Monday, April 25, 2016

Where are we now, Part Two

While the porch was being completed, there was a little bit of work going on in the back of the house as well as some additional demolition going on inside.

We had a few important decisions to make during this phase of the project. Important decisions that were also far from cheap decisions. The first big decision after we agreed to build the addition, was how large should it be? We knew we needed a laundry room; there really wasn't a place inside the house for it. We already demo'd the full bath on the first floor, so we knew we wanted a bathroom added. I wanted storage and pantry space. The hot water heater had historically been in the root cellar - so we knew we wanted to move it inside. We've seen the cellar flood, and we didn't want to risk damaging a hot water tank.

Those questions were the easy ones to answer. First debate between Ghon and I was the size of the bathroom. He wanted to keep a full bath downstairs. I wanted a half. I didn't see the need for a full bath off of the kitchen; to me, it was as odd as a full bath in the dining room! From his perspective, he was thinking ahead to old age and if we ever had to live on the first floor of the house, we'd have a shower. I was concerned with the amount of space a tub would carve out of storage area. Eventually, we both gave in. Seriously. As I tried to bend and offer the compromise of a shower stall, but not a full tub (because if I'm 80 and can't go up the stairs to shower, I'm not sitting in a tub!), he bowed down to a half bath. I actually argued for the shower, noting if he came in stinky and muddy or bloody from farm work or hunting (or the kids for that matter), he could hose down there, drop the clothes in the washer right outside and not have to go through the house. But, in the end, the half bath won out.

Major decision number two - do we build up? Yes, do we make the addition two stories? I had originally joked that while we were at it, we should make it two stories, or at least, plan to build that if we ever wanted to go two stories, we could. That was all Ghon needed to hear to start creating a plan. We agreed, now or never, and to add a second story now was probably smarter. So up we went. The addition upstairs gave us a small master sitting room with a closet and a large master bath. There is also a small hallway and closet that leads to the second full bath for the kids.

There was one existing full bath upstairs in one of the bedrooms that we plan to have as an office/guest room. It only had a shower stall and was small - and just didn't make much sense. By creating the two new bathrooms in this addition project, we will replace all of the plumbing in the house. All of the pipes are now brand new, including the kitchen, as the sink is on the same wall as the addition. Major overhaul!

Major decision number three - air conditioning. The house had one propane burning furnace and it was pretty much ineffective as it was very old. Only one intake and one vent in the dining room and in the staircase. Heat might rise, but this wasn't doing much, other than burn fuel and maybe take a little of the edge off the icy air. And no air conditioning. Over the summers, the house stayed relatively cool, but we knew that once we were inside, doors opening and closing, cooking, living, etc, it would be a little warmer. We needed to decide if we were going to replace the existing furnace with a new unit and AC, or let it ride. It would be a big chunk of our budget, but since we already had walls removed, were building the addition, and had ceilings exposed, it was the perfect time to run duct work. We went for it. In the end, I think we did get a wonderful deal on the unit and install.

Access ramps to the addition foundation.
Ready to build!

Laying the floor foundation.

Walls are going up!

Framing the walls and windows. The opening leads to the kitchen.

The edge of the chicken coop can be seen out of the window to the left. This is the view from the laundry area.

Bam! Two stories up, wrapped, and windows installed!
Side view of the addition. Drain tile went in all around the foundation.

Now, with siding!

This is part of the old furnace. The duct ran under the stairs. By removing it, I gained a closet in the dining room.

This is the threshold between the living and dining rooms. All that pipe was from the shower upstairs and has been removed.

The old first floor full bath was through that door. The raised platform is where the tub sat. 

House colors through the ages - exposed during renovation.

Ever one for a deal, I picked these lights up for $5 each at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, cleaned them up and repainted them. There are now on the front porch!

Genevieve using plumbing elbows as a megaphone. Whatever it takes to make a material run more entertaining...

Framing out the walls in the dining room where the bathroom had been.

Inside the addition - plumbing for a utility sink, washer and dryer. The old window was above the sink and eventually just drywalled over.

Hello master tub with whirlpool jets! A great buy from the ReStore!

Plumbing for his and her sinks - through the wall, you can see the kids large soaking tub. They think it's pretty cool that their bathtub has arm rests. Another ReStore purchase, or else no, they wouldn't have had such a large tub!

Another shot into the kids bathroom. They also will have his and her sinks.

It's not a complete "closet" like he wanted since there isn't a door, but this is the "poop nook" that Ghon wanted. A private spot for your private dooty.

We had to remove a little wall to help level the floors and cut some holes for the dust work. This is from one of the kid bedrooms looking to the attic.

