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! – 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! – HVAC Installation

Did you check out our previous post about how we got started on this wall removal and the HVAC issues we ran into?  If not, you can check out that post here.

After months of scoping out HVAC contractors, and working out the details on the job, we narrowed it down to two contractors.  We finally had two quotes and had to decide between the two.  Here was the situation:

Contractor 1 – Lower price.  Skeezy, not so knowledgeable salesman. National franchise. Daikin HVAC system.  12 year parts and labor warranty. Pneumatic Arzel dampers. Could do the job soon.

Contractor 2 – Higher price.  Very knowledgeable and friendly salesman. Small company. Trane HVAC system.  10 years parts and labor warranty. Electric Honeywell dampers. Could do the job soon.

See the issues?  Decisions, decisions.  As engineers, we care deeply about getting the technical details down before we make a decision, and if your company doesn’t have a knowledgeable salesperson employed, than we’re either not going to go with you, or we’re going to ask you to bring in the engineer/owner/designer of your company so we can ensure that we get good details about the quote.  With contractor 1, after the first meeting, we pretty much told them that the owner needed to be there at our meetings to answer our questions, because we couldn’t handle the sales guy. The sales guy knew about their HVAC systems, but didn’t know anything about re-routing duct-work, and that’s what we contacted them about in the first place. With contractor 2, we did most of our decision making with the sales guy and only brought in the owner when we needed to nail down some very specific details.

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This Wall is Coming Down! – HVAC Selection

YOU GUYS, IT’S HAPPENING.  The wall is coming down!!

You may have seen our Instagram post last Friday about the new HVAC system getting installed! We’re going to be writing a series of posts as this project gets completed over the next few weeks, so enjoy the first one!

It’s been almost 2 years since we toured this home on our house hunting trip, and when we walked into the kitchen and saw the living room, we immediately knew… that wall would have to come down.  When we moved in 18 months ago, it was going to be our first big project on the house, with grand plans to get it out before Connor was born in February 2016 (well it was supposed to be March 2016, but he had other plans).

We talked all about our big plans in THIS POST with a new imagined layout.  Here’s a quick summary below.  We wanted to go from this:

To this:

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