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Bill Henzel

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Our House Rebuilding Adventure

After building a new 820 square foot shop I took on the challenge of remodeling our tiny 1169 square foot home. We wanted both a larger living and guest bedroom. Because the shape of our lot, our architect told us that we would have to redo the entire house - with 4 different additions. My wife Annie, working closely with the architect, went through numerous revisions before ending up with a plan that seemed to fit our needs. Filled with lots of enthusiasm and self confidence after building a large shop mostly by myself, I began the remodel. The shop took 8 months of work which went quickly without any problems; the house remodel quickly turned into a project with constant challenges requiring more than 2 years of hard work. I had significantly underestimated the effort required to remodel a 60 year old farm house that been remodeled several times during the years. We began by building a bathroom addition off the master bedroom and then torn out the old bathroom that had been built in the bedroom. We then added a new addition to the master bedroom. After these additions were complete we torn down the interior walls of all 3 bedrooms and built lots of new closets. These caused a little disruption but everyone seemed to accommodate these changes without problem. We then began the dreaded kitchen addition. This required us to tear down our small kitchen eating area which my son and I accomplished very quickly while my wife was at work. On arriving home she discovered she had a new kitchen opened to the sky which we would enjoy for a few days before the framing would be complete on the kitchen addition. Next we tore the garage down since the back wall was only 6 feet high and violated the building code and would work with the new 9 foot vaulted kitchen ceiling. The new garage walls went up fast, a couple of people stopped by just in time to help me lift the 350 lb veneer lam beam up to the ridge line. Finally it was time to have fun and build the kitchen cabinets. All measurement went into a cabinet design software package that produced a cutting list and all measurements for the cabinets. The cabinets went together very quickly and I spent a couple of weeks building the solid maple raised panel door and the wall cabinet glass doors. Using prefinished maple plywood saved a lot of time. After the new kitchen was completely finished we deactivated the old kitchen by rerouted a couple of 220 volt lines. We were only without a kitchen for a couple of hours. We then worked on our last little addition after tearing down our fireplace and chimney with my Bosh 7/8" SDS hammer drill. This is one awesome tool! We then torn out our old kitchen and began to enjoy our new larger living room. It was fun to move back to the shop and build new book cases for our hall and living rooms. We built a new Murphy bed to make our new guest bedroom look more spacious. Our family has now a more open and more spacious house and the memory of all the hard work is beginning to fade.