Monday, November 29, 2010

Move In Condition

We hit a major milestone last week when we got the final signoff from the building inspector and we celebrated by moving the boys into their new rooms over the long weekend. I can't tell if it's the simple fascination of it being new or if the boys are genuinely relieved to finally have their own space, but they have been spending lots of time in their new rooms already. Tim especially enjoys that we put a lock on their bedroom doors and that they are allowed to lock it with the understanding that mom and dad have a key and can come in whenever they need to.

So you may note that I still haven't called this project "Done". There's still a few minor things needed from the contractor and more than a few things that I need to do myself. Obviously none of it is holding us up from living in the new space, but we do need to get a couple of them resolved quickly. Hopefully this week will see those getting knocked off and then we'll be on our way. We're still planning to have an open house when it's actually done, but it may need to be after the holidays now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Every day we finish half

Think about any project and trying to finish half of what you have left every day. Mathematically, you'll never be done. That's sort of what I feel like right now. There is some good news in that we have 2 of the 3 final inspections complete. There were some minor issues on the third though that are just enough to throw in another delay in calling everything done and moving in. I fixed about 2.5 out of 4 things that needed to be addressed this weekend and hopefully the rest can be knocked off quickly. Oh so close, yet oh so far...

Once we get the mirrors up in the bathroom, the carpet runner on the stairs, and the shutters on the outside there'll be more pictures. We'll see if any of that happens this week.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Finished House

And you thought I wouldn't come through with some pictures. More to come... check back when you can.

(click photo to go to album)

A promise that will hopefully not be broken

Hi again to the few people checking in here. Last night I took a whole pile of pictures of each new room because the carpeting is starting today. I figured before and after of each would be fun... asusming I post them. I am going to try super hard to not work on the house tonight but get some of the pictures loaded instead. So in words (as usual), here's the most recent accomplishments:

- Plumbing = done. All the fixtures are in, and the couple things in the basement they broke along the way are fixed.

- Tiling = done. I finished the grout on the utility room floor last night.

- Gutters = done. Still waiting on the drain/drywell though.

- General cleanup upstairs = done. Carpeting is going in as I type so everything had to be emptied out. There will be a final cleaning before we move in.

- Master bedroom: on hold until we do upstairs move-in. Half of it is done except for the extra stuff that needs to be moved out. The other half has too much stuff lingering in it to do more work. Most of it is Sam's so it's waiting for upstairs.

I think that's about it. There's a laundry list of odds and ends too and hopefully I can start checking those off. Check back soon for pictures (hopefully).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time Flies When You're Not Sleeping

I bet a few of you are wondering if I just gave up and quit on this project huh? No... fortunately not. I'm just still in a mode of working so hard that I haven't stopped to smell the wet paint. Let's see... where do we stand:

- Staircase woodwork done, painting and polyurethane around stairs starts today
- Bathroom vanity and counter top in, fixtures sitting there waiting for install (bathroom floor tile was done a while ago, can't remember if I threw that in)
- Laundry room upstairs first coat of paint done
- New master bedroom closets have doors, the insides are painted, and the shelves and such were completed in those last night

Expected this week: Stairway completely done, final plumbing complete, laundry room paint complete, laundry tile floor started, master bedroom paint started. Yah, that sounds like a lot to me too. I might bag a day out of work to try and actually pull it off... we'll see.

I'll snap a few shots of the bathroom and master bedroom work as soon as I can. Better yet I'll make Elana do it :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

At least I have a fallback career

If I ever get fed up with corporate America I think I can still fall back on over- charging people for home improvement stuff that they're incapable of doing. And by incapable I typically mean afraid of because it turns out that 99% of handyman type of work is really not very hard in practice, but understanding what to do is so scary to many people that they just hire someone at $100 an hour. Either that or they only have 5 minutes available in their day to eat, sleep, and shower so they are forced to hire someone or it never gets done. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yah... me in the front yard with a big ass tile saw (really, I was talking about that).

The bathroom got tiled yesterday and the facebookers of the world even saw some rare photo evidence. Hopefully I can get the grout in tonight so then I'm not holding up the plumbers anymore. Dad starts the finish staircase today so we'll see how that goes.

