We’ve all seen “Demo Day” on our favorite TV shows…it usually appears to be 1 action-packed day of smashing demolition, right? As you may expect, our demo process (a little over 3 weeks) went a little differently, and *SPOILER ALERT*, it was MUCH more exciting than I ever dreamed!
(Below) The official day (December 27, 2017) of “handing over the keys” to our renovation team from Fridley Custom Homes , Nolan & Jayme Fridley. Such an exciting moment! (Not pictured: my hubby, Ryan…he was at work. :))
(Below) Pre-demo meeting with the team from Fridley Custom Homes : Joe Fridley, Nolan Fridley, Michael Sanders, & Jayme Fridley.
We were all bundled up because, GUYS. It was SO COLD in the house that day!! But the low temps were definitely overshadowed by the excitement of the moment. Finally, work was beginning!
I can’t wait to show you some fun pics of the demo process. But. Before we dive in, I want you to know WHY. Why in the world we decided to demo the home to this degree.
Our “new to us” farmhouse was built in 1890, with new sections added in the 1960’s and early 2000’s. The original home had LAYERS upon LAYERS of wallpaper in every. single. room. There were walls that we wanted to move to create a better flow for our family, and random doorways that needed to be covered. We were concerned about the electrical, and who knows what else in a home of this age. Way back in September when we toured the place with Fridley Custom Homes, we knew we’d need to bust out the old lath & plaster walls and do new drywall. And so, on a cold & rainy December morning, we started the demo process!
(Below) Work began in the newer part of the house, while we waited for asbestos testing to be completed. The old green cabinets were removed from the kitchen, and we were on our WAY!
SURPRISE #1: Demo is incredibly EXCITING! As the old layers were cleared away, it was as if we were peeling an onion. Every day there were interesting discoveries, and with each visit to the site we learned something new about our home. Hints at how people used each space in the past, former families that left notes on the walls under wallpaper, and doorways & window openings where we never expected! Thankfully we found there to be no asbestos, and demo moved forward without a hitch.
(Below) Some notes found on the kitchen wall under layers of wallpaper.
(Below) The day an old brick chimney was uncovered in the upstairs hall…and we decided to keep it exposed!
(Below) Ryan & I are fascinated by the nails used in the original part of the house…so neat!
(Below) Shiplap is discovered and saved for future use!
One of my favorite discoveries during demo was a homework paper from 1945, found in a wall. I plan to frame it to display in my office!
Surprise #2: Demo takes time. I mean, of course! I don’t know what I was thinking, but as I mentioned earlier, I think we get spoiled by the instant gratification we see on our favorite TV shows. The WEIRD part is, I almost didn’t want the demo phase to end! It was absolutely the most THRILLING part of my day to stop by and see the progress each day. So dramatic, so intriguing. “Demo Day” is actually more like “Demo Month,” and guess what? That was just fine with me! People kept telling us they were excited to see the next step, and I found myself thinking, “NO! This is the FUN part!!” 😉 I know. I think I’m kinda sick in that way. 🙂
(Below) It was exciting to see the “newer” wing of the house undergo demo. We decided to completely reconfigure this area, and once we started seeing walls open up, it really confirmed our decision.
Surprise #3: Demo allows for fresh vision. Out with the old, in with the new. Even though we had an immediate vision for our home on day one, we questioned ourselves along the way. Would it turn out well? Would it be anything close to what we were hoping for? Would it completely blow the budget? What if we find something truly terrible along the way? What if there’s something scary in the walls/attic/basement? (Ok, that was just me.) I remember Nolan, our builder, saying something in the beginning: “I’ll feel a lot better once we have everything opened up and we know what we’re working with.” Well, Nolan is still smiling. So we are too.
Have there been things that have come up? Yes. Lead paint on the exterior, wiring that needs to be updated to a bigger extent than we originally thought, enormous bee hives in the walls of our son’s room, but overall, we’ve discovered a very well-built home. A home that has been cared for, well loved, and passed from one family to another. We feel honored to be the next in line to care for this place. And now that demo is complete, we’ll shine her up real nice.
So let’s get on to the fun part, some pics! I’ll show you the “before” and “after demo” view of a a few areas…ready?
(Below) Looking in from the front door, before.
(Below) During demo.
(Below) Front Windows, before.
(Below) After demo.
(Below) Looking from the kitchen, back to living room, before.
(Below) Same view, during demo. (The framed wall in front of us will be removed.)
(Below) The beautiful living room ceilings after demo…I’m in love!
(Below) Looking in from the back entrance to kitchen, before.
(Below) Same view, after demo. We vaulted this area up into some unused (creepy) attic space, and can’t believe the difference it made in the room! So much more open & spacious feeling!
(Below) View from old butler’s pantry into dining room, before.
(Below) Same view, after demo, and after vault is revealed!
(Below) My office, before.
We decided to keep the fireplace in my office because….UMMM WE HAVE TO! It’s original to the house, and was once the heart of the home.
(Below) You may remember the original master suite area, before.
(Below) We decided to vault up into the attic space for a more spacious feeling!
(Below) From master bedroom, looking back toward laundry, etc., before.
(Below) Same view, during demo.
I realize the demo pics are shocking. Even to us! But don’t be mad. Now that we have a clean slate, we’ll begin the process of rebuilding this old girl into a home that will stand for MANY more years, and be loved & cared for by our family. We are saving everything we can…doors, trim, brick, stair railing, banisters…and we’ll reuse as much as possible. Our heart is not to strip the house of character. Actually, quite the opposite. We hope to blend the old with the new and create a home that’s US. We are so thrilled to have you along for the adventure, and the next phase is sure to be exciting.
So here’s my question, ARE YOU IN? Are you ready for the next phase? Let the #renovationontheprairie continue!