Posts tagged ‘thoughts’

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!

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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

08/15/2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I had a major break-up this week. I broke-up with a major building supplier. Now this building supplier, which shall remain nameless (but let’s just say that the name rhymes with some rather important appendages on the feet) has caused me problems before (see this post), but this last delivery was just unbearable. Nobody wants to read the sad tale, and I’m pretty sick of recounting it. So, the cliff notes version: Stuff was supposed to be delivered Thursday morning. Stuff was actually delivered at about 7:40p.m. And it was only delivered after I called them about every two hours, labeled them as ridiculous, and threatened to never buy anything there again. Oh, and the reason it was so late? The delivery man, who was very nice, informed me that it was late because they are painting the store and they had put a bunch of stuff on top of my order. Lovely, right?

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty angry. We had a bit of a blow-up. Essentially, I kicked them out of my life in a not particularly graceful or thoughtful way. I do kind of regret that, but I was still angry, so what to do? I wrote a constructively angry letter and e-mailed it to their corporate headquarters. To be fair, things did get better from here. It resulted in many apologies and a refund.

I guess they did the right thing in the end. They tried to pacify me, win me back with money and apologies…but I don’t think it is enough. It was kind of the equivalent to showing up at my door with roses, and I still kinda hate their guts. It was just too little, too late. The trust is all gone out of the relationship. Two nightmarish delivery experiences are just too much for me. If they had called me that morning and explained that they needed to reschedule, I would have been ok with that. I’m not unreasonable! So, where does this leave us? I think we are through. Over. The End.  For the most part. I may buy things that I don’t need delivered. I may buy some decorative items. However, any large complicated orders, that require this supplier to bring them to me? I don;t think so. In other words, we might see each other occasionally. We might stay friends, but for the most part,  this relationship…is over.

08/11/2011

Finally, Some Color

Example of a colorful Victorian facade, from Historic Color Consulting

If you’ve been reading along, you know I’ve been making some aesthetic decisions about the house recently. Trim size, what to do with the bay, etc. One of these tasks was finally deciding on a color scheme for the house. Truthfully, I enjoy these aesthetic things more. Buying a bunch or raw wood is boring to me; getting the house sprayed for termites is not so glamorous. Picking out siding? At least colorwise, is kind of fun.

We ended up going with vinyl. I would still not rule out fiber cement in the future, but this is a pretty extensive renovation, and let’s face it, I need things like heat and plumbing, too. Lady Gaga may be able to live half in reality and fantasy, but that is just not practical for me.  I need to stay firmly planted in reality in order to stay on budget. There is still a long way to go.

Back to color. I would pick out something bright and colorful…but my sister vetoed that. And rightfully so, as much as I love bright colors, something neutral would sell better (if we did ever plan on selling the house), and it would be easier to change-up if we got sick of the color combination that we are currently planning. The house has two different types of shingles, horizontal wood planks, and fish scale shingles. To fit in with the Victorian styling, I think each of these types of shingles needs to be a different, but coordinating color. Victorian houses traditionally had about 5 different colors on them, so it would make sense for these to be painted in different colors. Of course, then you have the trim, which I’m going to have done in classic white, and the front door. The front door has to be welcoming, stand out, and coordinate with the main body of the house. Then you have the porch ceiling, the porch floor, and accessories.

The first color is the main color of the house; the color of all the horizontal lap siding. The second will be the color of the fish scale shingles. The third is the color of the front door, and some of the accessories. The 4th will be the color of the foundation. the 5th & 6th will be some of the accessories around the porch. The seventh is meant to mimic a haint blue, or the traditional blue porch ceilings in the South. The final color is a mix of the first and second colors, and the porch floor will probably end up being something like this. White will also be used, of course, but you get a good idea of what that will look like with the white background.  I’m excited about the palette. I think it will be both traditional, and bright enough to keep me interested in the outside of the home. The inside color palette will probably be very similar. When I like something, I tend to stick with it!

