The Petty Home, a turn-of-the-century Queen Anne, is being fully restored by Miles Honeycutt. Miles is the same general contracter who oversaw restoration of the Clapp-Ferguson home and Winston's Broken House, both in the Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood. Miles is restoring the home in keeping with historic elements of the original house to a single family dwelling. Check back often and watch this great home come back to life.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A nice day.

Our good friends Mark and Liza are down from Boston and of course we had to show off the house. It was a lovely day in Durham. We got to see updated progress at Petty, as well as take an impromptu look inside Natalie and Harris's to see their floor stain. We also made a quick stop in Keith and Adrian's to listen to their sound system since we're looking into speakers for the house. Our soon-to-be-neighbor, James, even insisted on a few quick games of horseshoes. Then it was off to the Sherwin Williams store to find Sara who did a fantastic job of helping us pick our exterior paint colors. She had some great ideas for interior colors and thanks to her we're basically all set. We topped everything off with a nice hike out at the Eno River State Park and awesome tacos at La Vaquita. Radness.

We've become experts at this point at showing off the house.

The retaining wall has it's layer of stucco and the continuation up the stairs is in place.

The stair railing has been redone to meet code requirements and looks very smart.

The deck of the porch has been painted.

The cabinetry and vanities have been delivered and are ready to be installed. Exciting! Well it is for us at least.

I can't wait to see the kitchen come together. Hopefully it won't be too crowded.

These cabinets are a simple shaker style and will get a nice coat of white paint once they go up.

We're looking forward to getting more practice down at the horseshoe pit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photos and Photos and Photos and Photos

Lots of stuff is happening at the house as always. Let's dive right in shall we?

The retaining wall is up and the front stairs have been rebuilt.

Paint from the back. Still waiting to install the copper that will go on the gable returns. Can't wait to see that. You can't see it here but there's also been a concrete slab put down under the back door for a stair down leading into the back yard.

While the post and chain fence isn't completely out, there is a path that has gone in. I think the yard grading is basically over at this point although there is a puddle in the back yard we need to take a look at.

Emon cranked out the front and side steps for the porch. Unfortunately the railing isn't quite up to code and will need a minor tweak, and the board at the bottom of the steps will need to be replaced. But it's a great start!

Side steps off the porch. This will also get a railing matching the front. It's cute cuz they're small.

This side of the retaining wall still needs its concrete filler, but the weather has been touchy this week with all the rain and threat of tornadoes. Hopefully some sun in the next few days will let the guys finish up.

Retaining wall from the other end. And what's that I spy?

Vandalism! All leads point to the Gasch house on this one. We'll have to hire security when the stucco goes on. No cutesy kids stuff on our handsome home, thank you very much.

The paint is looking so good. We've already gotten a ton of compliments on it. I think Emon is the biggest fan which for some reason makes me really happy. There's still some touch up work to do but a lot of the big work is out of the way at this point. If it's kosher with code then the electrical boxes in this photo will get the same green paint to blend into the house as much as possible.

Emon was also banging out the window sills (or window tables? Miles knew the correct term). They're looking great and I'm still amazed at how much of the work Emon has done on this house all by his lonesome. He's an awesome person to have on board--always smiling and nice to chat with even though I know he's got to be tired from all his hard work.

All the new flooring is basically in with some minor detail work needing to be done. Now we just have to decide if we go au naturel with the floors or stain them. I think we're leaning toward natural but we don't want the floors too blonde. Eh...we'll see.

Tiles for the bathrooms is here and ready to go down.

Not an exciting picture, I know, but this little box will be installed inside the shower wall and tiled over for inset shelves. Again we're copying the Clapp-Ferguson boys but theirs looks so awesome we just couldn't resist.

New floor in the kitchen. We also dropped off the sink which weights a ton (actually about 130 lbs.) so the granite guys can install it when they finish the counters.

Kitchen from the other side. The dry wall guys really did a great job finishing. The seams are super smooth. Nice work fellas.

