We have an old house. If you ask Mike how old it is, the born-on date gets earlier and earlier. Previous owners have liked it enough in the past but no one has loved it enough to get it to its full potential. Here’s a running record of the big and little things we’ve done since we made it part of the family.
It was huge, sat right at the corner of our driveway, and threatened parked cars and passersby with its rotted core. Even the arborist stopped to take pictures of the dangerous monstrosity during its euthanization.
It all started with trying to add more usable space on the second floor, which was originally not much more than a glorified attic. The previous owner had done an exceptional job creating a master suite but our growing family needed a little bit more than that. See more pics on our dormer project page.
We unfortunately don’t have any “before” pictures of the windows, but let me fill in the gap by describing them as the original windows on the house. I am usually all for historical preservation but I draw the line at inefficient and non-functioning windows. These double-hung windows, held in place by nails and wood shims so you could not safely open them or securely lock them, would rattle when our next-door neighbors slammed their door shut. If you have ever lived along the Front Range, then you know the winds hurtling over the Rockies are no joke. One of the previous owner had conceded to adding storm windows at some point, but it added little efficiency and decreased visibility and attractiveness. We decided to go with a company that specialized in replacing windows in old historic building and would keep to the same shape and design as our original windows. Now we can open any window in the house from either the top or the bottom, prevent vines from growing along the house and in through the window (true story), and not overhear our neighbors’ conversation as they walk out to their car. How novel!
The wiring in our house, with the exception of the recently renovated second floor, dated back to the 1940s. As in, why would a family need more than one outlet per room, grounding wires be damned? Since the 1940s, there were several amateur attempts to create more outlets, which resulted in some interesting, yet highly suspect, solutions.
Seeing as how we had become accustomed to having modern comforts upstairs, it was a no-brainer to apply modern solutions downstairs. Not only did we create safer electrical outlets where they already existed, but we added additional outlets where they should have already been, plus a few extra for our own convenience.
Once the old wiring sidling up door jambs were removed, we could no longer ignore the peeling lead-based paint, cracked ceilings, and dated color on the walls. Mike and I had just personally tackled painting the guest bedroom from its single-coat, dark-wash blue jean color and single-coat red trim (we think this was the man-cave) to a more serene, light blue-gray with white trim and were itching for more changes. However, we were not feeling up to the job of tackling the rest of the first-floor since it took us an inordinate amount of time to finish one room between the two of us and watching a very wiggly and restless baby, not to mention the professional work needed to properly get rid of the peeling paint and fill in the cracked plaster. We signed up for round three with the same contractors as the dormer project and the replacement windows and vowed to never paint another room ourselves again.
Dec 2011-Feb 2012
We have a master bedroom. We have an open kitchen. The south side of the house got a major facelift.
But yet, we are still not finished!