So here is our list of requirements for our farmhouse renovation:
Keep the character of the original 1830s house
Reuse as much of the original wood as possible
Install central heat and air
Install modern windows
Insulate the walls, crawlspace and attic
Lengthen the ridge to enlarge the second floor footprint
This added an extra bedroom and bathroom
Reduce the steepness of the stairway
Add an upper deck at the back of the house
What we envisioned was an old farmhouse with many of the energy saving features and conveniences of a 21st century house.
This seemed straightforward enough, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the house would need to be deconstructed in order to accomplish our goals. As time went by, it became somewhat alarming-
First, the siding came off…
Revealing some problems that had been hidden for quite some time…
Then one particularly poorly constructed addition came off; this had been the master bedroom and shed storage area above.
I think this was the low point for me- the house looked so dejected and sad. I honestly wondered how it could ever be made habitable again! I cringed every time I took a good look at it! Of course, all this time, Chris and the crew were carefully salvaging almost all of the wood from the old construction and beginning to plane it down in preparation for re-using it.
Then the reconstruction finally got underway and things started looking more hopeful again. The crew dug under the crawlspace of the house, and laboriously removed large amounts of dirt, enlarging it allow a person to actually get under the house if necessary. The old, shaky foundation was replaced with a proper new one and additional supports for the first floor were added.
To be continued...