February 1, 2015 – Winter Arrives

Well, it first started out to be a 3-5 inch snowfall, then less than one inch, then back to 3-5, and when it finally arrived, 12-14 inches of snow.

The house nestled in the new fallen snow.

Along with the fresh snow, the moon was full, making for brilliant light-filled nights. Can you find the cat in this photo?

The cat abides, and follows me in the night, hoping for a treat.

Finally one more shot in the moonlight.

October 13, 2013 – The Deck/Pergola Addition

It was time to rip the 30-yr old entry deck off the front of the house. In addition to its age, it was too small to allow comfortable seating and entry into the house. Sooooo… the newest addition to the house – a deck/pergola combination.
I didn’t want to make a normal suburban deck on the house. Why be normal?

I wanted to tie in both the farm and the prairie style, mission-lite features inside of the house into the deck.

Cattle panel railings tie in the farm with a few cross-bars cut out for some additional creative style.

The ceiling of the pergola was a labor of love – ripping cedar deck boards into one inch strips and then staining all four sides.
Leaving the house, here’s the view from the front door. It’s nice to leave the house in stockings and take a seat outside. All this work has taken up all the recent weekends, thus the dearth of postings lately.

July 5, 2013 – Martin’s “New” Room

With Emma gone out of the house, it’s time for some re-arranging. First order of business is to update Martin’s room from the baby blue he’s lived with for 12 years.

The room while getting prepped.

We decided to go for the two-tone look and add a chair rail for a bit more visual interest.

The freshly painted room. The bottom color is green giggle and the top is orange bouquet. Now, he gets to move in his sister’s bunk bed and have a room suitable for a12-yr old!

December 7, 2012 – Siding All On!

The last big project (let’s hope) on resurrecting a 90-year old farmhouse is now complete the addition of new siding.

It will be nice to have it all wrapped up for winter in a bright cheery yellow.  Next up a new front porch/deck.

September 10, 2012 – Another House Project Commences

The 90 year-old cedar siding has met its lifespan.  The east side was resided when we tore off the garage, the new soffits were put on when we redid the roof, so the siding is all that’s left for the outside. I hate it when new siding is just put over the old, sinking the windows into the house.  This also gives me a chance to insulate in the gap where the old ropes and weights from the previous generation double-hung windows reside, tightening up the house even more.

The cedar siding is all tucked in the trailer, ready for a trip to the landfill (I chose not to burn it, fearing the release of lead into the soil and air).  My legs feel the results of up and down the ladders over a couple of days this weekend.  Early in the week, the contractor will put up the Ty-Vek.  Only two more sides to rip off.


July 16, 2012 – Another Room Remodel Almost Complete

The remodel of the back room is looking a bit more complete.

Here’s the remodeled view of the south wall.

Here’s what it looked like before we started.

All of the wood was reclaimed from old farm buildings – on this farm and the neighboring farm that was recently torn down and burned. It takes a bit of work to plane the boards to get rid of the old grey weathered rind, but the wood itself is gorgeous and I left it imperfect on purpose for a bit of a rustic look.

Here’s the new coat closet.

The old closet had the irritating sliding doors that detached from the runners about every other time they were opened. I like the open design better as you can see everything at a glance and grab or hang up a coat quicker. I even built a box in the back to store out of season footwear to keep it out of sight and baskets for hats, mittens, and the like.

The room was pretty much a do-over – when we tore off the paneling there were old covered up windows, old doorframes, some plaster walls, the ceilings were partially beadboard, partially nothing. New wiring, new insulation, new windows, new ceiling and walls. I’ve yet to decide what to do with the wall adjoining the kitchen. Most likely I’ll put in shelving for kitchen overflow and canning jars and storage, made of the same reclaimed wood.

May 23, 2012 – Home Improvement

Sometimes you have to live with bad decisions made by those before you. I’m trying to rectify some mistakes by the previous owner without wholesale structural changes that wouldn’t be worth the space gained. The original foursquare house has been added onto a number of times.

