I know that it is no big deal -- people have their houses ripped down to the studs all the time, but to see it happen for the first time is quite a shock to the system. You live in a place for so long and then -- whammo! -- walls gone!
And here is what lurked behind the sink... nothing! No studs holding that window up! Once Jean-Claude, our contractor, and his faithful sidekick Karol took down the whole wall, they found that there were very few existing studs at all... the only thing holding up two windows and a door is stucco, my friends. We live in earthquake territory... you do the math. There are just some things you don't want to know.
Happily, in a day, our faboo crew was able to install new studs along that exterior wall and re-create the decorative arch that separates the living from the dining room, which will now also separate the dining room from the kitchen.
And this is where we leave off at Week One: Most of the demo is done. All of the walls are down and now we start to rebuild. We will be tearing out the floor, and then put in a subfloor and new oak flooring on top of that. We will also be installing a skylight.
Our plumber has been in to assess the needs and will be replacing all of the pipes with bright, shiny new copper. He has already replaced our feed line, which was 1/4" and is now a full inch. He said we have so much water pressure we may have to put a regulator on the line to control the flow! This is the first time in our lives we have ever had TOO much water pressure... this must be how the rich live!
Our electrician has come in to remove all of the knob and tube wiring. Our ceilings and walls were full of porcelain connectors holding all of the wires together. They looked like little bones strung along some ancient voodoo charm necklace. He will be re-wiring the whole hut so we can plug in the hair dryer and the television at the same time with blowing the power out around the block. Again, I am spoiled by the riches about to be bestowed upon me!
J.R. was out to do the final measuring, nattily dressed with a Burberry scarf and $500 Bruno Magli shoes. It was the first time he met Jean-Claude -- there was a bit of "Do you know who I am?" going back and forth between the two swordsmen, but I think they got along okay.
It's a pretty snug space, so he was delighted that we were moving the washer and dryer out to the garage. It helped with his skeeve issue. But, it appears that we will be able to keep everything else inside, including Crookshanks.
As always happens, we have also reached the "While We Are At It" mode and have decided to gut the bathroom as well. Since the plumber is redoing all pipes, we felt we might as well re-do the tile.
The week has been relatively stress-free -- The Mayor and I have had only a few tiffs, which considering the scope of the project is not too bad. The VBB is on it's way to back to the future -- restored to it's former glory, with just a few little upgrades... like that Aga! We leave our nice little apart-hotel, Venice Suites, to move into our neighbor's house today... like a band of gypsies we go down the highway...