Sunday 10/23 – Painting

I’m typing with Ultra Pure White paint on my fingers. I know it will all wash/rub off, but I just haven’t quite gotten around to doing that yet. I asked Chris for one of his older shirts and that’s a little bit paint-y too. It feels good to see things with a coat of paint, though!

We have a coat of “ceiling white” on all the new ceilings – dining room, family room, and sewing room. This is just in time; the electricians come for the final time tomorrow and it’s nice to have the ceilings done before they put the last pieces of the light fixtures in.

Steve was, of course, paint boss, instructor, and master painter. He did the entire ceiling of the back room (12′ X 50′, sloped); Chris did the sewing room ceiling. Thomas and I did some painting where the brush was needed.

Mom sanded the windows in the family room and dining room; Thomas and I did some as well, particularly the higher parts. Three of the four double windows in the back section now have their first coat of primer/paint; they were pre-primed so they already look pretty good, but of course another coat will be needed. We will keep working on windows — maybe by next weekend all the windows in that section will have at least their first coat.

Now we need to clear both new areas — the hardwood floors will be going in tomorrow and nothing can be in the way!

A new approach, plus painting (October 22)

A new approach — I’m obviously not doing well at getting a detailed blog post up with pictures every day. The sticking point is the pictures — unloading, selecting, fixing if needed, and getting them into the right place/format to get them into the blog takes way too much time! I still intend to catch up at some point, but I think to keep things going I need to not worry about sticking to the current format and at least writing a bit every day about the progress. The pictures will be here when they’re here.

So much of this project is done. In the new areas, everything is wired and just waiting for the electrician’s final work on Monday. All the windows are in (the final two we were waiting on were installed Friday) and most windows have trim. The septic pipes no longer go through the new basement, but around the edges. We have blueboard and plaster. The hardwood flooring has arrived and will be installed this week. One built-in is being worked on and we’ve almost nailed down the design for the other two. Everything looks really good. It’s amazing to see pictures from 8/22 when they started; we’ve come so far.

Yesterday, 10/22, was our first day of painting. My brother Steve and nephew Campbell came. Way back when we were planning this, Steve said not to have the builders paint. He would come, teach us all to paint, and help get it done. And now we’re at that point in the project!

We had sanded the ceiling before he came. By day’s end, the ceilings were primed! Also, the nail holes in the pre-primed window trim had been filled with wood filler, most of the excess wood filler had been scraped off, and some of the window trim had been sanded. Steve will be back today, and my mother is coming as well, for more work. I’ll report at the end of the day what we’ve done.

One of my focuses lately has been trying to choose colors for the rooms. Ceilings are easy; they’re “ceiling white.” For the trim in the new section, we’re going with “Ultra Pure White.” All the paint except the ceiling paint will be Behr’s Ultra paint & prime in one in the hopes that we can get away with just two coats rather than a priming coat and probably two coats of color anyway. All of the old window trim is an off white that we had matched.

My sewing room is going to be a little funky. I’m the only one who has to like it, so I’m going to have fun with it. For the walls, I’ve chosen “Celtic Gray” which really is a dusty green/blue color.

Behr™ 490E-3 Celtic Gray

For the trim, I’m choosing between “Stained Glass” and “Corsican Purple.” Yep, purple trim.

When it comes to the family room, I’m a little bit like Myrna Loy (Mrs. Blandings) in this scene from Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House. I want it to be yellow, bright and sunshiny and the color of butter. I’ve held up a stick of butter to my samples. I think the most likely winner for the family room is “Whisper Yellow.”

The kitchen wallpaper will eventually be stripped and the wall will be painted a deeper yellow. So far, “Spiced Butternut” is the front-runner.

The dining room is going to be blue, but every blue I’ve brought home in sample size so far has been a disaster. Now I have almost every blue sample card the store has for Behr and I have to rethink it all and find something, hopefully by next weekend.

And now I need to be off — more painting to do today, and Steve has just arrived! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but hopefully a picture-free blog post is better than no blog post at all.

Another Sneak Peek

Apologies for not getting the day-to-day updates in here. At the moment, my big push (beyond ferrying the kids places and doing whatever needs to be done for the house project) is working on a quilt that’s due on 10/14.

But I thought I’d stop in and give you a few interior pictures. Following is a picture of the back area from what will be some added-on family room space looking toward the dining room at the end. This was when the bay window was still there; it’s gone now with a plastic wall in the same place, but my pictures aren’t in the right place to show you. Someone in a hazmat suit is actually doing the insulation even as I type, and the wiring and housing for the electrical plugs and lights is done as well the plumbing for the baseboard heating.

Day 19, DR at end

From the dining room end looking down at the family room add-on. The end there will have some built-ins; I met with the designer this morning to discuss those. It’s exciting to be able to design all this rather than just making do with whatever came with the house. Again, that bay window is out of there now and a lot more has been done with this space.

