Taking Down A Wall || Progress Report: Plaster Is Gone

July 25, 2019

This should come as no surprise, we are in the depths of another DIY house project. The biggest one to date. I thought limewashing + aesthetically updating the exterior of our home was pushing our  DIY boundaries, but knocking down walls is taking the cake. 

If you have been following along on Instagram (saved in my highlights if you're curious), you have been experiencing this demo in real time. If not, let me catch you up to speed...

From the moment we moved into our home, I knew I wanted to bring the wall dividing the kitchen and family room down. From there my mind wandered and settled on making the remainder of that wall (dividing the dining room and the family) half walls with columns. I could visualize all of the details, and brought it up to Pete off and on for the last three years. Then one night (about a month or so ago) Pete asked if I was ready to take the wall down, and we started taking plaster down right away. It felt amazing, and we stayed up well into the early morning hours until the studs were exposed. 

Taking down a load-bearing wall is far more intricate than our other projects. It involves making sure the structural integrity of home isn't compromised. Pete researched and came up with a plan for how we would tackle the entire wall safely, but we needed a structural engineer to approve it so that we could obtain a permit for this work. We waited for three weeks, and last Friday the structural engineer gave us the green light to move forward. Cue the dance party.

So far we have removed 98% of the plaster. And we need to figure out how to get the rest of  it down. Why is that? A metal mesh was used to adhere the plaster at 90 degree angles. The mesh runs into the ceiling and into adjacent walls that we want to keep in tact. So we have to brainstorm the best way to remove what is remaining. Just like any of our projects, you tend to come across something you didn't expect and you have to find a new perspective on how to take care of it. A little challenge didn't hurt anybody, right??

The next steps to tackle:
  1. Removing the remaining plaster
  2. Moving electrical outlets and switches
  3. Removing the radiator
  4. Adding the structural pieces in the attic to support the house frame
  5. Cutting out studs
  6. Building columns
  7. Adding back drywall where needed
  8. Making aesthetic touches
  9. Painting

I wanted to take the time to share the progress of this big project as we work on it. I can be such a perfectionist that I tend to only share the final result, but I'm finding that celebrating the process is so rewarding. See, projects aren't about a perfect process or a perfect result; for us, they're about enjoying working together and creating something we're going to love.