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This Old Money Pit

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

This Old Money Pit

Sometimes I wonder if the renovation is getting to Andrew. I find hints of a psychotic break around the church.


If the jigsaw begins chanting "red rum," I'm out of there.

We haven't moved back yet but we do have a date for our grand return to Towanda: March 17(ish). We're still figuring out which year.

In the meantime, we've been inching toward getting the place habitable. And of course getting the bridge finished was absolutely necessary for that goal.

Of the many design changes we've gone through during the past 6 years, the one thing that never changed was having a bridge span the sanctuary. We still need to build railings for the sides of the lofts, but the bridge itself is done. Andrew cut the treads from wood salvaged from an old corn crib.

He then designed a clever system to clamp the treads to the base of the bridge. The footing is remarkably solid.

The railings went on fairly easily and the labor cost only a few beers.

I polished, stripped, and rustproofed the railings and put 6 coats of tung oil on the treads to bring out their character.

We often get asked what we're going to do with the apse loft space. I have no idea because the loft was built to support the bridge, not the other way around. Maybe we can turn it into an ultra exclusive one-table restaurant. BYOF.

The kitchen will remain somewhat rough for the time being until we get around to building the cabinets. We did get some paint on the walls, got a couple new appliances, and put tile on the floor.

The color will perfectly match the fires we start from attempting to do real cooking (Hot Pockets in microwave).

The master bedroom has been our main focus lately and it is almost ready for us to move back and forget about all the other unfinished areas in the building. Andrew installed a maple floor with some help from his coworker Don.

This is where our vanities will go. Did I mention that Andrew is building those as well?

He also crafted a nifty top to go around the tub (made from ceiling nailers that supported the plaster and lath).

He then added a few coats of thick, shiny epoxy, the kind you see on bar tops, to finish it off.

We still need to add a tile back splash on the wall around the tub and tile the front apron and steps.

Deciding on tile for the shower was a source of conflict. I prefer dark tiles to hide my shame, while Andrew likes bright tiles to celebrate his. The compromise was a little of each.

My favorite part is the river rock floor.

Also, we have a toilet!

And the cutest toilet brush ever!

Moving from the bedroom to the back hallway, we got a small part of the sanctuary floor refinished.

We were stunned with how well it turned out. You can see the unfinished wood in the foreground on the picture above and how striking the difference is.

We can't wait to get the rest of the sanctuary floor refinished.

Here's a view of the back hallway.

The bedroom is straight ahead and a guest bathroom is tucked away on the right.

Turning left at the end of the hallway is another short span of hallway with the back door on the right and the laundry room on the left.

Going to the opposite side of the building, here's a view standing in the front entrance (which will one day be an open porch) looking into the building.

Just on the inside to the left is a partition for the basement stairs.

I spent last weekend putting the final coat of paint on this area.

I'm not crazy about heights but fortunately I've found that drinking beer gives me a reassuring sense of confidence.

I'm also working on refinishing some doors we found on Craigslist that came from an area church.

This anatomically suggestive door will be a pocket door for the back bedroom entrance.

The bedroom windows are kind of, sort of, maybe getting close to somewhat finished. Andrew has done a remarkable job building new sashes and refinishing old ones.

Finally, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to my parents who have spent many long days here helping us.

We couldn't be considering moving back next month without all you have done to get us this far. Thank you also to Dave for cutting in our walls with razor precision. Last but not least, thank you to any children Andrew and I may have for understanding that having a bridge in our living room was more important than saving for your college education. College are overratted, inaway.

I second the thanks to Sally's family for making the time to drive up and help out. It's not just their helpful additional hands, but the easy justification that you should probably provide donuts for the volunteer labor that makes those days so magically delicious.
EyePulp   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Love all of the details. The floors...WOW! I can see why you are excited. I covet your tub. I know you are probably exhausted but I hope you are still enjoying the process!
Spike   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Your house/soon to be home is a friggin' WORK. OF. ART!!!!!


My god; the workmanship, attention to details, color choices (all museum quality) ... I could go on and on. And on.

Can't wait to see it for real one of these days. Don't worry, you'll be done, because we have to finish ours before we ever travel again!

Really, kids -- no words...

LOVE: the bridge to Nancy's Place, byo food restaurant; the original, refinished floors; the newly installed maple floors; the shower tile and space design; the Japanese(?) soaking tub?; the tub top; the bath sink/cabinet; everything else, too numerous to mention.

Our master bath shower is going to be similar in tile color/design, just a little more rustic/muted -- you can tell the difference in our ages!!!

Five stars.

pegi   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Seriously...I can't stop looking at the tub. I came back because I missed it already. Ever since I was pregnant with Jasper I long for hot baths. The tub in this house is in the basement. It kind of looks like a smurf exploded in that bathroom and it has the feel of...a basement. Can I come soak at your church?
Spike   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Pegi--5 stars for your comment. Thanks for the kind words.

Spike--come soak any time! We have yet to try it out but I'm hoping it's comfortable. That space was really too small for a normal-sized tub. Instead of fighting it, we went with the soaker option. You can't really tell from the pictures but the spout is directly above the tub. I hope we don't end up with more water outside the tub than in.
SallyPants   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
WOW! Really truly awesome. We'll have to make the trip to see it in person.
matt   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Great update, SP!! I can tell everyone that the color in every room is much more beautiful than you see in these pictures! The color is not nearly as brassy as it appears in the photos. The bedroom is a silver gray, the laundry room is a beautiful blue and the kitchen is a neat spicy color, not really red as it looks here. I call the space at the end of the bridge the Love Nest! Sally and Andrew have worked so hard on this project and have done beautiful work. Can't wait to help you get moved in!! And thanks for all the doughnuts!!
!   Tuesday, February 21, 2012
All I can say is ditto to all the comments above. And oh that tub-jus don't think this -uhm- elder person could get in and out very easily. It truly is a work of art and love. Congratulations that the move in date is coming-I can share your anticipation as our foundation will be started this week!
dannie   Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Dannie, believe me, you could get in the tub!! If I can get in it, you can get in it!! I climbed in there to clean it. It's pretty neat. I can see reading a lot of books in there!!
!   Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Nancy, you have given me something to think about!
dannie   Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Great update, Sally!! You over rate the work we have done - its you and Andrew that have put in the hours!! We are glad that we were able to contribute a little and have enjoyed seeing the progress this project has made from the beginning! WOW!! I have been, and continue to be, so impressed with the work you and Andrew have done!
stheinz   Wednesday, February 22, 2012
That place is looking great. Glad you and EyePulp actually built the bridge. I figured it was one of those childish (and I mean that in a good way) ideas that come up while brainstorming/drinking, but never actually come to fruition. I can see that you actually made it a high priority. Awesome!
jef   Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Thanks for the update. I have been checking back regularly to see how things are going. The other day I asked Dave to text you and tell you to post updates because I was wanting to see the progress. It is such a work of art! Love every detail!!!!
Stape   Thursday, February 23, 2012
Very Cool and great job Andrew and Sally!!
Good News   Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Wow!! This looks so great! I can't wait to see what it looks like now! I think you guys might officially be working harder than we do with 2 youngin's in the house!! That is hard to beat!
Alexanderville   Saturday, September 8, 2012
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