This is the story of a 1930s house in an adorable little craftsman and tudor neighborhood who, unfortunately, had some not so nice owners once upon a time. So, we decided to rip everything out of the second story.
What, did I skip a step in there? Please allow me to explain.
Here’s the thing, friends. If you are going to be a do-it-yourselfer, especially on an older home, please, please for the love of all that is structurally sound, please do things the right way. I’m not saying you need to do things top of the line, do what fits your home’s price point, but when you undertake a project, follow standard procedure. Don’t cut corners. Don’t break city electrical codes. Don’t use the wrong materials.
It’s so not worth it (not to mention illegal).
This is was the second story of our house. Just an unsuspecting, plain, 2 bedroom 1/2 bath ho-hum area, no?
Except, look closer. Do you see the gaps around every.single. joint? The strategically placed “crown molding” trim that’s supposed to distract from the fact that the ceiling is made out of foam and not sheetrock? And *knock knock*… you hear that? The sound of thick cardboard-like, paper-based material used for the walls?
Being up there made me fear that if I huffed and I puffed (or sneezed too hard) I could have blown the walls down.
I mean, sloppy work is one thing, cheap carpet is one thing, dated wood finishes is one thing, but cardboard walls? O for shame, previous homeowners. O for shame.
They did throw in some nice perks amidst the gaping holes and inappropriate material choices, though. For example, they somehow rounded up every single oak modular bookshelf I ever used in the dorms at college and screwed them, side-by-side, securely to the wall. The real estate listing when we bought this house called this “built in bookshelves”.
And now I’m just being sassy, but, are you serious with the leaf fossil tiles all over the bathroom?
Like I said, outdated is outdated and it is the nature of the beast that is house renovations, so I’m not pointing any fingers over choices of finishes (hello, chrome faucet with plastic tear-drop handle). No, it’s the upside-down electrical outlet (which is in a different color than the light switch which is yet another different color than the light switch’s face plate ::facepalm::), the use of regular tiles as a back-splash (rough edges exposed around all borders), O, and more gaps (right side of the “vanity”).
Ok, I suppose I should be nice. The screw-it-up do-it-yourselfing people who finished the upstairs (and I use the term ‘finished’ loosely) did do a couple of things nicely, like actual built-in shelves.
And a nicely organized closet in one of the bedrooms.
2 points to them for that.
But here’s the thing. The walls, the electrical, the carpeting, the tiles, the (poorly installed, vinyl, when the rest of our old home has wood) windows, the ceiling, and heck even the insulation needed to go. We could have, then, ripped off the cardboard and foam “walls”, re-wired, re-insulated, replaced windows, and then replaced the walls with sheetrock, but then we thought:
“If we’re going through all that trouble anyway, why don’t we just move the walls to make more efficient use of all the space up there?”
I mean, if we’re going to gut it, why not really gut it? (Wait, where have I heard that before?)
And so we did.
(To be continued…)