Three weeks today and we’re seeing progress inch by inch. Actually, I think it's getting worse, but that's just part of the process.
Michael spent a lot of time last week pulling up the remainder of the carpet and it was amazing the difference it made with the smell in the house. Then, one day during work he texted me this picture.
It took me a solid 5 minutes to figure out what in the world it was, but then I realized – the wall between the “formal sitting room” and the “living room” is gone! Admittedly, I am obsessed with Fixer Upper (because, let’s be real, who’s not?) so in true Joanna fashion, the first thing I said when we went to the house was, “These walls have got to go.” Michael took some convincing, but he (like Chip) loves a good demo day so it really wasn’t that hard. We are super happy with the result and actually being able to SEE the French doors and natural light when you walk in the front door makes all the difference in the world.
In the process, we also found more friends who had been inhabiting the house apart from spiders, mice and squirrels. Termites. A fair bit of termites. Who joined us through the fireplace and some of those pesky rotten windows and have really done a nice job eating their way through our house. FORTUNATELY, it’s brick so they could only get so far. We talked to a pest-control expert and he says it’s really not that bad and a pretty easy fix. Well good, but it’s still one more unexpected surprise. He’s going to get rid of the termites and we'll get a bond so hopefully we won’t run into anything down the road...I mean, I’m all about nature, but let’s keep it outside y'all.
One of the parts of the original house we were really hoping to keep were the hardwood floors in the foyer. But, as luck would have it, the threshold has been missing from the front door for Lord knows how long and we discovered significant water damage in the foyer. See ya later only original hardwood. You know it's getting good when there's caution tape inside your front door like a crime scene.
We got some good news about the ceilings! The popcorn came off really easily so there's no more talk of replacing all the ceilings - just the parts that have suffered any water damage. We also met with the builders to talk about adding recessed lighting downstairs and have decided to go ahead with that. Good lighting is something that's important to us and also something that would be difficult and messy to go back and add later on.
We've also decided to go with wood replacement windows just on those that are beyond repair. I'm really happy with that decision. I think the final product will maintain the integrity of the house and look great, even if the windows aren't brand new.
Over the next few days Michael kept ripping down walls and tearing out cabinets – we want to shorten the wall between the dining room and kitchen as much as possible and we’re totally gutting the kitchen and master bath, because, um, did you see the before pictures?
One night I arrived to find Michael drenched in sweat, karate kicking those walls like it was his job. He literally said, “I’d pay admission to do this.” He is such a keeper.
That keeper left for a mission trip to Mexico last Friday, so y'all keep him in your prayers. While he's gone I'm going to try to keep it between the lines. We'll see!!
About the author:
Andrea is an Alabama girl with a love for travel, tea and books. She is mommy to daughters, Alice and Eleanor, and wife to Michael. Together they are tackling a fixer-upper to make it their home for years to come.