Sunday, November 20, 2011

initiation situation

we have been properly initiated into the realm of diy homeownership. when we initially considered buying this house i knew that i wanted to open up the wall between the kitchen and living room by creating a pass-through/bar. my dad confirmed it would be "easy enough" so we proceeded with the plan one sunday morning, thinking it might take a day or two. 
this is what the wall looked like on that fateful sunday morning.
one of the first problems we encountered was the plaster (concrete) walls. what we thought would be an enjoyable (dare i say therapeutic?) demoing project resulted in the demolition of two sawzall blades and a heavy dusting of our entire house. and two sinus-infections. the house was built in 1928, so we hope the walls predate asbestos.
the death of the sawzall blade and all we had was a 4" hole to show for it!
the walls in our house also feature lath beneath the plaster, so the demoing didn't go nearly as quickly as hoped because even when we broke up the plaster, we still had these wood slats to remove. as we hammered away, through the gaps in the slats, i noticed a pipe right in the middle of the would-be bar. ugh! i was completely disheartened and thought the project was impossible. luckily brandon knew we were too far in to turn back. he also realized it was just a sewer vent pipe, so no water needed to flow through the pipe and he could handle re-routing it.

our pass-through, looking somewhat like the outline of the lower 48.
me, trying not to be totally dismayed
by the pipe in the middle of our bar.
as i suspect is the case with most diy remodel projects,
this simple pass-through led from one project
to tons of other small projects. 
hammering away from the kitchen side.

brandon totally impressed me with his know-how and expertise.
and his ever-growing list of "required tools."
we bought a counter top at the resource store to initiate this project.
while it was marked $10, we got it for $5!
this was the only cheap element of this project.
the upside of discovering the pipe in the middle of our wall was that we had to cut this pipe above the sink drain and found that the vent pipe was clogged. which explained why our sink was glug-glugging instead of draining properly. my dad suggested that this may have spared us from having future plumbing expenses, so it was nice to have an upside to the pipe predicament.
so gross! 
our entire house was covered in this dust,
in fact, i'm still finding it!
starting to look a whole lot more like a pass-through.
we enlisted the help of heath, who was far more confident than brandon or i.
perhaps because he has done his fair-share of diy renovations.
or perhaps because it isn't his house so he cares far less than us.
i went to albuquerque for a girls' weekend with kemi and sara. when i left the pass-through looked like the photo above. i felt awful leaving brandon with the unfinished mess on his hands. however, he pressed on and finished the project while i was away. i came back to this:
i LOVE it! it opens up the house and makes both rooms feel much larger. we have a fair amount of work  to do on the kitchen side of the pass-through, but we plan to replace the cabinet the sink is in, so i think we are going to live with it for a while. 

the living room is coming together, so i will share photos from that soon. however, when i sat down to put this post together it turned into a total kerfuffle where i thought i lost our 8,000+ photos in our iPhoto library. i managed to resolve the problem, but i am a bit tired of dealing with the computer at the moment. 

2 comments:

Pamela Nees said...

Somehow just stumbled on your blog. Good luck with your project-looks like a great start.

Reminds me of the days when my husband and I did loads of things like that to our house!

Blessings!

Kathryn said...

I'm so impressed that Brandon wears safety glasses!