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

07/20/2011

A Renovation Education

Renovating this house has been an educational experience of sorts. I learned to properly use dust masks by pinching the metal part to fit your face. I have discovered signs indicating a termite infestation. I have seen the usefulness of putty knives, and I have a whole new set of vocabulary words – utility bar, squares, caps, sistering, blocking, etc.

A possible result of my ongoing renovation education, I have been become a much better bargain hunter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been fond of sales and saving money, it’s just that I don’t usually go out and hunt these things down. It all started when I hired a new contractor. He is my uncle’s good friend, but lives out-of-state. So, I am in charge of getting materials for the upcoming jobs. Armed with my list, I have contacted every hardware store, lumber supplier, and siding manufacturer that I could find within 45 miles. I looked for the best prices, made comparisons, called for estimates, and wrote everything down in handy lists. I even learned how to make double-sided copies on the machine at work to run the lists off! I checked for deals, I found coupons. Basically, I did everything I could to save money, and more importantly, I think it worked out. Lowes was having a sale on windows, so every one of them was 15% off. I signed up for moving coupons. I found french doors on clearance. I received discounts from sales people trying to beat my other estimates. Ultimately, I think we manages to save quite a bit, even though the front door was a bit of a splurge. I saved some money, I learned some new skills. Both pretty valuable to this renovation…although, finding a bag of gold under the floorboards would probably be more helpful.

07/17/2011

Decorating…Wizard Style

I didn’t update this week, mostly because I’ve been geeking out over Harry Potter. I could go on and on about why I love those books and movies, but since this blog is supposed to be primarily about my home, I decided to celebrate (mourn) the end of the series by posting some of my Potteresque home decor and discussing how I plan to decorate with it. After I have walls. Just so you know, I did try using Reparo and Accio, Drywall…but it didn’t really work. Anyway,  I know it may not be considered sophisticated to have Harry Potter stuff throughout the home, but I wholeheartedly believe that your house should reflect who you are and the  things that you love. 

Print made by Pink Caffeination

The first thing that will be incorporated is Godric Gryffindor’s sword. My sister likes weaponry, and I got her this replica for Christmas a few years ago. I see it hanging in the library/dining room, shining in the candlelight, looking pretty awesome. When we bought the home, one of the first things I purchased for it was this print from Pink Caffeination on Etsy.com. I had the seller remake it for me in greens, blues, teals, grays, and black, our house colors. If you are a Harry Potter geek like me, you will also recognize this is a mixture of Ravenclaw and Slytherin house colors. This is kind of perfect, as I am a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, while my sister is a Slytherin.

Over Christmas break, my sister and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where besides having a fabulous time, we purchased a bunch of stuff. In case you didn’t know, Besides having character wands, the theme park has wands specific to certain months, so that you can pick one to represent a particular date. We both purchased wands representing our birth dates. When we go back, I want to get one to for February 10th, the day we purchased the house. I want to frame the wands in a shadow box to hang on the wall or display in the bookshelf. We also purchased some of the candy sold at Honeydukes in glass apothecary jars. I kept the jars to use around the house, for cotton balls in the bathroom, as a candy dish in the kitchen, etc. That way there will be little reminders of these things everywhere. I want to get more of them, so if any of you guys are planning a trip, let me know!

It might seem strange to incorporate this sort of merchandise into your decor, but it makes me smile, and brings a dose of whimsy and nostalgia to everyday life. It makes my house a home. If you agree, come on by for some cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice…just wait until I get appliances first.

07/08/2011

The Trimble Family History, Part II

A history recap: The previous post ended with the death of James Trimble’s wife, Bettie Luella Huddleston. They had four children, Etta, Betty, Samuel, and Mayme. Betty died in infancy, and James was working as a mason and contractor.

Nannie's Death Certificate

James Trimble married for a second time around 1893, about 12 years after the death of his first wife. He married Nannie Belle Miller. Nannie was born on September 23, 1866 in Kanawha County, WV. In some of the census records, Nannie’s maiden name is Morris, but  her birth and death records list it as Miller, so I believe it was just recorded incorrectly in the old census records.  Her parents were Archibald Miller and Margaret Ann Wiseman.  James was about 42, and she was 27 years old when they married. They had six children:  Arch (May 7, 1894 – 1981 ), Mary (June 13, 1896 – 1974), Corrine (Cora) (Abt 1899 -?), Osman (January 30, 1901 – 1988), Margaret (May 22, 1903 – 1987), and Jeanetta (March 27, 1909 – 1987). According to the census records, they had another child that did not survive. I don’t have any more information than that they had 7 children, 6 living.

