Well, I feel like I’ve entered a time in this renovation process where things are getting done but they are not as drastic. For example, the plumbing went in this week. That’s a very big deal. I like to have water in homes that I live in. However, sharing with you a picture of pipes, just doesn’t seem that exciting nor easy to explain. I’m not really sure what pipe connects to what pipe. However, water. Water is good.
One big thing that was transformational this week was the back patio area. What was a small slab of cement now feels like a great place to sit and have dinner with family and friends.
This is what the patio looked like originally. Geez, it always amazes me when I hunt down our original pictures and see how far we’ve come. Posting each week is like construction therapy for me. 🙂
The first step was removing the patio completely. This happened a few weeks ago. We decided to remove it ourselves since that would help us save money. My brother had a friend who was trying to fill an old pond so we were able to take all the cement there to help him out. Glad to help in that way.
Cement was added after a layer of gravel and whatever else they put below it. We decided to extend the budget a little and get stamped concrete. I really wanted to avoid the back area feeling like a giant slap of concrete. Really, I struggled with even putting a patio back in the back since we know it wasn’t there originally in the 1800s. However, with the drainage issues we’ve had, and the new foundation being built in the back this was a way to regrade the back area and slope the water away from the house.
It was pretty cool to watch them stamp the concrete. They came back after the cement had hardened just a bit, and literally stamped it with foam-like blocks. In between the blocks and the cement is this black powder. (You can choose whatever color you want We went with charcoal.) It was a dirty job!
We went with the slate look. Mostly because this is all our concrete guy had. I most likely would have picked this anyway. To be honest, I loved how it looked when it was almost done and not completely done. This is with the black powder still on the concrete before it was power washed off and sealed.
Here’s what it looks like now. It’s really, really shiny. I’m not sure if we had to go with this high gloss seal, or that is what our concrete guy used. It felt a little too shiny for my taste. However, I’m pretty confident plenty of dirty feet will scuff it up a bit over time. We’ll have to re-seal it in the future but it sounds pretty maintenance free.
While the patio looks great, we did have some hiccups this week. On Monday the roofers showed up to finish the back kitchen area on the same day the concrete was being laid. That wasn’t going to work, so that delayed everything by four days with the roof. Once the concrete was pretty dry, we laid slabs of wood we had in the barn on it to protect it from the roofers. They were good at taking care.
The goal with the roof was to get it straightened out a bit. It had a low area below the window. Really, the window doesn’t make much sense being there, but I like having it in the upstairs hallway. It gives natural light and I envision myself waking up in the morning and looking out before I head downstairs for the day. Most likely, I’ll be chasing kids down the stairs to get ready for school and won’t have time to pause and enjoy the view. But in my head, all is tranquil in our future farmhouse life. 🙂
We have one little section of siding that is not done because we’re waiting for a new door. I snapped this picture this week. It illustrated the old and the new. They’re both the same color representing my desire to keep things as old and original as possible, but they look so different as we’re using new materials to provide as little maintenance as possible.
A neighbor stopped by this week who is in his 80’s. He rode his golf cart over to “be nosey” in his words. We invited him in to see the progress. He and his wife were great friends of my grandparents. I couldn’t tell if he was excited to see that we’re in the house and keeping it for the next generation or sad to see all the changes we have made. On one hand I know that we’ve changed so much by removing all the wallpaper. He looked around the rooms and I could see memories flooding his mind. I too looked around and did see how much the house does not look like the house it once did when my grandma hosted Thanksgiving meals.
Here’s what I do know, my grandma and grandpa would be so proud to see us bringing the house back to life. In between their life in the house, we had a family member live there for 10 years that did not care for it. So much of what we’re doing feels like we’re taking back the family heritage and preserving it. But as the neighbor looked around I did see through him, how much we’re changing it. It’s not the same house that it was for him. The 60+ years my grandparents live there is now a memory. A good memory, but still a memory.
Anyways, enough of my sappy ness. Here’s my reality check. The water isn’t working. We have a leak and it’s under the cement patio we just poured.
Yeah. Realllllly, awesome.
So, our research this week will include digging a new well. We can re-run the line, which is cheaper. But the water isn’t really that great to begin with and so digging a new well might be the best long term solution that gives us better water and better water pressure. The downside, cha-ching!
But again, water. Good water is a good thing.
This week we hope to accomplish:
Getting the sub-floor in kitchen area.
Getting the HVAC installed