Insulation update

Take a moment to recall the movie Ghostbusters, more specifically near the end of the film where Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) had to fight the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man to save New York City and all of mankind.

The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man is symbolic of our trials with insulating our attic space in two respects: First, in what seemed like a relatively easy (albeit labor intensive) job to get to the point where could have our attic foamed, we had to remove everything within the area in order to start with a "clean slate". In my mind I thought a couple of weekends and we should have it ready. What a joke! Referencing back to the symbolism of the movie: the thought of the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man as something evil seemed a bit off.

Below are pictures giving an example of what we started with. The attic was partially finished off in what appeared to be the mid to late 70's. It was not our style and therefore would need a certain amount of attention regardless. Add to the fact that the knee walls were further to the interior of the space than what we would like, it made sense to demo everything.

In this picture you are looking towards the east (or the back of the house) at the portion which was finished.

This view is towards the west (or the front of our house). This area was never finished which puzzled me as there were two additional windows that could allow light and fresh air in if needed.

The second reference to the movie is when the 'Busters were able to roast the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. The two pictures below show the foam insulation installed, but not completed. After this picture, our contractor (Architectural Sprayers, Inc.) preformed an inspection of the foam and noted any areas that were either lacking in coverage or happened to shrink after being foamed.

The picture below shows one of the areas after being trimmed and marked after inspected.

This is of the same area after the deficient areas were addressed.

My next post will detail the specifics of how we modified the rafter areas to accept more insulation while also creating air channels to keep a positive air stream flowing from the eaves to the ridge of the roof. I will also explain why we undertook this project right now as well as detail a project which was also completed during this project that had proved elusive.......until now!


ask and you shall receive

i already received my big item on my christmas wish list for this year. a new vacuum! yeah! this thing is awesome and supposedly the best for all hardwoods. thanks dad! i wonder if i can use this directly on the dog?

on other house topics. chad is finishing up on the attic. next weekend we'll have our insulation foamed-in. can't wait. it is a little chilly in here. thank God we have a fireplace!


all i want for christmas ...

... is a vacuum.
can you believe we've been using our shop-vac as our house vacuum cleaner ever since we've moved in four years ago? ugh. it is totally disgusting and almost a waste of efforts because a lot of the dust just blows out the back end of the vac right back onto the floor and countertops. granted, the shop-vac is awesome when pieces of the plaster ceilings or walls fall onto the floor, which unfortunately happens more often than i care to think about.
so this christmas i'm asking for a real, grown-up vacuum cleaner. and true to my style, i'm not going to walk into the local big-box retailer and buy any vacuum sitting on the shelf. this is the one i've been after for a few years:

this is the miele capricorn. and this puppy is not cheap. therefore, i might have to rethink this wish list item. i'm also thinking about this one:

this is the miele S-163. it's compact and marketed for small living spaces, which i totally love. we have limited storage/closet space as is and i don't want to have to dedicate an entire closet area for my freaking vacuum cleaner. after lugging around the damn shop-vac for years, i'm really wanting something lightweight, made for wood floors (all of our floors are hardwood, tile, or linoleum), and that will actually work well - you know, with all the filtration bells and whistles.

any suggestions from hardwood floor owners out there???


our ole' screen door

this is our original screen door for the back door off the kitchen. when we moved in this was found in the garage along with some storm windows. we recently had a quote done for weatherizing all of our outside entrance doors as well as stripping two of the doors. there are a few things that we just are not going to tackle ourselves and stripping doors is one of them. at the last minute chad handed this screen door over to the door guys. we went and visited the workshop this week and here's our door! besides the insulation this is the first project we've contracted out and let me tell you. it felt good. how nice to leave something in one condition and get it back in better condition! this is so novel for us.

i wish we would've taken a before pic but it was so last minute that we decided to have it stripped. we'll still need to install a new screen and we'll also paint or stain this once we do the same to the outside trim on the house. but can i tell you how excited i am that we are going to be able to have breeze come through the kitchen this summer? yeah!!

we also went to the workshop to view some doors that are being refinished for some of the houses chad is working on for work.

for some reason, i pictured this guy working with steel wool and a little can of stripper. how stupid of me. you can see what this door looked like on one side and then how it appears after the stripper has worked its magic. he says this door is very old wood and probably dates back to the late 1800s.


attic work, i've lost count

i used to number the posts related to the attic work but i've honestly lost count. so far this year we've unfinished the circa 1960 finished attic. we've ripped out, bagged up and sweated through removing countless truckloads worth of insulation. then we took a few months of any work on the house due to finances.

now the attic work is back on. yeah! which is how we were introduced to our friend, the hole. right now the house work is focused back on the attic as chad shop-vacs the cavities between the joists to make sure we get ALL the old nasty insulation outta there as well as the loose plaster keys.

we're set to have a quote from our insulation guys later this month. here's hoping all this work makes the less dust and cozy toes this coming winter!


ah, my new friend, the hole.

i haven't written lately. that's because i hate this house. yesterday it had me in tears.
but enough about me!! i want to introduce you to our recent house guest. here's my new friend that decided to come and stay last weekend. it's called a hole. in our ceiling.

