Monday, March 28, 2011

Windows & the Annex

It was very exciting the day the windows started to go on the barn and just as I had hoped our contractors started on the end facing the road. That big window arrived in one piece and weighing in at 600 pounds it expands almost from beam to beam, big window! It had to be jacked up with six guys to lift it in place and with the guys all standing on something that’s only 22 inches wide holding something taller then them, trust me it was scary to watch. One little slip from anyone and the whole thing would have been rubbish on the ground. Of course my contractor didn’t put in the half round window next since that would have made me happy, it was a love/hate relationship…lol.

The back of the barn, you see that weather strip of copper and it looks like there are two overhangs off the roof, it’s because there are two overhangs the original roof and the new. When it came time for the guys to frame out the inside of the barn we noticed there wasn’t going to be enough room for even spray foam insulation between the rafters without hiding the rafters and we wanted to keep the rafters exposed since they’re so beautiful. So instead of insulting on the inside they insulated on the out. Meaning they ripped the shingles off the roof and basically built a roof on top of a roof so they could get enough insulation up. Shame I don’t have any pictures of that step because it was something to see.

The roof was change number one. We tried hard to stay with our original plan since changes can be very costly. This change was a weeks worth of labor for three guys and a new roof on the barn...get the idea?

Opposite end from the big window, this is the other side in the backyard. The window below is mister man’s workshop and second completed granite wall. Do you have any idea how hard I work to get our lawn that green and lush? No respect from the men I tell ya!

The front of our home, the barn is an ell off our home. The Annex is located to the left, you can see one small original window there.

Voile, finally the half round window went up! Talk about torture waiting!

An inside look, just look at that lush view!

Opposite end from the wall of windows.

Our contractors also started framing out the annex, the room right off the barn, and placing two small walls that had been torn out but then I noticed see that door, it leads into mister mans office and when you come through it you see the French doors. Or I should say door since with that new small wall there it was going to block off the view to the outside.

But quick work with a saw to cut that wall down worked!

To give you a little height perspective that door is 7’1”, homes don’t have codes for door heights, see how much higher the ceiling is? The barn floor sits lower then the annex floor and the ceiling is way higher. Headroom will not be a problem!

Voile, looking outside!

French doors finally in place. The wood frame sticking up in the middle there is blocking off the opening for the staircase so nobody took a fall since it was still a big open hole.

At last our contractors took pity on me and started the clapboard on that end. I came home and was coming up the drive when I had to stop and stare since I didn’t know it was going up that day…perfection! At this point of our renovation it was starting to get cold out with winter fast approaching and we had painters coming to paint the outside so the guys were racing to get the clapboard up. Wait until you see what’s coming next!

Next, the details!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving along & Buttoning things up!

When I last posted about our carriage barn our contractors were just starting to frame out for the windows here. They also had to add new studs since the old ones weren’t sixteen inches on center and carpenter ants and water had taken a toll on two sides of the building. Then it was a simple matter of sheathing so they could start to button this place up for winter.

Our contractors waited until all the other windows had been framed out before they would cut and frame for the half round window as their small way of torturing me. I’ll admit I became a bit of a pest about framing out for that window but I just wanted to see! Just look how that half window is the crowning touch on the upper wall!

Inside looking out, look at that view looking out among the forest, it’s like our own personal tree house! And the half round window fits perfectly up among the eave. It sits right on the main beam and goes right up to the rafters, it pays to measure!

Back side of the carriage barn and our contractor Rich who thought he was running the job site but lets be realistic as to who was running this job…lol, yes we butted heads a few times. You see that concrete slope along the bottom edge that was to direct the water away from the barn. They encased the sills under there as well. This barrier stops all water from leaking into the downstairs part of the barn. They placed drainage everywhere behind the barn since the mountain slopes down towards our barn. You see that opening behind Richs' back....

That would be this opening where a pair of French doors are going. This was where the original barn doors were located and leads out to this....

An old logging road that goes up into the forest, this whole back area used to be open pasture land and you can see from the size of the trees they aren’t all that old. It has stonewalls on either side but as you can see there on the right part of the stonewall has been shoved about by the shifting of the mountain. Look how straight that left wall is, amazing they could do that over 200 years ago.

The other end of our barn facing out onto our backyard and as you can see our contractors have really made a mess of our yard, it goes clear around the house! The bottom half is where mister mans' workshop is located.

Looking out on the end shown above. The annex is located on the left over where the window is leaning against the wall.

Look at the view from that end looking out onto our backyard and forest. We're really very blessed to be surrounded by so much natural beauty.

The window above also faces out to our old barn area in the backyard, here you can see the entire foundation that the barn used to sit upon. Unfortunately the animal barn was struck by lightening at the turn of the 20th century and burned to the ground. We plan on having that area cleaned up and graded for gardens.

After they sheathed that end and as you can see mister man is building another granite stonewall for his shop. That hanging wood frame is the frame for a window. This end had a lot of carpenter ant damage, similar to termites but the stone will stop those ants since they won't climb and can't penetrate stone.

