Posted on May 3, 2011

Update: The Great Living Room Renovation

I love how many of you are psyched to follow our progress as we renovate our living room into a more modern space.  As I mentioned before, I grew up in this house – as did my mom.  When Biker Bob and I bought it from my dad in ’06, MUCH of the house was still in its original state (for the better or worse – usually, lol, it’s for the worse).

Our house is a fairly simply Cape Cod style built in the late 1940’s.  There is a second floor addition off the back that my parents added in the early 1980’s.  We moved here shortly after my grandmother died to live with my grandfather.  I was five, my sister was 3 and my mom was pregnant with my brother.  We were short on bedroom space, so the addition provided more room.

Most of our downstairs walls are finished with old knotty pine wood boards.  The real stuff – not that pressed wood crap.  I love the knotty pine because it is comfy, country, cozy.  I do not enjoy how dark it makes our rooms appear.  Now throw in the fact that our living room has NO overhead lighting… we basically have a nice cozy cave. :)

So Saturday morning we spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon COMPLETELY emptying the living room.  Biker Bob said that every single thing needed to out of the room to make it easier to work.

Here is the room completely empty, save for the rug (which we are replacing as well).  The TV was pulled down shortly after taking this picture.  That’s a whole lotta wood:

living room mc 1

Target: nasty tiled ceiling

living room mc 2

We were hopeful that ripping down the ceiling didn’t open up a new series of problems, but seeing as how this house is the money pit, new issues were, of course, lurking around the corner.

Issue #1: we found that the insulation above the living room ceiling was completely trashed.  You’re talking more than 60 years of critters climbing, gnawing, nesting, pooping, etc in it.  ICK.  So down it came and it will be replaced with new stuff.

living room mc 3

Issue #2: After the old insulation was ripped out, we noticed something curious.  We could see daylight streaming in up along the rafters.  Not good.  Seems the genius post-depression era builders who built this house used complete scrap wood to “seal” the house – meaning?  Huge gaping holes have existed for years under our gutter – just begging for birds, mice and other varmints to enter.  Gah!

So, Biker Bob ripped the gutter off, ripped the crap wood off and replaced it with new wood – it’s actually made out of plastic so it’s durable, won’t rot and will last a long, long time.

living room mc 4

So gutters are back up… and the lighting and electrical part of the living room installation has begun.  Look for another update in next day or two to see how far we get.

Err… I guess I shouldn’t say we, rather HE.  LOL Biker Bob is leading this one.  My job during this construction?  Herd Lily Bean and keep her out of trouble.

So we picked flowers together.  That wasted about five minutes.  And I have nowhere to put the vase b/c the rest of my house is piled with living room furniture.. but it’s all good. :)

living room mc 5

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  • Katherine Trumbauer

    We are redoing our house as well, we also had nasty tile ceilings and ripped them down to find rotted beams (apparently our ceilings were close to caving in), and no insulation. Home renovation is exhausting, good luck :)

    • Oh man! We were so sure that we were going to find rotted wood – thankful we didn’t… yet. LOL

  • Awwww!!! I will definitely heed your advice. :) We did the bathrooms in the past couple years – that was ridiculous… I can’t even imagine the kitchen but I think that project is in our future within the next year or two. Thank goodness for parks and our zoo membership!! :)

  • RM

    what will be going on the ceiling now?

  • Sherri

    Wow! This is moving fast! Great job, Bob! Can’t wait to see the finished room. :D

    • :) Not fast enough – lol – but warp speed wouldn’t be fast enough!

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