Tuesday, August 2, 2011

House update, in pictures

A picture may say 1,000 words, but only if you know what you're looking at. I'll provide a little background to help you out.

Erik's been working 10-14 hour days at the house the last two weeks, and a few days along side our carpenter, and has made some good progress. I finally was able to get in there myself yesterday and today, for the first time in several months. What with studying for my Norwegian exams, packing and moving 3 times, and being on full-time mommy/house-wife duty for the last 3 weeks (yes, feminist friends, I know I've been a full-time mommy for the past 40 months--you know what I meant), I haven't been able to flex my Handy Woman muscles at all. 

But today I shoveled buttons. 

Read on. . . 

View from the front hall, into the former kitchen,
 immediately inside the front door.
To the right: the former kitchen! Will soon be a bathroom with stand-up shower.
Take note of the shovel and what was under the floor of the former kitchen.
This was the "insulation" between the kitchen floor and basement ceiling:
an interesting mix of sawdust and buttons. I kid you not. 

Today, I shoveled out over 5 enormous trash bags of sawdust--and buttons*.
About 6 weeks ago, Tika, standing in the to-be-dining room.
The windows and wall behind her will be gone, as that is where the addition will go. 
Tika was standing about where the saw is.
The doorway has been widened significantly.
This is the dining room, behind the stairs, to the front of the house,
will be the bathroom. Stairs will be re-configured. 

Remember Greta in her room? Exposed insulation, awful walls,
wood floors covered with 50 year old carpet glue?

Greta's room today: reinsulated, vapor barrier up on walls and ceiling,
knee walls installed, and floors sanded smooth.

More signs of progress, standing in the new kitchen, looking into office:
new vapor barrier and lath, framing for new windows in guest room/office space,
and the 2x4 on the floor (pointing down to the right edge of the picture) is the edge of the kitchen.

Some of you might might be muttering to yourself, "you call this progress?" But it actually is! When we received our first delivery of building materials about two weeks ago, I actually felt encouraged for the first time in a long time. Finally we were having things delivered--not just waste material and refuse taken away! It was a tangible sign that we were actually building and not just destroying. And, even better, we're ready for a second delivery! THAT is progress!

* In my defense, I also did a lot of other Handy Woman things aside from shoveling buttons, but they aren't as funny.


  1. Sawdust and buttons?! What is the story there? do you know the age of the house? wonder if that was done during WW2.

  2. It's so exciting. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like with a handy husband ;) Can't wait to follow through the next steps and (someday) see the end result!

  3. WOW! You guys have achieved a great deal in the last couple of weeks---very impressive! Isn't it amazing to see it begin to take shape, to actually be able to really envision the house you're going to live in? It's exciting! It's also a hell of a lot of work, and I wish you tons of luck and good energy as you move forward.

    Your pictures remind me so much of our housebuilding adventure five years ago. I hope it's not too rude of me to say I'm glad all of that is behind us! I think you know what I mean... :-) I can also say with certainty, though, that it's all worth it!!

  4. Looking good Emily! You have done so much so quickly (a bit like the way you have learnt norwegian!)

  5. that's so exciting or at least i imagine it would be, i've never lived through a whole house remodel. soon it will be so lovely! oh! and hello emily, it's nice to meet you.

  6. I have heard others in Lillehammer finding buttons used for insulation. There was once a button manufacturing plant in town. Chances are a former employee once resided at your address. Keep us posted! Love the updates!

  7. Right before I read "Some of you might might be muttering to yourself, "you call this progress?", I was thinking to myself "Wow, that is great progress in just a few weeks!" Looking forward to seeing the finished project.