Here's what the house looked like before...
Not exactly your typical tear-down, right? No, when we first bought the house back in 2003 (we moved in after we got married in January 2004), it was not in the plans to tear it down. The house was on the small side (but not tiny), pretty old (I think it was built around the 1940's but I could be wrong about that) and could use some fixing up. The plan was to live here for a few years, fix up the house, and then sell it and buy our next house, the "family" house. So, we did fix ups - we repainted the interior (some rooms twice, after experimenting with some bold colors that just weren't us), we gave the bathroom a face-lift, we tore down a wall inside to open up the entrance way and the living room, we replaced the siding, put in new windows and added more insulation to the attic. We would've liked to do something with the basement, but it wasn't really tall enough to finish out (although I never had to stoop down!), and it got water in it every spring (a fact that had never been mentioned to us before buying the house :P). Every now and then we would joke that perhaps we should just tear the old place down, but it was just a joke. After all, we had put so much time and energy (and money) into our improvements. We had Annika in 2008, and our little love nest got a little more crowded. By 2009 we started looking at other houses and lots, dreaming of what we would like next.
After seeing a bunch of houses and touring empty lots in new developments, we decided what we wanted the most was what we already had - a fair size yard (we actually have a double lot, so our yard is twice the size of most on our street), mature trees, convenient location, nice neighbourhood, a school nearby... The real estate market had also changed since we bought our house, and prices were now considerably more that they were in 2003. The tear-down idea moved from dream to reality....
We attempted to save anything we could from the old house. We took out doors, windows, door handles, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, landscape stones - one evening a friend even came and took off most of the new siding (we told him he could have it for free, but he would have to do the work of removing it). We reused what we could and sold/donated other stuff. Some of it is still sitting in our garage (dishwasher anyone?? It still works, just didn't "go" with our new kitchen).
Here's the house after we stripped it...
Finally the big day came - the tear down happened September 18, 2009. I think they started around 7:00 am, so I was still at my parents' place with Annika (also I'm not sure I could've handled watching them tear apart my home). Carey was there and filmed it all, so I saw it after the fact, which was a bit easier. Annika and I went by later in the afternoon and took some pictures.
|The building in the background is our garage, which we kept. Carey built it the summer after we moved in.|
|All that white stuff is the insulation from in the attic.|
Here's a few pictures of our temporary home in the basement...
|We made this little alcove into Annika's room, since there was only 1 bedroom in the basement.|
|We had bottled water while we lived there, since we didn't like the taste of my parents' well water (even though I grew up drinking it - funny how tastes change).|
|We were very fortunate that my parents' had a full kitchen in the basement, so we could still cook our own meals and have our own space.|
We moved in to our new house on January 16, 2010, almost 4 months to the day from when the old house was torn down.
|Annika had no problem making herself right at home.|
I have to admit, it took me some time to get used to the new house. For quite a while, I kept expecting to see the old house when I'd drive up the street. However, I love our home now, and I don't regret our decision for a minute. I love that we have lots of space (this house is about twice the size of the old one), even though it does take quite a bit more work to keep it clean. There are days when I miss cleaning only one bathroom, and when vacuuming the entire house only took 20 minutes. We still have little projects to finish up around the house, and someday I hope to actually decorate. Right now we have a "minimalist" kind of thing going on, but it's not entirely on purpose! It's half keeping the house kid-proof, and half the fact that we just haven't taken the time to do any serious decorating. Someday. :)
Here's the house today...
|Yes, the grass looks pretty bad - just one of those things that still needs work. :P|