It All Looks So Easy On Fixer Upper

If you watch the show Fixer Upper then you know the crazy amazing house makeovers they do.  When Ed and I bought our lake house, we knew we would be doing some fixing and some updating to our house.

Fixer upper house removing a wall between two rooms

One of these updates was removing this wall with a pocket door between the kitchen and the living room.

Ed began to remove the wall back in January after consulting with a professional builder who told him what needed to be done, which was that we had to add temporary support jacks where we were removing the previous wall studs. These support jacks had to stay in place until the new support beam could be installed.

Fixer upper lake house knocking down a wall between two rooms

Opening a wall in an old house

And then it sat like this for a few weeks, until he had the time to remove the rest of the studs and add another jack, plus re-route the electrical and cap off the heating vent. It all looks so easy when they show demolition on Fixer Upper, even when problems arise, it all goes together seamlessly.

We didn’t run into any problems, but before we could remove the temporary support jacks, a big beam had to be added along the expanse since the wall is a load bearing. We knew it was above our DIY skills and were waiting on the help of a pro to install it.

Adding a ceiling beam when removing a wall between two rooms

Early this week, our realtor who is also a retired builder and a super nice guy came and made the beam and installed it in less than an hour, just like the pros do on Fixer Upper.  He had the all the right skills and tools. 1..2..3 DONE!

Yesterday, Ed added the sheetrock over the new beam and Spackled it. Crown molding will be added to each side.

open concept living

WOW!  What a difference the removal of the wall (you can see where the wall was on the floor) and the temporary support jacks has made to the space and has doubled the view out to the lake from each room.

Lake house remodeling ideas

Now it is my turn to paint the walls, hang the drapes I wrote about in this post, and fix the floor where the wall was. If I can find the right thickness of hardwood it should not be too hard.

How to open a wall between two rooms

The TV will be mounted on the wall using a swivel mount so we can change the direction to the kitchen or living room. I am going to paint the walls and all the brown trim white.

Progress…my vision for the room is coming together.  :-)

Wondering what it looks like on the other side of this room?  What I have been doing to it is the reason why it has been a little quiet around here lately.  My focus for the past week has been on the right side of the room in the photo above.

I have taken on a major project on the side of the room that you can’t see.  It is almost done, but I can’t show you any of it yet.

I was asked to take on a DIY challenge that has to be complete by next week. It has pushed back all the other projects I have been working on and has taken all my time, literally from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I fall into bed exhausted at night. It has all been worth it though since it is turning out better than I could ever imagine.  I am not sure when I can reveal all the details about the project and challenge, but it should be soon. I am very excited to show you as I think it is my best work ever.

I put down my DIY tools today so I can enjoy hanging out with my daughter’s who are both coming home for the Easter weekend, as well as Ed’s best friend. I am looking forward to just relaxing for a few days with family before finishing the project early next week. I will keep you posted.

I hope you have a Happy Easter!

Home Improvement like on the show Fixer Upper. Updating a 1970's era lakefront home on a budget. Follow my progress on my blog. Our first big renovation project was removing a wall that was between the kitchen and living room. It really opens up the space and water views. | In My Own Style<

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  1. Michelle Dougherty says:

    Beautiful! Where did you purchase the rug? Is the outside border of it green? Thanks.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you Diane, Fixer Upper does make renovations look easy.

    Folks don’t realize all the behind the scenes work that goes into it all. Just doing a little DYI project can be a ton of work, and if you get it wrong, won’t look anything like you imagined. I know, I’ve been there. But you are doing a fantastic job on your renovation.

    If you have patience and a little vision it can be an awesome thing. :-)

  3. Lisa @ Farmhouse on Boone says:

    What an improvement!!

  4. Super cool to see “real life” Reno work, but I’m dying to know if you have plans for the old pocket doors. They look like a fun project in and of themselves. Love your posts! ?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janey – I was hoping to reuse the pocket door framing and the door somewhere else in my house, but the framing was too hard to remove and was broken. I am however going to use the solid wood panel door that was the pocket door into a rolling door for the powder room in my house.

  5. Alina Watson says:

    Hi Diane,

    Nice work as well as great job Diane, you have done a awesome job to share this post for your website audience. Diane, I just looks to easy to see or understand in pics but I can understand, How it will hard to do this work as practical :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Alina – Some projects are harder than others, but when I complete one, it is always worth the mess and effort when I see what can be achieved by DIY’ing.

  6. Elaine Williams in Baltimore says:

    This space is coming along beautifully. You have such vision, talent and the guts to see it through! Love watching the transformation.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Elaine – We had 4 guests over the weekend, having the open space was great. I finished up the the other side today and will be posting that transformation soon.

