Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Windows and Doors - Make Such a Difference!

We're pushing along and making progress!  Some things are moving quickly, some not so much.  Ah, the joys of working in a world with supply chain and labor shortages.  Here's the latest:

The house is really getting some character now.  We have a real roof with shingles so it's staying nice and dry as we approach the 'spring shower' season (& hopefully not the 'surprise spring blizzard' season - this is Maine after all, wind chill has been in the teens this week!).  

A rare photo without a dumpster in the driveway!
Quite a change, don't you think πŸ˜„πŸ˜„??

They say windows are the eyes of a home, that certainly seems true on this house!  Getting the windows installed - as well as the front door - is a game changer.  The good news:  all of the main windows have arrived and are installed. 

Rear View - Before

When you look at the back of the house, so much looks new (all the green sheathing).  That wasn't the original plan, the entire lower floor on the left was supposed to stay original.  But thanks to extensive rot in the sill of the house (you know, the part that the entire house sits on 😳), we ended up replacing it all down to the foundation.

The primary suite is over the garage on this side of the house

The not so good news: the sliding glass door has been on backorder for weeks and weeks (but rumor says we might see it soon).   This is the south side of the house, so this glass door will flood the kitchen with sunlight all day long! We can't wait to get it in!

And if you've seen any of the news stories, there is a huge issue with garage doors.  Ours is on order, but we're not sure when it will arrive.  Until it arrives, we will wait to frame it for the new location, directly below the double window.  

While we wait, the exterior trim and siding will start and then this will really start to look like something!  

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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Twin Birthday Celebration - Sesame Street Style!

I figured everyone is probably tired of seeing all the raw lumber photos of the house - so here's a little diversion for you!  Our twin grandkids turned two over the weekend and we helped our daughter with a big celebration.  Thanks to COVID their first birthday party was really small, so they pulled out all the stops for this one!

Our daughter gets all the credit for the creativity - I was in charge of shopping (which I do consider my super power!!!πŸ˜‚).   With a boy and a girl, she wanted something gender neutral and decided a Sesame Street party would be perfect (Elmo and Cookie Monster are like rock stars in their house).

For the table, we used astro turf 'tablecloths' (super inexpensive at Home Depot).  The texture and color were a great backdrop for everything else.  (Note: I thought they would be a nightmare to clean, but baby wipes cleaned them right up - even with pizza and cake icing!  Now I'm trying to figure out if I should use them for a putting green at a future project!)  The water bottles were from Dollar Tree - $1.25 each and super cute.  We let them pick out a Sesame Street character sticker to help identify it and added their name as well, so they could find their own bottle throughout the party.  The plates were so simple with just eyes and primary colors.  And then we used all the Sesame Street toys we had to finish decorating the table.

The balloon garland was assembled the day before - a bit tedious but not hard to make.  

One of the really fun decorations were big boxes that we wrapped in kraft paper,   The edges were finished with bright colored duct tape and the letters got painted by the kids the day before.  A pretty quick project that got everyone involved!

Goody bags were packed with lots of fun little things to keep the kids busy - Sesame Street board books, rulers, bubbles, sunglasses, etc.

Each twin got their own cake to share with the grownups.  There were cupcakes for all the kids.  Interestingly, Elmo and Cookie Monster were both so popular, we didn't run out of one or the other!

For activities, my daughter borrowed a friend's bounce house that was perfect for little kids.  We also had a Rubber Duckie scavenger hunt that had the kids running all over the yard looking for them.  And my daughter found a 'balloonologist' (it's a thing, really!), who made amazing balloons for all the kids.

It was crazy, fun and exhausting - we called it a sort of happy chaos!  But a great way to celebrate a big milestone! 

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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Creating a Primary Suite in the Split Level

In 1949, when this house was built, no one would have dreamed of having a full floor dedicated to a bedroom, bath and closets.  But we're going to do just that and give the owners a luxurious retreat that's separated from the rest of the house.  Oh, and we'll add a half bath as well!

We're not changing the foot print of the space at all, but we're reconfiguring it quite a bit.  The starting point was two small bedrooms with a bath between them.  We're going to turn the old bathroom into a wall of wardrobes for lots of closet space.  And the back bedroom will become the new en suite bathroom.

Everything is now framed up and it's starting to take shape.  Look at how much the bedroom has changed!  It's not big - 12' x 14' - but with the big double windows and the raised ceiling it feels so much larger.

And there is a little peek of Casco Bay from the new bedroom windows!

That counts as a winter water view - right??

Look at all that sunlight coming in!!!

If you've been following SoPo Cottage for awhile, you know I'm a huge fan of IKEA PAX wardrobes.  They utilize every single cubic inch of space and with the built in lighting and storage options, they're pretty versatile.  This area will be a wide hallway to the bathroom - with rows of wardrobes on each side, creating lots and lots of storage!

This is a nice big bathroom.  As you enter the room it will have a big double sink on the left and will have a custom make-up vanity on the right.  

And the big custom shower will have a real wow factor with a built in bench and glass shower door - please use your imagination.  I know it's tough to tell at this point!

The plumbing has started and electrical will be next, so we're making great progress!  So fun to see it coming together.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

First Peek of New Living Area in the Split Level

I know we probably can't persuade any split level haters to like this style home at this point in the project, but here's a little update to let you see how much it's changed.  

On paper, the changes might not seem like a lot - but in reality the space is so different!  

We removed the big central fireplace from the original floor plan, to create more kitchen space and room for the bedrooms on the floor above.  We also made a 5 foot addition - which might not seem like much, but it was transformational to the space!

So here's how it looks now.  The space is bright and open, with a lot more living space.  The sliding glass doors are on backorder, but will bring in even more sunlight once they are installed.
Eliminating the original staircase and a bedroom closet added even more space to the room!
The front wall has changed to include a new front door and a large double window.  And the new 5 foot addition makes the room feel even more expansive!
So does this give you an idea of how much it's changed?  Framing is almost complete and now we're starting electrical and plumbing rough in.  So obviously a lot of work to do, but it's going to be fantastic! 

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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Planning the Split Level Kitchen

The homeowners are incredibly excited about getting a new kitchen - and for good reason.  The original kitchen was small and awkward and this will be such a great change.

Future Split Level Kitchen 

Their requests were pretty simple:  a white kitchen (but a colored island is okay), brass hardware, an island with stools and a small breakfast nook to provide another dining option.  In addition, they want an appliance garage to hide all their gadgets and reduce the countertop clutter.

Kitchen - Before
So we got to work.  First we addressed the layout.  The kitchen would stay along the back wall of the house, with the refrigerator tucked into the corner created by the stairwell.  We added a new double window over the kitchen sink, to provide views to the backyard.  The stove will be next to the sink with lots of storage around it and a big pantry for storage.

The island will provide some nice counter space for meal prep or a casual meal.  And it's a hardworking space since it also contains the microwave, roll out trash container and large storage drawers.

See the appliance garage tucked next to the refrigerator?  It will be a great place to hide the blender and other appliances.

We will include brass hardware on all the cabinetry

And this gorgeous brass faucet will look great with the farmhouse sink.

Photo: Wayfair

The breakfast nook will feature a built in bench (with storage below!) next to the sliding glass door - the perfect spot to sit in the sunshine with a cup of coffee in the morning.
Lead times are long, so we've got everything ordered and hope it will arrive in time.  And in the meantime, we have to rough in the plumbing and electrical!  And walls.... walls would be good! πŸ˜‚

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