Kitchen Ceiling Update (aka Proof our friends rock)

I mentioned earlier this week that the structural beams in our kitchen are in place thanks to help of some of our friends. Well, when the guys installed the beams nice and level we realized just how much the roof has sagged over time.


Notice those small blocks above the beam? The ones that get progressively longer from one side to the other? Those are to accommodate the sagging. It was noticeable before, but you slap up a level beam and BAM! Holy-crooked-moley-batman!

Our friends suggested framing up a new false ceiling (lower than the current room but still vaulted) so we when we finished the ceiling with sheet rock or bead board we would have a nice level, even surface. Thankfully our friends also offered to come back the next Saturday to make that happen! So grateful. Honestly, my first thought after they pitched the idea of a false ceiling was, “Well crap, Ryan is going to have to figure out how to do that all by himself because I can’t help on a ladder. I’m sure it would look better, but Ryan is going to hate me.” Ha. What a relief when Ryan said they were offering to come back again and help. Whew. Ryan doesn’t hate me! 🙂

Here is our new “false” kitchen ceiling in all its glory.

Kitchen-ceiling-done kitchen-ceiling

Please forgive the night-time, Iphone photos.

You know what is not glorious? A leaky roof…and we have one.


Thank you, Mom, for giving me Granny’s giant bucket/pail/thingy-bob. It makes for a great rain catcher when the roof leaks. The good thing about still having all the walls and ceilings open while it rains for five straight days is that you can easily spot the leaks! We have a roofer coming out tomorrow to take a look.

With the kitchen ceiling done, we have officially completed our list for the building inspector, and we are hoping to have her back out tomorrow! We will keep you posted.

I also have updates on some window drama to share. For those of you who live in Alabama, are you as sick of this weather as I am? Blah! I think I am forgetting what the sun looks like… Thanks for stopping by and reading! What have you guys been up to lately?




Holiday Fun: Christmas, Kitchen Beams, and Inspections

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of family, friends, food and fun! I hope Santa was nice to you as well 🙂

Holidays_saffellsWe were both blessed to be able to have time off work to hang out with friends and family. We were also blessed to get a butt-load of Lowe’s gift cards, house related gifts, and some other fun goodies! Ryan thought it would be funny to wrap my gifts in house-wrap this year.


Tori and Bella enjoyed have some extra nap and cuddle time as well.


They have a rough life, can’t you tell? Now, something pretty much as exciting as Christmas: Beams in the Kitchen! We spent the Saturday before Christmas working on beams. You can see my inspiration for vaulting the ceiling here. Ryan and I have been saving some of our salvaged lumber for this project and were very ready to get it off the floor, out of one of our numerous piles, and up to the ceiling. Here is our final before shot!


We started the process by deciding what height we wanted to mount the beams, which ended up being the highest spot we could reach while standing semi-safely on the ladder. Have I mentioned I don’t like being on ladders? Like, AT ALL?! I prefer to be safely planted on the ground or on a small step stool. Beyond that is outside of my comfort zone. Thankfully Dad was around that Saturday, so he took my spot on the ladder and I got to eye-ball for level! Hurray!

We had just enough old 2 x 4 lumber long enough to install beams (each beam being two 2 x 4s) on three of the six rafters. Ryan then went about determining the angle of the rafters so we could cut the end of the beams accordingly. With our angle determined, we used the miter saw to make our cut.



Because of the angle, the miter saw would not cut through the entire piece  of wood, so we just finished off the cut with a circular saw. We made the same cut on the other end of the lumber, and ta-da!


It’s a hot look, I know. It was cold that day, if you couldn’t tell from my apparel. With the beam ready to go up, I handed it off to Dad and Ryan to put up.


We used a level to make sure it was nice and straight. Sorry, no photo! The old 2 x 4s aren’t terribly heavy, but anytime you are holding something over your head it gets heavy fast! Ryan simply propped the level on top of the beam for me to read from below. With the beam level, they secured the beam with our framing nailer. We love our nail gun!


Actually that is just a hammer. Not our beloved nail gun, but the nail gun did get a work out that day! I think Dad even wants one now.


We decided to double up each 2 x 4 to create a “beefier” look. Beefier is totally a design term, right? 😉 We put the second 2 x 4 right next to first beam, nailed into the rafter and the beam so it was well supported. Wa-La!


The first and second beam – CHECK! Who needs Christmas presents when you have rustic beams installed in your kitchen?! Not me. Santa can come every year and just bring me some really cool, rustic beams! Haha. We were able to get up all three beams in one afternoon. For anyone wanting to add beams, it is a three person job: Two to hold and one to hand up tools and supplies/check for level.

We also took care of installing a new door knob and an actual dead bolt on the front door. None of our exterior doors when we bought the house had actual dead bolts! Scary, right?!


We decided to stick with door knobs instead of handle because 1) it is what was on the house when we bought it and all the original door hardware are knobs and 2) it is easier for little hands to open handles! With little people in our future (not right now – just to clarify- but one day, sorry Mom!) we decided that knobs would be better.

