Friday, January 27, 2012

8 Long Weeks

The guys were still working when I arrived to prep the floors tonight. The had spent the day tiling the guest bath and scraping off the roof shingles. They were exhausted but still tidying and loading material onto their truck. I peeled off the brown paper and cardboard from the bare floors, swept, and began vacuuming between the planks. It still gets dark early despite the warm weather and by the time they were ready to leave it was already dark. The guys came inside to say good-bye and I turned on the living room lights. For the first time in eight weeks the three of us stood in the house and just stared. Hammering, drilling, scraping, sawing, and blaring rock music finally ceased and we all just took a collective breath. This is really a beautiful house and it's going to be a beautiful home.

Raze the Roof!

It was a rainy morning and overcast day, which explained Casey's blurry cell phone picture. It didn't matter though because I knew the old roof was coming down! 

Good-bye shingles.

The new roof was delivered last night and stored in the barn. I didn't have time to check it out then, but was pleasantly surprised to open the doors this afternoon and see this waiting to summit... 

Hello Scarlett!

Just a reminder of the "inspiration" house...

Shades of Buttercream

Who knew there were so many shades of buttercream? Nothing looks the same in the store as in the bright Florida sunshine. By the way, we spent January in the 80s with no complaints from me. I bought four samples of the exterior paint and the colors are shown below...there's still time to decide, but I'm currently leaning to 'egg.'


My favorite until I started over-analyzing.

Too Naples

Too Panhandle

Too Miami Beach

Which came first, the vomiting chicken or the egg?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You Want It When?


In September of last year I made a list of what I considered Harbor Farm's (then 'Farmhouse on Main') "immediate needs." Numbers 22-25 and 32 turned out to be more wants than needs, but everything else has either been started or can solidly be checked as complete. Unfortunately, pretty much everything else still falls under the "immediate" category. If immediate is defined by move-in date, then 'immediate' draws closer each day, and I feel more and more certain that the "needs" part is not going to be met in the immediate! 

The problem with any kind of home improvement project on an old house is that new (well done) work makes the surrounding space look even more shabby than before. As a result, the list has really grown. 'Immediate' now includes new porch windows, shutters, and a backyard fence.  If you don't think adding three things to a list constitutes saying it has really grown, I invite you Google the price of windows :-/ 


Patience self. Patience.


Cleaned the barn in preparation for the move. Since the GC is behind schedule, I may not get the floors refinished by moving day, so I plan to move everything into the barn until the floors are finished. Also kicked and rolled the old (full) water heater outside. About 240 gallons of rusty, 10-yr old, standing water drained into street. The junk man will pick it up and sell the metal for scrap. Later I took some nice 'Before' pictures of the outside. The City approved my exterior renovation grant so exterior painting can begin! Last, I assembled an IKEA shelf for the guest bathroom. Yup, still not toilets, but there will be shelving.  

September 2011

December 2011

December 2011

January 2012

Ready for Paint and TV!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's All About the Lighting

Still no toilets, but we do have light! Thanks again to G&D for another well-spent long weekend at Harbor Farm.

Living Room - Before
Scheman Family Pic - Same Livng Rm.

I really dig these sconces. They're nothing special, just picked them up at Lowes, but I really like the rubbed bronze finish and the whole nautical thing. 

Lights from Allen + roth
Gus also installed all the ceiling fans.

While Denise transformed the "pantry."


a Woman in White


We also finished some smaller projects, like the floor repair in the guest bedroom.

Termites are Bad

Is that Ty Pennington? Nope.

And I pulled all the old plastic, blue shutters off...because I can. 

Where they belong

And because Gus is making these for the whole house!

Cedar Board-n-Batten Shutters

It was a great 3 days, but I'm ready to get back to the office!

Friday, January 13, 2012


You know you have been working on your reno too long when you think to yourself, "I can move in for a few days before they install the toilets."

Close Enough

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finally Floors

This was the supposed to be the crew's last week of work before I moved. Frightening prospect considering at the beginning of this week there were no bathrooms, no kitchen floor, no appliances, no hot water, and no HVAC. The crew extended their projected finish time and today there was a closer semblance of bathroom and kitchen floors, but we've got a loooooong way to go.

I, at least, made some more measurable accomplishments, though equally non-photogenic. I submitted the entire grant package to the City of Safety Harbor for the exterior work; porch renovation, paint, shutters, landscaping. I hired movers (gulp). I bought light fixtures (lots and lots of light fixtures) ordered shower doors, stain, polyurethane, paid a credit card bill (always good), and ran an 5-mi race with some great folks. 

Finally, here are the very dirty, but tiled, floors.


Close Up

The bathroom tiles are 8x20 ceramics with a linen glaze. The linen catches the light and adds a metallic sheen to the floor. Definitely not for everyone, but they will look stunning next to the marble and white subway tiles for the showers.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gallons of White Paint

This post is about as interesting as white paint. I feel the need to record the dullness of moment, moments really, three days of dull moments in fact, because that's how long it has taken me to paint all the trim, baseboards, and doors in this house with white paint.

There are few ways to entertain oneself with white paint...


 But it is all rather lovely when it's done.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hire Someone

There is much to be said for working with your hands. A full day of manual labor leaves you with a true sense of accomplishment and pride unlike any desk job can ever provide. Dry hands, frayed cuticles, nicks, bruised thumbs, and open wounds aside there is nothing like putting in a full day's work under your own power. I love all the various aspects of this project and would, and will, repeat it. That being said, when it comes to painting trim...hire someone.

Trim work is a thankless job. Walk into any room with haggard baseboards and you're certain to throw your nose in the air, but waltz into a room with decent trim and all you'll be commenting on is that Pottery Barn centerpiece.

Denise worked tirelessly this past week sanding and priming trim. Frankly, if it hadn't been for her efforts, I would have just slapped some paint right over the glue and rusty tack nails. One day, I am told, the subcontractors even closed the doors so as not to have to listen to the monotonous drone of my new Dewalt orbital sander. Note---She killed the original sander from Santa the day after Christmas.

FYI---there's1,200 sqft of this...

Do all renos come with Blue Tape?

The better light just doesn't make these any more attractive.

Gus kept equally busy. Prior to his arrival, maybe two window were functioning. This was not all that tragic in a South Florida winter, but come summer and it will be a very different story. It took him about two days between scraping, cleaning, and installing, but now all the original rope-and-pulley windows glide with ease!

A man and his drill

Beautiful windows patiently waiting to be restored

With my last two days away from the office I painted trim and mentally prepared for floor restore. Painting trim allows one plenty of time to mentally prepare for plenty of things...  

Here are some more shots of a long and productive week.


Sunken tub

That's sanded floors, wall paint and TRIM thank you very much.
Come Back Soon!