Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Bunk Room Plan

At our last house, we quickly discovered that having a bunk room for all of the grandkids to hang out was a big hit (it also made bedtime easier, because they were excited to all sleep in the same room - big plus for their parents!!).   And I confess, I adore decorating a room for kids.  It's so much fun that I've made more progress planning this room than any of the others! πŸ˜‚

The bunk room in this house is a long, narrow room.  On the long blank wall, we will have two sets of bunk beds.  For the bunks mounted to the wall, each bunk will have its own built in bunk light.  We are hoping that will encourage old-school reading vs. computer games!

On the opposite wall, under the window we'll have an open bookcase that can handle lots of books and toys.  And there was a tall narrow dresser left in the house that I'll paint and repurpose for this room. 

The funky closet with the peaked roof is original (it used to lead to attic space over the kitchen - which is now a vaulted ceiling).  The grandkids call it their 'secret room'!

I'm really excited about the bedding for the bunks.  It's a whale print from Maine designer Sara Fitz (from LL Bean).  With girls and boys sharing the room, I wanted something that was unisex - and these whales are perfect!  Isn't the whale cute?

For wallpaper, I chose this Anna French print.  This wave pattern will make a great accent on the long wall.

I scored these great Julie Bernier prints at Art in the Park a couple of weeks ago - they'll be perfect to add some charm to the room. 

And last, but not least, I found this hand crocheted giant squid on Ebay.  I plan to twine him around the bunk beds.  He's soft and cuddly, he's sure to be a big hit with the kids! 

With the fun room figured out, I guess I need to get to work on the other spaces! 

Pin It

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

And Then There Were Walls!!!!

There are a lot of big milestones on a renovation project, but few more exciting than getting the drywall installed.  Farewell ugly old lumber, plumbing pipes, insulation, HVAC and electrical wire (although they make up a big chunk of our budget, it seems a shame to hide them!) and hello nice clean drywall! 

This was a complicated project, with lots of angles and special cut outs.  But the guys were up for it and did a beautiful job with the installation.  

These beams will be exposed on the ceiling (still trying to figure out how to hide the toilet flange!)

Then Dan came in and did all the mud and tape, to create beautiful seamless walls.

Finally we can see how everything is taking shape!  Next up is priming the walls and then the flooring goes in.  Woo hoo!  Pretty stuff coming soon!

Pin It

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

The Last Hurrah

Sure, we thought all demolition was done and we were on our way to getting the house finished.  And then we came up with yet another change, that unearthed a mass of problems.

There is a sun porch on the back of the house that connects the kitchen, garage, back deck and dining room.  It seems like it was added as an afterthought to connect the different spaces.  The roofline is weird.  None of the doors match (and there are 6 of them!) and the flooring has two different types of wood (we think one is fir and the other heart pine - and they will both be beautiful when they're finished! But the combo is quirky).

Great views of the backyard gardens

Doors to deck, dining room and kitchen

The room faces north and east.  It gets the first sun in the morning, making it bright and inviting for a first cup of coffee to start the day.  It's not big, but it looks out over the (soon to be) gardens and has lots of privacy.

This room has two phrases that cost lots of money in every renovation: 1) It has so much potential (seriously, how many times have I said that about a house? πŸ˜‚. You would think I know that means trouble!). 2) While we are at it, we should just do this too.  You might as well start hearing the Jaws theme music with those two phrases, because it really means trouble. 

So while the drywall is getting installed in the rest of the house, the guys started changing the roofline to make it match the rest of the ell addition.  And sure enough, that's when we found problem #1 - Carpenter ants.  Lots and lots of carpenter ants had destroyed the corner of the room and they went scurrying far and wide as they pulled back the sheathing.  

Sigh.....carpenter ants.....again......they went scurrying away!
So needless to say, we had to investigate further.  And that's when we found the roof must have had a major leak at some point and the other corner was disintegrated from dry rot.
This disintegrated into dust when we opened it up

Sometimes, it's faster to just tear it apart and start over and that was true in this case.   

Farewell rot and ant damage!!

The guys quickly got it framed up with a roofline that matched the rest of the house. 

