We Have Three Fewer Closets

As part of the remodel we’re moving the wall between the master bedroom and the master bath to make the master bath a little roomier. As it is, the door can’t be opened all the way because it hits the counter. We’re going to pull the wall back a bit and replace the swinging door with a pocket door (Laura would say Squee or some such at this point).

To do this we have to remove two of the existing closets and rebuild one of them in a slightly different location. This is how things started.

The closet to the left with the swinging door is the linen closet and will be moving to a larger space in the hall. The closet to right is Laura’s and the one that needs to be moved.

And this is how it looks now.

Master closet gone

So, that’s two closets gone. What about the third? Ah, well. The future TV room has a closet (with a water heater in it that will be moving).

The library is on the other side of that closet and we need all the room we can get in the library. So we’re going to rebuild the TV room closet to be only 12 inches deep. That should be plenty for DVDs and the like.

Here are before and after shots.

Library
Before
After
After

So, that’s what I did Monday and Tuesday.

 

Indoor board and batten begins to come down

Monday

On Monday we decided it was “sweep the barn day.” So, we swept the barn. Dave worked on the loft while I swept downstairs. The weather was perfect for manual labor. Well before we were done we were both down to our shirtsleeves, even though it was in the low 50s out there, and the barn doors were wide open.

Dave started by stacking the bales of straw. There are nine of them. The straw and hay ladder will be going to friends who have horses.

I created this pile of, er, sweepings, by attacking this one corner with my broom. I wonder how long it’s been since the barn’s been swept. I’m thinking it’d been quite a while.

More progress! I still have to get in under the sink, behind the wood stoves, and behind the huge air compressor. The easy stuff, the middle of the room, is done now, though. To be Ansel-safe, though, the icky parts in the corners need to be cleaned up, too. No telling what’s back there. I’m sure it’s stuff we don’t want our little boy getting into, whatever it is. Ick.

Tuesday

Dave went up to the house without me, so that I could get some stuff done at my desk for a change. You know, the fun things, like paying bills, balancing checkbooks, and the like. He worked between appointments there. The locksmith came by and changed the lock on the mailbox (the tenant forgot to leave the key for us), the insurance company’s photographer swung by to take some photos, the pest guy came by to say he couldn’t treat for the beetles we have as his truck with that equipment on it needs fixing, but while he was there he treated for carpenter ants and the wasps that we found in the wall a few days before, and… I forget what else happened. I know I’m forgetting someone.

His tasks for the day started with getting up the last of the linoleum from the floor in his office. Well, as much as he could. There’s this one area that’s stuck pretty good. Neither the floor scraper nor the crowbar will lift it. Suggestions, anyone?

We’re hoping that the linoleum in the TV room and downstairs guest room don’t need to be pulled before hardwood goes down, so Dave finished cleaning the carpet pad off the TV room floor as best he could. Those yellow bits are resisting, but super thin. Here’s hoping.

The walls in Dave’s office and the library are board and batten where there’s no brick. Rough cut planks. I don’t know for sure if they are leftovers from the exterior of the house, but to me they look like they might be. Dave might disagree. I don’t think I’ve thought to bring up the topic when he’s been around. Either way, though this is a picture of the outside of the house, and the boards have been painted, this is a good example of what the indoor walls look like, too. This is also shows how lovely (cough) the house looks with more of those white plastic shutters removed.

Next he attacked the walls downstairs. He left walls alone that have switches or outlets or anything else electrical for another day, as we want Ansel to be safe when he comes to visit.

Dave’s wall before

Dave’s wall after

You may have noticed the insulation on the wall. That’s an interior wall. The other side of that wall is the TV room. There’s no insulation on exterior walls in this room, so he left the paneling on those walls for now. What with winter coming on, it could get cold in there with nothing between you and the weather but one layer of 40-year-old cedar exterior siding. Brr.

Dave worked on the library walls a bit, too, again leaving panels where electrical wires could get tangled in Ansel’s sweet little paws.

Wondering what was surprising? Dave found four of these sad little mouse carcasses when he was taking the walls down.

The demolition begins

Dave and I spent about five hours over at our house (that sounds so strange!) yesterday. Mostly we ripped out the carpeting in the TV room and the guest room downstairs. We (meaning Dave) also got started ripping out the carpet in his office, but let’s back up a tiny bit. We also narrowly avoided (especially Dave) getting stung by a bunch of startled wasps.

When we closed escrow we only received two keys, the only two keys that the seller had, both unlocking all exterior doors around the house. The mailbox key? The garage door remotes? Gone. Kept by the last tenants, apparently. Arg. To help keep all and sundry out of our new house, we bought a couple new deadbolts. Dave installed the second one when we got there yesterday. To keep myself busy while he was swapping out the deadbolt on the kitchen door, I took a screwdriver and removed switch plate covers around the living room and dining room, avoiding anything that didn’t use a standard screwdriver. When he was done with the lock, Dave attacked one of the places where cable comes into the house in the living room. Then, suddenly, he was backing up fast, batting at his hair, and making strange noises. You’d be making strange noises, and flailing around, too, if you were suddenly attacked by a bunch of wasps.

Here he’s calmed down a bit, but mostly because he had a can of “instant death” in hand to help fight off the swarm.

We opened up what windows we could (the front windows are glued shut), the door, anything to try to encourage the mean-spirited wee beasties to beat a hasty retreat. (A couple hours later, when all but one were dead or departed, I used the included fireplace tools to sweep up the carcasses, and dump them outside. I also pushed the cover back over the hole the wasps emerged from, to encourage them to stay put.) Later on we found where they’re entering the house. We’ll deal with that another day.

We’d thought to maybe start pulling up the rugs upstairs first off, but decided to begin downstairs. Just in case.

We started with the old mottled brown carpet in the TV room. It matches, sort of, the carpet on the stairs and upper hallway. Really terrifying stuff. We started pulling it up, and were surprised by what we found. No tack strips. No padding layer. Nope. Here we had a thin layer of padding stuff that was stuck to the bottom of the carpet… and to the classic brown linoleum floor below.

And here we were thinking that the carpet was horrible because it was original to the house. Nope. Turns out it’s horrible, because it’s horrible.

(P.S. Everyone wants a water heater in their TV room closet, right?)

Well, that was fun. Yes, we left a bunch of the pad on the floor for later. We moved on to the downstairs guest room.

This is what we were expecting. Tack strip. Pad. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Wait a second, though. Yes, that’s right. They installed the built-in bookcase over the carpet. Oy.

What’s underneath? More brown linoleum, like in the TV room.

Next surprise: they glued the tack strip to the old linoleum floor.

What we both found interesting is that this room looks bigger without the light colored carpet. Must be the shine on the linoleum.

Moving on to Dave’s office we (well, Dave) pulls off the baseboards in preparation.

These walls are horrible. They’ve been a source of frustration for people for quite a while. So far, in pulling out the baseboards and carpeting in Dave’s office we’ve gotten rich, found one red die, and a little plastic toy thing. I wonder what else we’ll find.

In this room, the thin dark brown carpeting is stuck so well to the linoleum that it’s easier to pull up the linoleum than to pull the carpet off of it. So that’s what’s happening here. Strip by painful strip. These things weigh a ton. Dave’s currently wishing he was about 20 years younger. Maybe more. Ouch.

You know what, though? The room already looks tons bigger. Looking forward to getting the rough-cut paneling off the walls in here, too, but that will have to wait until another day.