96 Maple Street

96 Maple Street

96 Maple Street

96 Maple Street
And after...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New staircase is in...

John and Audrey surveying the progress.

This has become a fascinating experience for us; watching how it all progresses is indeed amazing. John admitted today (after I found him watching out the window for the umteenth time) that it is a good thing he does not work from home or else he would never get anything accomplished, except watching the crew. His new gig, while he has been on vacation, is to take some yummy, sweet treats over for the guys every afternoon. This way he has an excuse to go over, and they, of course, are always happy to see him. Actually, he is doing it because we so appreciate all their efforts. Even in the cold, inclement weather, they are out there working hard and doing a great job.

Footers are in...

This was an exciting day. We really got to see things happening what with the rambling cement truck and buzz saws running all day. I must say, John and and I feel a little self-conscious causing so much noise in the hood.

Footers will be cured within 48 hours. Trouble is...Christmas is in 48 hours! Therefore, Mahlon and his crew will be here on Monday to begin laying the cinder block walls.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Interior construction underway as well...

We saw a window sample today and liked the option. Given that we decided to demo the entire house, we are also now planning to replace all existing windows as well. Originally, we hoped to retain the existing ones, but it is a slippery slope...if you're going to replace all the walls, and add insulation etc., you might as well replace the windows, right? Ah, old house renovations...

The new staircase under construction.

The staircase (side view) with new opening between living room and dining room. John is standing at front door entrance.

The new staircase from the study, looking into dining room. There will be a wall along the staircase which will enclose this room. You will not be able to access the dining room from here.

The original second floor 2X6 joists have all been reinforced with 2X10's. It is AMAZING how much more solid the house already feels.

Excavation is underway...

The remainder of the new basement excavation, near the existing foundation, will need to be hand dug so the existing foundation is not compromised. Tomorrow the new footers should be in place. The finished basement will be 12 courses.

We are really getting down to business now...

The porto-potty has arrived!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Demolition complete...

Three full dumpsters later...

Upstairs - what used to be the bathroom.

Upstairs - what used to be the bedroom

First floor - view into living room from study.

First floor - dining room into living room and study. Door is front porch entrance.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Road trip

During one of our Architectural Review Board meetings, one of the members told us of an antique dealer they knew that may have some things we would be interested in using. This dealer is located in Tallmadge and specializes in old architectural building materials.

George and I decided it might be worth the trip, so last week we made the voyage to Tallmadge. The weather was brutal - scattered snow and wind chills below zero. I tell you this because the hour and a half we spent "shopping" was OUTSIDE! We were absolutely numb by the time we left.

The place was incredible though and had it been warmer, we may actually have stayed longer. The dealer had three separate buildings/barns each full of different materials. One had nothing but old hardwood flooring - every width and species you can imagine, and a couple staircases as well. Another building housed over 400 interior doors - random widths and heights. And the final building had several old fireplace surrounds/mantles - all styles and sizes.

While the idea of "reusing" is very appealing to us, I don't know that we can really justify the additional cost. Why is it that being "green" is always more expensive? Anyway, for both the doors and the flooring, it would be a very laborious job to retrofit the materials. I do, however, think we will use one of the fireplace mantels we found.

All in all, the trip was worth it. Think we'll visit the treasure trove again...in the warm spring.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Insulation...is this necessary?

Three hours later and the room just about stripped. Did I mention how fast these guys work?

Surveying the upstairs bedroom...decision was made to demo the entire room...

The other discovery has been the complete lack of insulation. There is absolutely NONE in this house. You can stand upstairs and see down the wall to the first floor. Can you imagine how cold it must have been? Talk about energy inefficient...

Our plan was to demo about 80% of the house. We hoped to only tear down the walls impacted with the new construction. Once again, however, the plan has been adjusted. We figure this will be our only time to get it right and with the floor joist issue, all first floor ceilings will have to be replaced anyway. Ah, the fun continues...

I just keep telling myself we'll be living in a "new" old house. And it will all be worth it.

Remember when we were discussing "bouncy floors" in the future family room? Well, as the demo continued, it became apparent that this is a problem throughout the house. As a result of previous renovations, like adding plumbing & heat, the floor joists have been greatly compromised.

In today's construction, 2" X 10" joists are typically used. In our house, however, the joists are 2" X 6" with many of them being cut out for pipes and ductwork. There are some places where there is only an inch or two supporting the floor...just a little scary when you consider the bathroom was above. We will sister the joists by attaching a 2" X 10" piece to the existing joists.

An interesting factoid...the ductwork in the house has a 1914 year stamp. Given that the house was built around 1890, that is a lot of years without heat.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hard at work...

George, Mark and Mike discussing crawl space vapor barriers, reinforcing old bouncy floors and a 1 1/2 inch height different between old and new floors...ah, the joys of an old house renovation.

Interior demo well underway

The view from the front living room. The wall to the right of the fireplace will no longer be there. Instead, this will be the landing for the stairs.

This room will now be a study/piano room - much to Emma and Audrey's dismay.

The doorway where George is standing will enter the family room/kitchen.

Exterior demo complete

From this photo, you get a perspective for just how close we live to the construction. Our rental is the white house (with a deck) in the background.

All the old additions have been removed. Excavation will begin as soon as the weather cooperates. We are expecting our first bad weather of the season - lots of rain and snow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Demo continues...

I am amazed at how quickly the demolition process is moving. Although the sun was shining, it was quite cold yesterday. The guys really didn't seem to let the temperature bother them though. We're hoping the weather holds so excavation can begin soon. The new basement will need to be created.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4th morning...dumpster already 3/4 full!

Progress as of end of day December 3, 2009

Interesting to see the layers of history being peeled away. We're thinking the kitchen was originally a back porch. Could explain why that room was so COLD! Remember that this room will actually be taken off, rebuilt, and enlarged. The crew is, in fact, removing the roof and walls as I type.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Okay, so I have trouble keeping track of the instruction and service manuals for appliances we bought just last year and this dinosaur still has its manual. Truth be told, these appliances (antiquated though they may be) are probably much better built than any thing we could buy today. They're so old, they're kitschy!

After much anticipation...the demolition has begun.

I cannot believe how much these guys accomplished today. Although, I realize the demolition phase goes much quicker than the rebuilding phase. Regardless, it is wonderful to see the transformation is underway.

While these cabinets certainly could use some updating, they are very well built and are still in great shape. They will continue their life at a boy's youth center in Cleveland. Love that!! Reuse, reuse, reuse...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally, we begin...

Temporary construction driveway in progress...Dumpster should arrive soon...demolition to follow.

I am not sure that having the project in our backyard "literally" is going to be the best scenario. Those who know me well know that I am a bit of a control freak and, even worse than that, I want things done YESTERDAY. This will be a much needed lesson in letting go.

Breathe OM, breathe OM, breathe OM.