Sunday, January 27, 2008

Demolition and Dirt Boogers's pictures of 2 weekends of Demolition. Enjoy!

Well.. my camera was too cold to take a picture when we got in the house and it was 39 degrees, so I had to wait for it to warm up for about 4 hours before I could take a picture of how cold it is in our house!!!! We were both wearing 3 layers of clothes (thick ones!!), pounding at the tile and cement wall and we were still FREEZING cold!!!!

Some of the damage from day one. This is the 50 year old, non-functioning, and VERY unsafe heater in the house. It will be gone ASAP!

Some of the wreckage in the master bedroom.. wood from the shelves, ceramic pieces from the heater, nasty middle school boys bathroom style sink (YUCK!) and stinkin heavy pieces of cement wall.

More damage in the master bathroom, including the pipes that should have no water in them yet are leaking...hmm.

Caleb, probably early in the day, because we were definitely not that chipper by the days end.. We have a newfound appreciation for manual labor!

Me, cute pink gloves and ugly goggles included! You should be glad I took the face mask off! I figured with all the labor and nastiness I would be surrounded by, I could at least have an ounce of cuteness with pink gloves! Somehow it makes working a bit more motivating!

Caleb's sister Emily had to get in on the action! All the family came over to check out our project and I saw Emily just itching to do something so we gave her the sledgehammer and put her to work!


SOooo, this time around we kinda knew what we were getting ourselves into.. we look much less excited, knowing the pain that we are going to cause our bodies because of the work we were about to take on!

We were much smarter today.. See that nifty little tool in my hands?? Yes, my friends that is infact a miniature jackhammer/air hammer with a chisel tip. The force was on our side! Don't be fooled though, that Katie did all that work you see, for Katie could not hold that piece of machinery up for more than 10 seconds!

Demolition in the second bathroom. No more birdbath sink!

Lots of walls gone.. the two bathrooms are connected which made a lot of the work easier in the second bathroom because we could work from the back side of the wall. Leverage, people, leverage!

All in a good days work. We only have about 30% left!

Caleb doing the hard labor in the master bathroom, inhaling a LOT of dust! Oh yea, best part is that we found out the seat in the shower is SOLID CONCRETE. Even the hefty tool we rented couldn't put a dent in that. How are we going to get that out? Well, my friend that is a great question for which we have no answer...

View of the hall bathroom from the master. All the pipes you see are nasty and rotting and ALL have to be replaced. Oh yea, you can pray that we find a plumber since ours quit on us Friday. Lovely... oh well! I guess we will have more time to demo the bathrooms.

More of the master bathroom. Look at all the concrete, tile and dust buildup. That's about 3 inches deep. It would probably be 4 inches but I think we inhaled all that extra inch in our lungs.

See the seat.. solid concrete. That is my new enemy.

But the rest of the shower, we are winning. HA!
Soo, that is our demolition in a nutshell. Now on to the second half of the blog.. you know.. the "and dirt boogers" part of it. Disgusting huh? Well, actually we are quite thankful for the dirt boogers. Why? Well, that means our body is doing its job. Those hairs up your nose do have a job, and the last two weekends we have experienced the joy and nastiness of it. Nastiness because who likes boogers, especially when they are grey and full of gristle. Joy because on some level I (Katie) think its really funny to talk about boogers and even more fun to pick them in the car and make the people (husband included) driving next to you totally disgusted!!! NO... I know what you are thinking now. I properly disposed of all of the boogers that were used to gross out the road neighbors in a tissue... but I did have a good laugh. And once I started calling them dirt boogers, I was so excited about writing the blog because I had a catchy name for the title. And we all know, the title is the first thing a person sees to draw them in to reading a story. Now aren't you all so glad you stuck around to the end so you could see pictures of our progress and enjoy me talking about boogers? Happy Sunday!!! =)

Friday, January 25, 2008

First hit at the money pit!

First things first, right?? Well we knew that before we could do anything else, we had to get the foundation of the house leveled. Along with that, we knew we had five 50-year old trees and 3 red tip bushes that were going to be a nightmare if we didn't get the roots taken care of. Sooo.. our first hit to the bank account was on shimming up the foundation (for a description see Foundation and Our First Steal.. Of a Deal, That Is!) and installing root barriers between the house and the trees. Here are pictures of the results! Enjoy!
Tree in the front yard with roots that were as big around as my forearm in some parts!
Another front yard tree with massive root barriers, all hand dug!

