Home Renovation Update

  • By Blog Owner
  • 11 Jul, 2017
Ooh boy! What a crunch we have been on to get everything done in this house the past couple months! I know its been a while since I have updated, the guys both took the Winter off and our project hit a stand still... at least for a little bit. Things have been moving really quickly as of lately, a lot of the remaining work has been completed by contractors. With my persistence, they have remained (ALMOST completely) on schedule. 
Both Paul and Stan worked hard to get the plumbing in the house and they sure did a great job! Once the plumbing was completed, it was time for the electrical to be installed. We decided to hire an electrician and we are so glad we did. Ray Gendron of Power Solutions came out to the house and did an outstanding job bringing our house up to code and installing safe, updated wires throughout. Turns out, wires are not supposed to be connected to the top of the house. So, under the ground they went. With the help of the Heath brothers, we had a trench not only dug to the house for our electric, but also from the house to the barn so it will have electric. 
Mr. Gendron, hard at work on our electrical. 
While Ray was hard at work installing our electrical, Paul and Stan worked to get our French and sliding doors installed. What a difference the doors made! So much light coming in, it looks so much larger. 
Once all the electrical wires were installed, our house was ready for heating and AC. We decided to get an air handler that distributes AC and heat for the upstairs and downstairs, while also maintaining the humidity levels. Roy Refrigeration was wonderful in finding the best solution to run all of their ducting. Having an exposed ceiling down stairs limits the range of where they can run their ducting. 
Last, but most certainly not least, we now have spray foam insulation. What a mess that stuff can make, but Buddy and his crew from New England Spray Foam did a wonderful job making sure all of our posts and beams were covered well. They made quick work of our home, spending more time wrapping everything in plastic than they did actually spraying.  
Buddy from New England Spray Foam is pictured below. 
As our house continues to come together, I will continue to keep you updated. The stair installation should be beginning very soon. Dry wall is in progress(YAY,) kitchen is going to be put together soon and all the other home "puzzle pieces" are coming together. Thank you to everyone who has supported, enjoyed, shared and loved this project as much as I have. We are in the final stages of a project that seemed like it was never going to end and I am beyond excited to be going home soon! 

