Demolition House

We’re back from Austin — immediately following a few days in Boulder. I’ll write about the Boulder trip soon, but first up, what were we doing in Austin?
Buying our first house!

The closing couldn’t have gone more smoothly. It took an hour, we got a refund check (because our closing check was estimated too high), and the key for the house had a kitty on it!

We went straight from the closing to the house (of course), and when we got there, this family of deer was waiting in the back yard to welcome us. (The fawns are out of frame.)

We slept in the house that night — just us and the Aero Bed. The next morning, our contractor and his crew arrived to start the renovations. First to go: the wood wall panels in the family room.

That built-in next to the fireplace? The mantle above the fireplace? That old-school brass fireplace frame? That’s all gotta go.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

The door to the master bedroom is, inexplicably, off of the kitchen. So let’s move that to the family room. First, Cesar, our contractor, cuts the hole for the new door.

Here’s the view back into the family room from the master bedroom — as seen through the wall that will soon hold the new door.

Next up: demo of the tile floor and carpeting (to be replaced with dark-stained maple wood floors throughout), scraping of the popcorn ceilings, smoothing of all of the walls (which are currently painted with a sharp-textured paint — who thought that textured paint was a good idea?  why would I want to scratch my hand just by leaning on a wall?), installation of the surround speakers into the ceiling, and a few other things. When we get there — in just over four weeks — the place will be transformed. But at the end of work day number one, it looked like this…


Andrew Hackard says

The deer are pretty right up until they start eating your landscaping. Might want to look into deer-resistant (or even deer-repellent) plants.

I don't think that area of town has coyotes, but you'll want to watch for possums, skunks, and raccoons. Armadillos possible but unlikely; you'll know you have them if your lawn starts collapsing. Spiders are ubiquitous but almost all of them are harmless, even the big scary-looking wolf spiders. You'll be spraying for fire ants frequently. It's a holding action. Good news is that A&M is doing promising research on human-inoffensive bugs that LOVE to eat fire ants.

The house looks nice, even all torn up. Here's hoping it's even nicer when all is said and done.

Kevin Howlett says

Looks like an HGTV show.

Travis Taylor says

Should've gotten me and my dad to do the contracting... I would play in the background "We built this city," -- city would be changed to house, rock and roll would be changed to "wind symphony's band booster checks!" Then I would watch my dad drink a beer while "working," ... We might not get anything done, but as long as I get to rock out and make a faux 80's montage and my dad gets a beer, it would be worth it.

Actually, no, that's a terrible idea. The HGTV Group you have now seems capable.


dcgrp says

Keep us updated with pictures! (as I'm sure you will)

Connie Miller says

Don't forget the scorpians and snakes. Though snakes are not so much a problem unless you back up to a greenbelt. In which case, you might want to keep Lokie inside.
Very cool that you have deer, though. Unless you've got some relatives who like to go huntin' in your backyard. If you're not much of an animal rights advocate, you can sell them a deer lease and that'll help pay for your renovations.

Happy Demo and welcome to home ownership in Awesome, Texas. If you ever have any questions, I'll be happy to provide the answers. Cathy will vouch that I am a know-it-all.

Mark S. says

That last picture looks like my room after we tore out the old carpet.

Andy Sigler says

Congrats! It looks like a great place,though I'm interested to see/read whether your contractors deliver on their 1 month promise ;) As long as you have at least one room in good shape as a retreat, you'll be fine...

Michael says


Cellist Caroline says

Oooohh -- sweaty men with power tools!!

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