Sunday, January 21, 2007

Around the House

I was looking through some photos from 2003 and came across these of our house remodel. We own a 1911 craftsman home. When we first saw the house and considered purchasing it, I said, "No way! I wouldn't even want it if it were free!" The reason is because it was DARK and smelled damp. The rugs were dark brown, the wood was dark brown, everything seemed like what it was: a student rental. The bathroom had a moldy ceiling, and on and on.

However, when the owners agreed to sell it to us for a price that we could afford (R was still a student working on his PhD at the time) we figured we had to go for it. We knew we wouldn't find a price like that for a house in this area. But it has meant years of remodeling since we can't afford to have someone do it for us (plus, it ends up that my husband is REALLY, REALLY good at this).

In 2003, R and I decided that to really make the house livable, we would need to replace the old lath and plaster walls with drywall and in the process put in insulation in the outside walls (the drafts in the living room in the winter were deadly). So, while I was pregnant with C, the big remodel began. All rooms other than the kitchen, back bedroom (which already had drywall and insulation) and the bathroom were to get new drywall. What happened is this: I went to work one day and when I got home, I opened the front door and saw something like what you can see in the second photo.

It was a tough time since dust was everywhere and I had to be careful since I was pregnant. R had to do much of the work himself which was no fun for him. Luckily, when my mother and brother came for a visit, they could help (I included a photo of my brother playing guitar and P) and when R's brother came for a visit, he helped put up the drywall. We now live in a wonderfully light, warm, cheerful home thanks to R's continuing work on our home. The best part is that he has learned so much through the process. I wonder if there is anything he couldn't do on the house now? How did he learn it all? From friends and books.

The most frustrating part was that we had just refinished the floors (I will NEVER, EVER do that again!) and had new drywall put up on the ceiling (too difficult for R to do himself and something had to be done about the glue spots on the ceiling after R and his brother removed the asbestos - another great story!). Talk about incorrect order of things. We were supposed to have started with the walls, then had the ceiling drywall put in and finally done the floors. Oh well, we never were ones to think through things very well. The second to last photo is of the dining room after the drywall was up and painted. Where is the molding? Well, that is another story... it took another 6 months before that went up. R spent most evenings in the basement planing and finishing each and every piece. The result? Beautiful molding that has made all the difference in the house! R is in the last photo putting up the newly finished molding. Unfortunately, you can't see the color very well.


Trisha said...

Wow, taht sounds like a lot of work but judging from the results well worth it!

Alice in Austria said...

MAN!! You guys are so efficient!! Plus you have a lot of courage to try this on your own. With us it's a big deal having to do something basic like painting our own four walls - plus none of us has the talent that R has. GREAT job!!!

Juliet said...

What lovely results! I'm sure that your home is so much more special to youand your hubby, simply because you put so much hard work into it.

Corey said...

Trisha, Alice and Juliet: THANK YOU for your replies. Gosh, it has been a lot of work. I guess it is like pregnancy... who would think we can carry around all of that extra weight. But if you put it on bit by bit, it doesn't feel like so much work. ;-)