Category: CHRONICLES OF A BUNGLED REAL ESTATE DEAL
Anyway, I digress. Back to the kitchen… the cupboards are new, but we’re installing wainscotting board between the upper and lower cabinets to try and give it that “Walton’s” feel. The ceiling is several inches higher than a standard ceiling of today so that gives us a better canvas to work with in creating a spacious work area. We want to do some type of tin ceiling and probably an oak plank floor, but for today we accomplished some of the wainscotting and it is beginning to feel like the home we thought we bought.
We still have another half to do eventually, so it won’t always be this cluttered looking.
As for the counter itself, We’d like to do a creative touch, but haven’t decided exactly what yet. Tile’s a pain in the neck, maybe a thin set concrete something… for now painted MDX will do, but we’re also thinking of a birch or maple plank counter that we’ll do ourselves eventually. Have your priced counter tops recently? The cost would turn anyone into a do-it-yourselfer.
For instance, the roll-off dumpters. While they are here, why not fill them up and get our money’s worth. Or the electrician, who is basically re-wiring the entire house and needs multiple walls opened up on all 3 levels (4 if you include the attic) so he can effectively get this job done sometime this year. And while the walls are open for him, let’s get the plumbing handled.
When we started this project it was because of the mold we found in the downstairs bathroom on day 10 of our existence in this house. Once we ripped out the molded areas of the bathroom wall, we found it extended to the shower enclosure itself and behind it and then we found it extended into the kitchen walls behind the shower enclosure and then into the kitchen cabinets attached to those walls, etc… you get the idea and hence the domino effect. The bathroom remodel quickly became the kitchen remodel, etc…
Now, while no one in their right mind would plan to do a remodel like this all at once, it will be nice to have it all done and not need to worry about the house for another 20 years except for normal maintenance. Then again, if the previous owners had done the normal maintenance, we wouldn’t be in this boat now. So, fortunately for the next owners, we’re not normal and are bringing it all up to code and modern enough appealing to stay with the character of the house, but also add the modern conveinences to make life bearable (especially for the sake of the kitchen). We’re adding a dishwasher, garbage disposal and bringing the washer and dryer from the basement to the main floor level.
So, let this be a lesson to those of you out there in this same boat. The “GOLDEN RULE” always applies. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. And do what is ethical, disclose the problems when you sell a house. You may get a little less money, but at least you can sleep with a clear conscientious. Because I also believe in what comes around, goes around. And boy oh boy, I can’t wait to see whatt is going to get the lying people who sold us this house.
We eliminated a window (yeah, now there’s only 36 to go) and insulated the outside walls. The outside walls are 115 years old though, so we’re adding a layer of foam board moisture insulation before the actual walls. Next we need to raise the old kitchen floor to meet the new kitchen floor (a contractor nightmare caused this issue) and then we’ll muddle through the winter before putting down a floor. We’re still debating between a slate look tile or oak plank. Most people say the oak plank automatically, but the rest of the house is a bird’s eye maple so we’re just not sure what the overall decision will be.
I can’t wait to get the rest of this room done, but it too is a 1 wall at a time job. Lathe and plaster takes forever to remove and oh what a mess, but with every external wall that goes and new insulation added winter gets warmer and warmer every day!
We had to do some support timber work in the basement and some dry rot repair and some old electrical removal (knob & tube, it’s so old), but we’re getting there. It always seems to be a ‘domino’ effect ~ can’t do one thing without doing 10 others first!
The house came with a really small kitchen to begin with and then when we were forced to tear it all out because of the mold, it only seemed logical since we were going to already have a mess to open the wall between the old kitchen and sun porch (which was really a 3 season porch with no floor on top of the slab or decent insulation) and make a large family style kitchen eliminating the separate sun porch. We also decided to make life easier and bring the washer and dryer up into the new kitchen and out of the basement area (It was so cold doing laundry last winter). The dryer is upstairs now, but I can’t wait until the washer joins it (oh my aching back lugging the wet laundry upstairs)! I was so excited about having all the windows in my new kitchen.
The first 4 pictures are before we began. As you can see I had already unpacked everything. The pictures were taken the day before we found the mold. The next day I packed it all back up.
The next 2 pictures are the gutted sun porch where we found their roof leak (another thing they failed to disclose ~ thank God for neighbors who pay attention) due to missing roof pieces, disentegrated old rock wool insulation and ceiling joists that were worthless since they were all sistered and sagging. Not one of them went all the way across to support anything. So we took this opportunity to bring it to code and safety standards.
As you can see from these pictures, we had to do a lot of reinforcing and strengthening. In the late 1800’s they appeared to use whatever piece of wood was handy for any job. We added the maximum insulation in the walls and ceiling and are looking forward to a much warmer winter ~ inside anyway.
Next time, we’ll see the progress that is today.
At least the dogs still had their HUGE yard (almost a half acre), but it took us 6 weeks to get anyone to put in a fence. It wasn’t a problem for Whiskey since she’ll hang around, but for Gunner this was murder. He’s a wanderer and couldn’t go outside without a leash.
I love the new garden area though! It needs some serious weeding and updating, but for that there is plenty of time. There must be at least 50 old irises and daylillies. Yeah! Unfortunately, the dogs love the garden too so I’m now looking for container solutions for that area.