, and created a little time-lapse video of this chore:

As Dave’s been tearing the paneling out of the bedrooms he’s been stacking the wood against the wall in the living room. While it’s a grand place to stage the planks, boards, moulding, trim, and miscellaneous bits of wood, it can’t all stay there. For one thing, he means to take down the walls in the living room, too, but can’t do it with all that other wood leaning there. We forgot that one of the reasons we wanted to take the truck over was that we wanted to move the paneling and other pieces of wood from the house down to the barn. So we took the BMW. Ha! Because 8-foot-tall paneling pieces won’t fit in the BMW, we staged it all in the second garage. First I had to clean out the garage a bit.

Apparently, when the previous owner decided to put this house on the market, the yard wasn’t the only thing that was over-filled with blackberries and ivy. Yes, the garage was, too. They cut the plant material off at the outside of the wall, and again a couple feet down from the top of the walls, and left it all in a pile in the middle of the floor. That was months ago, so it was nicely dried up, and easy to move. I rolled all that plant-mess up, and carried it down to the nearest burn pile. Ta da!

As I dealt with the plant material and sweeping up, Dave continued getting nails out of the boards and planks. When I announced that I had rolled up the dead plant bits, and gotten rid of them, he joined me in the garage to move some of the bigger things out of the way, you know, the things attached to the walls. There is this one shelving unit that’s basically okay just in the way, so it was detached from the wall and moved around a few times. I don’t know if you can really see it, but there’s part of a cupboard hanging on the wall toward the right side of the above photo. There wasn’t much left of it or its neighbor to the right. There’s nothing left of either of them now. The wood from those cabinets was in such bad shape that it wasn’t worth saving. More sweeping, more plant material cut down, more sweeping… Dave has a plan. We start moving the wood from the living room to the garage in a large, slightly wonky figure eight. I took a brief squirrel moment, and cut some ivy out of a small nearby tree. I’m going to need a heavy pair of loppers to get the rest. Finally, the wood is all moved! Here it is in the garage. The living room walls are visible again. Hooray!


Oh, and yes, there are two (three?) door frames still in the living room. There is a different plan for those that will be executed on a different day. Now it’s time to stop for the day. Because it’s time to stop, here’s my closing photo:

We’re avoiding the carpet in the library

The carpeting is stuck firmly to the linoleum in the library, and that in turn is stuck quite firmly to the concrete. Pulling up either/both is obviously something that can wait. Instead, Dave decided to pull up the carpet in the family room the other day. I think that must have been Friday. Naturally, he forgot to take any photos. At least, he didn’t share any with me. If any photos of this process exist, we’ll make sure they’re in an appropriate photo album, so they can be viewed.

Between now and then, I showed up at the house, and we had a grand time. I pulled staples out of the subfloor in the family room, while Dave pried carpeting off, you guessed it, more linoleum in the dining room.

This is what it looked like in the area where the family room and dining room meet. Ugly dark carpeting in an attractive arc over classic 1970s lino, which is on top of the subfloor.

The clean bits were under the family room carpeting, the ghastly bits under the dining room carpet.

I was industriously pulling staples (who said that it was okay to put down hundreds of the things to hold down one little pad… certainly not me!), while Dave made quite a bit of progress on the carpeting.

Here’s the final bit at the edge of the kitchen.

In the back of my mind I’d kind of wondered why the linoleum in the kitchen didn’t match anything else in the house. The cupboards all match. Why are the floors different everywhere? Well, apparently they didn’t start out that way, not upstairs at any rate. The horrifying lino that is currently in the kitchen was laid on top of the original lino. The dining room and kitchen matched. Now that makes more sense. It’s not good news, but it does make sense.

It’s time for a happy dance. All the carpeting in the dining room is up!

Oops. Wait a minute. There’s this corner at the opposite end of the staircase, under the windows. Oops.

You can’t see it in this picture, but all of the carpeting is gone from the dining room. Most of the linoleum is still there, as it’s stuck pretty good. Pulling that out is a project for another day.
(Note, no this is not the same photo as two above. See how this one’s darker? Clouds.)

Dave suggested that I end each post with a picture of our view. A view from my office sort of thing, or more appropriately, a view of the day. Either way you look at it, this is it.

Thank you for joining us on our journey!