Monday, February 29, 2016

The Bedroom Story | Part One

The bedroom is easily my favorite room in our house now. I mean, obviously, most people like their bedroom. Until we can get the upstairs completed, which will be Adeline's room, she is sharing the master bedroom with Blake and me. Even with all three of us sleeping in the same room once we move in, I can't explain how spacious and amazing this bedroom is. It even has a door leading to a little deck in the backyard (granted, this deck isn't the most sturdy structure), and big, beautiful windows, and feels so relaxing now. I can't wait to show you! But, that will have to wait until part two, as the journey it really took is two parts. 

The addition kind of looks like someone's attempt to stick a mobile home on the side of the house.

Maybe you remember me briefly mentioning a pool-room-type add-on that was attached to the house in the first fixer-upper post I wrote (you can click here if you would like to catch up, if you are just now hearing about our renovation story). That siding-covered structure to the right of the frame is the addition I'm talking about. This add-on helped support a set of stairs, and from it a deck was built as a landing one could walk out onto from the upstairs. There were several problems with this.

First, the deck and stairs were built mainly from just two by fours, which were dangerously rotted. Each time Blake walked up there to do any type of inspection, I could feel my blood pressure instantly rising. Second, the only spot in the entire house with irreparable mold damage was in this add-on. There was no way to save it without spending thousands of dollars we were never going to have in our budget. It was an eye-sore. It starkly contrasted against the style and feel of the house. It was an easy break-in point for those who had frequented sneaking onto the property before we bought it.

I actually greatly preferred the addition in this state, because at least you couldn't smell it the second you opened the front door.
I don't have a photo of the add-on before we started tearing it out; if Blake has one that I missed from his photos, I will add it to the post later. Inside the addition, where you see the dirt at the back of the photo, had once been the putrid remains of a hot tub. There was also a shower that was almost fixable at best, and a toilet I personally dared not investigate (like I said, this was the easiest point of entry for those trespassing on the property, get my drift). As you can see to the left of the frame, there is a hole for what would have been a window just like all of the other beautiful windows that are original to the house. It is framed up with drywall, which was left bare on the other side in the master bedroom. Not only was this window removed, but most likely either a very large window or set of french doors that would have led from the master bedroom to the backyard. 

One day as we were discussing what our next project was going to be, Blake asked me, "Are you tired of working outside yet?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Working outside wasn't that bad," I semi-lied. It really wasn't that bad, but I am still a total weenie, and I could feel the sunburn already forming in my subconscious.
"This will be harder, and more dangerous."
"I promise to do everything exactly like you tell me to do it, to the best of my ability."
"Okay...we're going to tear down the addition. You'll need gloves."

You have probably figured out that I owned zero "work" clothes, therefore could only use workout clothes. I got a hole in those running pants. :( No gangrene from rusty nails, though! Also, I promise this is the last flexing picture. Blake didn't find the irony as amusing as I did.

A quick snapshot of the remains before we brought the whole sucker down.
Just tearing down the outside took a while, and a lot of work. Blake did more of the demo, I did more of the carrying things away at a snail's pace, since I could only carry off about a third of what Blake could at a time. Once the outside was finally stripped away, it was time for the scary part: pulling the frame down.

I have a video of this coming down somewhere. It was scary and exciting to watch at the same time. Blake was really excited because he said it fell down "more perfectly than he could have imagined."
It actually fell down pretty easily (which was a little disconcerting). Unfortunately, a few bricks crumbled along with it, but nothing that can't be easily fixed. Some day. When we have more important things finally completed. 

Only the tile from the add-on left.
The pile at the bottom right is the remains of the mostly-rotted deck. Notice the stairs to nowhere to the left of the frame, and the floating door (which is bolted shut until we replace it with a window later).
The view from inside the master bedroom once the add-on was gone.
Once Blake decided it was finally time for this structure to go, we considered several issues that would need to be resolved, "what are we going to do with the big hole leading to the master bedroom?" being near the top of that list. 

One morning, I think on one of our weekends off, Blake decided to go garage saling with his mom to see if we could find anything that we would eventually need for the house, and one sale had three large, brand new windows for sale that sell for over $200 a piece. One of these three windows had one small pane broken, but other than this they were in perfect condition. Blake was able to buy them for $25 total. We measured the frame, and found out that two of the windows would fit perfectly with a tiny bit of framing. Talk about a steal, right? 

Before tearing down the addition, Blake and my dad used a bunch of the leftover two by fours from the fallen deck to board up the space. When an opportune time arose, they installed the windows, and Blake and his dad later finished framing them. 

I wish you could hear me audibly sigh right now. I know that all of this may look like a giant mess to you, but trust me, it is a relief all over again to see that addition gone. This new window will someday have a way better view than the piled up remains of the addition and other things we have hauled out, but even now I look out and can see all of the trees (including a gorgeous magnolia tree) in the yard where eventually all of our friends and family will be able to congregate in our pristine back yard. Someday. But, for now, I will take a beautiful room with squishy clean carpet, finished walls, and no awful moldy smell. I look forward to showing it to you in part two! 

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