And in the attic, our monster heating unit. Apparently, this is this is the largest unit that can be purchased for home use. I don't know how they got it up the narrow, twisty attic steps!

Holes for duct work.

Running the duct work through.

More duct work - this one looks from the dining room into the kitchen.

Master bedroom install!

The old full bath made a good place for the duct work to travel. Just behind this duct would have been the toilet.

The outside unit.
With the addition set, it's off to the inside work. Let's take a little peek inside the house, shall we?

Here is the first floor of the addition. Door to the outside at left, standing roughly at the window that looks to the chicken coop. Straight ahead is storage, pressure tank, and the hot water heater.

The half bathroom.
Laundry/mud room area.

Meanwhile, upstairs.... 

From the master bedroom, the new closet is framed in.
From the sitting area, looking into the bathroom - and straight into the kid's bathroom.

The hallway leading to the kid's bathroom at left. This was created by cutting through the existing house!

Back downstairs, more chaos and construction - and frustration. We decided to completely replace the walls in the kitchen. There was an old dual sided fireplace - that opened to the kitchen and dining room. Both rooms still had the mantles, but since they were non functioning, they sort of impeded more modern design. We walled in the fireplace on both sides.

All of the kitchen cabinets were removed to prep for the walls. Just like the living room, a quick peek to see what was underneath the sub floor, because it can't be accessed by the root cellar....WHAM, we are taking up and replacing the entire floor.

Three cheers for new plumbing, because at some point, between plumbing and perhaps drainage from the old porch roof being turned into an addition with a washer and dryer...the footer on the kitchen window wall was rotten. The old part of the house really wasn't sitting on much. More trips to Lowes and a concrete support footer was added. In reality, it's obviously a good thing that we found this now. But, come on, could we get a break on the rotting floors and footers??

See the cinder blocks? Someone else tried to help support this floor too at one point! That wasn't us!

Another design challenge in the kitchen. Although the decision was easy to cover the old fireplace, I didn't know what to do with that window. It would look out into the laundry room, and that's boring. It almost lined up with the exterior window. Leaving it would take away wall space for shelving, and we'd been thinking of doing a lot of open shelving. But, I've never not had a window by the sink!   

What would you do??

After the floor was done and the subfloor replaced, new drywall went up, and we walled over the window. I'd love to see the faces of the next family member that tears apart this house and finds a window in the wall between the laundry and kitchen rooms.

The window is hiding behind the drywall on the fright wall.

One design feature I knew I wanted was a built in bookcase with charging stations. Remember this?

I didn't give our contractor many specs, so this is what he came up with. The top nook has an outlet with USB ports in it. :)  I'm thinking I'll have some coat hooks installed at the bottom for the kids to hang their book bags on. We'll see once we move in!

My kitchen built in shelves!
A view of the wall - with test paint color!

The cabinets are set. This window was replaced. We actually eliminated a few of the cabinets, choosing to not wrap them around and under the porch facing window. Next decision - countertops. This was hard too, as so many were expensive. Who knew! Ghon really wanted to build them himself, so that's what we did. Or he did. Custom countertops by Ghon!

First up, staining the wood, using roughly 3 different colors.

Stained wood.
Then came the layout. The contractor helped a little with the installation work. I believe a combination of liquid nails and a nail gun were used to secure the boards to the top of the cabinets. A coat or two of polyurethane have been applied, and soon, it will be coated with a clear bar top lacquer. 

Ghon and his countertop.

Nice, long countertop.
Next, a quick view of the dining room. We replaced these old horizontal slider windows with new windows, and put new drywall up across the wall.
Dining room window - looks out to the front yard and street.

Below, is the dining room wall that backs to the kitchen. Behind all that flat wall is where the fireplace used to be.
This small closet was already in place. It's about 12 inches deep, will be great to store table clothes and the like.

This is probably a good place to stop. 

Because not long after this, the work stopped. 

The contractor thought the projects would be done around Christmas 2014. We went a little longer due to changes, weather, and adding more to the project. Scope creep...

But in February 2015, the work was still going. Finances were a little tighter, but we were keeping up. At the end of the month though, I lost my job. Tight financially took on a whole new meaning, and we had to put an end to the work. It was back to Ghon and I to finish the work, with no extra funds. We had come so far, but there was still so much to do.

We made short and long lists of the "need to do" to move in and the "nice to do" before we move in. We tried to move needs to nice. Some nice became needs. But not a whole lot was done. 

Next post - I'll cover what we did accomplish during my unemployment. 

What do you think of the changes so far?

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