Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grant Street Project: Month One

I'm not sure how much I'll blog in detail about our house project. 
It's such a big project I can hardly stay on top of the choices, much less document them all. Yet, I know I'll enjoy looking back at the before pictures and want to remember some of the lessons we learn along the house-building way.  So here goes. I'll start with our first month on the project. 

I'm such a newbie, so I'm grateful that Isaac has been involved in commercial construction projects with his job in the past. He understands the jargon that is so foreign to me. I didn't even know what an 'elevation' was before all this. But I'm having fun with it. I'm always up for learning, and learning I am.

 We have now had over a month of stuff going on to the new house. I mean old house. Well, we go back and forth on what we call it. 
Maybe it should be the New Old House. 

Here she is. The Before Shot.  

I remember falling in love with her 4 years ago. She sits on two lots on a quiet street filled with tall old, old trees. We have been so happy with her. And then our family grew quite a bit. We feel so fortunate to be able to build on more space. Architect Rodney suggested a plan building up on top of the existing floor plan. Several months later we decided to go for it. And here we are.... a little over a month in. 

Below, you'll see her all covered in tarps. The guys took the roof off. It was topless-- I mean roofless;)-- for a couple weeks. 
We really, really wanted to keep our original hardwood floors. We knew we could lose them due to rain, but hoped the tarp would work. We had two big rains and a couple of sprinkles. Those days were quite stressful. I spent hours moving buckets around to catch water from ruining the floors. Isaac constantly checking on them.

I got creative with my drip catchers as you can see above. The drips would move, and then I would move the buckets. And then the rain would stop and we would blow big fans on the floors. I think we've managed to save most of the floors, minus a few boards that will need to be replaced. 

It has been the biggest blessing having Builder Boyce as our contractor. Have I mentioned that he lives next door?? Yes, it's amazing. 

Perks to having your neighbor as your contractor:

- He will bring you puddle catchers from his own house. Even his cooler.
- He will not be able to avoid you. :)
- He will pass your project many, many times each day.

- He can't go missing. :)
- His AMAZING wife will watch your 3 crazy kids in her house while you do walk throughs.
- He will be able to show me what certain somethings will look like (4 foot openings for example) by walking me over to his own house. 
- He can easily check on our project multiple times a day.
- He loves us:) We love him.

It's been great. 

I've been picking out windows and pipe placements and door swings and air vent placements and siding (we are sticking with the same existing siding). All those pins on Pinterest have come in REAL handy.

Below, you can see where we added height to the walls. When they took off our roof they found lots of OLD OLD wiring. Not 'up to code' to say the least. Cloth wrapped stuff. So, we will be replacing all of that, and with it, the ceilings. Since those things NEEDED to be done, I asked about raising the walls/ceilings while we were at it. It worked out for us to do so! Yipee! It feels much bigger in the house already just because of that change alone. Come to find out, our original ceilings were like 7 and a quarter inches tall. Not even 8 feet. Needless to say, it's made a big difference. 

Notice the fan for floors. And more creative puddle catchers.
That front door is not my favorite front door. I'm looking forward to a new one.
Our house was built in the 40's.Although that door seems more like 60's-70's? Not sure, but I'm willing to give it back.

Below is a cast iron tub that I wanted to reuse in the New Old House. Upstairs in the new Jack and Jill bathroom to be exact. BUT, it has a drain on the wrong side. And since it's skirted and wouldn't fit in our drawn and framed plans, we had to say goodbye to it. For some reason I was sentimental over this. I've bathed my babies in this bath. It's old. As old as the house. I wanted to keep it. But I couldn't do so practically, so I snapped this pic as a much lighter digital keepsake. 

Here is some flooring we found from days of old in that 'vintage' bathroom. 

Now, here she is. One month in. They've accomplished a lot in a little bit of time.

And to say I'm excited about the next month is an understatement.
This is fun!!!

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