first off, here’s the full set of photographs from the Mahazda demolition project. When the rennovation is complete, I’ll do a before-during-after set of each room.

by mid-April, we were all set to finish everything up, but it was just too much to get done in one day with the group that was able to be there. so that workday ended with both substantial progress, and substantial disappointment. with the big Beltane festival coming up, which we were coordinating, we wanted to be able to wrap this stage of the project up before leaving down for the festival. so we pushed things around in the calendar to free up the Sunday before Beltane, and implored our friends to come help. it turns out we have spectacularly awesome friends; three people came out to put in a full afternoon’s work with us, and with three of us also able to jump in, we got the last of everything done!

now we are in the process of negotiating with the contractor about specific details of the rennovation. this will be a very thorough rennovation: new electric, plumbing, insulation, heating/cooling systems, floors. a large kitchen, two bathrooms, new windows and doors. we will do the kitchen cabinetry and the finish work (trim, cabinets, painting) ourselves, to save costs and put our own hands into the work.

we’d like to put in radiant heat, and wrap the house with strawbales for the most effective insulation (and sound-proofing!). initial estimates for the latter come in higher than we like, but it seems like there ought to be a way to do a strawbale wrap for less. if anybody has any leads on that, please let me know! of course we can do some of the work ourselves, but that also slows the project down, possibly substantially, because of the way we have to schedule ourselves; it’s the group process thing. that is one of the options we’re looking at. but you know, if one of our readers has a cousin who is a contractor who has done strawbale wraps on existing structures before, or something, do *please* drop me a note! yarrow at sunflowerriver dot org. thanks!