Harold Bewick: Builder of My Ranch

2 min read A little insight into my ranch’s inception. It, along with some 300 other local homes, was built in 1952 by a local contractor. Today, I find out a little more.

My ranch was built in 1952 by one Harold Berwick.  The permit – left with some other house papers in a basement cabinets – lists him as “owner” rather than contractor but he never occupied the space, just developed it on spec and passed it along. He apparently did a super speedy job of construction.  Continue reading “Harold Bewick: Builder of My Ranch”

Progress: Installing Batt Insulation

2 min read Having passed the framing and electrical inspections, the next direct step for the basement was to finish up the insulation. For the first time ever, this task turned out to be easier than I expected.

It was unexpectedly challenging to find 23” batts of insulation (designed for more efficient 24 inch on center framing I used) which were ALSO unfaced (no place for moisture to get stuck) AND designed for a 2×4 wall (not an attic).  I scoured the internet for this unicorn of insulation objects, the 23” unfaced 3.5” batt and finally had to special order it to be delivered to Menards.  Continue reading “Progress: Installing Batt Insulation”

New Cork Flooring Delivered!!!

2 min read Yesterday the new flooring for the basement was delivered. I’m not quite ready to install it but I do have a sample on the floor already!

It came FedEx freight and the pallet weighed in at 1200 pounds so I was very grateful that the delivery guy was nice enough to help me get it up the driveway and store it in the garage with his pallet jack.  That said, it took all of his pulling and my pushing to make the slope!  Now the pile safely ensconced in the center of the garage and I will work on moving it down to the back corner of the basement for temporary storage at my leisure. Continue reading “New Cork Flooring Delivered!!!”

Basement Progress: Electrical Rough In

< 1 min read In what was actually one of the easiest steps in the whole basement project – a day and a half of concentrated work by me, my dad, and our fabulous electrician Terry Kuehn – we made some of the most concrete-feeling progress. We’ve created order from chaos from order!

We have the electric boxes, cans and wiring installed!   In what was actually one of the easiest steps in the whole basement project – a day and a half of concentrated work by me, my dad, and our fabulous electrician Terry Kuehn – we made some of the most concrete-feeling progress.  Now there are just a few last items to check off before we get our electrical and framing inspections, install insulation and then call the drywallers!  Continue reading “Basement Progress: Electrical Rough In”

(Nearly) Instant Gratification updates with Paint

2 min read After all this work in the basement – slow but steady – I decided to take on something a little more quickly satisfying: painting the bedrooms grey. Check it out!

Prioritizing the exterior and basement has meant living with some fairly unpalatable existing conditions on a daily basis.  In fact, I’ve been sleeping in a room covered with powder blue lead paint with the previous owners pictures hooks in the walls for over a year.  Why?

This weekend I got serious about making a change. Continue reading “(Nearly) Instant Gratification updates with Paint”

Progress: Framing basement walls and soffits

< 1 min read The basement framing has been proceeding in the background of several other projects and is starting to finally come together.  The electrician is scheduled to come out and work with me on wiring in the next few weeks!

Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying that room-like feeling you get from walls that are framed but not yet covered in drywall.  Especially with 24″ on center wall studs, we still sometimes take a shortcut through the wall center wall rather than go 6′ over to the door.  I’ve also been enjoying hanging out in the bedroom as it comes together, mostly due to the great natural light from the large window we installed this summer.  Continue reading “Progress: Framing basement walls and soffits”

Micro Update: Matching the Front Door to the Mailbox

2 min read One of the most fun (and easy) things I did to the house last year was painting the front door. Here’s how I exactly matched the mailbox.

This is one of those curb appeal updates that gets tossed around when thinking resale.  For me, it is just too-long-delayed improvement for every day life.Granted, part of the reason it was so satisfying was that I’d devoted countless hours to fixing up the rest of the exterior, but this felt like the element that tied everything together.  Continue reading “Micro Update: Matching the Front Door to the Mailbox”

Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds

4 min read Insulated blinds are one of my favorite micro updates.  In addition to a warmer (or cooler) house they provide privacy, controls over your daylight and a stylish update to your aesthetics.  Win. Win. Win. Win.

The snap in the air this week reminded me to adjust my insulated blinds up at night instead of leaving them at half mast for daytime privacy.  I love, Love, LOVE my cordless, up-down, cellular blinds.  They are energy efficient, streamlined and private, and I think they could be an improvement to any home.  Continue reading “Micro Update: Up-Down Insulated Blinds”

Progress: Painting the Unfinished Basement

2 min read While the “unfinished”  side of the basement isn’t high on my to-do list of spaces to make glorious, I did take a break last week to give it a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint. 

I’ve been on a painting kick lately.  I guess I don’t know what to do with my spare hours now that the outside of the house is finished.

The result surprised me.  I’d gotten used to crossing my eyes at the spider webs and dingy paint in the north side of the basement but now that the walls are fresh and white, I actually enjoy going over there to pull wood from my scrap stash.  Continue reading “Progress: Painting the Unfinished Basement”

Testing Paint Colors in Natural Light

< 1 min read I recently realized that I’ve been living among wall colors I DON’T LOVE for way too many months and that it is time to make some of my planned color changes now while I can appreciate them rather than at the end of the project when I’m just about to pass it off to someone else.

After grabbing a really unreasonable number of swatches at the paint store, I set them up next to the wood trim – which I don’t intend to change – and was really surprised how most of the ones that seemed perfectly plausible in the light of the paint store were way to harshly blue grey in the house.  The outlier I had almost rejected as terribly taupe was the winner.  Continue reading “Testing Paint Colors in Natural Light”