It’s Week 2 of the One Room Challenge, demo is underway, and we’re definitely already feeling the pressure. It has honestly been a stressful week, as we’ve uncovered some unforeseen issues during demo. Renovating often takes a snowball effect, friends. Haha! Long story short… we ended up having to move plumbing, electrical, and haven’t had hot water for a week- so a new hot water heater is on the to-do list pronto. Whew! Click through to see where we’re at and read all about it.
If you found me through the ORC site, hi there! I’m Sarah, a designer & blogger located in Salt Lake City, UT. You can see my current home renovation here, as well as my previous home tour here. My husband, Emmett, and I are renovating our third house. Join us as we tackle the formal living room. In case you missed last week’s post, don’t worry! Catch up here: Week 1 (before images, floor plan, and design plan).
Upon beginning demo, we thought “a living room… this shouldn’t be too bad”, until we dug into the walls. We found plumbing and electrical hidden in the walls that definitely wasn’t to code. We also realized our gas fireplace wasn’t set up in a very safe way. Basically, we added a BUNCH of tasks to our to-do list, which has put us behind. We’re still pushing forward though. I’m remaining optimistic!
We ripped up the carpet, parts of the subfloor, completely demoed the ceiling, and part of the fireplace…
It was here that we realized we’d need to remove the sheet rock around the fireplace to make the appropriate updates to the gas line. Our friend (and neighbor) Brant has spent countless hours helping Emmett (bless his heart). I captured a hilarious photo of them inside the fireplace working on demo. They didn’t find my Santa Claus jokes very funny at the time, after a hidden heavy piece of pipe crashed onto Emmett’s foot. The fireplace wall was totally rigged… there was a pipe, in a pipe, in a pipe, and the insulation was just stuffed in the interior without a barrier (a major fire hazard).
After they got that issue resolved, Emmett ran new electrical and placed boxes for the sconces that will flank our new fireplace.
You’ll also notice we removed the plantation shutters- the doors and windows already look much better and natural light is flooding into the space! I can’t wait to see them cased out with new millwork and painted.
On the opposing side of the room is the wall where our built-ins will live. The weird “bumped out” wall to the left houses a bunch of ductwork, plumbing, and electrical.
Against our better judgement (and tight timeframe), we decided to open it up. It just felt so cramped. Well- it turns out that little wall was load-bearing, so Emmett had to spend extra time and energy redistributing the weight and framing it out. This is also where we ran into issues with our hot water heater. The black pipe runs to our basement mechanical room, where the hot water heater lives. It’s not in an ideal location and since our water heaters (we have two) are original to the house and super old & inefficient, we decided we should just replace them. It would solve our issue of having this pipe in the way upstairs, plus it’s a good investment. Given our giant to-do list, we haven’t had time to install new ones and have been without hot water for a week. Luckily, we have great neighbors who are letting us shower at their place!
All of that to say, the wall is gone, the ductwork and pipes are moved, and our built-in wall grew a little bit. It does feel nice and open now! This is what the built-in will look like…
So that’s where we’re at… in the thick of demo. We’re going to start rebuilding and drywalling this week, and we’re hoping to begin installing the built-in this weekend. Oh yeah- and hot water is a MUST. That needs to happen immediately. The One Room Challenge is kicking our butts once again, but hey- isn’t that what it’s all about? Pushing you to do your best and make the impossible happen? I would feel much better about this if we had more time, but we leave for a European vacation next week. Yikes! What did I get myself into? I’m hoping next week when I share an update with you, this space will look more like a room and less like a construction zone! Onward and upward friends.
Check out the progress and updates from the other featured designers below… I hope they’re in better shape than we are over here!