Wednesday, January 18, 2012


It was time for a break, so I took up an invitation from a friend and headed to Aspen.

Aspen is a beautiful old mining town nestled in the Rocky Mountains. It's a place for the super-rich with an abundance of over-the-top homes, epic skiing and hiking, insanely expensive shopping, and more. I saw a sweater that cost $1,800. A sweater! It was "baby cashmere." Whatever.

Despite the excess, it's a damn cool place.

This was my first time there in over ten years.

We had two bluebird days, including one after a foot of fresh new snow. These were my first days of skiing this season. Not a shabby start.

A special thanks to my friend who made the trip possible.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The front bedroom . . .

The "before" shot, photographed in November:

We blew in some serious insulation early in the week:

Drywall went up today:

The new laundry takes shape.

This laundry room was nothing more than a porch that was dark and cold and barely used by the previous owners. They had the laundry in the kitchen and used this room for storage. I finished installing the insulation this morning:

Drywall hung by late afternoon:

January 25 update:

This 150+ year house never had any insulation in the walls. Most of what we added was the fancy blow-in type. The only regular fiberglass insulation used is in this room.

The part of the job I really, really didn't want to have to do . . .

but you have to fix a leaky roof. My patch didn't work so the whole section of roof was replaced.

Job almost finished by end of day . . . did it really cost THAT much for this one day job?

On the left is the old "back porch" and new laundry room. Also in this photo, the old roofing material on the ground . . .

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A punch in the gut

After a triumphant day of progress at my house yesterday, today was a punch in the gut.

It snowed last night, our first serious precipitation in a while.

I went to the house this morning and a leak in the roof over the kitchen--which I thought we had fixed by patching a section of roof in November--was actively dripping into the room.

It looks like I'll be talking to roofers this coming week, and sorting out how to pay for it as well. A large section of roof will likely need to be replaced.


Not a happy development but the initial shock has faded. I'll deal with it.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A new opening!

It was Saturday November 5, the first weekend after buying my new house. I was tearing out the old kitchen and pantry. My friend Phil came by and pointed out that I should open up the space, including losing a bedroom and moving a planned second bathroom.

The design change was a great idea and once that idea was planted I wanted to do it. Little did I know, little did any of us know, that that change would set off a chain of events that would prolong the renovation and change my planned November 30 move-in date by almost 40 days and counting.

IPS, my contractor, has been doing outstanding work. We are, I hope, in the final stretch. As of today, the rough carpentry and plumbing are finished. The rough electrical work is also almost finished--and hopefully will be by the scheduled inspection this coming Monday.

Today we removed the final two by fours, old enough that they are actually two inches by four inches. This created an opening between the enlarged kitchen and the former bedroom which will become a dining room/living area off of the kitchen--a great room.

A lot's happened in the past two months. The removal of the final two by fours today almost felt like a revelation. It was amazing what had to happen prior to taking them out.

Here's the new opening, Phil's design change:

Some of my contractors at 315 2nd Ave

Shawn finishes the rough framing in the master bedroom.

John Evans, job manager.

Mike, the electrician, has been working very hard to finish the new wiring for this very old house.

Pepe the Plumber.

Jason and Shawn at work.

Jason and Shawn.