We’re back!

england 1Taking a two week vacation to England in the middle of a major reno is probably not advisable. However, our vacation happened to coincide with our contractor’s knee replacement operation, so it worked out. Monday he is back to work on the house, less than three weeks after his surgery. Those Amish are tough.

While we were gone the electrician and the plumber/heat contractor kept working away. There were a few minor mishaps – the electrician ran some wires across the open loft area in the boys bedroom, and accidentally drilled through some new pipes. The plumber put the drain in for the free standing bathtub so it sits against the wall, instead of coming out into the room, but after moving the tub into place and looking at it I decided it looked just fine. This prompted the plumber to say, “Boy, are you easy to work with.” I told him if having 7 kids hadn’t taught me to just accept things and move on, this house reno certainly had!

While we were gone I decided to put a skylight in the attic – let’s just say I am way more excited about that than Jonas (my contractor) is! I have my eye on the attic apartment as my own personal work space if kids aren’t staying there, so I want it to be nice.

First thing Monday morning I will be stopping by the house to connect with Jonas – we are very close to being ready to put the insulation in and after that comes drywall. Once the drywall is up, we will go from looking like a disaster to looking like something that resembles an actual house – can’t wait!



While the house truly looks much worse now than it did when we bought it (hard to believe), we are making progress. We filled 4 dumpsters with plaster and other materials that were torn out, and at $500 each, dumpsters were a considerable expense. We saved whatever could be re-used, but a houseful of plaster and lath is a lot of material. When I called for the last pick-up the dumpster company joked that I was their Customer of the Month! Awesome…IMG_3475

The new windows are also in, about $12,000 worth of them. All I have to say about windows is that if I ever do another massive reno and the window count is over 30, I will run…..Turns out if you order that many special order windows at Menards, they will actually bring the store manager up to thank you personally. IMG_3546

The front porch has been dismantled and repaired; there was a lot more rotted wood than anticipated. The front porch will be gorgeous, and it should be, because between the stamped concrete and the wood repair, a large portion of our reno budget is there. IMG_3543

The plumber, who is also doing the heat and air, has been busy running ductwork and pipes. The electrician has been installing boxes, and my contractor has been pulling off all of the aluminum siding to prepare for new siding. Once we can get the systems roughed in, and the insulation is installed, then it’s on to drywall, which will really make the house look a lot more livable.

Tomorrow I plan to spend a few hours sweeping up all the debris from the floors. Not sure if this is totally necessary, but it will make me feel better if the house isn’t such a mess. It’s bad enough it has no bathrooms, at least we can have swept floors! I spend a lot of time running to the bathroom at the gas station, especially because I tend to stop by the house before work, so I am washing up and changing into work clothes in their bathroom. I feel guilty about using the bathroom without buying something, so at least they are making quite a few sales off of me!