Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Things to keep in mind

There are some things to keep in mind during a remodel. 
Kurt told me that we would experience some 'inconvenience', he told us this when bidding the house project.  So there will be no surprise as far as that is concerned.

I've had a year to think about how to make things move along more smoothly. I've also found out that 90% of what I have packed away last winter has not been needed around the house.  Hmmmm. Time to clear out some of that?

I made good use of the dumpster this past two weeks.  Out went 'stuff' that I hadn't used or looked at in a long time.  I think remodeling is a good time to review the 'crap' that has been collected for 20 years and clean house of clutter.

Even after the clutter is cleaned up, there is more clutter. It seems to have a life of its own.  I think it self generates. Is there self pollinating clutter? Do they have baby clutters? Or does clutter just sprout?
I don't know. Maybe they make a spray to kill the clutter seeds.
If not, I should invent it.

After the remodel though, I'll have more space to clutter and more areas to put stuff.  I wonder how long it will take for us to clutter it up? I would like to leave the kitchen counter sleek and nearly empty.  I would like to have things stored in an orderly fashion.

Next thought.
The kitchen project.
All the stuff will have to be removed from the kitchen.

I think I am prepared to toss my canned goods, and boxed goods into a bin and move it to the tiny living room. However the huge table and the other stuff that is in the small kitchen/dining area will have to be moved too.

So, I've been keeping the groceries at a minimum so that has meant more trips to town. Meals are now getting planned on the spur of the moment.

I wonder if I should just put all of our stuff on the porch once the concrete is put in.  

I am so glad that the construction crew is so helpful.  They are able to work around the tight spaces and accommodate us. Kudos to them.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Moving Right Along

Everyone arrived at once yesterday and they started to off load the steel for the roof onto the yard.

Green!  I love green!

I had spent the day before repacking the living room and moving furniture around.


I have wanted to move this for quite a while.  So I bought slider coasters and viola...
I moved it to the wall against the stairs.

This is normally where the love seat sits.  I moved the love seat to the wall near the door and windows.

After the floor and walls are done, it will sit in a slightly different position.

As it is, Morris discovered he could watch the electricians working on the porch.

This is the view of the couch against the windows and next to the door.  
Yes, I cover the couch as Morris likes to lay on the couch and I find it easier to clean and old blanket rather than clean the couch upholstery.

Also, we can plop down on the couch without worrying about our clothes being spotless.

To the bottom right of the photo is the area where we have taken the brick out. 

Everything is pretty much packed up right at the moment, and ready to move into storage in the basement once the stairway is complete.

Computer area and 'stuff' area before:

Pretty junky looking and cluttered.

This is after I packed away that ugly table for future use in the basement as a craft table....

and used the plastic crates as a base for my computer table...plywood scraps for the table top.  It actually works well.

It is still a bit cluttered looking but we are getting closer.  I will have room to store the vacuum cleaner out of site after the remodel!  The dark paneling will go away.

The carpet will be replaced by laminate flooring with throw rugs and the computers will get a new improved desk with actual drawers.

The windows arrived two days ago, so I imagine they will be putting those in soon.  More than likely after the holiday weekend.

Yesterday they worked on the roof, and wow, what a difference it made!

Here is a view of the work being done midday from my neighbor's meadow.

I had to tell Kurt how I felt about the new lines and dimensions of the house.
What he designed was turning our little tiny cottage into a beauty.

Architecture usually doesn't do a whole lot for me, but looking at the new lines of our cottage, I am thunderstruck.

Before the roof was on:

And after they finished work yesterday:

They are working on the trim today.

Of course we had a huge gully washer of a storm just as dawn broke so the area around the house is MUD again.
For the weekend I will be making a scrap plywood walkway to the door.

I just love the 'new' porch.  I can't wait until they pour the concrete for it.

Meanwhile I wait until the crew is gone in the evening and sit out and enjoy the view.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


A lot of the work this past week was roof related.  

Here is a pre construction shot.
Here is an update shot.

It is very hard to imagine what it will look like when the exterior is on.  I can't see it in my head yet.

However, it looks great.  The roof is ready for the next step which is putting on the forest green metal roof.
The porch is ready for the concrete guys to come in and frame it and pour the concrete.

Morris has adjusted fairly well to the construction. I've let him out to greet and be patted by the workers.  He runs around to each of them and gets a pat on the head, it is as if he is checking in on 'his' people.

If he had his way, he'd be helping the guys and getting in the way.  He spends time tied in the yard so he can watch or sleeping in his crate in the house.

After the exterior is done work will move to the interior.  My kitchen won't be the same ever again.  

Which is pretty nice considering that I'll actually have some room in the kitchen to prepare meals.  I bet when this is done, I'll wonder how I got along all of these years with such a small space?

The photo above is pre construction and the window now looks out on the New kitchen area that will be extended.  The window in the new area will be positioned above the kitchen sink.

It is so hard to imagine what things will look like when completed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It begins to take shape

Holy Batman.
I have a lot of organizing to do to catch up with how fast these guys are working!

Sunday night Rich hammed it up in our 'new mud room'.

Monday morning bright and early the Trusses were delivered.
And the guys were working on the framing.  I still couldn't see how this was all going to fit together.  I left for the day for Range Re-Qualifications and a late night shift, but I grabbed a shot before I left.

These guys were busy.

I will be putting together photos of the project from start to finish both as a personal photography project and I will give Kurt a memory stick of the best ones.
He can use them as he pleases.

I was gone Monday and so yesterday morning I grabbed a photo before the work started again.  

A lot was done while I was at work.

They began to put the trusses on yesterday.

And they wasted no time.
The house begins to take on a new shape.

