Tag Archives: demolition

Let the drywall begin!

Happy Monday friends!  The last few weeks have been busy and it feels like we are making soooo much progress at the house!  The fact that drywall is going in right now fills me with JOY!  But before that commenced, Mr. Fixer installed our new insulation and we demo’d our old ceiling.  Originally we thought it would save us money to keep the old ceiling intact and just skim over it with mud, but our drywall guy recommended we actually put new drywall over it.  Since that obviously wouldn’t save us any money, we figured we might as well tear it out!  It caused a bit of a delay, but at least we enjoyed great company while we were at it! 🙂

Enjoy these picture updates!  By the time the drywall is all finished, we just might know what color to paint the nursery! 🙂


Mrs. Fab

Mr. Fixer framing out ceiling

Mr. Fixer is framing out the second part of our vaulted ceiling in the addition. We did this for two reasons — we weren’t a huge fan of the cedar paneling everywhere, plus we wanted to put some insulation up there to conserve energy.


Ceiling insulation - partial


Ceiling insulation - complete


Wall insulation

Insulation around the house is complete! Plus we passed our inspection (of course!).

Collage - ceiling demo

Last weekend we had friends over to help with our ceiling demo. Guess what Mrs. Fab did all afternoon? 🙂

Mr. Fixer with drywall

Look at that big smile on Mr. Fixer’s face?! We loaded up our 16′ trail with 6000 pounds of drywall and off we went (slowly)!

Scripture above doorway

A project I have been wanting to do for some time (before drywall!) — write scripture on the walls that pertained to each room/area of the house.

Ryan with first piece of drywall

On Saturday we prepped for drywall installation (papering the floors, etc.) and managed to get the first row of sheetrock in before calling it a day. Thanks for your help Ryan!



Dad helping with drywall

My dad also drove down from Seattle to help Mr. Fixer! Couldn’t have done it without ya, Dad! 🙂




Mr. Fixer installing drywall

Mr. Fixer finishing up the back bedroom.

Completed ceiling - drywall

And here we are! Except the bathroom and a couple of closets, we finished installing all of the new ceiling in the main part of the house.

Odds & Ends with Friends

Hello, friends!  Happy Wednesday!  I am still playing catch-up with my photos, so these are from two weekends ago.  This last weekend was Mr. Fixer’s birthday, plus it poured outside, so we didn’t do a lot at the house.  Birthday breakfastBut we sure did have a nice day celebrating Mr. Fixer and eating lots of yummy food!

Have I mentioned how wonderful our friends are?  Truly, I cannot keep saying it enough — we have the best of friends!  Whether they are helping us at the house or doing something entirely different, we simply have incredible friendships that I am so grateful for.  Okay, I’ll stop gushing… 🙂

Enjoy this quick update!  I hope everyone is having a great week and getting an opportunity to enjoy the sun that’s been peaking out the last couple of days.  I hear that it is supposed to be 60 degrees on Monday! (Can anyone say beach trip?!)


Mrs. Fab

Attic view of new beams

This is an attic view of the two big beams we put in.


Nick & Limin removing electrical

This fantastic duo is helping to remove old knob and tube wiring.


Samantha removing window

This lovely lady can do anything, whether it is helping to remove electrical or knocking out old windows!

Guillaume removing window

Guillaume should be a pro window guy by now! 🙂


Nick & Limin removing nails

Our deck has to be removed so we can replace a bad sewer line. Great…

Deck screws

Helpful hint: leave your screws in until you are finished so you know where you’ve been!


Mr. Fixer holding rotten pipe

And this would explain why EVERY fixture in the house has a leak.

Guillaume & Nick holding header

Loading up!


The Building Permit Process

Happy December, friends!  Thanksgiving is now behind us (though I am still eating leftovers!), and the Advent season is upon us!  This is a time for anticipation and preparation, something Mr. Fixer and I have certainly been learning a lot about in the last several months!  I think we all have moments in our lives where we can relate to this, whether you are getting engaged or married, buying a first home (shoot me now!), waiting for a precious baby to arrive, praying for resolution in difficult situations, or simply standing in line for your favorite Black Friday sale (shoot me twice!).

