This is the first picture I took of the upstairs hallway at the farm house. My crew had already gotten to work, and had removed a wall. Unfortunately, I don't have a "before" photo of the upstairs including the wall, so imagine a wall extending the full width of the hallway, right where the wallpaper stops on both sides . I am guessing the wall was constructed sometime in the 1970's, to provide a 5th bedroom. We tore the wall down and restored the hallway to it's original layout. This opened up the space and allowed the light from the window to shine in. Removing that wall made a HUGE difference! My initial plan was to keep all of the existing walls and ceilings in the upstairs, and just repair them. This would have saved a LOT of time, and money on labor and materials. Unfortunately, as we started to build the bathroom and demolished a wall, we changed our plan. All of the walls and ceilings were plaster, but many had one or two layers of sheetrock on them. The ceilings were heavy and sagging, and really not safe...they had to go. And so the demolition began. (I had my crew save 100's of plaster slats from the ceilings-you can see them stacked in the corner-and we made them into giant stars at Christmas!)
Unfortunately, the walls were just as bad as the ceilings. Once we removed ONE wall, we saw years of debris behind it (and NO insulation), and decided to GUT the ENTIRE upstairs, and build it back. That was a BIG decision, but I know now, it was the right one. We filled 7 dumpsters in total, with sheetrock, plaster, and DIRT! We positioned the dumpster outside a bedroom window, and tossed our debris from the roof!
It was a long, hard, DIRTY process.
The boys escaped to the roof for some fresh air, and I crawled out there to take their picture. That is my son, with his AT trail beard-he worked at the farm for a few months after he returned from his hike.
Once the upstairs was gutted and cleaned, we reinforced/replaced the studs as needed, so the new walls would be straight.
Then we framed out closets and bookcases around the chimneys that were in all 4 bedrooms.
We had all of the electrical and HVAC installed while the walls were open. Then we insulated the walls. After the ceilings were installed, insulation was blown in the attic. The original beams in the house were huge, and made from trees cut down on the property...some still had BARK on them! We kept them all.
Then, sheetrock was installed...
Then came tape, mud, sanding and priming. New windows were installed, and then my guys built custom wood trim to match all of the original trim in the house. Then came a very exciting part... we had the antique heart pine floors sanded down. I had been hoping the floors would look nice, under years of paint and varnish, but they were prettier than I could have imagined!
The floors were sanded and varnished twice, and then we covered them up with drop cloths, and painted the walls/ceiling/trim. Everything was primed, and then received 2 coats of paint. The walls are painted with Glidden "Heavy Cream" in an eggshell finish. The trim got 3 coats of Gloss White paint. It took almost a month to complete the painting.
Then we worked on the staircase railing and banister... which took several weeks to complete. Lots of tedious sanding /priming/painting on those spindles!
While I worked on the railing, the electricians hung all the lights, and installed the switches and receptacles. When the banister was complete, the floors received one last light sanding, and a third coat of polyurethane, in a satin finish. I'll show you the "after" in my next post...