Posts tagged ‘redo’

09/07/2011

A Shout Out

We still have a lot of the renovation left to complete, but I wanted to go ahead and give a small shout out to my contractor and his crew, and everyone involved. They have all been great. Nice, professional, and most importantly, they do beautiful work. They even think of things that made the house more beautiful that I didn’t ask them to do, or bring me ideas that just make the whole thing so much better. Ultimately, they get me, they get the house, and what I’m trying to do with it. Even better, they have the technical skill and knowledge to get the house there! I don’t know if they are ok with me posting their names online, but thanks to M., A., J., & D. for working so hard on the house and really making it beautiful. I can’t thank you guys enough, and I have to thank my uncle, M. as well, for hooking the whole thing up!

I don’t really have pictures, but my uncle and M, the contractor make beautiful kitchen cabinets and do great tile work, too. Here is their youtube video with some of their previous work:

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09/03/2011

House Photo Update, August 2011

The renovations are complete! I still want to do some before and after pictures but for now, here is what the house looks like at this point:

09/01/2011

The Dirty Secret of this Renovation

The Sea of Debris!

Well, the contractors are packing up to leave, and this leg of the renovation is just about over. I know I’ve been posting all of the changes, but I’ve hardly posted about one of the rather important remaining jobs… trash removal. We didn’t purchase a dumpster for this renovation. I priced them, but really, they are kind of expensive. So on the weekends, we’ve been loading up my father’s truck, driving it to my sister’s other piece of property, and burning the wood. So it does keep a lot of the wood out of the landfill…and we save money for more projects…or help fund this current project, whatever. The price? The huge pile of debris in the yard.

Yes, I’ve been hiding this (not so little) secret from you all. The house looks so glamorous and different, I wanted you to see the good things! I’ve been downplaying this rather huge blemish, but I guess it is time to reveal the ugly. So, here is my next project and the biggest money saver in the house re-imagination… the debris pile. Sadly, this is not it in all of its glory. We have already hauled away about 6 truckloads. I also held back some of the cooler old things. pieces of molding, porch posts, the few pieces of the bay molding that wasn’t rotten, some of the siding with the original milkpaint and the old square nails. Of course all the doors, windows, interior moldings, and hardware were saved, too. This pile is mostly old- termite chewed 2×4’s, siding, window frames, and cut offs from the new wood. Eh, the secret’s out now. Hopefully it will all be gone soon enough!

08/25/2011

Dealing with the Difficulties

“Um, there’s some bad news”.

Yes, these are pretty much the worst words that can be uttered during a massive renovation. Just like the reno that my house is currently going through. I’ve been more mum than usual about the process. Mostly this is because my contractors and crew are fabulous, and tend to just handle any problems that come up without even telling me until later.  For a worrier like me, this is a good thing. However, all the “bad news” issues make the renovation more costly and time-consuming, but that’s not even the worst part. The worst is the “what, now?” feeling. That expecting more badness. The fear of something horrible that is just too much to fix, or will result in losing some beloved part of my house.

First, it was that wood floor in the bedroom would have to be replaced. Then, the front porch was pretty much devoured by termites, as were two walls in the second bedroom. Then it was finding out that the contractor  paid to add the first addition didn’t support the roof as needed. Next, all of the original wood in the bay that I was hoping could be saved was rotten. Then it was that the back porch was only supported by a single 2×4. More problems? Oh, yes! most of the soffit and fascia was rotten. That’s not even everything. I can’t even remember all the problems. So, yesterday, when my workers told me that the fascia on the bay was completely rotten was kind of a blow. Not because the fascia can’t be replaced. I know they can fix it, probably better than it was, but because that leads to this negativistic thinking. If the fascia is rotten, maybe the rafters are rotten. If the rafters are rotten…Does that mean I have to lose my beautiful, original, metal roof on the bay? You see the worry here?

 So, yeah, we’ve had a lot of nasty surprises and problems. I think this whole process would be easier if I was less attached to the house. Yet, if I cared less, I probably wouldn’t be going through this whole thing to begin with! The bottom line — renovations are stressful. More stressful than even I originally anticipated. I must keep that in mind for future projects.

08/22/2011

Ongoing Projects Update

Well, The massive exterior renovation is winding down, so I thought it was time to post an updated list of things that need to be completed. Unfortunately, there was more structural repair to the house than originally planned, so the new front porch had to be scrapped to be revisited at a later time.

remove the old siding from the house

sheath the entire house

re-frame all windows and doors

close up two doorways

replace all windows and doors

wrap the house

repair all the structural damage

build the closet addition

build the sunporch

put in french doors

put windows in the additions

 

put up new trim

wrap trim boards and soffit with aluminum

put up fishscales in eaves

replace the vents

 

replace the basement windows

put up horizontal lap siding

08/07/2011

Here Comes the Sun… Porch

The new back porch!

Time to introduce my new favorite part of the house! A sun porch! When we bought the house, a back porch had been added. Well, it wasn’t so much a porch as a raised concrete slab with some fake beams holding up a little section of roof. Now, I like porches, but this one had two glaring negatives about it. One, was the huge slab of concrete that someone had poured over the concrete porch floor. It was like a stoop…on the porch. Rendering the majority of the porch completely useless! It was awkward, and it was ugly. This strange mini porch slab was one of the few things I truly hated about the house when we purchased it. It had to go.  The second problem? My house is older than the town in is in, and as a result, the roads have been reconfigured over the years. The lot is a corner lot with the front of the house on a dead-end street, and the back porch along the other road, that didn’t use to be there. As a result, everyone thought the back door was the front door, due to the proximity to the road.