Trace Elements Photography Blog

By Blog Owner 11 Jul, 2017
Ooh boy! What a crunch we have been on to get everything done in this house the past couple months! I know its been a while since I have updated, the guys both took the Winter off and our project hit a stand still... at least for a little bit. Things have been moving really quickly as of lately, a lot of the remaining work has been completed by contractors. With my persistence, they have remained (ALMOST completely) on schedule. 
By Blog Owner 02 Nov, 2016
Going through the archives of this kick@$$ couples special day, I couldn't help but crack a beer. NOT because it was stressful or anything along those lines, but because going through these wonderful memories makes me wish I was closer to crack a brewski with these awesome people for their second anniversary. Paul & Kate's special day took place on November 1st, 2014. TWO YEARS already! I still remember the details of their day like it was yesterday. Paul & Kate, this ones for you. 
By Blog Owner 25 Oct, 2016
To start- I want to throw a HUGE thank you to everyone out there who has shared this process or has commented with your kind thoughts and appreciation. If you are just joining our journey along this renovation project, be sure to start at the beginning to fully appreciate this home as much as we do. If you want to make sure you have read each step along the way, check out the full blog . If you are up to speed, I owe you an explanation of the plan with the home, probably should have given one earlier! Above, you can see we have extended the second floor out to match the first floor. This turned our bedroom into a 'Master' bedroom. We are also adding two bathrooms(on the right.) One will be for the kids, the other will be a master bathroom (!!!!!!!!! :D) 
By Blog Owner 04 Oct, 2016
Originally, this tree was destined to just rot away. It really didn't serve a good purpose, its defect made it a terrible option for lumber because it would just crack and split. I had no idea Stan & Paul even cut this beauty down, but I understand their reasoning for doing so; this tree should not reproduce as it could pass on its unhealthy genetics. Makes sense. Stan explained this tree perfectly, "It is a result of genetic variation. The grain grew in a spiral or helix pattern rather than straight. It also has brashness or cracking instead of being totally solid. The ridges are its attempt to heal itself from the cracking. When we initially saw this tree I recommended just cutting it and leaving it to rot, since it wouldn't be good for traditional lumber. But then ‪Paul remembered it when we were looking for a large post for the stairs. After peeling some of the bark, we discovered more of the beauty. I am tempted to draw a parallel with human variations such as skin color or sexual orientation. Often our initial reaction is to shun whereas it is wiser to celebrate the beauty."
By Blog Owner 27 Sep, 2016
Though these were both taken with my iPhone, they give you a pretty good idea of how the bottom floor will look when completed. These are called panoramic shots and they conveniently combine multiple images to create one larger scene. These images do our home's beauty a little more justice than multiple angles could. 
By Blog Owner 17 Sep, 2016
I'm going to start out with a huge- 'what a nightmare this was!' That's as honest as I can be about foundation issues. Ugh! Anyways, just wanted to throw a HUGE thank you to everyone out there who has shared this process or has commented with your kind thoughts, appreciation and even some design input. ;D If you are just joining our journey along this renovation project, be sure to start at the beginning to fully appreciate this home as much as we do. If you want to make sure you have read each step along the way, check out the full blog.   If you are up to speed, this is what we just finished around the good ol' St J home. 
By Blog Owner 07 Sep, 2016
Our wood burning pile is(hopefully) as large as it is going to get. The entire house has been stripped in preparation for the renovation. The walls inside revealed that some of our home was most likely built with recycled, burned wood. The burned wood holds a story that I would love to hear, but my intentions are to keep the burned wood in our walls. We are going to salvage as much of it as possible and use it on either our bathroom wall or entry way. As much as possible, I'm going to keep the character in this home. 
By Blog Owner 29 Aug, 2016
When we first moved in, we had to remove the old window in the upstairs bedroom to get our beds in the house because the stairway was far to narrow. We updated all of our windows last fall with more energy efficient windows. This proved to be a problem when we went to remove the beds for the renovation because the windows were slightly smaller. This forced our first cuts on the house to be removed from the stairway. When they removed the first chunk of wall from the stairway, the excitement began to kick in. I could visualize the open floor plan I had been imagining since we decided to start this project. The overwhelming sensation of this being only the first step to a massive project kicked in shortly there after. 
By Blog Owner 23 Aug, 2016
There was so much being removed from this house that we decided to get a dumpster. Our house has lath and plaster walls- they are extremely heavy and are weighing on the structure of the home. When we first moved into the home, we had no intentions of a complete renovation. Curiousity got the better of us though while we were trying to guess what might be under the terrible white ceiling tiles. Was there going to be big long beautiful posts and beams? or maybe we would be able to see the flooring for the upstairs bedroom? What was up there we wondered... Well, we decided to go ahead and rip it down to find out. It was nothing nice. There was more lath and plaster under the tiles. This too, had to go. It was a nightmare to remove- its extremely heavy, dusty and just happened to have absorbed a massive amount of rodent urine over the past 100 years or so. As we removed the lath and plaster, we were bombarded by rodent nests filled with disgusting fecal matter falling from the ceiling. Many trash cans full of this waste later, we finally exposed what was hiding under there- rodent chewed, ugly floor joists. That is when I decided that one day, we would remove all of the lath boards, plaster and most importantly to me- all of the rodent contamination.  
By Blog Owner 09 Aug, 2016
We decided to go with Hemlock trees for the posts and beams in the home. The amount of work invested in just one post or beam can be overwhelming, but Paul and Stan came through and pulled it off. Finding straight, healthy trees was the easy part, the property has plenty to offer. Proper planning is vital. Knowing what sizes and how many trees needed avoids unnecessary work. All together, our home needed fourteen posts and ten beams. To achieve this goal, they cut down about six trees. Once cut down and cleaned up, the trees were dragged down to the lumber mill by the Kubota tractor.
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