Saturday, October 27, 2012

We're getting close - and very busy!

This has been one of the busiest weeks since framing almost six months ago. On Monday Paul the cabinet maker began moving our kitchen cabinets from his workshop to our new kitchen.

At this point, he has put only the lower cabinets in place, so that the granite countertop folks can make a template for the countertops, which will be installed next week. Here you can see the sink cabinet in front of the double window and the dishwasher space to its right. The gap in the island is for the range, and in the background are some of the upper cabinets and the refrigerator. Below is the view in the opposite direction.

The doorway beyond the island leads to the dining room. The refrigerator will go in the big cabinet on the right, and the one on the left will contain the microwave above and drawers below. Upper cabinets will be installed above these units and to the left and right.

In the dining room appliances are waiting to be installed in the kitchen and laundry room.

Other things were also happening. On Monday the painters were back to pain the inside of the garage. On Monday and Tuesday our security and satellite TV provider, Allan's Electronics, installed the monitored security system, which is now in operation.

On Wednesday we moved in our first pieces of furniture, a large sofa and a small pie safe. The sofa will go on this side of the room divider behind the pie safe, which will move into the dining room. The other pieces moved in were two large bookcases, which cover one wall of my office. Under the window below are 16 adjustable shelves for the bookcases.

Also in mid week, carpet was installed in four rooms, including the master bedroom.

Finally, on the outside workers were busy making and installing gutters. Here they are making a long gutter to be installed across the front of the porch.

Yesterday, Friday, we met with our landscaper to see and discuss his proposed layouts and plant selections, which he and we will continue to refine next week. Also next week countertops and appliances will be installed and hooked up. We hope soon to get at least a conditional Certificate of Occupancy and begin some serious moving in. It's still been less than six months since framing began, though it seems longer. Now, however - to coin a phrase - I think I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Take care.  --oc

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kitchen cabinets finally on the way

This past week we got vinyl floor covering installed in the master and guest bathrooms, but the real story is the staining and finishing of the kitchen cabinets. Below is a shot of the new vinyl in the master bathroom.

The vanity, with sinks and medicine cabinets will go on the left wall; the tub/shower unit, on the right. I showed the guest bathroom base cabinet and medicine cabinet in the last blog.

The main feature of this week's blog is the finishing of the kitchen cabinets, a process that is going on in Paul Pringle's workshop. Here Paul and Manita are looking over the stained doors and drawer fronts, while various cabinets are stacked all over the workshop and outside. Below is a picture of the cabinet doors outside and inside in the sun. In the upper right of the picture below right is a cabinet with three drawers showing. They will later have finished front panels attached to them (see below). To the left of that cabinet is a large one that will surround the refrigerator.

The flash brings out the warmer colors above, while the lack of flash in the next picture of the same scene reveals cooler, darker tones. Both pictures show off the grain of the red and white oak.

These panels and the pieces in the other pictures below have all received two coats of clear finish in addition to the stain. The picture below shows off more of the grain and a knot in one of the panels that will be fastened to the front of drawers like those shown above.

Finally, the pictures below show off the oak grain in more door panels and on the fronts of three special drawers that will run diagonally into the northwest corner of the kitchen. Notice in the right picture how Paul has pieced the two parts of the drawer fronts together with matching grain.

On Monday, Paul will start assembling cabinets, moving them over to our new house, and installing them in the kitchen. By Wednesday he hopes to have at least the base cabinets together, so that the granite people can measure for countertops to cover the cabinets and the island in the middle of the room. By Halloween we hope that all the cabinets and the countertops will be installed and appliances ready to use, because we are due to move in shortly after that.

