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Dormers Done

Most of the siding is done now and we are waiting on the chimney to do the back rooms to finish it all up. I was only able to snap the outside pictures today. Luckily they had a pretty nice day to work until the rain set in.

Front of the House

Front of the House Final Siding

They did the dormers today, but we don’t know how we are feeling about the wood on the front…
Dormer Final Siding

Dormer Final Siding Comparison

East Side of the House

They finished the back part of the side.
East Side of the House Final Siding

Back of the House

The top of the back of the house now has siding. (minus the back bedroom, because of the chimney)
Back of the House Final Siding

Back of the House Final Siding 2

They framed in the porch wall and started putting the bead board in the ceiling of the porch roof.
Back of the House Final Siding 3

Front Siding – Check

The front siding to our house has been completed minus the dormers. Now we have over half the house done since the west side and front is complete and the east side and back are almost there. Mark, our contractor said that he is hoping to have most of the house sided and done by the end of this week. Minus the chimney being done, which will happen in the next couple of weeks. This will be nice, because we won’t have to worry about the weather once all of the framing is complete. They will always be able to work on the inside.

We went with hardy siding and I think it turned out better then I anticipated.

Front of the House

Front of House - Full Siding

Front of House - Full Siding (2)

Front of House - Full Siding (3)

East Side of the House

East Side of the House - Full Siding

Our New Portico

I stopped by this morning on my way to work and saw the carpenter and Mark, our contractor getting ready to build out our new front porch. I’ve been excited to get this part done, because it will make the outside of the house look new. After going back and forth with some ideas, we decided to have a curved inside (barrel vaults) and not to do an open peak like we had originally thought.

The mudroom door went in today and we also had to decide on the outdoor tile for the upper and lower porch. We went with a flamed granite instead of slate. From what Jay read, you would need to seal the slate a few times a year and you wouldn’t need to do that with the flamed granite. Granite was more then slate, but less expensive then wood, so we went with granite. We also felt that it had more texture and wouldn’t be as slick.

Front of the House

Once the beams and stone go on it, it will look similar to our back porch. We plan to have a hanging light coming down in the center and possibly lighting on both sides of the door.
Front of House - Portico

Front of House - Portico 2

Front of House - Portico 3

Back of the House

Some siding has been added, but for the most part not a lot changed.
Back of House - Siding

Back of House Siding

West Side of the House

All the siding is up and the new mud room door is in.
West Side Full Siding 2

West Side Full Siding

Mud Room

Check out the new door. It makes the room feel more open now.
Mud Room Side Door 2

Mud Room Side Door

Upper Porch

They tarred the top porch in the back to prep it for tiling.
Upper Porch Tar

Siding is Started

The siding was picked up and they started putting it up today. It is pretty amazing how much they already got done within one day. We were just researching and driving around the night before trying to pick the siding we want and then it’s already halfway up. Our contractor sent Jay a picture around lunchtime showing him what was already hung and we were pleased at what we saw. Considering I hated changing the siding, it did come out better then I expected.

Front of the House

Front of House Siding Prep

East Side of the House

Side Start of Siding

Back of the House

Back of House Siding Start 2

Back of House Siding Start

Main Floor Bathroom

They had already framed in the bathroom, but I really wanted the main floor bedroom to have a private entrance into the bathroom as well. Our contractor mentioned that we should add in a pocket door and flip the vanity to the opposite side that we planned. Now we have a Hollywood bathroom on the main level.

Re-framing of Downstairs Bath

Downstairs Bedroom Pocket Door

Living Room

They also ripped the rest of the fireplace cabinets out, so now we can see the exposed brick.
Fireplace Demo

Front Room

They framed in the front room from the kitchen to make the rooms feel more separate and so that the guests won’t walk right into the house and see the kitchen off the bat. We went with a 5′ opening centered off of the kitchen room.
Framing of Front Room

Laundry Room

Not sure what they were doing at all here, but it looks like they were reinforcing the walls maybe for the cabinets?
Laundry Room

Peek-a-boo Maren


Siding Issues

Our contractor called and told us that they were having issues with our siding and we would need to consider replacing it with a different type. We decided to go with Hardie siding instead of our original shingles. So they went ahead and started prepping for it. I really liked my old siding and was sad to hear that we had to do something else, but it only made sense to replace it since every piece they tried to hang was crumbling on them. It will make the job go a lot faster and in the end it’s a better siding for any future repairs.

