A lot of changes are occurring these days. So much for my New Year’s Resolution for fewer changes this year!
We have been planning an addition for our farmhouse for awhile now, especially after the long, VERY cold winter we had this year. We also could use a little more space with a little one on the way this fall! We have hesitated about our plans only because we want to keep the house’s integrity and history while preserving it and making it work for our growing family.
After much discussion, we decided we couldn’t see ourselves ever leaving this place, renting it out or tearing it down. It is the perfect location and the perfect piece of history we never knew we wanted! We are now working even harder to preserve our century farm for the years to come. I wanted to share the journey with you.
Old houses can bring many challenges but we have several main concerns for repair and construction.
New Exterior Insulation and Siding - Our home still has wood siding and the paint has been chipping away for years now! We HAVE to replace the exterior in order to keep it from rotting away!
Roof/Porch Repair - We need new roofing but mainly on the front and back porch. The roofline was built almost horizontally, creating a horrible system for draining. We must redo the roofline on the porches to encourage better drainage and eliminate the chance of water damage in the future!
Heating/Cooling - We struggled this past winter with only one small heat source… our propane fireplace (good thing our house is tiny!) Needless to say it was a long winter, bundled up by our electric heaters and fireplace that ran our bills sky-high! This summer, we have a window unit for our air conditioning, which hasn’t been too bad but I’ll be excited for the “real thing.”
Modern Day “Necessities”
Our home is believed to have been built in 1903 and just a few things have changed since then. We made of list of modern day “necessities” and “wants” for our new addition:
Central Heating/Cooling - more efficient
Closet Space - this old house has two TINY closets (neither of which existed in the original layout)
Basement/Storm Shelter - we live in Missouri and I hate the thought of taking shelter from tornadoes in the flooded cellar. Luckily, in our time here, we haven’t had to do so!
Mud Room - Every farmhouse NEEDS one! Our floors are constantly filthy because we have muddy boots coming into the center of our home on almost a daily basis!
Baby’s Room - We only have one bedroom on the main floor (currently the only one with heating/cooling) and would like to keep the baby closer to our bedroom. Once we have proper heating and cooling throughout the home, we can utilize the bedrooms upstairs as well.
Dishwasher - Dan and I haven’t had a dishwasher since we got married and I’m so ready for that luxury! I really like to cook but the thought of more dirty dishes sometimes hinders what I do in the kitchen. I’ll be more than happy to have a clean sink for once (more room for washing babies!)
Getting Ready For Construction:
There were so many things we needed to accomplish before the work could even start! We transplanted flowers for hours and hours! Some of these irises are probably decades old and we wanted to save as many as we could! There are so many different colors!
We had to say goodbye to our little garden shed (or Bear’s dog house as I would call it – since he was as big as Clifford) which sat over the cellar. Dan worked to save as many boards as possible before we had to tear in down. The shed was so old and built with random pieces of lumber. We found several neat metal pieces to keep and also dug up the hand-hewn rocks which were used for steps all those years! They will find a new home after the renovations.
Among many other chores, Dan also removed tons of tree limbs, our old sidewalk and the back porch steps. Which, by the way, made it really hard for this pregnant girl to get in and out of the back door. My knees can’t really go chest-high anymore with a belly in the way!
And sometimes we even worked in the dark…
Ready or not we got started!
Weeks 1 & 2:
This whole process is going to take awhile and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for swift progress before the baby arrives in September! Did I mention we are nuts?!
After several weeks of rainfall (not complaining) we finally got the project underway on Monday, June 16th!
Here is what we have accomplished in only two short weeks:
Dug a basement.
Set up forms for walls.
Poured the concrete walls.
Then Dan, with the help of some AWESOME friends & family, sealed the basement and back-filled the area around it.
We are also adding onto the backside of our house, where the garden shed sat, and that foundation is almost done too!
After all that work, we now have yard that looks more like this…
We also have a few trampled flowers, no hot water and mounds of dirt and old concrete everywhere… but so far so good! We are so happy to finally be rolling on this project!
Hope you’ll stay here and join me on our wild ride this summer as we transform our old farmhouse… and have a baby!