Demo Day is not fun!

I love watching DIY / Home shows just as much as the next person… I mean sometimes I feel like if I am not working on a house I am watching or reading about someone else working on theirs. It can be immensely overwhelming or extremely helpful, but I am not going to lie, after this project I can honestly say I HATE demo day.

Now in my case demo day turned into demo months, basically a bunch of demo days rolled into one another. Would I have liked it if it was less days? Well I would have liked to have had less demo days, but no I would not have liked it more if I it had been a shorter timeframe.

To me demo is messy, dirty, tiresome, stressful and can be painful. Let me tell you as a naturally “accident prone” person I wore all of the gear, heavy boots, goggles, gloves and mask or respirator (depending on job), I also purchased and ran an air scrubber just in case… I did not come out of the demo phase unscathed…

Flooring & Wallpaper Demo

I started working on removing the carpet and laminate flooring and wallpaper simultaneously, one because it breaks up the monotony and two I was trying to eliminate/reduce the effects of carpal tunnel on my hand and wrists.

The carpet and padding I removed by cutting them into 3ft strips (with a very sharp utility knife) and rolled it up and bound it with duck tape. Each day I would stop by the dump on my way home and take as much as I could as this would save on dumpster fees and the dump was not out of the way.

The laminate flooring was easy to pry up with this floor scraper tool (which was a fabulous for many other uses as well).

Underneath all of the carpet and laminate flooring is 133 year old random width oak flooring. If this had been my forever home I would have probably taken some of the flooring from the bedrooms and patched the flooring in the main rooms in order to sand them down, but that was just not feasible here. There were several patches from previous owners and we had to add 4 patches ourselves.

I’m thinking this patch may have been where the floor furnace was at one time? I could see past evidence of radiators as well…

We did spend quite a few needless hours removing wallpaper (needless because we ended up removing those walls), which was NO fun. But I used Zinsser Wallpaper stripper and that stuff worked great, like the best I have ever used!

This is the soon to be kitchen, with a nice mysterious stain hidden under the wallpaper… this room had 3 layers of wallpaper.

Some of the wallpaper came off without any stripper.

This is the old kitchen, the wallpaper came off in great big sheets and in general just made my day!

I used the paper tiger to poke holes in the paper, then saturated the area with the stripper and can back with a scraper a few minutes later. Word to  the wise, leave the old flooring down or put down paper to catch the wallpaper pieces as when the wet glue dries it will stick to the floor and will become a big mess…

This will be the new dressing room, I should have left the carpet down so I could have rolled up this mess in it as a lot of it ended up glued to the floor and created more problems down the road.

Ceiling Tile Removal

There was a possibility of leaving these ceiling tiles and/or removing them and installing something more modern. I went through lots of different options before making a final decision (which I do NOT reget).

Removing the ceiling tiles was pretty straight forward process. I used the same floor scraper I used to remove the laminate flooring and just pryed and pulled my way down the ceiling.

I had to get up on the ladder where the ceiling tiles were mounted under lighting and carefully remove those sections, but other than that it was a great shoulder workout.. and that is about all I can say good about it.

What was left under the tiles were the furring strips that were installed to mount the tiles.

This is the living room (and my youngest who was helping me that day), this room had a layer of sheetrock & popcorn texture installed over these furring strips. We had to remove it all in order to maintain a continuous ceiling height throughout the main living areas.

What was happening to the ceilings is that they were all falling down. The sheetrock was dipping and bowing so they added these furring strips to help hold it up and then they added the tiles on top of the strips to hide the strips. What appeared to have happened is that whenever the original ceilings were dropped from 10 to 8 foot height they used 3/8″ sheetrock on the ceiling. Supposedly 3/8″ on the ceiling is acceptable, until you added rock wool insulation on top of that. I think the addition of the insulation was just too much for the thinner sheetrock to handle, but hey if you know another reason please let me know!

This worked was completed over a few weeks, but hey it was mostly just me so it did take a while longer. We did a mobile dumpster rental about 5 times (rented over the weekends) to help with the overall load of all of the demo. I swear to you guys, you will not recognize the inside of the place now (even though I am not done) it is just such a change!

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Until next time…


  1. Wow Susan, you are wonder woman! Looking forward to seeing the end results. Great to see what you’ve been up to!

    (Deborah from the old Lucketts and Confession of a Craigslist Junkie blog days.😊)


  2. Susan,
    It’s always a treat to receive your blog posts! Good luck as you progress with this project. I look forward to seeing how everything turns out as well as learning from your tips. Thanks for sharing!!


  3. I’m new to your blog, but I’m so impressed with the amount of work you’ve done! My husband and I have remodeled our own home many years ago, including adding a 2nd floor to our ranch home and I know for a fact how much work it is. At nearly 63, I know I wouldn’t be up to everything we did then. I’m in awe of all you’ve done and am going to poke around your blog to see all the other wonders.


    1. Oh Cheryl thanks so much! We have done many many projects over the years, as we never seem to be done with a house, but this by far is the most ambitious. I still have a ways to go but hoping to get some help from my daughter and her friends so I can get done by the first semester of school starting… thanks for stopping by!


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