Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Long Awaited Remodel February 11, 2016

Filed under: family,homesteading,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 5:44 pm
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I have finally come to the conclusion that the hardest part of remodeling is clearing out a room that has been used for storage. Our home has 2 rooms in the back section of the house, which is not heated in winter. Both of those rooms have become storage areas over the years.

With the kids getting older, the need for more space is becoming one which we are having to focus upon. For years, my husband and I have been wanting to remodel the house. We love our 1890’s home, but it needs a bit of cosmetic improvements. It also needs a few upgrades, such as adding a heating system to the back section.

We have nearly finished one of the rooms. Originally, it was to become a new bedroom for my husband and I. Now, it is becoming a bedroom for my adult son who is moving here from another state. Having it’s own outdoor entrance, it will be convenient for him. He will be able to use that room until he is able to get himself set up in his own place. The second of the 2 back rooms is one of the largest rooms of the house, It is going to become the kids’ bedroom. It is large enough that we are planning to divide the room into 2 smaller ones. Each will be about the size of a small bedroom in a mobile home, which is adequate for a single child per room.

I have been clearing out the back rooms a little at a time over the winter. I have been brutal in the sorting of the items in those rooms. Easily 75% of what was there is being either trashed or donated. My attitude is that unless it is a tool or other item that is necessary, anything in storage for over 6 months is not going to be kept. I am literally only saving items such as photos, some furniture, and family heirlooms. Everything else will be gone. By May, both rooms will be nearly completed. The only thing unfinished will be adding the propane heaters and the dividing wall in the kids’ room. Both rooms will be ready for use, if not already being used.

Hubby and I are going to temporarily be using the kids’ old bedroom once they are in their new space. I am looking forward to it. Over the next few years, we will be in a state of “room shuffling” while we work on the house. The kids’ current bedroom used to be a part of the old kitchen space. Originally, the house had a very large farm kitchen. A previous owner put a dividing wall up to make that extra bedroom. As soon as we no longer need that space as a bedroom anymore, the wall will be removed. The large farm kitchen will be its full size once more.

The remodeling is something we have been dreaming about for many years. We have always been in a situation of either not having the money or not having the time. Now, we are finally in a position to get the work done. We will be doing most of it ourselves. That is one reason that I am so grateful that the “bones” of the house are in good shape. Yes, we may encounter surprises along the way. One would expect that when dealing with a house of this age, but I am looking forward to the challenge.


5 Responses to “Long Awaited Remodel”

  1. We also live in an 1800’s home. I think the insulation in the home is our main concern. Since our bedroom faces the north, we really feel the cold in the winter. But the astitic quality of the home is worth it all. Having spent a great deal of money on double pane storm Windows…that was a tremendous help in the heating. I wish you the best. All upgrades enhance the home over time. But still keeping the original 1800’s look will be appealing and homey. ( Love to see pictures of your home) . I wish our home was out away from town and people….like the quietness.

    • Heating can be a challenge but we are getting a good handle on it. I love our old home. They knew how to build them in a way that utilized cross ventilation for cooling in summer. We have been off-grid 7 years now and the summers don’t affect us. That has always been our greatest concern. You can always layer up and section off rooms to deal with heating issues. Covering windows with plastic on the outside and hanging heavy fleece or wool blankets in place of curtains helps greatly to hold in heat and keep out the chilly air.

  2. We can usually get through the summer okay also. Maybe two weeks of extreme heat. Not being off the grid, we have choices. Right now we have a quilt over the north side window in the bedroom. Used for darkness so hubby can sleep when he is on nights. And we do have plastic on the windows, especially the rooms not used…which is two other bedrooms. Probably need a smaller house…lol. coming from las Vegas, the heat here is nothing. But our elevation is 5880 feet. And, being somewhat desert, we generally do not become too humid. Only after a storm. Pros and cons wherever you live. I appreciate your ideas and (wish more recipes….to come). But I imagine you are quite busy with the young ones..And being off-grid, just extends your day to incorporate all that needs to be done. Great talking to you…

  3. Betsy Says:

    I have also been cleaning and donating/trashing items this winter. I have lots more to do but I’m trying to be brutal about it. Remodeling can be fun but also a huge headache to do can’t it? Have fun.

  4. Just wondering if you have watched the movie. “War Room”? It is an excellent movie on prayers, power of prayer, etc. Loved it. Very genuine Christian movie for everyone.

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