Happy New Year from the Beattie House project
I am sure most of you are like me- ready for a fresh start in 2018. A new year brings a feeling of excitement; a time to reflect and to set goals for the upcoming 12 months. While making plans and setting new expectations push me to achieve, I quit doing "resolutions" years ago because they always felt so extreme and unrealistic. Speaking of unrealistic... I am beginning to see that this current house project is going to take much longer than initially expected! We began this journey in January of 2017 and will most likely finish summer of 2018. We had hoped to be moving in March 1st of this year, but that is just not going to happen. However, if you've ever renovated or built a home, you know that this is the case most of the time. Life happens, weather cannot be controlled, sub contractors get backed up and you just have to learn to adjust accordingly. Of course it can be very stressful mid-project... but things typically work out in the end as long as I remember to keep the big vision in mind and try my best not to get bogged down in the daily frustrations. Often easier said than done!!
Although the project is moving slower than I would like, there have been some significant changes to the property over the last three months. The biggest noticeable change is the former parking lot! A grading company dug up a good portion of the asphalt and brought in (so much!) dirt for the area that will be the yard. They also used the dirt to build a berm along the Church Street entrance. This will provide privacy and hopefully a noise buffer from the traffic as well.
The commercial curbing was removed as well to keep with the residential feel that we hope to accomplish with the yard. Now we are waiting for the weather to cooperate so that the land can be graded and winter rye can take root to hold the soil in place until the spring.
We hope to successfully transplant most of the small to medium trees from the parking lot island areas to the berm. Mixing in new trees and bushes to be planted as the weather gets warmer.
The carport construction continues outside. We went with a simple design that will house three vehicles comfortably. I hope to grow ivy up a lattice in the back portion, adding character to the overall look.
Back inside I've started to finalize some decisions for the kitchen. I drove down to Elberton GA to look at options for countertops and island. I knew that we wanted an all white kitchen, but went back and forth between the more "practical" choice of quartz (there are a lot of good options!) and marble. Marble is definitely less forgiving and "riskier" overall, but I love the movement and could not bring myself to go another direction. I settled on honed Alabama White and am excited to see it installed!
Once inside the walls and underneath the floors, our builder discovered that all of the existing plumbing did in fact need to be replaced...
Next on the list was proving our "case" to the State of South Carolina that exposing the intricate wainscoting detail in the hallways would be more historically accurate than leaving the 1980's particle board that is there currently. I spent a lot of time researching East Lake and Victorian style in interior design books and online. I felt like I was in college again (?!)... writing a (hopefully) persuasive paragraph along with gathering material evidence to mail in to the State Historic Society. We were asked to provide an overall vision for trim and paint. Fingers crossed that we will receive approval to move forward with our plans to expose and highlight the beautiful wainscoting!
Outside we continued to add simple touches to small areas for the children to play while we were doing work on the project. This tree among a dozen others is one of the many reasons we were so taken with this property in the beginning!! A little bit of country for our "city kids."
Back inside, new plaster is going up. Things are starting to take shape!
The "sunroom" has started to evolve into what will eventually be the screened porch. Just getting rid of the dated glass panels makes the space so much more inviting! This will be 600 square feet of goodness (an outdoor oasis)... once we get all of the existing plants/shrubs cleaned up outside! Updated square columns will be added and custom wooden railing. I'm excited to entertain and watch football games on this porch.
Outside the painters are preparing the wood siding for scraping/painting. I'm looking forward to seeing the exterior transformed!!
I talked with our builder this week. "Worst case scenario" we will move in June 1st. For now I will choose to take him at his word and be optimistic! Until then, I will take my daily walk down the alley to see the progress...