Before that can happen, however, we also need to get the remaining lights installed, along with the garage door and all plumbing fixtures, and get the remaining painting done. We must also tie up loose ends that are too numerous to mention. We will probably move in with many things yet to be done, but maybe by Thanksgiving we'll be basically moved into our new house. We'll let you know.  --oc

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stone work and outside painting finished - for now

Last week I was a little frustrated about not being able to report anything finished in our home rebuilding. So I focused on the ongoing painting process, especially outside, and the stone work just begun on the posts holding up the porch. But when the stone ran out (as they knew it would), they had to wait for more to arrive, which happened yesterday, enabling the masons to finish the stone veneer on the posts. In the middle of the week, also, the painters finished the outside painting, but will have more painting later.

In the meantime the electricians have started installing light fixtures this week, as seen here in the master bedroom (left) and the guest bedroom. You can also see five of the new kitchen and laundry room appliances, but the refrigerator was to big and had to be left in the kitchen.

We have also put this model fan in the guest bedroom (below) and plan to put it in the loft.

We are finally beginning to make some progress on the first-floor bathrooms.

This week George, our builder, installed the base cabinet and a medicine cabinet with a three-view mirror in the guest bathroom. Note on the left the reflection of the flash from the mirrors.

This picture shows some of the work yet to be done. Next Thursday vinyl will be laid on the floor. The base cabinet will eventually get a counter top and faucets, and a toilet will be installed to the right of the cabinet. Then wallpaper will soon cover the walls, as well as electrical switch plates.

The master bathroom will take a little longer. It will also get a vinyl floor next week, but unlike the cabinets here, the master bath vanity and medicine cabinet will be custom built by our neighbor Paul. First, he has to install the kitchen cabinets - hopefully by the end of next week - and then built the much larger vanity (7' vs. 31") and the cabinet that will surround two three-view mirror units.

Finally, we come to the prettiest new addition, a clear finish for the oak floor of the living-dining area. What you see is only the first coat; there will be two more.

The view on the left is looking north toward the dining room and the front yard. The picture on the right is a view toward the back or south side of the house and the deck, with the room divider featured pro-minently and color-fully. The view below is toward the west end of the house and shows the stove and tiled hearth.

Next week we hope that John, our floor man, will finish finishing the oak floor and grouting the tile downstairs and in the kitchen, so that the cabinets can be installed and measured for counter tops. We also hope to finish installing electrical fixtures and start installing plumbing fixtures. Getting everything done by the end of October now looks rather doubtful, but I still hope we can get our certificate of occupancy by then and officially move in, even if not all the work is completed.

Special note: I just discovered that my post of September 29 was still in draft form, which probably means that it was never published. So, take a look two posts back at "Porch and deck finished"!

Take care, and have a good week!  --oc

Saturday, October 6, 2012

More stone work and more outside painting

Last weekend we got some much needed rain - 2.5 inches worth. Our painters spent a rainy Monday on the front porch, sheltered from the rain, doing final preparations for outside painting and beginning to paint under the protection of the roof. By the end of the week we could get a good idea of the finished product, with the light gray door and board and batten siding offset by the darker gray trim.

A second picture from the yard shows the overall effect and also finishing touches provided by stonework added to posts supporting the porch. The picture on the right gives a closer and better lit view of the stone. You can even see -  albeit dimly - the small piece of stone column between the steps and the lattice.

The view from the right end of the porch shows a stone column and access to the space under the porch, which may be put to use for storage of some things or - occasionally and temporarily - of dogs.

Although nothing was completed this past week, considerable progress was made not only in painting, but also in carpentry, installation of face plates on switches and receptacles, and in making choices on everything from electrical and plumbing fixtures to grout color for tile areas. In the coming week we expect most of the electrical fixtures to be installed.

We're still waiting for our Paul, our cabinet maker, to finish the kitchen cabinets and build a vanity for the master bathroom, but we've decided to go with a prebuilt cabinet and mirror unit in the guest bathroom. The vanity in the basement survived the fire and has already been installed.

Finally, you see a picture of our almost new Chevy Cruze (over 10,000 miles already!), waiting for the garage to be finished and to get a door and refinished floor. Hopefully, that will happen soon.

In the meantime, take care and have a good week.  --oc