Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Progress Made, but Nothing 100% Complete

Tomorrow is 7 weeks since we closed on our new home. It's been 7 long weeks of dust, dirt, and hard work...

Unfortunately there really isn't anything we can say is 100% complete, but so much progress has been made.

The Living Room 

Nate and I hung the drywall. I am sure that Nate wished he had a helper other than me, but we did it. We had many late Nate's after I finished working to get it hung throughout the house. 

 Nate did the taping, mudding, and sanding which was a lot of work. Since we are no experts in this and our walls are absolutely not square, it took a lot of mud to get it where we could at least live with it. We wound up spraying a light texture on the walls to try and hide some of the blemishes.

I wanted a very light gray paint color, and chose Behr Silver Drop, which I cannot seem to capture the color of with any picture. Unless you have something white against it, it does not look gray, it looks white. It is a nice clean color and definitely freshens everything up. 

This archway gave Nate a run for his money, but it turned out in the end.

Looking from living room into dining room

Love the color of our new carpet. It is a darker gray and looks terrific with the LVT floors in the dining room as well as the dark wood trim. 

Mikko testing out a wooden claw he made

TV up and electric fireplace together... but still using camping chairs lol!

Our living room furniture should arrive on Thursday. Once that is here I will post "after" pictures even though we won't have the crown molding or trim complete.

Dining Room Progress

Dining Room Renovation 

When we first purchased our home I don't believe it crossed either of our minds that the Dining Room would be renovated. We assumed we would replaced the laminate flooring and paint the walls, but that was about it. After we were in and realized that the walls were textured paneling and that the texture chipped off in chunks in random places we decided just to go for it. 


Demo Begins

Look a new wall paper pattern that we hadn't seen in the living room! I think this light green with pink roses is number 5 or 6, I lost count. 

Plaster removal was a total family project, no one escaped that nightmare. 

The plaster is gone... Nate and I contemplate taking out part of the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We debated this one. Do we want it open, do we like the kitchen separate from the rest of the house...

We took the wall out!

Nate conquered THE WALL!

Drywall goes up. 

Somewhere at the point above exhaustion took over, we didn't care much about documenting progress, we just wanted it done! So we don't have any pictures between drywall mud and walls finished.. 

Nate did a wonderful job installing our new floors. They are absolutely gorgeous. Everyone who has entered our home has commented on them. I was slightly nervous about going with LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile Planks). Such a modern material in an older home just didn't seem right, but they are beautiful and we love them!


Looking from kitchen through dining room into living room

I love the dining room it looks great! Unfortunately as of today this isn't how it looks anymore... The dining room table is crammed into the kitchen and all of the fixtures and supplies for our brand new upstairs bathroom are spread all over! Yes, we are getting a bathroom upstairs!!! Woohoo! 

Pretty sure this sums up how we felt when the walls and floors were done! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Living Room Overhaul

November 2, 2016 we closed on a farmhouse and 10 acres overlooking the village of Norwalk, WI. The home was built between 1910 and 1920 and while it is in great condition for a 100 year old home, it needs some work.

Project Number One - Living Room Floor

Over time the floor joists had begun to sag and there was quite a dip in the living room floor.

Before: Can't see the "sag" but this beautiful window is the centerpiece of the living room.

During: Carpet removed to reveal pine floors that weren't in the greatest of condition (they were pretty soft) so we decided not to save them to reuse on the floor. The planks will be re-purposed for another project in the future. 

Pine removed to reveal very large oak plank sub floor which had to be removed as well to reach the joists. 

Thankful for Nate's dad who has been able to help a few days during the renovation

Oak planks revealed logs, large hand hewn logs were the floors joists. Fortunately these logs were in good condition, no rot or anything, just sagging from age. Nate, with the help of a friend was able to laminate 2x8 boards to these joists to sure up the floor and make it level-ish. 

Originally tearing out the plaster walls had not be part of the plan, but we decided we needed to put in additional insulation and thus begun the removal of layers... 

Painted paneling, multiple layers of wall paper, and plaster to reveal the lath and studs. Just look at the wall paper, WOW! 

While removing paneling, a lovely hidden arch was revealed, we plan to keep that feature. 

Nate used a type of spray foam insulation and was able to insulate the crawl space which will be very  beneficial for heating the living room. 

Busting up and removing the plaster was a very messy undertaking, but it had to be done! 

By removing the plaster we were able to add more electrical outlets, which the living room was in need of and we were able to fill in some insulation in the walls. 

The sub floor is in and the drywall is going up! 

Still to do: Finish hanging the drywall, tape, mud, and sand, then paint. After that the new flooring can be laid, the base boards reinstalled, and then my favorite part - furnish and decorate! Unfortunately, we can't lay the new carpet in the living room until the drywall is complete in the dining room otherwise the dust will destroy the new carpet. So the final reveal won't happen until the dining room walls are complete. 

Disclaimer - While I continuously say "we" lets be honest, I mean Nate with my input and occasional help!  The boys and I have helped some, but Nate is working hard day in and day to get this house in living order for us! 

Our "Farm" - Norwalk, WI

After a month of house/farm hunting, and another month of offers, counter offers, inspections and the loan process, we closed on our "farm" just outside of Norwalk, WI. Our "farm" consists of a farmhouse built between 1910 and 1920, a large garage, a pole barn, a smaller animal/wood shed, and 10 acres. The 10 acres are mostly pasture and some woods, with a beautiful spring and trout pond, and 3 small streams. The farmhouse sits atop a hill overlooking the small village of Norwalk, WI.

The FarmHouse

Over the next few months (years?) we will be doing quite a bit of renovating on the interior of the home. It is "live able" but there are some definite updates and some full blown renovating that needs to be done. 

"Backyard" - View from the kitchen window

Hopefully next Spring/Summer there will be a few sheep out in that meadow. 

The leaves are gone and winter is coming

Corn field between us and the village

We also purchased the tractor from the previous owner - a 1953 Massey Ferguson
Nate and Matias are thrilled!

We have had unseasonably warm weather and the boys are taking advantage of every moment of it! They have enjoyed exploring the property and are currently building a bike track/ramp.

And meet the newest member of our family - Louie! Louie was Kai's birthday present... and more. We have promised Kai for years that he could get a Border Collie whenever we had some land, and since Kai's birthday coincided with the purchase of our new "farm" we thought why not take the plunge and get a puppy too! He is an adorable Red Merle Border Collie. Aimo tolerates him pretty well, although does get annoyed with his puppy antics. 

Life is crazy, but that is nothing new!

We are so thankful that God has blessed us with the opportunity to buy some land and make this house our home. We are blessed beyond measure.