To the left is a mud room add-on. To the right of the door is a single-story add-on bedroom. There used to be a garage attached to the mud room.

The best thing I ever did was tear off the attached garage. It was an attachment on an attachment and most irritatingly, it was built below grade, so every time it rained, the side of the garage attached to the house filled with water. An unforeseen bonus is the nice patio space that remains, shaded in the evening.

The siding on this side of the house was new last year after tearing off the garage, a new wall needed to be built, so it was a good time to reside the whole side of the house. However, there is this rather crappy space between the two additions leading to the basement stairs.

It gets muddy in the rain, I’ve put some random stepping blocks in to keep the mud outside. The garbage cans blow away in a strong wind, and it isn’t very attractive when sitting on the patio. A few days ago, I started building a small deck and fence to contain and conceal the garbage cans

I’m very happy with the results!

October 18, 2011 – Fall Color

Here’s the little tree we planted in the front yard – growing up quite nicely.

We planted an ash, maple, and oak along the north side of the driveway many years ago to grow up to replace the old spruce, and two maples.  With age and all the wind of late, the spruce tree blew down this summer, and one maple is down to about 25% of its original branches from storm damage.  So, it looks like these trees might add some meaningful shade on the south side of the house by the time the other trees are gone.

one year ago…”Mini-van Driver No More”

October 4, 2011 – It Always Takes Longer

I’m redoing the back room of the house (yeah, the last room to redo on the first three floors of the house!).  I’ve got the old stuff ripped out, insulation in, walls drywalled and about 3/4 finished.

These are some of the wainscoat boards drying in the garage.  The extremely warm October days have been great for this kind of work.  Once this stage is done, I think the rest might take as long as I’m planning all kinds of built-ins in the room.

one year ago…”Linda in the Flower Garden”

June 13, 2011 – Back Room

It’s time to remodel the final unremodeled room in the house – the back entry way.  When we moved in, it was a laundry room, we turned it into an office of sort and just did some painting to spiff it up.

Here, I’m debating more about pounding out the plaster ceiling.  Part of the room had a plaster ceiling, part had a beadboard ceiling, and nowhere was there insulation to be found in the original part of the house.

one year ago…”Dominoes”

August 24, 2010 – East Side of House Done (well, almost)

The late summer project to remove the old garage and reside and reroof the east side of the house is complete, except for some door frame painting, caulking, screen door and window screen installation.

We’ll get around to the rest of the hose at a later date. An added bonus is the new patio where the garage used to be. We still have another garage and shed for the cars, so the patio seems like a good idea!

one year ago…”Worst of the North Side Barn Staining”

August 8, 2010 – House Progress

Slow but steady progress is being made on the cascading garage tear-off project. It has spread to putting new siding on the entire east side and both the additions to the original house.

Although with dew points in the 70’s and even in the 80’s some days, and rain every other day or so leaves much to complain about, slow but steady progress is being made.  Today I ripped off the old siding off the second floor and removed the old storm windows and frames.

one year ago…”Hazelnuts”

June 27, 2010 – Garage Progress

The garage tearing down continues. It’s been a pain through the rain – another downpour in the middle of the night.

Here’s how the garage looked late last night – down to pretty much a skeleton.

There was great progress this afternoon – the rest of the sheeting off the roof, the rafters removed and the front and backs felled with the push of a hand after a couple of strategic cuts!  It was satisfying to watch them fall en masse.

It’s starting to look pretty wide open as only the walls remain

one year ago…”20th Anniversary Trip to Dayton House in Worthington, MN”

June 22, 2010 – Father’s Day

For father’s day, everybody helped with garage deconstruction for a few hours.  Although it’s not a traditional gift, it beats sweaters, socks, or a tie!

Great progress was made – the trailer was filled with shingles -we almost got the whole roof stripped and started ripping off the siding as well.  Soon the eyesore will be gone.  Another day with rain – hard to keep berries and the like from molding.

one year ago…”Septic Day 1″

June 14, 2010 – Putting Martin to Work

Martin put in about three hours working pretty consistently tearing shingles off the roof.  It was about as long and hard as he’s worked on a project with me.

