First and foremost, we have a very comfy, cozy, loving home and I love it. But like all houses, it’s aged. What looked great 15 years ago maybe doesn’t look so great today. Carpets get worn (and puppies pee on them-oops), paint starts looking shabby, the people that live there just need a change sometimes. It’s just a fact of life that if you own a house, at some point it’s going to need updating. We’ve hit that point in our cozy home. Which room could we knock out first (and quickly?) Not the kitchen, that would take more planning. The bathroom was just redone a couple years ago. A bedroom? No. The kids hate change and ours is fine. That leaves the dining and living rooms but which to do first…
Well there was this wall in the living room…I disliked it. Fake brick, painted the same light blue as the rest of the room. I wouldn’t call it hideous exactly but it was something that needed to go. Let’s redo the Living Room! How hard could be?
Lena: Please note that I am no longer allowed to ask, “Honey, how hard would it be to…”
After we take down that nasty brick paneling we’ll take out the ratty carpet and put down some nice new laminate! We had gone to Lowes for something else entirely and somehow ended up looking at new flooring, which is how the whole renovation thing started. Won’t this room be lovely with those new floors? HGTV makes it look so easy to pull down walls and put down new flooring!
**Please note, Paul is rolling his eyes at me right now… a lot**
Let me tell you a little something about doing any sort of work in our very comfy but older home….it never goes as it should. Ever. The people that lived here before did their own “repairing and updating” and they didn’t exactly do things according to code. Or logic or in any way that makes sense to anyone else on the planet. So if you look at an update and think “Hey, this will only take 2-3 hours, lets do it!”
Change the hours to days and just accept that it’s going to be a while before it’s done.
Lena: “Honey, in a perfect world, how long would it take? Three hours or so? Okay, let’s plan for a week.” Have you ever seen The Money Pit with Tom Hanks? It’s an older movie, 1986. If you have a chance, I recommend it. Every time we start a project here, we feel like Walter.
Now left on my own, I would give up and never change anything ever again. But we have a secret weapon: Paul. Remember him?
If he starts a project it will be done. It will be done, well, according to code and NOW. All previous
fuck ups work will be fixed and the replacements will be perfect.
So with this in mind one fateful Saturday Lena, Paul and I decided to pull off that icky brick wall. Just a little of it, like one panel, to see what we would be in for and what was behind the paneling. Except that we quickly discovered that it wasn’t paneling at all. No, the phychos that lived here before used real mortar to put bricks on plaster. There was actually a real brick wall in our living room. What the literal fuck people before us? Why would you do something like that??
And this is where our differences come in. I wanted to throw my hands in the air, somehow glue the brick we had just pulled off back onto the wall and forget that this regrettable thing had ever happened. Just move on. Who needs nice looking walls? The crappy wall was doing it’s job, keeping the roof up. Lets just put this behind us and go have some lo mein (food fixes everything.)
But Paul, being the person he is said no, we carry on. So he went out to his magic garage and came back with screwdrivers, hammers, chisels and his measuring tape. By 1am, with the three of us working together, that brick wall was almost history. There was one last row of bricks but we had been at it for hours, we were tired, hot, dirty and still really pissed at the people who put a fricking brick wall in our living room. It was time to turn in. The next day would go by in a blur of trips to Lowes and sheet rock.
**Actual pictures of day one of The Wall Project **
I call this one “Oh God, it’s really not a panel!”
Later that night…