Another week down – I can’t believe it!
I feel like we didn’t spend as much time at the house last week as the week before. Which is probably a good thing. A little distance never hurt anyone. We spent 4 nights at VBS which was fun, but left us totally exhausted to even talk about the house much less visit very much.
Of course I say we weren’t there a lot, but Michael spent a good chunk of the weekend clearing more trees and brush. The yard keeps growing every time he spends a few hours there which is so exciting! One thing on our “must list” was a big front and back yard and we got ‘em both! 'm so eager for the day when I can just let our dogs out the back door and not have to worry about them bothering the neighbors or running into the street. And I seriously CAN NOT WAIT to have a space to entertain outdoors and to play! There are two amazing pergolas in the backyard that are in great shape once we pulled all the growth away. One has a swing that’s a little rickety and the other is just open space underneath. So pumped about that potential!
I always wanted a tree house growing up and so did Michael, so we’re considering one for Alice and Baby Sister. Of course now that I’m a paranoid mom, it will be approximately 6 inches off the ground…but that’s still cool, right? Also on the list is a garden. Our last home was in a neighborhood covered with trees (which we really did love) but didn’t bode so well for growing things sans sunlight. But we have proof in Mr. E’s leftover kale garden that it is possible!
We also have a pecan tree, walnut tree, fig tree, ornamental pear tree and a young paw-paw tree (hahaha!) in the backyard. I’ve only eaten a paw-paw once in my life from a roadside stand in Mexico, but we’re going to give that baby a chance. Any tips on maintenance of said paw-paw tree please throw them at us and we’ll bring you the first basket of fruit!
Also – all these decisions are getting serious. They really happen when you make them! We were at the house going over some plans for the kitchen and decided to open up all the doorways as high as they would go. While I was standing there they asked me a question about the door into the kitchen, I said, “I think we should go all the way to the ceiling?” and before I turned around they had the saw going full speed and that header was GONE! I’m not used to things happening quite that quickly so it was gratifying – and terrifying.
With both Michael and I working full-time, it’s hard to keep tabs on every decision and stay ahead of the curve. We talked this weekend about how a lot of people don’t accept responsibility for the construction timeline when they’re remodeling or building. A lot of delays last week were our fault because we simply didn’t have our minds made up – like about the exact fitting that would need to go with the clawfoot tub faucet or the size for the new window in the master bath. We're trying to preserve and add character to the house along the way and sometimes that’s sacrificed when you’re rushed with decisions.
So, we made a pact this weekend to do better at preempting those decisions so we can help the project along instead of hindering it and everything will turn out just like we are envisioning.
We drew out exactly how we want the back porch to look and function. Eventually we’d like to screen in the brick patio on the back of the house and have a wooden porch wrap around it for grilling, etc. But for now, we’re just adding a small part of the porch to the side of the patio so when you step out of the new door from the kitchen you don’t fall on the ground. They started on it today.
We also decided on what type of windows to put in the master bath and over the kitchen. The style of the house is very traditional, which I’ve already said is borderline our style. We lean more toward Old English Industrial Revolution instead of Southern 1970’s traditional and one of the ways we wanted to bring in more of that character was by having diamond-paned leaded glass in some key windows. Well, turns out, that’s hard to find. And pretty pricey when you do. So in discovery mode on my phone in the wee hours of Monday morning when I couldn’t sleep, I ran across regular wood-paned diamond windows which I think is a perfect blend of the old and new we are going for! As we say in the South, every once and a while a blind squirrel finds a nut.
The carpenters are sort of at a standstill because they’re waiting on the window replacements and the doors for the exterior and at the mercy of the electrician and the plumber on the interior. The plumber is close (especially now that we got him the part he needed for the tub!) and the electrician wired the master bath last week and is coming back next week to finish up.
Luckily, the house got a bath today and looks 1,000 times better so they can get back to working on some of the trim and the things that can be buttoned up on the exterior. I’ve learned lots can happen in just a few days’ time, so it could shape up to be a busy week ahead!
About the author:
Andrea is an Alabama girl with a love for travel, tea and books. She is mommy to daughters, Alice and Eleanor, and wife to Michael. Together they are tackling a fixer-upper to make it their home for years to come.