Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kitchen Number Two is History

The demolition is coming along nicely.  As mentioned previously, at one point and by a prior owner, the upstairs of Glenlochan had been converted into a separate apartment, complete with a kitchen.  Here's 2 shots of this second kitchen (which overlooks the water).

I turned my back for a few minutes to clean up a mess downstairs, and in no time, Rob had the kitchen demo half done.

Luckily, there is a door in this kitchen through which all of the cabinets were heaved as they were pulled out of the wall.


After getting everything out, it became clear that there had been leaks at some point in the past and a bit of mold and mildew had developed.  (And, behind the old washing machine were a couple of birds that had met their demise some time ago).  But the room is now cleared and ready to start pulling down drywall.

So what happened to all the cabinets? 

We introduced them to the huge and very heavy sledge hammer we discovered during our purge of the outbuilding and have affectionately dubbed, "Big John".  Big John has come in very handy so far.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Warriors

We've had a busy and productive week.  We've made a small dent in all that needs to be accomplished in the next few months.  First and foremost, the electricity is flowing again, which makes everything a little easier.  Secondly, we had a dumpster delivered.

This is the biggest dumpster I have ever seen.  It's so much taller than me - for items that need to go over the side, a ladder comes in handy.  Especially since I throw like a girl. (Qualification:  An uncoordinated and un-athletic girl.  Although plenty of girls have excellent throwing skills, I am not one of them.  The items that I try to throw over the side of the dumpster are more likely to come back down and hit me on the head.)

Unbelievably, despite its size, the dumpster is almost 3/4 full - that's a lot of hauling.  Here's where some of the dumpster-bound items came from, the inside of our historic outbuilding.  The below picture shows our progress when we were about three/fourths done with the clearing of the old schoolhouse.

Progress was not limited to the outside, however.  Glenlochan has a beautiful wooden staircase. 

At one point, previous owners had walled off the upstairs balcony to create a separate apartment upstairs.  But, the wall has to come down, not only to restore Glenlochan to the original plan, but also to provide a lot more light and open "flow" upstairs.

Here's a side view of the wall from the upstairs.

And now for a few "after" shots (the remainder of the wall is the back end of a bathroom, so that demo of the rest will need to wait a bit. 

The house has 2 kitchens and the one on the main floor was the first one we attacked.  Here's the before shot (notice the solid wall on the right side):

And, here's the "after" shot:

The kitchen now opens directly to the colonnade that connects the house to the old kitchen - the only part of the house from original Glenlochan in the 1700's.  One more shot from the colonnade into the kitchen:

All that's left on this demo project is to haul out a few appliances and to disconnect and take out the kitchen sink and the base cabinets with the sink.  Then, we'll be ready to start another project.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Work Begins

Friday we closed on the house, Saturday was our first “work” day.  Since the property had been vacant for quite some time, all utilities had been turned off and the house was winterized.  No electricity, no heat, and no working bathrooms makes for a challenging work day.  First on my list for next week is to get the electricity flowing again - that way we can at least plug in a heater and turn on lights.  Rob turned the breakers off in preparation for the grand illumination coming soon.
We weren’t going to let a cold house stop us from accomplishing something, though.  We layered up, donned our dust masks, and decided to tackle the attic.  Although the house is empty of furnishings, the attic, basement, and shed did not fare so well (that is, they are jammed with stuff).  First on Rob’s list for next week is to line up a dumpster.  Rob crawled around the dark attic with a flashlight for several hours, handing down to me everything from mattresses and bowling balls to shoes and screens - all sorts of interesting items, most of which are dumpster bound.  
A few items that will be incorporated into the house include some old draperies (see below) that I will be able to use in a twined rug, some outdoor chairs that need a bit of re-furbishing and new cushions, and a few old mirrors. 

Once the attic was largely cleared, Rob poked and prodded throughout the house, at one point pulling up a piece of linoleum to see what was underneath (another layer of interesting floor covering).

He explored the roof, electrical, insulation, flooring, and wisely spent his time seeing what we were up against throughout the house.  

I spent the rest of the day sorting through piles and piles of paper in the upstairs bedroom (a project that still isn’t complete).  My careful sorting paid off - the find of the day was a copy of a drawing of the original Glenlochan the 1780’s.  All that remains today of that original structure is the side “kitchen”, 

and the outdoor shed that we are told served both as a slave quarters and then a school house.  

We plan to do our best to restore both of those original structures in this renovation.  Additionally, there were wonderful pieces of art in the piles that we’ll be able to incorporate into the home - interesting prints, some original artwork, magazines from the early 1900’s and a variety of historic information. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Beginning

For over 4 years we’ve searched for where we were meant to live next.  We’ve talked endlessly about our options, making up and then changing our minds, sometimes in the span of a few hours.  We looked at project homes, building lots, water-front homes, acreage.  We spent our spare time researching foreclosures, new urbanism neighborhoods, land prices, and home prices.  We pored over websites, real estate books, and listings.  We did drive-bys up to 2 hours away, looked at an endless stream of homes, and attended open houses.  We bored our family and friends with our ever-changing plans, often starting a conversation with the words, “New plan…” to indicate that we’d again changed our minds. 

Neither of us likes being wishy washy and indecisive, yet there it was.  We could not seem to figure out what was next or find the ideal property.  As we approach middle age (actually, we might have squarely arrived already, but humor me, I’m in denial) we feel like we have at least one more big project in us before we settle into our respective creative pursuits.  Was that project a new-build complete with the latest technology, energy efficient and green?  Was it another renovation, even as the memory of the last one lingers?  A country property with room for barns and animals?  We just didn’t know. 

We comforted ourselves by saying things like, “the right place is just around the corner,” and “when we finally make a decision, it will be the right one,” and “no one will ever be able to accuse us that we haven’t done our research”.  We called ourselves “the Lookers” and laughed about launching a reality t.v. show about people like us who always look and never buy.  We told each other over and over again that we’d know it when we saw it. 
As it turns out, we were absolutely right.  We both knew, almost instantly, that “this” was “it”.  From seeing the outside of the house on a Saturday to making an offer that was NOT the requisite 10% under the asking price just 4 short days later, it was an unprecedented snap decision for us.  We’ve walked away from a number of negotiations and options in the past few years - none of them tempted us enough to become emotionally involved or negotiate beyond our initial ceiling.  Did we break our cardinal rule and become emotionally invested in this property?  You bet.  We were hooked from the start.  Five weeks later, we are the proud owners of Glenlochan.  We couldn’t be happier.