Safer and Sunnier at TLC!

When you’ve got wiring in half of your house that looks like this…

…it’s probably a good idea to hire a guy like this…

This is Kevin’s drummers brother, Mark.
He is our electrician. He rocks for being brave enough to crawl underneath our house and for fighting the urge to pick the proof out of his hair for what seemed like an eternity to me.

(Those two chunks of “crawl space” on the back of his head were driving me bananas!)

All joking aside, last week Mark made it possible for us to sleep more soundly here at TLC by completely re-wiring the old part of the house. (One side of the house was built in 1950, and the other side was built in 2003)
And because I’m so impressed with even the tiniest of details, I’ve been walking around the place, lovingly caressing my new, pure white outlet and switchplate covers and their matching light switches. Before, some of them used to be black, some used to be ivory, and some used to be half white, and half ivory- but now they all match. It’s heavenly I tell ya. :-)

Another glorious change that occurred this past week was the removal of the small wall that previously separated the Living and Dining rooms.

This is how the room looked when we moved in…

Then sometime last year we opened it up a little more, so that it looked like this…

…but when we realized the ceiling was starting to sag above the wider doorway we had created, we knew we needed to call on the help of a professional to help us fix what we had done. Mark’s friend Lee came over to help us install a header beam above the doorway. Lee frames houses for a living, so we felt very good having him there to show us how to git r’ dun. Since they had to completely open up the wall, Lee said he could make the doorway even wider if I wanted him to. Uh, hello? IF I want you to? That man had no idea what he had just suggested was music to my ears!

When Lee started to remove the pine paneling from the wall, to expose an opening for the header beam to fit up into, he came across some wiring that needed to be moved…

Here he is showing Mark his discovery, and explaining to him how “he and electricity don’t mix”…

Here’s Mark figuring out what he’s going to do with it…

Once the wiring was safely moved up into the attic, Lee held everything up, temporarily, with a floor jack…

The floor beneath the wall the guys took out looked pretty crazy for a minute…

…but Lee removed the 2×4 with the nails sticking out of it, and now I really can’t wait to expose and refinish the original hardwood floor that’s underneath the laminate.

After building us an extremely heavy beam in our driveway, the guys got to work hoisting it into place…

Kevin makes it look so easy…

Once the beam was firmly in place, Lee began to reassemble the pieces of pine paneling…

…then he trimmed everything out, all nice and neat…

The next day Kevin finished off the beadboard paneling in the Dining Room, and caulked, primed and painted everything…

It’s amazing how taking out a little wall can really give a house a whole new feel…

It feels like the house got bigger, and the extra 12 inches of sunlight that can now stretch without interruption from the Living Room windows into the kitchen is such a welcome sight on my toes each morning. (I did mention I am tickled by the tiniest details, didn’t I?) :-)

Hover your cursor back and forth over the photo below to see how different the view from the front door looks now, compared to the day we moved in…

Fortunately, Kevin and I both subscribe to the belief that “everything can always be fixed”, and we’re definitely not afraid of learning the hard way the first time around either.
In this case, we ended up with an even more impressive doorway, and with a contractor who can help us the next time we want to take on a project that might turn out to be too difficult for us.

So what about you? Have you ever had to call in a pro after you bit off more than you could chew? We’d love to hear your horror, I mean, renovation-stories-gone-wrong-then-right!

Layla

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