ahh, but please. don't worry about our new semi-permanent house guest (becuase let's be realistic here people. this thing could be a part of our lives for a long time) he decided to stake out his living quarters right next to his step-brother. whom we like to call "the place in our ceiling where we have exposed lath and no plaster."

yes, i think they will become good, good friends. lucky us.


the great outdoor ... table

i am SO excited. do you remember earlier this year i posted about an outdoor table from sundance catalog that i loved? i'm on this kick where i really want original furniture for our house. anyways, i'd like for our outdoor table and our living room coffee and/or end tables to be made from old barn wood. well, this weekend we got a step closer to the outdoor table of my dreams.

see that dirty wood leaning against the garage? someone recently gave us some old barn wood! (ask and you shall receive). oh it may not look like much now but you wait.

one day it will look like this. but there will be a matching bench next to it.

i mean, check out that post. it's massive. this thing is going to be so freakin' heavy. and stylish.


just checking in

so it's been awhile. like i said in the last post, i haven't really been posting on here since i've been out of work and therefore, not much work has progressed on the house.

i gots me a jobby job! how do i feel about this? mixed feelings, really. while it has been SUPER nice having the summer off i'm ready to dive back into the work force (and, more imporantly, a paycheck). i'm really really really ready to get some things done around the house. so you know what this means???

new job = bathroom remodel

as soon as i get that first paycheck we're heading to the tile place to order that beautiful bathroom tile i talked about earlier this year. yeah!

also i was going to be so selfless as to not spend money on the fall mums this year if i didn't have a job. i got one just in time! this weekend we made the transition.

just a small change, i know, but it makes me feel better because i think it makes the front porch look a little less...like we have dead flowers.

hopefully you'll be seeing more of us around in the virtual world again. you're thrilled. i just know it.


a funny thing happened ...

... on the way back from admiring the new additions on the fence.

we noticed one of the posts on our side entrance/porch leaning against the house. it is NOT supposed to do that. so now it is temporarily gone until we can fix it. both the posts are rotted at the bottom because the POs decided to put wood against concrete. SMART.

this effing house. i swear it is like we take one step forward (nice fence!) and eighteen steps backwards (uhhh...nice rotting posts). argh!


frisbee anyone?

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and the fence progresses

b.c. (before cutting)

a.c. (after cutting)



looks fantastic! good job chad! now, let's just get that gate built and we'll be finished.
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a historic mini "staycation"

again, i have to apologize for the lack of posting here. again, i wish i could say it is because we are SO busy working on the house. but it isn't. i haven't posted because i still have no job and therefore no moola to really dig back into our house projects.
a silver lining is that we have been able to actually enjoy our summer! for example, this past weekend my mom visited french lick, indiana and spent the night at the restored West Baden Springs Hotel. omg. it is so so beautiful. there is a lot of history associated with the hotel that i won't get into here. the gist of it is that this is a grand hotel that was built in the early 20th century. people from across the country would visit french lick resort and west baden as their mineral springs were said to have curing powers. as with many magnificent old buildings in america, it fell into disrepair. however both hotels were meticulously restored and re-opened last year. everything looks fabulous and is absolutely beautiful. both hotels rival buildings i've seen in europe. and to think they are in southern indiana!!

front entrance to west baden ~

my mom & i inside the dome area ~

the dome at night. the blue area gradually changes colors ~

the restored original (i think) tile floor of the west baden hotel lobby ~
the french lick hotel lobby ~


quote of the week

"Old houses mended, cost little less than new before they're ended."
~Colley Cibber
amen! and because i'm jobless right now, this quote best explains why i have nothing house-related to blog about presently.


don't let this happen to you

it was still too damn hot to do anything on the house on sunday but we had no choice. look at the weeds in one of our newly planted beds! i mean - where are the plants? where are the weeds? who in the hell really knows? the decent amount of rain we've received this summer is not only a boon to our friends, the plants, but to our enemies, the weeds, as well.

so on sunday we bought some cheapo mulch and went at the weeding. omg. i'm waaay too old to be hunched over for five hours pulling weeds. my back & legs are feelin' it today. i bet the neighbors are happy though. looks better.

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weekend scavengers

saturday was just too damn hot to do anything on the house. instead we went to a new salvage store called reclaimed located on the lovely near-eastside of indy. chad bought the cottage doors below for a house owned by historic landmarks.

after that we visited one of my favorite places to go wander on a lazy day, midland arts & antiques. i am in love with this picnic table set. i would've lobbied for its purchase had it not already been sold.