Prep for Siding 2

Prep for Siding

Back of the House – Porch

They wired everything in for our fans and lights. We also decided to go with a heater in the center.

Porch Fan 2

Porch Fan

Dining Room

They framed in the dining room to have a 6′ opening into the living room to give the living room more privacy. We are trying to decide on just leaving it as an open door or adding in french doors. So far we decided to leave it open for now.

Dining Room Framing

Living Room

Yesterday we made the decision to pull out all of the fireplace and the cabinets in the living room since it was so old and outdated. Plus it had the paneling like the rest of the living room that we had already demolished.

Fireplace Teardown

Mud Room

Since we are getting rid of the door in the dining room (aka new kitchen) we are sealing up the old door and adding in a new one into the mudroom. They got a good start today demoing everything to get the door installation ready.
Garage Door 2

Garage Door

Porch Decisions

We met with our contractor yesterday to discuss different ideas for the porch. The first being how we want our lights to be in the ceiling since they will need to go in this week and start sealing it up. The second was that we wanted to have a short wall surrounding our porch. The next day we came to find out porch looking like this:

Back Lower Porch

I teased him that he didn’t waste anytime!

They also went throughout the house finishing the rest of the framing throughout the house.

Upstairs Hallway

This was another area we mentioned to the contractor last night about changing and he had it done by the next day. We didn’t plan on pushing the walls back as far, but decided that it may give it more of an open space.

Living Room

They took out the support beams in the living room and dining room. The kids kept getting confused, because it looked like another room was being added.


Dining Room

We are trying to decide on how open we want to keep the area between the living room and dining room. We love the open space to the kitchen, but we really feel like we want to close off the living room a little from the dining room.



Bedroom #1

New framing on the walls.

Bedroom #1 Bath and Closet

The shower was framed in today as well as the door to the closet being opened up. I decided that we would add a pocket door separating the closet from the bathroom. At first I was going to leave it open and decided that it would be better to have the option to close it off.


Bedroom #2 Bath

The shower was framed in here too.

Master Bathroom

They put the spot in for our tub and shower. Now we need to decide on the sink. I know we plan to do wall mounted faucets, which will need to be decided asap so the plumber can do his thing.


Master Bedroom Terrace

I finally was brave enough to walk out on the terrace of our room. You can see the pictures taken from our terrace of our beautiful back yard (eye roll).





Downstairs Bathroom

This was framed today, but after thinking about the downstairs bedroom a little. We (actually Jay fought this one a little) decided to make a door from the downstairs bedroom going into the bathroom as well. This will help with privacy for anyone running from the bath to the bedroom.

West Side of the House


East Side of the House


Back of the House




Back of the House – Lower Porch




Windows Are In

They put almost all of the windows in the house today. It’s amazing what a difference that it can make to the house.

Upstairs Hallway

They knocked out the closet studs, so it feels really open when you walk up the stairs.


Bedroom #1

Look at the beautiful new windows!

Bedroom #1 Bath

I spot another window in here.

Master Bedroom

The put in the new door and closed off one of the windows on the west wall.


Living Room

More new windows. The girls were sad that they took the window down with the Lorax painted on it.


Dining Room

We got our new doors and windows in here, so the light can shine in.

Laundry Room

We wish we would have had a shorter window, but it was to late when we realized what we wanted to do. We wish we would have put the laundry on the wall with the window, but the west wall will have to do.


We also had to figure out where to put the lights on the porch tonight. You would think that it would be simple, but we went back and forth on how we should lay the lights out. Here is what we came up with:

Back of House Lights


Most Progress To Date

It’s amazing what can be done with a day full of sunshine and no rain. I stopped in during lunch to find the upstairs walls knocked out and the rooms coming together. It was the first time we were really able to see the upstairs and get a feel of what the room sizes will be. We have only had the chance to look at it on paper so far.