  7. Wow! No wall opens up the view so wonderfully! We have a similar set up–we live on the Raritan River in NJ and the back of the house has a great view , with lots of windows. I, too, am about to take a wall down between the LR and kitchen. And, yes, it’s always easier on Fixer Upper–and cheaper. How do you cope with living with renovations? I tend to not cope well and just go to a hotel for a few weeks. The dust drives me insane… Are you a neat freak? Happy Easter to everyone at the lake house!

  8. I love your sense of adventure, your vision and your progress. Enjoy this new life journey and thanks for inviting us along. Easter blessings to you all.

  9. Cristy Cochran says:

    Your house looks very homey. Taking off the pocket door must have not been that easy since you mentioned that your husband Ed had put that work aside, but it’s worth it. I myself like an open floor plan. It’s great for entertaining where you can see everybody while cooking in the kitchen.

  10. Pattie Neu says:

    Your doing great on your project. Please, don’t compare your self to the “Fixer Upper Show”.
    Just, like “all” reality shows”. They don’t add up. They budgets on those houses are upside down.
    Either, they don’t pay their help a living wage or they use some really cheap materials. Anyone that’s
    been remolding will tell you … You get what you pay for….

  11. That is amazing!
    You are both very talented.

  12. Love the difference removing that wall made. Can’t wait for the big reveal, I can feel it is going to be spectacular. Happy Easter – He Has Risen.


  13. Happy Easter! Love the removal of the wall! What a difference in pictures so I can’t imagine how excited you must be! We are converting a half bath into a full bath – we took some space from an adjoining room, our house was built in the 60s and one thing they never mention on Fixer Upper or any remodel show is how the majority of walls in older homes are never straight and to fix them so new drywall, shiplap or tiles can go on them is a nightmare. If I had not been there helping my husband for Two 7-hour days, I never would have believed that it took that long to fix one wall that’s only 9 feet long – we had to plane the support bean and add several pieces of blocking in between studs before we could final put in sheetrock. Looking forward to your “surprise” project and the view of the rest of the room!

  14. It’s going to be perfect.

  15. I love how this has opened up the room making it bigger and brighter. Can’t wait to see the your “secret” DIY project!

  16. You have such vision Diane, not only in decorating but in picking a talented husband as well! :)
    Love the openness of the rooms now and of course the view.

    Blessings to you and your family this Easter. Vikki in VA

  17. Christina in FL says:

    Beautiful!!! You know, it would be nice if everything could be done in an hour like on Fixer Upper too! :) Zip, zop and it’s done. :) I adore what you have accomplished. Great going Diane!!

  18. Oh the views! Great idea to open e erything up! I’m so glad you are able to realize your vision. Have a Happy Easter weekend with your family! ;)

  19. Talk about a cliff hanger!!! I’m very excited to see what you are doing. The removal of the wall makes the room look terrific! Isn’t it wonderful to have someone who knows what they’re to call on? That’s a blessing in itself! Don’t keep us waiting too long please!!

  20. Mary Heicher says:

    It’s so open now and bright!

  21. patty reed-pederson says:

    Oh my gosh, that is so awesome. The light coming through is so worth the wait.

  22. Diane and Ed you are awesome!! I’ll love how open your home is and we can just about see your deck!!! Thank you for sharing your Lakehouse with us. Enjoy your wonderful weekend with your family!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – Thanks – I hope you have a great weekend also.

  23. Melissa Leach says:

    Wow, what an improvement just like on Fixer Upper. I just love the open floor plan and all that wonderful light. Congrats you guys and Ed, you are the man! Enjoy your family and Happy Easter. Can’t wait to see your best work yet.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melissa – Thanks. We are enjoying the fixing up. I am lucky that Ed is handy. With his muscle and my visions we are a good team. The wall is one of the biggest projects. I hope you and your family enjoy the weekend. Happy Easter.

  24. Looks so good with the wall down! Wow, really opened the space, great job. Can’t wait to see your challenge project, soon I hope! Have a great weekend with your family. Really enjoy reading your blog. :)

  25. Natalie @ A Turtle's Life for Me says:

    That looks fantastic all opened up! We’ve had to put in 3 new support beams in the past 2 weeks (and by we, I mean our contractor). It was amazing the difference it made! Can’t wait to see what you’re working on!

  26. Julie Blanner says:

    SO true and it’s always far less than what we could do it for – labor aside! I love following along on your lakehouse adventures!

  27. Wish it were easy to find a guy like your realtor. I find one and then they’re so good they don’t want to do the little stuff.

  28. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Wow! Looks like a lot of work, but so exciting also. It is looking gorgeous. I loved your old (other) house, but this one will be the bomb jiggety! I get excited and inspired to work on my house every time you post.

  29. Catherine D says:

    Wow!!! The area has really opened up! Lovely! I can hardly wait to see more!

  30. You’re doing great! On Fixer Upper they’re not living in the house while it’s being renovated.
    I’ve just sold my house and am hoping to buy something that I can personalize. Thanks for the inspiration!