Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Monday, June 30, 2014

Philly Post: Open Air Kitchen

When Rob is left to his own devices, the end product will be fantastic, but the journey to the end product is sometimes a little rocky.  Take this recent weekend in Philly, for example.  My kitchen was inadvertently transformed into an open air kitchen.  Actually, it was quite deliberate on Rob's part - I just wasn't clued in to exactly what he had in mind until I was in the middle of an open air kitchen...

And, of course, as soon as the window came out, the perfectly sunny weather we were having turned into a rainy monsoon.  I gamely continued cooking in the kitchen, amid construction, bad weather, and bugs and managed to turn out a pretty stellar dinner topped off with homemade cherry pie.  Not an easy feat!

I'm told that this window HAD to came out so that Rob could assess the reframing he needed to do on the windows and so that he could order all of the windows in the correct sizes for the Philly house.  Yes, he took out the window WITHOUT having a new window to put in.  The old one wasn't going back in, either:

I thought replacement windows would be just fine for this house, but no, Mr. Perfectionist plans to re-frame each and every window so that they don't look "crappy".  Hmmm.  I think we define crappy a little differently.  In any event, despite the fact that I always thought an open air kitchen was cool in the right climate, I wasn't about to live with an open air kitchen in Philly for the 6 to 8 weeks it will take for our new windows to arrive.  Rob already had a was far from perfect:

 It's sturdy and keeps out the bugs, elements and bad guys.  Unsightly?  Oh yeah, is it ever.  I'm sure the neighbors are wondering about our definition of home improvement!

Friday, June 27, 2014

FAH Post: Family Adventure House

As if we didn't have enough renovation projects in our life, we have taken on a new project - the Family Adventure House.  Yup, we bought a small house - us plus the boys plus an honorary family member as a joint adventure.  Built in the 40's, this house is cute as a bug:

And solid as can be with a beautiful back yard:

But, the kitchen was dysfunctional - about 10 ft. by 4 ft. with a water heater and washer/dryer also crammed into that same space.  The dining room was equally tiny:

That wall on the left had to come down to rehab the space.  Unfortunately, so did the ceiling:

The two Rob's ("Rob Squared") made short work of the demo, but left lots of piles!

We are hoping this will be an eight week project (six working weeks) for both the kitchen, bath and a few other fixes in the house.  The kitchen is looking much bigger after week one - these are the before and after shots - same window in both pictures:

A blank slate for the kitchen:

And the ceiling joists are all sistered and ready for the new ceiling:

Lots to do, but this solidly built home deserves a little TLC.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Call the Guy

When Rob and I first got married, neither of us knew the first thing about fixing anything.  We bought, for the grand sum of $4000, a mobile home that was our first home (and really our first renovation, although it really didn't look all that much better when we moved on to our next home!).  And, when things went wrong (as they often did on a very old mobile home) because we didn't know the first thing about how to fix anything, we called the "guy".   But, money was beyond tight back then and with two little babies, the "guy" in our case was my Dad - a knowledgeable Mr. Fix It and the price was right!

Back then, we took my Dad's knowledge and willingness to fix anything that broke at our house for granted.  We didn't give a second thought to how we might be interrupting his life to come over to help us.  And my Mom always came, too.  She'd watch the kids, give moral support, and make sure everyone lived through the current crisis.  Dad knew plumbing, electrical, carpentry and he was a master gardener - all skills that we called upon again and again.  And, he showed up at a moment's notice.  This fix-it help from my Dad has continued throughout our married life - even after our jobs took us further away from my parents, if we don't know how to do something, we still call the guy and he'll talk us through it.

Looking back, we didn't realize how lucky we were - all that skill and thankfully much of it has been passed on to us (um, mostly Rob, but I got a bit of it, too!).  I think that's part of why we are so into our house projects - we learned the joys of fixing it ourselves so well from the guy,  Thank you so much, Dad, for all that you did for us and all that you taught us and Mom for all of your support, too!

And, recently, we had the opportunity to help Jake and Ashley in a similar way - we spent a week in Michigan helping to install a privacy fence at their home.  It was a great project and lots of people had their hands in it - Dad was there, as well - four generations in all, so fun and so special.  Here's a few pictures of that fence project week.

Getting the posts JUST RIGHT:

 Jake and I spent a long time sorting through the slats - rejecting many and finding the best boards to use on the fence:
 Cross boards and slat sections going up:

Looking good:

A beautiful fence - just needs to be stained and/or sealed (and caps on the posts).

We were all pretty tired at the end of this project!