Sunday, December 18, 2016

Building Permit Is Up!

Warning, this update is going to go from the least exciting development to the most exciting development.  So, stick with me.  It gets a little better than the first series of photographs.

Since we are buying our house through Community Housing Partners, part of our contract includes 110 hours of work at the house.  We were recently given two more small projects to help us get in our hours of sweat equity.  The first was cleaning up the bits of wood, plaster, drywall, trash, and plastic in the area where the floors and joists have been completely removed.  A concrete slab is going to be poured in this area and before that can happen it needed to be cleaned up.  Today my dad and I hauled out many bags of debris.  Again, not the most exciting job, but it needs to be done for the next step to occur.  Eventually this area will be the landing at the bottom of the stairs, the downstairs hallway, and Tochterchen's bedroom.  There's a little girl in our house that is really looking forward to seeing her bedroom look like more than a demolition zone.




After - I have to admit, as I was leaving today I wasn't sure we had made much of a difference.  I enjoy looking at the before and after pictures as I post, because clearly the after looks much better!

Our other project was to remove a closet and wall that were right inside the back entrance.  We are pretty sure this area was once a porch, that was later enclosed, and eventually divided into a tight entry and a bizarre, pointless room.  We asked if we could remove the wall to open up the entry area, creating a mudroom/sunroom of sorts.  I don't think this area will be heated/cooled, so it may be more of a three seasons/sun porch.  It has a wall of windows and is on the south side of the house.  I envision a lot of plants out here, maybe a some comfortable porch furniture.

Before - standing in the backdoor, looking into the house.

Before - standing in the bizarre, pointless little room.  The only idea I had for this room was a craft room...which I was ALL for until I realized it's probably not going to be heated.  

Little cutie VERY excited to help with demo work!

It's not very often you're allowed to destroy things.  Here's our girl removing the shelf brackets in the closet.

Getting a lesson from Daddy about how to remove the drywall.

There's nothing more fun than hammering holes in the wall and not getting in trouble for it!

Good bye drywall!

Already looking better!

After - goodbye wall!  This was taken in the same spot as the before picture, standing in the doorway.  We LOVE how much more open it is!

After - standing in the previous separate room.  We love wide open spaces!

And last but not least, today I noticed the building permit was posted in the front window!  Before this week, the only permits were for demolition.  I was beyond excited to see things will start moving forward soon!  I struggle so much with patience and renovating a house is really going to push me to strive for more patience.  I am so excited to have a little more space, storage space, a washer and dryer, full size appliances, a yard, two bathrooms, central heat and air, windows that are more than single paned glass (think frost on the inside on cold mornings), a dehumidifier running constantly, and the list goes on.  As exciting as the future is, we keep having reminders to be thankful for where we are right now.  Our apartment is not perfect, but it has really been perfect for this season of life.  I am trying to rein in my excitement and not allow it to create impatience and dissatisfaction for right now.  Our life is exactly what we hope for - peaceful, simple, and filled to the brim with love.

A final photo - the front elevation!  It will be so exciting to see this little beauty take shape!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Slowly, but surely

From my understanding, it can be a lot more complicated to renovate a home than to build an entirely new one.  You never know what to expect in an old home and sometimes it's easier to start from scratch than to modify something that already exists.  Add to that, all the permits and additional structural evaluations and inspections...and well, you get a slow process.  

We feel so fortunate that we are getting a renovated older home, but we are not in charge of navigating the logistics of any of it.  Community Housing Partners takes care of all of that, as a part of the affordable housing program we are participating in.  We still get to have some input and we'll get to help with choosing finishes, but the important work is handled by professionals (you know, the parts that have a lot more to do with making sure the building is safe and all the proper things are supported and/or up-to-date).  Our new home needs such extensive renovations to convert it into a single family home, that I wouldn't have the slightest idea of where to start!

It has been a quiet several weeks over at the new house.  We were caught up in a whirlwind of illnesses and trying to catch up on work that was put of as a result of said illnesses.  It was probably for the best that nothing was happening - we really didn't have the time or energy to put in any work hours at the house.  

However, this week, a major point of progress took place!  The steel beam went up in the main living area!  This beam was needed to replace the load bearing wall that once confined the kitchen.  It is set into the rafters, so once the ceiling drywall is repaired, you will not be able to see it.  It went in on Tuesday/Wednesday and the remaining kitchen walls came out!  Woohoo!  The main living area is entirely opened up now!

In the basement, towards the front of the home, the floor joists had to be removed to properly enclose the crawlspace underneath.  It is possible that this area will end up having a concrete slab beneath it instead of encapsulated crawl space.  We have not heard from our agent/contractor which method they decided to use.  Either way, the moisture issues under this part of the home will be resolved and some of the walls will be re-positioned.  This shows the wall dividing Tochterchen's room and the hallway.  It's not easy at age six to imagine your very own room when it has no walls, floors, or ceilings.  But thankfully, our ever optimistic little lady is excited none-the-less!  

We should learn more next week about where things are with all the work permits, which will allow things to start moving forward for real.  I'm under the impression that all the plans are decided, we are just in the sometimes lengthy and messy process of securing all the needed work permits before work can begin.  

It's a good thing I love a good project!