Red tips... the structural engineer said they probably have not invaded the foundation yet, but these shrubs can be a nightmare to the foundation so we got them taken care of.

Pecan tree in the back... It didn't get root barriers but I had to show a picture because I am SOOO excited about the pecan tree! I had a pecan tree in one of the houses we lived in growing up so it was neat to have that memory and know that maybe our kids will have memories of a pecan tree.. and PLUS, now we won't have to go spend a fortune to buy pecans! We have an unlimited supply for free in the yard!

Another tree in the back that didn't get root barriers, but I couldn't leave him out...

This is the BIG MOMMA tree that was causing the biggest problems to our foundation and the root of the problem (haha..) that began our concern with getting root barriers.
All in all, our first experience with the home was absolutely WONDERFUL!!! I cannot sing the praises enough of the company we used for our foundation work, All-Pro Foundation Repair. They made this process so easy and light on the wallet. The estimator who came out to our house was an Aggie-great start. He was completely honest with us from the get-go and even came out a second time on his own time to go through the house again and walk us through his concerns for a second time. He told us about all the people we would be working with and was always available when we needed to talk to him. He sent out a great structural engineer who made recommendations that would take care of the foundation within our budget. The best part of it all, though, was the day all of the work took place. That's right, I said DAY- meaning uno, one, single day! I got to the house around 8:15 a.m. to meet with the forman who took off his shoes in our nasty home even though I told him he didn't have to worry about it. Every single worker looked up from the work they had already started with digging the roots to greet me and shake my hand. The forman told me they were going to do more root barriers than what was originally suggested free of charge. Wow.. that was a great start. Anyone who knows me knows I love free stuff, especially when I know how much money I am already spending!! Then, I left for them to get the work done. They were done by 11 a.m. WOW! And as icing on the cake, when Caleb came out to inspect the work, the forman explained to Caleb that while they were shimming the house, they really felt like a certain part of the house was sagging, so he made the executive decision to add a pier to the house... FOR FREE!! We are talking with all the additional stuff they did to the house, we would have incurred almost another thousand dollars, and they did it for free! What a blessing! And even more than that, what an honest company that sticks to their word on the quote they give and what a company that stands by their work so much that they would put extra piers and root barriers where needed for no charge so they would feel good about the work they did.
Ahh... warm fuzzies! Now we are on to other projects that haven't been as warm or fuzzy. Stay tuned...

Pictures, pictures, pictures!

Here are some more pictures of the house for your enjoyment... After my first post of the house, I didn't think it did an ounce of justice to the house so I wanted to add some more for your viewing pleasure. Everything you see below is still in its current state, no work done on any of these spaces yet. More pictures of demolition to come shortly!
Other bathroom, yet to be demolished. I think this will be the "piece de resistance", literally!
More of the other bathroom, mini-sink included!

Hallway between all the bedrooms. See the cute wall inset?? It's a phone stand! Fun, but totally not useful since most people don't have phones anymore. SOoo.. It's going to be a goner!

More of the kitchen, semi under construction. We can't do much in there until after all the plumbing is complete due to inspections, but I did have a little go at the cabinet in the center of the picture. Turns out, its good that I did because I found a gas drop for our range-WOOHOO! Anyone who loves to cook knows the wonderfulness that is gas (NO-not the kind from beans.. the kind from the ground)!

My favorite, favorite, favorite door in the whole house... which we may not be able to salvage! I am doing everything in my power to save it because I love it so much! It's soo charming!

A view of one of the secondary bedrooms. All of the shelving and bench seating is TBD (to be demolished!).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Foundation and our first steal... of a deal that is!

First, I have to share one of my oddities with you. I just wanted to say that I feel weird about just jumping into conversation with the blog.. I feel like I always have to introduce my topic and present my supporting details with clear explanation, like a formula written paper for 4th graders. Is that just the teacher in me?? So, know that when I introduce my topic, its because I have to... like the blog is calling me to not just vomit my thoughts, but really be methodical and make sure you all have a clear understanding with what is going on. Weird, I know, but we all have our quirks. At least I'm being thoughtful of you with mine. Ha! Anyways, I'm done with that... Here's the more important stuff.

