Repairs to the Farmlet

When we moved here three years ago, I walked in and could feel the love in this house.  The previous Lady of the Farmlet and her husband had been working so hard to make this a home for their family of five beautiful children.

Then, much to their joy, they got the dairy farm they had been wanting to get for so long and had to move.  Let me hear you say it dear friends… “Awww!”

Well, let me back up a bit, I had taken a red-eye flight on a Friday to get here and look for a new home for us to move into at the end of my contract with Pomona Unified.  My real estate agent Sarah George, met me at the airport and had me lined up to see about 8 houses in a 200 mile view-a-thon ending with the house across the street from the Farmlet.   After looking at all those homes I felt somewhat like Goldilocks and/or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz…

“Too big, too small, those neighbors must be related to the dukes of hazard, too run down, are we kidding, they want that much for this dump?”  My head was spinning folks, and I was tired.

So we had just looked at the house across the street and it was one of the “too small” variety in the kitchen department.  A great home, but I could not cook in that kitchen.  I just knew!  So we walked out the door and there it was.  The for sale sign on The Farmlet.

Sara and I walked over and inquired about the cost, square footage, land size, etc.  It certainly wasn’t as big as the other properties we’d seen, but the floor plan was more to my liking and the kitchen/dining area was simply put, palatial!  (I guess when you have five children you really need room to move in the kitchen.)

Like I said, I could feel the love when I walked in.  I was also looking at the home with the eye of someone who would have a budget to refine the rough edges post-haste!  But, then of course, the economy quashed my plans by making it impossible to find work as a teacher here. (Bygones.  Really!)

Well, we had made sure when we moved that, no matter what, we would have a roof over our heads.  We used the equity from the sale of the old house in California to pay cash for the Farmlet AND to pay off all of our previous debts incurred there.  It was a clean slate.  A blessing in the making.

So, although we would be able to live on Bob’s salary, we would not be able to just jump in and spend money like water to make all the rough edges go away overnight.  One of the major, and most expensive, overhauls had to be done the first year.  A new HVAC system needed to be installed.  You can imagine that was expensive.

Hence, three years later we are finally able to start patching, painting, and fixing!  Now about that new HVAC system…

Removing the old system and putting in the new one meant that there were some issues in the hallway.

Like a hole in the wall that went through to the bedroom closet, and then right down under the house!

Granted there was a grill here for the return, and…

a galvanized housing to connect this hole in the floor to the one in the wall…

Now, we didn’t have the money to pay someone else to do this, nor do we have the skill to fix the bracing, or young enough bones to go crawling under the house with the spiders to do that job.  So this meant we had to come up with another plan.

Our plan?  Lay in some plywood cut to fit the whole floor surface of the closet, then put the shoe molding back in around the edges.  Now, laying the same shoe on its side with the rolled edge facing out, and voila, a nice smooth edge facing out.  We painted the new floor on the inside of the closet with several coats exterior grade paint to allow a more durable finish.


My camera was behaving very badly, but you get the idea.

We also had to patch the other side of this hall because we took out the old gas wall heater.  This wall was is a nightmare.   Many moons ago there was a pot-bellied stove in this hall, and the stack was attached to the chimney that ran right up and out the roof ( inside the wall here).  Well this is what we had…

The weight from the wall heater was pulling the wall board out and away from the studs in the wall! 

And now!

I’m pleased…

Of course, there was one problem that will not go away with any amount of patching.

The arrow is pointing to a giant lump in the wall (and its shadow on the door casement)  and friends, there is no amount of plaster that will make that go away. It is the flange that the old stovepipe fit into, and it is firmly attached to the crumbling brick stack in the wall.

The old chimney is collapsing within the wall and will have to be removed… but that is a project for another day.

Next stop?  The guest bedroom!  This room should be much easier and faster, clean, patch, sand, paint done!  This should be a three-day project instead of two weeks.  It is taking a bit longer due to unforeseen electrical issues, but we’re getting there…  Then I can move the furniture in!


(Can you find the kitty in this picture?)

I have to finish unloading (read getting rid of) all the stuff that we’d stored and accumulated in the now empty spare room.

Why do I feel like an episode of HoArders?


7 thoughts on “Repairs to the Farmlet

  1. Anke says:

    Sarah George was our Realtor when we bought our house! We did everything over the internet, never actually set foot in the house and bought it! Kinda crazy, I know, but we wanted a roof over our heads when we moved here from Germany. 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hahahahaaa! I might have done that too, but Bob wouldn’t have stood for it! Just as well, you can see some surprising things in person, that you wouldn’t have noticed in pictures on the net. I am certain that I had looked at some of the homes that she had helped me to find before I actually ever set foot in them, and some of them would make your hair curl! All in all, they were things that could be remedied, and she steered us away from the totally heartbreaking disasters, but when you are in the market for a home in the country, well you better be looking at them, and your neighbors first hand. 🙂

  2. Anke says:

    I know what you mean – we had her take pictures of the neighborhood and send them to us before we made an offer. She also went and took pictures inside of everything we asked, and overall we are very happy with our home. Of course there are some things we’d like to change, but I think that’s the case with every house.

  3. Pam Nunn says:

    I can live with a lump in the wall… at least for a week!! 😀
    Your repair work looks amazing! Can’t wait to see it first hand!

    (Bygones, hahaha! Ally McBeal!)

  4. Ginger says:

    Wow, what you have done looks great! You can’t even tell that there were ever holes there! I love the paint color you chose for the wall also, it is very similar to the paint I have in my family room and hallway. Great taste 🙂

    I spotted your sweet little kitty but i will admit it took a minute, she (or he) blends in well with the wood. I love that lamp you have and the chair and footstool! Again, great taste, I really like your style! Your room surely doesn’t belong on hoarders, those people are INSANE, you are not!

    Have you thought about a yard sale? I’ve always wanted to have one but it seems like too much work. I just donate what is usable and throw the other stuff away. I do hope you post a picture or two or three 😉 of your new guest room when it’s complete!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thanks Ginger! The kitty is Lil’ Bit and her name comes from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” It was the pet name Idgie Threadgood’s brother gave her when she was a little girl. Anyway, we have been discussing giving her the name Lil’ Fatty because she is SO FAT! Poor baby was found thrown away in a dumpster by the vet’s staff and I guess the trauma of starving as a kitten has affected her. She eats anything she can get her paws on! All the time! Anything.

      I may have a yardsale, but really most of the stuff I have needs to go on EBAY. Collectables, 78 records, etc, etc.

      I’m glad you like ‘my style’ It is very eclectic, (old and/or antique) and all a mish-mosh of (mostly) his parents things and ours. Hahahaha! I told a friend the other day that I would like to turn my whole house on end and push everything out the door. I would then start over with clean lines and no clutter, NONE! Very Shaker I think.

      As for pictures of the guest room, well, you know I will! I just have to get that quilt done first!!! I think I can do it.

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