Okay, so I know this is the blog you’ve all been waiting for… the update on the bachelorette pad…
The good news is… drum roll please… I have a sheetrock ceiling in my living room! Yay!
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally up. For those of you who may not be familiar with my home remodel project… I’ll give you a little background. My house was built in 1950. I bought it for really cheap in January and immediately started tearing stuff up. The living room is the project of focus for the time being since I now have less than one month until my Netflix goal.
So this is how it started… when I bought the house it had a drop ceiling in it, kind of like what you’d see in a junior high cafeteria…
|In the beginning... there was a drop ceiling...|
Brett helped me tear it down early on in the project, like the month after I bought the house… only to find an old tile ceiling underneath that. After having a small piece of the tile sent off for asbestos testing (it came back negative – woohoo!), I pulled all the tiles down. I don’t have a picture of the tile ceiling but this is what it looked like under the tiles. They were all stapled to small boards like these, all the way across the ceiling…
After pulling all the boards down, I was left with a cracked lath and plaster ceiling. Yuck. I quickly decided it also had to come down. But first… I had to go up in the attic and remove tons of blown-in fiberglass insulation so that it wouldn’t fall in my eyes when I did. After the first night of scooping that mess into a trash bag, I got smart… in many ways. First, I recruited a helper. Brett gave up two nights to help me clear out the rest of the area over my living room. Second, I bought a large trash can to put the bags into. It’s hard to dump insulation into a trash bag that you can hardly keep open. Having the trashcan to put them in was a huge time saver. And probably the biggest improvement of all (which wasn’t actually my idea… I have to give the credit to the doctor) was to haul the shop vac into the attic instead of scooping it all with a dustpan. I’m so glad I bought that thing. This goes to support my theory that everyone needs a shop vac at some point in their lives. For all you friends who are getting married soon, consider this a must-have on the registry. Much more important than all that china you’ll never use and will end up breaking when moving. So… two days of shop vaccing and 17 bags of insulation later… we were ready to knock the plaster down.
It looked like this when I started…
|I hate plaster...|
I took this project on myself, which was not smart. Plaster is heavy. I could have been seriously injured. I still have two knots on my head where it hit me and tons of scratches and scrapes. Because I was trying to be very careful not to hurt myself, I started like this, chipping away at the plaster and slowing prying the wood slats down.
|I really hate plaster...|
But after an hour had passed and the hole was still only about three feet wide, I decided to try another route. So I climbed trough that whole in the ceiling and started beating it to death with my hammer from the top down.
|yes, I did this by myself...|
The plaster started flying. The wood slats were hanging. I seriously thought I was going to break a window.
|the sky is falling...|
It came down fast and hard… I apologize for the quality of these pictures as that was all the dust flying from the plaster. Lesson learned… when tearing down 60-year-old plaster, hang plastic over all interior doorways so that you don’t have an inch of dust on EVERYTHING in your house. Boo.
|look out below...|
And eventually… we had this… drop ceiling gone, tile ceiling gone, boards gone, insulation gone, plaster gone, lath gone… meet my attic. J
I went to bed exhausted after a long night of making a mess and an even longer night of cleaning it up. Thanks to my cousin Austin for loaning me his polycart to throw all the crap away in when the two that I have weren’t enough to hold it all. Even with the extra, it will take about three weeks of trash service to get rid of all the debris.
|In case you wondered what a polycart was...|
Aunt Kathy and my mom showed up around 9:00 am the next day. They are fantastic and have been there to help me on my remodel projects more than anyone else. I truly appreciate them. They thought they were going to help me hang sheetrock. Which they did, but not until after they finished helping pull the last of the lath and plaster down from around the edges (the corners were hard to get to), removed all the nails from the rafters, took down the ceiling fan and it’s interesting contraption holding it in place for where it was even with the original drop ceiling, fought with this chicken wire like stuff that was only on one side of the room where plaster had been attached to it so that we could get a straight enough edge to hang sheetrock to it and cleaning up even more of the plaster mess I still hadn’t got to. Finally, after a lunch of delicious Subway sandwiches (it was the least I could do for all their hard labor) we were ready to hang our first piece of sheetrock at about 2:00 pm. We had borrowed my brother-in-law's jack, though none of us really had a clue how to use it…
|this thing tried to kill me...|
We had two 12-foot pieces hung when my friend Caleb texted that he had a screw gun we could borrow. I didn’t really know what that was, but he assured me that it was better than a drill, so when he volunteered (well, more like insisted really) to bring it over, I didn’t argue. Caleb, who has a broken foot and therefore requires a driver, showed up with his brother Matt (who is also a good friend and coworker of mine) to deliver the screw gun. They immediately saw that we didn’t know what we were doing and Matt took over. He started hanging the third piece. And then the fourth. Into the fifth piece, Caleb got frustrated that he couldn’t help due to his crippled nature and he called his dad. Dennis showed up shortly after and in about of an hour, it was all finished. Dennis is like a master sheetrock cutter, I’ve never seen anyone work that fast, that accurately, without even using a straight edge. It was amazing really. A HUMONGOUS thank you to the Wilson family for their help. I suck at asking for help and I never would have even called them. But the reality is, we could never have done it without them. My mom, aunt and I would have taken two full days to complete it. After Dennis got the sheetrock hung, he, along with my mom and aunt went home. Matt and Caleb stayed to help me clean up and put the remaining screws in the sheetrock.
Now we are ready to tape, mud and texture. I’m thinking next week. I can’t wait until it’s ready to paint. Can we say paint party? J I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again to all my super helpers this weekend. You guys were amazing.