And I call this piece "The Struggle for Definition Under a Tidal Wave of Ennui." Seriously, if the walls were painted all white and a bunch of sobs were standing around drinking bad white wine, I could see this as a art installation piece in a fancy museum. It's breathtaking.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Retaining wall

Thanks again to our friend Matt, we have a few photos of the retaining wall going up. As you can see, more of the house is now painted. Emon is also busy rebuilding the old front stairs and the new side ones that will come off of the porch by the kitchen.

After the wall is built, it should be getting a layer of stucco or cement or whatever it is you put over retaining walls.

Can't wait to go by the house tomorrow and see all the work that's going on inside.

This is what our living room floor currently looks like as we're still trying to pick out interior paint colors. Oh and there's a wickedly heavy cast iron sink in the trunk of my car right now.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy Drywall, Batman!

WOW! After looking at the house with only 2x4 framing for the past many months it was quite a shock to finally see the rooms laid out with the drywall. It's scary and awesome at the same time. We're constantly amazed at how fast things are moving now. Lots of things still need to happen in the next few weeks but Nellie and I are running out of decisions to make, which is a welcome change to be sure. The last big task for us is picking interior paint colors, which we have managed to put off as long as we can even with a three day weekend. Apologies for the less that stellar photos taken with my phone.

The hallway from the front door. The ceilings are SO high! With the walls up it's easier to get a sense of what things will fit where. Even after the house is done, I'm sure there will be endless projects, including, but not limited to, landscaping, a shed for the back yard, and furniture.

Nellie in the master bedroom. There's still a big opening in the closet that's visible in this photo where the hot water heater will go in above the decorative fireplace.

Master bath. We're going to meet with Miles this week to figure out how we want to work the glass for the shower. Possibly an open walk in shower with a large glass pane or maybe a glass pane with a small door? So maybe we're not done making decisions after all.

Living room view from the hallway and into the kitchen. Hopefully the entryway to the kitchen doesn't seem too much smaller once molding is up. The stack of floor boards should be getting installed this week. Also, the kitchen cabinets come Friday and will likely be installed by next Monday or Tuesday. Like I said, things are happening fast. We can't wait to see the old floors sanded and finished. Supposedly this is a big deal according to all our friends who have done this sort of thing.

Kitchen looking towards the back door. Soon enough there will be cabinets, kitchen island with butcher block, lights, granite, sink, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. All these decisions coming together at last.

Kitchen looking towards the dining area. We're so glad Miles had the idea to vault the ceiling here. I think it looks great and will give some character to kitchen. The ceilings make everyone look tiny in this house.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Granite and drywall

Yay for 3 day weekends! We went to pick out granite for the kitchen today at Cosmos Granite & Marble. They have a pretty huge warehouse and a lot of slabs to choose from. We knew we wanted something dark and in the level 1 range for our budget. Basically, there are different levels of granite with the lower numbers being more common and the higher numbers being more...ummm..."exotic." I think this is what people in the industry like to call them. As with everything else related to renovation, 90% of the stuff that's out there is HORRIBLE and the last 10% is ok. So, if you're trying to set up your sleazy Italian love den, then you're going to pay a premium price. For the every day Joes like us, there are some good plain Jane rocks to choose from.

So what do you think Miles? Classy right?

Kidding. Here's our slab. It's kind of amazingly satisfying picking out a slab of granite. Here's something that the earth has been working on for millions of years (with heat and pressure and whatnot) and I come along, chubby-as-you-please, and point my fat finger and say "yeah...I'd like to cut up some chicken on that. Load it in the truck." In all seriousness, all the colors and patterns that the earth comes up with are pretty cool. Nice job nature.

Up close shot. It's called "Steel Gray," and again, I think we may be copying the Clapp-Ferguson boys, but it really was the best of the darker slabs. Nellie is having mini freak-out moments where she's wondering if we chose the right one. This may prompt a return trip to verify that we did indeed make the right decision. Sigh.

