Well it’s been ONE YEAR since we packed up and moved all our belongings and embarked upon our old farmhouse restoration project. I really don’t feel like we have accomplished all that much, maybe because nothing feels “done”… It is encouraging when friends visit and they say they can’t believe how much we’ve done… I am usually tempted to hook them up to a polygraph…
Here is the LIST of our (work in) progress…
- Managed installation of new septic system on sellers dime. Chased contractor around in fall and in spring (seeding). Contractor reneged on loaming and seeding leach field. Chased lawyers around. Finally got remaining $ to finish project. Timeline: Sept 2010 – Sept 2011. Lesson Learned: Avoid septic escrow holdbacks at all costs! If you find yourself in that situation insist that your lawyer hold funds (this really saved us). Finally, never go with the cheapest bidder. Unfortunately we were stuck with the sellers choice…
- Installed gutters to try and redirect water from basement. Helped somewhat (tip of the dampness iceberg down there)
- Installed new windows in living room and dining room
- Rebuilt wall under beam. Still waiting for pocket doors and T to sheetrock.
- Hired contractor to jack up basement and rebuild stairs. He showed up twice. Chased contractor via phone and in-person. He sheepishly apologized but never finished job. Gave up and T finished the supports. Had another carpenter rebuild stairs. They are now level. Yea!
- Removed one squirrel, one possum, one snake and lots of mice.
- Gutted front living room – removed gas stove that was never fully vented. Updated wiring. Soundproofed ceiling. Rebuilt back wall. Living room is partially blue-boarded.
- Gutted hallway. Removed lots of mouse debris (poop, skeletons, pee). Re-insulated and rewired.
- Installed two new windows in hallway – much more light coming in.
- Paid neighbor to remove pine tree in front of house. Paid landscaper to put in walkway and fill, loam and seed front lawn.
- Framed up area for half-bath under stairs. Pulled plumbing permit. Working on pipes in basement. Should be roughed in soon. Thanks Dad!
- Disconnected baseboard from areas that are gutted. Bought new baseboard to install. Need blue boarding done first…
- T got distracted by building a massive shed. That needs roof and doors/windows, but it is coming along…
- Removed defunct second chimney from the attic down to basement. Gutted exterior wall. Bought new slider in April…still waiting for it to be delivered…
- Dug out sump pump area in basement so the pump is lower than the floor.
- T put in at least three concrete footing to replace undersized or non-existent supports
- Hired neighbor to dig footings for front bay window supports, tame back jungle and plow area for garden.
- Gutted front bedroom wall in anticipation of 2 new windows being installed…still waiting for them to be put in…
- Gutted exterior wall in downstairs office/study. Replaced ugly window with more appropriate sized one to match others in house. T needs to knock down that chimney so we can rewire and insulate that room.
- Hired contractor to replace the front siding with Hardy Board. Contractor having intense personal issues and does not show up to work. Waiting about a year to finish front windows and five months on siding. Lesson learned: do not mix friendship and business.
- Put cover on well!!!
- Cut up dead tree by stream
- Took time out to build a duck house and predator proof cage and raise four baby ducklings into adults.
It looks like it is going to be another cold winter folks! As of right now there are only three rooms in the entire house that are untouched. So much for one room at a time… although we are focusing on doors, windows and insulation.
Our goal this year was cleaning up the front of the house. I don’t know if we are going to make this due to circumstances out of our control (aka mia contractor), but we are still hopeful… It has been a busy year!