And on the photo thing, I know it's become a running joke now, but typically when I upload photos to google from home, it takes an obnoxiously long time to even do a batch of 5 pictures. I either need to size them down or get a better computer or something, but regardless, it takes too much of the time I'm using to do the work. They will get posted eventually and if you're reading this you'll probably be invited to an open house thingy when we're done. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I was able to go home last night and use a light switch to get actual lights upstairs (well, in all but 2 rooms). No more LED headlamps and single-bulb lamps run off of a 75' extension cord. Yay.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I have an incredibly patient wife

Saturday we began phase 2 of the house project which involved combining two rooms from the first floor into a new master bedroom "suite". We didn't go overboard and tie it into the bathroom, but the doors to the bed and bathrooms are literally 3 feet apart so it isn't really necessary. Going into Friday night the rooms weren't even empty enough for us to think about cutting through a wall and framing in new closet space. By Saturday morning at about 8:30 a.m. we were cutting through the wall. We ran into some minor re-wiring issues which held us up, but we did manage to get everything framed and cleaned up by around dinner time. Still, we have slept in a construction zone with open framing the last two nights. Dad is hanging sheet rock today and the plasterer is coming tomorrow so we're working fast to get it back together. Paint will be held up a bit by the amount of stuff that's still in the rooms, but I'll find a way to work around it even if I'm painting one wall at a time.

Upstairs painting is nearly complete also. One more room to finish before the carpeters show up. No ETA on that yet, but I'm going to try and finish painting by tomorrow just to be sure.

Still no pictures downloaded... sorry folks. Just keeping up with the work has been bad enough. I'll get them all up eventually.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pro Painting Tip

Picked this one up from the real painters working on my house: Paint the hinge edge of a door the color of the outside space (hallway for instance) and paint the latch edge of the door the color of the inside space (bedroom for instance). That way when the door is open, you see the same color as whichever side you're standing on.

Oh, and always take the time to do good prep work... casings that appear seamless look so much better.

I'm down to just needing to paint the walls in 2 smallish rooms and 1 largish closet. My work on the ceilings, trim, and bathroom are done. Still no time to stop and take or load pictures... trust me it looks great :) I'll get some soon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

All work, no show

This weekend I traded off documenting the work status for contributing to the progress. I had signed up for some of the finish work to save some money and here we are at the finish work stages. So as not to be the gating factor on my own project, I figured I better get to work. Between the real painters and myself, here's where we stand:

Outside - 95% done (couple of touch-ups)
New bathroom - done except baseboards which won't be installed until after tile
Tim's room - 1 coat complete
Max's room - 1 coat plus edges of second coat complete
Sam's room - edging for first coat done
Doors - done, both sides
Trim in hallway - done
Ceilings - done
Spare rooms - trim first coat done

A lot of this is changing at this very second and I expect most of the pro work to be done today. I'll probably be up late tonight doing my part. Electrician should also be there now and we are likely to have lights up pretty much as soon as the paint is dry. Carpet and tile are selected and that order should go in today. We're really getting down to the bits and pieces... cross your fingers for us.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Color by numbers

I sort of did have to create a color-by-numbers map of the inside because we have multiple colors involved. In any case, the painters are hard at work and the exterior is very close to done. I'm pretty sure interior work was starting today. I have a couple of pics of the outside in progress and I should be able to get one tonight of it completed (I hope) and maybe some of the inside. There could still be a delay in loading/posting them. Things continue to come together quickly. Lots of details still to work out.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sneak Peek

Snapped a couple of quick shots tonight of the interior progress. Enjoy.

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

Please someone, knock on something

Things continue to go almost too well. All the interior doors are installed and all the window and door trim is complete. The plasterer is supposed to come back today to touch up anything that needs it and the painter is scheduled to start next week. The boys have picked out/been assigned their rooms and got to pick their own colors so they're excited. We still have a list of things to pick out and we're going to try to knock some of it off tonight. If I get lucky I'll have a few minutes to throw up a few interior pics with all the doors and trim done. If this continues, the boys will be trashing the new part of the house in no time.

Oh, and as a side note, all the feedback from the neighbors is great. Fortunately we didn't manage to piss off anyone by putting up some overwhelming monstrosity that they hated. Last step is to see if they approve of our color choices for outside :) Don't worry, we didn't do anything crazy so the odds of that are low.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just a few recent pics

The chaos of the house and life in general is keeping me from updating everyone on the house and life in general. Here's just a few recent shots to hold you over. I'll link to an entire album at some point.

Finish work starts this week. Doors and door/window casings are here and ready. Paint colors are being selected. The vanity was picked out today. Hopefully the momentum can continue.

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plaster Fun Time

The plasterers showed up today and made a mess. But a good mess like the kind of mess you have to make while doing something awesome. If they clean up when they finish tomorrow it will be even more awesome. I got pictures, but as has been the trend, they'll go up later. Things continue to go really well so knock on something for us...

