The tale of a mouse, a lot of water, and a putty knife

A few weeks ago, Hubs snagged a little meecer in a humane catch-and-release trap after we found some evidence of the little guy in the oven drawer (yuck!).  We celebrated his exodus and thought that was the end of it.  That is, until Hubs later discovered a slow leak from the water supply line for the fridge.IMG_0064 IMG_0066

Sorry for the iPhone photos, but there was no way I could handle worrying about real photos in the midst of this mess.  Thankfully, the ServPro guys were out lickety-split and got to work drying everything out.

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By the time everything was said and done, we had damage to our base cabinets, the laminate flooring, the underlayment, the trim, and the insulation in the crawl space under the house.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, and we breathed a sigh of relief.  Now that we are digging into replacing the floors, it made sense to work on removing a weird wall that separates the kitchen from the entry. The space used to the laundry area before the previous owners relocated those to a new laundry room off the TV room.  Now it’ just awkward, and breaks up the space.

Since we are taking out the wall, we thought it made sense to address the really bad texture on the ceiling.  It’s just inches of joint compound gobbed up there, making the low ceilings feel even lower.  We talked to several different folks for advice.  Some said scrape and sand it off, others said to hire someone to rip it all down and start again.  Given this was an unexpected renovation, we decided to give the scraping a shot.  Best case scenario, we could save some money, worst we were only out some sweat equity.

To start, we sprayed an area with warm water. (Actually, first Hubs got on some old flight gear.  I think it might make him feel like the Maverick of home improvement.)



This is where the putty knife comes in.  We tried a couple of different tools, but we found that some warm water, 10 minutes of wait time, and a putty knife seemed to work best.  This stuff was CRAZY thick in some places, so we often had to take several passes of water, wait, scrape in order to get this junk off.


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We got a lot off, but we will definitely need to go back to patch and sand.  We figure, for a Phase 1 reno, it was worth it.  The total cost was about $10 for drop clothes for the kitchen and entry. And boy, did we need them.  This is super messy work.

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We did hit a pretty significant snag in the hallway.  There seems to be a huge section where the previous owners did some kind of patch work. The drywall itself was so uneven that there was nothing we could do to save it.  We plan to have our contractor address this part of the project for us. In the meantime, we started to remove some of the old cabinets that were in the laundry area.


We’ll finish ripping those out these week, and then we’ll start ripping down drywall.  Our contractor is going to help us move the electrical boxes in the wall, and is going to do the patchwork to get it all ready for paint and primer.  Then it will be ready for new floors and new color!  Woot!  While we weren’t planning on this, it feels good to take some steps to bring this funky little house out of the 80’s and into 2014.

What about you guys? Any unexpected DIY going on out there?

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