After a great deal of planning, dreaming, and "discussing" Sandy and I settled on a plan for our renovation and prepared to begin this great adventure in June of 1994. We will break this page into two segments. The first will involve small projects that led up to the start of the house renovation and the second part will center around the first phase of construction.
Prior to this time we had completed several other projects that would pave the way for this extended project. Some of the projects were too minor to document, others were patches and fixes that would later be removed or enhanced as the project moved on. So here is a list of items we considered milestones along during the first 3 years we lived here:
- Temporary patches on the flat roof to stop the leaks
- Shingle 10-12 pitch roof to satisfy the VA mortgage insurer
- Shop addition to allow for extra space required for cabinet work
- Convert a large bathroom into a medium sized full bath and a half bath
- Demolish 70' of the 150' open front machine shed and side over 2 of the 3 remaining doors
- Plant 300 seedlings to develop a wind break
- Renovate the family room to get rid of the dark cave look!
From the very first day that we considered buying this property I knew we needed to remodel it and make it an attractive place to live. I also knew that the flat roor needed to go since this sort of roof has no place in the northern climents, but settling on a design was to be a problem. The dormer on the 1930's portion presented us with a roofline problem in that this was the stairway to the second floor and a normal pitched roof would not allow the stairs to remaiin as they were. So some where along the line we decided to construct a gambrel roof (barn roof) to allow access for the second story stairwell.
I have been involved in the building trades since graduation from High School so felt comfortable tearing into a project this size, but was not prepared for the disaster that awaited us in the summer of 1994. The project began with the removal of the old redwood deck and I dug the 4' deep X 2' wide footing by hand. Once out of the ground with the foundation we quickly constructed the deck to provide a solid clean work surface, which would save the best lawn on the property. Then we quickly framed the 10' addition and began work on the second floor. I needed to tear off some of the flat roof material to frame walls and replaced the tar and gravel with a double layer of roof felt.
No sooner was this opened up than the rains began. July 4, 1994 brought heavy down pours of rain that continued the entire month of July and into August (remember the Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri floods of 1994). Needless to say the water that ran through the roof into the master bedroom and family room nearly brought this project to a disastrous end and tested the stuff we were made of. Thinking back we should have taken some pictures of the gloomy looking family room that was drapped in plastic and tarps and buckets catching rain water as it dripped through the holes I made in the ceiling to let it pass through, but neither of us had much of a sense of humor with all the mess.
The entire project took on the atmosphere of a project gone bad as we battled to keep things dry and the project moving forward. No sooner did we get things dried out from one rain than another would hit us. I framed like a wild man between rain storms and was finally able to get the sheathing on the roof and covered it with plastic. As you look at the pictures of this project notice all the blue tarps and plastic we had showing around edges trying to keep things dry. Somehow we survived this mess and finished the outside work before the first snowfall.... Whew, one phase done five to go!!!!
The first phase of the project consisted of the following steps:
- Remove and replace deck and add foundation on West side of 1975 addition
- Extend the West end of the 1975 addition yielding a 10' X 32' sunroom
- Construct a gambrel roof over this addition as well as the entire 1975 addition
- Extend the gambrel roof onto the 10-12 pitched 1930 roof line
- Install skylights in the upper slope for additional light in the second floor area
- As part of the framing for the gambrel roof, rough frame 2 - 12' X 24' bedrooms
- Apply 1 X 2 battens 16" O.C. over 1/2 CDX plywood sheathing and paint barn red to match existing steel siding