Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ahhh! There's So Much to Catch Up On!

A closet is done. I know, lame. Not the closet, but that after more than a month all I have to show is a closet. But it's a nice closet. Our new walk-in super organized closet. Did I mention my husband made me this closet as a surprise? And it came out great!

But alas, there is much more going on in our house than just a bedroom closet. And I have lots of photos. But the problem is that my silly husband is a project jumper. So in just three weeks we're moving and there is nothing done yet! There's plenty of things that are almost done, or very close to be done, but not all the way done. And I want to show you done!

Our playroom is actually complete and this week I'll take updated photos and post the before/after shots. So check back in a few days.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friendly Help Goes a Long Way!

Our good friends Devan and Scott from Indianapolis came out for a few days to help us build stuff (and stand around watching Dave build stuff). We also had Dave's dad, Paul, helping us too. Here are some fun photos from the weekend.

Devan using a nail gun for the first time to build the frame for the ceiling

Mateo and Grandpa riding the digger

Hmm...what to caption this. I don't even know. Serious sanding?

This is how a professional home renovator makes a sandwich

Scott holding up a wall. I'm sure he's glad he drove over 200 miles for this.

Notice how the 3 year old is doing more work than Scott

Okay, so I'm ragging on Scott. But really both of them were very helpful and we are so appreciative and lucky to have great friends that would drive all the way here just to give us a few days of help. Thanks guys!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Mudroom

Our first project is to create a mudroom. This was my very first request when looking at houses. Either an existing mudroom or space to make one. With two active outdoorsy kids and a dog (and a husband who is sometimes like a kid), there's mud and dirt and snow tracked through the house constantly. I can't stand it! So, a mudroom with a bench and a place for shoes was high on the list.

The way the house is now, the back door leads to a hallway with the old carriage house (going to be a playroom) on the right, and the rest of the house on the left. You can tell that it used to be two separate buildings that the church put a ceiling over and walled in. So, there's a perfect space to create a long hallway bordering the entry into the house and the playroom. Dave is going to build some little cubbies and everything!

Steps to creating mudroom:

- take down paneling and two walls to the playroom

- wall up high ceiling

- insulate

- drywall hallway where we took down paneling

- put down sub-flooring so floors in both rooms are level

- lay tile down (in fancy pattern!)

- paint hallway

- drywall beams bordering hallway and playroom

- build and paint cubbies

*My husband will correct me if I got any of this wrong, or if i missed something

- oh yeah! Install hallway light fixtures!

So, here are some before and during pictures. Can't wait till we have "after" pictures!


Narrow hallway between playroom and main house.


Knocked down walls to open up playroom and hallway

Ripped off house paneling

Replacing with drywall

Dave in lead paint get-up

Lower ceiling using drywall

We have our cool and awesome friends from Indianapolis driving all the way here to Connecticut today to help us with some projects in the house. Maybe after this weekend we'll have "after" pictures to show.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hayden House History

It's one thing to have an old house, it's another to have a "historic" old house. With this renovation, we're attempting to update the interior of the house to fit todays modern family, but are committed to keeping the look of this historic home. Dave has spent a few late nights already searching for pictures and historic articles about the property and it's former owners.
Here's some of the things that he's turned up:

  • The house was built sometime in the 1850's by a local thread mill manager - Whaling Hayden for his son James Hayden
  • In 1898, James Hayden died and all of his property and assets were willed to Willard Hayden who's family lived at the house until at least the start of the depression. In 1898, the property was valued at 20,000 dollars at the time (roughly half a million in today's dollar). Of course, back then the property included our neighbors house and everything that has since been turned into a park.
  • There's (so far) a gap in information from the start of the depression to the beginning of WW2.
  • August 6th, 1944 the first church service was held in the house (church) by the Christian Science Church.
Dave is still doing plenty of research, hoping to turn up some old photos. We'll post those when we find them.

In other news: The laundry room is almost complete (pictures to follow) and play room / mud room (carriage house) has been gutted and is being re-framed (before and after pictures to follow)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What is the Hayden House?

It's the house we just closed on located in CT. It was built in 1853 and known as the Hayden Estate. In the 1940's it was turned into a church of Science. They moved out, and now we're moving in! But first there's lots of work to do. Including:

- lead abatement
- replastering walls
- refinishing hardwood floors
- lots of painting!
- completely renovating the 2nd and 3rd floors
- knocking down walls (whoo-hoo!)
- building new walls
- ripping off wall paper
- creating a master bathroom from scratch
- restoring windows
- adding a fire place
- and lots more

....all while trying to maintain the character of the house.

And we're doing most of it ourselves (with family and friends). Here are some preliminary photos.

Did I mention it's over 4,000 square feet?