We have been awfully quite here on the website mostly due to a incredible amount of work that is taking place on the remodel of our 1927 cottage style combined duplex. Man, that is a mouthful. We have heard it described as traditional, craftsman, cottage style, etc. In reality it is a spacious brick home from the 20’s that really does not fit a typical style of the time. The design feels traditional and almost classical with the mirrored sides, but has eaves and shingles that give it a cottage craftsman feel. I guess we will go with unique brick? We gave you a before tour of the home and highlighted some of the good bones. However, in reality it is taking a ton of work and has some significant challenges. Of course anytime you work on remodeling an older home you better plan on significant challenges!
Painting. Oh Lord the Painting..
Let us start with the painting… We have purchased over 40 gallons of paint. I’d like to thank Lowe’s rebates for making that possible. (You can read some of my other ways to save money at Lowe’s here). Each piece of trim is taking not one, not two, but three coats of paint to cover the chipped and yellowed paint. Of course that is after Adam has gone to the trouble to clean it, nail any loose pieces, caulk and putty all the gaps. Then there is the ceiling, doors, and walls to paint; the list goes on and on. I would estimate we are about halfway through. I would think we were further but I have one room that will require a lot of plaster work so that is going to slow the entire process.
Some of the hardest parts of the painting have been prep work. You can’t tell from this next photo but this craftsman style mantel and surround was pulled a good inch away from the wall, had about 20 (not hyperbole) nails, and tons of holes and scratches to sand and fill. Turned out lovely in the end!
We have ripped out a bathroom vanity (two more to go), updated closet storage, hung fans, lights, and blinds. Blinds were a biggy! Because guess how many windows this house has? 54… 54 windows… That’s a lot of curtains and blinds. Speaking of windows?! We just placed an order for 52 brand new ones (the missing two windows are in the kitchen that we plan on gutting in the next couple of years). The replacement window process is worthy of a few posts itself. As much as we are avid DIYers we have windows on 4 stories and did I mentioned there are FIFTY-TWO of these godforsaken things to replace? We are contracting out the whole process; which is daunting too. I think the big lesson here is that when remodeling an older home you have to know when to bring in professionals.
Oh and in the meantime we took out 7 trees, hired a wonderful landscaper to basically come bush-hog the whole yard, discovered a hidden gazing pond in the process, and placed 104 bags of mulch already. Did I mention we have done all that in the span of about three and a half months? With working full time, teaching in the evenings (Adam), getting promoted (Brianna), starting a new preschool, first grade beginning, and trying to rock out the whole parenting thing, I’d say we have been done in!
Craft Thyme (and sleep) have suffered BUT I think it has already proven to be worth it. Peppered through this post are some before and afters of the the progress we have already made. Plus we have some awesome posts forthcoming, in case you ever want to learn how to remove virginia creeper vines from a house, work with galvanized pipe to make awesome curtain rods (very different than the previous black iron pipe fixtures), purchase replacement windows, eradicate english ivy, properly paint an old door, or plant about 100 bulbs then stay tuned because we’ve got your back!