Friday, March 11, 2011

Fixin' Up Friday: Living Room South Wall, Pt 1

So I have been MIA this week - due to a project we have been working on and a cold (yep, Lucy gave me hers... it has proven to be yucky), I feel like I have been playing catch-up all week - but yesterday was super productive (everything on my to-do list got crossed off! Plus one item from today's list!) so I have had time to blog a bit. :)

So what have we been up to? Yesterday I gave you this picture as a hint:

Someone posted anonomisly and said, "Jail?" lol - I think that is really funny! It would explain why I've been MIA... but no my friends, we have not been in jail, but have been far more productive. :) The above photo is sun beams hitting our carpet, making a nice warm place for our cat to curl up and take a nap. :)

Here is a Before/After picture to show you what we did:
That's right! We put in french doors!

It is kind of a "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" story with a little "God is so Good" mixed in. :)

So last Wednesday, Brad and I were sitting on the couch watching some of our shows and I said, "I wonder what the drywall looks like behind the paneling?" Brad looked at me and with his crazy-cute smile said, "Let's find out." So we separated one piece of paneling from the wall and peeked behind it. :)

"Looks good!" Brad said confidently, but since it was 10 o'clock in the evening, we called it a night and hit the sack. The next day when Brad got home from work, we attacked the wall with vigor. We took down all the paneling and examined the drywall.

It was in pretty good shape, the only problem is that there were a lot of seams. a. lot. And since we really (really) like smooth walls, we decided it was worth the $25 for new drywall to have a nice, smooth, wall.

So we started ripping the drywall down, sorry Jessie W.

So much for our clean carpet. :)

Then our wee helper awoke... and provided the dose of cuteness that we needed to charge on :)

I fed her dinner while Brad took down the drywall above and around the window.

And then the force of my strength was released on the wall. I told it who was boss. :)

After releasing TONS of dust, we cleaned up and looked proudly at the fruit of our labors.

So this is how the wall was left on Thursday night. In the lower left you can see our dinner - if ever there was a night we deserved a pizza - this was it. I think Brad's last words to me that night, before we went to bed were, "Wouldn't it be nice to put in French Doors now since we have the wall stripped down to it's studs?"

We have always (for the past month and half) wanted to put in french doors in the living room. The room is a bit dark (with only two small windows), is the place we spend most of our time, and I LOVE sunlight (who doesn't?!)! So the idea of french doors was something I was totally on board with. BUT we had decided not to make any major purchases for the next few months.


(This is where the God-is-so-good part comes in)

Long story short long, we found our Realtor through the Movers Advantage Program with USAA. The agreement was if we bought a house with the Realtor they suggested, we would get some $. An incentive. I love incentives. :) So we bought our new home, with our USAA-reccomended Realtor across the table from us and walked away, wondering if we would get the money (maybe too embarrassed to ask her) and to be honest, after a few days, we forgot about it. (Can you guess what comes next in the story?) On Saturday, Brad gets the mail and comes in with a check. Made out to me, in the exact amount of the french door we wanted. :)

YIPPEE (insert happy dance here)

We called Lowes, who was going to deliver our new refrigerator (LONG story, for another post) on Monday, and asked if they could throw on a french door to our order - they were too happy to oblige. :)

So my husband, wonderful man that he is, studied and studied online how to extend the doorway to allow room for a 60" french door. If you know Brad, you know that he researches everything he does 120%, and this instance was no different. :) He learned what we needed to do, and we (ahem, HE) went to get all the wood/supplies we would need.

And then we built a support wall.

(phone photo sorry)
Everyone we had talked to, people with much more remodeling experience than us, said that they were pretty sure that the south wall in our living room wasn't load bearing, so we didn't have to build a support wall. But, better safe than sorry - right? :) So we built a support wall, took out 2x4s, took out the old door, took out the screen door, took out the old header, cut/installed and new header and ended up with this:

We had run out of black trash bags, so we covered the hole with blankets for the next few nights. (It got down into the 20s that night... didn't think to check the weather before taking out the door. :) Brad said it was my job... oops... :) haha, we were thankful for our heater.)

On Sunday we rested. :) (well, kinda - Brad worked. And did a great job at it too!)

On Monday morning (Brad takes Mondays off, since he works on Sundays) Brad cut the exterior siding to allow for the door to fit:
Yep, we have a red-neck back yard right now. No shame.

And when the door was delivered on Monday, at aprox 12:30pm, we were ready for it! It took us 3ish hours to install the door and I am not going to lie to you and say we did it without fighting, I am just going to spare you the details. :) But the door is in, it is plum, it is level, it is square, and we did it. :)

A little spray foam, insulation and hardware and the door was in working condition!

We LOVE it. It lets in SO much more light into the room - and this wall faces south, so I get nice light all. day. long. (That = a happy Sarah)

Here is another before/after picture :)
And here is the first before/after again, for your viewing pleasure :)
We are NOT done with the wall yet! (That's why it says "Pt 1" in the title of this post people!) :) We need to install the rest of the drywall, tape and spackle (is that the right term for fill-in-the-screw-holes-with-mud?). Oh, and then there is the fact that there are two more walls in the room that need the paneling removed, drywall inspected and maybe drywall removed, new drywall installed, tape and spackle. And then I can paint. :) Oh, the joys of home improvement (insert Tim The-Tool-Man-Taylor "Har, har, har" here :) ). We will keep you updated through all the progress. I promise. :)

I am so happy we have a lot of natural light to shine on our future projects. :)

What do you think? Do you like the improvement? Or maybe it is not an improvement to you, did you like the old door more? It is laying in our backyard if you want it. :)


Matt and Amy said...

I LOVE it and I'm so impressed that yall did it yourself! Matt and I were laughing when you said that you fighted. I can hear it... Brad: "SARAH! What are you doing?!" Sarah: "Oh, sorry. I just thought it went like that. How do you do it?"

kaw said...

looks great! and we totally understand the one thing leading to another aspect of it!

Rach said...

I am also super impressed! It looks great! I too am a sucker for light!

Amy Kidder said...

It looks great! I can't imagine anyone would like the old door better. :) Miss you guys! Give Luce hugs for me!

courtney linn said...

It looks good. Good job