Monthly Archives: October 2016

Time Goes by so Fast!

I am writing another blog post because people have been asking, but I feel like nothing has really been done.  Alot of ordering and designing and handing out alot of money (ugh) but nothing accomplished.  Maybe at the end of this post I will feel differently!

Stonegate Construction is here and has torn down the old deck and is figuring out just how much wood rot we have under those windows that are coming down.  I know there is plenty because we band-aided it to get the home inspection done and now we are paying the piper.  When the deck came off we were able to see that there were some open holes right into the crawlspace which explains the mouse infestation.  Yuk.  They are digging holes for the deck, some are easy, some are solid rock and they had to jackhammer them, they also hit water in one hole.  Good thing I don’t have a basement after all it would probably be flooding all the time.  We apparently have alot of underground streams here.


Taking the nasty deck down!


The rotten wood under the wall of windows

Meanwhile, we rented a dumpster to dump all the carpeting that was super smelly (some had not been changed since 1987!) all the padding underneath and all the carpet strips.  We also had to dump some of the kitchen so the wall can come down and Mark insisted on dumping that boat that was left on the property behind the pine trees.  It took Mark and my son several hours trying to figure out how to get it in to the dumpster.  Finally they dragged it to the dumpster with the tractor then attached a rope over the dumpster and out the front and dragged it on (the back of the dumpster opened like a door).  We found out later that boat was owned by the neighbor, he used to fill it with ice for parties!  Should have dumped it back into his yard!!!


dumpster we rented and filled to the top!


Gutting the Kitchen on the left to take the wall down


We also gutted the fireplace all the way to the ceiling.  There was a ton of mouse dropping of course and a hole right into the crawlspace!  Gross.  We ordered a new wood burning insert fireplace that is turning out to be a painful installation.  First, it weighed over 900 pounds.  Ferguson dropped it off for us but it was up to us to get it into the house.  Luckily, the deck was down.  Mark strapped it to the tractor and drove it around back.  Our neighbor Anthony had these rollers that are strong enough to hold a car so we plopped the fireplace on the rollers thru the french door in the office and rolled it in!  Now it sits there awaiting the fireplace guy to come evaluate how to hook it up.  Our plan is to stone around it and all the way up the wall to the ceiling.  My contractor pointed out that the floor might not hold it all.  I had to call my structure guy again (the sweet Indian fellow) and he informed me we would need to secure it further with another joist beam in the crawlspace underneath.  This fireplace has all these vents and hoses we need to attach to it to vent it etc.  Another blessing that the deck is down so we can vent it right out there!


tractor carrying fireplace thru french doors



The gutted space for the fireplace and the new one sitting there

We closed up the wall to the right of the fireplace into the office.  We are going to put bookshelves there and possibly our TV.  Notice how gross the floor is under the carpet.  One contractor said the place was in the elements for awhile when it was being built.  Of course it was!  Mark wants to replace all the subflooring but I am trying to talk him out of it.  Once the hard wood goes down no one will see it.

I ordered new Anderson Windows for the main house and they are coming in tomorrow!  So excited for Oswaldo my carpenter to start that.  He is less than thrilled, saying it is going to be tough with the board and batten siding outside, getting it to be waterproof.  I have faith in him though.

I scheduled the new hard wood floor upstairs in the loft and landing.  It was old bruce hardwood but I don’t like the grooves and it looks pretty beat.  The price was not bad with Omar and he  is going to rip it all up including the picket railing, I want to get some black wrought iron railing up there.


upstairs landing Bruce Hardwood and old Railing

The railing has too much space in between anyway to meet code.

After we gutted that wall in the kitchen, Stonegate Construction started taking the wall down between the kitchen and dining room.  Its gonna look so cool.  Of course, the plumbing from my sons bathroom runs right thru it!  That is going to have to be diverted and not sure how that is done, so called Dave my plumber and of course he dropped everything and came right over since I have him on standby and practically employ him full time…


wall break thru with plumbing running right thru!

The back of the property and the land across the street is heavily covered by brush and these nasty olive trees that produce no olives but grow fast and choke out everything in sight.  I hear that a lady introduced the species some time ago into Loudoun County and its been a menace ever since.  That and cedar trees were so thick it covered our septic field and we could not reach the end of the property to a creek we supposedly have back there.  Anyway, we weren’t sure how we were going to get thru it all, but were put in touch with Jim Donegan of Donegans Tree Service.  He happened to be renting this huge forestry machine for the week and had openings to come clear the land for us.  He is also an arborist so he knew what trees to keep and what to suck up into this machine and spit out as mulch.  It was so exciting and amazing what he found back there!  We have so many gorgeous dogwood, cherry trees, red buds, oaks, hickory, etc. that are finally breathing again and I cant wait to see them bloom in the spring.  There is also a long rock wall that goes down thru the property.  He literally cleared about an acre and did a large path all the way down to the creek and around so we can circle the property. If you ever want to go on a nature hike come on by!  Where an orange vest though cause I do hear gunfire alot in the woods.    Which reminds me. One of the tree guys asked how long I had owned the place because he knew the other owner from the gun range.  The guy was a gun nut.  I keep hearing that.  Hope we never meet.  Across the street it cleared that too so we can start taming the area.  Unfortunately, we have alot of ash trees that are dying in America due to some chinese worm that came over here.  Sad really.  The following week, he came and removed 8 huge dead trees that were all over the property and chipped all the branches and left the wood.  We could totally have enough fire heat to last a lifetime.


one of the huge dogwoods finally free in the back


Donegans here at like 7AM ugh taking trees down

Next on the list is my sons bathroom and the kitchen backsplash being tiled and a new door for the bowling alley cause its rotted out and hopefully getting that fireplace installed asap to save on heating bills.  Also, we finally decided where to put a cat door so Waldo can come and go as he pleases.  Right now he is back in Woodlea, and has not come home. There have been several sightings.   The cat drives me insane.  A little side note, we got a new kitten at the end of June, thinking Waldo might be interested and stay home with his new buddy.  That hasn’t really happened, but he does tolerate Izzy.  She follows him everywhere when he is here.  Anyway a funny story, the other morning it was very cold and I let Izzy down to the garage so she can scoot around and pretend to hunt something.  After awhile I went looking for her and she had escaped out the window.  I heard something shuffling and found a mouse in one of our coolers.  Cute, but disgusting it was in the house.  I took it outside in the cooler and found Izzy and showed her the mouse in the cooler.  She was so excited to finally have a friend.  I left her there to hopefully finish him off and get a taste of what her job was supposed to be around here.  I watched her from the window she jumped in the cooler and jumped out.  knocked the cooler over and chased and played with the mouse until he got away.  I don’t think she hurt it, hopefully he is too scared to come back, but what a let down.   Waldo would have killed it in one swipe.  That is the difference in those two.  More next month hopefully!