This Old ChurchIt's been awhile since the last church update. Things have been moving forward but the nature of the renovations doesn't make for sexy blog material. Barring physical mutilation or Acts of God, hard wiring gas lines and stripping window frames aren't the sort of things that keep my 3 readers coming back. But I feel an update is in order mainly because otherwise I'd have to work on my dissertation.
We still haven't retaken occupancy of the building. When we moved out last August, we thought we'd be gone for about 4 months while the major construction phase was underway. That 4 months has now turned into 14 months. At this point we're shooting to get the master bedroom livable so that we can move back and tackle the rest of the building as time and money permit. Both those things are in short supply right now and at times our morale flags. I sprayed this all around the church but it didn't help.
This also doesn't work on marriage licenses
Last May we began dealing with the Window Situation.
Most of the frames are in decent shape but a number of sashes have to be rebuilt. There's nothing easy or cheap about window restoration. The complexity involved is daunting but Andrew has stepped up to the challenge. He's mastered window lingo, which is no small feat in itself, and is working on rebuilding the master bedroom sashes.
Andrew can call these three-quarter length work pants, but they're still Capris
We poured some concrete in what will eventually become the front porch. We topped it off with a stainless steel inlay that replicates the original design inside of the church's round windows.
If you stand exactly in the center during the winter solstice, you'll probably get cold
We added a partition between the front entrance and the basement stairs.
What is this, I don't even...
Back in April we visited our Bridge to Nowhere as it was being fabricated.
We brought our little bundle of alloy joy home from the welding shop in June. The base is in place, awaiting treads that we'll make from old wooden beams that came from a corn crib. Then we'll attach the sides and be able to get to nowhere more efficiently.
The rails are just wide enough for toddlers to stick their heads through
We also cleared some space in the basement to accommodate Andrew's wood fetish. Since it was used for Sunday school classes, the basement had a number of small rooms. We knocked down a bunch of walls and opened up the space.
The building code in Towanda is...lenient
Then we framed and insulated the walls so that one day - we'll call it Phase 47 of the renovation - we can finish the space down there.
Without fail, every time we work on the basement we find old church relics: a membership list, tithing envelopes, programs. I love this discovery.
This will look really nice on the curb
We're about ready to get started on tile work. The kitchen was a bit of a challenge to prep because we had to cut out the wood floor and rebuild it between the floor joists in order for the tile to be flush with the rest of the floor.
The master bathroom space has been a great source of financial and marital woe. My desire to never clean a shower door again comes with a price. The open S-shaped design is a labyrinth of walls and partitions that will make tiling unpleasant.
Future home of Prell
Once the electrical circuits were run, we got to play around with lighting fixtures. We got our hands on some used acetylene caps that we're going to turn into pendants. This light we salvaged from the power plant that became Andrew's business:
I bought a cheap light from Menard's for my office wall. I was going for the medieval torture chamber look but I don't think it's quite there yet.
We've started to pick out flooring material. For the master bedroom we got 5" clear-grade maple planks.
At the local architectural salvage warehouse we found 1000 sq. ft. of reclaimed flooring from the Masonic Lodge in Normal. (Thankfully, that old unique building was bulldozed to make way for a CVS and convention center - nice work, Town of Normal!) It's super cool wood, composed of bird's eye and tiger stripe maple, and will look pretty nice when stripped and refinished.
We've also "experimented" with how to cover the inside walls of the front porch.
Burned wood becomes a design option when you're broke and have lost all hope
We had our fantastic drywall team back to tie-up some loose ends.
Finally, just in time for fall, we had AC installed in the bedroom areas.
Please don't steal the copper inside
While this project sometimes feels overwhelming, we're slowly but surely turning it into our home. And if that doesn't work out, there's always Plan B:
Just kidding State Farm!