Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I got dirt

You haven't heard from me in a while. I've struggled what to report on the house because unfortunately, there's not much to report. The crew has dug underneath the foundation and after killing two snakes that they found underneath (ugh!), the foundation has gone from this

to this...It's hard to see, but they really have done a lot of digging. Those concrete piers are just temporary until they can mix some actual concrete up, but that's our main problem. We've had thunderstorms roll through daily and it's been too wet to do anything. Not to mention our contractor has been on a cruise and Adam and I had our own family's vacation last week. Now, we leave again tomorrow for a friend's wedding, but are really prayerful and hopeful the foundation will be finished by next week. Pray that the rain will hold off and head down to Texas where they really need it!

In the mean time, we've got dirt. A lot of dirt. I posted on Craigslist free fill dirt and have gotten some responses, but my sister thinks we're crazy for giving it away. Now, it makes me wonder if we should keep it for some reason. We could do raised planters for a garden, but Adam thinks we should just till the ground. We could level the ground, but then we have to rent a bobcat for that. I was just trying to save us a couple hundred dollars from not having to rent, but maybe we could really use the dirt.

We were going to get our kids a playground set, but Greta seems to really like a dirt hill. Maybe we should keep it right where it is. :)
Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

These videos were taken back in April. Everything still looks the same except for the window treatments have been given away to an old Southern lady who requested them. Apparently she had toured the house when she had considered buying it and fell in love with the hideous baby pink curtains and sheer drapes with bug poop all over them. She said she was into "shabby chic" stuff. My mom put it best when she said, "Well, how about shabby shabby?" :)

1st Floor

2nd Floor


Monday, July 13, 2009

Iron Man

Who needs lacquer and varnish remover? On Saturday, Adam got the grand idea of taking our door with the stubborn varnish to his work and sandblasting it off. With approval from his boss,
he got right to work at their sand-blasting station where they typically sand steel, not oak. Pshhh, beat that mineral oil.

It proabably took less than an hour and removed every last bit of lacquer and then some. The door has deeper grooves in the grain, but we just call that character. Plus, the stain and lacquer that we put on it will help fill in those grooves.

Look familiar?

Yeah, that's what I thought too. :)

We weren't sure exactly of the finish we wanted on the door whether to just stain it or distress it first. So, I practiced by banging up an old oak stair tread we had lying around.
I made my torture device out of nuts and plumbing parts and a great little l-shape bracket that did a lot of the damage. The result on the oak tread was so cool that we decided to do it on the door!

Here's a little sneak peek of the door and the stain that we used. Adam is not a shortcut kind of guy so he's not particularly keen on stain mixed with polyurethane, but this is the only kind we could find at Lowe's with the color we wanted. We'll add a seperate coat poly when we're finished...

Yard Work

Even if we don't live in the house, we still have to take care of the yard. In fact, a zero-turn lawn mower was our first purchase. Adam cut down some dead tree branches and did some "pruning" which basically consisted of trimming down anything too tall or too wide. Adam thinks we need a professional arborist's opinion, but this will do for now.

It was my job to zip around on the mower, which reminded me of 4-wheeling and I loved it. I was pretty proud of myself that I did it in less than an hour. I just plugged in the Ipod and listened to Regina Spektor sing about buying a silver trailer and having a baby boy. :) Still haven't met our neighbors yet, but I got a nice hearty wave from our neighbor mowing his lawn too. I love the country.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

When God closes a door, He gives you Craigslist.

We've been in need of a new door for the new house since the old one is broken. It's there, but it has been kicked in and is structurally un-sound. Everything is on a tight budget for this project(s) so where do you think I looked first for a new front door? You got it. Craigslist.

We picked this beaut up last week in South Charlotte from a guy who bought it from his doormaker friend, but decided he couldn't use it. It is a solid oak door with beautiful detail molding and is worth over $1,000! We got it for $150.00! Praise God! Now, all we have to do is sand it, stain it dark and get the hardware and we'll be in business. Finished product to come once we can figure out how to remove the stubborn lacquer...

And I'm so excited about my other craigslist purchase! I picked this baby up for $20.00 last night! I can just see Greta giggling in it with all of her princess books and "tolors" in the shelf below.

Which makes me one step closer to this....:)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Laugh

Okay, so with all of my computer savvy-ness I found the program "Paint" for probably the 1st time since 4th grade to show you our new layout. The whole idea came about when we started looking into renovating the green kitchen with new cabinets, appliances, the whole works. The existing kitchen is fairly small to begin with and closed off in the back corner of the house. It has high ceilings like the rest of the house, but even that changes at the back of the kitchen with regular height ceilings. The thought was that if we were going to completely renovate a kitchen and have it still be the size of an apartment size kitchen, it still wouldn't be ideal no matter how much time and money we put into it. So that's why Adam's Aunt Sharon suggested "The Big Upset"(previous blog post) and get exactly what we want with a bigger kitchen and all!

