Renovation Insanity: Creating a Simple Cased Opening


Happy Monday, y’all!  I hope you are doing well. I’m really happy to be back into the swing of blogging. I needed a little break last week just to rest….except I didn’t rest very much. We’ve been working every spare second at Memaw’s house. Our goal is to be moved in by Thanksgiving and it’s going to take a miracle. Good thing I believe in them. 😉

I thought I would show you a bit {a LOT} of work we’ve done on the wall between the den and the dining room/living room.

Creating A Cased Opening |[pinit count=”horizontal”]

After we pulled up the carpet and found beautiful hardwood floors, I noticed that the sheetrock was crumbling at the same place that the paneling was warped on the other side of the wall. My gut said, “Uh oh.”

Wall Opening 2

The paneling had water damage from a leak a few years ago, but the roof has been replaced since then. Because of the wall damage on both sides, I decided that I needed to see just what else was damaged. I did what any other insane person would do, I took a sledgehammer to the wall. Thankfully, my brother was around to help with the destruction.

Wall Opening 3

We got all the sheetrock down and cleaned up, but I didn’t see the damage I was expecting.

Wall Opening 4

Next, I pulled all the paneling off the wall on the other side. That’s when I found what I was looking for.

Wall Opening 5

This is NOT a picture of a creature in the attic. The insulation is hanging down and it looks like a nose of a rodent. The water damage nearly rotted through a load bearing 2×4. Not so cool. I’m very thankful that I listened to that little voice.

Wall Opening 6

Our plan was to repair the damage and put the wall back up. But then I began wondering if we should just create an opening. The division between the den and the dining room/living room meant that when family gathered some were in one room and some were in the other. My kum-ba-ya loving heart just loves having everyone together as much as possible, so we bravely decided to go for a simple cased opening.

Wall Opening 8

One by one, we took out the 2x4s that we didn’t need.

Wall Opening 18

Because we built a header that provides plenty of support, we didn’t even worry with replacing the water damaged 2×4. If we ever get a hankering to do that we can access it from the attic.

Wall Opening 9

We sheet rocked both sides of the opening. Sheetrocking isn’t a difficult process at all. The mudding/sanding step is definitely a challenge.

Wall Opening 10

I can’t get over how open and light-filled this space is now.

Wall Opening 11

The floor is sanded. We just need to get moving on the finishing!

Wall Opening 12

This weekend Ernie and I worked to trim out the opening. Y’all, it’s a miracle that we’re alive. The flat trim was a cakewalk.

Wall Opening 15

The crown molding nearly put us over the edge. Ha!

Crown Molding Carnage

The crown molding carnage was exponential. Ahem. But we think we have it figured out now. Maybe. Time will tell.

I’ve got to do a bit more sanding, caulking and spackling before the wall and trim are ready to be painted, but hopefully it’s happening tomorrow!

Creating A Wall Opening[pinit count=”horizontal”]

Here’s a before and “in progress” comparison for you.

I hope you enjoyed a little update to the ongoing renovation at Memaw’s house. Be sure you’re following me on Instagram because I love sharing little tidbits of the process there!

Tell me, what’s the crown molding secret? It should be easy, right??

Have a beautiful day, my friends!




  1. Looking forward to seeing more of your renovation Myra. My son and his wife just purchased a house in Birmingham that is a solid house but needs updating. I love the opening that makes the living room and den more company friendly! And you are right, the light is great too.
    Arlene Grimm@ Nanaland´s last blog post ..Birthday Fun

  2. I love the progress you’re making! Exciting! Go over to the Young House Love site to learn easier ways to cut and fit your crown moulding. They share just the right ways and tools to use so you won’t have near the trouble! Thanks for sharing your progress.

  3. I gave up on crown molding dreams, when while doing a small project I realized our miter saw only bevels in one direction. I tried so hard to flip the molding in every way imaginable, but it had to be cut upside-down and then it was impossible to get a perfect 45 degree on the dang thing.

  4. Great progress! I think it was a great idea to not put the wall back up. It is so much more open and airy. Once you get moved in and decorate, I think the choice to have that openess will even be better! Looking forward to seeing all you do to your new home 🙂

    Have a blessed week!

  5. I commend you, what a huge effort and that really does open up the space. When I bought my newer home i wanted open design, and your mind races about the possibilities of “togetherness”. The crown molding secret for me? I used a LOT of bathroom caulk with a wet cloth to fill and smooth all openings. It’s a reality. But the cutting part….well, take breaks when you start making mistakes, then it’s time to stop for the night. Great work!

  6. You should go over to Young House Love and check out their crown moulding experiences…John seems to have found a great way to tackle it! Good luck!

  7. cornices/crown mouldings aren’t easy. cutting miters and bevels cleanly and accurately is a highly skilled job, and also doing accurate coping saw work, it’s slow and tedious. don’t feel bad if you didn’t DIY it like a pro. in fact, most people you’d hire wouldn’t do an amazing job, either, unless they were very pricey, very exceptionally detail-oriented woodworkers. mistakes are inevitable, and when you cut a piece too short or slightly off, you can either scrap it or just accept the imperfection, it’s a judgment call, and if you always choose perfection, it can get pricey (one reason most people you hire won’t do a perfect job, b/c they don’t want to go over what they quoted you). if you are doing paint grade, that makes it a million times simpler, b/c you can fill the gaps and paint over it, of course. but, truthfully there’s no big secret to mouldings, except that experience and skill are big parts of it.

    one tip, which you probably already figured out, is err on the side of cutting too big, and trim down from there (b/c you can’t recover from too big), and make it fit snug, and always nail into studs. also use the same tape measure for the whole project and pay attention when measuring to where the little end nib on the tape is, if it wiggles (make sure it’s out when you transfer the measurement if it was out when you measured). and take it slow. and if you need a piece a smidgen smaller, sometimes it’s easier to sand down a teeny bit rather than put it back through the saw. but none of these tips make easy work out of cornices and other trimwork. it really is hard, even for skilled woodworkers. b/c nothing is ever square, so you have to be so careful of every tiny thing, bevels & miters varying in unexpected ways with every new corner! 😛

  8. oops, how confusing! i said “you can’t recover from too big” but meant to type “you can’t recover from too small”, if that wasn’t clear. 😛

  9. Repair is really crazy! When you start planning everything in a new way – there to make an arch, there to demolish the wall, and accordingly, the sockets to move and connect the light, the benefit is when there are contacts of good specialists and no one needs to look for! We have been working with only one local electrician for a long time and trust important and simple preventive work only to him

  10. This is brilliant! The blog is really appreciable the guide shared by you is incredibly useful to make our home look fabulous with the idea of simple cased opening. Very interesting to read this article.Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention!
    Megri´s last blog post ..Two Tips To Improve Working From Home

  11. Very interesting blog.This is definitely quite an informative and useful article that gracefully explains home renovation ideas,like talking about hardwood flooring,ways of creating a simple cased opening .Keep sharing such blogs in the future.

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