Friday, March 4, 2016

Smooth Ceiling Renovation Part 1: Before

Last winter, we had significant damage to the ceilings in our main living area, from ice damming and leaks (even though our roof is very new). In fact, the week that Marshall was born and we brought him home from the hospital is when the ceilings started leaking. Perfect timing, right?

Eventually the snow melted and the leaks dried, but we were left with ugly discolored spots scattered throughout the first floor, areas that were cracked and bowing and it just looked really terrible. It had to be fixed. No way around it. Fixing it meant that all of the ceilings (except for the bathroom and office) needed to be replaced. Which involved a full ceiling tear off, spanning multiple rooms. Um. Yeah. The sky ceiling was literally going to be falling.

My head was spinning and my blood pressure rose just thinking about the idea of tearing down the ceilings and the utter mess and upheaval that would come along with it! Not to mention the fact that Marshall and I are home every day. Where would we go? What would we do? How long would this take? Could we still live here through a renovation of this magnitude? How much would it cost? Who would do the work? Can't we just move instead? All valid questions. 

Thankfully, our insurance would cover a large portion of the cost. We contacted our friend and contractor, Jesse, of J. Wilson Construction, and he assessed the project and we worked out the timing and details. Jesse helped us when we gutted and remodeled our first floor bathroom, which was another large project. Andrew would be able to help with the ceiling demolition, painting and cleanup. 

Here are images of the main living room, play room and hallway before. Notice the large skylight that was odd-shaped. The stucco-style texture was everywhere.

As you can see, we had old textured (and uneven) ceilings and not the greatest lighting. Our home was built in the 1950's and renovations had been done over the years by previous homeowners. We didn't love the way the ceilings looked, but transitioning to smooth ceilings wasn't a project that we would have ever taken on, had we not been "forced" to. It was always something we thought would be a nice update.

I had to keep thinking of it as a blessing in disguise. The opportunity to have brand new smooth ceilings would look a million times better than what we had. It was the process of getting to the "after" and living through the messiest renovation I could have imaged, that was the challenge! 

Here are pictures of the kitchen. Our red kitchen. Spoiler alert: our kitchen isn't red anymore! I included photos of the kitchen sink, because, well, everything including the kitchen sink was effected (pun totally intended). Also notice the existing mirror back splash. That's right, mirrors decorated our kitchen under cabinet and stove area. After living with it for over 9 years, it had to go! It shouldn't have been there in the first place. 

So. The plan was to start work in November, two weeks before Thanksgiving, AND have it done in time for me to HOST Thanksgiving. In true Ohl fashion, there's nothing like an upcoming holiday and house guests to spur a major home renovation! I wish I were joking. Somehow we managed to complete the majority of the work on time! 

In part 2 I will show you the work-in-progress images and tell you how we survived. Stay tuned! 



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