House Remodel Update

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In April we bought an 1860 colonial farmhouse in need of some serious renovations…and by serious I mean light a match and burn the place down…no, just kidding, we didn’t do that…but maybe we should’ve ;]

All summer long we worked on getting building permits and approvals from the town and as soon as we were given the go-ahead, we got busy and watched this shabby little place began to transform right before our eyes. We have two family friends doing most of the work and they have been fantastic. My older brother also drove all the way up from Louisiana to help raise the roof– now that, my friends, is love :] Little by little we watch this dream of ours take shape. Every time I stop by it looks like a different place and just a little bit more like what we imagine it can and will be.

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It would have been easier and more practical to tear the place down and start from scratch, but the bones of this place are too magical to throw away and Darren and I both knew from the beginning that we wanted to preserve as much of the original structure as we could. Everything that’s been torn down was deconstructed by hand, board by board and nail by nail in order to save as much of the original wood as possible for later projects.

This place is built out of hand-hewn timber and wood nails and the bones that hold it together today are just the same as they were 150 years ago. So when we raised the roof to give us a full second story, we left the original timbers and wood nails in place and just jacked the roof up and up instead of taking it off and starting over. Everyone told us we were crazy for taking that approach, and we probably were, but we’re happy with the end result and happy we were able to preserve just that much more of the original construction. We’re hopelessly nostalgic, what can I say :]

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Darren has painstakingly drawn every single sheet of blueprints for this house. We sit down together and talk about what we want this place to be and Darren gets busy measuring and figuring out how to make our vision a reality. We had settled on a plan and figured out where everything should go and then I went upstairs after they raised the roof…and the view! I had no idea how pretty it would be looking across the field and into the woods. We had planned on having our bedroom on the back of the house but once I stood there and saw the view from the front, I knew I would die a little bit if we didn’t have our bedroom on that side of the house. So Darren very patiently redesigned and redrew pretty much every part of the house so we could move the bedroom.

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Darren draws while the cat and I mostly just look at pretty pictures on the internet and say, “Put that there. Move this here. Ándale.”

I would tell you he’s a saint, and probably he is, but last night he coerced me into digging out the basement floor with a shovel and since we were there until 1:00am and almost got eaten by werewolves wolves, I haven’t quite forgiven him yet. He did buy me a pair of steel-toed boots as a peace offering…which actually worries me a little bit…?… :]

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The whole upstairs is framed in and I like walking around up there getting a feel for the size and layout of the rooms and imagining what everything will look and feel like once it’s done.

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This week all kinds of equipment has been rolling around as a foundation for a small addition is dug out and the yard undergoes extensive landscaping. We are working against the clock trying to get the foundation in place before winter takes hold.

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We are a long ways from done, but we’re a long ways from where we started too…and that feels good :]

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19 thoughts on “House Remodel Update

    • We are having a lot of fun working on this place and watching it come together little by little. I will be doing more posts as it changes and when it’s finally done. Thanks for reading along and encouraging us along the way!

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    • I’m really happy with the second floor too…so glad the house looks happy now :] I’m really excited about the yard…the landscaping made everything look so much bigger and nicer. Darren and I spent several hours yesterday planning daffodils, tulips, and crocus so we’ll have some spring blooms. Just wish I had more time to garden and work outside. Your yard is actually a huge inspiration to me and I’m hoping ours looks a lot like yours when we’re done :]

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  1. I feel you pain about working in basements. I remember being a couple months pregnant with Ethan and freezing while working on the duplex basement in the middle of the night. Fun times but it will be worth it! Wish I could help you! I know my dad felt bad about taking time off this week.

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    • These Andrews boys are something else, aren’t they? ;] I’m just thankful to have your dad and Frank helping because this would take us forever without them. They are such hard workers and do a great job!

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    • I hope the pictures help everyone see what we’re up to and how things are coming along. Hopefully you guys can come see it in person next year! There’s a lake and beach area down the road that the kids would love.

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  2. Wow! The progress is amazing! I love that you’ve saved as much of the original bones of the house as is possible. Can’t wait to meet “Abigail” in person and see the view from the upstairs with you.

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