House renovation: Have we got concrete?

Lynne Kiesling

Over the past several years, some kind readers have inquired after the state of our home. Here’s the backstory: three years ago we bought a neglected 1924 Craftsman home in Chicago. We did some preliminary work (air conditioning, plaster, refinished wood), but then spent three years living in the place and working with architects to decide how we wanted to renovate it.

Construction started in mid-September, and should end by mid-March. Here’s what the back of the house looked like about a month ago:

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More below the fold … and bonus points if you can name the song that inspired this post’s title!


And then we had new foundation:

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And then we had a framed-out ground floor:

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By now we have a framed-out second floor and a roof. They are also replacing the nasty aluminum soffit around the house with lovely cedar.

Honestly, our contractor and his team are so great that this is going much better than I anticipated. The only thing I’m hating is dealing with the paperwork and the realization of the financial expenditure; even though I know it’s worth it, it still scares the bejeesus out of me!


8 thoughts on “House renovation: Have we got concrete?

  1. Buzzcut,

    It’s far too early in the construction process for those components to even be on site, no less installed. It’s even too early to install the unipole.

    However, it is definitely not too early to begin negotiations with the utility regarding net metering, or even a power purchase contract.

  2. Wow, you have house! Glad to hear the contractors are working out well. Are you having to monitor the work closely, or do they seem to do things right even without you keeping an eagle eye?

  3. Hey Di,

    No eagle eye; they are good craftsmen, and the contractor is a much better contractor and businessman than most!

    Now c’mon, you of all people should be able to name the tune that inspired my title!

  4. er…is it “Right, said Fred”

    as in:
    “Right,” said Fred, “Both of us together
    One on each end and steady as we go.”
    Tried to shift it, couldn’t even lift it
    We was getting nowhere
    And so we had a cuppa tea…

    etc etc

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