Monday, December 28, 2009
But, we are getting antsy and feel like we need to get busy soon. We've started cleaning out the "crap room," which has housed anything that didn't have a spot for the past six years. Until recently, we would just open the door, drop the item in need of storage, turn, and exit. It was our dirty little secret. However, we have emptied the room of most of its contents, made multiple trips to the Savers donation center, and found a lot of treasures that we had forgotten about.
We're beginning to formulate the floor plan and will get started soon. The Old Arnold bedroom will transform into the new master bath!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
So...we have been intentionally holding back until we had the big 142nd birthday party and could reveal the house to family and friends. For the last two months we have been working at a furious pace attempting to get things done for the party. We were able to finish the two upstairs bedrooms, the stairway, and the "Landing," as we are now referring to the new TV room. We're taking a well deserved break and figuring out what to tackle next.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
(Turn your head sideways for this one)
Lessons learned: There is such a thing as a potato shovel, patience is a virtue, drinking cream-based alcohol beverages (i.e. Hot Sex) all day is never a good idea, if the foundation isn't quite level just shoot a level line at the top, 12 people in a single house with one bathroom is very cozy.
Items found: A lot of plastic shopping bags stuck into nooks and crannies, the Arnolds like to use tar to patch everything, the original storyboard for the clapboards, and years worth of dust and grime.
Thank you: Tom, Kathie, Trina, Isaac, Loren, Amanda, Derek, Adam, Eric, Nicole, Crystal, and Eddie.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Since we've been so focused on moving into the new room, we've neglected blogging on the BIG addition project, stay tuned...
Thursday, April 30, 2009
We started by painting the walls a crisp shade of light blue and the trim a clean, consistent white. We tried to install more electric outlets, the room had zero to start with, and found that the exterior walls had been filled with clay blocks as a firestop/insulation method. This is the 147 year old section of the house and we were lucky that this was all we found in the walls. We were able to install three outlets and we eventually installed a switch for the overhead light and ceiling fan. Hello twenty-first century!
To create a sense of privacy, we reframed the existing large entry and installed French doors with trim that we found to match what was left of the original trim in the adjacent "parlor."
We pulled out the old area rug and found the previous floor treatment - a lovely tarpaper that was hard to part with. We went with a wood laminate that we installed ourselves - of course. It was a fun-filled weekend with a lot of sore, bruised knees and aching backs.
Items found: Probably some junk we can't remember and the clay blocks in the wall.
Thank you: Jason for helping with the electrical and Amanda and the rest of the move-in-and-paint crew!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Today we wainscoted the master bedroom (we had finished bedroom #2 a few weeks ago) and got started on the wall treatments for the media room/lounge (vote on the room name later). When we first saw the soon-to-be master bedroom, it was filled with guitars, furniture from every era, and painstakingly placed cut-outs from muscle car magazines that had been pasted to the walls (thank you Arnolds). Wherever the muscle cars weren't, there was faux walnut Formica paneling. The dipping ceiling was held in place with fender washers. You may ask, "what were they thinking?" Truth is, we saw a lot of potential, but maybe not all the hard work involved.
To create a master bedroom, we closed off a doorway to an adjacent room, jacked the ceiling and sistered on new joists to the existing joists, created a new ceiling with plywood and sheetrock, replastered the walls, rewired and added several outlets, created a closet, and painted the walls and added wainscoting. We spent over an hour this evening at Menards looking at floor treatments.
The closet, the small speck on the wall is the lone guitar that we left intact
The muscle cars after the paint and before the wainscoting
Covering up the cars
To finish the room we need to: install floor treatment, paint the trim and wainscoting, install closet and entry doors and closet system, and haul everything from our temporary bedroom upstairs. More images to follow as we wrap everything up.
It's been a sad week, we lost our faithful remodeling assistant, Brew, our 11 year old lab mix. She tended to get underfoot, but was eager to help with the beer drinking at the end of the day and never criticized our work.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So we decided to tear the entire thing off and start over from scratch, it seemed logical at the time. To prepare for the project, we dryolocked the concrete block at the basement level of the addition, bought a lot of materials (but enough to save us from daily trips to the hardware store), had a dumpster delivered, and invited we knew to come and visit for a long weekend.
And, the fun is just beginning!
Objects found: Clay bricks in the stud cavity, square cut nails (hinting at the age of the original structure), horse hair plaster, original clapboard siding, Kool cigarettes, brass butterfly ornament, subway token, plastic bags and sweaters stuffed into nooks and crannies.
Lessons learned: We found out that the Arnolds were creative re-users before it was trendy. They wadded up plastic shopping bags and filled all manner of cracks and voids. For the larger cracks, they used sweaters. Their basic building materials were bags and sweaters with tar for mortar - seriously.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The old cast iron grate, looking down into the shower
It is important to note that this was not an original bathroom. We figure that this is the second indoor bathroom, with the first upstairs that has since been converted into a bedroom. The main floor bathroom was created sometime around 1965 by someone who didn't throw much wallboard away.
We have already done extensive bathroom jobs: 1) Cleaning and painting 2) Adding a sink - we don't know how they managed without one, and a custom-built medicine cabinet 3) leveling the floor, replacing the old faux parquet vinyl with new vinyl 4) Adding new lighting.
Project 1, clean and paint - note the wall fan, missing sink, and original peach color
To complete this project, we added a new fan where the grate once was and redid the electrical. Once we pulled out the old wall fan and filled the hole in the wall, Addison couldn't stop mudding. We now have flat walls where there were pock marks.
The new color, Thunder Bay (pronounced Tunder Beh, eh) is the perfect shade for the space and will look great with crisp white trim. We are looking forward to Bathroom, Take Six scheduled to take place when the upstairs bathroom is complete and we can completely reconfigure the shower, sink, and toilet.
The end result, the photo doesn't do the color justice
Objects found: Yellow game piece, mother or pearl button, marble, sequin, piece of a Smith Brother cough drop box, a century of dust and debris, a handful of nuts
Lessons learned: Never go the paint store alone the evening before you plan to paint, I sat at the counter with a dozen chips and had to call Addison twice. I second guessed my pick until it was dry, now I think I'm awesome.
Friday, April 10, 2009
We also learned some interesting facts about the Arnolds, in particular their adult son who could not be trusted home alone. Turns out his mother made him sleep in the shed when she went away. This is not the weirdest thing we've heard about the Arnolds.
We learned from a neighbor that the son purchased a shed kit (for an absurd amount of money). He and a friend assembled it but failed to follow the instructions, or the color-coded rafter ends (some neighbors tell of excessive beer drinking during this effort). As a result, the structure lacked any square corners and the flood dipped. However, they did a great job of assembling small vinyl flooring scraps to create a nice patchwork effect. We were tempted to leave the floor in place and host neighborhood dance parties.
Our revised plan was to dismantle the building and rebuilt it entirely. The only materials we could salvage were the rafters, which we had to dismantle and reassemble. The 12 year old neighbor kid was up to this task and did a great job!
(Here are our dogs reacting to the removal of the "dance floor," they had been stalking the rabbit family that lived under there for a few years. Note the patchwork floor)
The end result (pre-ramp, skylight is not visible). It is so nice and comfy that I threaten to make Addison sleep in it when I travel. If it had electricity, he might take me up on this offer.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The dirt from the kitchen windows, yuk!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We'll have a lot of posts to do to catch up to present day, and we're still working on more projects.
August 2008, after a large addition and paint job