It’s been 10 weeks. Every week something new gets completed. Every week I think this project will never get done. And then every week I look back and am thankful for what has been accomplished. One thing I’ve learned through all of this, is that constructions projects are not for the faint of heart. They are also not for those who work full time. I do not know how some people do it. Thankfully, I work from home so I can be at the house most days for quite a few hours. There are so many little tiny details that need addressed every single day. And if I wasn’t there, I’m not sure what would have happened.
Looking back I wish we had had a designer and architect draft some of the fine details of our renovation. Simply saying you want something does not mean that person will remember or see it as you do. Nothing crazy wrong has happened, yet. However, I wonder what would have had to be “re-done” multiple times if I had not been there to address that little need at that very moment. Or, if my father had not been there. If I am not there, he is. I am so thankful for that.
I’m saying all that as this week the gutters went onto the house. On Monday the gutter crew showed up when I wasn’t there. Thankfully, my father was. They came ready to literally strap on gutters to the house. The straps would have been screwed into our very new roof. Never mind the fact that I had specifically told our contractor that in no way did we want straps on our new roof. The straps in theory are needed because our overhang is at an angle, because it is an older home. We knew straps were not our only option. My dad knew right away that it wasn’t going to work and so the gutter workers had to leave to come back another day. They told us we would have to put on six inch gutters because of the water flow if we didn’t do straps. I started to research.
The hard part about renovating an old home is that it was built to not have gutters. It was built the way it was and new construction products are made to fit new constructions. Sometimes I feel like an advocate for our house. I have to do my own research to see what products will work for an old home and not just settle for what the workers tell me is the “only option”. I find my own solution and advocate for it. Suddenly, it all works out. 🙂
On Wednesday, the gutter crew showed up with six inch gutters and wedges to make the gutters fit our home. While I had researched six inch gutters and they didn’t look too bad on homes I had researched, I requested they put the gutter up on one section of the house. Holy moly. They were HUGE. Laughable huge. I felt like a snobby lady on HGTV as I repeatedly said, “Oh, no. No. No. No. That cannot go on my house. Too big. Way too big. No. No. No.”
The gutter crew I should add were very professional and super nice. They repeatedly told me things about water flow and gutter sizes that are needed on metal roofs. My reply was that the house had no gutters when it was built. It also had no gutters for the last 40 years and while it was not ideal, the foundation had pretty much been okay and the basement dry. If we had a bit of overflow with smaller gutters, I was okay with that. I didn’t want to drive up my driveway for the rest of my life feeling like my house was ALL gutters. They were that big.
And so, five inch gutters (which are still large) were put on with large wedges. The wedges are those pieces of metal you see sticking out above. They mount onto the gutter. (I hung my head out of a second floor window to get you that close up shot. 🙂 )They look great and I’m so glad I was there this week to address everything. We could have changed the angle when we did the siding but I want the house to look old and not new and so the overhang was to stay. This of course, led to the gutter size problem. But really, a problem just needs a creative solution and one that really already exists.
Lesson for the week. Do your own research and don’t settle when you know something doesn’t look right. Yes, looks aren’t everything but when you’re pouring in as much money as we are on this house to make everything look like we want it to, gutters matter. Everything matter. There are things out there that can create the look you want, you just have to be willing to be creative.
By the way, the gutter crew did a fantastic job once we were on the same page.
Everything was so oversized this week. The HVAC was put into the house. They’re about 80% done after one week. This is another example of putting new into an old house. But my husband must have air conditioning upstairs. 🙂 I think I’ll be thankful for that as well . To get the air conditioning and heating upstairs, we had to run gigantic HVAC ducts from the basement through the living room, through my master bedroom closet into the attic. They then branch out into all the upstairs rooms. The house was built with no heating vents. They literally had a hole in the master bedroom for the heat from downstairs to drift upstairs. That was obviously not going to work for us.
The gigantic HVAC ducts that you see above will be drywalled in and so it will be just a little pop out in the corner. I laugh at how I asked the HVAC workers to get as close to the corner as possible. I see now that they take up the whole corner, so it doesn’t really matter. We shall be warm when we want to be warm and cold when we want to be cold! The HVAC team is doing a fantastic job.
Since the HVAC was in the kitchen, we were able to add the floor back to the area. It made it look so much better and I could finally get a picture of what the area would look like.
This room has probably had the most work. Ironically, it’s the newest part of the house. In this picture I am standing in the kitchen looking into the pantry. A small area had been framed within the laundry to house a toilet. Since we only have one full bathroom in the other area of the house, I wanted another toilet. You can also see in this picture the blue painters tape of the opening that we will enlarge. I’m not making the whole kitchen open to the dining room, but we’re creating an opening that matches the other half of that room so that we have more room to walk through the kitchen when we’re entertaining.
And we had good news on the water this week! My dad and brother have come up with a solution to feed a new water line within the old water line. At least that is what we will attempt before having to dig a new line. After my dad was able to fix the water pump (he’s pictured here in the well) so we could at least get water into the house to test the lines before the kitchen floor went down, we realized that the water was pretty good. It was the old rusty pipes that were making it smell funny. So, our goal is to fix the pump and put in a new line. That will be a fraction of the cost of a new well. At the very least, it’s worth a try before we shell out the big bucks.
This week was a big cleaning week. Before they start drywall on the ceilings, we are working hard this week to get all the plaster dust off the floors. We worked at getting all the loose plaster off the ceilings before they start to drywall. We also still had things in the house we’ve found over time that we had to store away. It seems a little pointless to vacuum everything when they’re about to drywall, but at least the old plaster dust is off the floor and it feels like it’s clean for a just a bit of time.
This week we hope to accomplish:
Finish all the HVAC work
Finish the roof