Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brrrr! A taste of winter this week.

The start of gun season brought rain, wind and colder temperatures.  We were happy to have the temporary furnace running in the house.  Once the insulation contractors finished with the ceilings and the outside attic access was closed, the house was pretty easy to keep at a comfortable temperature.  We needed to keep the house warm until the tapers were done.  They worked through the week and finished up Thursday night.

Friday and Saturday, Chris and I swept what felt like tons of drywall dust from every surface in the house.  Felt like Charlie Brown's buddy Pigpen at the end of the day - a little cloud of dust followed me everywhere.  We were grateful for the use of our painter's big shop vac on Saturday.  He painted all the ceilings on Sunday and will work on the walls next weekend.

The stonemasons continued to work on the outside of the house, although the weather slowed their progress.  I think they should be able to finish next week, before Thanksgiving.

We choose the slabs of granite to be used for our countertops and all the tile for the bathrooms this week. 

This week has been a little quieter, had time for actual housework today - dusting and vacuuming at the house in Washington in preparation for Thanksgiving.  
Chris talking with Jim as he stains windows in the studio.

Taping is almost done.

Chris and Steve trimmed the trees in front of the house this week.

Taking more cardboard to be recycled.


The deck - or what will soon be the deck.

The monster painting machine.

Chris and Nissa playing frisbee behind the house.

Damn, we hate getting our picture taken.

Sunset tonight . . . hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 15, 2013

And so it begins . . .

We made it.  All the drywall is up and the tapers are almost done with the 2nd floor and have started on the rest of the house.  This weekend should be quiet at the house - Jim will be the only one working.  Everyone else is out trying to shoot Bambi. . .

The insulation crew was in the house for 2 days and will come back next week to blow insulation in the ceilings now that we have drywall up.  They also need to finish a few areas in the basement.

We ordered handles and locks for the exterior doors and sent the lighting list to the supplier for pricing.  We ordered all our appliances, too.  The local Sears store made us some excellent deals.  Can't wait to get the new french door refrigerator and the new washer and dryer.  The ones in our rental house have seen better days. 

I met with Nate to discuss the screen system for the porch and the railings for it and the deck, so that work can start.  As soon as the rest of the stone siding is done the deck, driveway and concrete patio at the basement walkout can be scheduled.

We went out to the house this afternoon.  It was nice and quiet.  We were the only one's there, which doesn't happen very often.  The rooms are starting to look like real rooms.  The wood flooring will be here in a couple weeks and the trim should arrive about that same time.  The guest room is looking really nice . . .

Front door is looking good.

Guest room looking to Chris' studio.

Insulation in the living room. 

The ceilings are done in this photo of the living room.  The black thing is the woodstove flue.

Work in progress.  My god, it was a mess!!  We shoveled drywall dust and pieces out the next day.

Master bedroom in progress.

Ahhhh, much better after cleanup.  The beams are looking good.

At work in the kitchen

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In anticipation of deer season . . .

Deer season!!!  Everybody wants to get their work done before next Saturday when gun season starts.  Can't tell you how many times I've heard, "we need to get your job done before next weekend . . . "  So we did our best to line things up.  The weather was uncooperative early in the week.  The rest of the roofing material finally came in, but it was cold, windy and rainy.  Metal roofs are slippery when wet . . . or dusty.  But the roof was done by the end of the day Thursday.  YAY!

Calvin putting the finishing touches on the roof.
The garage was insulated on Monday.  It was fascinating to see how it was done.  They go through each room with a foam gun and seal every little seam and crack, including all the holes that are drilled for all the electric wires and all of the electrical boxes.  Then they stretch a fine mesh fabric over the wall cavities and blow insulation into each one until it reaches a certain density.  The ceilings get the same caulk and seal, but they hang fiberglass batts in the shallow parts of the ceilings and then blow loose insulation in on top.  The final step is done after the drywall is up on the ceilings.  They go in through the attic access and blow in loose fiberglass to a certain R-value where the roof pitch is high enough to allow. 

