Once we committed to the cost of construction, we were forced to take the first step towards it - demolition. Now, tearing apart your house on any day is disconcerting but thousands of square feet of demolition was overwhelming - both physically and emotionally.
One of our goals was to preserve as much of the existing materials as possible. So, we set about removing doors, trim and baseboard piece by piece carefully pulling each nail from it and then wrapping each opening and room in bundles for easy replacement later. We also saved every light fixture, switch plate, grille, fan, etc, boxing and labeling it with the new location for reinstall.
We spent hours pulling up miles of carpet, carpet tack strip (ouch!) and pad.
We carefully rolled each section for pick-up by the recycler. Our goal was to have the least amount of true waste as possible. It was a painstaking process and took us 4 full weekends of long days, sore muscles, tender fingers and overall exhaustion.
But, finally, we finished and were ready for the construction to begin!
One of things I liked most about the house was the potential for a European style entry court. Our image was to keep the cars away from the front door, create a beautiful area for events, gathering and relaxing and add character to the house.
The courtyard when we first bought the house was a construction zone - gravel full of nails, rough and ungraded. But, we could see the potential in this space and worked to create it over the last year from the initial painting of the house in June 09 to the landscape install Spring 10.
A metal screen will provide privacy to one of the guest rooms with a future growing vine The screen was created by a local fabricator and fits beautifully with the new front door.
The main feature of the courtyard is a stone sculpture. Based on the history of 'Le Puy' in France, Le Puys are sites of ancient sacred worship that usually had a stone pillar or temple of some sort. We decided to honor that by adding our own stone feature to the inn. Stuart Jacobsen, a local sculptor in McMinnville provided us with the perfect solution. A basalt column carefully carved to create interest while still maintaining the natural beauty paired with a water 'table'.
Our cat, Rennie enjoys the new atmosphere next to the fountain! So much still to do, but looking good!