Thursday, January 21, 2016

Farmhouse Renovation Update: Interior Demolition and New Framing *Ugly Photos

Pin It
 This week, as temperatures dropped below zero for several days here in the Chicago 'burbs, we got into the "guts" of the demolition at the farmhouse: the bathrooms and the kitchen were removed.  I never talked much about the bathrooms other than to share the cabinet and lighting makeover that I did in the front bathroom when we moved in.



What I didn't share at the time is that we could never use the shower in the front bathroom because the floor was unstable and we found mold in the wall.  I also never showed photos of the fact that the bathroom floor was about three inches higher than the floor in the hallway....
                                                                                                                                              ... it was.


Before we purchased the farmhouse two and a half years ago, we went into the dark, wet, muddy, crawl space and looked at the plumbing beneath the bathrooms so we knew that there were some, well,  issues.

Things like the fact that someone had simply cut away big sections of the floor joists to allow the cast iron plumbing pipes to reach the fixtures.  And the fact that there was something that dripped into the crawl space when we used the only working shower in the bathroom off of my son's room.


We decided not to spend the money to repair these things since we knew that we'd be redoing the bathrooms when we  reached Phase 2 of the renovation.  So we kept an eye on things...
                                                                                                                       ... for two and a half years.


When we opened up the walls and floors this week, there were a couple of surprises. Like the heater that was buried in the wall with the electricity just capped off, and the aluminum foil and plastic tarp that were acting as a "moisture barriers" behind the walls and ceiling in the shower instead of the cement board that should have been there.
Or the mold and mildew behind the walls and in the floor...
                                                                                                                                       ...there was that.


Oh, and there was the drywall that had been glued directly over the old plaster, wallpaper and removed tile.  On the plus side, I finally figured out why the bathroom mirror was glued to the wall..
                                                                                     ...it was because there were no studs behind it.
And the shower curtain turned orange because the water pipes were lead...
                                                                                                                           ...and they were rusted. 

                                                                            Duh.


I've decided that I'm going to have to go back to the village at some point to see what the house originally looked like because we also found a walled over doorway from the bathroom to what was the back hallway and my curiosity is piqued. Not that it matters but I'd like to know what the bathroom was prior to the "remuddling".


Even with all of that, I'm happy to report that as of yesterday afternoon, all of the floors are one  height and we have beautiful new subfloors! The joists and underlayment under the bathrooms have been removed and replaced, the iron plumbing is is headed to the metal recyclers along with the old heating duct work and the conduit that used to run through the floors.

Sure, some girls get weak in the knees over fabric and paint this week, I'm swooning over subfloors...
                                                                                                              


On another note, the weather is finally in the 20's and 30's and we've officially broken through the ceiling into the attic space where the new staircase will be and from the kitchen into the new addition at the rear of the property.  The farmhouse is officially without heat, running water, or electricity but framing of the new spaces is in full swing and I'm thankful for our tiny apartment with heat....
                                                                                                                                               ...and walls.


I expect that we've probably got a couple of more weeks of demolition of the exterior walls, ceilings and insulation but we're making great progress thanks to our amazing contractor, Tim Oko and a fabulous group of demolition and framing guys lead by my new best friend, Al. I'm happy to go over to the farmhouse a couple of times a day to check progress and fill a couple of trash cans or sweep up.


It's basically all they'll let me do at this point unless I can talk them into letting me take down the exterior walls this weekend. After all, temperatures are supposed to be in the 30's!

Thanks for reading!