Jason & Sarah's House Project

This page shows the house that we purchased in 1990 and how it looks today. We began this remodeling project in December 1996 and completed it September 30, 1997.

Jason and Sarah's house, July 1990This is how the house looked when we walked up to it in June 1990. Actually, Jason walked around it and I waited in the car because there was no way I was going to live here. The house needed a serious dose of tender loving care and lots of work on the yard. Click here for a view of the back of the house. Finally, Jason convinced me to go inside and from the minute we walked through the front door we knew this would be our home.

After we removed the overgrown shrubs and cleaned up the place, inside and out, we had a dramatically different looking house thanks to all the help we received from our families. Click on these pictures to see the front of the house and back of the house in the fall of 1990.

The next ultra big project we wanted to tackle outside was to reshingle the roof. Not content to just change the shingles from white to black (like I wanted to do), Jason decided that we should change the entire roof. For several years we toyed with different ideas for a new roof and in the fall of 1996 we contacted an architect and drew up the plans for our new roof and floor plan. The plan involved changing the roof from a traditional ranch style to a 10/12 pitch roof with dormers, adding a usable room in the new upstairs and expanding the garage from a 1-1/2 car garage to a 3+ car garage. Being do-it-yourselfers by nature, we decided to take this task on ourselves and be our own general contractors. So, in December 1996, Jason dug the foundation and the addition began. In January Jason's brother, Jeff and his crew did the destruction of our garage and the rough carpentry. (Yep, we started in January because "it is easier to shovel snow than rain.") Here is another great view of the work done to remove the old garage and the view from our back door into what used to be a garage. (Needless to say, this is when I began to really get nervous.)

February was a busy month. The construction phase began (which I was happy to see) and soon Jeff had roughed in the garage. Jason drove the heavy equipment to place the trusses and a roof was finally overhead. It was great to arrive home after work and see the progress. The dormers were set in place and the rest of roof was removed. (Just when I was finally getting over the destruction of our garage - here we go again : ) Here is a photo of the last section of roof with the tarp as our only protection from the elements. Fortunately, the weather was very cooperative. And here is the house completely roofed! Now we now had a room upstairs!

Jason had the exciting job of reclaiming over 1,200 brick to cover the west face of the garage (so that they match flawlessly). This kept him out of trouble for many evenings. Fortunately April was a mild month.

I was able to finally park in the garage (something I had missed terribly). The outside was basically complete and people finally were beginning to think we weren't so crazy after all. I think that my nerves were finally under control once I saw the almost finished product. The siding, gutters and brick were installed in May. Then there were huge piles of brick all around the house and scaffolding too. The peak at the north end of the house was completed followed by the entire south side of the house. Now it was looking like our home again!

The driveway and sidewalk were the next things to be replaced in June. Jason tore out the old sidewalk and formed the new sidewalk to the front door and all the way around to the back of the house. The driveway was poured and after 12 days of parking in the street we were were back in business - driving on a concrete driveway and parking in the garage. Yahoo!

The drywall was installed in Jason's office, the garage and upstairs in July. In August we installed a skylight in our kitchen (no more cooking in a cave) and the carpet was installed. September was a month full of finishing touches and finally our home remodeling project was complete.

We were thrilled to have a bridal shower for my sister, Gretchen, in our new upstairs room on November 2. We think the room looked great for the shower.

This is how it looks today.

So, that's what we have been doing for the past year. We are so glad that we took on this project because the results were worth the work. Our apologies to all of our friends and family that we have been too busy to see. Life should be back to "normal" for us now and we can come out and play again : )

Our sincere thanks to our parents and family for ALL that they have done to help us. We could not have done it without your assistance. We are truly blessed.

And they lived happily ever after . . . until the next project comes along. :-)

Last update: December 28, 1997

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at Sarah@syo.com