Monday, February 25, 2013

My Demolition Team!

Here are some pics from the master bedroom pics from last weekend. My son and 3 of his buddy's are always looking to make a little cash. So I offered them pay for in exchange for demo. Two of the boys were all over it, but Cody and Big L were very hesitant because they were ones who took down the living room/dining room ceiling. They finally conceded and were set to come out on a Sunday morning at 6am. 

Sunday morning came and the gang was all here! I was trying to "help" them but they insisted that I was just in the way. So here is what it looked like when they started:

Here is what it looked like 6 hours later. When they dropped the ceiling, there was about a foot of insulation under the layers of lathe and plaster AND there was a bale of straw that birds have brought in over the years. It was a roll off full. See all the gray spots on the roof line???? Those are mud dobbers nest, or hornets nest.

You can see a better pic of them here:

Here are the walls all cleaned up.

And here is what is left of the electrical:

And here is more "hidden electrical" It is located in the ceiling. It is not code for many reasons and I will be moving all of it 3 feet west to my closet light junction box that I am going to be putting in. I will talking more about electrical later.

I still haven't got insulation in my room which was fine for the most part except, when it is 5 degrees outside, it is 5 degrees in my bedroom. I have an electric blanket and 5 quilts on my bed. It is nice in warm.......under the covers. Getting up in the morning is another story.But NOW I don't have electricity in my room so no more electric blankey! AND I can't put up insulation until I get the electric ran up in the celing and walls. AND I can't put in new electric until I get problems like the one pictured above, resolved. AND I can't work on putting a light and electric inthe closet until I empty it. AND I have to run to the store to get some totes to empty my closet.......It is like a never ending list of:

 "I have to do this (fill in the blank)............ Before I can do this (fill in the blank).

But I am making progress!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Moving forward with frustration but no regrets....yet.

When I moved here 4 years ago, I was going to build a new house. A nice cape cod style with big porch. I would look over plans with excitement and I could picture it sitting on the hill where my old house is now. Then the reality of the price tag along with a big tax bill changed the course for me.

Now I feel like I have entered into the renovation from hell. The never ending renovation from hell. It all seemed so simple in the beginning. I mean, come on, how hard is it? It is done in 30 minutes on the DIY shows everyday. I have skills. Real skills. I can run power tools. I can build stuff. I have changed outlets, painted, replaced a faucet or two, and many other projects around the house. If you asked me before this, I would have said I was pretty handy. However, NOBODY and I mean NOBODY could have prepared me for mental and emotional ride that goes along with a major renovation.

I am getting "closer" to being finished with the dining/living room. Just the I thought of hanging 700 feet of drywall and then mudding and taping the entire room sent me into depressive state. I am getting older and I do not relish sanding above my head for hours at a time. I was telling a friend this and he simply asked why I don't get it plastered. I told him that I wanted to do it myself because I didn't want to pay someone to do something that I felt I could do. Well to make a long story short, I called a plasterer and they will be here next month. This must have been what I needed because as soon as I made the decision, I felt like a 800 pound gorilla jumped off my back.  

But there is stuff that need to be done around here before they come and the list looks like this:

1.Laundry Room:

-Finish Drywall- Finished

-Flooring (The laundry room is ready to have flooring put in and I finally decided last week on what I wanted so I am going to put it in on Sunday.) 

Painted- It needs to be painted but I am waiting on a Paint-Stick  to paint and I will be writing a review on it. (I got it FREE from fellow blogger and DIY guru Sandra Powell of Sawdust Girl because Sandra rocks!)

2. Living/Dining Room:

-Pull all the nails out of the joist and walls

-Run new electrical

-Put in recessed lights

-Insulate walls

3. My Bedroom:

-Demo the walls and ceiling- Finished

-Run new electrical

-Mount ceiling fan box

-Insulate walls and ceiling

So at the moment I am in the middle of basically re wiring my whole house. I was very apprehensive at first doing my own electric but I am cooking with gas now and making some major strides, I have actually hooked up stuff inside the electrical panel. I have to admit, it is going to be so awesome having more than one outlet per room! I really like doing electrical!!

As you can see, I have a BIG list to get done. I still have no regrets about the decision to renovate vs build new. I have made a commitment to work  hours EVERYDAY until I get the house ready for the plasterers to come.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Year Anniversary!!!

On Oct 20 2011, I started this blog because I was planning on renovating me old farmhouse and I thought it would be an excellent way to timeline the project. I almost didn't do a blog because I am not much of a writer and I didn't think I would have anything to say. (Even though I am quite a talker in real life), Then I decided that I was blogging for me and the documentation of my house and if anyone was kind enough to read it and comment then that would be a bonus. So thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoy it. The good news is, my house has a lot more work so there should be YEARS of blogging.

Here are the highlights of the first year:

October 20, 2011- Decided to renovate the farmhouse one room at a time.That really turned out to be a joke looking back! Once you start, it spreads like a disease.

November 4, 2011- I started tool buying and here is where my little "Made in the USA" bubble was burst. I do love power tools and I probably should fear them more than I do. Look at this list:

Here is the power tools I have:
  • Craftsman table saw
  • Skil circular saw
  • Black and Decker cordless drill with 2 batteries
  • Portable air compressor
Here is my wish list so far
  • Makita 12" Dual Slider Miter Saw (LS1216L)
  • DEWALT 10 Amp Reciprocating Saw (DW304PK)
  • Paslode Cordless 16 Gauge Finish Nailer (900600)
  • Paslode Framing Nailer (cordless)
  • Hand held Router- (???)
  • Dremal (4000-6)

UPDATE as of October 20, 2012 I have all of these EXCEPT the router. Do do have a Dewalt table saw and Makita cordless driver drill with the quick charge batteries. So wow! I am doing good in the tool category. 

