Renovation Plans in Warp Speed

Our slow and steady renovation plans got a big jolt last week. Our contractor’s availability changed, and he asked if we could move up our plans. You know, from late April/May to next week. No biggie.

We were always planning to do the demolition part of the job ourselves, to keep from having to pay for a contractor’s time for work we knew we could do. We asked ourselves if we thought we could get all the stones form the wall down, remove all the paneling, get all the materials together, in a week. Challenge (very hesitantly) accepted.

We tried to set daily renovation goals for ourselves, starting this past Saturday. First task at hand was buying some of the materials we needed, which mainly was the tiles and grout. We decided to go with the herringbone pattern, which was #1 in my previous tile post, and as a bonus, we found it for cheaper at another store. Task number 1, complete!

While buying tile was pretty easy, task number 2 was not. We removed all the stones from what I have not-so-affectionately been calling the rock wall. We started prepping by taping plastic at the doorways of the room, to help keep the dust from heading all over the house. Here’s a before photo as I’m getting the plastic in place.


Then, we put on ear, eye, and respiratory protection and went to work. Dan used a kind of jackhammer tool to chip away at the mortar holding the rocks together. It was a slow start, but we eventually moved into a good groove of getting the rocks out of the wall and carrying them out of the room for disposal. We were lucky enough to have two extra sets of hands helping us – Dan’s mom and dad – which really helped speed up the process. Without them, it would have easily taken us another day of hard work.


Even with help, it took a full day of backbreaking work to get those rocks down. And we did it!


Just as I was about to head upstairs to get in the shower, I noticed the plastic barriers didn’t do much to stop the spread of dust around the house. In fact, my kitchen floor looked like no one had cleaned it (because no one had lived in the home) for many years. I guess we didn’t do that great of a job keeping the plastic in place. Don’t make that mistake – it took forever to get the house even somewhat clean again.

We still have lots to do this week, so we’ll get a bit ahead in real time than I can keep up with blogging. I’ll do my best to share updates as quickly as I can – once I wash all the dust out of my hair.


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