Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let There Be More Light!

We are proud to announce even more light brightly shining through our home, only this time in the form of actual electrical lights! Chuck, Brett, and Mark went to town today and cut out all the holes for the cans and wired most of them. Brett & Mark were up in the attic wiring the cans, as pictured here, while Chuck was downstairs cutting the holes.

Here's our newly illuminated family room. Lookin' good!

Brett is clearly pleased with his work...can't you tell?

It was incredibly helpful having an extra set of hands. Thanks, Mark! Today was a good day.


Let There Be Light!

The last of our new windows have been installed! Here's Brett working away. Uncle Chuck is inside cutting the siding. (Please also note the ivy crawling up our chimney. I'd like to re-present the invitation to be a part of the pulling ivy festivities at a future date. Imagine the fun to be had!)

Here he is threatening to staple my head to the siding.

And this is the view from inside! It's pretty wild how two 2'x2' windows can really brighten a space. The windows allow us to see the wonderful view of the mountains. Love!

As aforementioned, here is Uncle Chuck carrying said siding. What fine cuts he made!

The other thing that was accomplished yesterday was that the guest bedroom was fully yours truly. That's right, I am the insulation cutting, filling, and stapling machine. I will have it be known that Brett lent a hand only at the very last cut, so don't let the last picture trick you into thinking that he was instrumental in my cuts! Also, you can thank me later for the censoring. Oops!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Plumbing & Electric: Installment 1

I hesitate to blog about this simply because the photos may seem semi (or totally) boring to some. Alas, I write and provide pictures to let you know that we are not at a stand still, boring or not! We are trucking along. Things have definitely been moving slower, being that Chip's been proactively preventing scurvy on the beaches of Hawaii (jealousy presents itself). Chuck's been working really hard, doing as much as he can solo-style, and Brett's been working at the house as often as he can, helping Chuck some mornings, and dedicating his available weekend hours. This past Sunday we were able to get a great start on the plumbing, which I'm fairly certain hasn't been touched since the house was built in the 50's. We were able to get going on some of the electrical changes as well.

We had some cement sections of the garage (now our master bath) jackhammered out for our shower drain and toilet, only to discover a not so great foundation. We're still a bit unsure how to tackle this problem, but for now we're focusing on the plumbing.

Now, prepare your oohs and ahs as I present to you photos of said plumbing:

The following photo highlights the beginning of our lovely electrical AND plumbing, all in one! This here is where our kitchen sink will soon (or someday) go!

The following photo highlights our new electrical panel! Wow! Now I'm unable to feign fascination, but perhaps those of you who know anything about electric panels and the like will think this is cool? Well, feast your eyes on THIS!

And check it out: an insulated wall in our dining room!

A finely built soffit is awaiting cabinetry:

That's about enough excitement for one day. Hope you enjoyed the show. Stay tuned for future installments.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh, Saturdays...

I present to you the fruit of our labor: a clean back bedroom. Brett and I worked on the house yesterday morning until Brett had to go to work. We didn't manage to do a whole lot of construction (as if I'd really be a help in that department), but we did get the place pretty well organized and clean.

Chip showed up after we cleared the back bedroom with instructions from LoLo to snap our picture. So, here we are, all "Oregoned out."

**quick side story: I drove everything to the dump later that afternoon and had to stop by B's work to pick up the keys he had forgotten to give me, and two separate people commented on my attire. One comment was "I see Brett's got you all Oregoned out." The other was highlighting the fact that I was voluntarily wearing Carhartts. Yes, it was a good day.

Chip and Brett began some construction types of things, so I commenced organizing. I may not be able to frame a wall, but MAN, can I organize a work space!

Here are the boys working hard...tying their shoes, or surveying the ground for ants, or something like that...or maybe they're framing the french door in. You decide.

IVY. I'm a member of the "I HATE IVY" club. Too bad almost our whole yard is covered in what Oregon has labeled as a noxious weed. I don't know about you, but I hate weeds. I decided that since my organizational services were pretty tapped out in the house, I'd go make myself useful and try to start doing something about our weed situation. Brett was kind enough to catch me in the zone. Enjoy the action shots...they're solid.

BTW if you know any great ways to get rid of ivy, we are all ears! We're thinking of having a pulling-ivy party, so gear up. You know you want to join.

The Demo Continues...Again

Just when I thought we were done with all the necessary demo, we go and pull all the drywall off the wall of the back bedroom walls, and rip out the insulation. As can be seen, such demo creates quite a dusty mess.
(Please forgive the shutter spots on the below pictures. This discovery came several photos later.) Here is my hard-working husband who works on the house in the off-time he happens upon. His two jobs have seriously cut into his house time!

The other accomplishment on this particular day was that the door from the dining room to the patio was installed. Woot-woot!
Lookie what we found here. Lurking behind the fireplace, under all the drywall that was ripped off, we discovered where those pesky bees were being housed! what to do...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dun, dun, dun! The door from the dining room to the patio is in! We now are able to get to the backyard without going through the master bedroom. Not only that, but the dining room has become wonderfully bright as a result (well, the massive 8' window didn't hurt either). We love it!

Here's Chippy working away, making some cuts to get the rest of the bathroom framed.

Uncle Chuck is a happy camper framing in the bathroom door. They finished the bathroom framing today.

Laura is the QUEEN of lunch. She's a very integral pat of this remodel because she keeps the troops very well fed. And she knows how to provide some seriously de-lish lunch.

Chippy is reaping the benefits

...and looking good!

