You could throw in "restoration", or "rebuild" or even "Steve and Jenn were NUTS to even consider this project". Nuts or not... we went for it. Someday we are going to put together a coffee table book of all our pictures of the whole process, but for now I thought I'd start from the beginning and work through until this summer. But, I am only going to show you the outside -- specifically the West aspect (front of the house) in this post. We'll work up to the rest of it later :)
Summer 2007. When we first arrived at the property, wondering if we wanted to make an offer, this is part of what we found. An old structure. We knew nothing about its history at the time (and are still learning), but just knew that it had some MAJOR character. Those are pumice stone blocks. The walls are 14" thick. 4" block, 2" airspace (filled with loose pumice) followed by another layer of 4" block. A few holes, a few cracks, but a solid structure. An old milk barn, we are told. It was also a house, a garage/shop, and who knows what else. We found it littered with beer cans, so probably an old party location as well. We thought... could this be remodeled into a home someday? Is that something we want to tackle?
This is the old chicken coop on the property. It had to be torn down as part of the County sale requirements (it was 3' over the property line). BUT all the wood was saved, the nails were pulled, and it later became many things inside of our home, which you'll see in subsequent walkthroughs.
Looking towards the back of the property. The buildings (left to right) are the woodshed, the shop, the house, the coop, and the barn which a short time later belonged to Steven's brother and his family. (How sweet to someday live next door to family?) It truly was a beautiful piece of property and we were blessed to find it. We made an offer, and it was accepted. We were the first owners in the "subdivision".
October 2007. We rented a 40 yard dumpster that fall and COMPLETELY filled it with crap from inside the house. What a long day. We started gutting it a week after I found out I was preggers with Oly. Talk about being tired.
Winter 2007/2008. That winter we didn't do a ton on the house. Hard to with this much snow, eh? We just came out every now and then to ski, snowshoe, and play.
I see character in this old house, potential, strong bones... Another hundred years at least.
The following summer 2008, we continued gutting. This time we were taking out walls, siding, nasty old insulation, windows, doors... you get the idea. There wasn't a whole lot else we could do to the house because we didn't have a construction loan yet, but we did put in our well, well piping, electrical to the well and a temp power pole, and a septic system. Yeah... we were definitely out of money by then!
They used to drive tractors in through those tri-fold doors in the winter, pull the engines out from the I-Beam above, could slide them over to the other side to work on in the warmth. We kept the I-Beam. It is cool.
September 2008. We move with our 3 month old into a 5th wheel here on the property... Hoping and praying that our loan gets approved so we don't have to live in there indefinitely...
December 24th, 2008. Our construction loan is approved! Thank you Cashmere Valley Bank!
January 2009. Jake and Matt arrive from Missoula to start framing, and Rumann Homes begins a bunch of other work like plumbing, porch footings, septic connection etc.
Luckily we didn't get a ton of snow that January. We did have a lot of mud though.
After the framing of the exterior walls was done, we wrapped it up.
We got plastic on the new plywood roof since we knew there was a lot of nasty weather that would continue to come. It got to whipping when the wind came up (which is pretty often here) but no rips or tears all winter. Go plastic!
Windows arrived and were installed upstairs first. Those are two small bedrooms.
Also arriving was the insulation for our roof. We decided to leave all the trusses exposed on the inside of the house, and instead we insulated on the outside with 9" of styrofoam. Talk about energy efficient! Between that and 14" thick downstairs walls, plus additional insulation... Our electrical bill should be about $30 or less a month. In the WINTER.
All the windows have now been installed. And now a plug for the beautiful mailbox holder that Steve made me from a fallen down tree out in the backwoods. I love how whimsical it is. Good luck taking that one out Mr. Snowplow driver.
Look! A front door! Thanks Frank Lumber (The Door Store). You know what's crazy? When we were at the door store in Shoreline, we discovered that the store owner actually owns a home less than a mile from this one, which used to be owned by family friends. CRAZY small world. Also as we approach spring, styrofoam insulation panels begin being boxed in on the roof. The gray tarp on the left has all the river rock which will become our stove backing/hearth.
Spring 2009 has arrived. And so has the subcontractor who will wrap our house in elastomeric stucco. Normal stucco can't expand and contract in extreme cold without cracking, but this specialized stuff can. First though, they did 3 layers of concrete with fiber mesh reinforcement.
The front porch roof is installed. Look at the beautiful post and beam construction.
ALL the wood above was taken from the old chicken coop and sanded and/or planed down to what you see. You can still see all the original saw marks from when it was milled. No light fixtures out there just yet.
Steve and I went back and forth for a month on what color to get the stucco. Luckily, I was able to convince Steven that my choice was best, as seen above :) I spent many hours looking at french chateaus and cabins and other stone buildings and this was the closest color I could find. Plus, combined with the chocolate brown roof which Steven chose, and cedar trim... it just looked... how we envisioned it.
This house is truly a collaboration of ideas between the two of us.
And that folks... is where I leave you. I won't post final pictures of the house until I give you a final "tour". Hopefully you can wait awhile because this post took over an hour to write and upload pictures! But there is much more to come.