Monday, August 30, 2010

I was lazy, the workers were not

Things got busy over the weekend and I only got a couple pictures which I never even downloaded from the camera. The insulation was completed on Friday and they started putting up the sheetrock. I figure that will be done today and there's a real chance of it being plastered this week. The siders also showed up Friday and finished the whole front of the house and around the corner to the chimney. For some odd reason our already big addition looked bigger once we got the siding on. I'd be surprised if those guys can also finish today, but maybe if things go really well they'll be close. We need to finalize our color selection for the exterior trim... ideally this would have been done before the siding went up, but the timing didn't work out that well so it will just be a little extra caution the painters need to use. Things continue to come together well and I started guessing at completion dates over the weekend, but I don't want to jinx it so I won't get too hung up on that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lots and lots of material for the next steps

Last night I got home to find my entire garage packed with boxes of vinyl siding and large portions of the upstairs packed with blue board. Apparently the boys got a show yesterday as they used the boom on the delivery truck to lift all the blue board up through the window to the second floor. Not sure if installation of either is going to start today so we'll have to wait and see when I get home.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More recent progress

The set below mostly summarizes the past two weeks of progress. The siding would have been started if it weren't for us being away and not being able to verify the color for them to go buy it. There's already talk of siding, insulation, and sheetrock for this week so that could be exciting. Photo journaling will continue this week as time allows. Worst case I'll catch up again next weekend.

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All sorts of surprises

We just got back from a week away and found that all sorts of good stuff happened while we were gone. The windows are in, the door is in, the rough plumbing is done, the shower is in, the rough electrical is largely done, the heating system is roughed in, and some additional outside trim is in. I'll have time tomorrow to get pictures and stuff so tune in then for more details.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This week in house construction

New progress Friday was that the vast majority of the rough plumbing was done, the old siding was stripped off, the front steps got moved to the new location, and some other odds and ends were tied off. Photos are in reverse chronological order again so start at the bottom if you want to see the progression.

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

From Busting at the Seams

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stairway to Heaven

Ok, so it's just the stairway to upstairs, but I had to do something with the post titles. Yes, as of last night we can now walk (carefully) up the new staircase to the quickly developing upstairs. Of course this takes a little bit of gymnastics because the front door has been moved and is now just hanging out in space until the front stairs are moved to line up with it. 95% of the upstairs framing is done so you can now see the sizes of the rooms and the general alignment of everything. There's a little more to do in and around the bathroom to support the utilities, but that will come together quickly. They may be able to finish off all the rough framing today and then next week looks like it will be rough wiring and plumbing. One of these days there's also going to be a truck load of windows that show up.

The photo gallery will develop tonight and tomorrow when I'll finally have a little time. Week 1 of football for the boys this week really killed any spare time I didn't really have to start with.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 8

I either need to start coming up with more clever titles or by the end of this it's going to turn into the video journals from Avatar... "Day... aw hell, I don't even know... the days just blend together..."

Anyways... it's seeming like once a week picture posting is going to be the way to go and there'll be a gap in charting progress next week while we're on vacation. I had pictures last night, but we were computerless until about 10 p.m. and then I lost motivation. Yesterday I came home to a false wall splitting my dining room in half to establish the construction zone and the liveable zone. Of course that only helps so much when cutting in the stairway involves ripping the ceiling out of the basement staircase in the liveable zone. I peeked upstairs and the majority of the interior framing is done. The opening for the staircase and balcony are in and the inside of the front wall was torn apart. The new door is in the garage and I think they're going to town with re-framing that area today. Being away for a week is going to be stressful, but they've been good about calling me as needed. It will also be fun to come back and see what's happened.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 7

The pictures got taken, but I ended up being computerless as a side-effect of moving stuff around to make way for construction. Yesterday the chimney got extended (couldn't believe he did it in one day), the roof got shingled, the old roofs from previous additions that tie into the new part got re-flashed and patched up, and the floor plan for upstairs got marked out and the first pieces of the interior walls laid in place. Things continue to come together well... let's see what surprises today holds.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 6

I missed the photo op because I got home late and left early, but all the exterior trim was done, there was staging set up around the chimney, there was lots and lots of masonry stuff in my driveway, and I think some inside walls got framed, but I didn't climb up there. Pictures tonight of where things stand.

Tomorrow things get interesting because they will punch through into the first floor. Then things get messy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 1

I've been taking pictures of the house construction daily, but fell behind instantly with posting them. To catch everyone up, here's a view of week one. Pictures run in reverse order from newest to oldest:

End of week 1, mostly closed up and looking like a house again:

Interior still to be framed:
The new view from up top:
End of Day 4... exterior walls went up in one day and they even started late due to rain:
Soon to be my new roof:
End of Day 3. Deck down and there's some walls hiding under there. Rain expected overnight:

End of Day 2. Most of joists down and the electrical cleanup done:

End of Day 1. This stuff...
Used to be up there:

Day 0... Our little shack waits quietly for the men with power tools:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pray for VERY widely scattered

The forecast for early tomorrow is scattered rain. I currently have a house with very little between me and the sky than a layer of plaster (although if today went well I may have plywood too). Regardless, rain is currently my enemy.

I'm taking daily photos of the construction process. Check back soon for the first few days and follow along from there.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Seams Have Busted

You know what they say: go big or go home. But wait, what if you're already home? Anywho... still a bit more planning to do, but it's time to raise the roof: