Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Reno Week - Time To Go Home

Monday morning and our last two crews had to depart.  But, wait.  The shutters had not been installed and there was no way these hard-working guys were going to leave without that finishing touch.  So I went for donuts and by the time I got home half the shutters were up.
And all the younger honey badgers were assisting with the backyard cleanup.
Finally the shutters were up and it was past time for the Daves to head for home.
Chris stayed long enough to install a storm door, put up drywall inside where walls had been compromised, and one more finishing touch - the house number.
And then Chris and Amber had to leave too.
And that was it.  The end of one of the busiest but most awesome weeks of our lives.  Harry and I count ourselves two of the luckiest people in the world to have all these wonderful people come together to work their butts off and give us an updated, beautiful, secure home and clean, dry driveway.  It was an experience we'll always treasure.  Thank you to every one of you for all you did.

Reno Week, Day 7

Day 7 was another beautiful day in Michigan City.  We were so blessed all week with the weather.  We had one brief rain shower and with all the open windows and doors, there were no flying insects - no mosquitoes in the bedrooms and no flies in the house.  It just doesn't get any luckier than that.

Right away the guys started putting siding on the east end of the house and they were fast!! 

And with that extra dimension, we were starting to see how it was going to look.
Unfortunately at that point Sarah and family had to leave.  We would miss Mike's hard work and Sarah's meal planning and execution as well as her unparalleled dish washing skills.
The back was wrapped, windowed (except for the patio slider) and ready for siding.
And in front Patty and Katie especially were working hard to get the flower bed ready for planting

 while Anna worked tirelessly on the cleanup.

All of a sudden the west end of the house was prepped for siding too.

Here's our hard working crew at lunch.
But the break didn't last long and before we knew it they were hard at it again and just like magic the slider was in.
 Jack and Zac did a celebratory tree hang.
 And the siding experts finished up the west end of the house.
 Patty, David, Katie, and I made a quick trip to Lowes for landscaping plants and Patty and Katie got right to work on the design and planting.
 In back, Chris and Dave were doing the final preps for siding.
And Steve was installing the third amazing porch light.  He's the one who told us about these lights and they are incredible.  They burn a low ambient light which is really pretty from dusk to dawn but if someone approaches, they become a security light - immediately going to bright and intense.
 Here's the one he installed on the east end of the house.
But as fast as things were moving, it was impossible to stay ahead of nightfall and lights were set up one more time. Here Chris and Dave are nearing the end.
 And here it low key but triumphant fist bump.
And the project was done.  The people who said it couldn't be done had obviously never run into honey badgers like ours.

Reno Week, Day 6

Day 6 - 2 days to go and about 6 weeks worth of work.  I'd be hard pressed to guess how many times we've all wished Dan were here.  He's the original honey badger when it comes to getting work done and to see Dave, Dan, and Chris in action would have been a sight to behold.  We're convinced that we would have been able to get a good start on the inside renovations if he could have made it and he would have given anything to be here.  But unfortunately his battalion is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and as the commander, he knew where he had to be.

So I mentioned in the last post that an amazing work crew arrived last night right?  Well, here's proof - a budding honey badger if I ever saw one.  He don't care.  He doesn't even let a broken arm stop him. 
And his brother worked even harder removing the forms from the driveway and sidewalks.
Here Patty and Katie start the driveway and flower bed clean up. And (GASP) here Dave is actually starting the siding!!!!  How is that even possible?!
Meanwhile on the north side of the house our son-in-law Mike takes over the window removal duty.
 The east side is wrapped and ready to go.
And the siding is starting to move up the front of the house.
 Dave stays focused.
 And friendly.
Mary continues to be as helpful as possible.
 And Eli keeps an eye out for intruders.
While I pretty much ran around like a chicken with her head cut off.  I tried to take pictures, run errands, assist outside, and generally be as helpful as possible.  And sometimes when my sweet grandchildren needed an ice cream cone, I was happy to oblige (and make certain that everybody else got one too).

Or if there was a crying child as I passed through, I liked to take a minute to see if I could provide comfort....and sometimes that was very gratifying.
And outside the hustle and activity never waned.
 Here's Anna, the official hauler of roots and other things undesirable.
And all the while the guys worked and suddenly the front was sided and Steve worked and the new porch light was installed and Patty and the kids worked and the spirea was moved from in front of the windows to the blank areas near the end of the house and things seemed to be really coming together.
And it's a good thing because there's only one day to go!  In fact tomorrow morning some of our helpers have to leave....

Reno Week, Day 5

Day 5 dawned with Dave and Chris in-house and raring to go.  They  immediately removed the front picture window which the kids found very exciting and interesting. 
 Then they proceeded to some of the bedroom windows.
On the east end of the south side of the house they encountered some potential moisture problems which required another trip to Menards and more unscheduled work to repair.
While they did that, Steve proceeded with the window removal and electrical updating.
Here's the portable workshop set up on the new driveway.  As the work moved around the house, so did the workshop.
And before the windows could be removed, all the siding had to be torn off.  Most of this work was done by Nicholas, the neighbor we hired to help us out.

Back on the east end of the house, the windows and door were removed.
And work was set to begin on the north side of the house.

That was pretty much the system - siding torn off by Nicholas, windows removed by Steve, and new installations by Chris and Dave.  Later in the day, Sarah and her husband and kids arrived and although we were thrilled to see Sarah, we were even more thrilled to see Mike - another very able-bodied helper.  Here Sarah and Beth re-unite and get acquainted with Wade  - the newest member of the clan.
And Mary demonstrated what a big help she would try to be all weekend long. Beth came over Friday morning and provided lunch for the crew and she and Sarah took care of all the dinner duties.  What a break that was for me!  Everything seemed to be going like clockwork except for one little niggling problem that just wouldn't go away - what to do about the picture window.  We had a plan all along.  We would connect three windows with mullion kits and make one big, very functional window.  Unfortunately, no matter how many miles we traveled or how many places we called or how many stores we visited - there were no kits that would work for our windows.  We even tried returning 3 windows and getting three more but that only resulted in yet another trip to Home Depot to return the new ones. 
And where at first the kids enjoyed the open air theater, after awhile they seemed to get uneasy about all that air and openness.  Finally, Dave and Chris decided to frame in the three windows and it's worked very well.
And something else great happened that night.  Dave's wife, Patty and their kids arrived.  Talk about a work crew!!!  Tomorrow, the big push to finish the windows and start the siding.  Whew!  And we didn't finish work until about 11:30 Friday night.  BTW, Harry and I became very proficient at setting up lights for the unstoppable honey badgers.