Operation: Fix This House!

Operation: Fix This House!
Our adventures in fixing up a fixer-upper

Confessions of an Antibride

Confessions of an Antibride
Snarky Commentary on Wedding Planning

Pink Dog Cooks

Pink Dog Cooks
Sort of.


And other Crafting Goodness

And the beat goes on...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's been awhile - I know. A lot has happened since the last post! I'm going to give a quick summary to get caught up. MacGyver boarded up the window in the middle of the room. This led the way to constructing the wall that now divides the two new bedrooms (well my craft room and the spare bedroom). MacGyver also framed out the closets in both rooms, as well as the doorways. It's amazing the difference! It's starting to look like habitable space now (okay - you still have to use a little bit of your imagination. But it is getting easier to visualize!) Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Here is the room post-window-removal, and pre-dividing-wall.

And here is the new wall!! For those inquiring minds, yes, I did help with this project. Oh yes, I did use that nail gun all by myself (despite not being able to lift the thing very far over my head but those are minor details). Ladies and gentlemen, Robyn learned how to frame a wall that day. I assure you the pride I felt in myself was tremendous - right up until I was 86ed from using the nail gun because I made MacGyver nervous I was going to shoot myself in the foot. Ah well it was fun while it lasted!

Here MacGyver is framing the doorway for the future site of my craft room! In the background you can see the newly framed closet!

Here is a close-up of our new toy. :) It weighs about 17 metric tons in case you were wondering.

And here is the closet in the soon-to-be craft room.

That's all for now folks! Next stop: installing the two new windows - one in each newly constructed room!

No more window!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

There is (well, was) a window in the middle of the wall in the SPARE ROOM. (I am trying very hard not to keep calling it the "craft room" anymore.) That window needed to come out as there will be a wall in the middle of that space to divide the room into two smaller bedrooms. MacGyver made that happen yesterday! Start to finish it took 4 hours!! He makes it look so easy!!

He started by taking out the old window.

Then he covered it up with plywood. (It was entertaining at the hardware store...we went to go get the sheet cut so it would fit in the car and MacGyver told the guy in "contractor terms" how it needed to be cut. The uy looked taken aback and smiled and said "nice! I wish more people would tell me how they wanted it cut like that!" I don't think he was expecting "Contractor MacGyver" to roll up in a Mazda Protege!)

View from the inside.

He sealed the sides with some super ninja "Protecto-something-or-other". It looks like glorified masking tape in my opinion :)

Then go on two layers of this black felt stuff (Tar paper maybe?). He said he probably put on more than most people would but he said "I don't want this [sucker] to leak!" Ooooo-kay then!

We had to replace the shingle/shake siding. Unfortunately it was rapidly getting dark and it was about 4000 below zero. The shingles were not cut straight when they were bundled and we didn't have time to re-cut them before installing them. So this patch looks pretty conspicuous compared to the razor straight edge of the rest of the side. Hopefully we'll be able to straghten them out later...when it's not so cold and dark

A fast layer of Kilz primer over the top...(done by flashlight by the way)

...and voila! No more window! Now it just kinda of looks like we spray painted a white square on the back of the house! If you lok closely you can see the uneven edge. It's driving MacGyver nuts so hopefully it can be fixed soon!

Next step is to cut new windows for the two new windows and install those! More to come!!

Stuff we've found...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I promised pictures of the newspaper bits and other things we've found in our remodeling adventures.

I now have three newspaper bits (that came from sorting through an entire Safeway bag full of bits) that say "1924". We have not been able to locate documentation of when our house was built (something that for whatever reason has been driving me crazy!). MacGyver informed me that before they have fiberglass insulation (the pink stuff) they used sawdust, newspaper, and bits of cloth to insulate (which I should point out that whoever was in charge of "insulating" our house must have misunderstood the whole point - there is a handful in this corner, half a handful in that corner, and none anywhere else). Therefore, it would be prudent for us to guess that our house was built sometime around 1924 (newspapers were also used as toilet paper as MacGyver likes to point out repeatedly so i can't imagine they kept old papers lying around for too long). We also found a penny from 1929. One of MacGyver' coworkers informed him that people used to toss coins in the walls of houses that were being built to mark when the wall was built or remodeled. So if that's the case we are potentially looking at sometime around 1929. The penny was found while I was sweeping plaster into the chimney hole so we're not exactly sure where it came from. Then last night MacGyver was busting out the secret medicine cabinet in the bathroom (and left a gaping hole which makes it super "Psycho"-creepy to take a shower in there right now in case you were wondering) and found an old Gillette razor package that has the dates "1932" and "1938" on it. (We discarded the corroded razor that he found in it.) There are a few other bits of newspaper that had things printed that indicated the time period too which I though twas kind of fun. Anyway enough talking - here are the pictures!

Here are the three bits of newspaper with the 1924 date.

Here is the penny we found in the craft room with the 1929 date. (I guess that room will forever be the "craft room" - I can't seem to stop calling it that!) The mint mark is "S". I did some Internet Sleuthing and found out that the San Francisco Mint was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mining operations. It made coins until 1937. See, you learned something today! Some other posts from people looking to sell their 1929 pennies say it's probably worth anywhere from $0.15 to $1.50. That's hardly old Jim Bob's hidden fortune! :)

The piece on the right is advertising a " '18 Dodge" for $100. Sounds like a pretty good deal! The bit on the right is advertising an apartment (either in Sandy or on Sandy Blvd) with "steam heat".

