Demolition, Heavy lifting

Then and now…

I thought we’d do a “before and after” now that we’re at the midway point. It’s cool to see the progress and, honestly, it gives my husband and me the little boost we need to keep going!

This was a shot of the downstairs from the front door the way the previous owner had it…

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And here’s what we’ve done so far.

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A picture of the downstairs from the kitchen looking to the front door…

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And our vision.

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This photo shows what the “master bedroom” looked like…

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And our new bedroom.

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We also changed the bedroom fireplace…how it looked before…

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And now.

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The old hallway upstairs was just a large unused room…

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It’s now a bathroom, laundry room and storage.

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The transformation continues!

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Demolition, Design phase, Family, Heavy lifting

Marriage isn’t what I thought it was going to be

Today is my 2-year wedding anniversary which means I have accumulated LOTS of wisdom that I’m now allowed to disperse to others. 🙂

I had no idea when I walked down the aisle that I was not marrying Mark, but a superhuman who is the epitome of Bob Vila, Ty Pennington and Scott McGillivray all in one person.

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When we tied the knot, I figured we’d have a nice house in the suburbs with a garage and maybe a pool. Now, I’ve got dirty, dusty rowhouse in the city that needs new plumbing, a new roof and a TOTAL REHAB of the inside…and I couldn’t LOVE it more.

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As a new wife, I thought I might have to help out cutting the grass and changing the lightbulbs. I never imagined my wifely duties would include hanging drywall, chipping off plaster and mastering a table saw.

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When we got married, I knew that Mark was cool and funny and liked to fix stuff.

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Never, IN MY WILDEST DREAMS, did I know that my husband was capable of building an entire house from the studs up and that he would work tirelessly and never complain. At our wedding, Mark said that he was the lucky one…but now we know that I am. 🙂

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Demolition, Heavy lifting

Everything you need to know about me is on my keys

My key ring pretty much sums up my life…

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Spin classes at LA Fitness, books at the Carnegie Library and lots of purchases at Giant Eagle mainly buying these puppies…

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We buy our Home Depot gift cards at Giant Eagle to get the fuel perks. It’s sometime annoying to make the extra stop instead of going to Home Depot right away, but it’s all worth it at this moment…

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My gas bill hasn’t been this low since I lived at home…oh wait, I still do. 🙂

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Awesome finds, Demolition, Heavy lifting

The beauty of a Pittsburgh toilet

If you’re from Pittsburgh, you totally know what I’m talking about.

For those of you who are foreigners 🙂 the Pittsburgh toilet is a very strange phenomenon of a free standing toilet in the BASEMENT with no walls or doors to speak of.

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To be honest with you, I think Pittsburgh toilets are weird and gross. And then, a few days ago while working on the house, I needed to go to the bathroom. You’ll remember we ripped out the bathroom several weeks ago…

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And so, I went down to the basement and used the Pittsburgh toilet which I now have a new affinity for. An added bonus…

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Our Pittsburgh toilet has a pencil sharpener next to it, because everyone knows you need a sharp pencil when filling out crossword puzzles on the can! 🙂

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Demolition, Design phase

We have a leak. Actually, we have 3.

It rained like a dickens in Pittsburgh last weekend and our roof couldn’t handle it.

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Mark made me hold that bucket there for four hours. What a guy! 😉
As the rain continued, we grabbed more plastic buckets from the basement.

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Our roof leaks in 3 places in the back bedroom. I’m not happy about it, but at least we know where the holes are and we can fix them before we spray foam insulation.

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Mark then got worried and went up in the attic to see if we had any leaks. So far, so good…maybe we’ll just hang out up there…we’re totally short enough to fit. 🙂

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Demolition, Heavy lifting

Someone got hurt

We knew it was only a matter of time…

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My husband, Mark, works LONG days…putting time in at the house and managing several professional projects. He’s burning the candle at both ends and he got tripped up…

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…by that little hole. While working LATE one night, Mark stepped through the hole, fell and ripped up part of his arm.

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There’s nothing a little Neosporin can’t fix and before I could blink, my man of steel was back in action. Hail to Superman! (I think the Prantl’s almond cake aka “The Best Cake In America” helped more than anything)

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Demolition, Family, Heavy lifting

A weekend of firsts…

Our first injury…

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Our first leak…

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Our first look at the new bedroom wall and door…

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Our first peak into our neighbor’s house…

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Our 1st Race for the Cure celebrating my Aunt Trudy & her friend, Kathi!!

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Demolition, Heavy lifting

Who needs walls???

We certainly don’t…at least for now.

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You currently can see directly into our basement because the old stairs used to be right here. We tore them down and built new ones in a different spot. (That post HERE)

The old stairs held up one of the walls in our front upstairs bedroom, so now we need to add 2 support beams to the ceiling joist in its place.

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To do that, Mark cut open part of the existing bedroom wall so he can place those beams in. We’ll then have to rebuild the bedroom wall.

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That was NOT in the original plan…but hey, I guess we can live with my folks FOREVER.

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Demolition, Family, Heavy lifting

I think the term “better half” specifically applies to my marriage.

A lot of weekends, I get to emcee different events. Last Saturday, my sister and I both got to emcee an awesome memorial run/walk for Trooper Kenton Iwaniec

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That’s us with Kenton’s mom, the most WONDERFUL lady. These events can last 6-7 hours, so Mark is often working at the house by himself.

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One day in a 6-hour span, he built 3 temporary walls on his own…

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For the basement wall, he used the old wood that was part of the original staircase in the house…

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These walls will act as structural support when we cut open the ceiling (again) and add 2 support beams to a current ceiling joist.

I’m pretty sure the phrase “my better half” SPECIFICALLY applies to my marriage…meaning yours truly is the “lesser half.” What a bummer.

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Demolition, Design phase

Our VERY IMPORTANT orange notebook

This trusty orange book basically holds every detail our life right now.

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I guess it’s more of a butternut squash color. Anyway, we use it to track our expenses. We write down how many hours we work on the house each day…

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Our crew is small, but dedicated!! We also put in where we buy breakfast, lunch and how many adult beverages we purchase. 🙂

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Before we started this project we did 2 things…DESIGN and BUDGET. I already shared with you Mark’s awesome designs (if you missed it, CLICK HERE) and our budget is something we watch VERY CAREFULLY.

We also save every receipt…EVERY SINGLE ONE. This was my husband’s habit before we bought the house (I think it’s totally weird) and it’s carried over into this project…

But my mom (our accountant) says those receipts will be great to have for tax breaks…THAT’S ALL I NEEDED TO HEAR!

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