Tuesday, June 2, 2009

renovations

As I've mentioned, we live in a hundred year old Victorian. I actually enjoy older, funky homes, so that part of things doesn't slow me down. It's just all the *tweaking* that's necessary to make it the way I want it that I could do without. (Although, I do think I secretly enjoy the creative outlet it provides.) This requires a lot of time and a lot of money. I am very thankful that we a) can do the work ourselves, b) have been blessed with folks who are willing to lend a hand and/or c) have enough connections that most of the stuff we've paid for has been less than the going rate. The time and money part of things ebbs and flows (well, the money part mostly ebbs). There's a lot of energy tied up in the renovations too. Of all these things, I find this to be the most dear. I have lots and lots of desire, just no get-up-and-go most days. East Coast Sister is a good task master. When she visits she usually puts a burr to our hineys. It's a good thing, because that's usually what I need to get going.

We've started a pretty major round of renovations recently. This is the biggest endeavor since our first round of renovations when we bought the house 3 years ago. We actually have several projects going on at once. This might sound efficient, but it is stretching the limits of my sanity. What was first on my wish list is supposedly in the works, but hasn't started yet.



We took down a wall and made our kitchen larger about 18 months ago. Part of this required raising the floor in the *new* part. We've been living with a sub floor ever since. Who knew flooring was so dang expensive?? (The part I may not have told you is that we are paying for all our renovations in cash. Hence the whole ebb and flow thing.) We've picked out the tile and are on the *schedule* (whatever that means). I am believing that it will be done at least by my birthday in September.

Another big project is replacing the rest of our upstairs windows. Of course, the old windows are 100 year-old single-pane glass. I don't even want to tell you how this impacts our heating bills. We replaced the very needy ones that first summer, but are revisiting the remaining ones this go-around.


I returned from London to find 13 replacement windows sitting in my dining room. Well, it was actually only 12. Countrymouse had gotten one in while I was gone. He's gotten all the windows replaced in our room (hooray!) and is now moving on to the others.



In a house this old, there is always the unknown *issue* that can develop in an instant. Countrymouse says it's like pulling a loose thread on a sweater. You never know if the whole thing will unravel. We still have some old (real) plaster walls. The big concern with some of these windows is that the whole wall could come down. Uh-hmmm, good times.

Speaking of unraveling, EC Sister and I went out last weekend to buy supplies for sangria (it's what we do). While carrying the 9-liters of fluid up the front stairs, they decided they had had enough.



I didn't get hurt, but I was glad the sangria was on hand.

The old stairs were poured cement that were probably 25 years old. I didn't like them and we had talked about replacing them, just not now. They were cracked pretty badly, so it didn't take much to do them in. Countrymouse had a blast finishing the job with a sledgehammer. (Boys will be boys.)

We are also putting carpet in our bedroom (another sub floor we've been living with). I made a bold decision and chose a color called Alpine White. Yikes! I keep second guessing myself, but it was the one I liked all three times I looked at the samples. I keep telling myself it's a bedroom, how stained-up can it get?? We have a lovely coral color on the walls and our furniture is cherry, so I think it will look good. I was going to say, "we'll see", but the truth is the carpet is paid for, so it is what it is. (I do think it will look good.)

The other big project we'd like to accomplish this summer is to replace our front door. The current door is not the original and doesn't fit as well as it should (another energy drain) and there aren't any keys for it! The original front door had a window on the top half. I actually prefer a 3/4's light, so I think we may go with that. Doors are another one of those things that cost way more than you think they should. For what we want, we are looking at $1500-$2000 and that doesn't include installation. (I'll be calling those folks who are willing to lend a hand.) This is the last item on our list, so I am not sure if it will happen, but I'd really like to tackle this too.

There are always the sundry little projects that we are involved with, like landscaping and such. We are replacing the lattice on the front of the house and repainting the backstairs. The list goes on and on.

Speaking of changes, I thought this might be a good time to show you how well my little garden is growing. Remember when it started?


This was taken May 1st. Look at my garden today (June 2nd).


I'm pretty tickled. I have at least 2 tomatoes growing and everything else is thriving. I wasn't sure if anything would grow in this location, so it's pretty cool.

Overall, this is a summer of changes for us. I'll keep you posted. I think it will be good, it'll just be the enduring that will be tricky.




1 comment:

  1. Wow your garden FLOURISHED!! Can't wait to see the renovations when we come in....14 weeks and counting!

    ReplyDelete

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