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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Minot House: A tribute

Our house in Minot never got a proper post. So here is a little bit about our first house that we ever bought. A lot of blood (from both of us), sweat (Travis'), and tears (Denay's) went into this house.
Here it is shortly after we signed the papers! The back view:
We were very excited because the the lath and plaster had recently been replaced with Sheetrock, all the carpet was new, and everything was newly painted. Therefore we didn't need to do a thing, just enjoy the house. Little did I know that Travis had some grand plans for this place!! Also I didn't realise that no matter how much cosmetic work had been done, it is still an old house (built in 1912)!
This is the living room/dining room (its all clean...before we had kiddos!) I was trying to figure out which curtains looked best.

Our first real North Dakota snow storm. Not our last, for sure! Take note of the 10'x 10' deck and no garage. I think when we first looked at the house Travis leaned over the railing and said, "This would be a great place for a garage." Wow, that man is prophetic!

We lived in the house just shy of 5 years. Travis did a lot of improvements. The following pictures are just a few of the projects he accomplished. Many more are scattered throughout previous posts.
Travis added a ladder to get into the attic. The attic became a wonderful storage spot. He finished the insulation up there to keep the house warmer. He did this while I was at a youth activity in Williston. I was pregnant with Backpack at the time.
Eventually we fixed the boards and painted to make it look nicer.
This is a final view of the house after he added a garage and extended the deck around. The deck was a great place to play and BBQ. Travis covered the entire house in pink foam insulation and sided. A large part of that was done in -45F weather. It really made the garage look like it was apart of the house and not added on. Too bad we never got to use it, because it was always holding all the building materials! We had quite a bit of help from the ward members (huge help from Bro. Williams) and the missionaries, Papa did some wiring, and the neighbors helped pour cement. Other than that, it was all Travis; from working with the city for the permit, to the last piece of siding.
We also knew the carpet in the dining room had to go. It was terribly stained. Travis decided to either use leftover laminate from the kitchen or re-carpet. We checked into re-carpeting and decided that was the way to go. Travis stared to pull up the carpet one week before we left Minot. Underneath was hard wood floors! We about died! We would've had this floor the whole time!!!
Travis felt inspired to hire help (THE FIRST TIME EVER!!) to finish the floor. By this time our stuff was already on its way to OH and we were camped out in TLF. So while Travis was out processing I dropped the kids off at a friends house or camped them in another room watching a movie and I painted like a madwoman. Then Travis would come into town and work like a madman finishing all that need to be done before we left.
The floor turned out beautiful! And it really added to the lightness of the room.
Shot of the living room:
Both rooms:
The master bedroom was on the main floor, with a bathroom. It was a good size and was perfect for us. We really like how big it was. The one problem was that the only bathroom on this floor was in our room, so we had to keep it clean for company (well, maybe that was a good thing!).
Looking into the bathroom from master bedroom.
The bathroom was a pretty good size, too. It was carpeted. I actually didn't bother us too much because it kept the bathroom warm in the winter. There use to be a window by the shower (the wall that you can see), but it got filled in when the garage was built.
The kitchen. It was a little small, but functional. We bought a corner table with benches to go in the corner that you can't see. The table turned into the home for Travis' orange tree. It died before we moved. We did the laminate flooring in this room. The carpet was glued down so we tied a rope to it, strung the rope out the window and tied it to the car. Travis drove very slowly while I used a shovel to get up the carpet. It was very effective. Whos idea was that? Both of ours....great minds think alike! From the window you could see the school playground. Our yard wasn't big. The playground across the alley made up for that! Plus, less to mow.
This is the mudroom. The room you can take your coats and shoes off in. Right above it is the deck. In here there was a whole in the wall. The genius that build the original deck used the same support beam for the railing for the support in the wall. Then sealed it with tar. Eventually there was a leak and water was running straight down that beam into our wall. One day there was a whole. Travis knocked out that wall, built it back and added a door to the garage. That took several months, during which our washer froze. So not only was it cold, I ended up going to the laundry mat from November to February. But it needed to be done!! Travis' Dad helped him with the floor while I was at Girls Camp. It was a nice surprise for me. Later we painted, taped and mudded and added the trim. Travis' Dad also helped him put in raised flower beds along one side of our house. I was so grateful for his help...it meant less work for me :-)
The upstairs bathroom was quite the project. This started when I was pregnant with Trouble and ended after I had Backpack. First Travis cut and raised the roof over the shower and added the bubble block windows and a vent. He finished the outside by redoing the wood siding, re-roofing some parts, and painting. Inside we put up the plastic shower stuff and made it all look nice. Then a month or so before Backpack was due, he cut the other side and raised it. He then added the bubble block windows and vents. This was one of the only rooms with lathe and plaster. He tore all that out and put in Sheetrock. He also put in laminate flooring over the carpet.
The night I went into labor with Backpack, a storm was brewing. He called me from work and said he needed me to cover the hole with a tarp. I went outside and carried up some bricks and stones to hold down the tarp. Threw the tarp on the roof, climbed up, put the weights in place and tied it all down. I wonder what put me in labor that night?? Its good, because I really wanted to have him that weekend.
Here is the finished upstairs bathroom on the side by the sink:
The side with the shower:
Here is the upstairs from the first landing. To the left of this picture is the door to the deck. Upstairs had four bedroom.

Dynomite's room. We loved the colors in here and the border matched perfectly. My Visiting Teacher came over and helped us paint.
Backpack's barnyard themed room. Yaya helped paint this one. This was Travis' office, but he was punished for not keeping his room clean, so he moved in my office with me. Which was my punishment for not keeping my room clean :-)
The office:
Trouble's room. First he had space stuff all over, then cars. Travis painted this room while I was pregnant with Trouble. It was fun to have a blue ceiling.
Looking up the stairwell.
Here is a shot of the back of the garage. Travis really did put so much into this project. He did an awesome job. It was hard to sell a house that so much was invested.

Looking toward the front:
The view looking in from the outside. The wood in the back is a door to a nice sized pantry. To the left of that is the door to the basement. The basement would've been the next project if we'd stayed longer. All the hook-ups for a bathroom are down there, and a room with a wood floor for a family room, and another room we used as a workout room, and lots of shelving, and a smaller room. The small room was great for our food storage. It has no windows and stayed around 70F. In the olden days, it was used to collect rain water and snow melt off from outside. Which was then pumped into the kitchen. Every year it was scrubbed down with bleach to collect water again. We were told that only the fancier houses had these type of set-ups. It made a great panic room!

Travis did more than what I have pictures off. He rewired many parts of the house, replaced tons of plumbing, fixed more holes than a house should have (of course he put many of the holes there in the first place), replaced doors, sanded, painted, gardened, etc... We moved in with no kids, one car, and enough stuff to furnish a two bedroom appartment. We moved out with three kids, two cars, and enough stuff to fill a dump!

We did love that house, despite all the complaing we...okay I....did while we were in the mists of the work. We just hope our new owners love it as much as we did!


Kelly said...

I still have Trouble's stepping stone that I rescued from your house after you moved! I am not sure how to get it to you...next time we drive through, we'll bring it!

Laurie/Mom/Grandma said...

How fun to read this. You should really be proud of yourselves. We had a house in Idaho that I felt this way about. In the seven years we lived there, we changed all the flooring, plumbing fixtures and doors. And, like you, discovered hardwood under the bedroom carpeting. How delightful!

Cynthia said...

Wow- I don't check blogs for a couple of days and whamo! I'm way behind on yours!
It's great to see pic's of your old house! So cute! I would have had a hard time selling it too. :-) I would have to say that my favorite picture is the one with Travis sticking his head out of the attic...

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