Thursday, August 12, 2010

We Drop-Kicked the Drop Ceiling to the Curve!

Sorry, it has been awhile since I last wrote.  I just got the tree removal pics from my in-laws, so I should be posting those in the next week or so.  In the meantime though, I can tell you what else we've been up to.

We have finally started our next major project(s)...the upstairs hallway, nursery, and guest room.  We were going to start working on Jim's office downstairs next, but we changed our minds.  We want to start a family sometime in the next year (I'm shooting for a summer baby), so we need to get started on the nursery now.  This being an old house, there is a potential for lead paint upstairs, and I can't be pregnant while remodeling it (too dangerous for the fetus).  This being the case, Jim will have to continue living with a pink office for the next couple of months.  Sorry, Jim!

We have removed the dirty, gross drop ceiling in the upstairs hallway and nursery.  This was an all day affair, and of course, Jim discovered more MacGyver electrics.  For example, the hallway lights were attached to the drop ceiling itself and not the actual ceiling.  They also obviously didn't have a stud finder while looking for studs to anchor the drop ceiling, because we found a couple series of holes in the ceilings.  You'll see what I mean in the pics.  When we removed the first few panels, we discovered wallpaper on not only the walls, but the ceilings as well.
What Lies Beneath!
The first pic is in the nursery.  It seems to have a lovely teal wallpaper beneath the paneling.
The second pic is out in the hallway.  It is more of a brown rope braid and blotchy pattern.

These are pics of the hallway shortly after removing a few panels.
The hallway is "L" shaped, so these pics were taken from the same corner.

Hallway after pics
The 1st and last pic are taken looking at the "L" corner.  You can see our tiny attic access in the last pic.  Only a  thin guy can currently get up there.  We are looking into expanding the access and possibly putting in an attic staircase.  The middle pic is me taking a water break after all the hard work.  I remember it being quite hot that day.

After the hallway, we started in on the nursery drop ceiling.  Fortunately for us, the guest room doesn't have a drop ceiling.  The only drop ceiling left in our house now is the one in the master bedroom, and that one is in much better condition so it is being spared for now.

Nursery Before
The ceiling in here was more difficult to remove since it was practically up against the actual ceiling.

Nursery After
More ceiling wallpaper with old water damage.

Here are the pics I referred to earlier with all the holes.
Where's that Darn Stud?!
As you can see, there are a lot of holes in the ceiling.  Whoever made them probably didn't care because they would be covered up by that awful drop ceiling and left for the next owners (us) to deal with.  Thanks, Jerk!  The first 2 pics are out in the hallway, and the last is from the nursery.

These are just pics of us during the work.
I'm in the nursery, and Jim is in the hallway working on temporary hallway lighting.

The next step is to take down the fake wood paneling in the nursery.  So far, we have one panel removed.  It is taking a bit longer than we thought since we can't remove the panels until we do other steps first...
Remove corner trim...check
Pry up edge of carpeting all along room...check
Remove baseboards...check
Remove window and door trim....not yet
Remove wooden framework around chimney...not yet
Pry up carpeting tac around room to avoid stepping on it...probably good idea
Dismantle/Remove large, heavy dresser from nursery...need to at some point

When I was prying up the carpeting, I discovered a nickel from 1965 under the padding.  So, I guess this means that the carpeting was put in sometime after 1964. We also discovered what looks like a secret "loose floor board" compartment in the nursery closet floor.  It was nailed shut at some point though, so we haven't explored it yet.  We will pry it open though before we finish remodeling the nursery.  The previous owners seemed to have taken anything cool from the attic, so I don't really have high hopes for this either.
And of course, what is remodeling without some injuries, right?  I whacked myself pretty good in the throat with a crowbar trying to pry up some stubborn trim.  The spot is a bit tender, but no bruising (that would have been fun to explain to Jim's relative's at the reunion this month.  lol).  Jim managed to slice up 4 of his fingers on the exposed carpet tack when impatiently trying to remove a baseboard without gloves.  Don't worry, it wasn't too bad.  I finished removing the baseboards the next day while Jim was at work though.  It would probably be a good idea to look into getting ourselves tetanus booster shots.  :)

And now, what blog of mine would be complete without pics of animals or flowers!

A cool silver bodied dragonfly

My overgrown phlox and hydrangeas

Until next time!


  1. OMG!! Who would have thought those celing tiles was an upgrade? I love your home. It is beautiful. I know when you both get done, it will be a real showpiece. I'm glad I clicked on your name and discovered your blog.

  2. Thank you! We know we have a lot of work ahead of us and hope we're up to the challenge. :) Any tips on removing plaster from the walls?