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Saturday, June 25, 2016

House-iversary: What A Difference A Year Makes!


A quick little story before we get into today's post:
We sell a lot of stuff on Craigslist, and Josh always has all our moving boxes listed for free so that they get reused by more people. This week, an older gentleman named George came to take some boxes off our hands. George was in his 80s, and he and his wife were packing up their current home to move into assisted living. When he arrived, some of his first words were, "This is amazing." He continued to talk about how he grew up in Maine, surrounded by nature, and it made him sad that people don't stay in touch with nature and history as much anymore. He said he loved that we were taking so much time and effort to maintain such a beautiful homestead, and that we were doing a great thing. When he was leaving, he said, "Thank you so much for showing me around. This made my day." I just about cried. And little did he know that he made our day. We love our house, and we love what we do, but sometimes it's nice to hear from other people that we're not totally crazy, and that this little corner of our earth has meaning.

We've been living in our house for one year today! At times, I feel like I went to bed the night we moved in, and woke up to today because it's gone by that fast. But at other times, time stood still (like when we were painting our kitchen cabinets) and I didn't know if I'd make it out of a project alive. It's probably been the best year of my life and while I can't speak for Josh, he's been lookin' awfully happy these days will all his new toys and projects to do every day.

We've been keeping track of every change we've made to the house, and once I looked at the master list, I was kind of in shock. While it doesn't look like too much has changed in the house when I look at it (maybe because I'm here every day), we've put so much work into it. This is the list of everything we've done up until this point:

Outside
  • Removed pool
  • Hung foundation covers
  • Removed stair pole
  • New doorknobs on both front doors
  • Removed overgrown shrubs/trees lining driveway
  • Painted front mudroom door and framing
  • Painted shutters


Basement
  • Covered some pipes (riveting)


Mudroom
  • Installed new light
  • Painted walls
  • Made and hung new coat rack
  • Drywalled back of closet to hide studs
  • Ripped out old trim


Dining Room
  • Reinstalled baseboard heater
  • Fixed baseboard drywall
  • Removed wainscotting
  • Installed new thermostat
  • Moved ceiling light
  • Patched ceiling drywall
  • Removed ceiling fan
  • Hung new chandelier
  • Painted
  • Moved thermostat
  • Patched drywall
  • Removed wood stove
  • New switch plates
  • Installed new white outlets
  • Made and installed new window trim
  • Installed eHeat


Kitchen
  • Painted cabinets
  • Ripped out old trim
  • Made and installed new trim for sink window and doorway
  • New cabinet hardware
  • Removed old dishwasher
  • Installed new dishwasher
  • Removed one set floor cabinets, two sets wall cabinets
  • Installed beadboard wall/shelves
  • New switch plates
  • Switched outlets to white ones
  • Installed eHeat


Half Bath
  • Removed wall cabinets
  • Removed old washer/dryer
  • Installed our washer/dryer


Entry Way
  • Painted walls and ceiling
  • Removed ceiling fan
  • Installed new chandelier
  • New switch plates
  • Installed new baseboard heater


Front Room
  • Painted walls and windows
  • Stained and installed new mantel
  • Installed new shelf
  • New switch plates


Living Room
  • Painted walls and windows
  • Reconfigured and painted built-in bookcases
  • Bookcase door new hardware
  • New switch plates
  • Stained and installed new mantel
  • Removed paneling/plaster from walls


Stairway Landing
  • Installed new light


Upstairs Landing
  • Removed ceiling fan
  • Installed new light
  • Removed wallpaper
  • Removed staircase to attic
  • Removed plaster wall


Master Bedroom
  • Removed paneling
  • Taped drywall
  • Painted
  • Repaired drywall holes
  • Installed ceiling fan
  • Installed new door and hardware
  • Installed new hardwood floors
  • Installed new ceiling
  • Painted windows/hardware
  • Painted and installed sliding door for bathroom entrance
  • Removed closet, ripped down wall to studs; re-built wall to create doorway to bathroom


Master Closet
  • Removed paneling
  • Removed door
  • Taped drywall
  • Painted
  • Installed new ceiling and trim
  • Installed new hardwood floors
  • Installed new ceiling light
  • Put up new clothes shelving
  • New switch plates
  • Installed new thermostat


Master Hallway
  • Removed wallpaper
  • Painted
  • Installed new ceiling and trim
  • Installed new hardwood floors
  • Installed new light
  • New switch plates


Master Bathroom
  • Installed new toilet


Office
  • Installed new thermostat


Guest Room 2
  • Installed new thermostat


Guest Room 1
  • Removed paneling (in process)
  • Removed plaster walls (in process)
  • Removed bookcase and closet
  • Built new walls to create guest bath
  • Hardwired ceiling light/fan


Guest Bathroom
  • Entire installation in process
  • Plumbing and electrical installed (contractor)

Laundry Room
  • Entire installation in process
  • Installed plumbing and electrical lines (contractor)

The best part of our One-Year House-iversary, for me, is that it feels like home. It's always felt like home, but also in a way, it's felt like we've been on a very long vacation (a vacation where you work a lot) because when we come home, it's completely peaceful out here, a mile away from the closest road - kind of like a remote B&B in Vermont or something. And when we have down time, we go for walks on our property, enjoy that the only sounds we ever hear are sounds of nature, build fires on the cold winter days, grill on our deck overlooking our pond, watch all the animal life that strolls through our yard (the other day we watched a turtle lay eggs, and two bunnies run in circles with each other), watch the sunrises, or the quiet snowfalls, from our dining room window, watch each other get home from work for the day from our kitchen window, hang coats and put our wellies away after a walk in our yard and turn all of the lights off downstairs before walking up our staircase to go to bed at night. It still feels like a dream sometimes, but after a year, I'm enjoying the reality of it all. It's home.



When we closed on the house, we celebrated by going out to dinner to our favorite local Italian restaurant, and getting an ice cream cone at the stand down the street. So, that's what we did this Friday night to commemorate the year. And, since it's been a while since taking a picture of us in front of our house, we did that, too. Coming soon: a peek of our quick front porch spruce-up, including our new mint green door.

It's not summer until I get rainbow sprinkles.

And if anyone is curious, the biggest lesson we've learned during this past year is, don't try to put moulding up in a room with a nail gun after 10 p.m., and after two adult beverages. It will not go well.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Guest Bathroom Status

All week, we've had a contractor here installing the plumbing and electrical for our guest bathroom/laundry room/guest room/downstairs living room. It's been kind of weird relinquishing control to someone else! Up until this point, we've done everything ourselves, except for a few rooms where we had someone hardwire lighting for us (which we'll probably never tackle on our own), so sitting back and letting someone else do the work for a change has been very strange. Josh admitted to me, however, that he's been watching our contractor and asking a lot of questions, so it's been a learning process, too. Thankfully, the contractor's like, super relaxed about us (read: Josh) needing to know exactly what's going on at all times.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Demo Progress & Bathroom Floorplan

We're still plugging away at demo work (every day is demo day at this house), but the good news is the framing for our bathroom upstairs has begun! The bad news is, our entire house, except for our bedroom, is a literal construction site right now, and I'm kind of getting antsy for some normalcy. I'll explain later, but first, demo progress pictures.

We started by taking down the plaster wall and attic stairway upstairs by our main stairway landing. Once this project is done, this wall will have two new doorways that will lead into our bathroom and laundry room.

How the stairway landing looked when we moved in.