First Things First
We knew that the first thing that had to be taken care of was the foundation so we have just been twiddling our thumbs until that happened. Well, on this coming Wednesday, it will be started and finished! We are excited because once that happens, we can really move forward and begin the transformations that the eye can see and enjoy! As far as the structure of the home goes, we have been totally blessed. With a pier and beam, basically anyone that is going to do work on the major parts of the home have to get under the house to see whats going on, and everyone that has looked under there has said that they are amazed at how great the structure of the home is and how well it has preserved over the last 50+ years. So you ask.. why are you doing something with the foundation? Well, although it looks great, one of the previous owners had the foundation "shimmed up" (evened out the foundation by placing shims on the piers) using wooden shims. Well anyone who knows anything about wood knows that it is porous and it has a lot of give, so it isn't the sturdiest option when shimming the foundation. So, we are having the foundation company (which we would be happy to share once the work is done and satisfactory..they have been wonderful so far!) replace the wood shims with metal shims. Also, they are going to install something called root barriers. Basically, the purpose of those is to keep the roots from all of the huge 50+ year old tree roots from getting into the soil under the home and messing up our foundation. The structural engineer really advised us of that and let us know that we may see a foundation shift again in a few years as a result of the rotting roots that are already under the house, but we will just cross that bridge IF we have to (hopefully not!). Our ultimate goal is just to know above and beyond that the floor and foundation underneath us is sturdy and secure! Both the shims and the root barriers will do that!

On a different note, we made our first purchase for the home.. matching fixtures for the exterior of the garage! I know that is probably the least likely thing to buy, but we just couldn't pass up a deal like this! We went to check out Habitat for Humanity Home Outlet Store just to see what the place was all about. Well, aside from the concern of our safety leaving the joint (DO NOT DRIVE DOWN HAMPTON/INWOOD LN WEST BOUND FROM I-30 TO I-35 UNLESS YOU WANT THE STATUS OF YOUR LIFE TO BE IN JEOPARDY.. I MEAN IT, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!), it was a great experience. Of course, a lot of the stuff I would consider as much my trash as it was the previous owners, but they did have some great deals. In fact, we walked away with two BRAND NEW, IN THE BOX iron and beveled glass exterior fixtures... for $21! WHOOP!!! Look how cute!!!

Well that's about all the excitement going on with our house as far as improvement goes! Pray for our plumbing situation! More specifically, pray that our plumber gives a good final estimate and can do the work soon. We have had several trades come out and this guy gave the best estimate, but we've had a few changes (for the better!), so we are praying that this positively effects the bid and the time frame. Thanks for being faithful blog stalkers and prayer warriors! We'd love to know what you think about the house at any time.. Leave us a comment and don't just be a lurker!

Much Love,
Katie, Caleb and crazy Maverick

P.S. Is it weird that I have to edit my blog before I post it too?? (Why, oh why, did I have to have a former English teacher mother??-sigh) AND... editing is my favorite part!!!! If only I had a red pen that I could write on the screen with to correct my errors...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pictures of the Hizzle...

Here are some pictures of our brand new, old home! Brand new to us, old in terms of years... I mean we're talking older that the parents ( and dad), OLD! We are soo excited to share this journey with you. Don't judge anything you see, for none of it is our doing and all of it will be for our un-doing!

A Picture of the Happy New Homeowners.. In the car! We would have gotten the classic, yard sign pic or getting the keys pic, but we didn't ever have a "SOLD" sign in our yard and we didn't ever technically get keys.. unless you count the keys we went out and bought so we could get in and out of the house without looking like robbers!
The Front of our charming little cottage, shutters and all!

The view of the living and dining room, and some tools! We have 3 inch shutters in the front which I adore.. those will literally be the only thing staying in the house.
A view of the living room to the front door, with just a little bit of the hardwoods peeking through! We can't wait to rip up the nasty carpet and refinish the floors.

A view of the dining room, and another tool that told us all the money we need to spend to fix the foundation.
A view of the kitchen, sans appliances, since the person who was forclosed on decided to take all the appliances and most of the lights in the house with them. But its cool, they must have known we weren't really hip for there style!

Our bedroom. Although the colors may look appealing, in real life it looks more like blood and a nasty shade of flesh, yum.

Our bathroom... or maybe the Richardson High School boys locker room, not sure which.

