I know you don’t really want to read about the remodel, you want to see pictures. I will come back to add pictures to this post when I get around to downloading them from our camera. You will just have to wait.
Significant progress this week is the installation of the new steel beam to replace the old header that essentially divided our living room into two spaces. It will be a huge space, and we will use it as two spaces eventually (an area by the front window with a couple of chairs and a table between them, will become somewhat of a “sitting room”), but it is nice to have the freedom to decide furniture placement not based on some arbitrary header beam on the ceiling.
In case you've forgotten, here is the beam before:
The dreadful entry way tile has been almost completely removed to make way for the new hardwood flooring that will be installed. Electrical rough ins are almost complete, as are plumbing rough ins, and HVAC rough ins. A few more city inspections need to be completed, but then they can begin adding new drywall. Perhaps by the end of next week we will see walls and ceilings starting to take shape?
On the disturbing end of things, we now have a portable toilet in our driveway. There is some plumbing issue with our brand new basement toilet (T had lots of fun cleaning out all that backed up into our brand new shower down there), that is supposedly being taken care of today. The portable toilet was mostly a response to that event, and frankly wasn’t the most welcome sight when I drove up to our house last night. Oh well. I’ll admit I wasn’t crazy about all of the workers using our bathrooms, but much prefer it to having a Biffy in our driveway!
So how are we coping with all of the chaos in our house? We are doing okay. We are using the wet bar, that isn’t very wet, as our temporary kitchen (the plumbers are supposed to give us a quote for hooking up actual plumbing to this sink…right now it has refrigerator tubing, and the flow is about one drop per minute). We have the old pantry cabinet in the basement so most of our food is stored there, and the refrigerator was moved to the basement to make things livable for us. We have the microwave, and the toaster oven, and of course the gas grill outside. Thankfully we purchased the grill with a side burner last summer because it definitely comes in handy for boiling pasta – a staple for our kids’ limited palates. We’ve altered our dinner menu choices to reflect the absence of a range, but have found that the toaster oven does quite well with small portions of frozen fries or chicken nuggets. I get a little grumpy about having to walk any dishes over to the utility room to wash them in the utility sink, but aside from that it works (as does using mostly paper plates/bowls/cups).
There are some minor annoyances that come with the territory, things like having the basement disturbed because plumbing, HVAC, or electrical needs to be run in the basement ceiling. There is also having the plumbing main shut off during the day which means when we turn on faucets they all sputter as the air escapes, and my stupid alarm clock that is always blinking when I go to bed at night because a circuit breaker was switched off.
See how nice and open our entry way is now?
Still it isn’t all bad. Living in the basement has given me a new appreciation for just how nice our back yard is. It isn’t a big back yard, but there is plenty of space for the kids to run and play. We’ve been outside a lot more than normal. It is hard to say if that is because we simply look outside the sliding glass door and see the deck/yard, because it has been so warm lately, or because the kids are finally old enough to request er demand to go outside. I’ve also been trying to keep up with the weeding for the first time since we moved in more than two years ago, which I’m sure pleases our neighbors. Of course now I’ve begun dreaming of removing all of the old rotting railroad ties that form our landscaping, and remember that we can’t spend money on landscaping this year. Anyway, a huge benefit this year is that there is absolutely no guilt on my part for ordering The Girl’s birthday cake, and ordering all of the food for her birthday party that will take place this weekend. I have an excuse not to cook this year (not that I would have made the cake anyway, but I’m rationalizing here).
Some backyard fun:
The Boy mowing (that is a bubble mower he's not even four!) - just a glimpse but you can see how nice our neighbors lawn is, in comparison to ours
The Girl just being cute:
And some swinging on Mother's Day - not our backyard!