Back of the House

Back - New Porch 3 Arrows

Back - New Porch

Back - New Porch 2

Back - New Porch 4

Love the mess! It just proves how much work is getting done. Plus we have always wanted to redo the grass, so this gives us the perfect excuse to lay new sod.

Side Yard


Master Bedroom

Master - Bedroom 2

Master Bathroom

Master - Bathroom 2

Master - Bathroom Window

Upstairs Hallway

Upstairs Hallway - Looking into Bathroom

Upstairs Bedroom #1

Front Room - Bedroom

Upstairs Roof

Upstairs Bedroom #2

Back Room - Bedroom

Back Room - Bedroom 2

Back Room - Bathroom

Back Room - Bathroom 2

Back Room - Closet

I leave for base the rest of the weekend, so I won’t be able to see Friday’s progress until I get home Sunday evening. Hopefully, more of the rooms come together and this progress keeps going the speed set today.

Mother Nature Strikes Again

The crew was able to get some work done before the rain came in today. This weather is a constant battle, but they were able to get the new roof on the laundry room and mudroom. And then the rain hit in the afternoon.

Kitchen Rain

Laundry Room Roof 2

Laundry Room Roof

We also got in some of our windows. We ordered 18 to be exact. We went with Marvin’s Wood-Ultrex Casements and decided to replace all of the windows in the house. Even in the rooms where the windows didn’t need to be touched to have them all the same quality throughout the house. Plus we figured that we should go ahead and do it while everything else was getting done. Luckily, we replaced the two huge front ones a few years ago. Those would have been our most expensive ones besides our doors.


We have a less chance of rain tomorrow, so hopefully more work can be done. This weekend was entire miss already because of that.

See Ya Walls

Today was the most exciting day for this remodel so far. Jay sent me a picture when he stopped by the house at lunch that showed the back of the house without the walls.

Back of House Gone

They tore down the back of the house completely and framed in what our new space will be. This is the first time we can visually see what the house will eventually look like. It’s amazing what can happen in a day without rain.

Back of the House

Back of House Wall 2

Back of House Wall


Kitchen Wall 2

Kitchen Wall

Dining Room

Dining Room Wall


They added new support beams in the dining room to help distribute the new load from the expansion.
Beams 2

Beams 3


Living Room

Living Room Wall 2

Living Room Wall

Laundry Room / Mud Room

Laundry Room Wall 2

Laundry Room Wall

Maren’s Room

Marens Wall 2

Marens Wall

We Have Half A Room

We have the start of our laundry room! Now it feels like its really happening. We had a few different things happen today, which is good since the weather is going to be bad.

Today’s Accomplishments
*Half a Laundry Room is up and framing is still going
*Cement for steps are poured
*They are getting ready to put the new support beam in the Living Room

Front of the House

New Cement Front

New Cement Front 2

New Cement Front 3

Back of the House

Back of House Framing 1

Back of House Framing 2

Back of House Framing 3

Living Room Support Beam

A new support beam was needed in the living room to balance out the weight of the house. There is one already in the ceiling, but a larger one was needed to support the new work.
Support Beam Prep

We also came home to a crazy mess in the street. A water main burst and caused a river to flow down. Luckily it wasn’t right by our house, so we didn’t look like the cause of it.
Water Main Break

Framing Has Started

Right now, we are trying to keep all the rain away. It’s been raining quite a bit, which is causing us to have a minor flood in the basement. The good news is that we have a few nice day in the forecast, so they started framing the outside of the house in the back. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a start.

Back of the House

Framing Start 2

Framing Start 3

Framing Start 4

Framing Start

They were able to finish some of the walls and ceilings inside the house.

Front Room

Front Room Wall Demo 2

Front Room Wall Demo 3

Front Room Wall Demo

Framing Of The Stairs

The outside porch was framed so the concrete can be poured. I asked my contractor if there can be a conduit running under the steps so I can put plug in my Christmas lights on my trees that I put on both sides of the steps. He also suggested adding outlets on both sides instead. Either way works for me just as long as nobody is tripping on cords.
Besides the outside, the electrical people came in and pulled out some old wiring. I couldn’t really notice what they did, but I am sure they prepped for adding in the new wire.

