I love this pic.  My little i-phone 4 came through.  Among the many things that are getting repaired are the windows. Some of these windows are completely ruined, others we are hoping to salvage.  But, I love this picture, because it shows the inside workings of what makes these old houses so special.  Through these windows is the view from our some day master bedroom.  Pretty dreamy.


Finally Closed!

The construction loan finally closed last Friday, Sept. 16th!  We wrote a huge check that afternoon to one of the contractors and by Saturday, some of the leveling began. The leveling is mostly complete, but there are several areas that still need work because the house was out of whack for so long.

One of the many places that had major wood rot and stability issues.

In the picture on the left, you can see a small washout.  We had massive rains over Memorial weekend and some of the cinder block supports had been washed out. This led to some of the flooring and beams in the house warping slightly.  Hopefully they will settle now that the house is in place again. These pictures are after the repair work had been done.

Because we have to live in the house in about 4 weeks, one of our first projects was to demo one of the bathrooms.  Here’s the before and below is the demo.


I love the cast iron tub and the pedestal sink, so we are keeping those.  The toilet is small and nasty, so it’s being moved out.


The demo work was actually pretty fun – hot and dusty, but got a lot done.

Was excited to find this old wallpaper somewhat in tact.  I was able to gently take a razor blade to cut out a section that was not covered in small tack nails.  I took this piece and cut out another section to frame it.  Hoping to uncover some more hidden treasures as we go.

On Monday, Juan and his guys will be focusing on the bathroom, plumbing will start going in and the drywall will be repaired around the tub.

Frank is over our other crew and they will continue to work on the porch and roofing build out.  Hoping to get more pictures posted soon.





Waiting and Preparing

Since Dave and I both had time before closing and now waiting for the construction loan, we have spent a lot of time researching, visiting showrooms, talking to professionals, and visiting home improvement stores, in an effort to figure out what things are most important to begin on and to get a plan for each room of the house.  In order to get us better organized, I put together a planning and design folder.

The pink covered folder has a punch list sheet and a planning pocket for each room in the house. I also put business cards and extra information in each pouch. On the punch list sheet, I have listed things that need to be done. This punch list has also helped me to pick out colors for the rooms.  Since I know the tile I’d like for this bathroom, I know the type of surround I’d like from the cultured marble business, which ultimately helps me pick out my color. The numbered items are for our contractor and the highlighted items are for me and Hubby.  I made our contractor a punch list notepad, so that he knew what needed to be done with each room.  I know this sounds like a lot, but I figure the more specific I can be the better.  Plus, it made it easier for him to give me a realistic bid. Just so you know, I have not given our contractor punch lists for the entire house.  We are just starting with a few rooms to get it mostly livable, then we will work with the rest of the house after that.

In the back of the folder there is a contact page with numbers such as ACME bug control, H & M porta potty, Arizona Tile, etc. There is a large envelope type pocket that can close, where I am keeping all of our receipts. This will be helpful not just for costs and returns, but to be able to show the bank if needed.

When the loan finally clears, (Oh, I hope it does soon!) then it will be a bit crazy, because things will be going fast. I want to add flooring and colors that I like, not things that I have settled with because I did not have a plan. I am sure there will be a lot of rush decisions, but having a few things ready to go will help us all.

On a final note, I think the hardest part of this process is letting go. I have been feeling stressed, but yesterday I just began thanking God for all the wonderful ways He has blessed Dave and I. Through this thought process of gratitude, it gave me peace that one way or another, it was all going to work out. There are too many times in life that a “good” door has closed.  I tend to get stressed. But, as I was reflecting on life, those closed doors stayed closed, but new possibilities opened up, giving us different opportunities and direction from what we had thought. So, today – I am thanking God for as many things as I can, to continually remind me of how much He loves me and cares for me and my family.

So… all this to say – pray, plan and prepare!