Friday, February 1, 2013

The Cuckoo’s Nest
French Gothic - 2009

We are two months from completing this old French country farmhouse. What started out for us as a visionary’s nightmare has morphed into a source of pride for Cindy and I. The renovation was total in scope. The biggest ticket item on the menu was the complete mechanical system. What started as the original wiring for the Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari in 1897 has been transformed into the bridge of the Enterprise (Star Trek not the WW2 aircraft carrier, pay attention for Christ’s sake.).

 There is now city, well more like village water in addition to the existing well water. We literally experienced the well running dry. Then there is Cindy and Caleighs favorite, the heating system. The new boiler is finishing up installation on Saturday.  Hopefully it will thaw out the Artic corridor (First floor hall, skating rink) into a more tropical setting.

So two years and three months later we will have a completely renovated, beautifully built stone house from 1900. Even though it appears that the family that lived in the house never performed any maintenance for over a hundred years, she was a survivor.  We have poured blood, sweat, and tears into the old girl and she’s ready for the dance. Her threadbare smock has been transformed into more formal attire. Once we have finished the final punch list and final cleaning it will be odd walking around this dapper old house.

The Original first floor bath with what we lovingly (?) called the dog bath now has been razed and doubled in size and two small sheik bathrooms have been added upstairs.  There is now wifi cascading through the house invisibly connecting us to the innerwebs, and more importantly to the world out there. The Kitchen which was our first main project has settled into its new job as heart of the house, it has performed flawlessly. Although Cindy, on occasion shrieks when the smallest lodger pays a visit. Usually it is a stowaway in the pullout compost container, next to the recyclable and trash container.

I wasn’t sure about including the brief, never-ending experience with a contractor we ….worked…?.... with?

He installed the pool, and most of the pool stuff, nebulous enough for you?

He ah…he ah…supplied the cast iron wood stoves I installed.

He quoted us for the new wood burning boiler, solar panel aided radiator hot water heater system. We paid for it and the six week estimate turned into sixteen weeks. Then (I kid you not) on week sixteen he informed us, on a Sunday via e-mail, that he would not be able to install the system until May.  So that was stressful, the local vineyards thanked us for the added quantity of red wine we used for interior heating fluid. It was the most stressful time that Cindy and I shared, although I think shared is the worst word to use.  

Would I recommend renovating a French farm house, and all the romantic wonderment it contains?

Would I recommend a root canal without a heaping amount of Novocain?

 Would I recommend preforming your own appendicitis’s?

Better believe it, whole heartily.

 One cannot truly appreciate the good without experiencing the bad.
(I have learned how to format now, so reading this .....stuff should be at least easier on the eyes. Although still headache making).

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