The exterior of the house has changed a great deal in the past several days.  The brick layers came last week and layed thousands of brick taken from the house back in May.  As I watched the stacks dwindle, I watched the works of art which were being created on the North and South garage walls.  4820 was in the good hands of the guys from Masonry Outfitters.  The same Masons that removed the original brick off the side and back of the house where new construction is now located,  perfectly matched the pattern and mortar on the new sections. 



It was imperative to me that each new space contain at least one element of the original house.  On the garage, those elements are the window box brackets, which are part of the house’s construction, as well as the diamond detail in dark brick.  We placed this accent in between the two windows on each side and it perfectly mimics the diamonds found under the second story windows in the front. 


If brick doesn’t excite you, perhaps columns will.  The columns were placed to support the Master Bedroom closet.  They create a graceful covered porch and look beautiful whether you are standing inside looking out, or from the back yard.  The half columns on the den are just the right touch to soften up the hard edges of this room on the South Side of the house. 




Today the roofers nailed in the last shingle and tomorrow they will wrap up the flat roofs.  In addition to that very important event,  the stamped concrete patio in the back will be poured and stamped in a slate pattern to match both the texture and color of the roof.  The patio will be two tiered.  We will walk out of the Den French slider to a 15 x 15 tier, and then down to a 12 x 30 level which will be accessed from the back door.  The covered porch will be the bridge between the side and the back and the brick bases for the columns will add contrast and weight to the whole structure. 

Inside the house, the plumber and electrician have been dutifully working on the rough ins.  This involves creating or cutting many holes EVERYWHERE.  In the walls, the ceilings and the floors there are passageways for new wire and new pipe.  It is simply what must be done to have a modernly functioning house in an old structure.  The HVAC installation is complete as well, with the second unit on the North side of the house.  Two units guarantee better efficiency and offered us the chance to remove much of the cumbersome duct work in the basement.  We will be camouflaging not one, but two AC units in the front with landscaping in the fall.  A small price to pay for comfort in the dead of winter and the heat of summer.

While all of the above was going on last week, I was trying to clean up and organize the best I could.  Who walked up but Tim and Jocelyn Durbin (former owners) along with Jocelyn’s sister in law.  They were visiting from Montana and stopped to see the progress.  While they had been by in June, during this visit, I believe they were able to see a clearer vision of what the house will be. 

Tim’s approval is very important, as a goal of mine is to respect the house and all that was here before me.  I had some “fill in the blanks” questions, which he kindly answered.  In the course of the visit I found out that the salvaged pine panelling was installed by none other than he himself.  When he came home from the Army in ’65, he did not want to stay in his teenage room, so he finished the basement and created his own pad.  It reinforced that the decision to use the panelling as flooring was the right one. 

Ironically, the electricians found this old picture in the attic, just moments before Tim visited. 


He is the lad to the left and those are candy cigarettes, he told us. It was taken at a County Fair in Ohio. The other couple in the picture are still friends of his and have been together for fifty years. The gal next to Tim was his first girlfriend.   

I am grateful for everyone working to make this house shine, the surprise visit, the found picture, and for our future home.