Changes & gratitude day 10

Good morning! I’m up waaaaay too early considering I was up pretty late last night, but Spirulina and Poptart decided it was time for me to get up at the crack of dawn - or really a few hours before, and so here we are. I’m cuddled up on the couch with Poptart and a giant cup of coffee….

So I wanted to share a bit about the changes that our home has undergone so far..

Back in July I discovered our water heater had sprung a leak, so I called the plumber out and we had to buy a new water heater. Unplanned and unexpected expense, yes, but I worked super hard on a project last year and luckily was recently paid for it, so no huge financial crisis...

thennnnnnn…… this company that specializes in moisture remediation came out with lots of equipment to dry out the small area that had gotten wet. The equipment was super loud and so we decided staying a week or two  at a hotel was a good option since Poptart was sensitive to sound and the fact it sounded like a chainsaw running in our house day and night - bahahaha! After everything was dried out, we were planning to replace the one little 4’x4’ piece of flooring that was compromised….
Well, that’s when we realized the problem was much bigger. Ya see, we have always had this platform in the kitchen - like a step up - so the kitchen area was elevated about 6 inches above the small breakfast/dining area. When we bought the house, we were told that it was likely the floor was raised to accommodate plumbing since the century old house was so low to the ground and built long before indoor plumbing was even a thing.

That proved to be a big ol’ wrong assumption. Turns out, there had been previous damage to the floor in that area and instead of tearing out the old floor and repairing it properly, at some point someone just built a second subfloor on top of the damaged floor and raised it to avoid what we would eventually end up doing ourselves… at this point in time, I was growing extremely anxious. Finding a coverup of this magnitude was spiraling me into a place of uncertainty and anxiety that I just don’t do well with… realizing that we may have to spend more time in a hotel, not knowing where to even begin with tearing up the old floor, knowing the fridge and stove and lower cabinets, sink, plumbing - will all have to be moved out in order to start this major work… things neither of us had any experience with… 
I tried to see the opportunity here, and honestly that’s how I deal with crisis when I can tell anxiety is starting to eat me alive. I start digging for the silver lining. Ok.. so we are sleeping in a hotel. We have a nice soft bed. I have realized my back isn’t sore anymore. I’ve realized our bed at home is the culprit for my sore back - not the fact that I just turned 47!! First optimistic realization!!! Whoop! Alright… so let’s make the most of this hotel stay…. I decide that I’m going to give our bedroom a little makeover - refresh the carpeted floor and get a new bed,  so that when the kitchen is done and we come back home, the bedroom will not be a downgrade from the hotel sleeping…

 I start to tear out the old beige carpet that was brand new when we moved in almost 10 years ago. I realize that the previous owners had put particle board down as the subfloor, so knew immediately that was going to have to be replaced. Started tearing that out and then realized he same exact thing that I discovered in the kitchen was the story for the bedroom floor as well except as I removed later after layer and finally got Dow to the dirt floor, the actual sill plate and support joists were sagging and my optimism immediately flew out the door. 

I could see no light at the end of the tunnel. Only layers upon layers of previous owners covering up problems instead of properly dealing with them. Christian was upset that I’d discovered this. I mean that’s what I do though… I peel the onions. I dig for the answers and sometimes that means I get myself in a pickle. Now I’m spiraling thinking our home is going to be condemned, that it’s not ever coming back from this. That’s it’s too far gone to be saved. Oh - and I forgot to mention that the company that was working on the kitchen floor quit on me. They got scared - I mean they were terrified of the liability and kept scaring me talking about ‘weight bearing walls’ and sill plates and really set me up for this gloomy way of thinking… 

Then I called my brother. He’s younger than me by 7 years but has always had a way of grounding me when there are things I find hard to handle… he calmly said “Sandi… it can’t be that bad. Think about it. They move old houses like yours *all the time* and they don’t fall in. They are able to work on the foundations and support walls and that’s all you need. Someone who’s familiar with that process.” He. Was. Right. And I instantly remembered a friend who had a house very similar to mine that was built in the same year as mine - 1905. I called him bawling. Ya see, he completely renovated his own home, and owned a construction company that had renovated and restored houses even older than mine. He offered to come over and have a look that day. Literally I less than and hour, he and his wife showed up and I went from barely being able to speak through the crying to feeling like I was gonna be ok. He talked about how this was no major thing, and said his company was scheduled out a year and a half (as most construction companies are), but that if we could do the demo and get it ready for his crew, that they had about a week in early October (about 3-4 weeks out from where we were currently) where they could come over and knock out getting the sill plates repaired and stabilized and put in the new flooring systems for the kitchen and bedroom. Talk about an angel… wow. This was some divine work happening. The stars were just lined up perfectly. 

With Christian working long hours and his job being peak season, I handled most of the demo myself and he’d help on his days off. It wasn’t easy - matter of fact it was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done. Where the kitchen floor wasn’t bad, it was super strong and had layers upon layers of the hardest wood slatted floor. Prying 4” nails out and cutting through with a skillsaw was super labor intensive. Then when the dirt below was exposed, it was so dry the red dust just went everywhere with every step taken…..

We did it though! We got everything ready for the builders in time, and they came in and got my little farm house stabilized and sturdy and sound once again. I would come each morning that week and get all the animals situated, walk the dogs, and wait for the guys to show up, then leave for the day and head back when they had gone to peek at the progress….

It was happening. Something that just a month ago I was freaking out about. I swear to you I thought my home was doomed. And here she is getting attention she needed and a new lease on life. A flooring system that will last her another hundred years….

I got to play the part of a contractor in a way also… during the weeks that I had to wait for the builder to have a window to work on my place, I organized the plumber to come out and redo all the plumbing for the house. As I’m doing this, I also knew I wanted to move the water heater from the kitchen to the concrete slab that was enclosed and served as our laundry room. Plumbing lines and electrical lines needed to be buried so a ditch witch was scheduled to dig and I had both the plumber and electrician out same day to do their thing. 

Not only has our floor and foundation been renewed, but our plumbing was redone and in a way that it will always be accessible whereas before we couldn’t access the kitchen plumbing due to the super low crawl. 

So here we are! Throughout this process, we got a whole new bedroom, a new couch, and soon our kitchen will be revamped. No new appliances or anything fancy like that, but a new floor, backsplash, cabinets, and I’m thinking of painting our fridge something funky… you know me- color to me is like fresh air… 

Later today we get a huge shipment of flooring supplies and I’ll get to research and study how to prep the floor and put down the colorful industrial tiles… :) I’m excited for this next phase. 

Anyway, I am SO GRATEFUL that we have the financial means to get our little home the much needed attention she deserved. I can’t wait til we are finished! The bedroom is complete and I’m so happy with the way it turned out…

Happy Friday! 



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