Week 1 in Review

As I prepared for our upstairs remodel, I read other blogs and asked questions about other people’s experiences extensively. What I learned was helpful, so I’d like to pay it forward by sharing our process as we go long along. This isn’t riveting stuff, but it is real. We are normal people, working full-time jobs, balancing family and social demands as well. We live in a “normal” middle-class home in the suburbs. We earn a middle-class income and have a limited budget for our remodel. But, like so many of you out there, we also have cultivated a taste for beautiful, high-end things and find it hard to compromise even while juggling cost, practicality, and design. This is the story of our remodel, week by week. I want to give you a feel for how much we’re able to accomplish while working a combined 90 hours a week and still trying to find a little time for such frivolous things as, well, sleep.

Week 1

Saturday Feb 2- Friday February 8

This week was mostly preparatory in nature. A lot of things “came down”, were packed up, put away, cleared out. I’d estimate that between the two of us, Tyler and I worked this week for about 24+ hours. Then, the contractors we hired to tackle some bigger jobs arrived and made short work of these daunting tasks, proving to us that they are pros for a reason. The contractors worked a combined total of 48-50 hours (3 guys working at different times). Between the 5 of us, I’d estimate 75 hours of work went into the house during week 1. By the end of the week, we were on our own and ready to leap into the bulk of our work, moving from the north side of the house south. This end of the house is home to the front bedroom (often called the white room), the guest bathroom, a hallway and linen closet, and my office. We’re keeping our work contained to this corner for now and will slowly spread south until we’ve transformed the entire house from top to bottom.

  • Emptied the front bedroom, including closet
  • Took down bookshelves in the office and packed all my little friends away (bye bye books)
  • Moved desk and other office furniture downstairs
  • Ordered faucet and sink for the kitchen
  • Decided on the countertop material (but still not the shape)
  • French doors arrived
  • New/replacement cabinets arrived
  • Cleared out the living room and dining room, including taking down the wall-mounted television and all artwork
  • Took down curtain rods throughout the living area and took down ceiling fan in the front bedroom
  • Emptied the kitchen of all its possessions (an exhausting feat that sent me up and down the stairs several hundred times)
  • Established a temporary kitchen in the basement (home sweet “cozy” home)
  • Contractors arrived – demolished the stair railing, the old bar, and the fireplace
  • Contractors removed tile on one side of the kitchen to make way for new cabinets
  • Contractors built a new half-wall to separate the stairs from the living area
  • Contractors patched the fireplace wall to ready it for new tile
  • Contractors inserted new french doors and replaced trim, added trim to the exterior
  • Contractors built new, lower bar and hung the new cabinets on the other side of the kitchen
  • Removed closet doors and blinds in the front bedroom
  • Tore out the carpet in the front bedroom and closet
  • Sanded the new wood ‘cap’ on the half-wall and the wood window seat in the front bedroom











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