James Trimble died on August 22, 1918, at the age of 67. He died of some sort of hemmorage. The death certificate is illegiable beyond that. Nannie died on August 16, 1947 from congestive heart failure. Both are buried in the Pratt Cemetery.

Not as much is known about Nannie and James. It seems like census data was even more difficult to find on than James and his first wife. Many of the names of Nannie and the children were recorded incorrectly, so I’m not positive about the names and dates here. I do have an interesting story, though.

Another historical home in the town is connected to my house. This house, known as the Shields’ Cottage, was built in 1880 and originally owned by Mrs. Morris. It was originally located across the street from the Trimble farmlands. Well, my house is pretty small, so when James married Nannie, he decided to buy this home for his children with Luella, and move Nannie in my house. His children were not that young at the time. Henrietta was his oldest child and I do not have a birthdate for her, though it had to be prior to 1875, so she was over 18. Anyway, James purchased the house and had it moved diagonally, across the road, and onto his property for his children. The cottage is still in the town, with the original front door.

07/02/2011

Vintage Kitchen Decor

Vintage glass cake plate with a light blue edge

I haven’t been working on the house as much, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shopping for it! I always intended to post some of the things I purchased for the house, so I guess I’ll get to it. Everyone likes looking at pretty things rather than crumbling walls! I do have a confession to make…I love vintage kitchen stuff. Colorful glassware, interesting plates, weird baking stuff; if it’s old and shiny, I’m there.  I love the novelty of these old items, like the vintage eggbeater, as well as the usefulness of them. These things aren’t purely knickknacks. I find that old sifters are my favorite to use, and the kettle, while not old, will be used and add a nice pop of color to the kitchen. So on my recent journeys, I’ve been shopping.

As I said in this post, I want the kitchen to be primarily white and black. These items are the jewels, the interesting pieces that add color and personality. Not all of them were purchased. My Aunt gave me the Fiesta pitcher, which is awesome. She gave me quite a few other nice pieces as well. A few days ago when I was taking all the stuff to where I store it, I stopped by the house with the stuff and my camera to take some pictures of my recent purchases in the house.

 Anyway, here is a look at some of the things that I have collected for the kitchen over the past few months.

                       

06/29/2011

The House So Far…and Photo Update, May/June 2011

Ok, so I know I said I was going to try to update soon in my last post, but I didn’t and I’m sorry. I guess I’m terrible at keeping my word. I did have to go out of town again, this time for a high school graduation (congratulations, T!). That’s not really the reason I haven’t updated, though. The truth is, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the house again, and the sheer amount of work to be done. It’s just all the decisions, and planning, and doing, and ordering things.  I’ve been waiting for my contractor to finish for four months now. All of it together, is just a lot of stress. Luckily, things are beginning to look up again. I have a renewed interest, mostly bolstered by the exciting things to come. More on those things later…

For now, let’s discuss what I have actually finished. I tool up the baseboards in the dining room, and all the moldings around the doors. I left the window moldings for now, due to thekunfortunate incident where I tried to remove the molding, and pulled the whole window out. Oops. I really have to watch those rotten sills! We also cleaned up a lot of the plaster. The most important thing I have completed recently is a plan. The plan is to get the house buttoned up before winter. Everything else can wait until next year. I also have come to terms with the fact that I am basically building the house from scratch. I tried to fight this for a long time, after my uncle pointed it out. It is true. It may be the same frame and blueprint, but I have to put in new windows, a new roof, new sheathing, new siding, drywall, insulation, plumbing, and wiring. Sure, it’ll have old doors and moldings, but the house is just too far deteriorated to pretend it can all be saved.

Ok, enough rambling and apologizing. Here are the pictures!