Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Junkyard renovation

We have completed everything just in time for summer bar-b-que season! After over 15 years of neglect the yard looks great. All of the junk cars, construction debris, and invasive plants are their place a new patio, raised-bed garden, and rain garden. We also had a 10x10 storage shed constructed in the back of the lot. Hopefully, that will give us enough storage for all our outdoor toys. The sections of fencing are being built this week, don't worry we won't bore you with those pictures.

Can't wait for friends and family to join us for a cookout.

Just to refresh your memory, here is what the backyard looked like last June.......

June 2010...The rain garden on the left collects water from 3 downspouts and will be planted with native grasses and shrubs (once I find the right ones).

A view of the raised-bed garden and dwarf apple tree. We also planted blackberry and blueberry bushes.

A close-up of the shed. Painting is on my "honey-do" list (can't wait)

A view of the patio and gardens from the shed.

A close-up of the flagstone patio. Glad we did not tackle this one on our own....the contractors spent several days cutting the stone and laying the foundation!

A view of the perennial beds installed in the front yard.

A close-up of the shade tolerant bushes and flagstone walkway. We used columbines, dog-hobble, and several native ferns.

Black-eyed susans, echinacea, phlox, and heather bushes in the front beds. We also added a few different kitchen herbs (cilantro, rosemary, etc.).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Movin' on the west side

To a deluxe addition in the sky-hi.........OK enough of the Jefferson's theme song. On to some pictures of the finished product!

The crew had some last minute touch-ups this morning and we are moving in. After almost a year of actively rehabbing this house we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I'm even exciting to do laundry today. Stay tuned for pictures of the landscaping efforts which start next week. We will be installing a flagstone patio and a bunch of fruit trees in the backyard. The front yard will have an herb garden and tons of native perennials.....the final step in restoring an area that has been neglected for over a decade.

View of rear entry

View of the house looking east

Obligatory pet photo

Finished bedroom

Laundry room

Vanity and mirrors (Chinese craftsmanship at its finest)

Tiled shower and toilet nook

Walk-in Closet

View of bedroom looking towards driveway

Be sure to check out the old posts to see how far we've come!

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the home stretch....

The house has been a hive of activity over the past few weeks. Painters, electricians, name it. We have finally been blessed with good weather, which has also boosted productivity. Right now we are approximately 2 weeks away from completion.

Amazingly the paint colors we picked out matched perfectly with everything! We chose a sky blue/gray for the bedroom and an sandy orange for the bathroom (looks like the color of "push-up" ice cream treats). The tiles we picked out also came out great (see below). While neither of us are big fans of the exterior green, we decided to keep it for the time being, plus it would cost about $2,000 to repaint the whole house.

So what's left?.........Not much with the actual house. Final touches to the paint, trim, etc. will be made this week. After that, the floor guys will come into the stain everything.

Now the outside, that's a different story. Grading will be conducted in the backyard to prepare a 20'x15' space for a patio. Once the grading is done, I will be attempting to install a flagstone patio. I have to learn some type of home improvement skills out of this, right? Could be a disaster, I don't know. The grading contractor will also be reworking our driveway so we will have some extra off-street parking for visitors.

Bar-b-que season is upon us....hopefully we will be ready for it in a few weeks.

Bathroom paint and tiled shower.

View of shower tile accents.

View of vanity and tiled floor in bathroom.

Painted bedroom.

View from the foyer looking into the bedroom and laundry room.

Back porch.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Only about a month to go!!

The guys have been hard at work! We have a ton of new insulation in the walls (EcoBatt) and in the floors and attic (icynene). Needless to say, we should be kept warm! That is a LOT of icynene!

By the way, these three windows in a row are original to the house!

The drywall was mostly finished last week, and it will be sanded this week. Check it out...

This is the bedroom...

This is one view of the bathroom, looking into the closet.

Another view of the bathroom showing the shower.

The backdoor has been installed. You can see into the bedroom to the right.
Also, our rickety old basement stairs have been replaced now (after EcoBatt was added under them too), so now all of our steps are the same width AND are level. What a concept!

Our homework for this week is to finalize our paint color choices! Stay tuned for our next update...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sledding videos.....

Sledding after a recent 8" storm. Just down the street from our house at the Montford Community Center.

Good to go......

The interior framing work has been completed and everything passed inspection on Friday. Most of the remaining work will take place from the relentless snow and ice storms we've endured. El Nino is sticking it to us! The locals say this is the worst winter in 20 years (lucky us!). We've stayed roughly on budget so far, but did decide to upgrade the shower with some additional glass panels which should open the space up a bit.

Next week we'll be insulating and beginning sheetrock installation. We will also be meeting with a landscape architect to discuss the backyard layout. We are hoping to move towards a permaculture design that incorporates nice garden space, rain gardens, and a play area for mocha. We've got a blank slate right now (see below)......

View looking into the bathroom

German siding on the southside

View of backyard during one of our weekly snowstorms

We also had our storm windows installed last week. These were purchased from company called Allied Windows in Ohio that specializes in customized windows for historic homes. They all fit perfectly and have helped weatherize our house tremendously. The interior windows are especially slick...they incorporate magnetic strips to seal out the elements. Hopefully we'll avoid another $300 power bill next month.

Interior storms....almost invisible

Exterior storms on the front of the house.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Taking shape.....

The weather has continued to cooperate and tremendous progress has been made. The crew has completed construction of the roof, interior walls, and demolished old exterior walls of the house. All of the old windows were successfully saved and will be integrated into the new building...not that we wanted them, but this helped to pacify the Historic Resource Commission. They do look nice...and the sunsets over Mt. Pisgah are an added bonus! If only we could build an observation deck on top....

This a view of the back of the house. Three of the original windows were used here. The fourth will be used in the "mud room" area.

This is a view of the remodeled sun room that will now become a laundry room and walk in closet. The area adjacent to the casement windows will serve as the closet. The door leads into the existing middle bedroom.

This is a view from the new bedroom looking into the new bathroom. The shower walls have also been constructed. The windows were designed to allow natural light in while maintaining privacy.

As the framing is almost complete, we expect to have plumbing underway sometime next week. We'll be back at Lowe's picking out paint colors before we know it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back at it......

Happy new year to everyone! Hope you survived the holidays....we went straight from moving to Thanksgiving to Christmas in the blink of an eye. We also endured the worst cold snap Asheville has seen in many years. Good thing the storm windows are on the way....

While the cold/rainy weather definitely slowed construction on the addition, the crew has made amazing progress over the past 2 weeks. Similar to what we did in Wilmington, we are adding a master bedroom and bath to the back of the house. Construction will include a remodeling of the rear sun room, which will become a walk-in closet and laundry area. The rear porch will also be closed in to create a mudroom style rear entrance. This will take us up to about 1,500 sf total with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Hopefully, things will be wrapped up by early April and we'll hosting barbeques on the patio in May. Stayed tuned for more updates!

View of new addition from backyard.
View from the south (looking into the bedroom)

View from the north (looking into the bathroom)