More of the bathroom. I guess they either knew we were small, or wanted us to lose weight because that shower is about the size of a kitchen sink. On the bright side, someone told us it was great that we had a seat in there (like we were going to use that nasty 54 year old seat anyway..).
And the other beautiful bathroom.. decorated with lovely peachy pink and maroon tile. Should we keep it?? Haha... that was never a thought.

The soon-to-be third bedroom, without access to the kitchen!
The 2nd bedroom.. and the foundation guy's clothes. No, not sketchy.. he was in the crawl space under the house checking out the problems.
The HUGE backyard... which we love, especially the pecan tree (Katie loves it at least, Caleb says it will suck up all our water..)! Only red flag here is the big concrete box in the middle of the backyard. We've had people say it's anything from a grill box to a family grave... any other ideas???

Soo, that's it.. the rough tour of our home. As we begin the renovations, you will see lots more pictures of the transformation! We are so excited and can't wait to get started!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It's Official

Soo, we have crossed over into the land of happy homeowners! Yesterday we signed the blue ink (why blue.. hmm??) and cringed as they gave us the bill for the house for the next 30 years, ouch. If only they would just leave that part out you would feel so much better, right? Well, either way, we are excited to travel down this new road.

Yesterday I was in my car driving to go get the cashier's check for closing costs and was just praying that God would continue to make himself so perfectly clear with this decision and that he would give me the right heart and attitide as we begin this journey of faith to making our home not just liveable, but also enjoyable and a place where His face and His glory would shine to our neighbors, friends and family. As I was praying, I was listening to my favorite CD, Keith and Kristyn Getty's In Christ Alone, and a song came on that just really blessed my heart and narrowed my focus as to what this journey is going to be about. Caleb and I, from the beginning, have viewed this truly as a journey of faith, as we trust the Lord with the purchase of this home, with the trials of getting it all done despite our "free time" and with the struggles of meeting our financial budget with updating this home; this song really encompasses our hearts desire and I wanted to share it with you. All I know how to do right now is add the lyrics.. if anyone knows how to add a song, let me know because I would love to make that my page's song.

"Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer"
Music by Keith Getty;
Words by Margaret BeckerCopyright © 2002
Thankyou Music

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

I hope that on some level, whatever you are trialing through or whatever journey the Lord is taking you on, that this would bless you and encourage you to press on, understanding that the journey is His and that His design is for our faith to increase as we labor in faith for Him.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas in Rowlett

FAMILIES IN ROWLETT.. and a baby soon after!

Uncle Matt, Isaac, Maya and Mattie anxiously waiting for presents...
Mamo and Chloe

Caleb and Me... Yes I was a temporary red-head.

Grammy and Grandaddy (Caleb's mom and stepdad)

Delisa and Josh... they look happy, probably because someone is watching all their kids!

Allie and Matt.. almost parents then and proud parents now!

Emily and Matt... does Matt look like someone just goosed him or is his smile always that big???

Chloe and Elyza with all their "High School Musical" Loot

Caleb and Emily!

We had a wonderful "Christmas" day, celebrated on the 15th of December at Nita and Geary's house. We bucked the "traditional" feast and opted for a lighter fare, indulging in sandwiches, salad, chips, dips and lots of yummy desserts! After lunch, we opened presents!!! It was so much fun with all the kids, 6 to be exact. They all have so much personality and are at a fun age, so them opening presents was entertaining for all of us. With the expense of buying for all of the kids, the grown-up kids draw names and each person buys for one other person. Well, Allie drew me and anyone who knows me know that I asked for and got some fun kitchen stuff. Josh drew Caleb and as predictable as me, Caleb got some electronics- a new CD! Everyone did not leave empty-handed and we were all blessed with wonderful time with family and great gifts!
Despite our request for Kaylee to make her grand entrance after presents, she did not comply and Allie left that night as pregnant as when she got there. Oh well... little did we know that she would be coming just a few days later!! Allie and Matt became official parents on December 18th at 10:32 p.m. to Kaylee, who weighed in at 7 lb 13 oz. Kaylee is a darling baby and after having to spend an extra 7 days in the hospital because of an infection, she came home the day after Christmas. She is home and doing well..doing all the normal things babies do: eating, sleeping and pooping! We are a proud uncle and aunt for the 12th time!