Here she is, surveying the scene: The General

Our dear Busha is so incredible. She comes over every day to see how she can help. She has the energy that outlasts the Energizer Bunny, and truly enjoys dump runs and trips to any lumber/hardware store. We are truly lucky to have her help!!

Bathroom re-do

I'm just beside myself that we get to think of not only ONE indoor bathroom, but TWO! Oh, how lucky we are. We are seriously moving up in the world. This particular bathroom is the guest bathroom. It was obviously in need of some t.l.c. (believe me when I say that the picture looks much nicer than the up-close-and-personal view). We're just the people.

Here's the before picture:

Here's what we've started. I know, I know, it looks bad. But it's gotta look bad before it can look better. It will look better!
We removed the big funky vanity, and yanked out all the linoleum (yuck!). I really wanted a claw foot bathtub, but we decided to save ourselves the trouble (and $$) and keep the existing tub. It's actually a pretty decent cast iron tub anyway. Once we get to working on this room, I'll post some updates. For now, you're stuck with the visual of an ugly little bathroom.

Can you say "French Doors"?

Please forgive the pictures. I know they're not great. I'm going to try and be more diligent about taking in-process pictures, while maybe even including the lovely people who are making all this happen. Anyway, this is the progress we've made over the past few days:

That's right, we now have french doors in our bedroom! It wasn't quite as easy as cutting a hole in the wall for these 5-foot doors because the guys made the discovery of the termite-infested and poorly constructed wall. They ended up reframing the whole master bedroom/bath wall, and it's now ready to rock. Beyond the termite damage, the other conclusion is that whoever built this home opted not to use the highest quality lumber, and apparently were in the middle of a severe nail shortage. Crappy lumber with lack of nails does not equal sturdy home. Not anymore! Chipper & Chuck have made us a very solid and sturdy wall. Now we can go in and out of our French doors without fearing that the side of the house will crumble.

Here's the view from outside. We will be able to walk from our room onto the porch.

This is the goal today. The single door will go in the dining room, which will lead out to the patio. It's all framed and ready, so hopefully all will go smoothly.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Massive Window

Brett and I love the idea of bringing the outdoors inside as much as possible. We know that once have the opportunity to invest some time and money into our backyard, we will really love it. This being the case we decided that we really want to have the backside of the house as open to the back yard as possible. The dining room (Marshall's Room) had a small window, which is shown here.
We decided to remove that small window and put in a very large window, covering almost the whole span of that wall. To the right of the new window on the other wall, we will be framing in a door to walk out to the patio. That's yet to be done.

This is the view of the dining room window from the backyard. Uncle Chuck is working away.

And here she is, installed with the siding nearly finished.

I would like to call attention to the stand-out woman, Ms. Renovation herself! This here is our dear Busha, Laura's mom, our Grandma. She is an incredible woman, and has been beyond helpful with this whole project. She is the wooooooooo-man! I'm pretty sure she knows every contractor in the Rogue Valley, and is in her element the second she sets foot into Lowe's or Home Depot. In fact, listen up you eligible bachelors, she's so wonderful that her ideal date would probably be perusing the aisles of Lowe's, or the like.

The DEstruction Continues, with a touch of CONstruction

We cleared everything out of the garage to begin the conversion. Brett and Chip chalked out the lines of what will become our master bedroom, master bath, walk-in-closet, office, and little laundry room. We have our work cut out for us, I reckon!

Over Christmas Alan & Kacey came home. Al was a HUGE help! Here he is getting acquainted with Old Blue. I think they formed a nice little bond in their journey to the dump.

Here's a little evidence of Al's handy work. He was an integral part in the removal of the rotting subfloor, and the addition of the new plywood. Niiiiiiiiice!

We were doing so much destruction that we were beginning to wonder when the CONstruction would begin. Well, we're happy to announce that the framing has begun. Finally! Some CONstruction! Uncle Chuck and Chipper are framing away in the garage.

Kacey & Laura dropped by to survey the scene, and to snap some shots of the process (thanks, Lo!). If you can't tell, this shot is looking into the garage.
We have such wonderful family! The Kougar loaned out her husband for a few days and Al charged hard that he pulled his back. I'm certain the pull was a result of extreme manual labor and not from old age.

This features our new office and office window. We wished our garage door a fond farewell, and welcome this new bright addition to our home.

Uncle Chuck, who's a very integral part of this whole remodel, and Chip spearheaded this operation, and we now have a lovely office window. We're really pleased with how it's all coming together.

I can't help but notice how our "little remodel" has actually turned into an essential "gutting". Some have wondered if we're living in our home during our remodel. This picture may answer any wondering minds: no.

**this is the view from the front door through the kitchen (and Marshall's Room on the left), into the master bedroom area.

We are putting windows on each side of the fireplace, so Brett & I (more Brett than I) removed the drywall to get it ready. I'd like to add that I've quickly realized my place in the construction world: I'm a standout pile mover. Hand me a sledge, and I have fun, but the reality is I hurt more than I am productive. Brett took his whole side of the fireplace down before I got even half of mine removed. Needless to say, he took over, and I commenced pile moving.

One fun discovery we've made since the removal of the drywall is that we've got bees! lots and lots of bees have apparently made a home in the siding over the years. Oh, joy!

Not that this was ever really called into question, but I'd like to announce that Brett is truly Oregonian, and here's why:
Can you say Carhartt?????
(OK, so it's not really that all Oregonians wear Carhartts, but it's safe to say that far more do than those in Southern California.)