Garage walls filled with insulation.
Tuesday we drove into St. Louis county to look at granite for our countertops.  The variety is amazing. They had slabs of marble, limestone, soapstone and quartzite. One of the slabs was full of huge fossils. Wish I could afford it!  Several of them had such strong abstract patterns they looked like paintings.

The chimney installer put in the sleeve for the wood stove on Wednesday.  He wasn't sure he would be able to cut the hole in the roof because of the rain, but it dried off enough to get the job done.  We couldn't move forward on the rest of the insulation or drywall until he was done. 

Wednesday night the drywall crew came in and hung the garage.  Those guys are all business.  They were done in a few hours and it looks great.  The tapers will come in later.

The stonemasons were back on Thursday and Friday.  They made good progress.  About half of the stone is on now and looks really nice.  It grounds the house - makes it look connected to the land - like it belongs there.  To be honest, I wasn't real crazy about it when they started, but I love it now.

Garage doors were installed Thursday, too.  Jeff put up more trim and siding.  Tyler and Adam brought the trash wagon out and hauled away all the scrap from the roof and a bunch of other trash.  It continues to amaze me how much packaging and debris is created in this process and there's just so much that you can recycle.  They also framed up the front steps on Thursday and they were poured on Friday.  The knee walls on either side will be covered with stone.

First coat of stain on the front door.
Thursday and Friday were absolutely gorgeous.  Sunny and in the 70's.  Everybody was in t-shirts instead of sweatshirts like earlier in the week.  The insulation contractor was back on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday.  The 2nd floor is insulated now.  They'll be back on Monday to work on the 1st floor and basement walkout.

Shiloh enjoying the porch.  He kept the insulation crew company.
On Friday, Chris and I decided to take advantage of the good weather to get rid of some of the wood construction debris.  We took our lawn chairs, sandwiches and a cooler out to the house on Friday afternoon, built a small fire and burned about half of the piles that had accumulated.  Steve came over to keep us company.  Our peace and quiet was interrupted when a delivery truck showed up full of drywall for the rest of the house.  

The sunset was amazing Friday.
I drove out early this morning to check on the progress of the drywall on the 2nd floor.  I got to the house about 8:30 and they were more than halfway done.  They will come back tomorrow evening after the insulation guy leaves.  The tapers should start work tomorrow also.
View from the studio to the guest room.  What a difference!
View from the guest room to the studio.

We just might make our deer season deadline. . .

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stonework begins

The week started with alot of activity at the house.  Dan the plumber came in to put the vent stacks through the roof.  Jeff continued to work on the soffits, trim and siding.  The roofing crew was back and the stonemason arrived Monday also. 

It was cold and rainy Tuesday.  Not much activity, except for Jeff working on the trim.  We drove to Troy and picked up our woodstove and then met the installer at the house to get it off the truck and into the house.  He'll come back after the roofers are done and put the flue in and another time after the drywall is up to set the stove and hook it up. 

Wednesday I picked up speaker wire and coaxial cable for the house.  On Thursday, Steve and I started putting in phone and speaker wiring and coax cable.  Steve worked for SW Bell as an installer until he retired.  We finished up on Saturday.

Friday we cleaned out the garage getting ready for the insulation contractor.  I met with Nate to talk about the construction of the front steps, the screens for the porch, gutters and downspouts (which will be brown:-)).

It was really windy Friday.  The roofers couldn't work on the second floor because of the wind.  One of their ladders blew off an almost took out one of the guys with it.  We also almost lost Jeff off the scaffolding with an unexpected gust of wind.

Jim painted the porch posts, the rest of the trim and started staining the windows and doors.   
Putting in the plumbing vent stacks.

Stonemasons got started this week.

Early morning in the bottoms.

Walking along the MIssouri river on a rainy day.

Fall colors along the river.

A clean garage (almost) - ready for insulation.

Jeff, Bill and Chris (left to right)

Jim started staining the windows this week.

Painted porch posts to match the soffit color.  Trim pieces will be adjusted later.