Main Floor Reno Part 1: The Ugly Stuff

The first thing I said to Shaun when we went to look at our house was,

“Okay, but can we take this wall down? And this one? And this one over here?”

His answer is always the same…

“Anything is possible. How much time and money do you have?”

In this case, we had no money and no time. Not a good combo for wanting to completely gut your main floor before moving in. We did it anyway (kinda)! If you read my last post, you’ll know that we looked at our house, bought it, and took possession all within about a month. We don’t mess around! We knew we wanted to take out, basically, all of the walls on the main floor, which would be a ridiculous job to do while living there (we do have some limits) so we decided to get it done before moving in. We were renting the house we lived in at the time and asked our landlord if we could stay an extra week. It was no problem, but meant that we were now paying for two houses…and remember, we PO! Shaun (with some help from family) took the week ‘off’ work to take down the walls. This was a huge job, and we still didn’t know exactly what we were getting into before actually opening up the walls. Shaun knew that at least one of the walls would be a supporting wall, which meant adding a beam somewhere…somehow.

Here’s a before and after floor plan, to give you an idea of where the walls were and where they are (or aren’t) now.

Before…lots of closets and a random bedroom
Progress…this will eventually change a bit when we do our kitchen but the footprint will remain the same.

Everything was very cramped on the main floor before we (and by ‘we’ I mean Shaun) took down the walls. Thankfully there wasn’t anything too scary behind the walls, but there were 3 closets, that we discovered housed lots of duct work and electrical that all needed to be reworked into a bulkhead.

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This was the view from the front door, looking in. On the left, there is one of the three closets and in front of that is a little hallway that led to the bathroom and the random bedroom at the end of the hall. It was very dark and cramped.

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And here’s the same view, with the closet and wall torn out. Look at all that light! Ignore the rubble.

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Another view of the closet and wall from the living room. Behind that wall is the 2nd closet inside the random bedroom.

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A different view of the living room. That fireplace is now one of my favourite parts of the house. It’s amazing what a little paint can do!

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I might be the only one that sees the massive improvement this photo is compared to the last two. It’s messy but it’s so much more open and bright.

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If you came in from the front door and turned right, this is where you’d be. On the left is closet number 3, on the right is the door leading down to the basement and straight ahead is a tiny eating space in the smallest kitchen on earth (yep, that’s our giant fridge right there too) Oh, and a useless exterior door which leads to nothing at the side of the house. When we do our kitchen there will be cabinets all along this wall so that door will be closed up.

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From this view, it’s easier to see the 3rd closet and the wall that we took down between the kitchen and the dining room.

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Ta-da! Bye bye walls! This picture was taken standing at the fireplace. Here, you can see the entrance area as well as where the door to the powder room used to be. Since we took all the closets out, we built one out on the wall where the powder room door is and moved that door in to the entrance for better flow and more privacy. I don’t know about you but I don’t like doing my business right beside the living room where everyone is hanging out. Shaun built a temporary wall here where the supporting wall used to be. He then had to add a beam and have all the duct work and electrical (which was all torn out in this photo) reworked in to a bulkhead and post.

Check out the rest of the Main Floor Reno here and here.





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