It's official: We have a roof! It's got shingles and trim work and all sorts of other good roof-type stuff. And I am so, so, so very glad. We are still months away from our move-back-in date, but now is as good a time as any to share with you all just how far we've come since our little family moved out of our house in November.
Before construction could begin, we had to remove six trees from our property. Yes, that's right: SIX--two from the backyard and four from the front. It was a sad day for me, not just because I'm a bit of a treehugger, but mostly because one of the trees that needed to come down was one of our hammock trees. Five of our targeted trees were 60-year-old poplars that either had root rot or had been struck and killed by lighting, and the sixth was a roughly 120-year-old red oak that was too close to one of the sick poplars to save. Because each tree was well over 100 feet tall, to do the job our tree guy had to shut down the street and bring in a crane. Men wielding chainsaws were hoisted by the crane to the uppermost parts of the trees to take down the limbs. Then, once the trees were trimmed down to look like sprigs of asparagus, one worker strapped himself to the tree and working top to bottom, used a chainsaw to cut through the trunk, piece by piece. The crane then lowered each piece of trunk onto the bed of a 16-wheeler, which carted the wood away. Holy Moses, it was quite the spectacle.
Next, our contractor and his team set to work gutting the house and tearing off the existing roof. He said there was a lot of nasty stuff behind our walls (read: asbestos), so I'm happy that we are able to start fresh.
It was very strange to see our house in this stage. The structure was brought down to its bare bones and we could see exactly how the house was constructed with brick and mortar and cinderblock. We discovered the house once had really cool parquet flooring, but it was too damaged to salvage. Slowly, between the holidays and bouts of snowfall, concrete was poured and the interior was framed out. It all moved very slowly, it seemed, until one day Jon and I drove by and--pop!--there was the beginnings of our roof.
Once the roof was framed out it became very hard not to drive by the property every day. "How many laps did you do today?" Jon would ask. Yikes, there was a stretch there I was on our street every single day ... sometimes twice. But how could I resist?? Finally, our house was beginning to look like the two-dimensional house we had been dreaming about! And it was really nice to witness such real progress ... a reminder that we will not forever be away from home.
Within the last 14 days the windows have been installed, exterior dental work put up, and the shingles put on. Inside, I'm happy to report our electrical and plumbing has been installed and our floors are leveled. Oh, and those tree roots? Well, it wasn't easy--they were the size of small elephants, our contractor said--but they have finally been dug out. (In the above photo you can see a guy actually digging out beneath one of them. Like, whoa.) We are waiting on a series of inspections this week and then we are on to insulation, dry wall, and--ta-tah!--finishes. I'm **trying** not to get too antsy ... but it's difficult. June is a long way off, after all, and I'm told once the drywall goes up, the pace slows significantly.
So there you have it. It's all very exciting. Thanks for letting me share with you. Now, forward march! :)