June 20, 2010
I thought I would never do this again, but here I am remodeling an old house. This is a cottage I bought 17 years ago and it was pretty much a wreck back then. The work put into it in the early 90’s has been used up by time and the lives of some lovely people who tenanted the house over the years. So it’s time to fix it up and move into it myself later this summer. It’s a modest little house built in 1950 on a piece of land that is at the edge of the town of Jacksonville, Oregon. I have almost an acre of land and, praise be, neighbors on only one side so far and open land wherever else I look. Of course, as these things go there is always more work that needs to be done than time and money to do it. I am looking at a multi stage project and have decided to tackle those jobs that are most important to me in this first phase. Energy efficient windows are the top priority along with replacing all the doors with solid wood ones. And air conditioning, which led to needing a new furnace. (That put a dent in the budget.) And I need a nice bedroom with a wood floor and a glass door out to the deck we are going to build in the back. That will be where the handmade paper will happen. The indoor studio will be in the larger of the two bedrooms. The walls and ceilings need to be resurfaced throughout the house. The bathroom and kitchen are boring, but functional, and so they will just get a new coat of paint for now and I will dream about their upgrades in the cold of next winter.
July 2, 2010
Yikes, the project has grown! Surprise, surprise. Jay, my friend and building remodeler, has come up with lots of ideas to make this house work for me. So that sheet rock that needed resurfacing, well, now there are new holes, new walls, and I guess those guys will be around here working a bit longer than I had anticipated. But all that is still in the future as we are waiting for the doors and windows to be delivered. There is still lots to do to in the meantime. Just finding the right color paint for the exterior was a challenge. First I had to get over the fact that the building code in Jacksonville dictates color. There are a lot of choices but it was the principle of there being a rule that got to me. Oh, you didn’t know I have a thing about authority? After buying a couple of colors and sampling and rejecting them, I just went and knocked on the door of a house I like a couple of blocks away. They were happy to share the information on the paint they used. Should have done that in the first place; I had been admiring that house for the past year. Speaking of which, I have to get into town this morning to get some of that paint. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.