Wednesday, November 25, 2015

fall improvements

        Summer is over officially,  but it is still hot here in Kansas.  Kids are back in school and we are still waiting for our siding/window project to start.  The official start date of September 15th got pushed back again to the first week of October.   

        In the meantime, there are small steps of improvement going on around the farm house.  The ceiling of the front porch has been torn down.

       Another project that Bill and my hubby tackled was building a temporary stairway down to the new basement.   To understand where these stairs were placed, I need to show you a picture of this wall.

        The red wall with the two doors will eventually be torn down and opened up for our new kitchen/dining room area.  The current kitchen area on the left side of this picture will be gutted, a new wall put up and this will become the laundry room. Currently there is no laundry room.  Also in this picture you see a wood burning stove surrounded by what looks like a white wooden cage.  To the right of this stove is an opening to the back door and also to the only bathroom in the house.  This whole section of the house - the kitchen, bathroom and two doors on the red wall which led to a utility room and a mudroom entrance on the side of the house - used to be a porch!  When the house was originally built, there was no kitchen (remember the summer kitchen just outside the back door) and no indoor bathroom.
         View of mudroom looking back into house.  Notice the siding on these walls.

       Here is a picture of the only bathroom in the house.  This area will eventually be where the new stairway to the basement will go.

       And just for a reminder, a picture of the summer kitchen that we demolished.  Makes me glad for indoor kitchens and air conditioning.

        Now it is time to show you our new fancy, dancy stairway down to the basement.  The mudroom above, that I just showed you, and the utility room, were used to house this temporary set of stairs.

Betcha can't wait to pin this beautiful set of stairs.  But they are sturdy and do the job for now.

        Also in September, Bill started ripping out the walls of what would become our master bathroom and closet.  Before we can tear out the old white bathroom (above) and move the stairs over to that area, we needed one working bathroom.  Once Bill gets the master bathroom done, we can start tearing out the old bathroom and work on moving the stairs.  Then the red wall can come down and work on the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and half bath can begin.  This house is like a domino.  We have to do it in a certain order to make it work.

      I'll leave you with  a new picture of our little buddy, Latte, now 7 months old and a saying that I saw at the kennel which I loved.



Thursday, November 19, 2015

front & back porch

        Patience is not my greatest strength, but waiting would become my new normal.  Every-thing took longer than I wanted and I had to learn to just take the next step whatever that was.  At this time, the next step was our porches

       Our friend, Bill, who was crazy enough to help us with this project,  started working on the front and back porches.  Because of the muddy mess in the yard he put down wooden walkways to both doors and built steps to the back door.

       And then we decided to really do it up right and ordered a truck load of stones to put down so feet and trucks wouldn't get stuck in the mud.  

        The front porch also received it's well designed pathway to the front door.  No need to worry about impressing the neighbors in our neck of the woods.

        Below is a picture of our old porch posts.  Not sure if you can tell, but those white post are just hanging in the air from the roof line. The additional wood posts leaning up against the porch roof are holding the roof up. 

        Here is a view of the new cedar porch posts Bill put in for us.  I have to admit that I got the idea from looking at the farm house pictures of Chip & Joanna Gaines house from HGTV's show "Fixer Upper".  I love Joanna's style of decorating and I have such a greater appreciation for all the hard work they do after trying to do just one fixer upper.  (I just wish I could get it all done in one hour like they do.)

        We opted to take out the white victorian looking beams since we would also be taking out the victorian siding in the peaks of the house.  We loved the look of the victorian siding, but found it was just too expensive for our budget to replace it and keep the same look. 

      A few other "minor" items that happened during the summer was moving the propane tank from the back of the house to off to the side closer to the road.  This would allow us to eventually extend the driveway to a new garage. 

          And most importantly our new HVAC system was installed so we finally had air conditioning in the house.  We could finally get out of the heat!

        This little cutie would give us air and heat for the main floor and basement.  The upstairs of the house has never had heat and there was no way to get it up there except to install mini-split units for each individual room, which will be done later. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

summer weather delays

     With the big hurdle of the house move over and a brand new basement, we were anxious to start the next phase of the farm house rehab - replacing the siding and most of the windows.  We signed a contract with a siding company in June and ordered all the necessary windows and thought we would be seeing this next step begin at least by the end of July.  But we were so wrong!

       Sometime the first week of July we got hit with huge amounts of rain and high winds.  The town just east of us suffered a lot of roof damage which put the company we hired to do our siding and installing our windows way behind schedule.  Fortunately, our farm house was not damaged.  On top of that, we still had some big openings in our basement which allowed the muddy clay soil to get into our basement.  We had two window well openings on the back side of our house with no windows in them yet, only plastic.

       We came to our house in 100 degree July weather and found a muddy, messy, yard and basement.  But.... all that being said, we still had FUN!

       It all started because we brought our 5 month old lab puppy with us.  He jumped out of our truck and began running all around the muddy yard and then laying down in the thick clay mud puddles.  At least he could get cool!

      Then the boys started discovering toads.... big and small.

       And there is always fun tractor work to do...

       We spent two Saturdays trying to clean up the mud in the basement.  It was so hot both times we could only work there a few hours before we wanted back in the air conditioning. (How did the early pioneers do it?)

       We finally got smart and boarded up the basement windows until we could get our new ones installed and hired a professional company to do the final clean up of our basement floor.  When they were done, it looked like new!
          We ended our Saturdays with showers for all (especially puppy) and sushi.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

my bee-loved

          As I write this post  I am sitting outside on my back patio enjoying a warm sunny afternoon.  Our wonderful weather will be over soon, so I am soaking up every ray I can.  But on this journey re-beautifying the old  " Noah Farm", we are still back in hot, sunny, and usually windy June in Kansas.
        Now that the foundation was taken care of, the next phase on this farm house was to take care of the outside by replacing the siding and most of the windows.    We found a company to do our siding work in June,  but didn't realize at the time it would be months before the siding company could actually start to work.   What we thought would be a month or two waiting on materials to come in, turned into four months due to several factors which I will write about later.

        In the meantime, life on the farm goes on. Here are a few pictures of my "bee-loved" hubby enjoying his hobby of bee keeping.

        My bee-loved started out with two hives at a friend's farm on the other side of town, but sadly neither hive survived.  Now that we had our own land, he was excited to try again.  My husband is ever the learner and has read at least six books on bee keeping and watched countless videos.    Even though he is allergic to bees, he has no fear of them.  I,  on the other hand, took these photos with my zoom lens.

     Although we started out with two hives, as of this publishing date, we only have one hive that survived, but  my husband says the one left looks very good and should make it through the winter.

         And just so you can see how our little pup has grown . . . from this bundle of cuteness to . . .

this big boy still trying to fit under the couch and getting stuck.  To hanging out taking a nap with big brother and learning how to swim at a friend's lake.

Latte (5 months old) with Jordan on July 4, 2015
He took to the water like a fish even though it was way over his head.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

second & final house move - part 2

      So here we go with the final stages of the house move.   Here's a few more shots of the house just inches from the foundation.
Front view
Just an inch or so away from foundation now.

       This  close up really shows you just how near the house is to resting on the foundation.  During this part, the guys moving the house invited my hubby underneath the house to watch them work.  He said it was freaky to hear them say "move the house a half inch to the northeast" and then listen to the house groan as it slowly moved.
       Below is a great picture of just how detailed the adjustment of the house was to the foundation.  
Just about an inch off here.

       And lastly, I couldn't end this post without a picture of the four great guys who did such an amazing job moving our house.  We would hire Unruh House Movers again in a second.  
James, Dwayne, Monroe and Shelby
Thanks, guys!