He was a bit fascinated with the pattern and arrangement of the shingles. Unfortunately, there are two layers – I had hoped for just one.

It’s been hard to get much done lately.  It’s been an exceptionally rainy June to date – it’s rained 12 of the 14 days this month – and many of those heavy thunderstorms. The garden is really starting to get out of hand with weeds.

one year ago…”EZ Barn Door”

June 12, 2010 – How Do I Hate Thee…

I have detested the attached garage to the house since the day we moved in. The garage suffers many ills, none of its own making, but rather in those that imagined and  constructed her.

The garage is the 3rd addition onto the traditional foursquare farmhouse – The first addition was a mudroom and back bedroom – not in a contiguous line mind you, but adding a “U” shape and dead space in the center of the U.  For this addition, the previous owners chose steel siding with large vertical lines, to no doubt set it apart from the traditional 3 inch lap siding that it juts up against.  The garage, added onto this addition, made yet another statement when the wide masonite siding to offer another view. So in 15 feet or so, there are three vastly different looks.

The garage leaked soon after we moved in – but the problem that makes the garage salvageable is the fact that the floor is below grade and every time it rains, it fills with water.  So, rather than re-roof, reside, putting a new door and window on, I decided it is time to tear off the garage and start from scratch some day.  So the demolition begins!

one year ago…”Strawberry Season”

May 17, 2010 – Garage as Test Case

We’re moving the color scheme of the house from white and green to butter yellow and green.  We’ve already put the new siding up of the dormers when we did the 3rd floor of the house and used the leftover siding for the peaks of the garage.  I hadn’t come around to painting the rest of the garage the same color yet.

In this photo, the first coat is about 80% complete.  I did manage to finish this side and prime another side today.

one year ago…no post

April 11, 2010 – New Front Door

I’ve given up on the fancy weathertight storm doors. It seems like no matter what, the doors last less than two years before the wind destroys them. I even made sure to get one with two pneumatic closers the last time, but it seems once the wind catches them from a certain direction, the closed glass fosters an uncontrolled opening that rips the hinges off and/or rips the closers out of the frame.

So I thought I’d try something a bit more charming and lo-tech – this screen door. My hope is the lack of glass will prevent the wild backswing that wrecked the other doors.  To top it off, it looks like it fits the house!

one year ago…”Serious Garden Progress”

March 5, 2010 – Basement Woes Over?

After what seemed like a long time doing the kitchen dishes in a tub and not using the dishwasher, the basement plumbing is finally fixed.

This is during the throes of the replumbing.  This hole will contain a sump pit and that will service the floor drains and will also accommodate part of the moving of the kitchen and dishwasher to the main septic line.  We could have tried to do it cheaper and easier, but it would have meant putting the floor drains in the septic – and in the case of water in the basement, the septic drain field would be saturated, and running groundwater into it, would cause that to fail as well – so we bit the bullet and fixed both problems at once.

The hole cleaned up well – now we just have to wait for the cement to dry and see how we can rearrange the basement as there is no longer room for the chest freezer against this wall.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #156″

February 21, 2010 – Old House Problems

When you live in an older house, you enter in an unspoken agreement to trade old-time charm for sometimes strange features. We thought after 13 years of remodeling, we’d start to run out of surprises. We’ve replaced all the electrical wires and circuits, all the plumbing, new roof, new windows, and so on. Last spring, it was a new septic system to top it off.

So when “water” started backing up in the basement, it took me off guard. I then remembered the septic installer tell us that if we ever had problems, new systems require a filter at the outflow of the tank before it hits the drain field, and that sometimes it clogs and needs to be cleaned out. Alert to this possibility, I put a solar-powered driveway marker at the site of the lids for the septic last fall before the now flew.

