Our House,Year Two: Week 5

14 Feb

It was another crazy construction week in the house. Every once in a while we go through absolute and utter chaos that makes me want to run screaming from the building. This week was such a week  – rain, noise, dust, dirt rooms with no walls..you name it and we had it…well except our small furry friends again, tho I probably just jinxed us on that front!

We mis-timed things a bit this week and it meant that the front living room AND the back of the house were both out of action, other casualties of the work this week were the downstairs bathroom and Charlie’s bedroom. Which meant that we were living in 2 rooms upstairs…again.

Adrian pushed the back extension on massively this week having gotten supporting beams up and some external framing. These beams are enormous, as previously mentioned, and its been quite a mess getting them wedged into place – we’ve had to cut holes in various walls and remove things we weren’t planning too just yet.

The beams to support the extension.

To give you an idea of the scale of the disruption that this is causing us here’s a snap shot of the back of the house…

There are no words. This is my house.

Yes we are living here.

And yes that is a room with no window in it and its Charlie’s room – so he has been back in our room for a few nights which has meant that he’s started waking up again in the middle of the night. It’s too tempting for him given that we are right there to roll on over and go back to sleep by himself.

"Mum, Dad - over here...come on wake up!!!"

We did manage to get him back into his own room a day  or two later once his window was in and boarded over again as we have no blinds!! However the door on his bedroom was removed as all the new construction has pushed the existing  flooring up which is causing the doors to stick. We had to remove Charlie’s door to shave a bit off the bottom and as of yet it hasn’t been replaced..so our poor baby is in a room with no built-in heating (tho he does have a small electric one going all night!), no door and a closet door that leads out onto a half built extension!!! It’s a rough life when you are renovating 🙂

Adrian had to take out the old sliding patio doors in order to build the new framing but this left us wide open. So he built us a fake wall so that the kitchen and therefore the house weren’t completely exposed to the elements but it’s not quite so warm given its got no insulation despite being called “Thermo Ply” and you can see the daylight shining through! I think we will be living like this for a couple more weeks yet and its squished our living space considerably. I like to pretend that one day the wall will come down and reveal a giant finished family room in an extreme makeover fashion but I know that’s pure fantasy!

Our fake back wall.

As mentioned we had booked in to get the front formal room drywall installed this week and the fireplace built but given the state of the back of the house it’s all been a bit much having both areas out-of-bounds. Having drywall installed is one of the things I cant wait to see the back of – its messy, super noisy and the dust it creates is not good. We put up plastic sheets with zips on to seal off the rooms they are working in and we make sure the kids are out of the house all day when it’s happening (that’s a whole other challenge esp in bad weather) but it’s still tough.

Building the fireplace

Fortunately they are close to being done and will prime the walls ready fr painting too for us which will save some mess down the line. There was lots of debate as to how big or small a fireplace we should have (we landed at 4.5 ft- which is a third of the wall it sits on) and we couldn’t come to a quick decision on what kind of fire to put in there. Gas was out of the question, I’m not happy with ventless (and they are illegal in california) and then Electric fires have not progressed much in terms of design so we are building a fake fireplace for now. One day we will figure out how to put a working fire in there but to start its going to be more of a design feature. We are going to stucco the breast and tile inside the fireplace and it should look really good once done.

And that was week 5 of development- apparantly we only have 4 months of living like this left according to Jon’s plans but we shall see. After this week i’m not convinced we will ever be done!

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