Progress Update: Rebuilding a Room

I can’t believe how quickly August is flying by!

I haven’t done an update here in a long time because as it turns out, rebuilding your walls is two things:

  1. boring
  2. time consuming

Which makes for not really exciting blog content. Instead of doing a post for insulation, a post for drywall and a post for small-ish projects, I’m doing a massive update here so it looks like it all happened really fast, just like on tv.

In my last post, we were drooling over our newly refinished floors. We quickly covered up the floors with contractor paper so we wouldn’t mess them up while we insulated and drywalled. Sidenote: can someone help me out with the drywall verbs? Are you drywalling? Or are you hanging drywall? Or installing drywall? As you’ll see later in this post, the business of drywall has me pretty mystified.

But first insulation:

Insulatiing our Kitchen Insulatiing our Kitchen

Insulation is dirty work but there’s also something really fun about it, like when you open a bag and it all expands everywhere like it’s alive or something. It’s kind of like a bath bomb: it explodes into a mess of pink fluffiness and it’s really cool to watch but sometimes makes your skin itch.

I remember when I was little and we had exposed insulation in our unfinished basement and I used to imagine they were our pet pigs that lived in cramped corners. Something about the way insulation is squeezed into a wall made me think of a pig’s bum. I was weird!


Insulatiing our Kitchen Insulatiing our Kitchen

Doesn’t it look like a fun cotton candy land? Ryan takes insulation very seriously so he would want me to mention something important like improving the R-value of our home and instead I spent two paragraphs talking about how insulation reminds me of pig butts and bath bombs.

We did, in fact, have a home energy assessment after re-insulating and putting up new drywall, which means we’re going to get a nice little rebate for making energy-efficient upgrades to the space.

Next up, drywalling/installing drywall/putting up drywall

Back in May, when we first opened up our walls and tore down our cabinets, we found some fun relics of the past. Because nothing is ever permanent (except true love), I thought it’d be fun to hide a secret message over the brick that we were covering up:

Installing drywall

I’m still a little sad that our brick chimney was in such poor condition but I’m starting to move on from it.


Installing drywall Installing drywall Installing drywall

Ryan and his Dad, Carl, did the ceiling drywall one sunny Saturday while I went to the beach. I’m so grateful for Carl’s help on this project because I had to help Ryan put one single sheet of drywall on the ceiling later and it was actually the worst. If it was just me and Ryan trying to drywall the ceilings, I’m pretty sure we would have started a war. It’s really frustrating and exhausting work!


I did, however, help with the drywall in the kitchen. My main role was “hold this in place for a long time and don’t let go” and measuring things twice because I’m really bad at reading a tape measure. The numbers aren’t in the right place! I think it’s a left-handed brain thing but Ryan says that’s no excuse.


We hired someone to do the mud and sanding because it’s such a specialized skillset, it wasn’t something were advised to do on our own. It’s also a crazy messy job. We’ll be vacuuming drywall dust for years to come, I think. Also, I always called drywall mud “plaster” but Ryan says it’s NOT plaster and that I’m wrong calling it plaster. I thought if you were “drywalling” you were putting up sheets of drywall and if you were “plastering” you were doing the “mudding” part. I thought if you were “mudding” you were off-roading on a bog bike in the woods?

Obviously, I was in no way qualified to do this work myself because I don’t even know what the right word is for this trade.


Installing Drywall Installing Drywall

Hooray for flat ceilings! The giant holes in the ceiling with dangly wires are where Ryan is going to install in-ceiling speakers. It’ll be really nice having a surround-sound set-up without having any ugly wall mounted speakers.


Installing Drywall Installing Drywall Flat walls! This was the point when it started to feel like a real room.


Last week our kitchen cabinets arrived!

Ryan has spent the past few days installing them and they’re looking so great! I’m really getting excited to see everything come together now.

Kitchen Cabinets Kitchen Cabinets

And our cement tile came in!

Cement Tile

Ryan did a great job of laying the tile and making sure the transition between the two other floors was as smooth as possible. This picture is pre-grouting, but we used a light grey grout in between.

So that’s it for our massive update! Things still to come next week:

  1. Our butcher block counter is ready to be picked up, so we’ll be driving out to Bridgewater next week to get it. We got it from the Windhorse Farms Woodshop, which worked out really well for us! I love Windhorse Farms – we’ve spent 2 New Years’ Eves there over the years so it’ll be nice to have a reminder of a place we love visiting in our home.
  2. We’re having measurements made for our quartz countertop on Wednesday, and it’ll be ready in about two weeks.
  3. Electrical and plumbing will happen next week.
  4. Repainting the living room this week as soon as all the cabinets are in (the ones we haven’t installed yet are being stored in the living room.

I told Ryan I wanted a kitchen for my birthday (September 4), and I think we’re in pretty good shape right now! It might be a last-minute crunch to get there and I’m sure we’ll still have lots of small things to take care of as well, but the goal is a working kitchen on September 4!

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