Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days of Green Acres - Day 23

Welcome!  This post is part of a 31 Day series.  If you'd like to read other entries, please click here.

Well now, that was an unanticipated absence.  Our large family likes to share, which makes a perfect companion for pathogens of the virus type.  Five of the eight of us fell victim to the flu.  Slowly we are returning to health, and I can nurture wellness at home and give some attention to this story.  I work well under pressure, but it's clearly beyond me to fit the last seven days into the one remaining day of October.  So, we'll revise the project, yes?  And I'll just keep telling the story.

I've mentioned more than once that for substantial portions of the initial demolition and renovation process our family was divided.  You'll remember then that a great deal of mess making and future building occurred while I kept our city life humming along off site.

From a writer's standpoint it is more difficult to give shape the chronology and events with my words since although I have primary accounts of what happened, I would go for weeks at a time without laying my eyes on our progress.  In hindsight I'm grateful for the capacity Weekend Farmer Husband and I had to trust one another and the level of optimism we cultivated and protected in order to press on.

I don't have lots of construction stories to tell or "how to's" to offer for the six months we spent dedicated to initial interior renovations.

I did take lots of pictures though when I made the trip out to the country.

So, for today at least (and maybe beyond), I'll try to tell the story with images and offer my limited words about the scope of the project pictured.

You've seen this hallway before - from the other direction.
Unbelievably, although we've stripped away so much, we're going to take it even further - doors gone, 2x4 framing gone, and yes, we even got rid of the mouse's nest visible in the header.

The only thing I can think of when I see this floor again is "nerve damage".  Weekend Farmer Husband spent 4 days with a heat gun and 2 inch scraper to get the tar, asbestos tile, and adhesive  off what had earlier discovered are hand milled maple planks.  When he finished, he'd sustained sufficient nerve damage in his shoulder that it took months for him to recover from numbness and tingling.  

Really?  You can't tell what this is?  Well, since there wasn't any heat or cool in the upstairs, we ran a trunk from the basement, into the attic, and then like an octopus, arms branch out into the different rooms in the second story from the attic.  As for the rest of the space, well can't you just picture it?  It's the en suite bath for the master bedroom!  It can get pretty cozy in there during the winter months thanks to that great big metal thing ushering air from the furnace to the upstairs!

The upstairs demolition has long since been completed, but we're still not done stripping away layers. We've started to get some insulation on the walls, but have managed for now to preserve some of the striking pink trim...ahem.  Even though we're indoors we're wearing winter gear and trying to judiciously use the kerosene heater.  Baby it's cold!  For the record, this photo is taken from inside what was to become the girls room closet, you're looking through the boys room, and into the master through the worlds coziest and perhaps smallest master bathroom.

This picture's kind of neat...you're standing between what is eventually to become the entrance to the master bath, and the opposite wall.  The blue trim on the left will be replaced and the room door hung there.  See the planking?  We quickly discovered that our home utilized balloon frame construction and see the varying sizes of the boards?  We have reason to believe the much of the wood for the home was hand milled on site.  It's hard as rock and sturdy.  Although the house is a little drafty still, it's stands firm in storms.

One of the most important spaces in the home, the future site of a half bath in the upstairs hallway.  There was this startlingly large landing area at the top of the stairs that appeared to never have been used for any purpose other than connecting the top of the stairs with the hallway leading to the kids bedrooms.  It's the most diminutive room in the house, barely measuring a hair over 20 square feet!

We did a floor to ceiling demo (and then some) to the bathroom on the main floor.  Measuring 7 feet wide and 13 feet long, it is a generous space, but the previous owners had vastly underused it's potential.

You're getting it now aren't you?  Of course we rebuilt the ceiling, ran new ductwork, exhaust lines, and electric!

Standing inside the bathroom and looking at where the shower used to be, you're viewing the future home of a stacking washer and dryer, a very large cold air return (covered by a bulkhead) and wire shelves for laundry supplies and such.  The door to the bathroom is just off the kitchen.

Score!  We've found an old claw foot tub on Craigslist.  It will need to be refinished, and it eventually is - but, it doesn't get installed until 7 months after we move in!!!

Some people might call this a kitchen counter.  Not so.  This is the drop spot for the daily (well probably not really...) supply run to the local hardware store.  Occasionally it would get cleared off for minimal food preparation...I didn't ask too many questions about those practices.  I'm the mother of sons - there are some things I prefer not to know.

Frankly, there are hundreds of additional photos that detail the metamorphosis.  Please, come visit.  I'll speak to you in my love language of hospitality, a good drink (coffee, tea, a glass of wine...), plentiful fresh food,  and share the images. But, I'm starting to think that for the purposes of this series, you've got a pretty good idea of the scope of what we took on.

A couple of readers have had some queries that give me new ideas for other posts.  Will you chime in too?  
I'd love to answer your questions and comments - what gaps have I left so far, or what seems obvious to you that I'm just too close to notice?

I'm so so glad you came back! 
Do it again, yes?
There's more to tell.

Thank you Nester for creating the 31 Days series.  Although my socks got knocked quite off last week and I've not been faithfully posting, I've been so grateful for the opportunity.
Have you checked out the other bloggers who took up the gauntlet?  They're pretty amazing...


  1. I have so enjoyed coming back and reading all of these happenings. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I got really tired looking at all the images. What satisfaction you and weekend farmer must feel...and exhaustion. I want a tour some time okay?