So, when the “water” came up, I trudged out to the pasture to the tanks to see if the filter was clogged, grateful for the driveway marker out in the field of white snow, guiding me to the right place. After digging through the snow,I found the lid with my faithful helper Martin holding the flashlight in the darkness to guide me, we were able to get the lid off. About this time, the septic installer came to take a look as well, and we found everything was working as it should in the tank.

I’ll shorten the story here and get to the problem. Turns out that our main house drain and basement floor drains and kitchen plumbing are not connected to the septic. Evidently, when they built the house, the floor drains and kitchen were a greywater discharge and years later when they installed bathrooms, those went into a different system. So, when we installed the new system, the greywater drains must leave at a different place than the other newer system, so the upshot is we probably need to jackhammer up the basement and see if we can tie the floor drains to the septic lines, but will most likely need to install some kind of pump to lift the floor drain water to the new septic lines. An estimator is supposed to come out and look early next week. For now, our bathrooms and washer lines work, but we are washing dishes by hand in a vat in the sink.

one year ago…”Late February Snowbanks”

December 26, 2009 – New Kitchen Floor

A while back, I bought some new laminate flooring for the kitchen and today was the day to rip out the old floor and put the new one in.

Here’s what the old cork flooring looked like – it just didn’t hold up, scratched, gouged and discolored.  It’s the only house remodeling regret/failure that we experienced.

Don’t tell anyone, but I barely had enough to finish – I was about 3 inches short of completing the the job, but just put the last piece on the fridge wheel track.  It only took about 7 hours to rip out the old, install the new, and reinstall the trim, which seemed to take longer than putting the floor in.

The new kitchen floor – now clean and shiny for a while!

one year ago…”Day After Christmas on the Beach”

June 22, 2009 – Septic Day 1

OK, so this isn’t the most compelling post from high hopes – there’s no luscious fruit, no animals, just a hole in the ground.  Since it is impossible for me to avoid the giant gashes in the earth and piles of soil, I feel the need to share it!

The old septic tank was only 500 gallons and was a few feet from the house – here’s the hole after digging it out and filling in the hole where the old tank was.  The tank was deep as the basement has floor drains and the top of the tank was below the floor drains, thus a really big hole.

To avoid a mechanical pumping system that would be problematic to use in power outages and to avoid more mechanical things that could go wrong, to get enough grade, the new tank, approx three times bigger than the old one, needed to be a ways from the house, thus the long trench.  This was about it for day 1 – it was one of those 96 degree muggy Midwestern days.

one year ago…”Skystream Data Logger”

May 31, 2009 – House Painting

One of the finished jobs this weekend was to scrape and paint the 2nd story of the east side of the house.

It’s nice to have this complete – for the house proper all that remains is the 2nd story west side and the whole house will have been painted in the last 6 months. Then it’s time to think about the attached garage.

one year ago…”Ames Under Water”

April 29, 2009 – Let the Outdoor Work Begin!

There are so many things to get done around the farm, that every few years it seems they catch up and overwhelm me so I hire out some jobs. The shingles on the south side of the detached garage where starting to curl up. Since I had a bunch of shingles left over from re-roofing the main house, it wasn’t that expensive to do.

I’ve always liked this little garage – the color and architecture remind me of an old frame forest service structure. The other little tasks were finishing the soffits on the first floor converted porch, taking and sealing the hole of an old toilet in the basement, and unplugging a basement floor drain. Now I feel much better and can keep moving forward on more projects and spring activities.

one year ago…”More Loader Benefits”

October 12, 2008 – House Painting

We had hoped to get new siding on the house relatively soon, but it is no longer in the budget, so the overdue house painting begins.  Keep your fingers crossed that it is the last time to paint the house.  It is much easier than the last time because there is new siding on the 3rd floor and new soffits on the main house.

In this photo the left side has the first coat while Emma works on scraping the the other side (and you can see she is doing a fine job!  Linda is painting the porch.  We probably won’t be able to get the whole house done before cold weather sets in, but we’ll at least try to get most of two sides done.

one year ago…”Mexico City”.