Our carriage barn all sheathed and ready for the windows, two sets of barn doors need to be built for the lower front of the barn and then clapboard and it’ll be set for winter. I can’t wait to show you in my next post how the windows look!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coming Home.....

When we purchased our home I already knew this was my husbands old pediatricians home, my husband grew up down the road from here, talk about going full circle. His pediatricians name was Margaret Reynolds and she had moved up here from New York City just like my husband and I did but she moved up here to retire. Since there wasn’t a children’s doctor around these parts some of the townsfolk got together and talked her into going back into practice. I know this story from some of the townspeople who knew her. Margaret lived in this great big old house alone for over forty years and after passing her ashes were buried in our backyard on our raised tier where she still resides.

Margaret loved this house from the stories people told me and never wanted to leave, probably why she wanted her ashes to rest here. One day about a year after mister man and I moved in we were in another town antiquing. We stopped at a small run down shop out of curiosity, the place was a mess with box after box of old papers and whatnot piled on top of each other with barely room to walk. Turns out this shop owner was the one who cleaned out Margaret’s home after she passed and sold most everything and that’s when mister man started hitting me in the arm. There, laying on top of a bunch of old papers in a box was of all things…. Margaret’s Medical license issued in 1948. The gentleman, after hearing our story, was kind enough to just give us the license. We brought it home where it hangs in my husbands’ office today.

Isn’t it amazing that after being removed from our home and it was gone for over fifteen years, it’s now back? And in the same room that was Margaret's office. And the one person who had a connection to Margaret is the one who found a piece of her life? I hope she somehow knows that her license made it home.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Faces!

I just had to share this picture with you because it made me smile. No Dylan dog isn't in that group this image came from a friend down south (notice no snow)....thanks Christy! These doggies are all at a birthday party for one of their golden friends. Dylan is going to need one of those just look at all those happy faces!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Barn Renovation Part 3: The Journey Continues & Thank you

When I last left you mister man was finishing up the front granite stonewall. While he was busy our contractors were busy straightening our barn. As you can see the original floor had to be removed since the joists weren’t close enough together and it made straightening the barn out that much easier. The sills were all rotted since they weren’t pressure treated, they were 220 years old and once again water was a problem so the barn had a definite lean backwards.

New floor joists going in the middle to give the contractors somewhere to stand inside. Everything had to be beefed up and brought up to code.

This picture you’re looking out the other end of the barn and you can see the barn boards have been removed to make way for the other granite stonewall mister man will be building on the lower half. That granite wall will be one long wall in mister man’s workroom.

Mister man’s workroom with the floors removed, it was a dark and dank little place and was used as a chicken coop at one time. We know this from items we found buried under the floor. Look how cool the floor joists are, whole tree trunks, those are being left in place since no rot.

Plywood was placed down on the new floor joists so the guys could have their equipment inside in case of rain. They’ve only done the middle of the floor up to this point, the cross boards were placed to keep people from accidentally walking off into space.

If you look at the beam just above the cross boards you can see steel cables running along it, these cables were used to slowly bring the barn back into an upright straight position before placing the new sills. Since they had to bring the whole barn forward a total of eight inches, which is actually a lot, and it’s attached to our home it had to be done slowly over several days.

The beams on our barn were attached to each other just by sliding them together in notches. In order to make sure they never split apart again each corner where the beams met were reinforced with thick metal plates.

After straightening out our barn then the window framing went in and as you can see the new insulated windows are longer/larger then the old windows. Look, mister man cleaned up most of his mess in front but that cement mixer needs to go, unfortunately he felt the need to purchase that silly thing!

Just look how big that window is going to be, yes the whole wall! Can you imagine how I felt seeing that? I was jumping all over the place with excitement! The half round window is going right above the big window the light will be amazing!!!

Since the frame is so big the contractors had to place some cross framing to hold it in place until the window was installed.

Here’s an inside look at the annex just off the carriage barn where I'll store pillows and textiles and aside from being striped to the bones it hasn’t been touched yet. Sort of looks lonely to me.

And once again we have another pile of dirt but this time out back I was surrounded by piles of mess everywhere.

This small mountain of dirt is out the back of the barn where they had to dig out in order to place the new sills. Trust me it reached a point where I didn’t think I would ever have a clean house again since this job started in late summer and I wanted windows open. It's New Hampshire and here we don't need air conditioning 99% of the time so windows are open. Our entire home was surrounded by some kind of mess and this wasn’t going over well with me.

Stay tuned for next week for an amazing transformation!

I would also like to thank Ursula over at Aged and Gilded for the wonderful limited edition candle from Seda France. I won her Valentine Day giveaway and I wish you could smell these candles of tuberose, clove, white floral and spice, they’re out of this world!!! Tuberose is also my favorite flower so I was thrilled to have won these votives. Thank you so very much Ursula!

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