Well, guys, I skipped One Room Challenge Week Four because I didn’t have an update…and I still don’t. Two weeks ago, we got some bad news, which is fixable, but not ideal.
Here’s the background. Our cottage, to our knowledge based on a longtime neighbor’s intel, was originally built sometime in the early 20th century as a caretaker’s residence for a larger farmhouse. In the 1990s, the structure was gutted, a large open space was added onto the river side, and a second floor was added. We have no idea what the state of the home was prior to that, and, from what we can tell, the original footprint encompassed the kitchen, breakfast area, and the first part of the living area.
We had noticed some unevenness in our floors, but our inspector told us that the foundation was super solid and it was simply result of an old brick foundation.
He was wrong.
Our flooring contractor and do-everything contractor (who came highly recommended from many family and friends) both immediately flagged the floor. It turns out, when all the extra house was added in the 90s, the foundation was not touched. So, while, sure, it might have been a great foundation for an 800-square foot cottage, it was not strong enough to hold a second floor and 1,000 more square feet.
The result: tons of sagging and a foundation that could potentially give out.
So…What Do We Do Now?
Clearly we need to remedy this. Fortunately, our contractor can handle it and it’s only going to take about 8 days. But, it’s set us back by about two weeks. Our hope is he’ll finish the foundation by this coming Sunday, the flooring can go in by next Friday, then we’ll go down there for 9 days straight to start working on our projects and then, finally, pulling it all together. Send good vibes that this actually rolls out according to the timeline. It’s like we’re stuck in this place where we’re just 2-3 steps from complete enough for us to take over…but they’re 2-3 BIG steps.
Additionally, if you’ll recall, we moved the kitchen peninsula to make a U-shaped arrangement and we plan to add a freestanding island. Well, even though the kitchen counter is the same size and should shift over, no problem, it’s more of an ordeal due to the finished edges and needing to be recut to seam together. Finding a countertop person to take on a project that small has not been an easy or cost-effective task — which means we may end up getting new countertops, too.
The Good News
There is one bright spot amidst all this. The wall between the breakfast area and the living area has started to come down (this was part of what set off the floor debacle…our contractor wanted to make sure the support was there, spoiler, it wasn’t).
While there are still beams there and it hasn’t been fully removed, it’s incredible to walk into the house and immediately see the view to the river. It lets so much more light into the kitchen and just this one partially-done change is enough for me to see the (literal) light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, let’s hope I have a real One Room Challenge update for you next week.