Mid-Renovation Update: Demo to Drywall!

It’s been a few months since I first shared the renovation plans for our main floor. Since then, we’ve made a ton of progress! If you follow along on Instagram, you’ve probably seen everything we’ve done, but I wanted to catch you all up to speed here and lay out everything that’s happened and still needs to happen.

As a reminder, as part of this remodel we completely gutted our main floor (technically the 2nd floor), which includes the living room, kitchen, and dining room. We also had to replace the stairs due to code issues, which snowballed into demoing the entryway (1st floor), hallway, and entry floor bathroom. We’re also remodeling the porch which is attached to the main floor. Check out all the plans here. Below are some before photos to jog your memory!


We are hiring out the “big stuff” in this project because a lot of it is literally over our heads. There is no way we could’ve vaulted the ceiling, reframed it all, hung all that drywall etc. all by ourselves! Plus, we both work full time so let’s be honest- in the 2 months since demo, we would still probably be working on framing at this point! Ha!

Demo happened in late February, followed by framing (hired), plumbing (hired), electrical (done by Josh), HVAC work (hired), insulation (hired), and finally drywall and priming (hired).

Here’s what it looked like in the early demo phase:

And then we progressed to removing the ceiling to prepare for vaulting and installing the recessed beam:

They then installed the huge support beam and framed in the ceiling and fireplace. During that time they replaced the staircases as well, which don’t look all that different but there is an extra 2″ of depth added to each tread which definitely feels different!

After framing was complete, Josh wired the entire space. We created the electrical plan and he wired for new specifically-placed outlets, recessed lighting, switches, pendants, wall sconces, and a chandelier. He pulled a permit with our state electrical inspector, who upon inspection told him he should consider becoming an electrician! (He looked into that and determined it would be way too much training…haha!)

Also in between there, we had the windows replaced, which you will notice below. The original single pane wood windows were extremely drafty and in rough shape. The new white windows help to brighten up the space so much!

After framing came insulation. We hired this out as well. The house felt so different once it was insulated!

And finally, drywall! Getting drywall hung is always a game-changer. The guys hung, taped, mudded, sanded, and primed over the course of about a week and a half.

The Entry Floor

We also demo’d, reframed, and drywalled the entryway level (first floor). There is a ductwork run in the entryway that hung down really low due to the way it was framed. It would’ve cost about $3500 to install new ductwork and only would’ve gained us about 3 inches of headspace, so we opted to just re-frame the existing ductwork run. Doing that added about 2-3 inches of headspace which doesn’t sound like much, but definitely makes a difference!

The floor is out of level on this floor, so we need to pour self-leveling concrete to balance it out. The bathroom is right next to the back door (in the photo above with the 6-panel door) and has a roughly 1″ step up from the hallway. In order to ensure we could run the same flooring from the hallway into the bathroom, we had to demo the bathroom tile- which meant demoing the entire bathroom. I did that last weekend, in hopes that we can get to leveling the floor very soon!

So that’s where we’re at today! Our cabinet builder is working on the kitchen cabinetry and stair treads. They should be ready for installation in 4-5 weeks. While we wait, here’s our to-do list:

  • paint the walls, ceiling, and trim
  • stain interior doors
  • paint exterior doors
  • install exterior doors
  • pour self-leveling concrete on entryway floor
  • install tile on entryway floor
  • install tile in porch
  • install interior doors
  • tile bathroom floor and shower
  • install lighting, switches, and outlets everywhere after paint
  • tile fireplace surround
  • install gas fireplace (hired out)
  • build entryway bench
  • build fireplace mantel
  • install beams on ceiling?

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us!! I ordered all of the supplies we’ll need to paint everything and that should all be here this weekend. Hoping we can get the doors and walls/ceiling/trim painted by mid-next week. After paint, we can install the doors and then do the tile work. It seems a little overwhelming, but we’re just taking it one day at a time!

Let me know if you have any questions below!

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, soaking up the sun on our boat, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio!

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  • Wow! You guys are so amazing. Laura, I really appreciate your sharing of your progress. It is so neat to see. Did you run that low voltage wiring to your windows for those incredible motorized window treatments that you plan to install? 🙂 Be well and I look forward to the next update.