Restoring An Old House

Restoring An Old House

If you are a subscriber to my free newsletter, you already know that my husband and I have embarked on restoring an old house.

In this past week’s newsletter, I promised an update today. This is it.

Restoring an Old House

The house is 102 years old, and is early 2007. It has been sitting empty since then other than occasional visits from Neal’s brother and nephews, who stayed there while in Newton.

Needless to say, it now needs a lot of maintenance and upgrading, but there are two overarching priorities for the immediate future: Painting the house and repairing doors and windows so the property is secure.

But we need to do a lot of other things first. I could give you a list, but you probably don’t have the time to read it!

Last Week’s Priorities

One of the the biggest things to do was cleaning up the property. There are lots of little (and not so little) trees growing up.

I should say, there were lots of little trees. The biggest trees were trimmed back Tuesday of last week, and I worked on the remaining trees Wednesday. I also moved the branches from both days from the initial stack to a pile at the curb. The city picked them all up the following day.

Restoring An Old House
This brush pile was my project the evening of June 7. It was a lot of hauling and carrying!

The other priority is getting the water running again. That means replacing water pipes that have been out of use for most of that time, many of which have failed. We’re having to replace most of it as we work. I have to say that this particular job seems unending right now. Every fix reveals another failure from the city main to the kitchen sink!

We need water at the house in order to paint. We hoped to have that completed by the end of the week last week, but that didn’t happen. It’s Tuesday, June 13 as I write this post, and the bathroom and kitchen must still be connected to the water, which means replacing all that old copper and galvanized pipe.

I always thought it would be fun to restore an old house.

We’ve been a week working on this one, and I’m already seeing just how big a job that can be!

Behind the Scenes in the Studio

In the meantime, drawing, writing tutorials, and everything except the absolutely necessary work of running this blog and publishing a magazine is on hold.

I’ve been working on the July issue of the magazine as often as possible and it’s coming along nicely. Praise the LORD, it’s actually ahead of schedule.

I also squeezed in a tiny bit of work on the portrait of Thomas one day this week, but I was so tired mentally and physically that I didn’t accomplish much.

The good news on this project is that it’s starting to look finished despite all of that!

Portrait of Thomas, making progress slowly but surely.

I look forward to being able to say the same about that old house!

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  1. Gail Jones

    Fixing up an old house would be quite a chore. Ron and I will be doing similar to our house once he retires in a couple of months. I look forward to it, but we have a lot of asbestos in flooring and a popcorn ceiling that we need to have professionally removed and then replaced. Wishing you all the best with your house project.

    1. Gail,

      It’s good to hear from you.

      There are a lot of things in this house that could be professionally done, too, but Neal wants to do them as a learning project.

      The farmhouse where I grew up had a popcorn ceiling. For all I know, it’s still there!

  2. Kim Vlahovich

    The drawing is beautiful Carrie! It has an “old masters” look to it in my humble opinion.
    Wow!…very nicely done…Great piece!
    Good luck as well on the renovations.

    1. Thank you, Kim!

      The drawing of Thomas began a few weeks after Thomas died, back in 2019. This is actually the second attempt. The first attempt didn’t even survive the background phase, but it was my first attempt on Pastelmat. I learned a lot on that failed effort.

      I began this one in September 2020 and have worked on it in fits and starts. It has definitely been a challenge, and many is the time that I’ve put it aside because I just didn’t know what else to do with it!

      So thank you for your compliments. They mean a lot!

      Thank you also for the compliments on the house renovations. It’s going to take a lot of elbow grease, that’s for sure!

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