I was starting to feel like the demo would never end! I’m sure Ben felt that ten times more acutely than I did, since he’s the one actually doing the work. Recently, he discovered that what we thought was updated electrical, was really just a new breaker box and a bit of new wiring connected to decades-old scary stuff inside the walls. Yowza! So, we called in the electricians.
The electricians came over to scope out our situation and quickly told Ben that bringing things up to code was an ASAP must-do. And we know they are right. Together Ben and I put together an electrical plan—sidebar: Have you ever tried to pinpoint exactly where every light switch needs to be located and exactly what fixtures each switch will operate? It’s a lot of pressure! We mapped out every light switch, fixture, and plug we need now and may or may not need in the future—such as under-the-sink ones for a dishwasher and disposal that we or someone else may one day want to install.
I understand that things like wiring, plumbing, septic systems, and all that inside-the-walls stuff is super important. It all makes the house livable and comfortable, after all! But personally, I am not a huge fan of spending thousands of dollars on things I can’t see! Yes. I get it. I will write the check. But I would much rather spend my hard-earned cash on beautiful things like light fixtures rather than the wires that connect my fixture to its dimmer switch. But more on that later.
After we had our plan on paper, the electricians came to walk through it with us. They made suggestions and helped us make decisions such as putting in ceiling fan boxes where we (or someone else) might want fans and moving the breaker box out of the narrow stairwell leading to the master suite and into the basement (a good move I didn’t even consider as a possibility!).
The guys took notes—on paper as well as on the wall studs—and sketched their own floor plan. And, even though most of the walls and ceilings were open, they informed us that if we did even more demo, they could charge far less in labor. Guess what we did? More demo! That’s me at the top, shoveling up the old insulation out of the walls as Ben, below, busts through the last of the lathe. Yuck!
Ben worked non-stop for the next 36 hours continuing to take the walls and ceilings down to the studs, saving us as much in costs as possible. Once the electricians arrived, things were done in just two-and-a-half days. Just call us “Up To Code!” I arrived at the farm a few days later to compare the work done with the electrical plan we created.
Here’s what I found: brand new wiring, switch and plug boxes, but no actual plugs and just two switches in the whole house! Most of the boxes looked like this:
Little did I know, the electricians leave the boxes like this, without switches or outlets installed, to make drywalling easier. This way, you can drywall right over the box and then cut the hole later. I still haven’t figured out how they know where the boxes are after the drywall is up, but I choose to trust the pros on that one. Turns out, the electricians will come back after the drywall is done and install not only plugs and switches, but also all my fixtures!
Wait. What? My fixtures? What fixtures?? My brain is still on demo—not on shopping!! But hey, if anyone can be flexible, I can! A shopping I will go!
I started out by scouring my favorite designer lighting websites and narrowing down choices into the modern farmhouse look I have in my head. And then, because I’m unapologetically thrifty and can’t stand to not get a great deal, I went to Google to search for better prices than the designer sites could give me. I ended up ordering some fabulous fixtures from Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Note: the online selections at the big-box stores are way way way better than what you find in store. And, both stores ship to your home for FREE!!
Here’s a look at what I bought:
Finally, spending money on some pretty things!!! I can see the light (pardon it) at the end of the tunnel! This demo will one day end!! Right?