Posted 5 February 2017 at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)
We’re moving along slowly, but this has to be the most exciting bit of progress made so far. Remember how Matt the mason was cutting into our brick facade? It was to make way for this beautiful new window.
Let’s compare to the original, shall we? Here is a photo I took of the house just after we bought it. The kids’ bedroom window was high and horizontal—very characteristic of ranch houses. We knew we had to enlarge the window to comply with egress codes, but I didn’t want to stray too far from the 1950’s ranch aesthetic.
I did a ton of research. (I now know more about the architecture of ranch homes than I ever cared to know.) While it would have been more authentic to keep the window horizontal, it would have cost more money to make the window wider, since it would have required structural changes. So we could only enlarge downward.
Disappointed that we couldn’t keep the horizontal format, I went full steam ahead with an alternate detail that is characteristic of ranch houses—the casement window in the center with the horizontal grid lines on either side. It allowed me to keep some horizontal emphasis even though I couldn’t keep it all.
Then, Matt the mason used the original bricks to lay the sill.
Doesn’t it look great?
The window is from the Andersen 100 series in a color called Terratone. It complies with egress codes, adds more character, and looks smashing against the brick. This felt like a huge step forward in our renovation. Drywall next.
Posted 21 December 2016 at 8:38 PM | Comments (0)
It wasn’t easy to find a mason. With so few brick houses in this town, all we could find were masons who worked on chimneys. Even our contractor, with something like thirty years of local experience, didn’t know a mason.
Eventually we found one, and I think he is legitimate because the house is still standing. We affectionately call him Matt the mason. If the house collapses, I will call him Matt the marauder.
With that… our kids are ready for their egress window.
Posted 25 November 2016 at 9:43 PM | Comments (0)
Lights! We have lights! They weren’t installed per my instructions, so unfortunately they will have to be redone, but relatively speaking, it is not even a setback—it is actually the smallest problem we have had. So, celebrate with me. Lights! You can also see that the plywood walls are going back up. We are making progress.
In the next photo, you can see the water on the floor where our ceiling is leaking (the other leaks have been fixed, so these are new), and you can see the bathtub outline through the closet, where we continue to have a rat problem. Pest control comes on Tuesday. I am not an aggressive or violent person, but it would not disturb me if the rats perished.
Posted 12 November 2016 at 7:59 PM | Comments (0)
So many problems plaguing us this week. We pulled off the drywall in the kids’ closet and had a perfect view of the bathtub barrel through the wood frame. That “perfect view” was sullied by loads—LOADS—of rat droppings, all the way around the bathtub. Oh man, it was gross.
We also realized the roof had a leak, because after a heavy rainfall, the kids’ bedroom floor had a big puddle of water.
It was not our best week. I am tempted to tear this entire house down and start over, but that is not in our reach right now.
Going to wallow with a piece of cake.
Posted 5 November 2016 at 9:14 PM | Comments (0)
Whoops. I forgot to take a picture of the second bedroom before we started working on it, so I had to pull one off of a website.
We finally pulled down the cheap, wood paneling off the walls, which exposed the plywood underneath (this house is too old for sheetrock, apparently). Gone are the tiled ceilings, too, so we can’t get out of that now…
If you’re wondering what’s going on with the masking tape on the window, that’s me brainstorming a stylized, larger window, so that we’re up to code. Time will tell what ends up on that wall. Probably not jail bars, though. My husband said no.