project house {week 6}


{the front yard reconfiguration for the new stairs & path // aaron enjoying the 8 foot ceilings}


{the basement stairwell filled in // the floor plan drawn onto the new slab // the future master bath // the future master bedroom}


{the future office/extra bedroom // the radiant heat pipe ends in the future utility room // the future internal staircase // aaron with the new windows}

the most recent work has really felt major. not that the lift, demolition, & pony walls weren’t major, but since the new slab has been poured & the framing has started, we are both able to really see the blueprints come to life. some of the major posts & walls are already in place, but when you walk around the new space, you can see the plans drawn out all over the floor – very cool! naturally, the space is feeling much smaller now that it is being compartmentalized, but it is worth it to make this basement our living space.

next steps appear to be more framing (the remainder of the walls & internal stairs), installing the windows, & exterior siding.

thoughts so far?


project house {week 5}


{no more basement stairs // ready for a new back porch // footprint for the back porch // big bedroom windows}


{footings & hard foam down & ready for the new slab // breaking up the front sidewalk to make way for new front stairs}

sorry for the delay in updates on this project, life has been way too busy! the past two weeks has brought a lot of work, including finishing up the pony walls & dropping the house back down to its permanent height, placing footings in the basement, laying out the hard foam that will insulate under the new floor slab, & demoing the back stairs and front sidewalk to make way for a new back porch & front stairs.

next up should be: pouring the new slab (with radiant heat pipes), siding, and framing (including the interior stairs!).

what do you think of the progress?


project house {week 3}


we didn’t have time to really go check the house out this week, but will this weekend & do a big update next week!

I did get a chance to drive by the house though & snap this picture. as of a few days ago the pony walls {the plywood ones you see} are up & the house has been brought down to its new {& permanent} height. obviously siding & front stairs will need to be added, but the focus is the inside for the coming weeks, I imagine, since a new slab will need to be poured, stairs need to be cut, & framing will likely start.

I am also working on getting a floorplan to share of what the new space will look like using has anyone used it before & have any tips or tricks?


project house {week 2}

{see the week 1 update here}

this week was a HUGE week for the house project as this was house lifting week. yep, last thursday the house was lifted 6 feet off of its foundation. & it remains that way until tomorrow. crazy town I tell you.

there are apparently just a few sub-contractors that perform house {or building} lifts in seattle though it is done quite often on old homes like ours. there are big, long beams running the length of the house {front to back} that run under the floor joists. then there are eight groups of cribbage boards {they look like huge jenga games!} that are stacked under the house to hold it up while work is completed below. according to our neighbors, the entire lifting process took just four hours – pretty incredible!

once the pony walls are built up on the existing foundation walls, the house will be lowered back down to its permanent height {or so we are told}. the foundation has also been completely torn up in preparation for a new slab to be poured. the foundation wasn’t in great shape anyways {remember the house is over 100 years old!} & since we are putting in radiant heat anyways, it made sense to pour a completely new slab.


{our family of three-&-a-half in front of the house & the cribbage boards}


{sadie enjoying the backyard with the old water heater & materials & more cribbage boards}


{the front of the house}

everyone who drives by slows down or stops to stare – have you ever seen a house or building mid-lift?


project house {week 1}

we referenced in our last christmas letter {& some of you may know} that we were planning a pretty big house remodel to start some time in 2014. we LOVE our house & are never going to move {well, not me at least!} because we are in such a great neighborhood. even before we starting expanding our family though we knew we would need more space than our current 2 bedrooms & 1 bathroom. if you recall we have a completely unfinished basement that runs the entire footprint of the house {about 1000 square feet} that we had always envisioned completing.

starting late last summer & early fall we were looking for architects to design the project & found urbanadd who we ended up hiring for our project. we worked with them into the fall on designs for the basement & then started into the permitting. that was the point that we found out I was pregnant. we talked it thru & decided that we wanted to continue with the project. the entire point of the remodel was to create more space & neither of us could fathom taking on something this big with a newborn, infant, or toddler!

while it is a bit later than we had originally anticipated, we officially broke ground {with our awesome contractor mike cain construction} last monday, march 31st. as it turns out, the remodel & the baby are pretty much on the same track to be finished, though we are optimistic that we can hit our goal of being done with the renovation by july 31st. then I know there will be some serious nesting happening!

