Maggie & Ed's Renovation: What a Difference a Week (of Demo) Makes

Maggie & Ed's Renovation: What a Difference a Week (of Demo) Makes

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Tess Wilson
Apr 20, 2015
Our contractor Bennett sends me this photo about half way through day one and I'm blown away by how quickly demo is going and what a difference just a few hours makes!

Name: Ed and Maggie Williams (of MVW Architect)
Type of Project: Kitchen/dining/music room renovation
Location: Freret, New Orleans, LA
Type of building: Craftsman-style shotgun double

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Maggie and Ed's contractors have started working their demolition magic, and in just one short week, the space is unrecognizable. Walls down, floors up, let's go!

From Maggie and Ed:

The contractor's work kicks off this week and they blast ahead with all the demo in two days. By the time I get home from work on day 1 the wall between the rooms, the cabinets, the retro wall paneling, the dropped ceiling, and dining closet are all completely gone. They finish up the remaining demo the next day, then spend the rest of the week framing walls and prepping/repairing the floor. We have a few unfortunate discoveries and one that adds cost, but all in all this week goes fairly smoothly and I feel really happy with the amount of progress made in just 5 days!
End of Demo Day 1
Looking towards the kitchen- no more lowered ceiling! The duct in the center of the far wall is the one we added when we outfitted the house with central air when we bought it. It feeds our bedroom, which does not have attic space above it. We will frame around that in the music room.
End of Demo Day 2
Kitchen tile is gone and original wood floors are exposed and they look like they are in great shape. Buster is enjoying the new "smell holes" where all the pipes/vents have been removed.
End of Demo Day 2
The chimney that was in the kitchen is revealed as well as the back wall of the tenant's pantry that we built as phase 1 of the whole project. Happily, we find it aligns with our existing dining wall just right, phew!
End of Demo Day 2
Unfortunately it looks like we wont be able to leave the brick chimney exposed in Ed's music room. The plaster is really stuck on there and would be difficult, if not impossible to get off without destroying the bricks. We love the look of exposed brick, so this is a bummer. Also, it means the room will get a few inches smaller in order for them to frame around the chimney.
The old kitchen wall
The retro wall paneling was attached to the original plaster and wood lath. Throughout most of the house the plaster and lath had already been replaced with sheetrock when we bought it. They will keep the lath here and just attach the sheetrock to it. This will bring the plane of the wall out it's original depth, which will close the odd gap that exists at all the trim in the house where they just attached the sheetrock to the studs. This is because plaster and lath is thicker than just one layer of sheetrock. We decide to add another layer of sheetrock to the adjacent dining room walls as well to make them level and resolve the gap throughout the whole room. This is going to be an add of $580, but it seems like the right thing to do. In the rest of the house, they covered the gap with quarter round, which looks pretty goofy going around windows and door frames.
The wonky dining room closet is finally gone! It has always been a mystery to us why it was built with that funny angled wall.
The music room walls are framed up and the space starts to take shape. It's really exciting to watch what has just been in our imagination for so long actually start to appear.
We want to keep the laundry nook as shallow as possible, to avoid taking space away from the music room. We decide to include an access panel in the laundry back wall in order to be able to connect/disconnect the washer and dryer without having to pull them out.
End of the week
A handful of floor boards needed to be replaced due to holes and damage. The carpenter picked the same species of wood, so once they are sanded they should blend right in with our floors.

Estimated time for project: 12 weeks
Time remaining: 9 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for installment #7 of Maggie and Ed's renovation.

(Images and diary text: Maggie & Ed Williams)

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