Today Charlie and Chris finished the removal of the kitchen floor. The floor is down to joists only--those will be replaced also. We also planted Dogwood and Okami Cherry trees along the expanse of the driveway, hung ferns and petunias, scrubbed the outside of the house (the yellow paint is beautiful when deviod of cobwebs and filth!), painted primer on the new mailbox post, and cut all the grass. Chas is WAY too excited about the new riding mower--but it keeps him busy! Charlie also pulled baseboard moulding up in the downstairs due to mold and water damage---thank goodness the damage was contained to a small area. Tomorrow, I will sand the spackle in Grandma's room, reapply another coat, wash the walls in the room where the stairs are, and spackle the holes there. We will also take pictures of the damage to the joists and beams in the kitchen for documentation purposes, dig up the front flower bed, put a last coat of primer on the mailbox post, and make a list of the wood necessary for the rebuilding of the kitchen floor. The best news is we have confirmation from the roofers that the work will begin the second week of April! I can't wait!!!
We have approval from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) to continue with the scope of work we presented to them a few weeks ago. This scope included complete replacement (aside from the framing and windows of course) of the kitchen, mudroom, and downstairs bathroom. Charlie and the boys have removed the last of the flooring in the kitchen. The plan includes replacing joists and subflooring for stabilization, installation of either pine flooring we received from Delphia McCarty of Chancellor or oak flooring from the Tritt's--haven't decided yet. After the floor is in, the drywall goes up!!!
We have very animated conversations about how the kitchen should be laid out-----I keep saying it's MY kitchen but for some reason, even Chas thinks he has the best design option going - sooooo we listen. :) As the work in the kitchen moves along, the girls and I continue to wash walls and baseboards, spackle, and scrub floors (a big thank you goes to my mom for buying me a steam mop!). Next weekend, we should be able to sand, re-spackle, sand, wipe the walls down, and put some paint on Grandma's room! After that room is painted, the living room and foyer get paint.
We've decided to plant Dogwoods and Red Buds along the driveway--keeping the height of the red buds consistent with the Dogwoods. Hosta, daylilies, dailies, azaleas, and a Weeping Willow are planned for the property also. There will be pictures of some significant change for you all soon!
Well, to update everyone, we've had greeting cards from wonderful neighbors welcoming us, neighbors stopping by to take a look at the house, messages on our answering machine with well wishes, and an offer for free materials from a house owned by the McCartys in the Chancellor area of Fredericksburg. We went out this past week to visit with Ms. McCarty and take a look at a former residence of hers. We found and decided to take 4 windows, 2 doors, 2 rooms of old pine flooring, 8 glass doorknobs, and a small cast iron wood stove. Ms. McCarty was more than happy to have these materials go to Cleydael rather than have them disposed of when the house is torn down. I mentioned this stroke of good luck and how grateful we are to find so many people interested in the history and restoration of the property to Glyn Dabbs and she responded, "it will be a house built by a village". I asked her if I could include her comment in this blog! Glyn's thought is exactly how we feel about this restoration---we have had so many people offer goods or services free of charge that it feels like Cleydael is being put back together by a community -- not just us!
Reps from the Department of Historic Resources (DHR) will visit us at the house this Wednesday to chat about work already accomplished and work to be done. Charlie and the boys can start rebuilding the kitchen after the proposed work is approved by the DHR.
A fianl note---Chas found an old wheelchair in the stables today and spent a significant amount of time "pumping up his biceps" by wheeling around the bottom floor of the house. I had to walk away when I heard Charlie telling Chas how cool it would be if he got up some speed on the front porch, popped a wheelie off the porch, and landed on the back wheels of the wheelchair in the front yard! :)
I've told Charlie at least 15 times since we began this adventure that I couldn't wait to look out one of the windows and see tons of deer. Well, I got my wish today with a twist. Chas, Lauren, and Rachel were with us at the house this evening around 5:30 when Charlie looks out the kitchen window where he was working and notices several deer grazing in the back yard. He calls to me and says, "babe, your deer are here". Immediately, all three kids rush toward the window making all kinds of ridiculous noises of excitement (something not quite as loud as screaming). Mind you, it's not as if our kids have never seen deer---they cruise through our yard every now and then at our current residence. Charlie then tries shushing the kids while they jockey for position at the window---and as soon as I can get a look for myself--what do I see? Twelve deer and at least half of them are looking back at us--probably thinking, "what in the world is all that noise?"
Hello all, we are very happy to report that the main roof will be replaced within the next couple of weeks barring bad weather. We also thought it might be easier to follow the changes (illustrated with new photos) to the different rooms in the house if the rooms are named. The easiest way for me to keep it straight is to name the rooms for how they will be used and then make sure each new picture is captioned with the name of the room. I've also added a link to the King George Historical Society---they will hold their annual picnic at Cleydael in June!
Hello all! Plans to have the main roof replaced are well under way. Top priorities aside from the roof include rebuilding the bathrooms and the kitchen. We originally planned to demolish the kitchen and "mudroom" and build new (we expected approval from the State as the kitchen is not part of the original structure) but the appraisal came in so low that the money required to make up the difference cost us our new kitchen. Charlie and the boys now plan to rebuild the kitchen and mudroom inside the framing that currently exists. We have invited all who wish to take a look to stop by -- we plan to be there most weekends and Charlie will be there during the day on some week days. The front and back porches also have sections that have to be replaced. We expect to move in sometime in May....