Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Huge Change!

Once upon a time we lived in a big farm house that we had rented for 18 years.  We loved that house...well, most of it.  Bud and Travis probably loved the outbuildings and pasture more than the house.  I loved the HUGE country kitchen.  We had many parties, holidays, and celebrations in that house.  Don't get me wrong, it had it's issues.  I hated the heat bills in the winter most of all.

One day after the land changed hands ( and several of us felt cheated out of the opportunity to purchase, but that's another story), Bud QUICKLY decided we were moving.  When I say quickly, I mean he decided on Thursday that we would be out by Monday!!  Trilby was already married, Travis and Tasha were in college, and Trina was just a few short weeks away from graduating from high school.  Technically that Monday we became homeless!  We packed up with LOTS of help from family, moved Trina to Kalona to her adopted grandparents' home, and Bud and I moved in with Trilby, Mike, and Payton.  We then began to look at acreages to buy.  We had looked at a house about a month before, but we decided it was just too small.  Then it sold.  I always liked the little Cape Cod style home, but it was just too small.  After six weeks, and the first sale falling through we were the proud owners of the little Cape Cod style house.

It had a lot of appeal--hardwood floors throughout, (after we tore up all of the shag carpet!), it was on pavement, room for the cattle, etc.!  It was three bedrooms, one bath, dining room, living room, small kitchen, with a basement.  All of the rooms were SMALL!!  The first thing we did was to add a 1/2 bath upstairs in what was, well, we're not sure what it was.  It is about the size of a large closet, but the former owners used it as a small office.  The downstairs bathroom was remodeled...I just couldn't live with the pink plastic tile!  We moved cupboards around in the kitchen and tiled the floor too.  There is always a project.

After eight years of cramped holidays, and an ever growing family we decided to add on.  Well, actually the plan was in my head since the day we bought it!  But, the only way we could afford everything we wanted was to do most of the work ourselves.  And we were raised to do things ourselves if we could. So, we set out to adding on.  A friend drew up what I had in my head, and we went from there.  We did everything except pouring the basement, setting the rafters, shingling the roof, and mudding & taping the walls downstairs.  It was a LOT of work,  A LOT
several arguments, and MANY late nights (often in the cold!).  Thank goodness for our relatives who helped.  Our house now looks like this:
 The two dormers on the left are the original ones.  The door is approximately where the north window once was.  We still have three bedrooms, but ours more than doubled in size with a huge closet added.  The dining room is now the foyer, the living room is now the dining room, and we have a large family room.  The kitchen was remodeled, but the old cupboards remain, and it is still the same small size(another project for another year).  We have a sunroom and huge wrap around porch that we love.

Then we started finishing the basement about a year ago, but that's another story for another day because it still isn't completely finished!

We come home tired and lazy now and can't imagine how we did all of that work while still working full time.  But it was well worth it!

What things have you done for yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it?


Josie McRazie said...

0my 'remodeling' becomes woes!! My Very loving Honeyman is very short with his temper and not the most handy guy! We have a few things we are gettign ready (probably next summer) and he has some VERY handy guys on the department that lend a hand! Thank goodness for them! On my wish list is a shower!! I have only a bathtub and just one bathroom in this old house of mine and well, with my growing family of mine...oh it would be such a dream!!

Laurie said...

Beautiful Kim! We moved into our new cape cod in 1997, and it needs so much done. My husband is one who loves to start projects, and never finishes them. So as I sit here waiting for the kitchen floor to be finished down the hall way, the bathroom to be installed upstairs where it has been plummed since we got the house, my porch to be finished, along with the upstairs, I think I'm done with the "do it yourself" projects!

Beth Swantz said...

I continue to be impressed with your hard work, creativity and techie know how!!! We need to do coffee or dinner...soon!!!

Mary and Wilbur Litwiller said...

I love your home and what all you have done to make it a so pretty and fit so well into the countryside.