Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday's Stuff and Things

For today it's really just one stuff and thing... I have pictures! Keep in mind, we still have to trim everything out (it will all be solid redwood, to match the exposed beams) and touch up some spots on the walls.

My desk will go in the corner, straight ahead. It'll face the pitched ceiling (it's an A-frame house), but I'll have a view over the balcony into the living room below. You can see it's still unpainted drywall out past the balcony; it will be painted the same colors (the ceiling is a few shades lighter), so the brown flows consistently throughout the house.



And here's my reading space! (Incidentally, my chair has already been placed because the truth came out... misterwrites is not a fan and wanted it out of his sight...) I have an antique floor lamp I'll work in somewhere, and need to find an ottoman. I plan to run a short-in-height but long-in-length bookshelf along the balcony wall, which will keep all my beloved books and some decor.



I have to explain, it's not that I'm merely excited to have my own space, it's that we've waited for more than two years for our serious overhauls to come to fruition...


We bought this house in April '06. At that point, though the house was forty years old, it was in dire need of not only updates, but fundamental renovations. See, it was a kit house, built in the '60s as a vacation home here at the lake. The basic structure was put up, but without any insulation. And though many interior walls were constructed with solid redwood paneling (it was overkill, really), other walls were never finished - meaning that when we moved in there were exposed studs here and there. Permanent carpeting was never installed, rather, the previous owners had tossed several swatches of remnants throughout the house. All those were removed when we bought the house, and we've since lived with subfloor in much of the house.


Our renovations began with our daughters' shared room, because we knew we needed to get them into a place and routine of their own. We had to tear down the paneling, put in insulation and drywall (ceiling included), then paint and carpet. Here it is before...



Here it is after (though this pic is right at two years old)...



Next we tackled the basement, which was an unfinished space before. We decided we could finish that entire level, thus making it family space, an office, and a guest room - which hubby and I would sleep in as work was done on the main level and loft/master bedroom. Basement before...




Basement after, from different angle (it's been finished out even more since this pic was taken, like there's now a built-in bookshelf where you see the vacuum to the left, etc.)...




The loft with master bedroom and balcony was a space we've yet to occupy, save for storage. It was the same as the girls' room: paneled walls, no insulation, subfloor, and completely exposed to the very peak of the roof (above the cross beams). We've made massive improvements and are so close to moving in! Here it is before...




And now...




And you saw balcony pictures at the beginning of this post. It was a small, rickety, virtually unusable space before. We extended it by 4-feet (from one beam to the next), doubling the size, and reinforcing it in the meantime. Now it's usable space (yay!) that looks down into our new living room. It's going to be fabulous!

Our living room has undergone quite a transformation, too. Just as we extended the balcony by four feet, so we did with the entire front wall. The original was - this should come as no surprise - not insulated, very flexible, and had a bad door and windows. By shifting the wall further outside to the next beam, we created more living space, and were able to start over with a sound, efficient wall, and pick new windows and doors. Before, from the balcony...






And now... though we're not done entirely, our progress is a lot further along than this picture shows...



The bathrooms (3 total) are being completely gutted and reconfigured, as will the kitchen, which will be our very last project.

Wow, I'm exhausted just telling you about it all. (Changes to the OUTSIDE of the house will have to be another post, another time.) But it's been on my mind for awhile now, and I wanted to share our story.

We were blessed with this house. Around the time we decided to buy, we drove around this lake, looking for land to build on. This "For Sale Buy Owner," an obvious fixer-upper, appealed to us; we saw its amazing potential, loved its lay and land. We called the listed number... and of all things heard our pastor's wife's voice on the machine! We found out she was helping family friends with the sale of the house. Many blessings and months later, the house - an amazing bargain - became ours, and we've not looked back since. What a journey it's been.

Thanks for following along. It's been fun sharing the pictures and details. And here's to an almost done house!

32 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I loved the pictures!! I'm a wife of a carpenter and we have done so many projects together that I love to see before and after pics! Also--I am so jealous of your chair--wish I had it in my office! Why would hubby not live it????
Question--how do you get your pictures to line up so nicely with text?

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks, Terri! I like looking back to compare what it once was with how far we've come. And I don't know what hubby's deal is! But I guess that's okay... at least I won't have to share the chair!

The pictures (which I made the large size) worked better than I expected, especially because I uploaded so many of them. I didn't do anything to the format until they'd all been placed, then I went back and deleted all the extra spacing Blogger had added in the process of uploading. Tada!

Josh said...

boy he is doing agreat job, looking awesome!

Anonymous said...

Oh my Janna, I love all the pictures! I can't wait to see it in person! I am so proud of you guys for all of your hard work. I love the chair!

-Heather

Joanne said...

What a beautiful home. I love the architectural features of the A-Frame. Two questions: Did you keep any of the panelling, even as an accent? And does that gorgeous A-Frame/windows look out on the lake?

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks, Josh. I think so, too!

Heather, I can't wait to have you up!

Joanne - Yes, we put redwood wainscoting in the basement, and are using the removed panels to make the trim for the entire house, which will pull it all together. We thought about leaving one paneled wall in the kitchen, for character, but haven't decided for sure... No, we don't have an immediate view of the lake; this house is second tier, which means you have to cross the street and another lot to reach the water. But we DO own the lake lot directly across from us, which touches the water, and we hope to someday build on that land. Talk about an inspiring view, huh?

Jenna said...

Very nice!

I wish my hubby moved as fast as yours. We've been in our house 6 years and there is no where near the amount of work needed as yours and yet I still have mauve tile around my otherwise beautiful fireplace and many other little projects still undone :(.