Front of the House

Front of House Framing 2

Front of House Framing

Filled Foundation & Upstairs Demolished

Today was one of the busiest days to date. They filled in all of the foundation with gravel and dirt and tore down the walls upstairs. They haven’t completed the cleanup, but it was crazy to see everything they were able to get done in a day.

Our dumpster is now full:
Full Dumpter

Front of the House

Filled Foundation Front

Back of the House

Filled Foundation Back

Filled Foundation Back 2

Back Filled 3

Filled Foundation Back 3

Filled Foundation Back 4

Living Room

They were able to get the last wall down. We decided to go ahead and redo all of the walls, so they will all look nice and smooth. At first we decided we wouldn’t to save cost, but it didn’t add to much to redo them all. The downstairs bedroom and living room were the only walls that wouldn’t have been touched.

Living Room Demo 2

Living Room Demo

Downstairs Bedroom (Alexa’s Room)

Downstairs Room Demo

Downstairs Room Demo 2

Master Bedroom

Master Demo 2

Master Demo 3

Master Demo 4

Master Demo

Master Bath

Master Bath 2

Master Bath 3

Master Bath

Upstairs Hallway

Hallway 2


Upstair’s Bedroom (Maren’s Room)

Upstairs Demo 2

Upstairs Demo 3

Upstairs Demo 4

Upstairs Demo 5

Upstairs Demo 6

Upstairs Demo

Weather Proofing

We had a few crazy adventures on our vacation. The second we landed, we both had messages from our credit card that someone had been using it to buy gun parts. We instantly cancelled our cards and they said they would send us a new one. Then on the way home our flight was delayed by an hour. Once we did finally get up in the air and made it most of the way home, we circled our airport in Kansas City a few times. The turbulence was so bad that we came out of our seats a few times. The stewardess even said out of the three years she’s been flying, it was the worst turbulence of all. After going around the airport for 30 minutes, the pilot came on and said we had to go to an old airbase in Topeka, KS and wait the weather out. We sat on the runway for a few hours until they cleared us to go back to Kansas City. Since they didn’t have TSA employees, we couldn’t get out of the plane at all the entire time.

The next day we went by the house to see the changes. The only change made while we had been gone was the weatherproofing to the back of the house.

Back of the House

Back Weather Proofing 1

Back Weather Proofing

Back Weather Proofing 2

Front Foundation Is Almost Done

Most of the work was done in the front of the house getting the stoop ready today. They also filled in the rest of the blocks in the back.
We are going on vacation to Laguna Beach for the next 4 days starting tomorrow, so we won’t be able to swing by the house to see the changes. From what I understand there won’t be much going on the rest of the week and the work will start up next Monday again, so we won’t be missing much.

Front of the the House

Front Stoop

Front Stoop 2

Front Stoop 3

Back of the House

Back Filled 2

Back Filled

Finishing The Foundation

No work was done on the inside or in the front of the house today. In the back of the house they stacked more cinder blocks and filled them in with mortar.

Maren had been begging to go by the house so we swung by after her soccer practice. She quickly jumped out of the car and ran to the back of the house screaming “Daddy lets me do this.” I immediately thought that she was going down into the hole of the foundation or something. When I got to the back I found she was on top of the big dirt pile posing.


They did a lot of work today. It is hard to believe just last week it was freezing and today it was in the 90’s. I don’t know how these guys do it!
Foundation 2

Foundation 3

Foundation 4

Foundation 5

Brick And Mortar

Not a whole lot of progress on the job site since I last wrote, but they did what they could. (It probably takes a lot longer to do things than I realize.) They laid out a lot of the cinder blocks. We assumed they filled and then put them in place, but it was interesting to find out that they actually stagger them up using rebar to hold them in place and then they fill them with the mortar.

