Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Final interior photos

Huge day today for Middle House... we passed our final inspection at 7:30am, and our renter began moving in about an hour after that! We have many updates and photos to share with you, and hopefully soon I'll be updating the Flickr page with process shots... but for now here are some final interior shots of most of the rooms. Kitchen not shown since there are still some details to take care of (uh, three drawer fronts, for example, that got lost in the basement for months and eventually got damaged and need replacing). Exterior shots will have to wait, too, until we clean up a bit and hopefully plant some new grass.

Yay! And with no further ado...

The living room:

Dining room...



Front bedroom / craft room

Master bedroom...

With glimpse into bath... 


 Exterior and kitchen shots coming soon! We are super happy!

-Jessie & Matt

Monday, January 30, 2012

More colors!

Bathroom and kitchen are pretty much finished... looking forward to updating you on our kitchen installation tomorrow. C'mon, IKEA... prove to us that your prices aren't too good to be true!

The bathroom's new color and tile... we need to have a few cracked ones replaced.


A peek into the sunny yellow hallway... 

And the front bedroom and then living room, a warm gray. 


Compared to the way we picked colors for Mallard Ave, choosing colors for the middle house was relatively pain-free. At the suggestion of Nellie and Craig, I went to visit their friend Sara at Sherwin Williams and brought Nellie along for support and good taste input. We narrowed it down to a couple of different option, and decided on this one:

And here's a Photoshopped version with colors plugged into their locations. Just keep in mind that the front wall of the house will pretty much perpetually be in shadow due to the porch overhang, and that the roof is shiny metal, not gray:

Here's a little preview of the kitchen color, along with the wall color for the four main rooms. 

The kitchen cabinets and counters are getting installed tomorrow, and the the plumber can come back and hook up the sink. Bathroom is getting painted today, so look for more photos soon! We are soooo close to refinishing floors. Can't wait for that transformation!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year, Middle House

Though we've fallen off from blogging, progress has been slow and steady over at the middle house. We've recently added some video and photo updates to youtube and flickr, with more video to come from December and early January.

Next on the punch list:
  • Finish interior painting and move to exterior (need to choose colors!)
  • Install kitchen (once a little more painting is done)
  • Little more interior carpentry (thresholds, glass for the front door and sidelight)
  • Fix up the lighting fixtures Jessie bought at the Habitat Restore (a little paint, a little love)
  • Get subs back in to finish: electric, plumbing, HVAC...
(This list is actually much longer than it looks, as each bullet entails a number of sub-bullets.)

Anyway, enjoy the videos page as well as new Flickr photos, and feel free to chime in about exterior color ideas!

Jessie & Matt

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This is the landing page for all house videos, newest to oldest. Whenever we add one, we'll move this post to the top entry of the blog.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, b, a, select, start

Tuesday we met with Bruce Raymond, our structural engineer, to take a close look at the house and tell us what is required to shore up our foundation. More details will be posted here once we get Bruce's report, but it looks like he didn't tell us anything we weren't expecting. It's nice to hear that from an expert though.
During the inspection of the house, we were reminded again that we still live in a “transitional” neighborhood. We found this tagged to the left side of our house, near the back, far from view of the street:

I called the non-emergency police number in Durham (919-560-4600) and within 5 minutes an officer was there to take my complaint. He explained to me the tag meant, "crypts up, bloods down." I'm really not concerned about this graffiti and the police officer wasn't that concerned either. The gangs in the area have always been here, but have never asserted themselves aggressively. Hopefully this will be the last we see of any graffiti. 
Vacant/abandoned homes provide space for criminal activity to take place, and leave a gap where the watchful eyes and ears of a family would be. There are approximately 10 vacant homes within a one block radius of our Mallard Street house, and the Middle House (614 N. Queen) is one of them. In 6 months though, this house as well as a neighbor’s house down the street will be finished and there will be two less vacant buildings turned into homes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rock Bottom

Well, dirt-bottom - Matt and Dylan and I worked hard today to get the majority of the plywood floors up from the basement, so we can assess what's going on with the foundation before we frame out the new rooms. Matt and Dylan took turns sawing up small pieces of flooring and jacking them up / banging them loose with a sledgehammer, and I hauled loads up to the landing and into a wheelbarrow and carted them out and tossed the pieces into the dumpster. I didn't last as long as these guys did, but as it is my arms are aching and I have a feeling I'll sleep like a baby again tonight.

Video highlights below, as well as on the main Videos page. We need to get Miles out in the next day or two for his opinion, and then set up the meeting with a structural engineer. We'll either pour concrete or dig out the dirt and reframe, or some combination of the two.

THANK YOU to Dylan, Craig, and Greg, without whom we'd be half as far along as we are. You guys rock!