Welcome to the unfolding story of our attempt to remodel/restore the WWII-era home that we purchased in 1989. A minimalist traditional style residence with good "bones" but very little character, my husband and I would like to transform the house into an Arts & Crafts-inspired gem. Having languished in the project for many years, I am hoping this blog will provide the accountability we need to stay focused on our dream. Come join us on the journey!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

PR: East Wall Shingles

Time for a progress report!  Since we began this project on July 3, 2012, I thought it was about time to provide some photographic evidence that work was actually proceeding.  Given that some of the temperatures have been hovering in the mid 80's (and I had to take care of a small problem that cropped up with the dryer), I am a little surprised we got this far this quickly.  Happy, but a bit surprised given our previous track record.  Before moving on to the photos, I should state that all the shingles were dipped (fully immersed) in Thompson's Water Seal before they were installed.

So, this was our starting point:

The east wall of our tarpaper shack
As you can see, and as I mentioned in Finally on the Same Page, this side of the house was neglected for many years for many reasons, as embarrassing as that is to admit.  Now, it looks better (though it isn't yet finished).  Here are some timeline pictures of the work thus far.  I love the wall...and am pleased that we decided to "weave" the shingles at the corners instead of installing corner boards.

Day 1:  July 3, 2012
Day 1:  King Richard installed new tarpaper, a starter course of shingles, and the new red cedar shingles that are pictured here.  The "fence" that you see hanging on the house was also constructed as my hubby's homemade shingle alignment tool.  The starter course under the bottom row was comprised of shingles recycled from the originals (red cedar) that were on the house when we bought it.  They had been removed, stripped of their gray paint, dipped in water seal, and nailed in place.

Day 2: July 4, 2012
Day 2:  Independence Day saw some work and some play (later in the day, we had dinner, s'mores, and fireworks with Koalagirl and her family).  More shingles were added and, as work would soon begin to reach higher heights, King Richard built three "dead men" for a scaffolding.  Shopping for a new table saw was also conducted.  So, not much visible progress this day but, hey, it was the 4th of July after all.

Day 3:  July 5, 2012
Day 3:  Some progress was made but not as much as we could have accomplished.  It was Katherine the Great's birthday, you see, so we took it easy.  That said, new tarpaper and more shingles did go up between the windows.

Day 4:  July 6, 2012
Day 4:  The window on the left was the project for this day.  It was removed, new tarpaper was wrapped around/in the opening, and everything was reinstalled.  New tarpaper was also stapled below the window.

This was the day we almost had our first accident, too.  The initial attempt at reinstalling the window went awry.  I lost control of it while trying to guide it, the scaffolding shifted, and my husband almost fell backwards off the ladder with the window on top of him.  Instead, King Richard ended up balanced on the ladder between the scaffolding and the house with the window resting on his thighs.  Our second attempt went more smoothly, as you can see.

Day 5:  July 7, 2012
Day 5:  Shingles were added below the newly reinstalled window.  I believe this was also the day we began discussing if we wanted to add some sort of artistic detail in the gable.  I started looking at designs, especially on the website of the Pacific Shingle Company.  My daughter and I were leaning toward some type of ivy motif.  Craftsman houses are known for having nature-based design elements, which would make a plant like an ivy an appropriate symbol to incorporate into the house.  Ivy is also a symbol of the Trinity.  Being practicing Christians, we thought it might be cool to add a theological element to the house.  Both of these ideas were eventually abandoned since we do not possess the artistic skills to accomplish such a  task.

Day 6:  July 8, 2012
Day 6:  This was a Sunday, so work was done only in the late afternoon and evening.  Flashing and new tarpaper were installed above the left window.  Tarpaper was added between the left window and the corner.  More shingles were also put in place between the windows.  And...this was the day that King Richard melted a Sharpie marker in the dryer.  What fun!  :)

Day 7:  July 9, 2012
Day 7:  King Richard started work on the south side of the house.  This was necessary because shingles on the east side needed to be "woven" at the corner, incorporating some from the other wall.  Step one of this process was to assess the condition of the plywood sheathing.  As you can see from the photo, a few pieces required replacement.

