Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Blank Slate (and A River Runs Through It)

Plastering is complete!  This weekend:  Met with the trim/stairs guy and went over the entire house window by window, door by door, stair tread by stair tread.  Jeff and I installed the garage-house doors.  Amy and I started prepping the upstairs for painting (sanding and cleaning).  I was also able to tie in all the circuits to the breaker box. 

After working all day with the power off, Amy and I turned the power on to test the basement lights that I had installed...  Short circuit.  Not a good first try at powering up all the wiring I had done.  Troubleshooting found it was just the switch for one side that shorted the breaker.  Too tired and hungry.  Quick dinner (thanks Sue), made a cardboard box airplane with Ella, quick trip to HD (4th one this weekend) to get door knobs and a new GFI breaker to replace the broken one that someone had snuck back into its original packaging and returned so that I could buy it, back to the house.  Further investigation revealed that the $1.37 fixtures from HD that don't have a ground terminal also do not have insulation over the hot terminal.  On one of the fixtures the hot screw was in contact with the loose ground wire and it shorted to ground as soon as it was turned on.  I took them all down, isolated the grounds, insulated the hots, and reinstalled.  Works like a charm.  I spent the next ten minutes standing in the stairs turning the lights on and off like it was the first time I had seen electricity.  It was very gratifying.

Started the weekend with a welcome night off: Father-Daughter Sweetheart Social.

Swing dancing with Ella.

Slow dancing.

With the plastering complete, the entire house is a blank slate.  Can't wait to start painting and installing finishes.  This is the balcony over the family room.

Nice kitchen table.

Dormer in the play room.

Our bedroom.

The attic.

Spent a lot of the weekend battling ice.  When opened the garage door Saturday morning the entire garage turned into a big fog bank as the cold air hit the humid air inside.  The humidity was from the water that had seeped in overnight.

I dug this trench to redirect the water.  It seemed to be working....

But on Sunday morning the garage was back to being a river.  You could actually see the current coming under the far door and running out the near door.

Dad came by with panty hose and salt to try to re-open the frozen trench.  No luck.

This is what happens when the river runs out on to the driveway and re-freezes.  He parked the car at the top, came in to get me, and when we came out the car wasn't where he left it.  It slid all the way out into the street... in park!  Maybe not surprising since the day before, Amy got out of her dad's truck and it started sliding then Sue got Amy's car stuck when she slid off the side.  Lots of pushing and sand got it out okay.

Amy scraping plaster off the window frames.
And scrubbing plaster dust out of the window locks with Q-tips.
Sunday 7am.

Sunday 7pm.

All circuits tied in and ready to be closed up.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Colors and Commutes

A week of decision making has resulted in the selection of the cabinet color, flooring for most of the house, and wall colors for most of the house.  Meanwhile the plasterers have nearly finished the entire house!  Picture of that to come.

One hour into my morning commute and the scene looks remarkably similar to the beginning of it.  I stopped at the house at 5:45 to shut off the heat for the plasterers.  Tried to leave and couldn't make it up the hill.  Got 3/4 of the way on my 4th attempt, but by then I had packed all the wet snow into a greasy sheet of slush-ice, so all future attempts were worse.  Finally called Amy (who had a 2 hour delay!).  She had to come and push my up the hill with her car - bumper to bumper.  Nothing makes you feel manlier than sitting in a Pontiac Vibe being pushed up your street by your wife in her Ford Freestyle.  Anyways, got on the road by 6:45 and took an additional 2 hours from there.   Fun.
The building where our cabinets are being made.

This is all of our kitchen cabinets.  The stack on the left is all of the drawers!

Some of the cabinet doors.  The gridded ones in the back are going to be glass doors.

And we finally got the color right!  It's the darker blue on the top half of the door Amy's holding.

The last sate of my de-Manuary-ification.  I felt a little ridiculous dealing with the plasterers looking like this....
The color palette.

A few of the flooring selections.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Manuary ends, Snow day again, Plastering continues

Another snow day today.  Again, well timed for when I need to get work done.  
Shoveled the snow off the porch roof Sunday.  Will shovel off the back of the garage roof today.  Will also take a trip to Oxford to try our 3rd and 4th attempts to find the right cabinet color.
Plasterers finished the attic and have moved on to the bedrooms!  The huge transformation in such a short time is amazing.

Prior to shoveling the porch roof.

Drilling rig even deeper in the snow.  Still no action except another promise that we'll start "this week."

No new icicles since the insulation was finished.  This is an old one that's still hanging on.

Our old trash barrel used for kindling storage back in the woods.

An attempt to capture the chaos created by the boarders.

This is my attempt to capture the amount of dust in the air.  And none of these guys wear masks!

More chaos.

The "sturdy" staging they set up to board the family room ceiling.

More chaos.

Attic boarded.

The recess I built into the wall of the girls' bathroom using the space in the chimney chase.

Manuary is over.  I decided to shave in stages (De-Manuary-ification).

Stage 1: Mustache.  Time to move to Intercourse, PA.

P.S. forgot to include in the last entry that we tried to save money by buying faucets at the Maki Budget Barn in Lunenburg, only to find out that the two we bought were actually different from each other when we got home.