Saturday, November 12, 2011


It has been a busy month at the house. The plumber has laid down piping, the crew has reframed the exterior walls from the inside of the house, rebuilt the front porch, worked on the ceilings, and so much more that I don't even know how to describe. (Nabil should be in charge of this blog, as he knows all the details. I just take the occasional picture and ramble.) They have wrapped the house in Tyveck paper after removing the old siding and putting up plywood. Today, the windows are being installed! Nabil and the crew are working so hard!

I plan on stopping by today, so hopefully I will remember to take some pictures of our windows!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

No more waiting! We have permits!!!!!

After a very long wait, we are back in business! The crew will be back at work at Monday, and Nabil will be scheduling the plumber to begin work as well!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August Update

It has been a while, I am sorry for not keeping you up to date! It has been a busy, hot summer and we are trying to be patient with the Vickery progress.

The inside has been completely gutted and re-framed. We are currently waiting on permits before the electrician and plumber can come in and get to work. We are making decisions on windows, doors, lighting and fixtures. It a slow process, but we are getting there. Perhaps waiting for the permits is a blessing in disguise, as it allows the time for us to do some difficult decision making.

Below are some paint samples on the house and some pictures of the re-framing process.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kitchen Demo Begins

I can't wait until I can show you pictures of things other than destruction. But for now, destruction is what we get! Goodbye oven, microwave, cabinets and countertops. Half of the kitchen is now gone. It was pretty exciting.

Don't you love the patchwork sheet rock? What were these people thinking?

I know what it looks like, I stand around taking pictures while he does all the work.
I am not denying that this is often the case.

Yay for the Foundation Crew!!!

The foundation crew (ACE Pier and Beam Repair) was supposed to begin work next Monday, but they started today instead! We are so excited. I have a feeling that the ball is rolling and will be gaining speed very quickly. I hope we can keep up with it.

Fireplace Demolition

I should start by saying that I really liked the original fireplace and built-in units. However, they had to go. The weight of the fireplace was putting too much stress on the foundation. So, in order to fix the foundation, and fix it correctly, the entire structure needed to be removed. (Along with the master bath, which was another major weak spot in the foundation and has now been gutted completely.)

The fireplace was not functional, and hadn't been for a long time. It had been completely bricked in. We will eventually be rebuilding it into a working gas fireplace. After weighing the benefits of gas versus wood burning, we think gas will be cleaner, easier, and therefore used much more often. We will save the wood burning for an outdoor fire pit.

Who took out the fireplace, you ask? Nabil. Bricks, marble, thick concrete slabs and all. Not an easy task. Not your average man.

He will also be building new built-ins that will flank the fireplace. We haven't talked in depth about the design, but you'll see the final product at some point.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bathroom Gut Job Continued

Nabil has been hard at work gutting the bathroom. What is left of it is now in the bedroom, or in the yard, waiting for the bulk trash pick up day. We may be turning the sink into a planter for the garden. But maybe not.

Below is where the sink used to be, through the hole in the wall you can see the entrance to the mud room.

This is a hole in the floor. Under the house, and running through the walls, are old cast iron pipes that are no longer in use, and live wires that don't serve any obvious purpose, except of course danger.

There was literally nothing supporting this bathroom from underneath, as you can tell by the significant slanting beam. There were joists that weren't nailed or screwed into anything, they were just there for show.

Oh, and the latest news...I got a tool belt. Isn't that handy? There aren't any tools in it, but I swear I was working.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bye Bye Bathroom

Yesterday Nabil and I decided to spend some quality time together, ripping things apart. I was working hard to get premium carpet gripper up off the floors around the master bedroom and taping down thick brown paper to protect our original pine floors, while Nabil was busy gutting the bathroom.

Below are some pictures of the old master bathroom. The floor is dipping big time in corner to the left of the sink. We are planning on tearing out a wall on the other side of the shower, to extend the bathroom a little more into what is now a small closet. So, the bathroom won't get any wider, but it will extend another 5 feet, roughly, making room for an additional sink and a nice walk in shower.

It may be hard to see, but that is a strip of crazy floral wallpaper that was underneath layers of drywall and newer ugly wallpaper. And check out the wall underneath the drywall, they don't make 'em like that anymore. There will be more pictures of the gutted bathroom to come, as we continue ripping it apart.

Nabil and I were laughing yesterday, because people always ask how the house is coming along, and we always say that it's coming along, and it is. But it's funny because truth is that every time we leave, it's a little bit worse than it was before. But, I guess it has to keep getting worse before it can better.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Beginning

This will be a way to record the story of our house. After months of looking, then months of waiting, Vickery is now a reality. I remember the first day we drove by it. We stopped outside, windows rolled down, Nabil asked me what I thought about it. I said that "it could be a charmer." It certainly needs a lot of love to get it there though. And here we are, five months later. The journey has only begun.

So let me tell you a little bit about our charmer. The previous owner had five large dogs. Those dogs ate parts of the house and the blinds, their hair was everywhere, and the house still smells like them. When Nabil got the keys, he immediately went over to board up a window in the back, we are sure there was someone living in it, and it wasn't the owner. This charmer had been vacant for nearly six months. The weeds in the back yard were four feet tall, and hidden in them was so much trash. A torn up hula hoop was hanging on the light just outside the back door, I wish I had a picture of that, it was something out of a horror movie. Squirrels live in the attic, we found a dried up dead one on the front porch the first day we walked through with the realtor.

Nabil has been working so hard. Now that I am out of school for the summer, I intend to be there with him. He cleaned up the yard, ripped out a hideous tree that was blocking half of the front of the house. Just yesterday, I was his assistant as he finished tearing out the deck in the back yard. All of that wood has been saved so that it can eventually be turned into a chicken coop and a compost bin. (Yes, a chicken coop that will house actual chickens, that will lay actual eggs, that I will one day use to bake you an actual cake.)

I will post some pictures soon. You surely won't see what we do when we walk through it, at least not yet. But you will one of these days, one room at a time. We have big hopes for this messy little house. It has a large yard, where we can't wait to dig our fingers into the dirt and create a beautiful garden. It has lots of windows that will one day let so much light in. I'm dreaming of the day when we sit on that large front porch with a glass of wine. Dinner parties around the table in an actual dining room, cooking together in the kitchen, and mud room, can you believe it!? A mud room!

So that's it for now. Pictures to come soon, and regular reports on our journey to reveal the charm that is the Vickery House.