Devilbiss began their work renovating and restoring the farmhouse. Their first task was “demolition,” as they say. The term always made us nervous, but it refers to clearing out the stuff in the house that is not staying. This includes everything from old, unsalvageable appliances to 1970s wood paneling to crumbling plaster ceilings.
Here is a before-and-after album showcasing some of the progress during this first week.
We hoped to preserve as much of the old wood floors in the family room as possible during the restoration process. However, the floor in that needed to be re-leveled. The center of the original part of the home had sunk, and as such, the family room floor was falling 8″ across the ~20′ room. All the floorboards would need to come up.
We spent a chilly December morning pulling up a few boards to see how they were laid, and were pleased to find they were surface-nailed, with no (remaining) glue. Most that we pulled up had the tongue-and-groove still intact. We had renewed optimism that the floorboards could be salvaged.
We also opened up the original front door (now in between the dining room and family room), which had been boarded shut while the house was abandoned.
One of Dave’s projects over the fall and winter of late 2016 was to clear out the brush and “trash trees” that had grown up around the perimeter of the pond over the past several decades. Here is an example of a section along the east side of the pond.
Laura dreamed of restoring the farmhouse since her youth. Not long after graduating from college and settling down in the area, Dave and Laura first expressed formal interest to Grandpap Jack and Grandma Betty in eventually buying the property and fixing up the farmhouse that was sitting mostly abandoned for over 15 years. However, Jack wasn’t ready to sell. Maintaining the grounds (“putzing around the farm”) would remain one of Jack’s favorite pastimes for the remainder of his years.