No big surprise, but the sill was rotted out as well

And while I love how it looks from the outside with the nice, consistent roofline -  once it was framed, we started to realize just how amazingly different the interior space had become.  With the tall cathedral ceiling, it feels like a totally different space.   The guys got electrical wrapped up last week - now it's on to getting some walls in!  Woo hoo - can't wait!!

Look at those tall ceilings!!!

Pin It

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

What Color Will the House Be?

 Hands down, this is the question we hear the most (followed by 'when will it be finished' πŸ˜‚).  And the exterior color is not something we take lightly.  Choosing an exterior paint color is a big deal and will be a color we live with for a very long time. 

Often with an old house, you look back in history to see what colors it has been in the past.  We know from some early photos that it was both a very light color (possibly white) and also a dark color.  We also found some very old clapboards that have been buried on the interior of the house for 70-100 years that could give us hints. 

But honestly, I hate these colors!!!  This old color chart from Portland Paints shows two of these colors -Light Drab and Green Stone (what marketing guru would ever name a color drab!!!).  I just can't imagine painting our house either of those colors!  And since the house was built with scraps and leftovers from other houses, who knows if these color were original to our house - or came from some other nearby home that had extra materials that were added piecemeal to ours.

Photo courtesy: Scott Hanson, Restoring Your Historic House

So with that in mind, we will not be using a color from the house's past.  Instead, we will pick our own color.  Which is a good thing, because we want to use James Hardi siding - a cementitious siding that guarantees the color for 15 years (we used it on a house 14 years ago and it still looks great!).  It's available in a smooth finish, which many historic districts will accept for the appropriate old house look.  But it is limited to a set of color selections.

We are installing lots of nice white trim, including the original front porch, which we'd like to highlight. But I'm reluctant to choose a dark color, so I started looking for something off white or a creamy color, that would still allow the white trim to 'pop'.  When we recently visited our daughter, I fell in love with the house across the street.  They were kind enough to share a paint chip and I used that to pick a color.  I lined up the paint chip with all the Hardi siding colors in that palette, to make a decision.

And that's where it got interesting.  The color I like is 'Cobblestone' by James Hardi.  What I realized was I've used it twice in the past.  Am I in some sort of exterior color rut??  Obviously it's a color I like!!  

James Hardi 'Cobblestone' Smooth Lap Siding

James Hardi 'Cobblestone' Smooth Lap Siding

But I still drive by these houses all the time and I still really like the color.  So it's safe to choose it again!  Cobblestone clapboards will be coming soon!

Pin It

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Curb Appeal Update

While interior plumbing and electrical systems are getting installed, the guys are focused on the exterior.  It's important to us to maintain the old house charm of this home, but with so many different updates and renovations over the years, it's hard to tell what the original home looked like.  So we've tried to restore what we can, but in some areas we took creative license to provide a cohesive look for the house.

The house had cedar shingles when we bought it.  But they were failing in many areas, allowing water to seep into the wall cavities during a heavy storm.  When we stripped them off, we discovered a variety of clapboard siding and barnboard on different parts of the house.  

Original drop siding - looks like clapboards on the outside and beadboard on the interior.  And always leaks! 

So we needed to add a layer of sheathing over top of the old drop siding to make the house truly water tight.  The distinctive green color of the sheathing gets your attention, but it also allows us to make the house water and airtight.

With the sheathing completed, we could install all the new windows.  We had so many different types of windows on the house, it was hard to figure out which was the right style.   But we think the original style was 6 over 1 (the number of panes on the top sash over the bottom sash).  

I admit it, I obsessed over the window trim.  And thanks to a tip from the guys at Hammond Lumber, I found this historic Rams Head window trim that will be perfect.  And best of all, it's a no maintenance product.   

These are six over one windows

We're using it on all the lower windows (the top front windows will be integrated with the fascia boards - typical on an old home).  I'm thrilled with how it looks - it adds so much character to the house! 

With the stone steps repaired, the guys got the original columns reinstalled with new pressure treated bases, to prevent future rot (I'll paint the PT bases after they've had time to dry out a bit more - PT wood tends to be really wet and doesn't take paint well).


And suddenly, it's looking so good!  The window placement has much better symmetry than before - and while it will never have modern symmetry, we think it creates character! 

Next project is getting the rest of the soffits and trim installed, so the new roof can be installed.  The first few pieces are looking good! 


Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...