Saturday, November 10, 2012

11_08_2012 Finally!!! Before and after photos of the House Remodel!!

We finally are catching up and wer able to gather together some before and after photos of the house remodel. The first thing I've learned is that taking before and after photos is hard!!!

I'll trying explaining the photos. Our home is three levels. The top level hase the kitchen, dining, master bedroom and master bath. In the remodel, the areas mostly redone on this floor were the dining and kitchen. The master bedroom got a new window and on old cedar beam was wrapped in sheetrock. And the master bath got a beam wrapped too. Not photos of the master bed and bath here. The first photo is of at the top of the stairs looking toward the kitchen. See that wall? It disappears in the remodel.

The second photo was taken standing at the kitchen door looking toward the dining room. You can see the ceiling over the living room on the second level. The second level originally housed only the entryway and the living room. It gets a new room in the remodel.
Photo three is at the kitchen door looking in the kitchen toward the back yard. See the stove there on the left? It gets relocated in the remodel. The sink, dishwasher and refrigerator stays in the same location (though replaced).
Photo four is stepping further into the kitchen, and looking back toward the door and the dining room. The wall that houses the stove disappears in the remodel.
And photo five is back at the opening of the door between the kitchen and the dining. See the wall on the right? All wall. That changes. As does the window at the far end. See how it's almost jammed against the wall on the right? That changes in the after photos.
Photo six at back at the top of the stairs. This is our dining room. The door/opening to the kitchen is just off-photo to the right.

Okay, this photo, the first of the obvious "afters" is taken from the top of the stairs. You can see there is no longer a wall between the dining and the kitchen. Note the new skylights (there are three). The window at the back of  kitchen is larger and centered.And really, it just is hard to believe it's the same physical space!
The second after photos is taken in the kitchen, looking through where the old wall was toward the living room. You can see two of the new skylights in the dining room. And note the wood on the ceiling in the second level living room is now covered in sheetrock. We love wood as much as the next guy, but having this sheetrocked brightened the space like crazy! Don't miss the wood at all!
The third after photo taken in the kitchen looks at what used to be a blank wall. The entire wall of cabinetry and the stove/microwave being relocated really changed the feel of the place. This change was definitely for the better!
The fourth "after" photos is taken where the old entry between the kitchen and dining was. The window over the sink is original Clearly we got all new appliances, a new gorgeous granite counter-top and added a small peninsula between the kitchen and dining.  Honestly, it's so perfect, there is nothing we'd change about it!

So, let's move on to the front of the house.


The front of the house was hard to see initially. Mostly we had four HUGE trees that shaded the house. Unfortunately two were virtually touching the house. One was really crazy (limbs grew toward the grown vs. the sky - seriously they did). And one was  beautiful Silver Maple that was at the corner of the planned new room.

This first before exterior photo shows what the house looked like as one walked up the cracked and uneven cobblestone walkway. Not the wooden and somewhat worn looking front porch.
The second before exterior photos is taken from the street. You can see the idiotic ash to the left and the Silver Maple to the right. We had two huge evergreen trees at each corner of the house. (one is visible in this photos). Boulder gets big winds in the winter. These trees would knock on the house during these winds. Disconcerting!
Here is a third 'before' exterior. It is taken a little bit earlier in the year when there were a few leaves on the trees. We cut the trees early in the season since it was a rule that if any bird nested in the tree, all construction would be halted. Happily we got them down before any nests were built. This did not make the neighbors happy anyway. Cutting trees in Boulder always gains some grumpiness! (They were happy with the end result though).
The fourth before exterior shot shows the front from a slightly different angle. Plus, this is a few years before - it shows a tree in the front of this photo (the fifth big tree) that we chopped down a year or two before. The new room was added to the left of the house.


After: the new room is on the left. The rest of the house is the same with a few exceptions. First, there is a new window top right of the house. This is in our master bedroom. The new room blocked our view of Bear Peak which made us sad. the new window gave us that view back! We didn't put it in for that reason, but it was a nice bonus. We added it as it was clear that our home was woefully unbalanced. tons of windows on the left - none of the right.

The front porch is totally new! We love it! We love that it is covered. And we are so happy with the new flagstone walkway. It's gorgeous!

Check out the new beautiful grass. Without so many trees choking out all sunlight, it may grow. The perennials this year were gorgeous because the got so much sun. They are tough perennials as they survived all the construction. We added two new Honey Locust Trees. They are tiny compared to our old trees, but they'll be big shady trees in no time. And we added  a split rail fence. I really love this feature. It is hard to see, but there is a flower bed that goes all the way around the perimeter of the yard. There are some cool plants in it now (butterfly bush, evergreen, other bird/bee friendly plants). Next spring I'll add an ton of perennials! I can't wait!
Here is a view from the right. COMPLETELY different looking house!
And even further from the right - near the driveway you can see the entry view. The flagstone is inviting and beautiful, but the fence offers some defined space. Love it!
And here is an after of the direct front of the house. The new room is on the left. Does it even look the same to you!?!!??!


My final photos are of the new room from inside the house. There are no before photos since before this space had a wooden front porch and big pine tree.

This first after photo is taken in the new room (my office/den/guest bedroom). It is looking up at the dining room. You can see the ceiling in the living room has been sheetrocked. So bright and airy! Best room in the house!
This second after photo is taken from the dining room looking down into the new room. What can I say? It's awesome!
This is my corner in the new room. When I can strong-arm the cat off this chair, I do a lot of work here.
And finally, from the doors (which are now sandblasted (the glass is) into the new room You can see this is just before the couch/sleeper sofa arrived. Awesome room!

