The Grand House

It’s Ugly But It’s PROGRESS!

I know we all prefer to look at pretty pictures, but SO MUCH of the home renovation process is ugly.

To us, the ugly pictures mean PROGRESS!

We had a company come in this week and put spray foam insulation through the whole house.

We felt it was the best decision in terms of energy saving costs for heating and cooling a home of this size.

Now that the spray foam is in, we have a little bit more of electrical work to complete and then we’ll be able to drywall!

I remember when the drywall went in at our first renovation, it just really made us feel that we were getting close to the end!

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!
**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.
Standard
The Grand House, The Row House

We Have This Thing For Exposed Brick

Maybe Mark was a mason in his former life because he (and I!) LOOOOVE exposed brick.

It’s was a main feature in our first home renovation.

The small rowhouse we gutted and totally redid had fireplaces EVERYWHERE!

Our second renovation will feature exposed brick but not as prominently, because we’re going for a different style with this house.

As Mark exposes the brick, some of it is in decent shape and some of it is not.

The brick in the kitchen had to be cleaned and repointed.

In our first house, we used a light coating of muriatic acid on the brick to get the plaster completely off.

We used a sprayer and then a coarse brush to get all the pieces off.

IMG_0591

We haven’t had to use acid in the second renovation.

We’re hoping the exposed brick in this house will add a modern twist to an otherwise classic Victorian house!

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!

**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

Standard
The Grand House

Ummmm…where have you been?!

I am asking myself this question and answering it…we have been busy!

Blogging has taken a back seat to REAL LIFE these last few months, but I have sooo many exciting things to share on the house front so let’s JUMP RIGHT IN.

Mark has all the interior walls, doorways and closets built.

Most of the ceilings are done as well including the HVAC systems and all the plumbing. YAY!

The kitchen, and all the other rooms, are ready for our spray foam crew that’s coming in at the end of March.

Here’s what we’re thinking for the kitchen…I got these photos from Pinterest.

I want a bright kitchen and Mark and I are both partial to gray. We also like the reclaimed wood floor and the white subway tiles as a backsplash.

I also love this kitchen inspiration from Pinterest…

I think we could get away with a darker cabinet because we have big windows and a French door that will let in lots of light and keep the space bright!

Would love to hear your thoughts and what you look for in a kitchen!!

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!

**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

Standard
The Grand House

Our City Backyard

We love living in the city.  We love the noise and the traffic and the walkability of our cool little neighborhood.

Henry is a total city kid…he runs up and down the sidewalks like he owns them, waves to all the bus drivers and loves the banana bread at our local coffee shop.

Backyard space is hard to come by in Lawrenceville. At our #RealLifeReno, Mark really wanted to make our small yard a nature oasis in the city.

He planted a tall Bloodgood London Planetree in the far back of our lot.  We call it “Henry’s Tree” and planted it shortly after he was born.

We’ve got 3 smaller trees that are called Hornbeam plus some sidewalks trees that we got from Tree Pittsburgh.  They really add shade, beauty and charm to the normal concrete-jungle that is city living.

Mark decided on Arborvitae Nigra for our “natural fence” that borders our neighbor’s yard and planted Yew hedge as filler for the rest of our backyard space.

The backyard is right off the French doors that lead into the kitchen.

We wanted to create a place where Henry can dig in the dirt and push his trucks around while I’m in the kitchen cooking…(really I’ll be drinking coffee and heating up food in the microwave.)

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!
**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

Standard
The Grand House

How Did He Do That?!

One of our favorite things about our #RealLifeReno is that we’re honoring the history of this grand old house!

When we were looking to buy it, one of the first things we noticed was a beautiful curved wall right at the entrance of the house that leads into the first living room.

That curve makes us think that this house was a funeral home or doctor’s office at one time. Perhaps the curved wall separated a waiting area from the rest of the house.

We absolutely LOVED that curved feature and knew that we would rebuild it after we demoed the entire inside of the house.

Mark tackled that project last week. He first drew the curve in his CAD computer program to make sure all the measurements were correct.

Then he used a jig saw and cut the curve from plywood because there’s no way to get that curve from a stiff 2×4.

Just wait til it’s drywalled and painted…it’ll be a real beauty!

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!

**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

Standard
The Grand House

I’ve seen this STUD before!

When we first started renovating homes, there was just one STUD in my life…

Now, there are two STUDS…one is potty trained, one is not! 😉

During our first home renovation, I remember feeling SO EXCITED by stud walls. (I never thought I would type that sentence.)

But stud walls mean the demolition is done and the house is starting to take shape. This pic is from our first reno…it shows the upstairs hallway with the bathroom and laundry room.

upperfloor

When the stud walls go up, you can start to see how big the rooms will be, where the hallways are, and how the doorways and closets look.

Mark has been working hard this week on framing in the doorways and closets on our third floor.

This space before was just a semi-big, awkward room with no purpose. We expanded the dormers so that we could have two decent-sized bedrooms and a full bath on this floor.

It can also be just one bedroom and an office or storage space as well. Lord knows I will NOT being have 5 kids to fill these bedrooms. HA!

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!

**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

Standard
The Grand House

Indoor Plumbing for the WIN!

You know you’re turning into a crazy home renovation person when the most exciting day all week is INSPECTION DAY!

Mark worked his butt off with our plumber and put in all the new pipes and water lines.

After a quick test of the pipes, where you fill them with water and look for leaks, Mark had to make a few adjustments and then we were ready for the plumbing to get inspected.

Mark and Henry also worked on putting the floor in our half bathroom downstairs.

We’re using reclaimed wood that Mark ripped up from other parts of the house.

He’ll sand it and stain it, and it will look beautiful!

We did this in our current home and the floors look great!

*Want to see our family in action?! Follow our INSTAGRAM Stories!

**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

Standard