Renovations! In Order to Build, You Must Destroy; Phase 1 of Expansion

When you live in a little house you are forced to make some crucial decisions that otherwise you may never have considered. You might really like having the desk or the couch there, but if it doesn’t make maximum use of minimal space…well too bad. While not the smallest, our home is still under 900 square feet and is an open-concept style home. With two humans, two dogs, two cats, and two parakeets space is sometimes in short supply. As such we have found ourselves in such a position more than a few times in our first year of living here. In order to have couches in our living room we were forced to downsize, giving away my favorite chair. And if we wanted to be able to stand in our bedroom wifey’s dresser had to move to the laundry room.

With everything else that comes in the first year of new-homeownership, we overlooked these minor aches and pains and kept plugging away until a time came when we could do something about it. However with Indiana Winter now taking a bit of a break (unless I am speaking too soon) we decided this past weekend that the time had officially come to begin the renovations we have so dreamed of.

And it all starts here;  with the master bedroom of course! We figured what better way to get this blog started than to really enjoy and share the process of renovation. (Pardon the weirdly-angled pictures!)

Before we began the tear-down, the bedroom(left-room) was 11’X11′ and was adjacent to a smaller 5.5’X9′ room(right) the previous owner used as a nursery.  An additional 5.5’X2′ or so was taken up by the doors of both rooms. As you can see in the pictures the angles were not exactly the easiest to live with. The bedroom door didn’t open past 70 degrees or so, and one vent in the tiny ‘nursery’ made the room unbearably hot anytime the furnace kicked on.

The initial tear down was the easy part, though not without a few surprises! Turns out the entire ceiling in the nursery had been held up only by a bit of trim, and a few boards in the bedroom ceiling were held up the same way(I found out the hard way when trying to take the trim down!)

Once the ceiling boards were down we began unscrewing the drywall from the wall separating the two rooms. We removed as much as possible the right way so we could reuse it but eventually we stopped hunting for endless screws and just smashed our way through the last two sheets.

 

Next came the frame of the wall itself. Being a non-load bearing wall we knew we’d be able to remove it without too much issue, however the angled bit was a bit more difficult than we originally expected. Eventually though we found all of the nails and screws holding it together and managed to rip it out. Then with a few taps to the top and bottom of the long-wall we were able to easily remove it for later use.

The entire point of this project was to increase our living space and make a tiny home feel markedly less tiny. Our new layout is set to do just that, expanding the bedroom by the entirety of the old ‘nursery’, plus taking advantage of the negative space that was being taken up by the doors and walls. We had to trim away a bit of the living room ceiling in order to reuse our old wall-frame, as well as cutting the old frame down to fit a bit more snugly. Once the trimming was done it was time to tap and secure the frame into place, install the noise-cancelling material we salvaged from the old wall, and put up drywall!

With the wall up and drywall in place we moved into the room itself to begin making it more than four walls. After cleaning up a bit we moved everything out of the soon-to-be bedroom and began surveying the situation. The old ceiling drywall was ruined in several places so we began by removing the boards below it and the ceiling itself.

This turned out to be a treat. The previous owner had used beautiful lumber for a ceiling so while taking down was a chore, we were thrilled to find such wonderful leftovers for future projects. The drywall came down without too much issue, other than a few surprises smashing through on top of our heads as we worked. When it was all said and done though the tear-down phase was complete!

Now the REAL fun begins! We’ll make sure to post more when we are done with the build, for now here’s a ‘sneak peak’. Thanks for reading!

J&D.

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