Putting the H(e)art in Hartson

It’s been just over two months since I got the keys to Hartson House. We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m proud and impressed at what we’ve accomplished so far…especially since we’re only working weekends and an evening or two during the week.

You can see the “before” photos here. Now for an update. What have we done so far?

We opened up the wall between the kitchen and living room, which entailed building and installing a massive beam, and exposed the chimney. The plan is to build a peninsula to the right of the chimney for eating/additional counter space. I know it’s very HGTV, but I like the new sight line between the kitchen and living room and the expanded doorway since we opened up the wall. The chimney is in rough shape, so we’ll repair parts of it and likely white wash it.

To the left of the staircase, we’ve framed out the bathroom which we moved from the back of the house to make better use of space. You can’t tell from the photos, but we’ve done extensive plumbing work removing existing cast iron pipes and running new PVC and pex lines.

I told Andrew to smile big for all of my “blog fans.” Isn’t he the cutest?

It’s hard to capture the space behind the kitchen (pictured above) in a photograph, but when I bought the house there had been a combined bathroom/laundry room and an awkward random room with unknown purpose that had a doorway down to the basement. We tore out the wall separating the two rooms, stripped the floor down to the joists which needed some reinforcement, then replaced the subfloor and framed out what will now be a third bedroom next to a small, but convenient laundry room that makes more sense with basement access. Less obviously, we’ve run some new wires and replaced some insulation.

We completely gutted the upstairs bathroom, pictured above. We’re changing the layout slightly and a lot of the existing drywall was in poor condition so that had to go, too.

Much of the work we’ve done so far is “behind the scenes” making sure the house functions well, but we’re almost at a point where we can start putting drywall back in place, and from there we’re not far from paint and finishes. There’s plenty left to do, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have the interior mostly wrapped up by late spring so we can tackle the exterior work.

Taken out with the trashy tub from the upstairs bathroom…

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