Thursday, December 11, 2008

it's been a year of adventure- and lots of hard work!

Today marks a significant milestone in our family's life- it was a year ago today that we closed on this huge monstrosity wonderful diamond in the rough of an old house. we became the proud owners of a colonial farmhouse- over 200 years old, and the first framed house in Bradford County, PA. for the past year, we have spent all our time, energy and money fixing it up, believing that we had the gumption to bring it back close to its former glory. we've come a long way, but there is still a long, long way to go. we're still plugging along steadily, and more importantly, we're still speaking to each other!

it was a long journey to find this house, and you can read more about that in some of my first posts, if you're interested. the house was in very rough shape when we bought it, not even habitable. there was no kitchen, no heat, the bathroom was deplorable, (besides having had all the copper piping stripped!) the house was full of junk, and not to mention the outdated and unsafe wiring, in addition to the crumbling plaster. (and that's just all off the top of my head!)over hte next 5 months, we spent several days a week commuting up here to work on the most pressing projects, getting it ready for our eventual moving date. Dave and the 3 boys did the lions share of this stage of the work.
this is an upstairs bedroom, one of 4. the wall-to-wall carpeting has been stripped, leaving just the padding. also notice the panelling. it's 8' paneling, used on 10' walls. how tacky! but, the window wood work is gorgeous.

this is the front living room. filled with junk, and just the carpet padding.

this is one of the redeeming features of the house- one that made us actually consider buying it! the ellipse is between the upstairs hallway and sitting room, which is located between the 2 front bedrooms.

and here we have the kitchen- or the shocking lack of one! the dishwasher, linoleum and stove were gone, as well as the copper piping from under the sink.

this is a 30 cubic yard dumpster. we were surprised at how big it was, but ended up filling it with over 14 tons of debris, plus another dumpster with 8 tons!

one of the first orders of business was to clean out all the junk from the house and yard. we needed to do this so the boys could start ripping out all the plaster and lath.

here D and N have a good start on the plaster. first, they would knock off all the plaster, shovel it up and then start on the lath. it sounds so easy when i type it, but it was alot of work. and with a house that is almost 4000 square feet, that is alot of plaster and lath!

this is the front living room. big difference, big mess- on the way to being a big improvement!

all 3 boys worked together- and it was a cold and dirty job. with no heat in the house, it was either work hard, or freeze! we had a torpedo heater downstairs, and they would come and get warmed up periodically.
the dumpster is getting very full- but there is still a long way to go!

most of the plaster and lath is gone from downstairs, so now it's time to put it all back together. that involves new wiring, plumbing, heating, insulation and drywall. (interestingly, the bathroom was imediately to N's left- right where the front door was! dave immediately ripped that out, and you can see the new front door here.)
insulating the master bedroom.
somebody looks happy! forward progress- hanging drywall in the front living room.

that's it for the whirlwind tour- i could post a thousand pictures, and only tell half the story! it's been an adventure- and we're enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done! thanks for stopping by, and for following along while we undertake this renovation- we appreciate all the encouraging comments!


Octamom said...

Can't believe how much you all have accomplished in a year--it's amazing!!

Oh, and you'll love Scrapblog--it's just a ball--and there's no sheetrocking, scraping, taping, painting, or grout required!


Anonymous said...

wow, the captions do help a lot.

That second picture(of the bedroom) I swear could have been of our old house. We used to live up the road across from the library in Ulster. It was a huge old house, but it had some gorgeous woodwork too. It had the same color paneling and window trim as yours, but the paneling went all the way to the ceiling :)

When my mom and Dad bought their farm, they had to gut the whole house. A lot of work, but the end result was worth it, I'm sure yours will be too. :)


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