Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where do we start?

We arrived at our new home the same day we left the old one.  Exhausted does not quite cover it.  Sure we were tired from the drive, but then add in the stress and joy of leaving our last post.  We took a quick look around and fell into bed.

We woke up and got our bearings and started working.  We are really redoing the house... a little at a time.  We have a list but don't seem to follow it in any particular order.  Kind of like mini-whirlwinds. We fit in what works when we have the time and energy for the next project.  Let me catch you up a little.

The center part of the house is the original building. One of these days I am going to go to the historical records place where the secrets of the universe are held and find out how old this place really is.  Anyway, it is a one bedroom craftsman bungalow house... the one bedroom, bathroom, living room and porch added on later and probably in that order.  The original center of the house was just a box basically, and I am guessing the add-ons came around the 1910-ish time as is reflected in the final architectural style.  The kitchen is not really a kitchen.  The electrical stove was in the spot where the old woodstove used to stand... the woodstove's original home was up against the wall with a chimney that is now covered over.  But that area later became a hallway as the house was built around the center structure.  Having a stove in the hallway could not have been very convenient... there must have been  very patient women living here over past 100 years.    At some point a spot for a refrigerator was carved out of a corner in the pantry next to the California Cooler (which works pretty good by the way).  Then finally, the latest additions was a was a small room added to a corner in the original interior area and painted bright green... I assume it was for a child.  That green room had to go immediately as it seemed to enclose the whole house somehow... so that was the first job we tackled.

Before Green Room

 After... well, not really after because there is a lot to do so we will call it the middle meaning in progress:

Middle green room

before bedroom windows
A couple of the windows had been broken out in the bedroom so that needed to be addressed as well and that was next in line.
middle bedroom windows

Then I think we turned to the outside and made sure that the fence on ALL sides was secure for Delta.

before side gate

middle side gate
The gate above is primered... we will get to that painting part soon enough.  That is probably going to also be what the front picket fence will end up looking like as well.  The picket fence that is out front now is way too rustic and tall.  It is fairly new but does not fit the style of the house at all.  By the way... yes if Delta really wanted to be naughty she could totally jump that fence, but she is not naughty and it would have to be one of those 'Timmy fell down the well' moments for her to decide to go over.

Also... that cyclone fence will be invisible and or gone and a 6 foot wooden fence will continue from the shed towards the front of the house as it did in the back.  The neighbor's yard will then be invisible and it will give us more privacy.  The neighbor, a very nice man who knew my Grandad is a bit of a collector shall we say.  That side fence will step down near the front of the houses to match up with the front fences. It will look very nice when completed.   

As far as the shed?  There are big plans for that large shed... to be revealed later as they are still in consideration.

We blocked of the side escape route to the front yard with that little fence jobber...  note the viewing strip in the middle just the right height for Delta's eyes. This little fence is only visible if you are walking behind the house so it simply needed to be functional.  Then we moved on to the furthest back part of the yard. There is cyclone fence there and part of a wooden fence had started around the back corner and was already "framed" ready to finish... so we just finished it along that section.  It might have a bit different framing along the side sections between the houses we will see after we talk to the neighbors.

Back of shed area - finished the run of fence with reclaimed redwood. ;) Thanks Dad!
Yes the style on the fence sections are different.  Number 1, we are not done and number 2 if you could see behind me in this photo along the length of the fence of the yard there are 3 different back yards that run along our yard and each has a different style of fence... the only thing similar is the old rustic Northern California coast faded wood look so... it is a mishmash and we are totally ok with it for now. Besides we are pinching pennies to have a stove and a real refrigerator when we get to those rooms.  Right now I cook on a combination of a hot plate, an electric skillet, maybe a crockpot (if I use a shim), and for a fridge we use the California Cooler and a small dorm sized refrigerator. I would rather have a kitchen than a perfectly matched backyard fence.

Ok back inside...  much to our happiness we found that the entire length of the house has Douglas Fir floors which we plan to strip and refinish.  It will be just beautiful.

"Dining room" area looking back towards bedroom... all fir floors.
The bummer about the floors?  Well, first the Douglas fir floors were painted 2-3 times... in some of the rooms it was painted just where a room carpet wasn't.  It is like if you walked in and lifted a corner of the throw rug type carpet you would see the old paint job underneath framed by the new paint job.  When someone got tired of the paint, in some of the rooms they added linoleum. Not 1 or 2 layers of linoleum... but 5 layers!   In the bedroom at some point 2 layers of carpet was laid on top of that.  This has been a job that is taking a little bit of time.  But it will be worth it in the end.  If we don't hack it to pieces trying to get the linoleum tar glue off first. 

What you see in that picture is what was under the carpet and one layer of tile looking linoleum.  Then there is the parquet look, then a carpet looking linoleum (?) and then a layer of what we assume was white glue stuff, and then that weird grey spilled paint  linoleum and finally a dark red linoleum.  The real problem comes under that red linoleum.  It was backed and stuck down with what looks like a tar type adhesive.  Thick, black, gooey.  We have a couple of corners where it seems it was going to take forever to chip off. 

But there is hope thanks to the internet... I got a big tip from a blog called 1912 Bungalow for linoleum adhesive removal.  A high tech thing called "hot water".  I gave it a try a little this afternoon and it seems to be working ok... the real test will be the larger patch in the southwest corner.  I will let you all know how it works. 

In between floor scraping, we moved on to a bigger job...  sheetrock... drywall.. whatever you want to call it.  First I would like to call attention to something important with this little house.  The entire house is redwood.  Trim, boards, blocking, sill plates, beadboard,  ceiling boards, exterior panels, window trim, even a couple of cabinet doors... everything.  Just about the only thing not redwood is the Douglas fir floors.  At first we were aghast at the thought of covering it.  But there is nothing else to do... it is dark, it is rough cut, it has a lot of nails in it where they tacked down the original fabric backed wallpaper stuff.   When this house was built the area was thick with redwoods and they used it for everything.  So after trying to come up with ideas to work it into our design idea and failing... we took a deep breath and just decided to move onward.  So first we pulled off a couple rows and stuffed insulation down and up in between the interior and exterior walls.  (There was no insulation before, no wonder we could hear the ocean!)  In the picture below if you look close you will see that the ceiling is the same redwood boards as you see on the walls. It is covered with a thick paper and we just sheetrocked right over it.

First sheet nailed in.
One thing that is nice about the construction of the walls and ceiling etc.  All those thick horizontally laid redwood boards acted as a bit of an insulator in the past but it also makes it unnecessary to be sure to find a stud to nail things in to...  you can stick a nail just about anywhere in the wall or ceiling and hit thick sturdy wood.  

At some point in the middle of all this, we got tired of looking at the old oil stove in the living room.  So David unhooked it and we drug it out to the front yard.  That alone gave us a bit more space in that area.  We plan to take out that center little wall-let (if not structural) and open that next wall you see in the 'dining room' area into the kitchen.  Yes... there will be a kitchen someday... open to the rest of that area with a counter island separating it from the front area you see in the picture below.

front room / dining room in progress of being opened up
Phew!   The jobs will get a little bigger as we go... next on the agenda is the bathroom.  Gotta put my nail pulling/designer/tiler hats on.  I'll leave the plumbing to David thank you very much... that and climbing around under the house with the spiders.  ::shudder:: 

Did I mention...   we are really glad to be here? 

Because if I didn't...  we really really are...

1 comment:

  1. I love the house! So beautiful!



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