Now, let’s talk inspection. Here is where I kind of loose my Christmas cheer. As you may have read last week, we passed our HVAC, electrical, and gas inspection. The day after Christmas we passed our plumbing rough in inspection. Yay! Then, we had our building inspection the following Friday and we did NOT pass. *Womp womp* The building inspector inspects framing and the overall structure, and she gave us a list of things we need to do before moving on with finishing. We weren’t surprised by any means, just bummed. She just confirmed that we HAD to do a few things we weren’t exciting about spending time and money on…like redoing our entire set of stairs to bring them up to code.


We knew they weren’t up to code from the get-go, but we were going to leave them be if we could, just to save time and money. Thankfully our gift cards we got from Christmas covered the bulk of the material we had to buy to make changes to the stairs and some other things! If you bought us a Lowe’s giftcard for Christmas, congratulations, you are helping us replace the stairs! 🙂

I will share later about the other things we have to do. I hope you all have a very Happy (and safe)  New Year! I will talk to you guys next year!



Bringin’ Down the House

Ryan has been busy this week bringin’ down the house ceiling (or ceilings? not sure if it’s singular or plural) in the kitchen and bedrooms upstairs. It has been some of the dirtiest work to date, and I have pictures to prove it!! Before we jump to the embarrassing photos of me and Ryan, here’s the run down on removing ceilings.

Just like all of our walls, the ceilings are made of tongue and grove and bead board. Instead of pulling down each plank piece by piece with a hammer and crowbar (how we removed the walls), Ryan opted for a much faster way of removal. He got in the attic and cut the boards with his reciprocating saw. Then, he crab crawled his way around the attic and kicked the ceiling down. Now, I got in the attic ONCE and thought I was going to die trying to get down. For real. When your life depends on the ability to chair lift your body weight down to the ladder, there are some series issues. There isn’t one of those handy pull-down ladders, just a 2′ by 2′ opening that you pop the cover off and put a ladder under. SCARY! We both thought I might be stuck in the attic forever, ha!  

Point of the story – I will not be going into the attic unless my life literally depends on it or we have a pull down ladder. Hopefully it is the later. I don’t mind missing out on working in the attic because IT. IS. HOT. Holly Moley. Ryan has been SWEATY, like super-duper-nasty sweaty. Over 100 degree temperatures for two weeks = very hot attic. While Ryan did not enjoy the heat so much, I think he did enjoy getting to kick the heck out of things….

Ryan demoing ceiling

Here’s a play by play of the ceiling upstairs coming down. Step 1 –

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4 – BOOM

Ceiling down!!

I wish we could keep all the ceilings (I say that about everything!), but they are sagging, some have a little bit of water damage, and we need to a little bit of framing work in the attic, so the ceilings have to go. We also didn’t want the wood ceilings in the bathrooms upstairs since it would be exposed to lots of moisture. We did keep the ceiling in our master bedroom, Yay!! It wasn’t sagging and there is no need to worry about moisture in there, so hurray! Now I just have to scrape of 4 layers of wallpaper….

Removing the ceiling in the kitchen went a little differently, though. The kitchen was added on later and only has an attic space above. Technically, Ryan COULD have crawled in the attic space…but I am pretty sure he would have fallen to his death. I’m not a supporter of anything that could injure my husband. Maybe in 10 years that will change.

Kidding!! The ceiling is not nearly as sturdy as it should be. So, getting in the attic and kicking the ceiling down was not an option. Bring out the crowbar!! Ryan took down the ceiling with his hammer and wonder bar (really skinny crowbar). He made quite the mess.

While Ryan was busy taking stuff down, I ran everything from the inside and upstairs to the dumpster. No need to worry about running or working out that day, gah! I made about 428,977 trips back and forth to the dumpster. Ok, Maybe not that many, but it was a lot!

Want a sneak peek of our vaulted kitchen ceiling? Well, even if you don’t, you are getting one anyways because it is…um… awesome.


I am just a little bit excited about it…

Anyways, I have one more thing I would like to address today. Apparently, there is a rumor going around that I don’t get dirty. Or do dirty work. I just tell Ryan what to do and take pictures. NOT TRUE, PEOPLE! SO NOT TRUE!! So without further ado, here is a picture from this past Saturday. Here I am covered head to toe in coal dust.

Brittney Saffell

My feet were even filthy.

Ryan actually won the “I-am-dirtier-than-you” Saturday contest. We pick a winner every Saturday, usually it’s yours true, but this past Saturday Ryan took the cake.

 Bella managed to stay nice and clean this past Saturday.

Bella Saffell

Overall, it was a very productive week!! It did feel like a really long, weird week with the Holiday though. Anyone else just out of sync all week? I sure was. What did you do this weekend? Anyone ever removed a ceiling before?

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

P.S. You are welcome to follow me on Instagram (bnmsaffell) for immediate house updates! I don’t post everything on Instagram, but usually post a few pictures throughout the week. It does usually take around 3 to 7 days for me to blog about it, so you will be ahead of the curve!