For Mr. Fixer and I, we are currently experiencing the anticipation and preparation of our building permit being approved.  As I mentioned on the page Our Design Plan, permits are crucial for remodel projects because they ensure that a third, objective party (the building inspector) has reviewed your plans for safety and feasibility.  Sure, they cost time and money, and you may think you don’t need one, but friends — just bite the bullet, do your due diligence, and get the permit.  Your peace of mind will thank you!

Our peace of mind (and house progress!), however, is currently on hold as we wait to hear back from our plans examiner.  This is round two of submitting documents, so I am hoping that what we’ve provided will now be sufficient to get things finalized.  We are replacing and slightly altering a couple beam/header locations, so we need to show what the current structure of our house consists of (load paths, structural member sizing, etc.) and what it will consist of after the changes.  The changes are very slight, so the process is slightly annoying, but it is good practice nevertheless.

Here are some examples of the construction documents that I have been creating for the permit submission:

Site Plan

Our site plan. This is usually a more crucial document when you are doing an addition, as there are codes in place to protect you from entering into lot setbacks (a fire concern) or overbuilding your lot (creating too much impervious surface, which affects drainage).

As Built Roof

A snapshot of our roof plan. This details the location of hips, valleys, and ridges, in addition to identifying structural members likes joists and beams.

As Built Ceiling

A snapshot of our ceiling plan. Like the roof plan, this details the structural members that carry the roof load down to the ceiling.

As Built Foundation

A snapshot of our foundation plan. Since our house is only one story, this is the last piece of structural information. It shows the final load destinations that are carried through the roof, ceiling, and floor.

In the meantime, Mr. Fixer has been working at ungodly hours (ask him what time he woke up to work on the house this morning!) to finish odds and ends around the house — clearing out the insulation in the attic, de-nailing flooring, and tearing down what we’ve affectionately termed the “kill shed” (a sad and decrepit little playhouse in the backyard).


Creepy, right?!

And that’s it, friends!  Think happy permit thoughts for us this week!  Once that gets underway, the fun stuff begins!  🙂


Mrs. Fab



Thanksgiving Eve Update

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, friends!  I don’t know about you, but I have tons of food to begin prepping, so this is going to be short and sweet!  We have a 22 pound gobbler and 12 people eating, which means lots o’ slicin’ and dicin’ in my future!  I’m really looking forward to it though, so no complaining here!

Since the flooring demo finally finished up last week, Mr. Fixer and I have moved on to general clean up in preparation for replacing all the old electrical wiring in the house.  For Mrs. Fab, this means lots of vacuuming; and for Mr. Fixer, balancing between ceiling joists while he removes the old blown-in insulation in the attic (this will make it easier to run new wiring).  In between, there has only been a teensy bit of whining from yours truly — “Honey, are we DONE yet??”  Yes, I admit, it does happen from time to time!  But I digress…

Enjoy this wonderful holiday before us!  I hope everyone takes a few moments to reflect on and give thanks for all the gifts, blessings, and privileges that we are able to enjoy!

With Thanksgiving hugs,

Mrs. Fab

Leaky toilet

We bid adieu to the last remaining toilet (yes, it was leaking too!). Now my body likes to play tricks on me every time I go to the house — I walk in the door and immediately have to pee!!!

Nick de-nailing

Our friend Nick has been our most faithful helper through this huge project of ours. Many, many thanks Nick!


Our most generous house-mate, Gaurav, came to check the place out and give us a hand. We think he finally wants us to get out of his place ASAP! 😉

Another leak

Oh look — another leak! This is where the 1980’s addition is meeting the original portion of the house.

Mr. Fixer removing insulation

Mr. Fixer begins the process of bagging up insulation. Good thing our house is pretty small!

