• December 31, 2006

2006 Year In Review

We spent more time enjoying our bungalow than working on it

Restoration Diary,

Compared to our past pace, 2006 was a very slow year on the house restoration front. We completed one project. Our project wasn’t even a large one, but it was labor intensive as all our projects somehow seem to be.

It has finally sunk in that we don’t have the stamina to have house projects going all the time, one after another, lets hurry up and get everything done so our house is restored all ready. Our what seemed realistic at the time plan, the one where we complete all the work on our house within five years? It’s now the 10 year plan or the hopefully we get the house done before we die plan. Considering this is our fourth year in the house and we are barely halfway done, I think the new plan is a good call.

We have decided that completing one project a year is a more realistic pace for us. Although, it would have been nice to have restored the kitchen and our main bathroom before we hit upon the one-project-a-year-for-a-more-balanced-life approach. I think it is going to be a while before I have the ever changing kitchen of my dreams.

January
My dad came to visit and finished some plumbing work he had started the year before. This culminated with hooking up the sink in our downstairs half bath. It only took us 3 years to actually have water running out of a faucet in one of our bathrooms. Yeah!

February

The episode of “Restoration Realities” featuring us aired on the DIY television network. Along with the show’s host and carpenter we built a period appropriate screen door and weather stripped our windows and front door.

Heather + Dave on Restoration Realities Part 1
Restoration Realities Part 2
Restoration Realities Part 3
Restoration Realities Part 4

March
Did absolutely NO work on the house.

April
Did absolutely NO work on the house, but may have scared a very nice sounding family away from the idea of restoring a rundown Craftsman home of their own.

May
Did absolutely NO work on the house. Starting to see a theme here?

June
Did absolutely NO work on the house.

July
Did absolutely NO work on the house, but I finally resolved the ownership issue of the oil and mineral rights to our property.

August
Finally, some work on the house! Stripped the woodwork and doors of the stairwell, landing and upstairs back hallway. I purchased leaded glass French doors from the early 1900′s off of eBay for the upstairs back hallway.

September
I publicly confess that I have resentful feelings towards the house for the first time. I think I used the word “hate.” And, in certain moments I do hate the house. There, I said it again. We are at an odd point in our restoration experience. The honeymoon period with the house is definitely over.

Maybe this is normal? Maybe around year 4 of an extensive restoration project everyone starts hating their house a little bit, or at least all the time, money and energy that goes into it? After all the work on our house year, after year, after year, we are barely at the halfway point of having our home fully restored.

It’s not like I hate the house all the time. It comes and goes. There are moments when I also love our house. Most of those loving moments are spent in the completed portion of the house.

October
We discovered that the upstairs sleeping porch, a 1918 addition, was inadequately framed. I’m not sure if inadequate is a strong enough word to describe opening up a wall and discovering two 2×2′s as the sole support for a load bearing wall. Shocking comes to mind, so does what the hell were they thinking, quickly followed by I wonder how poorly the rest of the sleeping porch is built?

Pablo rebuilt the wall and installed the leaded glass French doors.

November
Ah, November…November was a month chock full of resentful, or maybe even hateful feelings. There was a lot to hate.

Getting right to it, we both hated the color I selected to paint the stairwell and hallway. I was going for silvery sage but ended up with baby nursery mint green. We received alot of wonderful paint color suggestions, but in the end decided to go with a blue green color that matches the original 1912 wall color of our bedroom.

This leads us to the most mysterious occurrence that has happened during our entire restoration process. Two weeks after the woodwork was stained and sealed with several coats of varnish the woodwork faded. Drastically. Overnight. We have no idea how or why this happened. It’s so unbelievable. I didn’t even know that such a thing was possible? We are hoping that someone out there might be able to provide an answer.

December
Our stairwell and back hallway project is completed. One more down, seven major projects left to go…

Lulu and Winston underneath the Christmas tree

Lulu and Winston underneath the Christmas tree

David and I spent a quiet Christmas in our little bungalow, just the two of us.

Looking forward to 2007!

Comments { 5 }
  1. Debra Roby

    What a wonderful year-end wrap up. Having gone through the rehab stuff, I think after 3 or 4 years, you just want some “ordinary” life back. It’s the need to find balance. Yes, year four is the year of fighting the house back.

    BTW, I love those leaded glass doors!!


  2. Heather

    Heather and David-

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments on the house. I have been following your website for the past 3 years as my husband and I have our own “renovation reality” on our 1916 craftsmand bungalow in Davis, CA.

    I feel your pain. For me… 3 years has been enough and I have the same feelings you do about just wanting to kick off my shoes (sans layer of dust) and relax in my house and live a normal life. Our place is much smaller than yours and while we have 50% of it 100% done and about 75% of it 90% done… we really are only living normally in about 2 rooms. We have stuff cramped in finished rooms while we work on unfinished ones.

    We too are still without the kitchen of our dreams but are going to do something about it. We spent most of our energy this year working with professionals to plan a redesign for the kitchen and hired and contractor to make it happen. Cross your fingers, knock on wood, avoid all the black cats, etc…they start in Feb and should be done by June.

    I thought your e-mail response to the couple wanting to buy a fixer upper was right on! Good advice about the reality of DIY restoration.

    I think your place looks really great though and doing 1 major project per year for a 10yr plan ain’t half bad. Keep some sanity, enjoy some normal life, and still end up in the long run with the home of your dreams.

    Good luck in 2007!
    Heather

    ps: I too have had resentful thoughts and used the “H” word. It’s okay to say you hate the house once in a while. Venting relieves the stress and makes you feel better so you stay committed.

    pss: loved the pics of tiny and winston


  3. heather

    Thanks for the encouragement! Oh, I’m so happy for you – and maybe just the slightest bit jealous. It does my heart good to hear that at least one Heather is getting the bungalow kitchen of her dreams this year. :)

    I wish you all the best with wrapping up your projects and your newly designed kitchen!
    heather


  4. Elan

    Heather,
    I just found your site and am looking forward to a rainy day, so I can read all the way through from the start. Your house is just lovely, what great work you’ve done. I’m going to make a guess on your stain mystery. I’m a Decorative painter by trade an an amateur house renovator, and although I’ve never seen anything quite as dramatic as what you describe, I’ve seen a lot of faded red stain. Many red pigments aren’t very stable particularly when exposed to UV rays. Your Doug fir may also be to blame, being a soft wood. So,maybe,conditioning first would have helped? The tinted varnish looks great and should do the trick, since the underlying varnish has sealed the wood. I’ll be interested to check in and see how it does. If it fades again, then it’s probably the pigments in the brand of stain, and you may want to try another brand. Best of luck, Elan


  5. Cheri

    Heather,
    Hating your 1912 Bungalow is normal and it’ll past in time. My 1910 Bungalow did not have nearly the neglect you’ve repaired. I’ve lived in mine for 20 years in October and still fixing stuff. Just recently took out the drop ceiling in the bathroom to find the original ceiling a mess. It is a nice feeling to know that the bathroom is the last major project. I’ve hated my house a few times during the process. Just concentrate what has been done.
    Cheri



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