Renovating the Living Room Pt. 2 – Rebuilding the Wall

Hi there, Catie here!

So I thought the hard part of this renovation would be getting the actual brick wall out of the living room. After all, not much is harder than chiseling bricks out of your living space, right? Wrong.

Turns out rebuilding walls is easier said than done (damn you HGTV.) Or maybe it’s just this house, I’m not sure. Did you know there are electrical wires inside walls? I mean I knew outlets were attached to something but I had no idea how many wires could be involved. But wait, I got ahead of myself, that part comes later.

So once we got all the bricks down we were left with a giant mess of a wall, there were more holes where bricks had been than actual wall really. And hey look they didn’t use corner pieces to create the doorway (wtf?), oh look the cutout to the kitchen is sort of lopsided (how??), the door way too (how have we never noticed that before?)

All in all it was a giant mess that Paul, his brother in law, Lena and I  (but mostly Paul) had to completely rebuild.


After many measurements and countless trips to Lowes (a post just about how much I hate home improvement stores is probably needed) we had everything we needed to create a beautiful new wall!! So bright and early on Saturday we started: measure everything again just to be sure, take off all the light switches and outlet covers and outlets. Measure more, cut, carry, haul, lift (sheet rock is heavier than it looks and I discovered a burning hatred for it that I didn’t know I possessed around this time) but things were going well! I was thinking that this stuff was going to be hung up and ready for compound in no time!! We would be painting before nightfall.  Light at the end of the tunnel! Yesss!!!! I was so excited, but I was wrong, so, so wrong because…

They found the electrical problems…


Yes, the lovely people that lived here before didn’t wire things correctly. I’m not sure how they screwed it up exactly, I was sort of too busy wondering why we had started this reno in the first place. All I know is that by the time the wiring was fixed we were missing a wall in the kitchen.

This is exactly how I felt.

Actually, funny side story, we weren’t really missing a wall in the kitchen because under the wainscoting was just empty space, studs and some wiring. Because why would you waste money on sheet rock if you’re going to put up wainscoting? Just put the sheet rock from the ceiling to an inch below where the wainscoting starts so you have something to nail it to.  You’ll save yourself enough for a pack of smokes right there!! Idiots. Seriously, if I knew where they lived right now I would go there and kick them. Repeatedly.

I really thought Paul would be a raging ball of WHAT THE FUCK?!?! I was pretty sure he was going to go full Hulk at least couple times but he somehow always managed to regroup, come up with a plan B, fix and then laugh off whatever crappy thing just went wrong. At least he did after some interesting cursing in a couple different languages, which I have to admit is pretty impressive (if terrifying, looking at you again Portuguese.)

You never want to go full Hulk…

I was ready for the whole project to just be done and we hadn’t even started the floor. I have no patience for this homeowner crap and I know it. By the time the wiring was fixed it was close to 8 at night, we had just spent an entire summer day working on a wall that looked only slightly better than it had the night before and now the kitchen wall was trashed too. We were hot, sweaty, hungry, tired and sore. All I could think was “Why did we do this to ourselves??” We could have spent the day on the beach or in bed having lots of sex or experimenting with my Instant Pot or any number of things that didn’t involve sheet rock, wires and finding and fixing other people’s poor design choices.

Over the next few days Paul worked tirelessly to finish the wall off, level the cut-out and doorway and create proper corners.

Our hero inspecting his own work.

Before we knew it it was time to move the furniture so we could paint and pull up the ratty old carpet that started this whole thing. I mean look at this awesome new wall!!

TA DA!!!

The best part? We managed not to fight (this time.) Which is also pretty impressive.

Soon I’ll write a post about the floor but really home reno is boring if you’re not the one doing it suffice to say our living room looks awesome now. But it doesn’t stop here because Paul is already working on the dining room/entry way, which will also be getting new flooring, the ceiling repaired, a built-in storage unit, new better stairs and more crap I don’t really want to think about. Because it never stops. Next year they want to renovate the kitchen. and by then I’m sure the bathroom will need to be “refreshed” too.

And people wonder why I never wanted to be a home owner…..

1 thought on “Renovating the Living Room Pt. 2 – Rebuilding the Wall”

  1. Whew. And it looks great now but I hear you on the responsibilities of home ownership. You got to enjoy that stuff you know? Get into the creativity of the whole thing.


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