Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shingles gone, Insulation on

Front of the house

Who says you can't have progress on your house when you're 3,500 miles away?  I hope my neighbors-to-be are as happy seeing this progress around them as I was just happening to open an email from my contractor while sitting here in Northern Ireland.  Thank you, Rory!

FYI, this is the first insulation the bungalow has ever seen in its 117 years.  And with its new owner having grown up in Buffalo, I can tell you it'll be seeing a LOT more before this process is over.  Hooray for a (temporarily) shiny silver roof!

Close-up on the front of the house
Back of the house

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Demolition Continues

 So here are some more demolition pictures, a week after first seeing some results.  All of the already-demolished stuff has been carted away and the rooms swept.  The floorboards in the basement have been completely removed, as have any broken radiators.  There are a few places where there was some irreparable damage in the floors, such as under the tub in the bathroom and along the step into our bedroom, but otherwise things are looking as expected.  Because the floorboards are gone, and Lola was with her, Abby didn't venture in to see what the downstairs bathroom looks like.  Next time I'm there, I'll definitely take a look.  Lots of bright sunlight, but still there are some windows blocked out.  Once all of those are opened, I'm expecting some major natural lighting-- there'd have to be, what with 49 windows in the house! Next up, final demolition, including the remaining bones of the big ugly wall that separated the Great Room, and whenever the roofing shows up, that'll start.  In the meantime, enjoy these pics, showing the house as it was on Friday afternoon, February 17.
In the Great Room
In the Great Room.  The unfinished wooden beams
still have to come down, but the old electric
wiring has to be removed first.
Can't wait to see how big it'll look with this
last part taken out.

The Great Room: Ugly stuff coming down.  Pretty stuff staying up.

Where our shower will be, and the toilet used to be.
Look up and you'd see daylight.
Where the old bathtub was.  Had to remove some
rotting floorboards atop the old plumbing pipes.

Looking into the Great Room from the kitchen.
The diagonal wood on the walls is neat.
This part used to be an exterior porch.

Too bad we aren't keeping this part of the chimney exposed.
It'll be concealed behind kitchen cabinetry and our bedroom closet.
No idea why parts are bricked, other than maybe it wasn't
meant to be seen, and bricks were cheaper than stone.

Lola in our bedroom.

Any ideas why this is bricked up?  It had been an exterior wall...
Could there have been an outlet for the chimney on the back porch?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Can't think of a better Valentine's Day present this year than to open up... the door to the bungalow and see DESTRUCTION!!!
The view from the stairs back into Lola's  bedroom
Actually, we were tentative as we drove up to the house.  Nothing different from the outside, of course, since the demo is inside.  But I was thinking at least there'd be a dumpster.  Nothing.  Not very happily, I got out of the car and went around the street side toward the front.  I heard Abby from around the other side yelling that they had done work after all, so I ran back and peered through the kids' rooms' windows.  No more wall separating the room.  No more old kitchen in what will be Lola's room.  No more ceilings.  No more paneling.  Giant pile of debris in the middle of the ground floor.  Yes!

Looking straight back in the basement
The Great Room!
The Great Room, looking through the erstwhile giant wall
So we went inside, this time with much higher expectations, to find our Great Room, for the first time, a truly great room.  The whole dividing wall, which we had smashed about halfway on Christmas, is gone, up to the ceiling.  The ceiling's amazing, stretching the whole way across the house.  I am so relieved, because I had my doubts at how big the room'd actually be once drywall started to fall.  It's big.  And it's very tall. :)

Soon enough, this wall will have Anyu's piano on it
The weird drywall was off the storage areas on the street side of the great room, and the exposed wood looks to be in perfect condition.  We may have to rethink our idea of re-covering it to claim for storage, because the wood just looks too pretty... even in a house with tons of debris and dust and no lights.  Only thing major left in the great room that needs to come down is the part of the dividing wall that framed the doorways between the old bedroom that was there and the hallway, and the ceiling in front of the bathroom door.  Otherwise, all open.

The wall separating our bedroom from the kitchen's down, too, giving us our last chance to decide to have a bigger bedroom and a smaller kitchen.  Not that that's gonna happen, but it's our chance, right?  The paneling came down downstairs to reveal stone masonry all the way up-- although it remains to be seen whether it's something we can keep exposed, because there's probably mold and insulation issues we'd need to address, not to mention pointing... lots and lots of pointing!   
Looking from the stairs back into Isaac's bedroom
Isaac in our bedroom, with the kitchen behind him
Only two days of work, and we're already happy.  Sure, there are bound to be some issues along the way, but so far so good.  Rory says the roof's being pushed back to next week, because of the threat of bad weather this week/weekend, so all the interior demolition and wall framing will happen sooner instead of later.  In the meantime, we feel satiated as we leave the bungalow and head off to a sushi place a couple of miles away for a family Valentine's dinner.

All-too-familiar contractor bags in the Great Room.
P.S. For those of you who were following the saga of our current house, you may appreciate the fact that, when looking at all the debris, I couldn't help but be giddy thinking of the fact that I didn't have to clean ANY of it up. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Start Date!

Okay, so it's been 2 1/2 weeks since we got our permit, but we now have a start date, and it's not a bad one at all: MONDAY!  Just got the following email from Rory:

"We will get started on the house on Monday.  Until completion"
Okay, so I assume he means it's go go go now, until completion.  But what I know is we'll start Monday-- as in 60 hours from right now.  This has been in the hold stage for so long that even the kids were excited about the news.  Abby was upstairs when I got the email on my phone, and they ran up to show her-- Lola with the phone in her hand, and Isaac as the announcer.  To celebrate, we all sat at the dining-room table and drew pictures of our new house.  Lots of flowers, and an overabundance of teal... no green marker to be had... but it all looked good to me.  (Lola actually drew two big oblong ovals, one in red and the other in blue, the former for Isaac's room and the latter for hers.)

UPDATE: Looks like what will happen starting Monday is the beginning of demolition and framing.  You may remember back on Xmas Day we went over and banged on some walls.  Well... we never cleaned it up, and we couldn't exactly get to the ceiling in the Great Room, so half of that Great Dividing Wall is still there, as well as all the paneling, etc.  Roofing looks like it'll be started in the middle to the end of the week.  Progress!