I'm trying something new here - an embedded 360-degree Photosynth of the lower level. Click the image below then drag your mouse around to tour the rooms. You can also go full screen by clicking the button on the image. Let me know how it works!
Friday was an exciting day at the house. Our vision for the staircase began...the old staircase was moved into the new position. It's a temporary fix since the new staircase will be slightly wider but it gives us an idea of what it'll look like. It looks AWESOME!
The renovation is more extensive than we'd originally imagined. As you can see from the photo of Ian's workshop, we went right down to the concrete walls. In the case of Kyle's room, we went right through the concrete!
After much discussion and several attempts to locate the sewer line from above ground, our excavation crew finally dug down and found it! The line was about 12 ft from our patio and over 5 ft away from the closest guess. The crew did an awesome job replacing the whole line and then restoring our retaining wall, flagstone path and flower beds. We think it looks better than before :)
Quick flashback to last year - things are starting to look a little different. The kitchen is still in a box, but not for long... the fireplace is gone, stairs will be moved soon too.
The weather was beautiful over the weekend - spring has definitely sprung. The garden is starting to bloom, check out the photo of our Magnolia tree. The 5 of us spent Easter Sunday doing some yard work; well 3 of us worked and 2 of us slept! Chloe did manage to do some homework after her nap but then it blew into the lake! A very nice man in a kayak retrieved it for her on his way past. Ian and Kyle relocated the grape arbor to get it out of the way of construction and Kyle and I trained the climbing roses to climb their arbor.
Construction continues - the central beam was removed and a temporary wall was installed to hold up the rest of the house. Demolition was also continuing on the fireplace, it was reduced to a small pile of rubble. The poor guy had to carry it all out by had, they filled up two 8 ton dumpsters with bricks and concrete!
It turns out that when a house is built by the owner (in the 1950's anyway) that you can be creative with your construction techniques. The front steps were solid concrete! And in the house, the upper floor support posts holding up the roof were just resting on the floor, there weren't any supports underneath on the lower floor bearing the weight! These all had to be added to bring the house up to code - see the huge beams in the pictures and the new support posts.
We also found the elusive sewer pipe - an excavation crew was out to relay the sewer line for the house, it was several feet away from where the city thought it was.
Work has finally begun inside the house! After taking turns camping out at the permit office, we finally got our building permit and the contractors moved in. It's only been two weeks but look at the destruction 2 men with jackhammers can do...
They started in the basement - first tearing down the walls, then tearing up some of the floor (5" of concrete!) to get ready to lay down the pipes for the kids' bathrooms.
While awaiting the permits, we got our own dumpsters and a honey bucket!
Back in January, we sold our 1941 stove and threw in the metal kitchen cupboards to a young guy restoring his 1930's farmhouse. Here is a glimpse of the removal...too bad the boys didn't enjoy themselves!
We applied for permits to fix two piles on our dock last August. One of the piles had sheared through and the other was barely hanging on. We were worried they would not survive the winter storms on Lake Washington. They did! Our permits were issued only 3 days before all work above the water must cease due to fish conservation regulations. Our dock repair crew were on-site the next day making the much needed repairs.
Our house was built in the 1950's and was still using oil for heat. Since we didn't like the smell of the oil furnace, we'd already decided to switch to natural gas. After getting several opinions, we decided to remove the oil tank from the property rather than have it decommissioned. It is common for these old tanks to leak and ours was no exception :(. After several loads of soil removal, we should be ready to fill in the hole and be on our way to more exciting projects - like building a fence to contain our cute, furry, friend Lucas.