Past work

It’s raining again this week so I’m not out taking pictures or harvesting wood. Instead I’m digging back through files to present some older images.

One of the things I use photography for is documenting projects. Some of them have been extensive, like this whole-house renovation done in 2016. Never mind the story behind it, as it’s one of those “how did I ever get myself into this?” tales. The house itself is a brought-in-on-a-truck-and-bolted-together up/down design that filled many of the streets around here as the town expanded rapidly in the 1970s. Since then it went through numerous ‘upgrades’, many of which inflicted serious problems I had to correct. You just wouldn’t believe what I found. Good thing I’m an engineer, eh?

The bedroom pictures pretty much tell the story: bad design with no closet yet still intruding into the next room. An amateur finishing of basement space:


So, gut and re-frame (I literally was able to tear the walls apart with my bare hands) to make the space more practical:

And finish it off nicely:


The kitchen was a ‘simple’ update, which involved refinishing all the cabinets, moving the dishwasher, fixing plumbing errors, correcting wiring mistakes, and …

Here’s the livingroom with the renos partially started. That knee wall was to replace a flimsy iron railing that was merely screwed to the floor and yet was expected to keep people from tumbling down the stairs:


Much nicer once the work is complete:


One of the biggest challenges was the patio door in the dining area, which had been installed without a proper header. Retrofitting that (without disturbing the door or outside wall) was not easy:



Outside the now nice (and safe) door you can see the redone deck, which had just broken plastic trellis screwed on to keep people from going over the edge. I like the yellow boards better, for both safety and aesthetic reasons:


It’s hard to imagine, but this is the second time I’ve totally renovated an entire house (meaning every room needed work) by myself (no assistants). In this instance I hired someone to do the floors as I was running out of time. In fact the people were moving in while the floors and details were being finished up. Hopefully it will be the last time I try anything so foolish. The first time was our former residence (back in 2009 – I was already having health problems then), and I’d be hard pressed to say which was more work. In time this one was quicker: six months as opposed to nearly two years, but I didn’t have as many interruptions.

I found this toy car while I was doing the place up, so I “renovated” it as well:

2 thoughts on “Past work

  1. My husband nearly killed himself getting our last house ready for sale. We were under a deadline as we already had a contract on the house we were buying. That’s why I’m not bugging him to complete the interior painting work on the new house, and why we hired contractors for the serious renovations and mechanical updates. We’re both too old to attempt those major projects like we did when we bought our first home many, many years ago. Maybe someday I’ll have a completed home – of course, by then the first updates we did may be ready for re-doing. You can never win with a house.

    Liked by 1 person

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