I was wondering the same thing as Joanne...it would be beautiful and nostalgic to keep some of the redwood.

I bet you can't wait for the nook to be done :)!!!!

Janna Qualman said...

Now that I think about it, it may be called first tier; second is the next up.

Janna Qualman said...

Jenna, when just my husband was doing the work, things were so slow-going I thought I'd lose my hair. But then an acquaintance who does custom construction work was laid off at the same time we got an equity loan for further remodels... we put the two together, and NOW we have progress!

That mauve sounds awfully nice... ;)

WendyCinNYC said...

That looks great, Janna. Kudos to misterwrites!

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks, Wendy. :)

Turkey Lurkey said...

Amazing changes! I loved seeing the before and after pictures. It is neat to place your own stamp on a home. Some prefer new homes, but I like the character of old ones, even when it requires some elbow grease to get it shining again. I will probably post a couple of before and after pics of our renovation. But for now it is stalled until we get another bonus check! :) Enjoy you new space!!

thedomesticfringe said...

Sorry if this is my second comment, but I just got an error message...Anyway, I love your pictures. You're doing a beautiful job with your house. I especially liked the basement. It gives me hope for mine. I enjoy seeing other people's remodle projects...very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Can't wait till you have your office all moved in. That will so nice for you.

aaroncrocco said...

Those pictures are cool! Your house is turning out to be so nice looking. It's really interesting that it was the priest's wife who answered the phone when you called about it. Great job!

Janna Qualman said...

I think we're good, df, this is the only comment I got notification of. Sorry you had to re-type it! Thank you for the compliments, we've been very blessed of late, and I'm so thankful for where we are.

Aaron - Not a priest's wife (though I know what you mean) - I'm not sure that works so well. LOL! Thanks for the nice comment. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, your house is so beautiful! I'm with Turkey (surprise) I love older homes. New ones have their benefits but I love the character - I always looked for apartments that were in older buildings too.

The upstairs pictures remind me of Jenna's house. I don't know if you could tell from her pictures but the ceiling slants a bit in hers too (I can't remember if it's an A-Frame or not though), especially with the paneling.

I hope to someday be able to buy a fixer-upper so we can really make it our own. Ibis worked as a carpenter with a development company that makes million dollar homes, so he's got the skeelz. :)

LA said...

Wow, that's a lot of change and so beautifully done. Congrats on the deal of a fixer-uper and the success in making it feel like a home.

I love the built-in bookcases. They're one of my favorite architectural details.

Kasie West said...

I love renovations...that is I love to see other people do them. :) Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Rachel Burton said...

Wow you guys have done a ton! And it looks fabulous. I fantasize about having my own reading nook one day (or if I'm feeling greedy, a whole library!). Good luck with the rest!

Lisa E said...

Janna, thank you for sharing your story and pictures! The transformation is amazing. I feel like it should all be submited to a home remodeling magazine :) Your office space/reading nook is fantastic! (I think hubby might need some glasses...the chair is fabulous!:) I can't wait to see even more pictures with the remaining improvments. Your dream house is becoming reality! P.S. Kudo's to Mike and his construction friend; beautiful work!

Melanie Avila said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to say - WHY doesn't he like the chair? I'd probably have to go buy a second one if I ever wanted to sit in it.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Wow, what progress! We renovated our 50s cottage for almost 16 years (yes, 16) before the City widened the blvd. in the front yard and we had to move. Since the house was on piers, we moved it nearby for my sis-&-BIL. The memories, not all pleasant, that went into that phase of home ownership and marriage! But, if you can make it through major renovations without killing each other, you've got pretty good odds for the future. LOL.

Love ya nook!

Janna Qualman said...

Melanie - I agree, and we've definitely found character with this house. :) You'll be set then, with Ibis' skill set.

Oh! And Mike thinks the chair looks like it came from a 1970's dental office lobby. Pfft. That's part of its charm! ;)

la - Thank you! And I'm with you. Gotta have somewhere for all the fantastic books out there. ;)

Kasie - Thank you, and you're welcome! :D

Rachel - A full library sounds nice, doesn't it? How much time I'd spend in one of those...

Lisa, I'm so glad you came by! And you've seen the changes from the get-go. Can you believe how far it's come? ...We decided it's my chair for his ceiling fan. The one we put in our bedroom isn't my favorite, but he LOVES it. So we're even!

Angie, how true! It's a wonder I haven't gone crazy (though I've been pretty frustrated) with our living situation the last two years. I've heard that before; that couples who go through a remodel (or some such) together "stay together." And of course that's been our plan all along. ;) Oh, I bet your 50s cottage was gorgeous!

Janet said...

Wow. Got to admire anyone with the energy to do all that renovating. Looks great!

Janna Qualman said...

Janet - I have to admit, now that we're to my part (painting and all), I'm running out of steam. :) I don't have the stamina of these men who do all the hard work!

colbymarshall said...

Yay! Those are so good! I know you're thrilled to have your own cozy spot!

Janna Qualman said...

Right you are, Colby. I can almost taste it! Well, er, you know what I mean. ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I remember years ago when my grandparents were doing some remodeling and my gramma made an offhand comment to my mom that "that one almost caused a divorce." As a teenager I was SHOCKED that grandparents even considered those things, but the adage is true. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Funny that it left an impression on you. And I guess it makes me look that much more forward to finishing!

Hadley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen said...

Nice pictures, Janna! You can see how much love and work you and Misterwrites have put into the place.

I especially like the built-in bookcase in the girls' room. Makes me wish I had one for my grownup space!

Janna Qualman said...

Jen - It's one of my favorite features, too. Although now the girls are so over-loaded with books (can't.stop.buying.them), I wish we'd made it bigger! :)