this is definitely not a small project & requires us to be out until at least early summer. as the ceilings in the basement are just about six-and-a-half feet tall, we are lifting the house about 28 inches to provide 8 foot ceilings downstairs. we are adding an internal staircase {as the current one is outside on the back of the house} where the front bedroom/office currently exists, & then finishing out the space with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a utility room, & a master suite. once I find a good floor planner online I will mock up the blueprints of the new space & share for all of you visual learners.

so without further adieu, photos from the first week {which was all internal & external demo}. I apologize in advance that some of these pictures are really bright. I am still learning manual mode on our SLR and thought it would be better to get these post up this week rather than spending time editing in photoshop {since I am super slow at editing}. if you are interested in seeing the before pictures of the house, see the house tour page here.


{the house pre-demo}


{balcony off the back of the house – it is being rebuilt but 28 inches taller}


{the current back door & basement}


{the west side of the house with siding removed}


{looking into the house thru the front door after the wall between the entry & office was demoed}


{the entry way & plastic tunneled living room}


{the old brick chimney pre-demo & covered with wallpaper {which we didn’t know since it was covered with lath & plaster} that runs thru the corner of our kitchen}


{the siding coming down off the back of the house}


{the demo of the slab & the chimney (that’s up thru to the kitchen)}


{siding off of the east side & front of the house}


{the wood floor cut to expose the sub-floor where the future staircase will live & the chimney demo upstairs}


{the house is starting to show signs of construction from the front}

lots of demo this week to prepare for the house lift that will start in the next few days. the walls around the entry way & front of our office were demoed since we will end up with a much larger entryway & set of stairs at the front of the house. & the chimney was demoed because it is no longer needed to vent the furnace as we are upgrading the heating system from forced air {with a furnace} to radiant heat {with a boiler}. it was a happy coincidence that we will gain about a square foot-and-a-half of extra space in the corner of our kitchen where the chimney used to come up thru the house.

I am hoping to have weekly updates for at least the first part of the project where the changes are big & obvious. as we get further along in the project, the updates may not be weekly if there aren’t as many big changes.

we are really excited for this project to really be taking off! have you ever done {or wanted to do} a big house remodel?


my weekend in pictures.


{we had torrential downpour & thunderstorms on saturday, but also a double rainbow!}


{first attempt at getting the washer & dryer out of the basement. luckily our neighbor was able to come over & help aaron since I was useless.}


{his& hers starbucks to kick off a sunday morning.}


{& this is the state of our living room. we have to be out of the house for a bit for the start of our house renovation – details to come this week!}


{dropped off aaron at the airport this morning since he needed to be in san francisco for work. I always love coming to the airport since it is where aaron proposed!}

we had a super busy weekend moving, packing, & moving {hence the complete lack of pictures…}. we are going to be breaking ground on our much-awaited & anticipated house renovation this week & we need to be out of the house for a bit. luckily we don’t have to move completely out, so we could leave most of our furniture & stuff in the house. I will be detailing a lot more about what we are up to & the entire renovation starting this week, so stay tuned. so the first half of the weekend {& the past few weeks!} have been packing & moving stuff, & the end of the weekend was filled with packing & settling in. I am practicing my nesting apparently.

how was your weekend?


my weekend in pictures.


{a trip to bellevue square means I get my auntie anne’s fix. I never really ate big pretzels before I was pregnant, but now whenever I see them I crave them.}


{we just happened to be at nordy’s & they just happened to be running triple points. so, we shopped a bit!}


{no one loves the warm sunny weather more than sadie because it means she gets to cruise around in the car with the window down.}


{aaron & a few of our very nice friends loaded up this guy on saturday. just the start of some  very big things to come around here!}


{found some time to relax & enjoy the second book in this trilogy.}


{sadie has been such a cuddle bug lately. she always wants to be right by my side. or on my lap. whichever is more convenient for her.}

we had the most beautiful gorgeous & sunny weekend weather that really made it feel like spring is here. I know this is just a teaser & that winter-ish weather will return soon, but it was nice to break out my sunglasses &  not need quite so many layers for at least a few days. we had an awesome group of friends come over this weekend & help us pack & move a few things from around the house as we prepare for our next big project. it feels a little crazy-town around here since there are so many things going on at once these days, but we are excited about the coming months. how was your weekend?