And while I have always been "handy" with this project I have learned some specific skills like:

Tearing out an exterior wall

Refaming the wall you just tore out

Putting in windows

Made some furniture

I don't know if demo is counted as a skill set but it should

Put in floor joist and subfloor

Frame up an interior wall

Sweated in some copper and did some plumbing

Did some electrical......and more electrical......... and more elecrical


Drywalled......Taped.............and Mudded~

So as you can see, I have NOT finished one thing in the past year, except some goat houses, a chicken roost and some furniture. Not one major thing finished but I am making progress and this project has become a mild obsession for me. I don't know when I will finish, all I know is that I will and for now I am happy with the progress that I am making. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Window Extravaganza!!!! (Part 1)

If you are wondering why the laundry room is not done, well, I am wondering the same thing!

It is starting to get cold here in the Midwest and I have made up my mind that I am going to put in all the windows that I have bought on sale at Menards this summer.  I already put in 2 of them when I redid the exterior wall of the laundry room.  I ONLY had 6 more to put in before winter gets here! So here is some random pics from me working on the windows. I did get all of them in and I must say that it is really nice having windows that actually open and close and have screens! Now for the best part......... I have NO after pics.

Here is one of my bedroom windows. Yes...... that is a half of shutter and I am working in the dark.

When I am doing framing I GLUE EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Here is 1 window in!!!!! It was smaller than the original. The original would have been a custom size that I DID NOT want to pay custom price for

Demoing the Living room double window.

Looking out the demo-ed window. If you look close you can see the goats are standing on the outside of the barn, peacocks on the hitching post and chickens by the horse trailer.

A view from the outside!


My helper Gracie!

A view looking out the front demo-ed window! I LOVE living on a farm!

So even though the laundry room sits waiting for me to finish it, I have been busy. I will get back to it in a couple weeks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Laundry Room.......before and STILL during.......making progress!

October is right around the corner and that will the one year mark since I have started the laundry room project. I am just starting to mud and tape the room but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am hoping in 2 weeks to be putting in the tile floor. In the meantime I put together a little progress report. All these pics were taken from the same point of view.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Before and During Pics. Plus a Little About Electric.

The laundry room is coming along. One of the major hold ups is me trying to figure out the electrical. I am just starting to grasp the overall concept of wiring in addition to re-wiring a whole house. I know that I am in the very beginning of my training here but oh the possibilities! Like more than one outlet per room! Exterior outlets!  Exterior Lighting! The list goes on and on! And my house not burning down due to bad wiring that is in it now. I have been content to live in my house without thinking too much about the electric until this renovation but now I can't ignore the obvious any longer. Here are some pictures from the past weekend:

Old light switches 

Hummmmm......... does this look safe?

Laundry room (Mudroom) before

Old exterior door and former basement steps go to the left

No more door or steps! And you can see the new linen closet in the back ground.

New windows and framed up exterior door. 


So as you can see, I haven't been just sitting around eating bon-bon's and watching soap operas. Hopefully I can get drywall up this weekend. What a glorious day that will be!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Quandary in the Laundry

I am at the point where I get to start picking out some of the "fun" stuff for the house. You would think that I would excited be here but it has proven to be more challenging than I had expected. I have been out looking at interior doors and I was amazed at how many styles that there are to choose from! My decision was an easy one since I have a fondness for Mission (also called Shaker or Craftsman) style of furniture so I already planned on incorporating that in the style in the house as a whole. I had a few rules when it came to picking out doors.

1) NO HOLLOW DOORS! I didn't care if they were solid wood or a MDF product but NO HOLLOW DOORS. (you can insert an image of me with my fist clenched screaming to the heavens and NO HOLLOW DOORS like a scene from Mommy Dearest.

2) NO RAISED PANELS! I am pretty sure I hate raised panels as much at Joan Crawford hated wire hangers.

So here is the interior door that I am going to use through out the whole house:

And yes, I am having white doors and white trim in my house. I love these doors. Simple and stylish. You can find this door at all 3 of the big box stores and all are Made in the USA. Easy Peasey Lemon Squeezy. So I put a full linen closet in the laundry room or I should say that during the demo we "discovered" a closet behind the walls. I now need a door for that closet. I am also not a fan of bi-fold doors but I thought I should at least I should check into it. Sure enough they make a matching bi-fold door for the price of.........$450.00. Yes........ $450.00!!!  You have got to be kidding me! Un-Effing-Believable! That is a "custom" door from the millworks at all 3 big box stores. But then I get on the internet and find at The Big Orange store"

JELD-WEN 30 in. x 80 in. Molded Composite Prepaint Brilliant White 3-Panel Craftsman Smooth Interior Door Slab

Model # O85676

Internet # 203403287
$222.48 /EA-Each (+ $55.00 for Shipping for a total of $277.48) 

I believe that I could make this work. I am sure of it. It is an option. Not my favorite option. Then I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, Sandra, from Sawdust and Paper Scraps and see this:

Click on the picture to see the "how-to" on this door at the Accent Piece!

Hell Yes!!! This Rocks!!!


But this was a guest post on Sandra's Blog. You can the the creator of this beautiful door over at The Accent Piece. Suzy and her blog is now on my favorites list. Of course the door I would use would be a white Mission style door like pictured above.

Thanks to Sandra and Suzy for you inspiration!