A couple weeks ago, I showed you the before/after of the living room and bedroom back in New York. They took significantly less time to finish than the beast we shall simply call The Attic. What started as a harmless little electrical project, turned into a $6,000+ job.
That figure still makes me squirm.
Meanwhile, our sewer catastrophe happened during all this remodeling, which set us back even further. Gotta love the unexpected.
Let’s start at the beginning
Living in a cold, dark climate with no light fixture in the living room was downright depressing.
So, one of our first projects in the upstairs apartment where we lived, was to put in a nice ceiling fan in the living room. Doesn’t seem like too much trouble, right?
To get to the spot we wanted, Joseph had to cut through the carpet that was already installed above in the attic. It wasn’t awesome carpet, even more shown by the fact that the pad underneath was crumbling and disintegrating as he worked.
Diagnosis? The carpet should really be updated.
We tore up the carpet and found very weak flooring
I had noticed whenever one of us walked upstairs, the whole living room ceiling shook, and this was obviously an integrity issue. The floorboards upstairs were so incredibly thin, that everywhere you walked resulted in a squishy feeling.
Not good – especially if you want to use that portion as actual living space.
Another trip to Lowes, and we got the sturdy flooring we needed, but figured if we were putting in new flooring, we really didn’t want to keep that ugly paneling on the walls.
We ripped out the paneling, which revealed R-19 installation
In case that number means nothing to you, let me try to explain via one woman to another. R-19 is the level of installation that is acceptable for walls – not roofing.
It’s no wonder the attic was freezing cold in the winter and suffocating in the summer. We were losing all of our energy through the top of our house.
But the fix wasn’t as easy as buying a higher grade of installation and putting it in ourselves. Nope. The space where the installation should go was too thin for a bulkier kind, so we had to go with spray foam.
Bring out the cha-ching, people. That stuff is expensive!
Supposedly, it’s more energy efficient, which I have noticed temperature wise, just not billing cycle wise….yet. But I won’t know for sure until I compare the averages from last winter and this one.
Time to drywall and tape and spackle
This was my least favorite part. Thank goodness Joseph has some experience in dry walling because it takes quite a few steps to accomplish!
Measure, measure again, cut, nail, fit the next piece in, etc. Then comes the taping and big buckets of mud to hide the seams. (Which if you live in a 100 year old house, those seams are going to crack no matter how much mud you use. Boo.)
And to think it all started with a light fixture
Unbelievable, huh? If I didn’t have such a Holmes on Homes conscience, I probably would have just stapled the carpet back and not even cared. (And if you don’t get my reference, you’ll have to watch one of his shows sometime.)
Well, that’s about the gist of our attic renovation process. I should probably mention that we knocked out a few walls to make the closet smaller and living space seem bigger, but you’ll see all that in Part 2, along with the Before and Afters!
Have you ever had a renovation unravel into a budget nightmare?