Sunday, May 29, 2016

Things are looking up.

Lots of progress over the last few weeks, despite the insane weather.  On Wendesday, Mom and Dad took several pictures. First, the kitchen has been de-constructed further. But you can see the plumbing and electrical have both been run to this wall.

These are the cypress slabs that were hiding underneath the laminate countertops.  There was one thick slab on each side of the kitchen sink.  Our contractor is going to make the breakfast nook table out of it.  These are the most enormous solid pieces of wood I have ever seen.


The drawers were pulled out for sanding and stacked next to our newly-exposed brick chimney.

On the other side of the kitchen, where a new bank of cabinets will go, along with the range and microwave, the guys harvested shiplap that will be used to replace damaged boards in other, more visible parts of the house.

On either side of the sink are not cabinets, but bins that tilt forward, which were probably used for storing potatoes and onions.

Today, when Larry and I got there, we immediately noticed the ceiling treatment was going in. Actually, that was not the first thing we noticed.  The first thing we noticed was the Tejano music blaring from the dining room.  So the ceiling was the second thing we noticed. This place looks better than it sounds!  (Sorry, Tejano fans...I just can't get into it).

By the time we got there, the guys had completely finished the kitchen and living room, and were mid-way through the dining room.  The electrician had also started doing the rough in for the lights in the ceiling.

The guys were working on the second bedroom while we were there.

The rough-in for all the plumbing is finished.  In the bathroom, you can see the pex tubing for the faucet and toilet.

The electrical is still in progress, but, could it be that we used the ENTIRE spool of wire???

And the cabinet doors have been removed for refinishing, which I somehow didn't notice when I was there.

Vintage refrigerator goes here....

Finally, in a stroke of luck, months ago, I fell in love with this fabric at High Fashion Home.  I wanted to use it as window treatments, but it was pretty expensive, so I never pulled the trigger. Yesterday, however, we popped by and it was half off, and marked "no longer available" so I snagged the last of the bolt.

It's a linen covered in sparkly foil with velvet ribbon.  So luxurious! If my math is right (ok, let's be honest, it's not my math but Larry's), we'll have just enough for all of the windows in the living room.

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Electric, and Plumbing, and Trim, oh my!

Today I was fortunate enough to have a hearing in Colorado County and had the opportunity to pop by the house and check the progress.  So much was going on!  But it was raining cats and dogs so the pictures are a little gloomy.

The walls in the mudroom were cut to install the new breaker box.  We have to have two now because the original did not have nearly enough connections for the new systems (including the A/C and hot water heater).

Also in the mudroom, the plumber has installed new connections for the washing machine.

That's a lot wire.

In the breakfast nook, the window sills and the windows have already been at least partially stripped and re-installed.

And this, my friends, is a new flange for the toilet.  This may not seem very exciting to you, but this is really exciting for those of us who piled into a car and drove into town to go to the bathroom last summer.

Also in the bathroom, the shiplap walls were cut back to install the plumbing for the tub/shower.

In the sleeping room, most of the trim and window frames have been stripped and re-installed.

The plugs have been wired...

 As have the light switches.

Where the sink used to be, a section has been cut to install the new plumbing lines.

And near where the fridge is going to go, more shiplap has been removed, but I'm not quite sure why. In any event, you can see the old chimney a little better.

In the master bedroom, the guys were hard at work stripping the baseboards.

They had already re-installed some of the windows and trim in the master bedroom.

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Starting the windows and other miscellaneous progress

One of the tough choices we had to make was restoring the old double-hung windows or replacing them with new energy-efficient ones.  I think if this house were going to be a full-time residence, we would have been more concerned with energy efficiency.  But since our goal is more in line with preserving the cool original features where we can, we elected to have the old ones restored.  Over the last week or two the work on restoring the originals began with the guys pulling off the strips that held the window frames in place.

As you may have also noticed they removed the old vinyl flooring from the kitchen and sleeping room too.  In the kitchen the bottom layer of linoleum is being a bit more stubborn.

Check out the floor in the sleeping room.  The vinyl flooring was only glued around the edges and the original wood flooring in the center is still in pretty good shape. 

Seriously...why would someone cover this up with a roll of vinyl??

Here you can see the frames stripped off and the window weights behind.  These were originally designed so that the top pane would travel down and the bottom would travel up.  To save some money, we are only making the bottom panes functional.

These are really so cool to me. Such a simple and smart system that works relatively well so many years later.

After sanding down the old (nasty poisonous lead) paint, they stacked the freshly sanded trim in the dining room so they can be put back up later.

They've also numbered all the windows, I think so they can put the trim pieces back on the windows they came from.  There are 31 windows in the house.

Most of the windows have their original panes, but we're going to have to replace a few that didn't make it.

The front porch hasn't been replaced yet, but in a stroke of luck, we have enough good wood from the porch to replace the flooring in the mudroom, which was replaced years ago with plywood covered with vinyl.  Score!

And finally, we have baby pecans!

You can see my thumb for scale.  The baby pecans will stay on the tree for 300 days.  Who knew?

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

New roof and other progress

The roof has been a high priority item since we first purchased the house, given that there was already substantial water damage in the kitchen nook and less major damage in other places. Somewhere in the middle of some seriously freakish storms, we got our new roof!
In preparation for the new roof, the guys spent a couple weeks fixing the fascia boards that rest under the shingles to remove anything that was damaged, which was mostly around the edges.

LastTuesday, we were fortunate enough to catch a dry day.  I think the roofers managed to take everything off and put it back on in just one day.

And here's the finished product. Although the new shingles are slightly smaller, I cannot believe how closely they resembles the old asbestos tiles.

For the sake of comparison here's a before shot from the front of the house followed immediately by a picture taken last Saturday:

Other progress last week included removal of the kitchen sink, bathtub, and bathroom sink for resurfacing.

The toilet is gone too.  I'm not crying.

Check out the hole where the kitchen sink goes.

Now that the sink is gone, you can see just how thick the countertop under the lineoleum is.

Sorry this picture is a little blurry.  My camera was running out of juice.

The guys also removed the floorboards on the front porch and they're going to replace them this week. 

With the floorboards gone, you can really see how much water collects under this corner of the house (which may be why the front porch was so wonky when we purchased the house). We haven't quite figured out what to do to re-direct the water yet.

And in case you were wondering, here is the mastermind behind the restoration:  Terry Weesner.  

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.