You can look through the 'new' door towards the old entrance.  I am watching the old house transform like a beautiful butterfly.

Today I need to mark out some areas to take update shots from the same place each time.

I couldn't resist a shot with the Infrared filter yesterday. The guys were taking off the old shingles and Rich was watching.

When they were finished, it looked like this:

Only last week ... it looked like this:

Of course Morris was supervising everything at the time.
I have to admit it, the house looks better without those bad shingles!

And so we continue!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Day 17 the framing starts

A quick little 1 minute video of how busy these guys are from Crooked Creek Construction, LLC.

Yesterday they started to frame in the addition.  These guys are hard workers!

From this:

 To this:

The first two shots are of our General Contractor cutting the wood for the framing.

The bottom two shots are showing how it is framing up.

The kitchen window spot is in, the entry door is framed, and both bedroom windows are now framed too.

Above is the view of some of the equipment used and the bottom two shots are of the basement entrance and a shot into the basement.

They were back early this morning and the basement entrance wall is being put in as I type.

Funny note. Rich thought that the phone box was an old phone box and since it was in the way, he simply cut it off.
Nope.  That was our landline.  We still have the internet and he was able to call the phone company to have them come out and fix his error.

So far things are going rather smoothly.  I'm going to get the scrap pieces of the lumber they are cutting and use a hand sander to smooth the edges.

After all, when the little grandkids come to the house, I will have some nice wooden blocks for them to play with!

On another note, I discussed a new computer desk with Rich and I asked if we could take the two old kitchen cabinets and use them as a base for our desk.  
I will repaint and antique them, and then add lumber from all the pallets that we are acquiring.  I have some really fun ideas for reusing some items I have collected.

I learned that I can make a stain for the wood on the pallets with vinegar and a steel wool pad.  I'm going to try and experiment of course before I do that.

So happy decorating to me!

Oh, here is a floor plan of sorts showing what we are doing.  It doesn't show the bump out for the basement stairs nor does it show the porch.

This isn't perfectly accurate, but should give you an idea.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

I can see my yard again!

May 2nd, the cement guys arrived early to get the basement floor prepared for pouring concrete.

The plumbers have installed the drain and have run the water up through the bottom.

I grab a quick shot while the guys are waiting for the concrete to arrive.

Rich watches the contractors working.  He likes to keep an eye on things.

The floor is poured and then another truck comes in with a mix of concrete and pebbles [the technical terms were explained to me but I don't recall them!] to fill in the gap between the house on the slab and the rock wall below it.

Rich gets down and helps the concrete guys.

Here they are filling the 'gap' between the basement wall and the house.

Now if you recall, when the basement was dug, it was discovered that the house was on sandstone.  

Here it is:
And now with the basement finished and the gap filled.

End of day 7 of construction.

Items that were left to be completed were backfilling and running out the drain pipes for the drainage around the basement walls and the drain for the basement floor.

Remember that BIG ditch?
This is where the drains are to run off and direct water away from the house.

Here is the ditch with the drain tile in it and the water drain [it is buried by sand].

A job well done by Kurt from Crooked Creek Construction, LLC.

While the guys were doing that I went around to take a photo of Morris in the yard with the house in the backround.  
Looking at the house now I can see how badly things need repair.

One of the other things I want to show is how ugly things are pre-remodel and how things will look in comparison when it is all done.

I came home from work yesterday and found out that Kurt had come out with a skid steer and cleaned up that huge pile of dirt and sand.
Rich had moved the pile of gravel and dirt that had been graded out of the driveway.

Imagine my surprise at being able to pull up to my old parking area!
However, I still need to walk around the house to get inside.  But no more ditches!

There will be some extensive yard work to be done after this job.
We discussed hiring a guy with a dozer to come in and re-grade the driveway, then put in a new rock base and add gravel on top.

This was something we were meaning to do but had decided to wait until the remodel was finished.

The Little House Remodel Saga continues.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Thoughts on remodeling

It means change and it means a lot of adjusting for a period of time.
I think the 'digging' of the basement and the adjustment of using the 'south' door for entering and coming in has gone pretty smoothly.

My living room and other rooms have plastic totes full of stuff that I've sorted through and gotten out of the way.  The little space we had as the entry way was packed with 'stuff'.  20 years of stuff crammed into a small tiny space.  I sometimes wonder where we got all of that?

I am now faced with putting the winter garments away -- whoops?  Where? And pulling out the summer jackets.  No place to hang them at this time, so the chore boots go on a rug in front of the couch. The jackets get tossed on top of the totes.

My youngest son sent me a nice email explaining that he and his family would love to come and visit and see the construction.  I was pleasant in my reply letting him know that there was barely enough room for Rich and I to get around and we had no extra space at this time.

I'm thinking that I am probably more overwhelmed by all of the sudden changes that have happened this past week because I had an extremely heavy work schedule.  Plus Rich hadn't felt well and still doesn't feel quite up to par.

He was rather upset to come back from turning the water off/on to see that the plumber guys helped themselves to our shovels in our shed and hadn't bothered to clean them off.  
Rich is fastidious about his equipment.  Shovels are to be cleaned after each use. He is absolutely a fanatic about that.  Yet those two shovels lay against the shed entry with sand stuck to them.

He wondered why the plumbers could show up in a nice shiny truck and not have shovels when they knew they would have to use them!

It will be minor things like this that will test our patience, especially when I have to take apart the kitchen when they take down the wall that has the sink in it to extend the kitchen.  
When things get a bit overwhelming, I close my eyes and imagine how nice it will be when things are wrapped up.

And then I start to dream about how I will work on landscaping and how much I will enjoy the new space.

I guess the motto ought to be, one day at a time.