Bags of insulation in attic

These three bags of insulation are only the beginning! [The hole in the floor to the right is from the chimney we removed.]

Wrapping up Demo… Again

A couple weeks ago when I wrote Wrapping Up Demo, I thought Mr. Fixer and I were finally on the cusp of the rebuilding phase for our bare-bones house.  Goodness, was I wrong.  But now I can say that we truly are!  The flooring has been completely removed, and we are ready to begin replacing electrical and plumbing.  Yippee — one step closer in the process of fixer to fab! 🙂

Addition subfloor

Starbucks gift card to the first person who can tell me IN A COMMENT what is missing from this picture (other than the floor – duh!).

So what was the holdup, you might wonder?  Well, the [probably well-meaning] geniuses who put the beautiful yellow linoleum in the living room not only glued it on top of the hardwood, but they first glued down a layer of tar paper.  In addition, the way the hardwood was originally nailed down made it extremely difficult to pry up.  Mr. Fixer used his circular saw to cut the flooring into smaller pieces, which then made it easier to pull up, but also a bit more time-consuming.  We then had to painstakingly pull off both the layer of linoleum and the layer of tar paper from each individual piece of wood!  [Well, we didn’t have to, but we wanted to salvage what we could and reduce our waste at the dump.]  Talk about tedious work!  Combine this with an absent Mrs. Fab (yay for beach vacations!) and the cold-to-the-bones weather, and you’ve got a bit of a delay.  That is the way the construction game goes, though–it always takes longer than you think!

Hope everyone has been staying warm these last several days!  If you have it in your heart to donate some food or clothing to the Oregon Food Bank, there are lots of folks who could use the love!  Visit http://www.oregonfoodbank.org/ for more info!


Mrs. Fab

Mr. Fixer pulling up linoleum

As difficult as it was to remove, I sure am glad to see that linoleum go!

Removing tar paper

Mrs. Fab’s job was to remove the tar paper from each piece of wood and separate the pieces into a good pile and a bad pile. Super fun!

Hardwood flooring origin

One of my favorite things about this project so far — finding remnants of history beneath the rubble.

Mr. Fixer with large demo bar

Mr. Fixer bought a fancy pry bar to help with the rest of the flooring demo. It sure made quick work of it!

Mr. Fixer preparing to pull up floor

Ready to tackle the parquet flooring in the addition.

Parquet removal

Goodness, if only the rest of the flooring had been this easy to pull out! Mr. Fixer was awfully proud of himself! 😉




Bags of trash

Loads of garbage — tar paper and linoleum mostly. This doesn’t even include all the junk already in the truck!





Wrapping up Demo

Oh my goodness, friends — can you believe that it’s November already?!  Personally, I am absolutely amazed at how time flies.  Mr. Fixer and I have now been homeowners for a whole month; and lo and behold, that first mortgage payment is due in about a week.  Yikes!  It doesn’t seem right that we have to pay a mortgage for a home we’re not even living in yet, does it? Hmmm, donations… anyone?

I am finally seeing a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel, though.  Heading into Saturday with a bit of a sugar hangover from Halloween revelry, Mr. Fixer and I began to tackle the final bit of demo — flooring!  Our friend Pat, who happens to be a general contractor (yay for experienced help!), helped us get that started, along with removing the last bit of drywall from the laundry room.  I was basically useless with the floor demo, I must say.  Busting out each individual plank is tough work!  Mr. Fixer told me I needed to work on my upper body strength and then sent me along to another project! 😉

Our other dear friend, Mike, came by for shift number two, and by the end of the afternoon, two bedrooms were finished!  The remainder of the floor demo will consist of a large expanse of hardwood (with linoleum glued on top) in the living room.  Good thing Mr. Fixer is so strong!


Mr. Fixer and Pat making quick work of this floor demo!


I know this would make a killer bonfire, but we’re hoping to salvage some of it. Mr. Fixer thinks that he can try to refinish most pieces, so I will be thinking of some fun ways we can re-purpose it!


