Dream House

I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford to build myself a new house (well...perhaps myself and the bank). Having been to several 3rd world countries and knowing that there are lots of people in the world who don't even have housing, I felt a few pangs of guilt about this. I had a decision to make: rehab the old or build new. The cost to rehab my old house was going to be substantial. It was October of 2009. My husband had passed away in August from liver cancer. I was in the depths of grief and sorrow. I needed a project. I decided that if I had to plunk down a lot of money anyway, it was better to build new. I also decided that if I was going to build new, I was going to build green. My new house will be both beautiful and "green". I will share the journey and the adventure with you.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Bye Old House: Part One, Dismantle

     There are moments when I still can't quite believe that I actually tore down my old house and my very large detached garage. (It was the large garage, by the way, that actually convinced Rory to buy the property; once he saw the garage he said, "We've got to get this house!" The way to a man's heart is to give him a garage...). On the surface of it, tearing the house down was quite insane. On the tax rolls, the house and garage were worth about $120,000. However, there is an insanity to being in the depths of grieving, so I guess I will blame it on that. Having my husband die was a major upheaval, so I decided to keep going.
      I called Habitat for Humanity and they slowly dismantled what they could using volunteers to do the work---dimantling windows, doors, soffits, metal piping, sinks, bathroom vanities, faucets, light fixtures etc. They have store called "Restore" where you can find recycled house stuff. I had a very nice wood stove that they got, and some appliances. All told, I was able to claim a donation of about $18,000.
    Update: some blog followers wanted to know what happened to Oscar, the fish. Neither of the sisters whose homes I would be moving into wanted the fish. "No Way!" they said. I was so disappointed--my only housemate! It turned out that my brother-in-law, Terence Neilsen, was excited to hear this news. He gladly took Oscar. Oscar just barely survived the trip to Portage, WI. However, he revived and lived another year. Long enough to get even uglier and meaner (he would actually leap up sometimes and  bite at the finger that fed him...quite in contrast to the old adage of "don't bite the hand that feeds you").

                                         This is looking out the dining room window towards the road
                                         My brother in law Colin showing the layers of wallpaper
 It looks like an abandoned house, but believe or not, I found that UPS left a package at my door that month
                                          Living room and 3 season porch
                                         The south side of the house
        We could see this greenish colored trough like object  in our attic but we weren't quite sure what it was. I told Jamey he needed to save it during the tear down process
                                         My old bedroom: about 10 feet wide x 24 feet long with 7 foot ceilings

Caroline and Colleen's old bedroom
                                              I just wanted to show a picture of me cooking in my former pink kitchen. Clearly I need help in picking out colors! (Well...the wallpaper was there already and I wanted to match it, so there you go. The kitchen alone made me want to build a new house. Plus, it was 9' x 10' and the entry door came into the kitchen.)

1 comment:

  1. You've done amazing work, and now I am glad that Oscar is gone from it too! Don't get discouraged by the few blog posts. It's more difficult to leave these than you may think, Kris. (I'm sure that won't discourage you, all the same.) Can't wait to see your new kitchen in particular. :)