Front of the House

Brick and Mortar Front

Back of the House

Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar2

Brick and Mortar3

We did have our first casualty today. Our poor fridge got a dent in it. Jay noticed it when he went to check on progress at lunch. Luckily the new door only costs $200 compared to a new fridge.

We also decided on tile! We picked out our Main Bathroom, Both Kids’ Bathrooms, Mater Bathroom, Mudroom and Laundry Room. We are excited to finally have that off our plate. I think poor James at our tile place was getting sick of us. We beat him up one last time before we finally decided on tile. On a side note, I had fun filling out the application for credit. They had me standing behind the desk to type it all in and people assumed I worked there. I had to keep explaining that I was applying for credit. Once I was done and walked back around to the front a lady said that it looked as though I had made a lot of decisions and asked if I could help her out. I just reassured her that what she picked would look great and explained the different types of floors. It was fun to pretend I was some sort of designer (far from it) and give my opinion.

The Walls Come Tumbling Down

Today they went in and stripped the main level. I was hoping to find tons of money or a hidden note, but the only interesting thing hidden was this located in Alexa’s old room:

Money Man

They are done for the week and will pick back up on Monday and hopefully finish the upstairs. During that time we will get the windows all figured out and ordered. Here is what each room looks like now:

Front Room

They still need to take out some of the walls. We had originally thought we would leave them, but figured we might as well get new sheet rock since all the other rooms will be getting them.

Looking toward the Dining Room

Looking toward the Dining Room

Looking towards our Downstairs Bath

Looking towards our Downstairs Bath

This wall will eventually come down.

This wall will eventually come down.

Looking towards Alexa's Room

Looking towards Alexa’s Room

Hallway to Master Bathroom

Hallway to Master Bathroom

Dining Room

This whole room was gutted. Eventually it’s new name will be Kitchen, so major changes will be happening in this room. Including the door from the garage will no longer be there. There will be a new door coming in from the mud room.

From our Garage

From our Garage

From our Back Door

From our Back Door

From our Living Room

From our Living Room

From the corner by our Kitchen

From the corner by our Kitchen


Our kitchen will be extended and be turned in to a dining room. We are hoping to add an entertainment bar to the back wall and have our walkouts to the porch in this room.

Kitchen Demo 2

Looking in from the Living Room

Looking in from the Living Room

Look at all the outlets!

Look at all the outlets!

Looking in from the Living Room

Looking in from the Living Room

Looking in from the Dining Room

Looking in from the Dining Room

Living Room

Unfortunately, the walls on our fireplace are going to remain as they are. They were nervous taking it down to add sheet rock, since they didn’t know how it was attached. I think it will still look good and at least the rest of the wall will be sheet rock instead of the old panels. I also asked them to leave my wiring. I didn’t want to ever crawl under my tiny crawl space again under the house to wire everything from my back bookcase to the wall near the bathroom. That was not a fun experience.

We are also going to make the bathroom a little larger by taking out the closet in the hallway and moving the dining room door down. Now that we won’t be using it as our main bathroom, we won’t need that large closet. Everything can stay in the vanity.

Looking from the Kitchen

Looking from the Kitchen

Living Room 3

Looking from the Hall Doorway

Looking from the Hall Doorway

Looking into the Kitchen

Looking into the Kitchen


This is the worst room of the house. There wasn’t a fan in there and we would constantly get mold everywhere! You can see the damage near the windows alone. I was excited to tear this out and start over. I think we are even going to seal up our window to prevent future reasons for molding.

Where the toilet was

Where the toilet was

Looking through the Living Room walls

Looking through the Living Room walls

Where the tub was

Where the tub was

Alexa’s Room

Alexa’s Closet never worked well. It was cramped in the corner, so when you put a dresser on the wall, the door would get in the way. They are going to move the closet down and give her double doors, so she can really use the space in her closet. Plus we won’t need a large coat closet because of our mudroom, so we are making it smaller to give more space to Alexa’s closet.

Well, if you want to get ideas for your apartment or house, visit Northern Lights Exteriors here.

