It’s been almost two weeks since we started our project, so here’s a little progress update!
Here’s a shot of the project area just before we got to work:
It’s kind of amazing to me to think about all that is happening in this small 12′ x 12′ area.
Here’s my husband, Jaga, on Saturday morning, ready to begin demolition!
I snapped this picture, and then with crowbars in hand, we were like ALL pumped up to tear down some walls! But all our excited energy quickly womp womped when we realized we still had some little preparation things to take care of. Before attacking the sheetrock, we needed to remove electrical plates, door hinges, and other hardware items. That was like 20 minutes of anti-climactic activity (top left picture, below). Yawn. Let me get more coffee.
Ok, a few more twists of the screwdriver, and NOW we are ready to do this. Jaga first started with the built-ins. They came down easily, and left a fun hopscotch grid on the wall.
Then it was time to take off the sheetrock. 3 layers of it. That was an unexpected surprise. The layers were liquid nailed together, making it a lot harder to tear down. It quickly became really hard, messy work.
But, it was really just two walls that needed to be taken down to the studs (the wall with the built-ins, and the plumbing wall to the left of the door). And that all happened on Saturday.
The next day we looked at the space together, and we concluded that we needed to frame another 2×4 wall along the plumbing wall to give enough space for all the new pipes and plumbing that will need to be put in for the new bath. Originally we thought we could fit everything in the existing plumbing wall, but there was already a lot going on in that wall with existing pipes and vents.
This meant I would lose 3-1/2.” It would cause everything to shift over 3-1/2″, because the tub was not going to shrink down. While those few inches might not seem like much, it actually meant the difference between having an opportunity for a feature wall in my hallway and not.
Here’s a reminder of our renovation plan (you can read more in my earlier post), which shows the plumbing wall we needed to beef up. My “feature wall” space was shrinking before my eyes.
Even though I haven’t quite decided on what I want to do with that wall (perhaps built-ins, shelves, or a display niche), I really needed all that space. Needless to say, I was not happy about losing those 3 inches and the possibility of a really amazing wall.
This is where the title of this post comes in, and we’re not talking waist line inches being lost and gained here. My already small space was getting skinnier, and for space-planning, losing weight is not a good thing. But, remember all those layers of drywall and plaster we had to remove earlier? Well, fortunately, all those layers just happened to add up to…yup, exactly 3 extra inches across the entire space that I didn’t calculate in our original plan.
…Meaning, our plan wasn’t affected at all! Phew. Feature wall saved.
So, with our wall adjustments made, and with the help of a friend, we were ready to frame up the new walls.
Here is a before shot, looking from the family room towards the then-office and kitchen. My earlier post mentioned this “wing wall” that I really didn’t like. Here’s a shot of it. I never liked how it divided the space up, but now it’s gone! The closet in the back there can help you see what’s going on between these before and after shots.
And here it is now, with some visual frames added to help define what’s what:
These next photos show the two new hallways that were created. One to the kitchen, which will have the door to the new bathroom. And one to the family room adorned with the “feature wall.”
It was really exciting to watch the wall come down between the new hallway and the kitchen. It was like an early present for my birthday, which was yesterday.
The closet on the left, by the way, will turn into a kitchen pantry.
And here’s a view from the kitchen, looking down the hall from the other direction.
Keep in mind, that black wall will get painted a fresh new color, and the tile will be replaced with wood flooring.
Here is how the bathroom is taking shape. You can now see the doubled-up wall that I was referring to. The vent on the right picture is an existing vent which we aren’t going to relocate. That is the main reason for going with a pedestal sink because a cabinet would block it.
We still have a few more things to frame up, mostly in the corner near the basement door. We still need to close up the existing opening in the kitchen.
And we still need to relocate the basement door.
You might be wondering about our current bathroom. We decided that we aren’t going to work on that quite yet. That will be the next phase, after the new bathroom is up and running. Here’s a diagram that explains how we’re phasing things out. Right now we are in Phase I.
To close this post, I wanted to ask if you had any ideas for the feature wall. What would you do there? Coat hooks? Bookshelves? I’d love to hear your ideas!