An easier job for Mrs. Fab — removing the cedar trim around the ceiling of the addition. We hope to reuse some of this, as it is really tongue and groove bead board flipped upside down!


Mike is letting us borrow his shop vac. He’s an amazing worker and cleaner-upper!


Speaking of cleaning up, I would say half our time is spent simply loading the truck for runs to the dump/salvage yard.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their week (and month)!  I have a feeling it is going to zoom by, so enjoy the gift of these days ahead!


Mrs. Fab

You and Me, Babe

How ’bout that storm this weekend, eh?  Goodness, when you are inside a house that is essentially nothing more than sticks of wood… Let’s just say there were definitely a few times I thought we’d step out and not be in Kansas anymore!

Aside from the blustery wind IMG_20141025_141855747_HDRand rain, though, Mr. Fixer and I had a nice, quiet weekend with just the two of us.  Though work naturally goes a little slower at this rate, it gave us an opportunity for some one-on-one time to enjoy this enormous bucket-list project of ours; and let me tell you, I am amazed and so proud of what we’ve accomplished so far!  Okay, so I say “we” pretty loosely–it is really Mr. Fixer that has done about 90% of the work.  He is quite the handy guy, and I feel lucky to be alongside him in this crazy adventure! <3


Mr. Fixer demo’d this entire bathroom by himself. He cut the shower/tub out with a sawzall!

photo 5

The aforementioned bathroom. I think every plumbing fixture in this house has had a leak!

Mr. Fixer pulling down drywall.

Mr. Fixer pulling down drywall from the bathroom in the 80’s addition.


This was my job — load up the truck for a dump run!

All done.  We left a toilet, just in case! ;-)

All done. We left a toilet, just in case!  😉


This bathroom will be a bedroom when we are all done.  There will be a new bathroom beyond the wall on the right.

Friends, if there is one thing I can encourage you to do with your spouse/significant other–pick a project and tackle it together.  It is such a fulfilling experience to work side-by-side on a common goal, using and appreciating each person’s individual skill set to get it done.  (Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be the total renovation of a house!)  And if you already have an experience like this, I’d love to hear about it!

Off to the permit office,

Mrs. Fab

Demo with Friends

Not only has the rainy season begun, but so has the dreaded cold season.  I woke up this morning with my throat screaming at me and just daring for me to swallow.  Ouch!  But hopefully it is nothing a little TLC and a hot toddy (er, I mean, tea) won’t fix!  😉


These ladies rocked!

As expected, we had another great weekend with lots of progress.  And we had quite the crew to help us!  God has definitely gifted us with an amazing group of friends that don’t mind getting their hands dirty on our behalf; and for that, we are forever thankful!


Deanie and Samantha helped Mrs. Fab remove some U.G.L.Y. curtains.


Samantha’s other half, Guillaume, got a work out digging into some drywall.


Guess which goofy guy from last weekend this lovely lady belongs to? 😉


Tiffany was a pro at removing pesky nails from oak trim we hope to sell or donate.


Ty’s got some big guns! Come back any time, Ty! 🙂


That’s right, Mr. Fixer helped too!


These ladies were a great cleanup crew and awesome de-nailers!  Mike, who is hiding behind them, was a little camera shy! 😉

Our main project was getting the walls prepped for new windows, new electrical, and insulation. The ladies spent lots of time removing trim and de-nailing, and the guys got busy with the sledge hammer!  We got loads done and really enjoyed spending time with everyone.  What could be better?


Limin was excited to take the first swing at this wall!


And it’s a home run by her hubby, Nick!


Taking a break.


Our 1950’s house was never insulated, and it has old knob & tube wiring. The windows are all single-paned originals… brr!


Future master.


The wall on the left (where you can see the shower/tub peeking out) will have a new entrance for a master bath.


This little nook will become a new closet, and the existing closet will join with the other bedroom’s closet

As you can see, dust was flying all day!  Our windows arrive on Thursday, so that will be the next big project–and as I hinted at previously, I will soon be writing up a little tutorial on how to correctly pick out and order new windows.  Also stay tuned for some minor design revisions that I’ve been working on this last week!