This is the BEFORE layout of the 1st floor of the house

This is what we hope for it to look like AFTER. We plan to knock down some walls to allow an open living area. Even though we will probably have to lose the double sided fireplace for this to happen, there is another fireplace in the new sitting room I didn't mention. Another great perk of this is the dining room's view will look out on this!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Big Upset

Thanks to Adam's Aunt Sharon's fresh perspective (seriously, thanks) we are doing a little flip-flopping in the house.
The master bedroom on the left side of the house will now become the kitchen...

and the kitchen will become the master bathroom and walk-in closet...
And the dining room will occupy the old utility room. (Who doesn't want to snuggle up to a bag of garbage while eating their pot roast?)

As for the rest of the house, the master bedroom will take the place of the old dining room, the living room will become the sitting room and the sitting room will become the living room. Whew! Detes to come...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Elbow Grease

This is the side room of the outbuilding that I cleaned out last Saturday morning.



Side note: I love my blue doors and have a great dream of turning one into a bench for our entryway. However, I'm not sure if it's leaded paint on the door or not. Anyone know how I could find out? I don't want to paint over it, but I don't want to die of lead poisoning either....

We got a Shout-Out!

My friend, Sarah featured our us on her blog, Create Studio today. Go to her site to check it out!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And then there were three...

When we first went under contract with this house, we thought there was 1.88 acres of land according the MLS statement. The first thing Adam did was to get it surveyed to see exactly what part of the property was ours. It looked so big, we weren't sure exactly where the lay of the land was. Imagine our surprise (and the owner's!) when the survey came up as 3.33 acres and it was all ours for the same price! According to the seller's realtor, she had encouraged him over and over to get it surveyed, but old paperwork had said 1.88, so that's what he went with. We were so giddy and grateful for this land even though we don't have a clue what to do with it! My vote is for a Christmas tree farm... :) I'm not kidding either!

This is behind the house looking towards the neighbors house on the right.

Everything is ours all the way back to that tree line far away! Praise God! Now, we need to rent a bush hog and cut down that grass.

I've had a couple friends ask if this will be Greta's playhouse. How can you say no to a face like this?

We discovered that one of the trees in the backyard has green apples all over it. Time will tell I guess what kind they are and how big they'll get...

We found this old rusty hardware mounted in the tree. Made me wonder if maybe it was a horse-hitching post??

The grape arbor is starting to get little green buds on it! I've heard that the harvest time for grapes is hopefully they'll last the winter.

There are day lillies all around the yard. And ant mounds.

This is the side of the yard. Everything in the picture all the way to the tree line on the left is included!

We have a generous sized front yard also. The only downside about our house is that it is on a somewhat busy 2 lane road with no fence. I would like to put up a pretty split-rail fence to just give a little definition for the kids between our yard and the road. But that'll be later I'm sure...

So far, so good!

We've had two groups of people over recently working at the house. The first group that has come and gone are the HVAC guys. That giant gray metal box was our old AC unit. This picture was taken back in March when we were just beginning to check the place out.

Where the paint bucket is is where the AC unit used to be before they unhooked it and hauled it away! Our HVAC guys say they can put our new one down those cement stairs and actually keep it underneath the house. We need to decide whether we want automatic valves or manual valves now...Automatic of course would be preferable, but we're on a budget here people and I'm still holding out for kitchen cabinets. If we go manual, it would be a seasonal thing for us to go in the crawlspace and manually fiddle with the valves until the interior temp was to our liking. Not bad, but annoying I'm sure.
These are the steps leading down to the crawlspace. The old unit was so huge it actually rested on top of the stairwell and hovered over your head as you walked down.

This is what you see when you get down there. Looking at these tunnels, I think that if the diggers didn't work out in the field of construction, they might have a lucrative career in prison. :) This is a crew hired by our contractor to dig out enough dirt for our contractor to assess where our foundation piers need to be replaced. From the inside, it is evident to see where the floor has at least one broken pier as the it dips in the hallway. We were going to dig out and then replace piers, but for the security of the house as it shifts from the dirt removal and the safety of the guys underneath, they are replacing them as they go.

You can see in some places where the dirt is so high that there is no room to assess what's going on below the house. This is OLD dirt and the guys say it is hard, hard work to dig it out.