Since so much framing progress has been made over the last several days I thought it might be best just to share some of the pictures.
Also & fortunately during framing our GC discovered that the vast majority of the rafters and joists in the original house are still in good condition so it was great to learn that we won’t have to replace those. Also, because of all the water damage to the original hardwood floors due to our former GC not tarping the roof correctly we thought we would have to replace all of the ORIGINAL hardwood floors – fortunately it looks as if we will be able to salvage the ones in the foyer, dining room and one of the bedrooms. My hope is that the transition from the original to the new won’t be too noticeable…
Well even though it may not look like it, a lot of work has been done on our house since my last update. The vast majority of them are structural repairs as it seems that age and carpenter ants had compromised the structural integrity in some places.
As age and gravity can tend to make things sag over time, houses built in the 1920’s aren’t immune to it either. And while some have said that the waves in our hardwood floors add character, I would rather let that come from elsewhere. So they have been supporting the floors by adding new beams below the main floor as well as re-supporting the ones that were already in place.
They’ve also discovered a few places where carpenter ants and Mother Nature had spent some time. Because of this they’ve removed and replaced all of the rotted and eaten wood and re-support the house in those areas as well.
Last, they’ve supported the back of the house, I’m really shocked that the temporary supports held it up for such a long period of time.
So I somehow came across the below article which gives tips on blogging. Not sure how I found it being that 1) I never have nor are my aspirations to make money from this site (humorous even thinking about it), 2) it is a site created and tailored for moms. Nothing against moms, but it’s just not a site that I would normally find myself stumbling upon.
My personal feeling is that everyone has a purpose, that there is a bigger reason than the obvious as to why someone was born. Of course I understand how someone could oppose that statement as I’ve heard some very valid arguments, however I stand firm in my belief. And while I have absolutely no idea as to my own “purpose” I’m determined to eventually uncover that ever elusive question – hopefully.
Anyway, #1 got me thinking. Originally I created this site to update friends and relatives about our construction (remodeling & renovation) project while of course showing numerous pictures of our progress as well as the occasional ones of our boys. Unfortunately that all changed. We experienced a horrible nightmare with our first general contractor and while we came close to abandoning it all we decided to press on and try to accomplish our original task knowing that it will be a huge up hill battle.
So currently and going forward what is the overall purpose of this site? I have no idea. I’ve read my past posts and I’m all over the place. Of course I could continue on the same path but does that really answer the question? One thing I do know, I’ll probably have the answer as to the purpose of this site before I discover my own.
Not a lot to report due to the rainy weather that we’ve had in Atlanta this past week but I’ve included a few pictures of the backyard which was recently graded/leveled and now gives us a more visual idea as to its size, although the purpose was to give them a place to unload the upcoming framing packages.
Little Brendan (22 mo) just had to get involved
Of course Max was quick to volunteer in helping me spread some hay to prevent erosion as well as start re-stacking the wood pile which had to be located.
Good things are happening, just need to find ways to cut down some of the upcoming expenses, as this is where the $’s start to be spent.
What a week. Halloween and continued progress on our house, this blog has been a rollercoaster of emotions over the last several months.
Halloween!! If you know our oldest son or if you’ve read some of the previous post then you know that Max is crazy about Batman. So of course that is who he dressed up as for the big day. But his biggest feat was convincing his little brother that they didn’t make Elmo costumes in his size…only costumes of Robin. So our sons were the Dynamic Duo: Batman and Robin
At first it was a challenge convincing Brendan to try on his costume, but once he had it on he took to it better than anyone could have expected.
Of course we had to carve a Batman pumpkin and since Bren didn’t get to be Elmo I ended up trying to at least carve one for him.
It was a long night but the boys had a great time.
As for our house; all of the plaster has now been removed from the walls and ceilings as well as all of the old corroded plumbing and original wiring. It’s amazing the amount of work that has been done in what feels like such a short period of time…or at least from what we were use to with our prior GC.
