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When Demo Day Goes Wrong.

When flipping a home you have to expect that things will not always go as planned. You just hope it doesn’t cost a lot of money. The less money those unexpected things cost the better! But, what happens when you can’t just fix or replace the unexpected? You cry. Yep, you just cry. #demodaydisaster

Our 1915 farmhouse had a lot of the charm you’d expect to see in a 100-year-old home. Hardwood floors, high baseboards, old radiators, and built-ins. Built-in’s are one of our favorite characteristics of an older home.

The kitchen had a built-in pantry with drawers and storage cabinets. (We decided to remove this particular built-in due to it taking up space in the kitchen that could be better used.) The adjoining dining room had a beautiful built-in buffet. We had exciting plans to restore it and bring it back to life.

Demo day is usually the first exciting day of a flip or remodel. It means you have all your ducks in a row and are ready to start! Seeing walls come down and old things being tossed out into the dumpster is so satisfying.

What’s not satisfying is realizing that the demo guy you hired demoed out the built-in buffet in the dining room. Yes.  The 104-year-old buffet that’s original to the house. Cue the tears. Seriously this was heartbreaking.

We try to keep as much originality to a house as we can. And, what’s more charming than an original built-in buffet?  Somehow our demo guy didn’t notice the sign taped on the buffet reading “Do Not Demo”. He removed all of it. My first thought was, can we put it back in? That was a big fat nope. He removed it all in chunks and broke up the boards afterward.

So long, Buffet.

After getting over the initial shock, Carter called a few of our local antique salvage shops, but no one had an old built-in the right size. Luckily, a week later we were able to track down one that would fit. It wasn’t as old, and not nearly as charming, but it would do the trick.

It still stings a little knowing a special piece to this homes’ 104-year-old history was destroyed. In the end, we decided not to use the replacement buffet we found, but to use the space for something different. Check back soon for the exciting reveal! 

In addition to the buffet being removed, we also had the walls between the kitchen and the dining room knocked down to open up the floor plan.

As you can see in the picture above the kitchen was small and just didn’t have good flow.

Now that the wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed you can really feel the space opening up. You can also see in the photo above on the right-hand side that we also removed the walls in the family room to create even more of an open floor plan.

Old homes are notorious for closed off floor plans with several separated, small rooms. (And small closets!) Don’t let that scare or intimidate you though. A structural engineer can come out and determine if you have a load bearing wall. If so, he can create a plan for steel beams to go up in their place. This is the second remodel we have done that has required steel beams to go in. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is a fairly simple process.

If you have any questions about your own flip or remodel feel free to shoot us an email.

Use #thefliphousediaries on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to share your remodels with us!

-Heather and Carter


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