Day 8:  July 10, 2012
Day 8:  With the plywood sheathing upgraded, King Richard began work on the corner.  First up, flashing.  Since that required some shopping between Home Depot, Lowe's, and a local lumber yard, not much visible progress was made on the shingling itself.

Day 9:  July 11, 2012
Day 9:  Work on this day was focused on corners.  Tarpaper was secured over the flashing and the initial course or two of shingles was started at the bottom on the left corner.  Old shingles were removed between the right hand window and the corner in preparation for repair, replacement, and "weaving" of shingles there.  Progress was slow but steady.


Day 10:  July 12, 2012
The new table saw.
Day 10:  New flashing and new tarpaper were installed above the right hand window.  Shingles were then added, finishing the first row above both windows.  Another exciting development for King Richard:  the purchase of a new, portable table saw!  Cutting shingles to size should be much less troublesome.

Day 11:  July 13, 2012
Day 11:  More tarpaper and shingles went on the south wall so "weaving" into the corner could begin in earnest.  Learning the ropes of the new table saw was also on the list.  Watching pets for Koalagirl while she was on vacation distracted us as well, which could explain our low production rate on this particular day.

Day 12:  July 14, 2012
Day 12:  Tarpaper and shingles continued to be added on the south side of the house, with each row being "woven" at the corner.  Much progress was made as six rows of shingles went up, each one being hand chosen for size and custom fitted.  Granted, I am biased because King Richard is doing the work, but I think it looks beautiful.

Day 13:  July 16, 2012

Day 13:  After pushing to get a lot accomplished on the wall over the past ten days or so, King Richard took a day off on Sunday, July 15, 2012.  Work began again on Monday, in the evening, with more tarpaper and shingling in the corner.

The project is coming along.  More work has been accomplished since these photos were taken, I just don't have access to them at the moment.  As soon as I do, I will make sure to write a second progress report.  Until then, have a great summer!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Finally On the Same Page

Red cedar shingles, a view from the end.
Thus far on 7MR Restoration, I have chronicled a few ideas about what I would like to see on the inside of our house, some interesting products that I have encountered along the way while looking for remodeling ideas, and some qualities of my house that I admire/enjoy.  Well, the other day while King Richard and I were in our Toyota Tundra, talking on the way to a destination so memorable it slipped my mind, I finally realized that he WILL NOT help decorate or improve the inside of our abode unless and until the outside is finished.  Hmmm.  He swears he has been saying this for years (really?).  Apparently, it only took twenty years for me to hear him. His logic for refusing assistance is sound:  it makes no sense to decorate the inside when the outside isn't sealed against the elements.  How can I argue that point?  The result of this watershed conversation is that the home improvement projects (at least for the time being and at least for this summer) will be focused on upgrading the exterior of our home.

Project #1:  Shingle the east/northeast side of the house

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?  Sadly, in our case, it is actually rather embarrassing.  You see, we started this shingle project about eighteen years ago when our daughter was just a little thing, barely able to peek over the bottom edge of the window openings of what eventually became her bedroom.  She just turned 22!  What were we busy doing for all those years?  Well, aside from making excuses:  surviving thyroid cancer and dealing with its aftereffects;  homeschooling;  raising our daughter;  volunteering in the homeschool and church communities;  serving aboard two seagoing fast-attack submarines, one submarine support ship, the USS Nautilus Submarine Force Library and Museum, and a shore-based submarine maintenance facility;  helping our friends through life crises that included the loss of parents and infant children;  and saying goodbye to my own beloved father when he passed away in late 2005.  We also lost three cats in those eighteen years:  one to kidney failure, a second to heart failure, and third to abdominal cancer.  In short, we allowed life to interfere a bit too much with our home improvement efforts.

