Category: Contractors

The Wall is Down!

Since the load bearing wall removal is finally complete and now we’re just working on the furnishing and room design, I figured I’d do a post summarizing all of the posts and work we’ve done over the past few months. Plus, I like being organized and having things in one place, much to the annoyance of my husband, but who still reaps the benefits of this trait anyway.

We started with this mess of a never used room:

And are now here, to a beautiful, open, family room:

It’s definitely been one big labor of love!  The scouting and planning work went on for about 6 months (we had big decisions to make while taking care of a baby!) and then the actual work started in late April 2017, and became livable in July 2017.  The long timeline to this was mainly due to the fact that we are DIYers and did large portions of this project ourselves, while both having full time jobs, and a crazy toddler running around the house.  So while the length of time sounds crazy, it was what we could manage while also keeping our sanity.  I would go into budget details, but figured I won’t advertise to the world how much money we’ve spent these last few months.  If you’re really curious, whether because you’re a nosy person like me when it comes to these things, or just would like to plan your own project, send me a message and we can chat!

So below are all of the posts that we’ve done summarizing the work we have done to plan, design, select contractors, and execute our project.

1. The beginning!  Thoughts and planning:

This Old House

2. The work begins! HVAC design and selection:

This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC Selection

3.  Choosing an HVAC Contractor and the installation:

This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC Installation

4. Planning and designing the load bearing beam:

This Wall is Coming Down! – Engineers, Contractors, & Beams. Oh My!

5.  Demo of the old wall and installation of the new beam!

This Wall is Coming Down! – Demo & Installation

6. Some more details about HVAC, electrical, and drywall as the project went on.

This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC, Electrical, & Drywall

7. DIY jobs like molding, recessed lighting, and painting.

This Wall is Coming Down! – Recessed Lighting, Molding, & Paint

8. Flooring – the final touch!

This Wall is Coming Down! – Flooring

9. The REVEAL!

This Wall is Coming Down! – The REVEAL

10. Planning out the design ideas (my favorite part!)

Family Room Design Ideas

So that’s it!  All about the our load bearing wall removal project!  It was quite a journey, but we’re happy to have it behind us.  I’ll be concentrating on furnishing and decorating it over the next few months, and maybe we’ll eventually get to those built ins too!  But for now, we’re enjoying our open family room, and can’t wait to have family and friends over to enjoy it!

If you have a friends or family planning on doing a project like this, feel free to send them this post as a resource!! We hope it helps out others so they may not have to go through all of the headaches we did!

This Wall is Coming Down! – The REVEAL

Well, after about 3 months, we have a habitable room again… sans furniture!  Many months of planning and preparation allowed us to get here, and David and I trucking through the final touches after the contractors were finished have finally given us the big, beautiful room that we had always hoped and planned for when we bought this house.

Wanna see?

Here’s a reminder of what we were looking at before. From standing in the kitchen  we used to see this:

And now, we see this:

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This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC, Electrical, & Drywall

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Thank you to all of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have today <3  I read something in the news last week about the National Moment of Remembrance that I probably should have know about before, but I hope everyone took a moment to think about the importance of this holiday.

What. A. Project.  The end is near, you guys!  Yet, not near enough.  Sorry for being so silent these past few weeks.  We’ve been posting over on our IG about some progress here and there, but life has just gotten in the way.  Surviving through the days lately has been our motto.

The good news!  The contractors are all done! (Well almost… apparently there is a rule that you must have a smoke detector in every bedroom before we’re allowed to close out our building permit, but eh, minor details.)  And now the rest is left up to us to finish.  So here, we’ll just detail out some of the rest of the things the contractors had to take care of before they handed it over to us.

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This Wall is Coming Down! – Demo & Installation

We recently covered the HVAC selection and install, and also the design of the beam. Now it’s time to get to the good stuff… demo & installation!

We were so excited for this day. DEMO DAY!  When we were planning this project back before Connor was born, we had originally planned to do all of this ourselves.  Taking a sledgehammer to some perfectly clean drywall?  Does it get any better than that?

Side note…Does anyone else like Brooklyn 99?  It’s one of our guilty pleasures. Demo is probably the most fun part of any project (with the exception of sitting down once you’re done and enjoying the finished product), so why would we pay someone to do it?

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This Wall Is Coming Down! – Engineers, Contractors and Beams. Oh My!

The HVAC Portion of getting this wall down was a large part of the project, but there was still a lot more planning that needed to go into it. It became obvious to us pretty quickly when getting quotes for the structural work that choosing a contractor was going to be hard. The quotes were all over the place, with the main difference being the size of the beam. We received quotes for everything from a 11 3/4″ x 5 1/4″ beam to a 18″ x 7″ beam to span our 21′ distance. So how do we know if a beam is big enough to support the weight or if one is overkill? How were the contractors coming up with the beam size? How can we choose a contractor when we don’t have a standard beam size?

To get the beam size, the contractors were going to suppliers and providing measurements and answering questions. The supplier would then tell them the size of the beam necessary. The main things that are important to calculate the load on the beam are the:

  • length of the beam
  • height and length of the floor joists the beam will support
  • number of floors above the beam
  • the type of attic (truss or stick framing)
  • many other factors

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