Saturday, February 22, 2014

House 4, Week 1, it begins...

And we are underway!

Ready for a whole bunch of before photos?

First, take a look at this handy diagram which I created to help you to orient yourself as we tour the house. I trust I don't need to tell you this is not to scale (because seriously, that master bedroom would require bunk beds to sleep two).  It's just to give you the lay of the land.

We shall begin our tour at one end of the house and work to the opposite end. Thus I give you the master bedroom, complete with wood paneling and telephone. 

The master bath sports enough room to turn around (unlike the claustrophobic half baths of previous houses). There is even a shower stall to the left.

Take a good look at this. It will all be in the dumpster.

One of the smaller bedrooms. Helper David has already removed the carpeting and Sparky (a.k.a. Son of the Mr.) has put in a nice new smoke detector.

The smallest bedroom (but it does have a surprisingly large closet). Pea green. Gotta go.

The hallway from the master bedroom. You are going to be amazed at the after photo on this one. 

A clean view through the living room and kitchen.

Requisite pastel tub in the larger bathroom.

And the necessaries (dumpster bound).

Oh boy! An actual entryway. Like totally can you believe it? This is our first project house where guests have a little cooling off area to wipe their feet before coming into the living area.

And even hang up their coats. For real.

The tools have already begun to arrive and have taken up residence in the dining area.

Or is it the living area? 

Kitchen demolition has begun. Major appliances tossed willy nilly about and cabinets all askew.

Anybody need a refrigerator? The one left behind is wandering into the rumpus room.

The garage where the oven was rather unceremoniously dumped.

New doors and windows ready and waiting.

I'm not even going to show you around outside other than the view of the dumpster. The snow is thigh deep and icky yucky, so you can wait for the spring to see the exterior.

Now typically, houses are done from the outside in, but because we have about 87 feet of snow on the ground right now, the work is starting with the interior. Right now, it's demolition time and despite what you see on DIY shows, this is not hammer time. More like crow bar. Carpets coming up, kitchen and baths will be emptied.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

House 4 - Sneak Preview

If all goes according to plan, we will hand over a big bag of cash and in return get the keys to House #4 this week. In advance of the closing, the Mr. and I paid a visit to the place to check that it is still in the same shape it started in and begin formulating plans.

It's really a great house. Three bedrooms, two full baths, a big honking two car garage and a wowsa kitchen.

Behind the kitchen is a room opening on to a three season porch. The plan is to incorporate the room and the kitchen into one giant family action area.

While I personally think a "three season" porch in New England is nonsense, our realtor told us to keep it. I have to admit that the ceiling is way cool awesome.

Both bathrooms will be completely done over. No more turquoise tub (although I'm still waiting for 1950's era colors to become all the rage again).

Gracious living room with a fireplace that is actually in a reasonable location. Those big windows, however, will be replaced by a set of normal windows (that actually open and close). Gosh, I could feel the heat from the house being sucked out all that glass.

And of course.... the chandelier in the dining area (with more big stupid heat leaching headed for the dumpster windows).

This project is both scary and exciting. It's a bigger house than we've tackled in the past which means we paid more for it and the repairs will also cost more. So I've got the usual icky feeling associated with putting so much at risk.

But our realtor assures us that the upside is also big, so away we go.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


When I got there, Peter was standing at the door, sporting the kind of smile usually reserved for children on Christmas morning. When he led me inside I immediately felt an emotion hitherto reserved for my children and Mrs. Carpenter. I fell in love.

Crowded into one corner of his barn stood Big Bertha. She was magnificent. A 24" throw, 16" blade, 220V, 50AMP cast iron beauty. She was built in 1952 (almost as old as I), her brass bearings and depth gauge just crying out "polish me." No one I knew had such a monstrosity. No one dared to dream this big.

- How Hard Could it Be?