Sunday, June 15, 2014

A long overdue update

When we started this blog, we titled each post by the day into the project. Day 1, Day 57, etc. Day 134 (May 20, 2012) was that last regular post. The house was pretty well emptied out at that point and we decided to take some months off to consult with an architect. It was a year later (Day 507) that we were finally able to check in and say that the building permit was approved. And then... nothing really happened. We had a good excuse for a lot of the down time, namely a baby on the way (Julie, born 6 September) and a lot of projects that needed to be done in our rental before she arrived. But there was also a general apprehension for getting started on what had turned out to be a much bigger project than we originally anticipated. We needed to find a good partner that could help us with the execution, but also could respect that we needed to do a lot of the work ourselves. It took some time, but by early 2014 we had found a contractor that seemed to be as psyched about the project as we were about them (Egil Norli). By Easter we had an agreement on how to get started. And now, only about 10 weeks later, it feels like the project is finally moving full speed ahead - even though the majority of the work is still only happening on the weekends. 

If we were to continue with the original theme, today's post should be titled Day 889. But that sounds so depressing! Also, having a 9 month old in the house makes it nearly impossible to post updates regularly enough that we can pin the progress to be shared to a specific day. So instead, we'll just try to update what we can, when we can. 

Today's update concerns something that has not been the primary focus of work in the last few months, but one that has made a sudden and spectacular change to the appearance of the house. Our plan has been to tear down and replace the "new" part of the house that the terrace extended out from (built in the 1950's, and again in the early 2000's) with a completely modern extension. This weekend we got one very big step closer to realizing this vision. 

Here are some pictures from the spring showing the removal of the terrace:





And here are pictures from this weekend... 





Pretty awesome, right?

Es basically took a chainsaw along the outer frame of the extension, from ground to roof and around, to separate it from where it met the old part of the house. Then he went in with the digger and gave it a couple of good shoves. Down it came! Today was spent cleaning up the mess (a job that took even longer than the tearing down bit, even with three sets of hands involved) and removing the panelling and knubb that was the original outer wall of the house.

The garden is a sad sight. Our neat piles of stone and brick have multiplied into not so neat piles of splintered wood, insulation, roofing asphalt, etc. But most of the mess will be loaded on the work truck and hauled to the dump in the next week or so.

Hopefully in that time we can also share an update on the inside of the house.