Seven months so far.
That’s how long we’ve been working on our house and property. Seven, very long, and tiring months. Only recently have we “moved in”, all into the one room in the house that needs the least work.
It’s not really anyone’s fault necessarily that things are taking so long. We knew we were getting ourselves into a big project, just didn’t know how big until we dug in. (As the story goes) And to be fair, this winter was extraordinarily long. It rained from October through parts of June. And when I say rain, I don’t mean a little drizzle, maybe some showers…it poured. We accumulated somewhere around 180 inches of rain here on the southern Oregon coast. That limited us since the majority of big projects involved tearing into rot from the exterior and inwards.
Even with rain and wet weather, the entire interior of the house needed to be gutted, so there were projects to be done.
I pulled shag carpet from every single room while Javin was at work and whenever the kids could go to Grammy’s. Kitchen included. The two full bathrooms upstairs got demoed and were all 100% tile with extra mold on the inside of every wall. The kitchen was smashed and we took down walls. Our contractor replaced four 8-foot sliding glass doors, and has replaced to this day ten windows, and a full picture window door in the kitchen. We also had a brand new wood-stove insert installed in the living room, since this big house needed some dry heat with all the moisture it had collected being empty before we found it. We also had the whole kitchen re-wired, and sconces added to the bedrooms as well as the living room. For some reason in the 70’s and 80’s people didn’t build in light fixtures like they do now. My parent’s house is the same way, like a cave. And last but not least, we had the plumber move some pipes around and also plumb us in a gas line for our stove.
We were stuck at that point for quite a while. Waiting. Once the rain decided to let up and allow summer to begin, we’ve really dug in to some big projects around here.
The balconies have been rid of rot and re-framed. There are no railings yet, as we are waiting for the roof to be done. (That should be within the next week) Javin stripped the roof, and we pulled all staples and our contractor has finished any repair work that needed to be done up there. The exterior is only about half sided, because of all the replacing and repairing that’s been done, but we have the new siding in the garage. We have spent hours cutting down trees and brush and burning. Even on wet days, we burned brush. We have a round-about driveway, and when we first bought this place, it was overgrown and thick! We’ve now cut well over 50 trees down, all smaller ones. A lot of them were rotten and were a hazard anyways. The others, we will use for firewood. We actually didn’t realize how much usable land we had until we began clearing brush and trees. It’s exciting being able to see the potential our land has now.
And yet, after all of this, we still have so much to do.
The roof needs to be done. After that, the drywall. After that, the painting. After that, the floors. After that the kid’s bathroom upstairs. Somewhere in there we also need to do the railings for the three balconies, paint and seal the water-proofing on balconies, establish some sort of make-shift kitchen since we wont have the finances to put in a full, brand new one right away. And, maybe unpack our things that have been in storage over a year now.
We will also be having our property logged by a professional, he should be here within the next few weeks. That’s going to leave a mess, since it’s now fire season and we cannot burn the heaps and heaps of limbs we will have piled. If it wasn’t for the fact that we are adamant about wanting to create a more self-sufficient life, we wouldn’t be pushing to get the property done right away. But we want our greenhouse, an orchard, a chicken coop, pigs, more goats, bees, a barn, and the list goes on! Plus, the kids and dogs need a yard or space to be able to run around and play.
Now that we have baby number three on the way, I’ve been getting a little antsy.
I feel like I can see at least a place in the near(ish) future that feels more like home rather than a construction zone. But it’s been hard to say the least. But I guess this is the price to pay. We wanted to be close to family, knowing we also weren’t going to sacrifice our dreams of creating a little farm. We new this was the route we would have to take to get what we wanted.
But the most exciting thing, is knowing that we WILL have what we have always said we wanted no matter how long it takes…three beautiful babies, the love of our family, a house that is more than big enough for us to continue to grow into, the resources to grow and produce food on our own property, and the ability to teach our children that this is what life is all about. That, is the biggest blessing.
This is the style we are going for. We will be replacing portions of the cedar siding with horizontal hardy-plank. Both sidings will be painted the same color, similar to this farmhouse here. Decks will be tan, with walnut stained wood. Trim will be white. Roof will be dark brown.