Demo Months

June 7th, 2017 
Hmmm, when is the last time I really updated you on the progress at Caldwell? And I call myself a blogger- shameful!
Anyways, I’m just going to jump right in or we both might be here all day. I want to start by saying “Demo Day” is a fantasy. It is right up there with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Here at Storybook Homes we have Demo Months. Like, seriously, it NEVER ENDS! This is true for any home we work on but this project has been especially daunting. No joke, I bet we have dumped our 20-ton dumpster at least 20 times. And that’s 400 tons of true JUNK because at some point in this project Rory had the brilliant idea we should start a salvage side business so we have been saving and storing any reusable materials we find.

In addition to the obvious size difference of this house vs our previous projects another HUGE contributing factor to the excessive dumps was courtesy of the raccoon tribe that had held regular meetings in our attic over the last who knows how many years. I told you about that right? Yep, I bet we had AT LEAST 3 dumpsters worth of raccoon poop and insulation.

I know you could have done without that picture, but this crap was part of our life for much of the last month, so I thought you should at least get a taste.  Seriously, it was the worst job EVER, and I only got in on the fun near the end. Rory and Cole spent every morning (before it got too hot) for at least 2 weeks scooping poop infested insulation out of the never ending attic. 
Oh wait! I need to introduce you! This is Cole, our very first Storybook Homes Employee!

Cole just finished up his first year at UCA and has been such a blessing to us this summer. In the 1 month he has been working for us we have had him in the attic scooping poop, under the house spreading visqueen, and performing every grueling task between those two spaces.  Moms, want your kids to be motivated to finish college? Send them to work for Storybook Homes for the summer.  No really, he has been the hardest worker and has had the best attitude- he has definitely earned Employee of the Month.
Ok back to the poop.  Once they removed the large chunks, I suited up and swept out all the leftover debris.

Then to make sure the attic was completely clean, sanitary, and odor free I sprayed the place down with an odor eating enzyme followed by an organic antibacterial spray. THEN at the recommendation of a restoration company, I climbed into the 110 degree attic on my hands and knees and rolled oil based KILZ primer on the attic floor and in my hair.

Ladies and Gentleman, Caldwell now has the cleanest attic in Conway and if this flipping business doesn’t work out I now consider myself an expert in the field of raccoon droppings excavation.
While the raccoons were a surprise we hope to NEVER encounter again, Caldwell has presented us with a few good surprises. Like the day Rory was removing the old trim in the “Sean Connery Room” and discovered another 4 foot of ceiling space!

When Rory hollered for me to come see, it was like the Heavens had opened up and the angels were singing. This was the answer to my grand library vs master bath debacle! With the discovery of another 12 foot room, now this manor could have both! And with it’s proximity to the downstairs guest bathroom, this room can now easily double as another downstairs bedroom.  I also incorporated another fun feature in this room…. but you’ll have to wait till the reveal to see!  
And then, 2 weeks ago, a good 2 months into the renovation, I discovered a new room! Yep! I knew the space existed, I just had no idea how big it was.  It had housed the upstairs heat and air unit but the space was so creepy and dark I had never really studied the space before. But when I peaked in after the heat and air crew took the old unit out a light bulb went off in my head- this room would make a great bonus space for the upstairs. I knew this kind of last minute change would freak Rory out so I quickly coordinated with the heat and air team and electricians to move the new hvac unit to a new location and wire the new room for lighting and TV/Internet before Rory ever knew what I was scheming. Once those things were squared away I escorted Rory to the space and sweet talked him into moving 1 wall 13″ and knocking out a closet to make the new room more spacious.  The new room does not have a window so we can’t call it a bedroom but it will make a great “man cave” or homework hangout for the upstairs residents. 
Framed in new closet for adjoining bedroom since we stole the old closet for the new space.  
Also, I feel I need to prepare you for something before you discover it at the reveal- the mammoth rock fireplace- it’s ggggone.  I know! I know! I was devastated too. BUT, I have to admit, it was the right decision. The space seems so much larger and more usable with it gone. In it’s place we added some new windows to add interest to the wall but also to let in more light.  
I’ve got Waterhouse Market on the hunt for the perfect piece to fit under those windows that will help illustrate the Story that this house has been whispering to me throughout the renovation.  
Meanwhile, the outside has been undergoing it’s own transformation. The carport is now (or will be when the garage door is installed) an enclosed garage.
The guys of DNV Construction have started installing the new Hardie board and batten siding. And we have a new roof!
Fingers Crossed our new energy efficient wood clad windows will be installed tomorrow and then DNV can finish working their magic, trimming this baby up!
Plus, if you get a chance to drive by you will get to see something pretty awesome happening to the brick. It’s not finished so I’m not going to ruin the surprise by posting a half finished picture BUT I couldn’t be more pleased with the work of Wills Stonework.  
And speaking of brick. This happened Monday!!!
More to come for that space…. but I already think it looks 10 times better.
These were just a few of the highlights of what has been happening at the English Manor over the past 4-5 weeks.  Drywall should start tomorrow which signifies the end of Demo Mode and the start of put back together mode.  Hallelujah!!!!

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