Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We Have Walls!

I'm still amazed by the difference drywall can make on our house. The rooms look larger and the natural light from the windows make the house brighter. The dirt and dust from the old studs and walls has been contained, and though there is drywall dust everywhere, the house is cleaner than we have ever seen it.

Our contractors began to put up the drywall on the 20th. There were a few areas that we asked them not to put anything up because we still had things that needed to be completed in those areas first. Our kitchen has not been completed, nor has the upstairs bathroom, due to the fact that Dad still had some plumbing to run. Almost everything else has real walls!

Spare Bedroom 1 AKA: The Blue Room...

...is no longer blue!

Spare Bedroom 2 with the bad floor...

...still has a bad floor, but now has a new window and a ceiling.
This is one of the big projects on the To Do list. There is a large 
section of floor that needs to be replaced (on the bottom left 
corner of the picture) before the drywall can be finished.

This was the dining room before the bathroom addition.

And after the window removal and bathroom addition.

The dining room in all of it's awesomeness.

The library before.

The library now!

Ok, hands down, our living room is the one room in the
house that has gone through the most change.

I definitely like this version better. And, if I haven't said
it before, I really REALLY love my picture window!

Last of all, our master bedroom.

Still having nightmares about this disaster.

But it looks much better now :)

And it has a new walk in closet.

I am incredibly thankful for our contractors and all of the work that they have put into this house. Though we could have put up the drywall ourselves, it would have taken us a very long time, and there would be no way we could get in the house before the end of October. They have helped us take a challenging task and turn it into a home.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My House is a Giant Marshmallow....

No kidding. Check out some of the pictures my FIL sent yesterday.

(front door/dining room)

(spare bedroom 1)

(master bedroom)

(spare bedroom 2)


One of the reasons I'm excited about the insulation is that much of the coal dust in the walls will be contained. Because the house used to use a coal furnace, the black dust became ingrained in the walls, and every time you touched something your hand would come away black. Problem solved!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Prepping for the Big Stuff!

The really exciting news is that we are getting the house insulated today (Monday)! We have a company coming in to blow an expanding foam insulation into all of the outside walls. It's going to work really well - the house is old and has a lot of cracks and holes, and this kind of insulation will create a seal for both interior heating/cooling as well as absorb noise from the outside. I can't wait to live in a place where I won't be able to hear cars on the road!

 We've been working the past few weekends on making sure that all of the necessary plumbing and wires have been put in the outside walls.

Tub and sink pipes for upstairs bathroom

Toilet plumbing for upstairs bathroom

I didn't know this, but apparently you are supposed to put exhaust pipes for plumbing in the roof. I thought that was really odd. Dad took care of that this weekend and now our house has random PVC pipes sticking out like flagpoles. Any ideas on how to disguise these?

Part of figuring out the plumbing and the wiring was making decisions about where big appliances and bathroom fixtures would go. We spent some time at Home Depot and Lowes looking at showers, tubs and sinks, trying to find things that would actually fit. Bummer about living in an old house is that most of the doorways aren't standard sizes, so we are limited in many ways as to what we can put in there. More news on this in another post once we decide what to buy!

More exciting than toilets and sinks was our kitchen! My mom and dad in law went to Lowes to get some drawings made of different options for kitchen set up. After some deliberation, these are the designs that we chose.

Top view of our kitchen. We'll be using the empty wall for something special - more on that in another post!

View of the kitchen from the empty wall.

View from the side porch/garage door.

Part of my job in the next few weeks is to choose the wood, design and color for my cabinets. So many to chose from! I'm leaning more towards lighter wood colors, but we'll have to see what Daniel likes. 

This past weekend was spent in final prep for the insulation guys. We finished cleaning out all of the spaces between the wall studs and took the tools out of the house. For the first time in nearly a year, the house is empty. My brother Mark, who is back in western PA for his junior year of college, gave us a hand on Sunday with the ceiling of the library. Dan and Dad had been bracing the ceiling with new beams a few weeks ago, and Mark and Dad finished the job this week, jacking up the long wall in the library, putting in a few new vertical supports as well as the ceiling supports. Many, many thanks to Mark for his help! The bedroom floor above the library is now much less bouncy!

Mark using the "girly" hammer drill :)

Lots going on in the next few weeks. The insulation is going in today, and I can't wait to get pictures from my father in law! Next weekend we'll be putting cement board in the kitchen and bathrooms in preparation for tile, as well as running one remaining wire for a stairwell chandelier. We'll also be working on taking up some portions of the floor that are cracked and broken and putting in the new pieces (being made for us by a local Amish man). More photos to come on the progress soon.

Lastly, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad in New York and my youngest brother Thomas, who just turned 18. I wish I could have been there for the festivities, and I miss them lots!