Alexas Room 2

Alexas Room

Cement Is Poured

This morning we crossed our fingers in hopes that the rain held off. It sprinkled a little in the morning, but everyone working pushed through it and got the cement footings in the front and back in place. Tomorrow they plan to demo inside since they have to wait 3 days for the cement to harden. We had to cover up the piano and move everything in our basement towards the front of the house. I also pulled out all of the sliding drawers in the kitchen to reuse for other projects.

Front of the House

Cement Is Poured 3

Cement Is Poured 4

Back of the House

Cement Is Poured 5

Cement Is Poured 2

Cement Is Poured 6

Cement Is Poured 7

Oh and we also got our Johnny on the Spot. I wonder why they didn’t put it in the back yard?
Johnny On The Spot

The Holes Are Dug

Today they were able to get more of the foundation prepped and the front porch holes dug for the footings. The bad part is that we are about to have another rain, so they had to bring in long hoses to drain it if it does happen. They said that hopefully they will be able to demo the inside of the house during the rain. If it doesn’t rain then they can continue doing the foundation. We are hoping it at least holds off until after 10:00am because our cement is scheduled to be poured at that time.

Front of the House

Front Porch Hole

Back of the House

One of the guys didn’t look so happy that I was taking pictures so I told him I would make sure that I didn’t get him in any of them.

Back Porch Framing3

Back Porch Framing

Back Porch Framing1

Back Porch Framing2

Fingers crossed that we don’t have any rain and if we do it only lasts for a day. Our contractor jokes that anytime he digs a hole it rains the next day, so far he has been right.

The Dirt That Can Be Dug Up In A Day

Today the most work was done to date, so now it feels like we are really doing this thing.

This is what I saw when I drove up after work:

The girls thought it was fun to watch the guy on the bobcat scoop up the dirt and take it to the front of the house to dump it in his truck. They would run back and forth from the front of the house to the back of the house each time.

Front of the House

The sidewalk and porch are gone now. They said the cement was extremely strong, so they had to keep checking on our basement to make sure that our foundation was solid. I am glad I didn’t know until after the fact, because I would have been a nervous wreck. Our foundation is one of our main concerns going into the project. Cinder block was what was used during the 1940’s instead of poured basements, so we made sure to hire a structural engineer when we moved in five years ago. We are also going to keep an eye on it through this rebuild.
Sidewalk Demo

Sidewalk Demo2

Sidewalk Demo3

Back of the House

The back of the house was completly different. We got the chance to watch the guy dig the hole for a little bit. I never realized that they scooped the dirt up and hauled it to another truck to have it hauled away. I guess I assumed that they would just make one big dirt pile in my back yard.

During the dig, they found an old cement patch where our old circle patio was. They said it looked like it was the size to hold down an basketball hoop. They were able to dig that patch up and haul it off too.

Back of House Demo
I got this shot from my neighbors house. Thankfully they don’t mind me going into their yard to see up close.

Back of House Demo2

Back of House Demo3

Back of House Demo4

Back of House Demo5

Back of House Demo6

The First Destruction

It’s not perfect weather, but they were able to demo our front and back porch finally. We are all doing the happy dance. People have told us that there would be highs and lows so its nice to be on a high after all of our unexpected weather issues and the loan taking so long to be approved.

Front Porch

BEFORE - Front Porch Demo

BEFORE – Front Porch Demo

AFTER - Front Porch Demo

AFTER – Front Porch Demo

AFTER - Front Porch Demo

AFTER – Front Porch Demo

Back Porch

BEFORE - Back Porch Demo

BEFORE – Back Porch Demo

AFTER - Back Porch Demo

AFTER – Back Porch Demo

We also got our permits approved to build, so it’s on like Donkey Kong!

And So It Begins…

OK, so nothing to major, but major to us. Currently our gas meter is located under our kitchen window (which I now know it’s out of code), since our new porch will extend out that direction we had to move it. We went ahead and approved this move prior to our loan approval, because we figured if this all falls through we can still afford to pay for the gas meter. We were hoping it would be moved to the side of our house, but they can’t install under a window. So by the fireplace it goes. Not pretty, but we had no other option.

Gas Line