The Forever Cottage: Demo and Where We Are Currently

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Today I thought I'd bring everything up to date on our progress with our new home. It seems crazy that we've already lived here for almost four months! But while it seems like it's been slow going, a lot has actually been accomplished. But, first we had to come across some major changes to the plans. So here are some progress pictures of what we've done so far.

Right off the bat after we moved onto the property, we started on demo. Things were going along pretty well, and most of the stuff we came across was pretty much expected. There was wood panelling in every room, and cardboard ceiling tiles, and it all had to come down. We found lots of bug nests in the walls and ceilings, which is what all of that grey dirt looking stuff is! We knew whole place needed re-wiring and new plumbing, and while trying to maybe salvage the kitchen, it became obvious pretty quickly that we would need to get all new cabinetry (which was fine by me!).

One fun thing we came across that we weren't expecting were the stacked 2x4 walls! I guess that's pretty common with older houses in timber products areas, because of all of the lumber mills. Mill workers could get free scraps and seconds, but they were so short that the only way to use them in building was to stack and nail them, one on top of the other! All in all, it wouldn't have been too bad to keep that, and we were planning on keeping some exposed as a statement wall.

We had the place pretty much completely gutted in a few weeks, and since so much of what we were tearing out was wood based products, we just chucked them out of the living room window and eventually got it all burned before fire season started in our area. The pile was huge! It was pretty validating to see that proof of what we were accomplishing.

Then we got to the foundation. Like I said in my last post, we knew it was bad. We just weren't sure how bad. When we figured it out, after the house was almost completely gutted, we knew it needed a new one. It became a matter of either jacking the house up and pouring a new foundation, or tearing the older, original half (built in the 40s) down and starting from scratch there.

What it came down to was the fact that besides the roof (which was still in great shape, and only about 10 years old), we were literally replacing everything of value in that part of the house. The stacked walls were ok, but they weren't really worth salvaging or trying to work around. So when it came down to it, we decided to tear the front down and start fresh, with a new foundation and traditionally framed walls.

So, down she came. My father-in-law is an excavator, and he brought his equipment over and went to work! There was a quick, scary moment when the house started twisting away, and almost hit our trailer! I was live streaming on instagram stories, so if you tuned in, you got to see us all collectively almost have a heart attack, haha.

But, my father-in-law's a pro and he got a hold of it at the last second, and it came down without any more drama :) It was a very exciting day, especially after weeks of slow going, then BOOM! Big progress!

The front came down about a month ago, and we just finished up our new foundation. Things seemed to drag on for a while waiting on our permits, but now we're finally on a roll. My parents were here a couple of weeks ago, and my dad helped cut down and remove a couple of trees that were planted awkwardly close to the house. And then we had both of our dads and a couple of friends come help pour our foundation footing. Then came the block (that my f-i-l also helped with), and it's slowly but surely been moving along.

The next step is framing and rough plumbing. It's just so exciting to be in the process of building it back up instead of tearing things apart! The updates will probably be a little slower coming at this point, because now we're caught up, but in the meantime I'll be sharing some inspiration and plans for the design that I've been coming up with over the last few months. My goal is to be better about sharing things during this renovation in real time than with our last one, haha!

Thanks for stopping by!

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