Demolition men

First – can I just say that I’m totally annoyed that lately, the weekdays have been warm, but comfortable…but the weekends are blazing, face-meltingly humid.

And I’m annoyed because weekends are the only time we have right now to do stuff like this…

Okay…. admittedly Dad did 90% of the work, while I was inside the air conditioned house cleaning windows. (Again… nicotine city!!!) But for the 10% of the time that I was outside, helping him clean up… it was like being in the seventh circle of Dantes inferno.

And okay… maybe not quite that bad… but it didn’t take long for me to be soaked to the bone in sweat. It did start to rain as we were finishing up, which was somewhat refreshing (though it was still incredibly humid).

And yes… that is the greehouse dismantled. There’s just a little bit of framing still attached to the house, but Dad wanted to wait until he was a little more fresh to take down that piece. He doesn’t want to get impatient and damage the siding more than necessary.

With the removal of the greenhouse, there’s a nice little concrete pad that may be come a temporary patio space. Temporary because that sliding glass door opens into the space that will be Dave’s teaching studio. Right now he’s teaching by video (and will continue to do so) but as we get settled, and the threat of COVID decreases, he’s hoping to open it up to in-person students as well. That door will be their entrance, so they don’t have to truck through the rest of the house for lessons.

Eventually we will build a gate into the fence on that side of the house, and build a small waiting area on that concrete pad. But that’s a long way down the road.

I mentioned last week that his studio is one of our priority rooms for the remodel. The real estate listing didn’t have a picture of this room, but I did take a panorama on my phone not long after closing

It’s not a great photo (the walls aren’t really curved), but you can see why it wasn’t promoted in the listing. Not only is the paneling absolutely hideous… there was a fair bit of water damage. That meant gutting it.

So while Dad was working on the greenhouse, and I was cleaning nicotine coated windows, Dave was on his own demolition mission.

We managed to get a deal on some flooring on Kijiji, and we have a drywall delivery Monday (we are also both off work that week), so hopefully we can put our noses to the grindstone and get it back in order soon. Dave has said I can pick the paint colour, which I’m very excited (and surprised) about!

That was Saturday.

Sunday Dave and I spent most of the morning arranging for the drywall delivery, and tracking down some other things we needed. (COVID shortages made it a bit like an Easter Egg hunt). It was after noon when we finally got to the house. Dave disappeared upstairs to install a couple a/c units (we only had them on main floor up until now), and I decided to tackle one of the stubborn wallpaper walls in the livingroom.

Given the amount of wallpaper in the house, we had planned to buy a wall paper steamer. But Dave’s family insisted that they had one and we shouldn’t waste our money.

Sunday, I finally got a good look at it. It was half the size of the one we were going to buy, and at least 30 years old (and looked “well-used”). I was dubious. Still it’s all we had, so I gave it a whirl.

This is how the wall looked when I started. (The peeled area is the ONLY part of the wall that was coming off easy by hand)

This is how it looked almost an hour later.

I discovered several things

  1. I was right to be doubtful of the borrowed steamer. I don’t think it was steaming as well as it should have been (I think the steam holes are clogged.) But the steam area is way too small for decent progress anyway, as is the water reservoir. I spent way too much time refilling it. I’m heading out to Home Depot this week to get the one I wanted all along.
  2. Steaming/stripping wallpaper really is a two person job… one person to steam, and a second person to come behind them with the scraper. Mom is off next week as well, so I’ve enlisted her to help. With luck, we can get it off efficiently
  3. There is a special place in hell for people who wallpaper over wallpaper. I was definitely not happy to find that restful tropical island paper under the striped stuff. So far, this is the only wall we’ve found with multiple layers, and I hope it stays that way.

And while I was not very successful with my stripping adventure, after Dave finished his a/c install he came downstairs and tackled the paneling on the adjacent wall in the livingroom.

Yes… the livingroom had THREE different walls…. one with a flocked wallpaper that came off easily by hand (the wall with the window), a paneled wall, and the wall with the striped paper.

This weekend we’ll get up that red carpet, and as soon as Mom and I get that wallpaper off, it will be ready to be put back together, right after the studio.

Now before I leave, back when I first showed pictures of the house, our good blogger pal Dee was a little upset by a pennant hanging in one of the bedrooms (I believe it was the Buffalo Sabres).

Well Dee… the old owners left us a couple wind chimes hanging by the side entrance. I didn’t pay much attention to them, until this weekend. And that’s when I noticed…

I hope this makes up for the previous offense!

8 thoughts on “Demolition men

  1. Araignee

    After reading this I feel bad about complaining about our kitchen remodel. What a crazy amount of work you are doing. It is all looking great though. The progress from just your weekends is amazing.


  2. WOW! You two have sure taken on a HUGE project…but you are young and energetic and have helpful parents!! It is amazing what some people do to a house, isn’t it? You two are going to have a super place when you are finished.


  3. Oh my! I’m exhausted just seeing the amount of work that you’ve done and still have to do. Our move wasn’t nearly so exhausting, although the yard work in the heat and humidity are like being in hell’s basement. Thank you for sharing the progress with us. Your blog will be a great place for you to look back on someday when the house is all finished.
    Dee is going to be thrilled. 🙂


  4. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……that’s WORSE. PENGUINS! Our arch cross-state enemy!!!!!!! LOL

    I am absolutely AMAZED how much work you got done. I should have had you come down here when we moved into this place. You would have had it whipped into shape in NO TIME!


  5. Once you have the drywall up and painted, Dave’s studio will be much lighter. Steaming wallpaper off takes patience and is a messy task, but two people working together will be more effective. I’m glad your parents are helping.


  6. Shirley Elliott

    Wow! Your weekends have been very productive! I know you probably see what needs to be done versus what has been done. My last move was in August and I don’t like hot weather. I hope you will have more pleasant temperatures for your outside projects. From what I remember about removing wallpaper, a tool that punctures the wallpaper is used before the steaming. They you waited a few minutes and, if lucky, the paper would come off without too much effort. Good luck! Thank you for sharing the progress. It is going to be a wonderful home for you guys.


  7. I’m proud of you! It is hard work to do these kind of jobs but it is also very rewarding! You’ve got this! The new steamer will make a world of difference so you can remove that old paper! I’m glad your mom can help cuz it is a two person job!


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