Be well, wash your hands, and stay healthy! 🙂

Mrs. Fab




Cabinets, Walls, and Rat Poop (oh my!)

The rain has finally arrived, friends!  Time for jackets, boots, umbrellas, and dirty doggie feet. And pumpkin, of course!  As a matter of fact, pumpkin is all I can think about right now.  The drizzle outside and chill in the air just makes me want to bake, bake, bake.  Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.

Our fixer project has definitely been making some major progress in the past week.  Not that I’ve had anything to do with it!  One of my dearest friends flew in from Montana on Thursday for a visit, so we ate, shopped, and ate some more until Sunday morning when she finally had to head back home.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach

In the meantime, though, Mr. Fixer was busy pulling up carpet, removing cabinetry, and smashing down walls.  Luckily, we were able to recruit some fantastic helpers to help him tear things down while I played, so a lot was accomplished!

After the chimney came down last weekend, removing the carpet was next on the to-do list.  Mr. Fixer shampooed it first, then carefully pulled it up (after letting it dry, of course!) so we can reuse it in the new back bedroom.  We intend to rent this back portion of the house (see design here), so reusing this carpet is not only a sustainable option, but we also won’t care if the renter trashes it eventually.

A before shot.  Notice the dark stains and obvious traffic patterns.

A before shot. Notice the dark stains and obvious traffic patterns.

Post shampoo.  Nice job, Mr. Fixer!

Post shampoo. Nice job, Mr. Fixer!

Nice linoleum, eh?  Too bad they ruined the lovely wood floors beneath it when it was glued down! :-(

Nice linoleum, eh? Too bad they ruined the lovely wood floors beneath it when it was glued down over the top! 🙁

After the carpet came out, Mr. Fixer started removing all the base and wall cabinetry from the kitchen, laundry room, and back bathroom.  My mom and I started this process last weekend in between hauling loads of chimney brick by removing all the drawers and doors.  Again, we are going to try to reuse this cabinetry if possible, so we tried to use great care in the removal process.  We also inconspicuously labeled all the drawers and doors so we would know which cabinets they fit back into when reassembled.  A big shout out and thank you to our muscle man Ryan, who helped Mr. Fixer keep everything in one piece!

Power tools aren't only for boys!  Thanks, Mom!

Power tools aren’t only for boys. Thanks, Mom!

No doors

Labeling the drawers and doors helps you fill those empty slots again in the future.

Neatly stacked so they can be reused in the future (Mrs. Fab is secretly hoping for new ones, though :-))

Neatly stacked so they can be reused down the road (Mrs. Fab is secretly hoping for new ones, though… wink, wink).


Post removal.  G.R.O.S.S.

Bet you were wondering when the rat poop would show up, huh?

Bet you were wondering when the rat poop would show up, huh?



Note to self: do not nail your cabinetry into a plumbing pipe. Luckily, it only leaked 25 years later when the cabinet came down!


Laundry room



Once the cabinets were removed and stowed away, the real fun began!  Again, Mr. Fixer had some great help by our exuberant friend, Luke.  Luke was not only super excited to knock things down manly-man style, but he is also in the process of buying his own first home, so he was looking forward to getting some hands-on experience for his own future projects.


A before shot. Remember that the kitchen is on the other side of this wall.

Frame-worthy pic.

Luke, you’re so frame-worthy!


Tip: be conscious of any electrical wires and plumbing in the wall before you get too demo-happy.


Bye-bye ugly kitchen!


Post clean-up. Remember my tip on bearing walls? The large header over the archway indicates that this wall is carrying a structural load (i.e. the roof). Because this wall is eventually being removed, we will have to keep a beam in its place.

Well, friends–to be continued, as always!  Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to measure and order replacement windows; but in the meantime, enjoy this cozy day!  I am going to go make some muffins.  Pumpkin, of course.


Mrs. Fab