So, I knew this needed to look less prominent, but how? My idea was to screen it in. I like being outside, but I abhor bugs. So, a screen porch would offer us more entertaining space and a place to go to get away from those irritating, biting creatures. I was cool with this plan, and surely no one would mistake my back door for the front door when the only porch that remained was the L-shaped one in the front? Well, my dad had a better idea. It took me awhile to warm up to it, but he was right. He thought that we should just close it in, but add a lot of windows and make it a sun porch. This would give us more living area throughout the year, and look better than a screen porch. My sister wanted to add the french doors, as neither of us like sliders. 

I mean, I thought this all would be nice. I didn’t realize just how much I would love it! It adds so much to the house, makes the front door more defined, and gives us additional living space. Plus, that weird, uneven concrete stoop is no more. So, even though, I wasn’t completely sold on the sun porch to begin with, now… I say, it’s alright.

         

08/05/2011

Room Inspiration… Foyer

My new front door

My new front door  has inspired me to start looking at photos of foyers and entrance halls for design ideas. The door is beautiful, and I really like it for the house. I didn’t pick it out, my sister did. And I’m glad she did. The leaded glass looks really lovely, and the door screams, “I am a front entrance!” Before there was simply confusion as to which door was the front door.

Back to entrance halls. The house I grew up in has a small foyer. I always like this small area, devoted to welcoming other and yourself to the home. A foyer should have places for shoes and coats, keys and mail. It should also have a mirror, for last-minute appearance checks, and a chair to take shoes off, or put them on in preparation of leaving. The foyer should have many things, but ultimately it is the area to put down your things, take a breath and say,”I am HOME.”

Not only is the entrance hall/foyer dedicated to leaving or coming home, it is also the first impression of the interior. If the foyer was a course, it would be an amouse-bouche. It sets the tone for the rest of the home. I am pretty excited about the entrance hall in my house. It is larger than the foyer in my childhood home, and therefore makes even more of a statement.

Stripey-gallery inspiration.

There are a few things I want in my hall. First of all, I want a chandelier. A big beautiful one; in fact, I have already purchased this chandelier. I just have to paint it. I also want a buffet piece, with legs and some storage. Luckily, I already have this, too. My mom gave me the perfect piece. I just have to strip it down and paint it black. Then I want a small table, and a couple of chairs. What I really want in there? Stripes. I think it will emphasize my 14ft ceilings and make the whole room seem more grand. I see them in a light gray and white vertical stripe.

I envision walking in, and having a coat tree and the buffet. Over the buffet, a mirror, with a bowl for keys, and a few other things. A boot tray under the buffet. Then, a little further down, two chairs with a small table in between. A lamp on the small table, and a gallery above the chairs, with lots of prints, photographs, and paintings, all in black frames. Of course, this vision is years away, but it really looks beautiful in my head!

More Inspiration Photos…

                                 

*Inspiration photos from Elle Decor, Domino, or various google image searches

08/01/2011

House Photo Update, July 2011

07/29/2011

Current Projects

 Well, the blog has received more than 5,000 views since I started in 6 months ago! That is about 4,990 more than I thought it would when I start writing about the renovation. Thanks for viewing, and hopefully, I can keep you all interested.

I posted pictures of some of the projects going on at the house, but I thought a list may be more helpful. So, what to expect in the next few weeks?

remove the old siding from the house

sheath the entire house

re-frame all windows and doors

close up two doorways

replace all windows and doors

wrap the house

repair all the structural damage

fix the front porch

build the closet addition

build the sunporch

put in french doors

put windows in the additions

put up new trim

wrap trim boards and soffit with aluminum

put up fishscales in eaves

replace the vents

replace the basement windows

put up horizontal lap siding

The items that are crossed out are the things that were completed just this week. Pretty amazing, right?

07/23/2011

Keeping Calm

They say patience is a virtue. I’ve posted before about my difficulties with maintaining my patience during the renovation. The whole process is just stressful. However, now I have a whole new series of events that is trying my patience. This is the delivery process.

As I said in this previous post, I’ve been purchasing and organizing the materials for my contractor to begin extensive work on the house. When I finally got all my estimates and numbers straight, I purchased the materials. Lots of materials. So many materials that picking them up and hauling them was not even an option for me, so they had to be delivered. This brings about a whole new set of issues to try my patience.

 The first load of materials from supplier #1 was set to be delivered Saturday afternoon. I wait all day Saturday on them to bring these materials. I could have been doing many things on this beautiful Saturday, reading the Dark Tower series, playing playstation, visiting friends, working on the house, etc.  I called the supplier that morning to make sure they were delivering them and received a confirmation. Then I called back when they had not been delivered by 4:30. supplier #1 told me to call back at 5:30, so I did. Which began an elaborate game of phone tag lasting nearly half an hour, where I was passed off to nearly every employee in the store. I also believe I was hung up on twice! Finally, after I start ranting, they play hot potato with the phone a couple more times until I find out that the delivery guy didn’t show up for work that day. Now, I try to be a reasonable person. If the delivery looks like it is going to be late, such as when the guy that was supposed to start deliveries at 8am does not show up for work,  just give me a call and reschedule. It is not that difficult!

Check my ruthless ability to keep my cool after this renovation

This begins my saga with supplier #2. While this process was not nearly as painful as with supplier #1, my irritation scale was already elevated. At 8:00 am, when the wood was to be delivered, I had already laid out 4x4s to place the wood on. I was all ready to go. Then, he dumps the wood, the straps break…and my pile of OSB and plywood looks like a half shuffled deck of cards in my front yard. Essentially, half of my wood is on the ground, and I can’t move it, because it is too heavy. The delivery guy blamed it on incorrectly packaging the wood. I’m not so sure it wasn’t just  a weird occurrence. I just hope none of it is too damaged to use!

Tolstoy wrote that, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” With all the exercise and practice  my patience is getting during this renovation, it will be a ninja by the time we have finished.

*Images via google image search