May 11, 2008 – Finished in 18 Months!

The attic remodel is now complete – it was a long, slow project, about as long as two pregnancies, but it is now nearly ready to accept furniture! We just have some touch-up painting, another coat of floor paint, and some insulating in the storage areas behind the bookshelves.

This is how it looked after we removed all the “storage” and took the chimney out. You may notice the place where the chimney went through the roof in the upper left and through the floor. It wasn’t the greatest time tearing it out and hauling the bricks down two flights of stairs, but it made a good family project.

Steven of Two Friends Farm was the brains behind the project – here I am testing the reinforced rafters that added strength and additional depth for insulation.

As the old layers of shingles are torn off the house, the opening for the south dormer is apparent.

Here’s the view of the same dormer after the window is in and the insulating starts.

Finally, the completed south dormer! The black floor grate was salvaged from the old house and covers the hole where the chimney was and is now a new heat run.

The existing west dormer in process…

The completed west dormer, taken a bit further back than the previous shot.

The view to the north, during the insulating phase. This was not a fun time as the distance between the rafters varied from 13 inches to 23 inches, with very few 16 inches, so standard insulation widths didn’t fit and each piece had to be custom measured and cut – not to overlook all the triangular pieces due to the three dormers and no flat ceiling anywhere.

The completed view to the north, the only side without a window. There’s great views and great cross-ventilation and wonderful light up on the third floor.

Finally, a look to the east. The railing around the staircase was original – everything else is new. It was a challenging project to trim, with all the weird angles and inherent unsquareness of the old house.

One of the features I like the best are the built-in bookshelves we added – three of them built into the storage space behind the walls in the east and west dormers. I was going to square off the tops, but decided to follow the roofline and I think the top shelf will be nice to accept both tall and shorter books without wasting a lot of space. We originally thought we’d send a daughter up there, but decided it has Mark and Linda’s bedroom written all over it!

one year ago…”Little Projects”

March 11, 2008 – Thermal Imaging

We recently had the local electric company come do some thermal imaging in our house. They bring an infrared camera that looks like a video camera that senses heat.

These photos show a corner of Martin’s room.  The visible photo is on the right and the infrared photo is on the left.  The blue is cold and orange is warmer.  When we moved in a decade or so ago and had blown-in insulation installed.  Over time, it settles, and this photo shows a great example of visualizing the settling of the insulation between the wall studs.  One of the next house projects is new siding and when we do that we can fix the insulation problem from the outside before putting the new siding up.

one year ago…”Smokin’ in Texas Again”

February 20, 2008 – Attic Progress

A bit of a milestone has passed in the attic.  All of the beadboard is up on the walls and most of the fixtures are up. We just have the trim, painting the floor, the built-in bookshelves and closet and storage doors to build/do.

This is the view to the south out the new dormer.  Although the attic update pictures are legion on this blog, here is the same view before dormer and here is the view of the roughed in the roughed in dormer.

one year ago…”A Dark Side of Rural America”

January 8, 2008 – Winter Chores

One of the winter chores is hauling buckets of corn from the wagons in the shed to the mud room.

I like to keep nine buckets full – this will last for 3-4 days, depending on the weather. You’ll notice a topping of oyster shell on the buckets – that’s to help reduce the “clinkers” on the stirrer in the firepot.

one year ago…

October 23, 2007 – Attic Update

From the project that never ends department, an update on the attic remodeling. The drywall on the ceiling is up! It’s now the home stretch. After it gets taped and sprayed, then we can paint it and start on putting the beadboard on the walls.

The view down the new big dormer to the south.

The view out one of the original small dormers to the west.

one year ago…

June 12, 2007 – Workin’ on the Farm

On Monday, it was a bit of rare day that all of us were home!  We set everyone out with a job. 

It’s Emma’s summer to learn to paint.  She wants to paint a side of the barn, so we are starting her out on an easier painting task, the north side of the hog barn, which doesn’t require much ladder work. Here, she is scraping off some of the old paint.  There’s really not much left and we sprayed it with water first to keep down the dust.