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i love ... no, hate ... no, love ... pottery barn

i have a love/hate relationship with pottery barn.

on the one hand their stuff is pretty cool and i really like wandering around their store, dreaming of the days when we might have fresh paint on our walls, stylish throw rugs on our shiny wood floors and furniture that didn't see my college apartment days. on the other hand, in my humble opinion, the quality of their items (poor) does not adequately reflect their pricing (overpriced). and it bothers me to buy their items because i feel like i would rather find actual & authentic antique products instead of some reproduction stuff photographed in catalogues passed out to thousands of middle class homes across the country. in other words, i'd rather be a little more unique than buy all my home decor at PB. plus, isn't it fun to hunt & gather in antique stores?

shoot! with all of my soap box spew out of the way i'll reluctantly divulge that my admitted love/hate mentality does not stop me from drooling at the mouth when i get a new PB catalogue. man! what is my problem? i guess it is like house porn or something.

anyways, last night i went to listen to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a neighborhood park. the summer weather was perfect, the music was fabulous & relaxing, i had a glass of wine and slowly perused my brand new PB catalog - fresh out of the mail lady's hands yesterday afternoon. here are some things that i think are really, really cool but will never buy:

this is the "edison" chandelier. you know, because the bulbs are old-timey like when edison first made the light bulb. those PB copy editors. they are creative.

i'm totally stuck on the idea of having our living room furniture reflect a slight industrial look. i have no idea why. i think it is cool.

this picture? in the catalogue they say that it has quotes about books in the background of the canvas. one of my favorite things in the whole world is reading. just the image of books makes me content.


quote of the week

"i'm sorry but we're going to have to ask you to sign this resignation letter."

i've been a little delinquent in my posts here at irvington bungalow. partly because nothing is happening here & partly because i've been away in florida. and the explanation behind both of those excuses is that i was recently "let go" from my job working for the still relatively new mayor of indianapolis. hence, the fab quote of the week.

the basic gist of the story goes like this: i was hired on as a mayor's neighborhood liaison for our former democratic mayor last year. events unfolded, he was not re-elected last fall and since that time, my colleagues and i have been preparing for the changing of the guard (so-to-speak; you know, we've been waiting for the new administration to fire us and bring in his own people). that day came two weeks ago on monday. the first week i spent still in shock. the second week i spent in florida. still in shock but at least in shock catching up on some reading on the beach.

but now...i have arrived back in irvington. ready to really start looking for something else while trying to figure out how we can still pay for our several projects already in the works and those being planned (i.e. the bathroom remodel).

my job as a liaison was sometimes fun, sometimes stressful, always interesting. i had the unique opportunity of working where i live. i went to neighborhood meetings and got to meet some of the best people i have ever met in my life. case in point. one of my irvington neighborhood groups sent me this bunch of flowers above and a card that the entire organization signed. this was so sweet and a much needed boost to my spirits. thanks to all of the people who made my job wonderful!


quote of the week

"uh, no offense or anything but i just don't see how you live like that."

this was something that someone actually said to me. a family member. at the time i replied with something like: "oh well, it's not that bad. i just think of the end product. and, really, i mean, uh...after a while you just really start to NOT notice the boxes, and dust, and un-organization."

looking back, i don't think this was my best defense and/or answer. however, i'm not sure what i should have said. actually this comment makes me giggle because it is not an uncommon thing to hear in the home renovation process, especially from this person. it didn't hurt my feelings but it did make me come home, look around and ask myself: "my God! how DO i live like this??!!"

one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) i'll come home, look around and say: "it was all worth it."

won't i????


adventures in tile & other bathroom decisions

last week we ventured to two stores in order to help through this process of picking out fixtures and tile for our bathroom remodel. the first was Economy Plumbing in downtown indy. joe helped us and he was so nice. we picked out a few fixtures and he priced them for us. he recommended a few high-end lines but also mentioned that one can't go wrong with delta faucets (good to know). currently we're considering this chrome fixture for our pedestal sink. the only difference is we would like to have the cross handles.

ahhh...now on to the tile. over the weekend we went to Architectural Brick & Tile. omg. if you love house remodeling and tiles and flooring you would LOVE this place. beeeautiful tiles everywhere. lots of eye candy. however they closed at 3 and we arrived around 1:45 so we only had time to get down to business...no perusing for the fun of it. our lovely sales gal, kristina, priced three lines for us: meredith, irongate, and sonoma stellar.

so we're probably going to get either the one in the upper left hand corner or the one directly below it. the ones in the top row are from my current tile nemesis mission tile west. but the ones in the middle are considerably more expensive and have almost the exact same colors. so...decisions, decisions.

and to add on to that - grout choices!! pretty excited about this. we're not doing white grout. that's just too boring for us. the colors with the arrows are the ones we're considering.

what about the floor? definitely black, white and then some other color. here are the current choices:

i could have made three different posts out of this one. oh well. so excited about the colors we've narrowed it down to at this point. in my mind's eye it is all beautiful and relaxing in there. can't wait to see it live and in person.

attic work progresses

before ... after ...

we were planning on finishing up the old insulation removal in the attic over the 4th holiday weekend. however the weather was so amenable on sunday that we decided to get up there and take care of it over this past weekend. although it was only in the high 70s outside, up in the dusty attic it probably was in the upper 80s. still we really couldn't have asked for better conditions given that it was the end of june in the midwest. as you can see from the 'before and afters' above, we're finished removing all the old insulation. YEAH!! what a great feeling. this took about four hours.

next steps - shop vac the bays and then install the ventilation stuff (sorry not technical, need chad for further explanation and official terms). then have the new insulation foamed in. so close!!!