Well, now that we are back on track, life may still interfere with our plans but, at least for now, my husband and I are on the same page, the page dedicated to a shingling project.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tile Shopping

Today, after breakfast at a local restaurant (during which I had a delicious, hot-from-the-oven cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting) and a trip to Starbucks for coffee, my family browsed through tile samples at a local hardware store and at Home Depot, looking for chimney renovation ideas.  Said chimney runs through the corner of our dining area and is currently covered in plaster.  That isn't so bad.  Worse, it has one of those "paper plate" style discs stuck to the side where, in years past, something was hooked directly into the flue, most likely a wood stove.  Since my goal is to add Arts and Crafts details to our house, and one such detail is natural materials, I would like to make the chimney look as if it is constructed of Connecticut fieldstone.  We found some reasonable contenders this morning:

Veneerstone Vorago
Garden State Tile Andora Brickbond

I think we are leaning toward the Veneerstone.  Now for measurements and cost estimates.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lovely Light

One of the deciding factors when we purchased our home more than twenty years ago was the wonderful patterns of light that came through the windows at all hours of the day.  This is one of the few original old windows that remain on the west side of the house.  I just love the play of sunshine that beams through the panes at around 4:00 PM.  I was thinking of getting rid of this window as part of a change to the living room.  I was contemplating replacing this single window with two smaller ones set high in the wall, similar to the ones that are often seen on Arts and Crafts houses.  Given how pretty the light looked today (which is not at all captured by this amateurish photograph), I may have to rethink that idea.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paneling Idea

Tonight, while looking through the "Home Manager" folder I created in my browser, I found a link to The Inspired Room.  There, I found a photo of a do-it-yourself bathroom remodel.  I like the paneling, especially how it integrates so well into the mirrors.  Check it out if you are interested:  paneling idea.

If you know of any other great paneling looks for a bathroom, please share the link in the comments.  Thank you!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Some Small Tub Ideas

A few days ago, during an impromptu discussion/planning session for our bathroom remodel, my husband and I investigated bathtubs online.  In truth, this was me having him look at a website that I had discovered where someone else already did the hard work of sorting through all the decent tubs on the market to locate the few that would fit in a small space.  As our bathroom is only 40 square feet, I think it qualifies as "small" by any stretch of the imagination.  After some measuring and personal fitting (i.e., King Richard actually sitting in the tub while considering possible depth to overflow statistics), he settled on this one:  the Kohler® Archer® 5-foot tub.

I am ok with it, but I am not too particular about the bathtub.  I don't usually do the luxuriating soak routine. I leave that to the man of the house, the thyroid patient who needs to warm up once in a while.  I am more concerned with the choice and arrangement of cabinets.  I will be getting to that soon (I hope).  In the meantime, since the overall goal of the house restoration/remodel is to focus on Arts & Crafts styling, I do like what the Kohler® website has to say about the Archer® series:
The transitional aesthetic of the Archer Suite is achieved by blending subtle design elements found in craftsman furniture's chamfering techniques and the intricate facets of jewelry.  This combination of beveled edges and curved bases creates a timeless appeal that suits an array of design motifs.
If you have a small bathroom like I do and are looking for a new bathtub, you may want to check out these two articles by Diane Rixon at DIY-Life.  I found them to be quite helpful.

Sensational Soaking Tubs for Small Spaces, Part 1
Sensational Soaking Tubs for Small Spaces, Part 2

Note:  No compensation was received for any referrals or mentions in this article.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Too Exoitc For Me

My husband and I are considering a second remodel of our only bathroom.  We updated it over twenty years ago when we bought out home, so this most essential room is definitely overdue for another upgrade.  If, as we have heard, the average recommended time between major bathroom remodeling projects is every five years, then we have been quite remiss in keeping up with modern decorating trends.  Currently, our "water closet" contains a toilet, a tub/shower unit, and a sink surrounded by a formica countertop, and a shower curtain from Kohl's.  In short, our bathroom is basic.

As part of an initial discussion of toilets, King Richard came across this video of the C3 Toilet Seat by Kohler.*  Innovative though it may be, this particular unit is too exotic for a simple Midwestern girl like me.  I think I would rather invest in a towel warmer, but that is the subject of another discussion.

*No compensation was received for featuring this product.