Following are a few pictures of the sewing room. It’s not a huge room (the exterior is10′ X 15′) but for a dedicated sewing room it’s huge and I think the tall ceiling makes it seem more spacious. This room has changed now also; the door has been cut through, it’s wired for plugs and lighting, and we no longer have a pipe in that space!

Day 18 Sewing Room, looking at front window

Day 18 Sewing Room, side of house

I do intend to go back and systematically detail the project day by day, but until that happens, the occasional sneak peek will have to do! Life is a bit crazy here but we’re thrilled at how quickly things are moving along. The builders are estimating they’ll be done around the first week of November. Even if it takes a bit longer than that, we only started on August 22, so it’s going very well.

Sneak Peek

I last updated on Day 9 and we’ve now finished Day 19 — crazy! My sister-in-law has a blog she’s updated every day for 2 – 3 years  — how does she do that? By forgoing sleep, maybe?

Anyway, I’ve selected the possible pictures for all those days and made any changes to them needed. I will get to the updates day by day as soon as I can. In the meantime, a few peeks at how the house looked at the end of Day 19:

Day 19 - Back left - yep, the roof is done.

Day 19 - Front right - new sewing room above, dining room in back

Day 19 - Back right.

Can you believe it? Believe it.

Day 9, 9/9 – Sun and the “Deck”

Fitting boards over the metal posts

After a holiday (Labor Day) and three days of rain, we finally had a decent day. It took a while for the sun to come out, but there wasn’t a drop of rain! Our workers made up for lost time – I think we had six of them and boy, did they get a lot done.

They started out with strings again, which seemed to have something to do with getting things straight. They put a strip of foam down on the concrete and put a board over that. They drilled holes in the board so it fit right onto the metal poles sticking up from the concrete.

See the marks where the joists will fit?

Then another board was attached, lying on its edge. I think that would be a girder, although I’m not that sure about the terminology. Then joists were laid between that board and the house. Each board was carefully placed and sometimes had to have a bit more shaved off to fit just right. Once all the joists were laid and nailed, they added short boards between the joists (bridging, I think), staggered in placement.

They were meticulous in placing the joists

They put 4′ X 8′ sheets of AdvanTech flooring down and fit them just right. They also glued the flooring to the joists. We should have a nice quiet floor. Hardwood will go over all of this eventually.

They left the bay window as is for now so our family room isn’t disrupted yet. The deck is fitted right around the bottom of the bay window. At some point they’ll build a temporary wall in the family room so they can take off the window and work on a new beam overhead to support the slightly changed opening.

This bay window juts out of the current family room

It’s much easier now to envision how the new area will look, now that we have a basic floor in place. It was a real thrill to go out on the “deck” and imagine the dining room and then turn around and imagine the extended family room. And how amazing a transformation in just nine days of work!

Dining room at the end, extended family room in the foreground

You can see the bridging from underneath. This is the new garage bay

Here's my arty shot - my brother the artist has nothing to fear

Looking at a side view of the exterior, it looks like there are two layers on the metal rods

Interlude, 9/7 – More Rain, a Little Work, and Different Machines

Today brought more rain so I didn’t expect to see any workers, but they showed up a bit later than usual and tried to get a bit done in the rain. I’m not sure exactly what they did, although I saw string being held along the top of the basement walls. The next thing they’re planning to do is put on the “deck,” i.e. the floor of the 1st floor and then frame the 1st floor addition, so I imagine the string had something to do with that.

The other thing they did was cover most of the lumber, so I guess there was some  amount of concern about the lumber getting too wet. Our workers didn’t stick around for too long, but I could tell they’d love to have some nice weather so they can get the addition framed in.

Sometime in the afternoon, Ronnie our backhoe driver showed up, which I found very peculiar – what in the world was he going to be able to do? He extricated the backhoe from its place in the backyard – a dumpster on one side, lumber on another, and just a thin path between a dogwood tree and a pile of discarded rotted deck that my brother helped Chris pull off last year. The pile of junk got a bit crushed and the grass looked worse than usual, but he got it out of there without harming the dogwood.

Our new machines, parked next to the roof shingles.

And what came to our house instead? A couple of other machines. Kathryn thinks the little aqua and purplish one is cute; Scott thinks its colors are very funny.

I think these will be used for the more delicate work of digging the French drains at the front of the house. There isn’t be a lot of room to maneuver past the single-story section of the house and into the front yard.

Interlude, 9/6 – Rain and a Delivery

Today brought rain so we knew our contractors wouldn’t be here. In the afternoon, however, there was a delivery of lumber and nails. The nails were in boxes on a pallet and covered with plastic, but the lumber was bare, which I wasn’t sure was too great. However, while I could perhaps find a tarp or two, I definitely wouldn’t be able to find enough to cover all that lumber! So there it sat.

Lumber and nail delivery for the first floor addition

The roof shingles have been sitting for months on a pallet on the driveway covered in plastic, but even if they weren’t, roof shingles can handle rain. That’s what they’re designed for, after all. But hopefully the guy delivering the lumber knew what he was doing!