Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top 11 of 2011

A lot of blogs have been posting "Top 11 of 2011" lists and it made me think... of all of the work we completed last year what were my favorite projects?

1. Concrete steps and patio

Our hands-down favorite project was pouring and stamping the new concrete patio and steps on the front of the house.

This project had everything - getting to wear my rubber boots to wade in concrete, having a concrete truck drive up in to our yard on a Sunday morning, the fact that it was completed (planning included) with in a week and, of course, because the finished product is just oh so beautiful.

 I am most proud of this project because it was something I never would have dreamed we would have been able to do ourselves and have it turn out so well. Of course a lot of that has to do with our talented friend Dave.

And besides... as a structural engineer, it is hard not to get excited about concrete.. 
yes, I am a nerd.

2. Refinishing the stairs

This project is my personal favorite because I was able to complete it almost entirely on my own. It required hours of crouching over the stairs with a heat gun, paint stripper, scrappers and sandpaper but it was worth it to highlight one of the few remaining original elements of the house.

3. Removing the asbestos siding

 We had spent six years pondering how we were going to deal with the asbestos siding and had nightmares about expensive remediation costs or fines for doing it improperly. I don't think either of us ever thought we would see the day with this project safely behind us.

4. Installing the new siding

 We had initially planned to patch the original wood siding to the best of our ability and make due but, again, I don't think either of us ever thought we would be able to complete the exterior of the house... with shiny new siding... especially this year. We hired out the work but it was still extremely rewarding to check something off the list I never thought we would be able to.

5. Custom built-in Pax closets

Every morning when I get dressed, I think about how much I love my neat, organized closet. Aside from speaking to my OCD-nature, this project was another one I never would have believed we actually would be able to pull off. It is very gratifying to see something that started as a random thought while standing in the aisle at IKEA turn out exactly as you imagined it would.

One day soon we will get the doors installed...

6. Stenciled wallpaper

This project is memorable because it required Dave and I standing side-by-side doing detailed work together for an extensive period of time... and we didn't kill each other.   

And, of course, because the finished product is just oh so beautiful.

7. Refinishing the front door

We had refinished the door once before and failed miserably. So it was rewarding to have it turn out so well the second go around.

And, in a house where everything else is white it is hard not to love something such a perfect shade of blue...

8. Building the wainscoting and bench in the front entrance

I had collected tons of inspiration photos of wainscoting so it was quite exciting when Dave suggested that we install some in the front entrance.

The bench was pure necessity... it is the only storage on the main floor.

One day soon we will get it painted...

9. Installing blown insulation in the attic

This project was just kind of fun... like turning our attic into a giant cotton candy machine.

10. Installing the soapstone hearth

I love the look of soapstone and was quite happy to find a place for it in the house. I also love browsing through the yards of granite and stone to pick just the right slab.

I can't wait until our fireplace is working and the mantel is complete!

11. India and Nepal

How could I not include this one...

When I asked Dave what his favourite projects were he responded "anything that involved smashing..."  

Then he added that refinishing the stairs was one of his favourite projects because I worked so hard on it and that it turned out so well - what a good husband!

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