Monday, August 30, 2010

Reconstruction, Day...I Lost Track of the Days

We're finding that renovating the farmhouse is a bit of one step forward, two steps back. The contractor is finally done. We have a new roof, gutters, three new windows, new structural members, and a Civil War bullet. Byron hung the drywall, and since the project came in at budget, they're not going to "throw the mudding in." But that's what YouTube and the weekend are for, right? So here's our step forward and some photos to prove it:

The sills of the three new windows upstairs have been moved up 8" to allow for flashing between the porch roof and siding. So far, water isn't leaking down onto the porch anymore!
Hall with new entry door, patched drywall, and plywood floors. We're sophisticated around here.

New patio door. The gutter above seems to be keeping the area around the door dry, but I'm still wary of the brick-on-concrete patio built right against the house. We'll have to keep an eye on this since the band board has rotted in this area.

Parlor with new drywall:

Bedroom above, with new window and drywall:

We've moved our sleeping and showering quarters to the rooms upstairs. Byron and I had been sleeping on the sofa bed in the sunroom, so it's nice to actually have a place to sit now, even if the big cooler is serving as our coffee table at the moment. For now, Byron and I will be sleeping in what will be Akea's room, and we just noticed that the door to that room no longer needs to be propped open. Could it be due to the levelling that occurred during the installation of the brand new beam? It's lovely that one of the load-bearing walls in that room is no longer being supported by the old clapboard siding. As for the kids, they are sharing what will be Charlie's room. Did I mention yet that Byron's Aunt Dottie was born in that room? How cool is that!

And now for the two steps back. Apparently, the termites weren't done with us yet. We pulled up the carpet in the master bedroom, which was a relief at first. Here's why I hate carpet:

And here's why I hate termites:
It's not much damage, thankfully. But we will have to replace a few sheets of plywood and scab a joist (that means we'll have to get a 2x12 and bolt it to the damaged joist, extending it several feet on either side of the damage). This also means the master bedroom is out of commission for a while. This is primarily why we are all upstairs for the moment. There is still more parquet flooring to pull up, and we need to figure out if it's necessary to remove the glue (which will take us like, ten years) in order to install hardwood someday. Hardwood flooring needs a very level surface, otherwise it can buckle. We may possibly install very thin sheathing over the repaired plywood, and leave the rest of the parquet flooring - which extends out of the master bedroom and throughout the approximately 1,000 square foot 1980s addition - in place, though that's also not an ideal surface on which to install hardwood because the nails won't catch as well. I'm beginning to think parquet flooring is the essence of evil.

Anyway, since I'm still trying to be thankful in the midst of chaos, working in the master bedroom has had us thinking about re-designing that space. Right now the master bath (you know, the one with the blue toilet) and the half-bath for guests are right next to each other. So I'm again harnessing my latent architecture skills and have come up with several ideas that would leave us with one full bathroom, a bigger bedroom, and new closet. I'm attempting to utilize existing walls and systems as to minimize cost. This re-design would mean that guests would use the master bath, but that's how it was at our previous house (still on the market with a reduced, all-time-low price!) and I hate dirty bathrooms so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to keep it clean. And it's one less bathroom to clean at all, which is always nice.

This is probably how things will look for a while. School began today for Byron, and I started homeschooling again. We're going to wait until it freezes to attempt pulling up the barn floor because every time Byron goes up to the loft, he gets dive-bombed by wasps...and that's two cans of wasp spray later. In the meantime, I'll attempt some mudding and try to make a decision on what color to paint the kitchen cabinets. And when our house sells, maybe we'll try to work on the master bedroom/bathroom. With the help of YouTube, of course.


  1. i love checking out what's been going on here. i didn't know you all were living there! oh, boy. some memories!

    i'm in the middle of refinishing our kitchen cabinets, and we went with a deep esspresso brown paint. i love it now, but i'm going to sand down all the edges, roughing 'em up, glaze them, then seal them. i hope it will create an antique elegance. we'll see...

  2. Oh, termites! They’re the best when it comes destroying a wooden structure. Here’s a tip to keep termites from invading your home: Keep your wooden structures, furniture, items, (basically anything that’s wood) always dry, since termites thrive in damp places.