Monday, December 26, 2011


I'm going to do two separate posts to catch upon on the past couple of months for our family. The first will be our remodeling project and the other will be family happenings.

A little explanation on our remodeling. I took a couple of weeks of vacation time this past fall in order to work on the house. We had decided not to go anywhere, but to spend our time doing some much needed work to the house.

I spent the first week working in the garage on some of the things that I had never finished when I built the garage last fall. I still haven't finished everything, but did make some good headway. I also needed to organize my tools; I had spent the last several months of last year and the first few of this year building the garage and then had spent most of this year working on the church addition. So, I had tools scattered at the church, in my house, in my garage, in my shed, and in my van.

I hung some shelves in the back of the garage just for storage.

I also moved my work bench from the shed and mounted it in the garage. Carol's aunt and uncle had given me a large cabinet and counter top on which I put casters for a rolling work bench.

Here, I had not put in a big enough entry into the attic, so I reinforced the truss and then moved the header back so that we can go up and down without hitting our heads. (The original opening was only a little over 4 feet high; it is now well over 6 and 1/2. Josiah asked me why I was moving the header; I told him it was so that we didn't hit our head any more. He replied, "I don't hit my head on it!)

For the first year in the garage, I had just had the kids carry stuff up into the attic for storage. It is amazing how a big storage area begins to look small when it is disorganized. I spent one afternoon just organizing everything that we had been putting in the garage attic for the last year.

I also worked on getting more of the electrical wiring done in the garage. While doing some of the wiring, I came across a spider that had just caught an insect in its web and he was wrapping it up very quickly. I took a video of it for education (and entertainment) purposes for the kids. It isn't often that one comes across the activities of nature like this.

The second week, I remodeled the living room. I first tore out the wall separating the little front room and the living room to enlarge the living area. The next step was to tear out the carpet (we just couldn't get it clean any more) and linoleum that had been in those two areas. After that I put in a picture window to replace the small window that had been in the front room. Finally, I put in new laminate wood flooring in the living room. By taking out the smaller room, I lengthened the living room from 16 to 21 feet.

Here is the "before" picture (I had already taken out the book shelves that had been on the wall and all of the furniture).

The video is of me tearing out the wall the next day. It scares me that our kids love destruction! (Listen to the excitement as the wall comes down.)

The next photos are just showing a progression.

Here we are putting in the picture window.

Ken Massey stopped by just in time (providentially) to help me install the new window. It is 64X53 and I would have tried to put it in with Joel's help - but who knows what the result would have been . . . ?

I replaced the window and got all the siding back on in one LONG day.

This is a short while later (several days) once the new sheetrock was in and the living room was painted - still hadn't put in the new floor.

Finally getting to the floor. Laura stayed up late with me one night (it was a Tuesday so her day to do some special things); she though it was neat to get a "ground level" picture.

Here are several of the finished floor. I know you can see light under the front door; no new threshold yet.

Now, life with a living room is getting back to normal. The furniture and pictures (as well as toys) are back in place and Carol has her piano back in the house after having it sit in the garage for a couple of weeks!

In other news, I have the fixtures and and supplies to put the bathroom back in upstairs; now just need the time to do it. Also, we have a dishwasher ready to be installed in the kitchen and a few plans in mind for making some cabinet and shelving changes. In a family of 9, a second bathroom and a dishwasher (mechanical, not human) will be more than a relief.

Well, that is all for tonight! I'll do another post with "family happenings" tomorrow.

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