New House Renovation Progress {First Floor}

*Psst! If you're new here, we're renovating our first home - a 1930s row house - in the city of Philadelphia! To hear the story from the beginning, start here, then check out the real estate listing photos here. After we closed, we started a month-long renovation blitz to shape it up and I'm sharing the progress here piece by piece! I started with the upstairs last week. Catch up on that in this post.

If you read last week's post, you know that we spent this past weekend moving into our new house!  It's crazy town up in here with boxes scattered in nearly every corner, but the move went just about as smoothly as it could have thanks to some fantastic help from friends, family and a couple of very strong movers. This is the first time we've ever moved "in town" and it was far easier than moving to a new city, but also far less efficient. It'll take us awhile to get settled, but in the meantime...

It's time for another reno update! I think the first floor has seen the most dramatic changes so far, though you won't quite get the full effect for a little while. Remember this shot from the day we closed on the house?

That's the view from the front door. I'm standing in the living room and the next room you see is the dining room. The doorway with the bright light shining through it leads to the kitchen.

We ripped up the yucky carpet throughout (including the stairs - oy) and my sweet mama spent practically an entire day on her bottom pulling out tacks, staples and nails to prep it for the new hardwood flooring. What you see below is the subfloor post-carpet-ripout.

Next is a view of the dining room from the day we closed. We ripped those closets out (as I mentioned in this post), pulled the carpet and patched the brick wall with drywall.

 It feels so much more spacious in here now! Can you believe the next photo is even the same view as above?

Here we are standing in the dining room and looking back toward the front door.



As soon as the floor was prepped and my father-in-law took care of some of the tricky hardwood flooring areas, C and I got to work on installing much of the rest of it. We knocked out almost all of the downstairs flooring on Halloween and as a funny aside, when the neighborhood kids came by to trick or treat, I greeted them at the door wearing my ear protection and wielding that flooring nail gun you see in the next shot below. I'm not sure if they thought I was wearing some sort of costume or that I was just a crazy neighbor lady!

Anyway, in case you were ever curious about how you lay hardwood flooring, the photos provide a mini-demonstration.

We found that it's fastest and easiest  with two people (relatively speaking that is - hardwood flooring is not really fast or easy no matter how you do it!): the first person lays out the strips and bangs them into place with a hammer. The pieces fit together with a tongue and groove, but you have to use some muscle to get them flush. The second person comes through with heavy duty flooring gun and secures the pieces to the subfloor with it. There's more to it, of course, but that's the quick and dirty version of the process.

Installing hardwoods is pretty backbreaking and time-consuming, but totally, totally worth it.

Here's a shot of the progress on the first floor:

Pretty nice, huh?

I'm going to leave you with a total teaser shot today of the wall between the dining room and kitchen. Can you guess what's going to happen with it?

Spoiler alert - it's down!

But I'll save that progress shot for next time :).

I'm off to unpack some more boxes. It's time to get settled in here!

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  1. It's looking so good! It's going to be fun seeing the progress because you have done so much already. It's going to be amazing!

  2. I love "watching" renovations take place like this - thanks for sharing all this with us, Chaney! I can't wait to see more!!

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