Sunday, December 14, 2014

House 4 - Week of Resumption of Blog Posts

What? Did you think I'd abandoned my blogging duties? Not true! The work had to be put on hold for a few months while the Mr. had a mechanical fault of his person attended to. Now he is back in action and things are, once again, moving along.

Since it's been, like, forever, since my last post, I will add a few "when last we checked" photos to help you get an idea of the progress.

The most striking improvement is that all the walls are up and plastered and the tiling is finished.

The shower stall in the small bathroom before....

And today!

Gerry (still no crack), the plumber, was getting ready to install the fixtures in the bathrooms.

Notice trim around the windows and above the baseboard heat. Lots of cut, measure, apply activities.

The interior doors are all hung and trimmed out.

The full bath is tiled, trimmed out, and painted. All that's left to do is install appliances and we can close the door on that room. 

Rugged tile floor in the entryway and also a strip of heating to warm your toes on when coming in from the great outdoors.

Sometimes there are mysterious markings on the walls which serve as coded communication between the Mr. and others on the job. I don't ask.

Poor Gerry No Crack has been itching to add a kick heater to every kitchen so far. He finally got his wish. Given the fact that this kitchen is larger than in the other houses, combined with no place to run baseboard, a little foot warmer for under the sink seemed appropriate.

As for the rest of the kitchen, the cabinet work is underway in the Mr.'s barn, but some of them have already been completed and await installation.

Remember the icky three season porch? Like yuck, am I right?

Yuck no more! All clean and sparkly with a waterproof vinyl finish and new screens.

There was some debate regarding the basketball sized part of the yard that had been paved over by the previous owner. I wanted to leave it, the realtor wanted to leave it, the Mr. said "no."

It did cost a few unexpected dollars to rip it up and remove it. I'm not sure anybody will pay those extra dollars to avoid having a paved back yard, but now that I see it with happy green grass I think that it was the right decision. 

Just a reminder of the early status of the front of the house....

And the cheerful facade it now presents...

Back yard flamingos still keeping watch.

So now you're all up to date, OK? It's actually pretty darn close to completion. Flooring, paint, kitchen cabinets, final plumbing and electric, and a little this and that and we're good to go. The holidays might cause some missed days, but overall, the end is in sight.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

House 4, Week 25 - we have interior walls

While the Mr. builds kitchen cabinets in the barn, James Himself has been on the job hanging board and applying skim coat. At last, the bathroom now affords a bit of privacy as it is no longer open to the hallway.

See what I mean? Nicely done on the window, too. All ready to be trimmed out.

The family room also now enjoys a bit more privacy as the wall to the garage is all buttoned up.

The kitchen is starting to take shape. A cupboard for stackable washer / dryer combo and a handy pantry area.

Finally, a cozy little cubby for the boiler.

Once James Himself clears out, it will be time to hang the moldings. These ranch houses did not originally have any moldings, but they provide a nice finish that adds to the "Oh, wow, I so want to buy this house" factor.

Outside, Jimmy and the boys did a great job cleaning things up. A band of gravel around the foundation will absorb rainwater and snow melt.

Wee little tufts of baby grass on the former basketball court. At this stage, it is what it is and we will likely leave application of more seed as an exercise for the buyer.

Sweet gravel patio outside the porch and garage doors to absorb water and lower the likelihood of tracking in mud. 

Finally, some survivors of the big flamingo massacre standing watch over the lawn.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

House 4, Week 22 - We're Back in Action

Oops! Did you think we gave up? Nope. Circumstances have conspired to slow work down, but everything is back on track, so let's see where we're at.

Since it's been a while, here's a reminder before photo of the front of the house.

Now the siding is all sparkling and new, brand new windows, and a lot of the shrubs and whatnot removed from around the house (oh, yes, we also got rid of the snow).

Look at the happy front entry. Nice protected area to fuss with your keys and still stay out of the rain.

Big changes around back too. Note the original siding and spooky abandoned playground equipment.

Ta da! The porch looks lovely. 

Due to the configuration of the roof, the ground just outside the porch and garage doors becomes a mud pit when it rains. The Mr. framed in an area to dig out and fill with gravel to keep things nice and dry.

Jimmy and the boys are hard at work moving big piles of dirt and gravel to their new locations. 

Hey! Break time's over, you still have a lot of dirt to move!

The Mr. had to take a tree down because it was icky and hung precariously over the next door neighbor's property. Cutting it up is Jimmy's job. Always love a house where the back part of the property is wooded. Perfect place to dispose of brush and whatnot.

Remember the grossly energy inefficient wall of glass in the living room?

Not anymore! This windows are so snug they have stars on them.

James Himself will be scheduled to arrive soon to board and plaster. That will take care of the all the inappropriate access points between rooms.

Here's a clever piece of work. The Mr. is constructing a sub floor for the shower stall that is gently angled towards the drain. When the tile goes down, it will look level, but there won't be any puddles of standing water. Sweet.

Finally, the new windows in the garage. Because I think they are totally adorable.

Monday, May 26, 2014

House 4, Week 14 - Siding, Siding, Siding

As with so many things in home improvements, jobs done well look easy. 

People will only notice if you screw up and typically have no idea what goes in to making something look right.

With that in mind, let's join the Mr. on his adventures in siding.

The first part is putting up the fascia (I only remember that term because it's the part of the stuff near the roof that "faces ya").

Given the wiggly roof line, just attaching the fascia to the edge isn't going to work if your goal is to have a nice, level look. So a painstaking journey around the house, measuring, cutting, nailing, putting up, taking down, so that the bottom of the fascia is straight and level (the jiggy jaggy top will be made to vanish as well).

Then there is the soffit. That's the horizontal part between the wall of the house and the edge of the roof. Also an adventure in making crooked look straight.

I found the Mr. in the garage, working with the brake. This tool is used to both bend and cut aluminum siding. See? You stick a piece in like this.

And then you bend it like that.

Sometimes there are measuring activities (don't worry, the Mr. doesn't really have a yellow head, I just forgot to balance the colors in the photo).

Then more bending (or possibly cutting).

Tape measure action shot!

Let's have a look at the front of the house. Very, very tricky endeavor with the siding. It has to look "wow" perfect, but there are all sorts of bends and twists and whatnot. 

Here you can see the fascia is up, the soffit is progressing (visible on the right) and the doorway is framed out. Just ignore the wooden posts. They are temporary.

Oh! It's white! What a surprise!

Look at how neat and pretty the completed part of the front is (and don't think it was easy for the Mr. to wrestle himself behind that bush to work on the siding - I think he spent two days wedging in and out of that space).

The Mr. also took a rainy day to put the required post in front of the boiler in the garage. Just in case, you know, somebody forgets to put the car in reverse before gunning the engine.

Lilies! Possibly blue or purple. They are headed to our estate to join the other lilies adopted from previous project houses.

Finally, dumpster check.

Oh, and a reminder that people have to actually pay to dump stuff. Apparently somebody thought our dumpster was an invitation to do their spring cleaning. Happens every time.