A paper advertising property in "High Class" Laurelhurst neighborhood! I saw that several of the pieces said "Journal" on them. I looked it up and found out that the "Oregon Journal" was Portland's newspaper from 1902 to 1982. I should mention that all of the papers I have found have been from Portland. I know Tillamook had a newspaper but I am imagining it was all of about four pages at that time. Even now it only publishes once a week!

Here is the Gillette package from 1932 or 1938. It indicates the countries in which they had a patent on the back.

The bit on the right looks like a music score to me. The bit on the left has a bunch of dates from the 1920's.

I forgot to mention up above that we found an old playing card. I don't quite understand the symbol (anybody have any idea what game this might go to?). There is a picture of a ship on the front and the White House on the back. MacGyver said it looks like it was from sometime in the 70's. That was not nearly as exciting as some of the other stuff we found! I think the penny is the best treasure we've uncovered so far! We hope to find more! I'm still holding out for old Jim Bob's life savings in stocks and bonds hidden in jar somewhere. Though somehow I doubt we'll find anything like that. :)

Craft Room Phase II (cont.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ooh I forgot to put this in the previous posts! When we purchased our house we were told that there is no documentation that states the date that the house was built. We've always guessed around the 1900's-ish based on the fact that it is a Dutch Colonial Revival style house, and a few other things. When we took out the chimney I found wad of "insulation" in the walls. When these houses were built they used insulation made from newspaper and sawdust. I have sorted through hundreds of little bits of newspapers and found a few that say "1924" on them. I am guessing that is most likely when the house was built. I also found a penny when I was sweeping on Sunday night that is dated "1929". I originally though tit said "1920" and we got really excited, but 1929 is still pretty cool! I'll take pictures and post them to this message when I can.

Craft Room Phase II!

The craft room has always been a odd room in our house. It was the dumping grounds for things that never got unpacked. It was a makeshift craft room for awhile (that's now in my dining room which looks absolutely fabulous let me assure you...). MacGyver and I want to make that space into two rooms. So on Friday night MacGyver and I cleaned out the rest of the stuff and jammed it into other parts of the house. Then MacGyver began demolition about 6pm Saturday afternoon! (It was a lazy day and took awhile to get motivated!) I would like to say that I helped, but I would be lying. I did a lot of "supervising" and cleaning and fetching of this or that. I made the coffee runs and Subway runs! :)

Here is a picture before we started after everything was cleared out! Its almost hard to remember there used to be a wall there!

We started by removing the old Berber carpet (ick!).

Then we removed all the moldings around the base of the room, and all those stupid tack strips from the carpet. I've added those to my top ten least favorite things to do under chopping raw chicken, de-veining raw shrimps, and knocking out lath and plaster.

When MacGyver was removing this board, we discovered writing on the back. There was a lot of dust in the air and the light is not good, but it reads "north west room". Kind of fun!

After all that was removed we started again with the plaster - the bane of my existence. Am I being dramatic enough about the plaster. Am I making myself clear enough about how much it totally sucks to take that out? Good, I was just checking.

There aren't many pictures of the actual demo of the plaster. I was working for awhile and then the dust got to me and I couldn't be in there anymore. Here are some "after" photos though!

(that is where the chimney used to be)

(notice how hazy it is in there? I didn't realize how dusty it really was until I saw these pictures!)

We did make an interesting discovery in the bathroom though! I wont go into the story that led up to us taking off the mirror because MacGyver will probably scream if he hears it again. When we removed the mirror in the bathroom we found this!

It's a built in medicine cabinet! The only problem is that when we remove the lath from the wall behind it there will be a gaping hole in the bathroom wall. That ought to be rather interesting! We'll need to put that mirror back up and I imagine we'll start with drywalling that wall first! :)

MacGyver shoveled all of the plaster down into the basement again. It's even worse than last time! I have a video of the room all demo-ed that I will upload soon. And I will take a picture of the basement to post as well.

Now all the plaster is down off of the walls and the ceiling. MacGyver was able to pull off about 25% of the lath off the walls and hopes to finish that next weekend. Dad came out on Sunday and brought a huge load of 2x4's and a roll of insulation!! THANKS DADDY!

I can't tell you how strange (and a little stressful) it is to see that room totally gutted! What's even worse is the though that the rest of the house will look like that too! Yikes!!

I hope to keep more on top of the blog now that it's all caught up! I will post more next weekend!

Long time no bloggie...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Yes, yes, I know I've been slacking; however, I am very excited to announce that very soon we will be picking things back up and starting in again! In the mean time, enjoy some pictures of my first real Christmas Tree!!

My Twinkly tree!!!!

(I know it's sideways...I can't figure out how to fix it. Any suggestions would be appreciated!)

That's Ross' Mazda Protege sitting underneath our 8.5' Christmas Tree! We got the tree the same weekend it monsooned and Tillamook almost floated out into the ocean. Here are some pictures of the flood.

The steeple blew off the roof of the Bay City Church. The "wind-mometer" out at Cape Meares broke at 120-something mph.

The Nehalem River flooded a lot of dairy pastures.

This was the road to Oceanside from Tillamook. They were without power for nearly 2 weeks.

This is pretty self explanatory!

A mud slide in Bay City onto Hwy 101.\

Here is the view of Hwy 101 through Tillamook. In the background you can see a Red semi up to its doors in water. The cell towers were down and the long distance was broken. All raods leading out of Tillamook county were either flooded or blocked by mudslides. The radio stations had to be boated in (quite literally) and were then stuck in the station until the waters receded. It was quite an adventure! Thankfully, Ross and I live on "the island" - otherwise known as the only section on Tillamook that doesn't flood!

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