The Merc Renovation HAS BEGUN!!!

Is this even real? I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. You guys we FINALLY started renovations on the Merc yesterday! Pinch me, slap me, tickle my butt, cause this thing is happening and its the greatest day of my liiiiiiife!!

As we embark on this wild adventure, I am being hyper vigilant about sharing everything. I know that loads of people would love to restore an old building but for whatever reason can’t do it. So here is me, standing proxy for all of you, cause we’re doing this thing together! (Since we’re in this together can I borrow $20k?) This means, even when I’m dead exhausted and write things like tickle my butt I’m here sharing it all.

We’re also trying something completely new…Vlogging!! You know cause why try to simply raise a family, renovate a 100 yr old building, run a business and brush your teeth every day when you can do all of the above AND become a videographer!?!

In short, posts will be here, daily vlogs on YouTube, insta stories on insta all day son, and my heck if you bring me a snow cone I’ll drop everything to give you a personally guided tour. I like Pomegranate.

You can’t escape me.

So do you want to know what Day 1 uncovered?!

I met our AMAZING general contractor Brent and the plumber at 7:30 this morning. I’ve thought about this for so long and tried to figure out the step by step process during my 3 am obsess sessions and still couldn’t figure it out.

This is what it looks like. First we met with the plumber. The Merc has very little in the ways of water and drainage pipes so we have to trench through the concrete slab to run everything. From the extremely rough sketch that the city had (that was from 1995) the sewer line ran alongside the Merc. Which was great. The plan was to tie into the sewer line just outside the 1st bedroom wall.

We had a plumber (different kind, this one is the kind you call if you have plugged pipes) come and use the coolest contraption to determine where the line actually goes. Its a snake that has a sensor on the end and emits a signal to a handheld tool that tells it where it is and how deep it is in the ground.

Guess what?

The line, instead of running parallel to the Merc and down to the road actually runs perpendicular all the way across the parking lot and 4 feet into my next door neighbors yard.

On a scale of idealess this is a -57.

Knowing this, the next step was to have the framer come out and chalk where all of the walls are. This way we can find out the best way to run the plumbing.

Once all of the lines were chalked he sprayed them with clear spray paint, that way regardless of what’s happing on the floors the lines stay nice and clear. Pretty brilliant right?!

This was probably my favorite part of today. It feels so great to be able to see where everything is and the room sizes, to be able to walk the hallways and get pumped about furniture placement. Its my freaking kryptonite.

After the framer left it was time to demo!! Here’s what I learned, sheetrock installed with nails comes off in big sections, sheetrock installed with screws comes off in pieces the size of a cookie. Super lame.

As we were demoing the ceiling in one of the back rooms we found today’s #mercperk, a SKYLIGHT! So cool, except for the part that there was reeeeeeediculous amounts of water damage around it. So yay and also poop.

The last discovery that we made today is the hobbit hallway. Remember when we chatted about the quirks that we just had to embrace? The unique hallway situation was at the top of the list (you can read about it here.) Basically we had to use the openings that were already there because the walls were built out of cinder block. I had the highest of hopes that the smaller doorway had been furred in on all sides and we’d be able to make it wider and especially taller

You know what we found? Ciderblock DIRECTLY behind the sheetrock. No studs, no furring, no space for the masses of spiders to chill, nada. Shoot. So we moved on to the top of the doorway and what we found was even worse! A steel beam supporting the cinderblock that had completely come apart from settling. I don’t know how we’re going to resolve this but its critical so we’ll figure it out! Any suggestions?

All in all I feel like today was awesome, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Check out our Day 1 vlog here, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!!


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Author: Jeff Donaldsons

Good day everyone, I'm a family man who loves hanging out with friends & meeting new people. Family Friends and Coding Yeah!. I also love helping others.