Thursday, February 3, 2011


Tommy and I bought a house last year, and when we were figuring out finance stuff we made sure to leave some buffer room for some remodeling that we wanted to do.  We loved the location of the house (views of the Diamond on Long's Peak and our backyard is adjacent to National Park land) and the fact that it could be a single house or a duplex made it even better.  It had water solar panels on top to help with utility bills, and was really just what we were looking for when it came to big things.  The interior, however, needed a little work.  With traveling the past 6 months straight, we still managed to get a lot of remodeling done, but now since we are home we are really getting after it.  Tommy has remodeled a cabin that he had bought by saving money during his dirtbag days, and then built a house in Yosemite, so he has acquired the necessary skills to do most of the remodeling that we have want to do. 

Currently our big project is the kitchen.  That was the one thing when we were looking at the house that I really wanted to change.  I love cooking and spending time in the kitchen, and I feel that its the place where people tend to congregate.  We knocked down a stairwell into the basement and covered it up to open up the kitchen and the living room.  We ordered cabinets for that area to make it more usable, but of course, then there was part plywood on the floor and no matching cabinets throughout the kitchen, and no countertops on the new peninsula cabinets.  When we came home from Argentina we knew it was time to get things done.  We agreed that we would work on the kitchen first because it would be the most work, and make the biggest difference, and it was the most in pieces.  First we needed to put in new lighting in the "breakfast nook" while the cabinets were being made for the kitchen.  We figured this would be a quick job, but it resulted in us mudding the whole room to get rid of the textured walls and re-dry walling the ceiling (and of course putting in new lighting).  We got a call less than a week ago that our cabinets for the kitchen were coming a week early, which meant we had a lot of work to do.  The house was built in 1935 and has had many facelifts throughout its life....which means for a lot of surprises when you are fixing things up.  Everything we have attempted to do has ended up taking 5 times the time it should.  We opened up one part of the wall that needed to come down to find a junction box.  Things were put together unevenly, and it seemed like a lot of short cuts had been taken.  We have had our work cut out.  However, with Tommy's skills and my ability to help and pick up on things relatively well we are making progress and I have a lot of hope that it will work out.  The pieces are coming together and the other day the cabinets were dropped off and are stacked high to the ceiling, waiting to be installed!

Here's a lot of documentation of our construction projects since we've owned the house!  Sometime soon there might be a finished picture of the kitchen!

The wall between the kitchen and the living room.  Notice the paneling on the walls.

The stairway to the basement, and we are ripping this down!

Making progress.  Oops, Tommy cut a wire that went to the light in the breakfast nook!

And the wall is down!!  And a hole in the floor!  (The basement stairs)

Covered up the basement to close up the ceiling and that back wall.

Careful with those tools Tommy!!  Don't want to lose any more body parts!

Painted walls (mostly)...making progress.

Look at the paneling!  Now it's painted drywall.  Yea!
TC cutting into the ceiling into the "breakfast nook" to make recessed lighting.

The holes don't look so promising.

Oops...that one got a little too big!

Tearing down the corner shelves.

The "breakfast nook" under construction.

Mudding all the walls to get rid of the texture and make them smooth.

We re-drywalled the ceiling to get rid of the ceiling texture.  Tommy mudding up the seams.

Making progress...ceiling looks good!

The finished "breakfast nook"!
Beginning to shift things for the big kitchen remodel.

Taking down the cabinets and everything else.

The back pantry area.

Ripping down the back splash tile.

Redoing electrical stuff...

One of the many surprises we find when we rip things down...a junction box!

And awkward ceiling support = ceiling almost caving in!!  Notice the crack across the drywall and the support to the right?  Tommy reinforced the structure.

Thinking about the mess and what to do.

Screwing on the drywall.

New cabinets waiting to be installed!!


Progress...or something like that.

All of the different flooring we have going on...there is one missing (weird wood floor looking linoleum).


  1. very cool blog!!! I love the "inside normal life" side of it.

    keep up the good work - and nice house btw!!

  2. House is looking nice guys keep up the good work. seems like TC bawses remodeling like he does big walls :)

  3. NOICE!!!!!! i bet you've been going out to eat a lot lately :)

  4. This is awesome! Congratulations!! You've put such hard work into it and it looks great!! I want to come visit! : )

  5. Hi

    I´m from Brazil. My name is Luciano Fernandes, and I maintain the "Blog de Escalada", is the biggest climbing blog from portuguese language.

    It is possible make a Interview with Tommy Caldwell? I really like to the opportunity to interview him.

    You can check the blog at :

    If is possible, please let some message at the Facebook page.


  6. Wow... I am very impressed with the two of you..!! What fun to see the changes through your photos Becca!