Sunday, June 26, 2016

river house #6: the cheap man always pays more...

Taking on (multiple) major home renovations at one time is not for the faint of heart.  Just when we were hitting a stride on the River House, we received an offer from a friend-of-a-friend to paint the exterior of our dilapidating 1820 rental house we purchased last year.  The work had to be done.  And it was one of those offers we felt we just couldn't refuse, especially since the price was so right.

BUT you know how that goes...

Growing up, my dad always told us, "The cheap man always pays more."

Well, let's just say this was a case-in-point example of Dad's proverb.  (which has been so ingrained in our heads that all he has to say is "The cheap man..." and we get it.)

Little Miss Sassy on the ladder
Because it turned out this "painter" wasn't actually a painter at all.  Granted, he was an excellent worker, and a hard one at that.  (Man, if only half of the contractors I've dealt with could hustle like this guy.)  He earned his pay, no doubt.  And he's a great guy.

But ultimately we, the cheap man, paid so much more in so many other ways in order to get this job done.   You were right, Dad.

(and it's still not complete...deep breath, Amy...)

We lost 2 weeks of working on the River House to personally attend to this new, unexpected painting project, but I can at least show you the front of the house that's finished....

new paint job on the 1820 house
Waalah!  I'd say it turned out beautifully, (the part that's complete, that is) and it's nice not to have a property that's literally rotting out anymore. 

(Ever seen a black house before?  The color, picked by the former owner, is called Lincoln Cottage Black, and we decided to complete his original vision!)  

Okay, so back to the Haunted House, uh, I mean, the River House... 

Almost all of the plaster in the main house has now been demo'd and it's down to the studs.  It's basically a barn: no electricity (don't let that old lightbulb in the picture deceive you), no plumbing, no HVAC, no walls, no cabinetry, no anything. 

But where we're really focusing this summer is in the basement.  We've got a female intern coming to work with Marc this August, and our plan is to rent this cool new space to her while we work on the upstairs main house. 

let there be light!

So here's the latest... we installed windows in the basement!  (previously there were none cut out- construction must have come to a quick halt in the previous owners' renovations... but hey, that gives us the ability to design it which is half the fun.)

We love Mr. Larry!
Meet Mr. Larry, contractor extraodinaire.

He's wonderful.  Jameson pretends he's Mr. Larry around the house.

Believe it or not, the previous owners were having an elevator shaft installed on this open concrete area.  Ten years ago, it was abandoned, cinder blocks, rebar and all.  Well, of course, we're not installing an elevator, so the question remained.  How will we use that space all the way up the house?

It's going to be awesome when it's all said and done, but for now I'll keep you in suspense...

We had a major loss of morale the other day when we discovered an ENTIRE CORNER of the house (2 STORIES) has become a snack-fest for an unwelcome, large community of TERMITES.  Cue all the "what have we gotten ourselves into" feelings.

Thankfully, the termite folks will be coming to the rescue, and afterall, what's one more check to write on a project like this anyway??  (please note sarcasm)

But good news is that we've got framing inside.  And the electrician came to rough everything in yesterday.

I'm in love with this old door I found laying upstairs.  (which happens to be just like the doors where Marc's dad grew up)  We're restoring it and will make it the pocket door into the bathroom.

Marc's working on plumbing, and anytime he's got a big drill in his hand, the kids are begging to join him.
And here's a sneak peek at some of the things I'm putting together for the bathroom vanity....can't wait to see it all come together!

Until next time...

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