Hope you enjoyed the before and afters! I will get more photos up in the Spring when I plant a ton of flowering perennials. Until then, we are enjoying the fireplace and what feels like a completely new home!     Free Blog Counter

10_2012 A Quick Jaunt to the Red River Gorge

Dave and I took a little time out to play at the Red River Gorge. Our friend Michelle has been out there for weeks  and we made a quick jaunt to visit and climb with her.  Also there was Bob S.  I am climbing with Bob and Michelle at the gym these days. Great people and strong climbers.

While all fun, climbing does seem to draw some blood. :)
This rural destination is gorgeous, and we hit the changing of the leaves just correct.
The Red is known for its steepness for good reason. Still, not everything is totally steep. In fact, my favorite wall there (Drive By) is just slightly over-hanging. Dave hadn't been to the Red in over a decade. It was a weekend destination for me when I was in STL.  I loved it there. Think Dave did too on this trip.
Rural areas always have a lot of fun scenery and just odd things around.  By odd, I mean the painted sign, not me. :)
Another not-so-steep wall. This area has the best rock ever!
Check out the tunnel ahead. One-lane actually means 'barely one lane'.
Dave cruises up some steep something. Many say the Red is soft on grades. I think most folks who have been there know that someone who says the grades are soft have never been there. Or they are damned liars!
Though a sport climbing destination primarily, the Red is home to many awesome (and many very difficult) trad climbs. Good thing about the trad climbs is that they are generally available.
Here I am getting my butt kicked (and not having fun) on Rock Warriors. A total friggin' sandbag. I did it years ago and clearly the difficulty had disappeared from my memory. Maybe this is the most sandbagged climb of the Red?
Some over-hanging-hueco-y climb at the Red...
Here is the crew. L-R: Callie, Dave, Michelle and Bob.  Michelle runs her own business and Bob is a Professor Emeritus at the Colorado College of Mines. He's an Environmental Engineer. Michelle's husband Dan (you may remember him from the City of Rocks Trip) spent a week at the Red before we arrived.
Leave it to climbers to trespass....Ha! Check out Michelle's stick clip. The Red is notorious for hideously high first bolts. Many a person has fallen before the first bolt and ended their climbing career (hey Paul!!).  We all recognized that we didn't need any stinkin' broken bones on this trip. Unfortunately...the stick clip can't prevent all of that. :/
Not really sure how I managed to upload more photos of me climbing than Dave. Especially given that Dave climbed more than I did. Odd.
Here is a good perspective of how steep much of the climbing at the Red is. I am standing beneath a climb that Bob's son Jonathan had recently 'sent'.  (for non-climbers, that means he climbed bottom to top, no hangs, no falls - pure success.) I think he named it 'Pure Imagination.' Suffice it to say it is THE hardest climb to date at the Red. Jon is a STRONG and motivated guy. Currently he's in Yosemite with Tommy Caldwell working on a very difficult climb that has never been climbed cleanly. This is quite a wall! And the holds really small. Pretty sure I could climb the first 15' and that's it!

You know, even neater is that Jonathan is a nice guy. It'll be fun to watch the trajectory of his life. He's going places.
Here is a nice view of our cabin in the morning. Dave was up very early every day to go for a hike while the rest of us continued sleeping. Beautiful photo.
On a rest day we rode up the lift to see Arch Rock. Gorgeous day!
At the top of the lift....
So this area is home to this trees with enormous leaves! Check these things out. No one can resist using them in clever ways as we did. :)

So, I've dropped hints about broken bones. And in fact, the trip ended on a broken bone-ish note. On her second to last day of her trip, Michelle took a funky fall and zoinked her foot. She and Bob spent time in the Emergency Clinic (cheaper than the ER). She went home in a leg cast/boot/thing.  Today, she's still hobbling around with some nasty bruising, soft-tissue damage, and it seems broken somethings in there. It's a part of climbing, but it still blows.

You can hardly tell these are not a part of Dave. :) Free Blog Counter

Friday, November 9, 2012

09_16 to 18_2012 On to Sedona on the AZ trip...

On Sunday morning we met our friend Mike from Phoenix in Sedona. The plan was to hike in and climb Oak Creek Spire, a classic sandstone tower in the beautiful back country of Sedona. Greg decided to hike in with us and shoot some pictures while taking a break from the actual tower climb, which he has done before. So, Mike and I suited up and started up Oak Creek Spire.
The climbing is classic desert stuff with cracks, some sandy and suspect rock, but great position with a dose of adventure! After 3 pitches we reached a very cool summit with fantastic views!
There is an optional jump across the split of the tower to ascend the highest summit, but we opted to avoid any gravity incidents and be satisfied with the lower summit.
The jump across looked kinda crazy and with my recent string of injuries, I decided to not take any unnecessary chances :)
We enjoyed the views from the summit, rappelled down to Greg at the base and proceeded to hike out (a somewhat thrashy hike I might add…).
After getting to the car we rinsed off, had some sandwiches in town, then Greg dropped me off at the Phoenix airport to fly home. A great weekend!! Many thanks to Greg, the Arizona host!
Oh, and I was so excited to get home and see the best wife ever - Callie. I missed her so much, I could hardly see straight. I'm such a lucky guy. Heh heh (maybe Dave did not type that).
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