So it’s the day before Halloween and our boys are beyond excited, at the same time our new GC continues to impress us by staying ahead of schedule (Yes, despite what our former GC stated, they do have schedules in residential construction). However it’s challenging to get geared up to write about our progress when all I can think about are the millions of people being so adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy.
If you’ve read my blog long enough you know that the experience with our previous GC was beyond a nightmare. Besides the emotional and mental strain that we experienced he ended up costing us a lot of money and we’re having to become overly creative and value engineer every part of the process going forward. We can’t go back and change our experience but my hope is that maybe I can somehow prevent someone else from having to go through the same living hell. We thought we dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” but obviously there are things we could have done differently. Being a “Monday morning quarterback” has always been my specialty.
That being said, I’ve attached 2 articles, the first is from Mike Holmes giving tips on how to hire a competent contractor, while the latter was recently featured on msn.com and is super informative with regards to contractor warranties and how to handle defective construction.
What a week, after having gone through so much frustration in the past it’s refreshing to actually be making progress. Unfortunately we had a horrible experience with our last GC however it’s refreshing with the progress that’s been made with our new GC. He’s cleaned up the mess which was left behind,
cleaned up the basement,
These stairs will be removed and are being relocated into the expansion space
and then finished removing all of the plaster as well as laths from the walls and some of the ceilings.
One of the surprisingly interesting finds was the condition of the brick which has been hidden for years behind plaster.
We’re seriously contemplating letting the exposed brick become part of the “decor” in the dining room however we would also like to find a way to incorporate the brick (2nd above photo) into what will serve as a hallway/corridor. We’re still not sure what we’ll do with the fireplace in the foyer, however thankfully we have a couple of weeks before we need to decide.
I feel somewhat foolish celebrating the demo, however it’s been a long time coming…can’t imagine what we’ll feel when they start driving nails.
I wanted to share another interesting article, What to Look for in a Contractor’s Contract, (this one is from Houzz) that is certainly worth a few minutes if you’re about to enter into a contract with a General Contractor.
It’s been a while. It’s been a while since I’ve actually written a post and had a true smile on my face, however tonight it’s a little different. One week after hiring a new GC he has already cleaned up all of the mess left by our former GC, cleaned out the existing basement, neatly stacked all of the old interior doors in the existing basement, removed everything from the old kitchen as well as the bathrooms and has also started demo’ing the existing interior walls. I feel that they’ve accomplished more in a week than our past GC did in 8 months, sad when thinking about the past but damn…I’m starting to get excited about our future home again and I love it!!
So today Max and I decided that we would go over and start removing some of the plaster from the walls since all of them are being stripped down to the studs. Maybe I watch a little too much of Nicole, Josh and Mikebut I just couldn’t resist and Max loved the idea of actually being able to put holes in a wall and it not resulting in some form of discipline.
I’ve mentioned it before but for only being 4 years old my boy is a machine, he just never ceases to amaze me. You’re probably thinking how much can a 4 yr old help? A lot! I loosened some of the plaster from the lower parts of the walls and he not only finished it off but also hauled out his “mess” to the dumpster – I did manage to get him to take a break occasionally for water or a snack but it wasn’t easy (I sure hope that I’m not violating any sort of child-labor laws).
About half-way into our 3 1/2 hour project Julie and Brendan decided to check on our project. Not surprisingly it only took about 3 minutes before Julie decided to take part in the action. The draw of putting holes in a wall was obviously too much for her as well. As for Brendan, with him only being 22 months one of us constantly had to watch his every move and keep him entertained away from all of the action, and although he probably slowed our progress a little we all had a great time. Vastly different from our traditional family/quality time together but I do know that at least 3 out of 4 of us enjoyed it.
Now it’s possible that if my everyday-job was ripping down plaster walls and tearing out laths it wouldn’t be nearly as exhilarating and would probably grow old but I really wish that I didn’t have such a busy schedule the next few days because I know where I would spend it. Of course I would need my crew with me to make it complete.