Claire is assuming more of the mowing duties on the farm.  While the regular mower is in for repair, she gets to use the old lawn tractor.

Linda gives me a boost in the attic, completing some of the insulation in the east dormer.

one year ago…

May 26, 2007 – Half-Rainy Day

This morning some more welcome rain came. OK, so not everyone welcomed it – a writer/photographer from a monthly magazine in Ames came out to interview and photograph Linda for an upcoming issue featuring “Green Women.” It wasn’t nice for outdoor photos to dodge the raindrops.

I’m still plugging away up the in the attic – by Wednesday the last of the wiring should be in and then the remaining 20% or so of insulating can be completed.

One of those projects we just haven’t had the activation energy to resume is completing the upstairs bathroom. All that remains is tiling around the tub, making an access panel to the plumbing behind the tub and some trim work. The bathroom was fully functional, so the rest of the tiling didn’t bubble up until today. We at least made a start, finished tiling the back and side walls. We went with the classic black and white tiles to complement the smaller black and white hexagonal floor tiles.

one year ago…

November 29, 2006 – Dormer Done Outside!

The handy man from Two Friends Farm finished up the outside of the dormer today. We still have the older, smaller dormers to side, but the big new one is done on the outside. I am a very happy boy that I will never have to crawl up there to paint again. I’m not happy about artificial siding, but I tried to pick the lesser or two evils.

We decided to go with a creamy yellow color and put shake shingles on the dormers and regular lap siding on the rest of the house when the time comes. We’re happy that with the color and look so far – it’s not in your face yellow, but has a pinch of flair.

one year ago… the computer was dead.

October 18, 2006 – Attic Update

It’s been mainly drizzly/rainy and cold the last few days, so working hours have been spent up in the attic – more insulating. Finally, all the storage area ceilings are finished and 75% of the wiring. So today it is time for a quick visual tour.

View to the south out the new dormer.

View to the north.

View to the west out the smallest dormer – thinking about a window seat or just a rocking chair in here – built in bookshelves on either side as well.

View to the east up the stairwell – nice light up the stairs now with the new window.

one year ago…

September 25, 2006 – Endless Attic Work

Today is the last day for a while that I will be home and the weather is supposed to be above 60. That means today’s priority is to work on applying polyurethane to trim and bookcase boards for the attic outside where the fumes are not a problem.

I like to do this outside, instead of applying it in a confined space and breathing all the fumes. The hay rack makes a nice platform to work from.

September 3, 2006 – A Room with a View

The big progress on the attic project this week was getting the windows in. Two of the three windows are now in and a dark, lightless space is now flooded with light.

This is the view east over the machine shed, corn crib, and chicken coop and pastures and beyond.

Here’s the view out the south window, looking southwest – most of this view is into the upper reaches of a large maple tree.

June 14, 2006 – Dry, Dry, Dry/Insulation

We are in the middle of a big dry spell. No significant rain for a few weeks – rare for us in early June. Lots of rain to the north, even 20 miles to the north got nearly two inches this weekend. Started watering the new trees and berries out of the storage tank that fill up from the barn roof.
We’ve been spending some time in the attic – starting on the insulation.

It’s slow, awkward work, especially in the corners.
We can start to visualize the room now. Here’s the inside of the biggest dormer.

June 5, 2006 – Bottle Lambs & Dormer In!

Today, our lamb supplier called to ask if we wanted a couple of bottle lambs. He is off to the World Cup in Germany and couldn’t care for them. It was an easy choice for us – we have the milk (from the goats), the time (plenty of kids) and the price was right (free).

Today was the day the dormer went in along with the re-roof on the southern side of the house. Some people have a reoccurring dream about falling or getting chased. Mine is having a house that leaks (badly) in the rain. I’ve had it about a half dozen times, including last night. I guess I was a bit anxious. So, when the hole is cut in the roof, it gets my attention.

