18 May 2007

Stage 1

As I may have mentioned in a previous post or two, we're embarking on a humongous construction project this summer. It will dramatically increase our home's value for resale, and it will also increase our square footage, which, as the kids and their toys keep getting bigger, sounds pretty good to me.

The breakdown: in exchange for ripping down our leaky, crumbling, mostly worthless 7.5x26 ft. back porch, we'll be getting a 12x29 ft. glossy, beautiful main floor addition, including main floor laundry (!!!!) and a full main-floor bath (our old one, part of the back porch, was only a .25 bath--the sink didn't work--and not insulated, so using it during the winter months meant one cold tushy), as well as 12x29 ft. of basement space and a 12x15 ft. addition to Judah's bedroom upstairs. In the process, we'll also be gutting and remodeling our kitchen and roofing and siding the entire house. I am excited beyond belief, while still trying to be realistic--we can expect this project to be a huge drain of time, resources, and energy, and fully expect it to drag on well into the fall.

But as Confucius said, The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So my first step last week was clearing out the back porch (formerly a dumping ground of coats, shoes, recyclables, and (most of all) random miscellany. Before I could do that first step, though, I had to clear out the front porch (formerly a dumping ground of random unused furniture and, of course, miscellany) and mop it. Those two steps took all of Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, I did all of the laundry--ALL of it. This includes sheets, blankets, towels, and the many things I've postponed washing because they weren't necessary--the neat sheet the dog sits on in the back seat, etc--because I knew that, on Friday, my washer and dryer were moving up to the front porch, and I had no idea how long it would be before I would be able to use them again. (They're still unhooked.) On Friday, I got the crazy notion that I should clean out the basement. Now, this is where it really got surreal. I can't adequately explain to you what a dumphole our basement had become (Don't know where to put it? Shove it down in the basement! No one ever looks down there!), but suffice it to say that I pulled the lawn tractor and trailer up to the house so I could carry a big load of junk out to the burn pile. I cleaned it out, for real--I even removed the carpet. Somehow, the kids stayed asleep for two hours, and I was able to do more than I ever dreamed possible--enough to make Abe mutter a mild expletive of amazement when he returned home that afternoon. I also ground and browned 5 lbs. or beef for sloppy joes for the workers on Saturday. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was bushed.

As you can imagine, Abe's week was also chaotic, trying to get, well, let's be honest here, I don't know what ready for the big demolition. He worked every bit as hard, and probably harder, than I did, and just want the record to reflect that.

Saturday was...an adventure. Abe's dad, two Tims, a Dave, a Jim, and a Shaun all came to help destroy our porch. It is unfathomable how much joy men get out of demolition. All I can say is that, with the mere mention of the word, Abe's friends were all too eager to come help.

The first blow was struck at about 8:30 or 9 am, and I nearly fell out of bed. I went outside to see what the noise had been, and found our contractor, Shaun, sheepish. Abe apologized for him. :) The porch was gone--I mean, to the dirt--by about noon. After setting out and cleaning up the guys' lunch, I took the kids out to Abe's parents' house so they could get naps--a frustrating and highly unsuccessful endeavor--and returned by about 3:30. Abe worked into the evening. He is a dedicated worker, he is.

So here are some snapshots from the day, if you care to see them. Some are blurry (I couldn't very well re-do shots), so they're not necessarily the best quality, but they should give you an idea!
before:

going...

going...

gone!!

2 comments:

Jon said...

Holy cow!

Can't wait for your Bus-Driver-Move-That-Bus moment.

Charis + Judah's Mom said...

Yes...if only we could get the crew of thousands to come in here and do it all for us in a week while we go to Disneyland...sigh. Wouldn't that be nice.