20th Street: Remodel done; Foundation poured



There are still a few odds and ends to be finished before the remodel is actually done, but you’d have to be living here to notice them. So for the typical reader’s purpose it is Done. It’s so weird living here through all of this because it all feels very slow and like not all that much happened since I last posted. But putting this together I realize it just ain’t so.

If you have some catching up to do on prior remodel blog entries, here’s where we’ve been:

Photo of new electrical panels

October 20. In prior blog entries, I made vague references to “electrical challenges.” The beautiful electric panels you see above is the culmination of all of that. A 4-meter panel had to be built to accommodate the new units in the duplex to be constructed, and the two meters that had been in place were moved here, with all of that old wiring taken away. There’s more to the story in terms of why all that took so long but I won’t bore you with all of those details here. Suffice it to say that if you were me, you were pretty happy to see this done. It took probably 2 weeks for all of that to happen, in intervals; this was the first day of just getting the boxes up.

October 20. The very scary stairs in the back. I was NOT sad to see these go.

October 20. Meanwhile, on the other side of the house, painting was well in progress. Can you say “YELLOW”? When they first did a test of it after opening the first can the painters were like “are you SURE?” You could tell they thought I was crazy. I said “it’s a Victorian, it’s supposed to be obnoxious. At least it’s not purple or pink!” They agreed this was better given those options.

October 22. The stairs are gone and all the new siding is up. Notice the upstairs door is gone, too.

This is what the inside of the upstairs looks like now. This and a whole bunch of other miscellaneous work on the inside will be done later, maybe January.

October 27. The footings for the foundation poured. That’s concrete coming out of that long arm.

October 27. End result of that process.

October 28. Layers of rock and sand next.

October 31. The foundation is poured. They were here from about 7am – Noon. I lost count of the number of spinning concrete mixers. Six I think in the end.

Foundation done. The next thing to happen here is a sound wall going up on the east and south sides, and then the framing will go up attached to that. That’s all December/January time frame and not much will happen until then. So I doubt I’ll have another blog update this calendar year.

It occurred to me that I’ve never mentioned that this house is zoned into a historical district. Excitingly named “20th and N Street Historical District”, a map of its boundaries is outlined in red above. Note that little box that juts out on the bottom. That’s this property. It was gerrymandered into the district only because of its age, built in 1900. There was nothing special about this house really when we bought it, unlike many of the houses along N Street between 20th and 21st which have the official “registered” plaques on them, etc. Why do I bring this up now? Because in the planning stage, we had to think a lot about what we wanted to do and if it would meet “preservation” standards in terms of look and feel of the neighborhood. There were always 2 levels of inspections to be done at each interval in planning as well as construction – which our architect and general contractor handled for us thankfully. While all of the remodel was going on, they were in constant video contact (pandemic don’t forget) with Historical to make sure that the materials and application of them were in line with their standards, as well as the regular code people to make sure those guys were happy, too. All that to say, LOTS of compliance to be met at every step a long the way. They were having daily video inspections with one or the other for much of the time.

With that, we are ready for the big review and reveal. I wanted to layer in the Historical piece because one of the things we accomplished was increasing the “Victorian-ness” of this house, which made the Historical people very happy. The next series of photos will take you back: before, during, and final photos for each side of the house.

Front of the house, faces west
Front of the house, faces west

Before.

front of house, siding removed, with fresh wood in places

During.

The final front view. Above and below were taken about the same time of day a day apart, the first day being a bit overcast. Direct sun has a big impact on how yellow it is. I love it either way. And I’m super happy with the way the attic vent turned out. You could never really see it before; it didn’t stand out that much even if it hadn’t been hidden by tree for the most part. It’s the most Victorian feature of the house.

North side of the house
North side of the house

Before.

West facing front stairs and porch completely gone; fresh wood in between the floors along the north side of the house

During. It looks like a skinned chicken.

More during, many different stages in progress depending on where you’re looking.

Final north side view. This is my favorite look. Rich, our architect, gets credit for the stairs. Dan gets credit for the balcony off the kitchen. Both now the predominant and most charming features of the house. And from November 10-12, a new roof was put on.

Same view, same time of day, different sun.

Somewhere between “before” and “during” for the balcony. All that had happened at this point was the first layer of framing and plywood put over what was just a roof an the downstairs unit. That was early July, one of the very first things they did.

After.

On the balcony, where I’ve sat to write most of this now on Monday afternoon, November 23. But first I ordered new outdoor furniture. (I know you’re relieved to hear that!) It’s a lovely spot and I can tell I will spend a great deal of time here.

Looking back onto the house with a little view into the kitchen through the open door, which used to be a window.

Back of the house
Back of house

Before.

During.

After, with another full view of the northside from this angle. It no longer looks like a dump driving up the alley, which is what I thought every single time I did it for almost 5 years.

One of the things that’s not complete yet is the outside lighting. This will look much better when it is, but this gives you a little taste.

Front porch

Before.

During.

After. I spent some time here this morning as well. Lovely.

Before, the south view. I don’t have a “during” shot for this angle, never occurred to me to take one, so…

After.

The view looking north from the front porch. I love the look of the house next door and the lovely fall colors. I will likely spend a lot of time here as well.

And that, my friends, is pretty much it for the remodel. How do you like it?

I will continue with entries on the new construction but it may be a couple of months until the next one. Stay safe during all this pandemic madness and I hope you have restful and happy holidays.

4 thoughts on “20th Street: Remodel done; Foundation poured”

  1. Mark And Chey Bryant says:

    Love your new and improved digs! Sorry we missed getting together in the little window of time when things were slightly calmer. Looking forward to seeing it all in person and having lunch together some day. Stay well, my friend.

  2. Kevin Downes says:

    Congratulations Steve! All the hard work has paid off. Beautiful work, great colors, and the deck off your kitchen is perfect

  3. Brain says:

    You chose nice colors!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    <3

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