Here the hole is cut and the rough framing is in. The big hole in the side will be all window.

Here’s the view after the shingles are ripped of, but before the old rafters are cut. It will be a nice green light through the window.

May 31, 2006 – Roofing Begins

Work on the reroof began in earnest today.

The scaffolding was set up yesterday. It’s amazing how quickly it goes up and how it fits so well. Today the west side was torn off (layers of asphalt and cedar shakes), new sheeting put down, and new shingles put up (along with old dormer stripped and readied for new siding and windows. I don’t want to go up to the third floor again.

The west side was completed in a day. Tomorrow, off to to the north.

March 8, 2006 – Attic Update

Attic progress is slow but steady. It seems to require an inordinate amount of time laying on the back close to where the roof meets the floor.

Disclosure: I have not spent the most time on the floor – Chief engineer Smith gets that honor.
The roof strengthening/adding space for insulation is almost done on one side. The non-amended part is where the new dormer will go up.

February 12, 2006 – Now that Was Easy!

The kitchen remodeling is almost complete, except for the cooktop backsplash and light over the sink. I was trying to figure out the best way to build a soffit or box over the sink (there was a box spanning between the cabinets before the remodel, and I was trying to envision how a new one would fit).

We bought a fixture that had a pivot that I was going to mount to the box. We thought it would be nice to have a fixture that could move. Once we got the fixture out of the package and I had cut the first piece of oak plywood, we decided it was too nice to hide and would add more “clutter” to the room, so we just mounted the light directly above the window. The light is on a swivel and one side is opaque white, the other clear and it spins around to let whatever side down you want – light comes out of both sides.

Much faster than cutting, staining, and triming out a bunch of wood and maintains the air of airiness.

January 10, 2006 – Attic Project

The add a dormer project in the attic is about to begin. Although these pictures are hard to see, they will be fun to look at “after.”
attic east

This is the look to the east – the stairs come up in front of the window and there is already a nice rail around the stairway.

attic south

This is the look to the south where the dormer will be built. The attic is a nice space and it is fun to imagine the placement of the room, storage, closets, and built-ins.

June 14, 2005 – Kitchen Floor

The kitchen is almost done – I’ve got the trim up and floor in. All that remains is the light/light panel above the kitchen sink.

Here’s a before and after:

We installed a cork floor in the kitchen, in part to have a warm and soft floor and one made of renewable materials. I am disappointed with the floor. I would not recommend the type of cork flooring I bought. It is warm and soft, but it is not very “tough.” I can gouge out a piece if I try hard enough with my fingernail. The floor has three layers – a cork underlayment – some other fiber middle and a top of cork with the top a thin layer of finish and color. It is the first experiment gone awry in the remodeling project so far. It is holding up well for the first month, but I am not confident of future hardiness.


April 27, 2005 – The “Upstairs Basement”

Shortly after Martin learned to talk, he referred to the attic as the “upstairs basement.” I thought that was a great way to describe what an attic is if you don’t know that word. It contains virtually the same stuff as the basement. I wonder if any grad students out there have done any studies on the likelihood of certain items being stored in the basement or attic.

At any rate, today was another lousy cold, windy day (but it would be a great day to have a windmill). Martin and I took a load of scrap metal to the landfill for recycling (old bent fence posts, old woven wire, pots, lamps, fence bracing). It’s always nice to get rid of that stuff and think you’re not on the slippery slope to junky farm.

As it looks like we may be re-roofing and adding a dormer to the attic, that means it is time to clean out the attic. It’s one of those tasks that you can work for three hours and an untrained eye would see virtually no difference. For all the attic voyuers, here’s a peak into ours.

attic 1

Martin was occupied playing with old toys and looking through old photo albums. There is one nice part about the existing attic – the old handrail around the stairway. It is nicely finished but the attic is not. Did they give up?
attic 1

I brought down all the framed photos we took off the walls in the main room before we remodeled last summer (It may be time to put them back up).