Wednesday, May 28, 2008

From Mr. Sandman to Digger Dan

I am so blessed to have a husband who can read up on just about anything and then tackle the project with gusto and have it come out beautifully!
We are not quite to the beautiful stage yet on this project. It'll be a while... Sean rented himself a digger thing. (Yes, I'm sure it has a more professional name than digger thing and our three year old probably knows it.) Anywho - Sean dug out around the lousy partially caved in, ant infested block foundation.
As an added bonus, he dug up turf beside the garden to double it in size for me. The extra turf filled in the endless Great Dane puppy diggin' ankle twisting holes.
As I mentioned, besides the carpenter ants, the fact that the yard sloped toward the house in this area, water got into the block foundation, froze, and pushed it out of place. Sean is debating getting a masonry estimate or doing it himself. Knowing Sean , I'm thinking he'll do it himself...

As a happy P.S. we got our house inspection fee returned to us since all this was missed in the inspection.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


No, we weren't planning on rebuilding an exterior wall in the master bedroom with the pretty tin ceiling, but when Sean reached down and a chunk of wall came off in his hands and ants scurried everywhere it became evident that we have a mess on our hands.
Yes, that is a huge run-on sentence but I'm typing with one hand and holding a pacifier in place with the other. Sorry..

Sweet, handsome, wonderful Sean is out pulling out bushes so he can get into the wall and see how far the carpenter ants have devoured. That and trying to be a good Christian and not curse the day we paid big money for a house inspector to tell us everything was fine. That and praying jacking up the house and replacing a wall is something our insurance will cover.

"oh-la-dee, oh-la-da, life goes on..."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Thousand Dollar Job part one

After finding out how much it would cost to have a new hearth laid and the fireplace in the new kitchen spiffed up, my brilliant Sean started reading on masonry.

He tore out the old crumbled hearth, put new supports in the basement below and began mixing cement.

The concrete dried overnight. Using bricks we had selvedged from the fireplace, Sean has begun laying them out and cutting them to fit the new hearth. It is slow work but looks fabulous. I can't wait to see the finished hearth!

In other news, here are some of the lights we've put in the new kitchen. Those beams will be stained and polished. A local home store is going out of business and we snagged a beautiful iron chandelier for above the island. Can't wait!

Future master Bedroom Discoveries

The room that we plan on making into a first floor master bedroom with attached bath is right off of the new kitchen. It was an addition to the house and we have no idea of how old it is.
Recently gutted of its blue wainscoating, bad wiring, and endless lathe and plaster, it already looks much better!
The floor is covered in chip board based tiles (from the 50's?)
Sean peeled off a few and I was so happy to see hardwood underneath! We had been trying to decide what to put down for flooring in there and are very pleased that there is beautiful existing flooring ready to be sanded.
Sean also found a trap door in the floor.
You should have heard the buzz between the two older kids when they heard Papa had found a secret place! Endless fodder for two imaginations!

The photo above reminds me of the game "Whack a Mole", doesn't it? Nothing too exciting down there. Lots of dirt and enough room for running heating ducts.
The crowning glory of this room is this original tin ceiling. I LOVE it and can't wait to see it cleaned and painted with a pretty chandelier in the middle.
The wall unit we'll leave and use for running heating ducts upstairs. With old thin walls, you have to improvise! Obviously there was a stove in here at one point.