This looks awesome as a thing that exists in the world. For instance, I could see this slab in an outdated science exhibit about the wonders of geology. I'd push a little red button (covered in the patina of a thousand childrens' fingerprints) and listen in rapt awe as a scratchy recording tells me about the miracle of rock formation. Instead, some bloke comes waltzing in to the granite shop and without hesitation points and says, "This will complete my dream kitchen!" Weird.

Did I mention that we love the paint colors? Maybe once or twice. Also, Emon has banged out the front railings which look awesome.

Blue ceiling! Apparently, this is a Southern thing. Our friend, Anna Lena, says that it deters birds from nesting in the eaves by mimicking the sky. Not sure if this is true, but it sounds good and looks fan-freakin'-tastic. Miles happened to be there when we stopped by. Nellie and I are starting to think that he hates running into us since we fire off a thousand questions and comments - quements, as it were. No really - it's always great to see Miles, and we got to brainstorm about some finishing stuff in the master bathroom shower.

The porch is so loooooong. And awesome. I don't mean to brag but man we're stoked about this. I hope we don't come across as braggy. We're just pumped about the house and it's literally all we think about these days. It's hard to talk about anything else. Hopefully you understand.

Inside, the drywall is going up. Nellie was fascinated by the man on the stilts with the nail gun. See video below.

Loving the blue!

Circus performers in our house!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chugging right along

What a difference a few days make. Things at the house are happening so fast that I'm having trouble keeping up with them on the blog. The recent changes really give you a sense of how everything will come together. Sure the electrical stuff is awesome, but paint trumps it all in the sexiness factor. So let's just dive in shall we?

Can you find all the things happening in this photo? I spy with my little eye - priming and painting, filling in gaps with wood putty, grading of the front yard, and removal of the concrete slab where the old driveway used to be. Needless to say, Miles is staying busy with the house and managing it all really well considering he's got a baby on the way any day now.

The post and chain fence is down making room for a path down to the sidewalk. Our plumber, Dale, is also very handy with a Bobcat. He's been grading the front and back yard. There was a huge pile of bricks buried under the concrete slab where the Bobcat is in this photo. All of that was dug up and hauled off. The awesome news is that the dirt around the house is really amazingly rich soil - you can see how black it is. The quality of the dirt is likely the result of years of yard neglect. The huge tree that was removed had been dropping leaves that sat for ages and eventually turned into wonderful compost. This will be great when it comes time to plant a garden.

Here you can see the huge pile of dirt and bricks that got hauled off.

This is a good angle to see the slope of the front yard after the grading. Eventually a retaining wall will be going back up and we'll find some good plants for ground cover and erosion prevention for this slope.

Inside the house - the wiring is all done and the insulation has been installed. Certainteed brand insulation if that's of interest to any of you. This is in the kitchen looking out towards the front.

The drywall has also been delivered and probably started going up today. You can also see the old mantels here on the right that have been stripped and will go back in their spots once the dry wall is up.

From the front door looking down the hall. This drywall is huge.

Dutifully, and consistent as clockwork, Matt sent us some photos while out on walkies with Cleveland. The green is going up or maybe completed at this point. We're really pumped about how the colors are coming out. There's always a bit of panic that you've made the wrong decision, but I think it's going to look smashing. Honestly, there's a good bit of pressure (although admittedly self-imposed) to make sure things look awesome so you measure up to all the other homes and renovations. Our friends have been incredibly supportive but I think the "keeping up with the Jones'" feeling is just something that happens whether you want it to or not. Thanks for the photos Matt!

Colors from the front. All paint is Sherwin-Williams brand. Bamboo on the walls, Blackberry on the gables, and Napery on the trim. You can also see Emon's latest project which is getting the porch railing installed. The dirt has all been hauled off and you can get a sense of where the retaining wall will go. Looking good guys!