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January 24th, 2020 : House Updates

This is the 5th week of the heavy construction on the house with the contracting company we hired. Before that, we were managing by ourselves and with the help of family and a hired painter/handy-man. I thought things were messy back then, but the clean-up from changing a sink or light fixture or even painting the walls is nothing compared to ripping off a roof and putting in a new one. If we had known, we might have opted to do that first or maybe not be living in the house while it was being done, but we’re past that now. I think we are through the worst. The new roof is beautiful, safer and warmer.


The new roof for my studio (a particularly traumatic change due to me not understanding how much concrete would have to be cut away in order to fit in the new plaques) is fantastic now that it’s finished. There are no leaks like before, it retains more heat and when I look up, I see white instead of mold! Definite upgrade! 


The door to the attic, which also had to be widened made a lot of noise and mess right down the hall from us as they had to cut the opening with some insane power tools.


Even the contractors are amazed at this house; its not made of wood or brick, but concrete and STONE. Making any kind of structural change has been an enormous challenge and a HUGE MESS (have I mentioned that?). I felt especially bad for the team (now I know them all by name and am over being embarrassed by them seeing me in my stay-at-home clothes or hearing me sing in the shower!) when it came to changing the door. As I think I’ve mentioned, the door was very old, had a complicated and corroded lock system and the whole entrance was lower than the street which becomes an issue when it rains (which is all the time in the winter!) and water and dried leaves from the street would pour into the entrance hall. Our idea, which Mr. Diogo said was completely doable when he first assessed the house, was to cut a higher entrance, fill in the dip on the outside and create a step into the house. We even went out and bought the new door to insert in the new, higher opening. Simple, right? WRONG! To everyone’s dismay, the front of the house is a SOLID STONE and cutting anything into it was extremely complex even with all the power tools you could name. It took them 4 days of endless jackhammering just to BREAKTHROUGH not even carve the doorway. Don’t even get me started on the dust that lifted and floated into everywhere in the house. Every. Crevice. They could hear the noise and see the cloud of dust down the street, like 6 houses down. We were a spectacle and everyone that passed would stare and comment (well they already do that here anyways, but it was way worse)! This week, THANK THE LORD, we have a new door in place, but we still have a ways to go as far as finishing and new flooring for the new internal step.


I guess I haven’t been blogging with new details as much as I’d like because I have felt overwhelmed and discouraged. I look around and there’s barely anything that’s not “ in progress”. I wish I could share pictures of a beautiful, fully restored house, but that’s not gonna be the case any time soon. After they finalize the door and final touches internally, we still want to restore and paint the OUTSIDE of the house, but we need to A. wait till spring when its not raining as much and B. save up some more money because all this work is EXPENSIVE!! I am learning a lot about patience. Unfortunately, I could be a better pupil. But there’s a little voice in my head that says “Hang in there, its gonna be awesome when it’s finished!”

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