Ah, if only real life could be like it is in the home improvement TV show world. Do you remember how on that show “Extreme Home Makeover” even the most ambitious of home renovation projects could be completed in a week or two? Even Chip and Joanna seemingly take a project from start to finish within 2-3 months. Not so in the “real world.”
It’s now the middle of April and we’ve been back in our house for about three months now. We haven’t seen a contractor in awhile. I do finally have steps to the basement, though it isn’t all that convenient to move the plywood off the stairwell each time to use them. If I have to go down quickly, I just use the ladder. I’m even getting to be pretty skilled at carrying things up a ladder.
Now that we’ve started to fill the basement with junk. And I don’t mean the good kind of junk. These piles you see here are pretty much the contents of the house that have been displaced through the remodeling process.
I know. It looks bad. I have good intentions of going through the contents of those tubs and boxes to see what can be sold, what can be donated and what can just be thrown in the burn pile. I’m just really happy I have a nice dry basement to keep all my stuff. I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to junk it up. Have I mentioned I may be a bit of a hoarder?
Just when I had given up hope of seeing a contractor on the premises again, I came home to these beauties:
They’re solid and they’re beautiful! For months, we’ve been using what looked like a small step ladder to go in and out of our home. This was particularly challenging for my daughter who developed a stress fracture of the tibia during basketball season. She’s been in a boot since we moved back home. It wasn’t always easy for her to get down that step ladder.
I had my own issues with the steps. It wasn’t fun bringing groceries home and trying to get them up the ladder. I was really good at it by the time these stairs went in. Now, it’s so handy to unload the car onto the stair landing and haul things into the house that way. I will never take stairs for granted again!
While the contractors were here, they also put in the tray ceiling in the addition. One of the challenges of adding onto an American Four Square house is adding on in a way where it doesn’t look like a small structure was just shoved up against a bigger structure. I asked for a slight curve in the garage to make it a little more visually interesting. I have 10-foot ceilings in my house and I wanted the same look for the addition. It was going to be hard to make that happen with the roof pitch involved. The solution was to put in a tray ceiling. So for a two-foot perimeter around the room, there will be a nine-foot ceiling and then in the middle section, it will be a ten-foot ceiling.
The original plan was for the kitchen to be relocated into the addition. After some careful thought and realizing this wasn’t going to work with the ceiling height in the current kitchen, the plan is to now leave the kitchen in its current location and open the wall between the kitchen and the addition even further. The addition will now be a family room/dining room area instead. I’m actually really good with it. It’ll mean less money to keep the kitchen (and its plumbing) in the current place and I really like the flow of the layout even better.
We spent some time trying to figure out the layout of the kitchen.
What’s interesting about my kitchen cabinets is that they are used. Not only are they used, they’re also my third set of kitchen cabinets I’ve purchased over the years. These are builder’s grade cabinets that are about 20 years old, but with a little paint, I think I can make them look fabulous! I have a second set out in my shop that is newer, but hard to configure with this kitchen. I will probably use the sink base and island from that set and potentially the pantry cabinet. The other pieces will probably be used in my craft room.
The final set was a really cheap set that I picked up for $100. They will either be used in my laundry room or out here in the garage. It’s good to have options and great to save money!! I’m not sure I could make a decision on new cabinets, so I like the idea that these cabinets were decided for me.
That is a personality quirk that my husband really had a tough time with. He would make a decision and go with it. I have to think about all of the potential outcomes if I make the wrong one. I hate regrets. The key is learning to live without them!
I’m working on it.
Until next time…
Salvaging A Farmhouse is a series of blog posts that chronicle my experience of renovating and reclaiming our 1900 farmhouse. This is a project that is over a decade in the making. We were working towards some pretty serious renovations on the house until my husband became sick with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and died 9 weeks after his diagnosis. My kids and I have been left with the task of completing what we started all those years ago. Every house and every family have a story and this is the story of ours.