Our friends Jamie and Carrie just bought a house which they plan to renovate. They had to do a lot of work on it this weekend to get it ready for some contractors to come in on Monday, so we went over there to help out. First we got a tour of the house, which was built around 1850 and has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (right now, they plan to add a third and totally renovate all three of them) and it will be really, really awesome when they get it fixed up even halfway decent. For now though it's a bit of a mess.
This is what Carrie calls the garden room and yes that is totally a tree growing in the wall. There are actually a few grapes on the vines, and Carrie thinks maybe grapes need to keep their roots cool and their vines warm, so that's why it was built this way? Whatever the reason, there is some serious dirt in there, tons of dead leaves, and tons more not-dead spiders. This is at the back of the house and is actually just next to the kitchen; there's a window from the kitchen to see into here.
This is the games room before all the carpet got ripped up...Lee and Jamie pulled up all the carpet in the entire house (except the stairs) because they're having people come over to spray stuff under the floorboards to combat dampness and pests. Plus the carpet was kinda gross anyway.
Now there's a fun carpet pattern. This is the lounge (British for living room) and see the orange in the window? There's ivy covering that entire side of the house.
This is the other room downstairs, and that fireplace is the opposite side of the one from the lounge. I think they're going to make this the dining room since it's the closest to the kitchen.
And here's part of the kitchen. That mustard color says the '70s are not dead. The cabinets are built-in by hand, but the rest of that stuff is freestanding furniture and kind of gives me the impression someone found them all at garage sales and said, "Hey, that'll work!" and then just painted them all to match the cabinets. The previous owner was an elderly man who apparently suffered from dementia, because there were notes everywhere like "Use soap when you wash up" and "Mice get into this cupboard so don't put cakes in here" and "Do not turn this radiator off at night".
There's a teeny add-on to the side of the house which is where the sink and range are located. The other side of the kitchen (previous photo) is actually not a bad size but this end is TINY. The entire kitchen will be redone, and I think Carrie said they want to make this tiny add-on part into a washroom with the washer and dryer to do laundry.
This is the "pantry" next to the kitchen, which is a weird shape and has another door that leads into the games room just to the left of this photo. Directly to my left when I took this is the downstairs bathroom. Plans for this room are to move the bathroom down so it's adjacent to the games room, and take out some walls (if possible) to increase the size of the kitchen.
Here's Carrie cleaning the kitchen windows. Cobwebs everywhere and there's another window in the kitchen that is housefly central...we could not figure out why they were all congregating there, but even after we started fly genocide they kept on coming. Carrie said I was some kind of avenging angel with a flyswatter. I also used the vacuum cleaner to suck up yet more flies and several not-dead spiders, so they're probably having cage fights inside the vacuum cleaner. (Lee said he was going to call PETA on me but I don't think they concern themselves with flies and spiders.)
When Lee and Jamie pulled up the flooring in the pantry, they found this stuff--lava floor! There's more layers of unidentified stuff under there and it's all crumbling from damp.
The floor of the games room (and really, almost the entire house) is lovely oak flooring, but when the carpet was put down in this room, there was a layer of something under the carpet that was secured with about five million staples, none of which came up when the flooring was removed. So now there's about five million staples to remove with pliers. I tried it first and had a hard time getting them to come up because apparently I am a total weakling (and I also have trouble with my wrist hurting), and then Lee bet he could completely de-staple an entire floorboard in under 20 minutes.
There he goes. He did it too, and Jamie did one as well. Then Carrie said yay, how many floorboards are there then? And Jamie said, "One, two, three, four, five, six, depressing." I have come to the conclusion that I am fairly useless when it comes to DIY projects, though Lee is having a ball with it. He loves doing this kind of stuff, and even better is that this time he doesn't have to pay for any of it : ) Mostly I'm just good for cookies...when they get to painting, then I can be more helpful. I think we're going back again this afternoon to help out some more. It will be interesting to see how this project progresses.
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