Country Living Series

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Progress on the house

As most of you know, we're remodeling the house prior to selling and downsizing. Here are some photos of our progress. (This post is as much for the benefit of our daughters, so they can see the changes, as it is for my dear readers.)

For years -- 16, to be exact -- we lived with the world's ugliest blue indoor/outdoor carpeting. Blech.


Additionally, the walls were stark white, with remnants of other colors left over from previous owners -- notably one section of dark blue on the stairs. Again, blech.


Working on the precept of "ceiling down," we started with putting up sheet rock to cover the ugly walls. We used a thin 1/4-inch sheet rock as "skin."


This is our living room during some of the remodeling chaos. We laid the sheet rock in the center of the floor.


We also had to shove furniture all over the place. We disassembled the hoosier and jammed it into the kitchen.


The birdcage also got rolled into the kitchen (which the bird actually enjoyed; she was far more in the center of things).


Chairs and bookshelves got crunched into the front room.


This chaotic state of affairs lasted weeks. Typical remodeling scene: ladders and measurements.


Lots of pre-prep work was needed for the walls. In this photo, Don was prepping the west wall (on the right) for painting. We used the carpet as a drop cloth since we were getting rid of it.


Here I've removed the rest of the books and shelves, as well as all the pictures from the walls.



The books, shelving units, and pictures got piled in Older Daughter's bedroom.


View from up the stairs. What a mess.



Ready to start painting. We covered the piano with sheets to protect it.



Putting on primer.



Don disassembled the ceiling fan, then put a plastic garbage bag over the workings while painting the ceiling.


(The fan parts desperately needed cleaning anyway.)


It's hard to tell in the photos, but the walls are going from stark white to a lovely buttercream that reflects the sunlight beautifully.


After the walls were dry, Don started putting up oak trim. Wow, all the difference in the world in "finishing" the room.




The next step was the floor. At long last, we could get rid of that ugly blue carpeting!



Underneath is bare concrete.


Look at all the dust that accumulated underneath!


Here's what the room looked like without the carpet.


Then came the exciting part -- the flooring. We used the vinyl peel-n-stick from Home Depot.





We temporarily put the carpet and furniture back -- for one reason, we needed a place to sit; and for another reason, we wanted to see how things looked with the room set up.


It looked great -- a whole lot better than before we started -- with the exception of this accent wall. We had painted it a shade of green that (we thought) complemented the green accent walls in the kitchen.


The results were underwhelming. We sat with the paint color for a couple of days, and just didn't like it. So we repainted it the exact same shade of pickle-green as the kitchen.



It made a world of difference. Perfect.


Don still had compressor hoses and tall ladders everywhere as he worked on finishing touches.



Next step, the entryway platform.


We decided on a contrasting color.



Darcy fully approved of the results.


Don continues to add trim and accent wood. He's framed in doors, boxed and framed windows, and trimmed the walls at top and bottom. Talented guy, no?



When the entryway platform was complete, we were able to move the hoosier out of the kitchen to where it belonged (backed up against the entryway platform). This gave us breathing room in the kitchen.


But there was one insurmountable problem: the concrete stem walls around the perimeter. They're ugly. How to fix them?


Don's solution? Handcrafted wainscoting. He made it in advance to the correct size, then took it outside to stain.


Here he's installing one section.


The room is taking on the beauty and warmth of a Craftsman-style home.




That's what he's done so far in the living room. There is still more bits of trim to add, but at least the room is now livable. Next, it's on to the front room -- which, fortunately, has a lower ceiling and isn't in nearly as bad a shape.

We've also done some outdoor work, as the weather improves. Don removed the ugly tangle of wire field fence that separated the yard from the pasture...


...and is gradually replacing it with sturdy handsome railroad ties and 2x6 railings.


Oh, and we have a new cat that adopted us. She's a stray and found food and attention with us. She's a sweet and friendly soul.


The challenge is to keep Darcy from attacking her, for he would certainly kill her if given the chance. (He's a hunting dog, after all, and didn't grow up with this cat.)


This means the cat will stay with the house when we sell. She's making a superb shop cat. You might remember Don lost his shop cat a few years ago, and he's been without a mouser since then.



So that's what we've been up to ... not to mention trying to ramp up the garden, cleaning up debris and unneeded things outside, and all the other flotsam and jetsam of preparing a house to sell. Busy spring!