1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

Home | Blog | Kitchen | Entry Hall | Attic | Living + Dining |
Bedrooms | Bathrooms | Exterior | Want List | Links | Town

Monday, June 05, 2006


Apparently, all that willpower talk on Friday actually worked. When we woke up on Saturday, we both felt that restless feeling, that I've-got-to-do-something feeling.

So we tried to think of something to do on the house. Certainly, we have plenty of projects, but most of them require major preparation and/or purchases that haven't been made yet (such as the edge pieces for the kitchen countertops, which I'd forgotten I never ordered). We can't just wake up one day and decide to do this stuff.

But then inspiration struck. I don't quite remember who it struck, but one of us got the idea to demolish the little closet in the hall outside the bathroom.

This indention in the hall is the place we plan to build our walk-in master bathroom closet.

There was already a little added-in coat closet thing that we'd been using to store the bags of cat food, a dart board, Darwin's collection of caps, and a couple of old roach motels left from the previous owners. Yum.

I don't know why we hadn't thought to demo this thing before. We knew it would have to be done eventually, but we were so focused on the bathroom itself that we just forgot all about the closet.

It didn't take long to gather up the tools o' demolition because they were all still lying around in the bathroom or piled up on the washstand in the hallway amid other debris. We're tidy that way.

I admit I was excited at the prospect of some demo. I like it for the same reason some people enjoy cutting grass - you see immediate results. With every board you tear down, every nail you extract, you're making a real difference and making it fast.

Plus, you get to use sledgehammers and crowbars. Is there anything more fun than wielding a tool and feeling the way its extends and expands the power of your body? This must've been the way our ancient ancestors felt when they first figured out a sharp rock makes a kickass cutting tool.

Besides, I am a girly girl with very puny muscles, so just pulling a nail out of a piece of wood gets me feeling pretty proud of myself. This time I even did some stuff on a ladder!

Of course, Darwin still has to do most of the heavy lifting.

The closet demo didn't take long, and we still had the restless feeling. I peeked under the vinyl peeling up at the edge of floor where the closet had been and thought I saw that the plywood underneath was a separate closet-sized piece with a closet-sized piece of vinyl on top of it. We could just take that part out without interfering with the whole vinyl floor in the hall and kitchen.

But when we got that small piece of vinyl up, we saw that there were only two small blocks of plywood on each end, and the large middle piece extended into the hall. Oops.

We also found that the old vinyl cut easily with a box cutter and that the one large piece basically corresponded to the nook. So we decided to "just" take up the vinyl and plywood in the nook, leaving the rest of the hall for another day.

Ha ha, "just." What I'd been referring to as "plywood" was actually particleboard, which happily disintegrated under our laboring crowbars. At one point, I said we'd be better off with a pickax.

Two hours later, legs tingling from squatting and kneeling, hands sore and not so much enjoying wielding the tools anymore, we cleared the last of the particleboard and pulled up the black paper underneath to reveal a perfectly good wood floor.

I was relieved because in the back of my mind I'd been thinking what sweet irony it would be to find a rotted or hole-ridden floor after all that work.

Now we have a pretty much continuous wood floor in the whole bathroom/future closet. The demo really lets us envision how big (not so big) the new closet will be.

Meanwhile, I calculated that removing the rest of the particleboard and vinyl from the hall and kitchen will take us roughly 18 hours. When I told Darwin that, instead of feeling devastated like me, he said I'd be all set - all I need is one of those 18-hour bras. Ha. At least he still has his sense of humor.



Trissa said...

Good ol' demolition. There's nothing like the anticipation of what you will find underneath. And nothing like finding something better than you expected. Glad there were wood floors under the particle board!

2:37 PM  
Sheila said...

Ha ha ha! The 18-hour comment was hillarious. But seriously, demolition is my favorite too!

2:04 PM  
Christiane said...

18-hour bra, LOL!

Since most of the work we've contracted out, I am continually impressed to read about DIY demo projects. Ours was completed by a HUGE guy that could have crushed my head with his pinky finger.

4:22 PM  
halloweenlover said...

HURRAY!!! That looks fantastic! I can't see it from a distance, but it looks pretty open, huh?

9:08 PM  
Kristin said...

The new bathroom layout will be way more open than the old one, and the closet being in there will make a lot of sense. I can't wait for the day we get to demo the master bedroom closets!

I really need a bigger closet, but this one will actually be about the same size. It will be easier to access and a little more storage space, though, because the current closet slants into the corner, making a good foot of it almost impossible to use.

9:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home