Sunday, December 12, 2010

more renovation

So we moved in to the front room of the house and used it for our bedroom/ living room. Adjoining that was a bathroom complete with an old stained clawfoot tub and no heat. The bedroom was cold and drafty as well. I spent a lot of time standing over our little heater trying to get warm!
 Beyond the bathroom was the kitchen. Everything was dirty and falling apart.
Most of the walls and ceilings were covered in beadboard and one of our first projects was removing the beadboard. We took out the nails and stacked and bundled it to save for later. I had high hopes of reusing it but sadly we were only able to to use it in a couple of places.

We basically gutted the whole house - even the floors on the first floor had to be removed to work on the foundation. The floors sloped badly in many directions! The foundation was made up of rocks and large wooden beams which were placed directly on the ground. My husband, who by the way, likes to do things the right way, decided that the whole foundation needed to be replaced.  So he cut away the floor in the living room and we had dirt floors! But no worries, this dirt floor area was separated from our living space by a wall and thick plastic.

One of the foundation beams.

This is the living room with the walls gutted. The whole in the middle is were a huge double fireplace/chimney was. There were three chimneys in the house and they were all in such bad shape that we had to remove them. As we were taking this one down, we discovered that it was stuffed full of toys!  About a wheelbarrow full of little stuffed animals and happy meal type toys. The older couple who lived here had an autistic grandson who must have put them in the stove pipe opening in the upstairs bedroom.

These pictures show how we dug out the crawl space, yes, with a shovel and wheelbarrow!

The walls were jacked up off the ground as we prepared to pour footings and lay our new block foundation.

This dirt came from under our house.

Cement truck chute through our front door to pour footings.

 A view of our living room with new floor and almost ready for sheetrock! Old houses are so dirty, I would often be black from all the dust as we tore the old walls down. I remember how I loved all the new wood, it smelled so clean!

With this half of the house put back together, we focused on the front room. We decided this would be our kitchen and dinning area.As with the livingroom, we removed the floor and dug out the crawlspace, only this time we were able to use a backhoe. That was awesome! What took days and weeks to do by hand was done with the tractor in a matter of hours!  During this time we moved out (thank goodness) and rented my mother's basement apartment.

Pouring footings in our kitchen.

New block foundation and floor.

From the time we started work on this house till this point was about 6 months. We did all the work ourselves with some help from family. (thanks you all!) We realized we had gotten in over our heads but we were so far along that there was no way we could turn back. So we slowly kept working at it, one day at a time. I wish I could say I had the perfect, patient attitude but let's be real, shall we!
 I've heard some where that when we ask God for patience he doesn't give it to us, but rather, gives us a situation where we can learn patience.

to be continued....


  1. I'm so glad you are telling about your home reno. I've heard a little bit about it and it sounds so interesting. And adventerous! Can't wait to read more.

  2. Cute helper! You should have got his face not just his hat :o)

  3. @ Sara, Yes I know, He always seemed to be there for the nastiest, dirtiest work. Thanks dear brother!