One Room Challenge Spring 2020 – Week Three!

I am 100% publishing this blog post on fumes. I spent 12 hours yesterday ripping out the last of the lath and plaster on all four walls of our front room, one piece of wood at a time, so apologies if this post is barely sentence.

Should I wait until a bit more time has passed and I’m not so emotionally dead inside as I’m still too raw from yesterday’s demotion to publish this week’s One Room Challenge post? Most definitely. But this is real life and renovation is r.o.u.g.h. sometimes.

I accomplished a lot this past week and I cannot wait to show you the insanity I went through. I look at the photos from last week and laugh at my innocence. It’s all ahead of you, young Alex. Soon the 100-year-old mouse droppings will rain down on you like some sort of twisted renovation version of Flashdance. Except with mouse excrement.

I began this week’s work by removing what turned out to be four layers of ceiling. At the bottom [meaning, closest to me] there were ceiling tiles [which I removed the week previous], then drywall, 100+ year-old plaster, and finally wooden lath at the base. Each had to be removed one layer at a time. This was a total time-suck. But eventually, everything was removed and revealed beautiful beams and the underside of the original wooden floors upstairs.

Once that was cleared, I tackled the lath and plaster on the walls. I was up against the clock with getting this portion done so I spent 12 hours yesterday ripping everything out. It was chaos and more of a mental hurdle than anything, but I got it done.

Above you can see the holes for the original furnace, which came up from the basement, through to the bedrooms and ran down the center of the house. I’m going to patch up the hole on the wall, but I think I’ll keep the original chimney in the ceiling as it’s quite neat.

I was going into this project hoping to be able to restore and save as much of the original plaster as I could. But as soon as the ceiling tiles and wood panels were removed, it was clear they were put there to hide the horrible condition of the plaster. It was quite dangerous in places and fell just from me placing my hand on it. There was no saving it. Don’t @ me.

Once I finished ripping all the lath and plaster out came the arduous clean-up; I shoveled the mess into a recycling box [as seen on the right above], handed it out the window to Robert, who then brought it around and threw it into our Bin There Dump That dumpster. Seeing as plaster is deceptively heavy, we couldn’t fit much plaster in each box so it took approximately 12,000 trips to the dumpster.

I’m innocently hoping the worst of the project is behind me now. Next week I’m hoping to insulate the exterior walls, drywall the walls and ceiling and start on the built-in shelving. In case you haven’t noticed, I like to give myself unrealistic expectations and goals, so we’ll see how this goes.

As usual, you can see all the week three Guest Participants progress here!

Week One – Week Two – Week Three – Week Four – Week Five
Week Six – Week Seven – Week Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2020 – Week Two!

My first week in the One Room Challenge has actually gone really well considering all that I’ve uncovered has pointed out more things that need to be fixed [something I was prepared for], but I am still so excited to transform this space.

You can blame my lack of experience, but I’m looking forward to correcting the wrongs that were made over the more recent 50 years to this house’s history and making the front room in our house a real part of our home and somewhere to enjoy. Not somewhere where furniture goes to die.

I first wanted to get our ceiling tiles tested for asbestos as I was conscious that some older ceiling tiles can have it. This was the main deciding factor in moving ahead with our ORC; if the test came back positive and we couldn’t rip out the tiles ourselves, then we wouldn’t be tackling this room until a professional could do it. I called a few places and thanks to speaking with a few knowledgeable people, I found out if you bring a tile sample in yourself [$90] vs. getting a professional to call out to your house and take the sample [$650 – no exaggeration], you can save yourself a boat load of money.

Up the ladder I went, ripped out one tile, delivered it for testing and one week later we go the results we were hoping for! The next day I contacted Bin There Dump That, who so generously offered to partner on our ORC and provided a 20-yard dumpster, I then ordered the dumpster from them and two days later it arrived and I got started on demolishing our front room.

Down came the ceiling tiles followed by the 80’s faux wood paneling [this kind of stuff, not this stuff]. Both were hiding a plethora of sins. The original 100-year-old plaster on the ceiling and the walls were in terrible condition. They may not have been this bad when they were originally covered, but this is the reason they both were both covered. A case of if I can’t see it, it’s not happening series of design choices.

This is where I got nervous. My dilemma was; the original walls and ceilings are in terrible condition. I want to conserve them, but I can’t. Is it okay for me to rip them out, or is that an even bigger crime against historical architecture? I video called Dad DIYer, who confirmed that the best [and really only] way to move forward is to rip everything out. I was prepared for this and wasn’t disheartened by it, I just wanted to make sure I was making the right decision.

As usual, you can see all the Guest Participants progress here! Check back here next week when I introduce our crowbar to our 100-year-old plaster …

Week One – Week TwoWeek Three – Week Four – Week Five
Week Six – Week Seven – Week Eight

DISCLOSURE - while this post is not sponsored, I did receive the service of a dumpster rental during my One Room Challenge free of charge from Bin There Dump That in exchange for a blog post. I only work with brands that I like and of course, think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.

Bin There Dump That

When Luke from Bin There Dump That contacted me in early February of this year to see if there was a project we could work on together, it was a pretty serendipitous opportunity. At the time I was considering taking part in the upcoming One Room Challenge for the first time as a homeowner. In my new-home-ownership excitement, I figured if I was going to partake in the ORC I was going to go all out and do a proper renovation. Not just painting a room. Like, divide and conquer that room, then paint it. It was a very stars aligning moment when I heard from Luke and felt it was too perfect an opportunity on our first renovation project.

After a few emails and tests [I first wanted to test our ceiling tiles for asbestos before confirming we could move ahead with doing any renovating (which tested negative, yay!)], last week I called the Bin There Dump That Eastern Ontario branch and spoke with Destiny, who took me through the ordering process. Bin There Dump That is North America’s largest residential-friendly dumpster company, so it took less than 10 minutes for her to locate and coordinate a 20-yard dumpster to be delivered when we needed one in two days’ time.

Threenager for scale.

It was a very straight-forward process. On Friday morning Jess delivered our 20-yard dumpster. Even though our driveway is unfinished and rough, she put down large wooden planks to protect it. The dumpster itself isn’t touching our driveway at all so if you had a beautiful driveway I can easily see how it would be fully protected, regardless of how much chaos is happening mere inches above it.

This was one of those grown-up type tasks I had blown out of proportion in my head, but felt I successfully graduated from once I had done it. Ordering a dumpster. It was so easy to order and I’m very thankful for how helpful everyone at the Bin There Dump That team has bin (#DadJoke).

DISCLOSURE - While this post is not sponsored, I did receive the service of a dumpster rental during my One Room Challenge free of charge from Bin There Dump That in exchange for a blog post. I only work with brands that I like and of course, think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.