The master suite, formerly known at times as The Bird's Nest because it was home to many birds until like three days ago, is now feeling like a real place we might use someday... and that someday may be soon.

Here's what's been happening. Last week we got approvals from the inspector on the plumbing, electricity and framing. (The framing was a big deal because a lot of structural work, guided by a real-life engineer who specializes in old decrepit buildings, was necessary to support the roof properly.) Once we were given the green light to move forward by the inspectors, we hired a team of dudes to spray insulation in every nook and cranny of the place -- effectively keeping the birds out and the temperature steady. They finished that job this morning. Things still look very construction-y, but believe me when I say just having the insulation in makes a huge difference. It's definitely inspiring to keep moving forward. (Tomorrow, August 15th, marks the fourth anniversary of the day we purchased this place at a foreclosure auction.)

Anyway, since I've never given a real "tour" of the master suite, I figured now would be as good a time as any.

Here is my laundry room in its current state. I'm thankful every day to have the washer and dryer in the house, since the baby has indeed lived up to the expectation of dirtying everything in her path. FYI that giant beam running along the ceiling is kind of holding everything up, nice and sturdy-like.

Here's a better shot of the ceiling and all the beams holding it all up. It's kind of boring but the fate of the house rests on these beams, so I'd be remiss in leaving out this important photo. The ones running horizontally are original wood salvaged from the house. This configuration of beams was a huge time setback, and they certainly were not free (and we hired a carpenter to help us), so I'm glad they will look kind of cool after all they put us through. S has the fun task ahead of going at them with a grinder to get all the spray insulation off and generally clean them up. After that, it's ceiling time!

Here's the walk-in closet, just to the right of the laundry room.

And outside the laundry room and closet is an open space that will be used as an office area.

To the left of the office are the stairs going down into the kitchen. So all of that -- the laundry room, the walk-in closet, the office and the stairs -- is basically the room we are calling the "master closet." It may be the county's biggest, and I'm okay with that.

And here's a glimpse into the adjacent master bedroom, which is obviously being used for storage at the moment. In here, the original log walls from the 1800s will be cleaned up, rechinked and left exposed. I'm really excited about the high, slanted ceiling. There's a door to the left  (out of the frame, right next to the broom) that leads into the current 2nd floor living space where the two guest bedrooms and bathroom are situated.

And finally, here is the master bath shower, as discussed in my last post about tile.The other angles of the bathroom are full of tools and building supplies, so photos will have to wait. (It is a pretty big bathroom.) The big black thing in the ceiling is the fan, and outside the shower you can see the plumbing for the bathtub.

So that's what's been keeping us occupied for the past couple months. It doesn't seem like much progress to the naked eye, I guess, but I am thrilled. Sure we have a lot left to do, but compared to where we started it's a huge step forward.

I can't believe we've been working on this house for four years. Let's just let that soak in for awhile, shall we?


  1. we just had that same spray insulation done in our attic. i was so excited about that development, so i can empathize. :) your room is huge! and your bathroom, so envious already.

    1. It is quite the magical product! It's kind of like putting a wrestling mat in your ceiling. I do wonder about its earth-friendliness... though hopefully it will not need to be removed for many, many years to come.

  2. i'd kill for that spray insulation being available in argentina, i think it'd be the answer to all my dampness issues in this 110 yo house

    1. We do have great access to building materials here -- and with this insulation we noticed a big difference immediately in the room's quietness, temperature, etc. I'm sure it will make a huge difference in the long run for energy efficiency as well.

      It makes me think though, is it necessary for construction to be this complicated? Do homes have to have this many materials and layers to be dry and temperature controlled? Surely there are better ways and more versatile products so you don't have to have layer upon layer of framing, sheathing, siding, insulation, moisture barrier paper, plaster or sheetrock, spackle and so on... Somebody please make affordable alternatives!

  3. EK:

    Awe-SOME! All the little angles, knee-hi windows and ceiling lines make it very interesting. That's the last of the untouched spaces right?

    1. Yeah kind of. This space was the last of the really "dirty" areas. The dining room and foyer areas are still very undone, but we couldn't finish them until all the structural work upstairs was done and approved. (The kitchen still needs a lot of work too, but it's at least functional.)

      Now, pretty much the only major thing keeping us from closing up all the walls and finishing these spaces off is running some HVAC duct work in those rooms, which are currently not temperature controlled. It is already ordered and we are waiting for the materials to arrive. (A close friend is installing it.) As you know, the log area stays decently comfortable year-round without heat or AC--even more so now that the insulation will keep the heat from escaping through the roof.

      I'm sure the average homeowner would feel like we have a ton ahead of us, but it's really not THAT much. Of course, we'll be working on finishing touches and details for a long time. But the major stuff will be done pretty soon!!!

  4. What great space. And a lot of it, too. We had seat insulation installed in two houses (our utility company actually pays 80 percent) and the energy savings has been amazing.


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!