Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Thursday, October 6, 2011

a (premature) before & after

Our little complete home renovation/addition project has officially been in progress since we bought our little cottage 4 years ago this past month. The first years, however, were very much so focused on the inside- and to be more exact, the first floor. So, when today the brick layers had officially finished one side of the house with the newly bricked exterior I couldn't help but look back to see how that side of the house has evolved since we began this long road... hopefully the "official" before and after shots, including the interior, won't be too far behind.
The Journey: 

October 2007- the "what did I let Dan talk me into buying" photo...

October 2008- About a year later and very little progress on the outside- our focus had been on the inside, leaving a lot to be desired in the 'curb appeal' department. We had spent a lot of time on tearing out all of the old landscaping and putting in new that we were waiting on to mature, but it never had a chance. Bing, our new puppy at the time destroyed almost all of our hard work. Oh, furry children...

January 2009- Finally, a little improvement- we had our house painted... getting rid of the blue with white shutters and replacing with a temporary white with black shutters, knowing that hopefully sooner or later that would be replaced with an all brick exterior. 

February 2010- Another year by and still little progress on the outside. At that point all of our efforts had been on renovating the first floor in anticipation of Jackson's arrival in the midst of one of the many snow storms in February 2010. 

March 2011- We just learned we were pregnant with Audrey, Dan was beginning 3 months of working 7 days a week and so we decided that would be *perfect* timing to begin the next major phase of work, this time finally attacking the outside. Goodbye, nasty old sun room, tiny garage and ancient stone landscaping!

April 2011- The next month or so was spent reconstructing the back foundation of the house to combat the years of pressure the house had endured from being built into a hill. This was definitely one of the not-so-glamorous or exciting parts of the project.

Late April 2011- Work beginning on the new addition while still finishing the foundation. Dan and our concrete guy, Greg, are prepping the footers for the new room. It was at this point when we realized Jackson was seeing more of Greg than he was of Dan since there was so much concrete work happening on the project and Dan was still stuck at work literally all hours of the day and night. 

May 2011- Once the footers were poured, work began on the future garage and patio floors as well as retaining walls below where the addition would sit. 

June 2011- The month we found out we were having a GIRL and this pregnant mama was happy to be able to once again park near the house. No more carrying Jackson, diaper bags and computers bags across makeshift sidewalks and losing her heels in muddy construction messes every morning. 

July 2011- Finally a little excitement- we began framing the addition! Of course, it was one of the hottest summers in recent memory so it made for some pretty trying days for our work crew, but it was well worth it (easy for me to say from the comfort of air conditioning)!

August 2011- August brought a less hectic work schedule for Dan (thank goodness!) and more progress, including finished framing, roof trusses, a roof and windows. Things were moving quickly, just the way I like them!

September & Early October 2011- The start of fall brought a big hold-up as we faced our first big set back (and hopefully our last) when our brick guy had to quit on us after his crew quit on him, so we spent time looking for a new crew to hire and then a lot of rainy days slowed down progress, but slowly we are seeing the exterior come alive with the new brick makeover. At this point 2/3 of the brick has been laid. 

Hopefully in the next few days we'll be ready to share the finished brick exterior! Meanwhile, Dan has been busy inside running all of the electricity for the addition- the phase of the project I'll remember as the one that officially burnt him out. I'm hoping it is finished ASAP so we can move on to other projects that he won't have to be as hands-on with... the new HVAC, drywall and flooring. Did I mentioned Audrey is due in 39 days!?!

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