Friday, November 19, 2010

Living here

Wow!  Can you believe it has been about 6 - 7 weeks that we have been living here, and over 4 weeks since I last posted to this blog?

We have settled into "regular life" - which means that work on the house has slowed to a crawl.  It is amazing how much longer it takes to get things done once you are actually occupying the house...

I had been holding off on posting because I wanted to show some completed projects, but as I said, progress has been slow.

But anyway, so here is what we have been up to...

Basement stairs

After watching Tom finish the main stairs stairs, and getting some pointers from him, Dean decided to tackle finishing the basement stairs himself.

Preparing the skirt board

Putting in the risers

The finish treads went in, and we used a small tree harvested from the land as the hand rail.  Later, I plan to sand and put a polyurethane finish on this rail.

I cannot resist commenting that it was MY idea to save some of those small trees back when we were clearing the land thinking they might be used for some crafty purpose!  Someone thought I was crazy for doing this...  I have also set aside a couple of birch trees that I plan to fashion into a towel rack for the downstairs bathroom - stay tuned - but don't hold your breath!

Baseboard Heat Registers

Some of you had expressed interest in our baseboard heat enclosures.  So here is a progression of the process.

You might remember that we screwed these wood blocks to the wall below and above the heat register.

Next, a piece of pre-primed trim board is attached to form the top of the enclosure.

Then we attach the front piece.  We are using 1/4 inch Luann plywood for this.  This is nailed to the blocks leaving a space above and below for the heat to circulate. 

Here I am sanding the edges on the plywood before priming.

And here it is installed.

Now all it needs is some finish paint!

Little things

We continue to plug away on unpacking boxes and being "surprised" at finding our stuff. 

One little surprise was the pencil sharpener - a very handy and often under-appreciated  (until you don't have one) little worker bee.

Ahhh - nothing like sharp pencils...

The impending winter has been guiding most of our projects lately, so...

Building a wood crib

Remember the sections of metal staging that we were gifted with that we were not able to use due to missing cross bars?  Well we have re-purposed them to build a "crib" in which to corral firewood.

Some wood pallets make up the bottom - to keep the wood off the ground...

Dean in his crib, yo!

We now have a designated place for piling firewood!

Speaking of firewood

We got some great help with splitting wood from Owen and Drew

Getting the woodstove in

We kept the woodstove that we had in our Townsend house.  It has been sitting in the basement for months waiting to be put in, but first we have to complete the hearth.

When we were putting in the hardwood floor, we had already laid out the area for the hearth.  The plan is for the tile to be flush with the surrounding wood floor.

The area for the hearth is prepped for the cement backer board.

Dean mixes the cement mastick, and spreads it on the sub floor.

Securing the backer board with screws.

Here is the last section to go in...

Then taping and sealing the joints.

And here is the first section of tile in place.  We are using honed granite tiles.

And here is the hearth with all of the tile in place.

Dean picked up the grout today.   Here he is reading the instructions.

Little Miss P supervises.

It is recommended that you use a sealer on natural stone - but the stuff is poisonous - so we are thinking about not using it.  The main purpose of the sealer is to prevent staining from anything spilled on the stone. 

Moving rocks

Remember the mounting system we put up to secure our Verizon cable?

This is at the edge of the driveway, and we are thinking about how vulnerable it is to getting crushed by snowbanks when we start plowing, so we had this idea to move a couple of big rocks in front to protect it...

So here we go.

And there you have it!

Since we had the backhoe running, we decided to tackle another rock moving project.

Our excavator guy was supposed to be back in August to complete the site work - but he got busy with a few other jobs, and so now we won't be seeing him until spring.  One of the things we had been holding off doing until the site work and final grading was done, was building stairs at the house's main entrance.

We have been living with this temporary, and slightly teetery wood stair.  It has served us well, but we thought something sturdier would be better for when the snow flies.

So we set out to put in a set of temporary stone steps...

First, we removed the step, and added some fill dirt.

Here is the first stone being put into place.

And here are the finished steps.  Kind of hack, but they will do for the winter...

Let's see how they work!

Yup!  This will work for now!

Buttoning up the exterior

Can you believe we are still shingling?  BELIEVE IT!

Most of the house is done, but both of the dormers are still naked.  Dean has started work on the North side.

And here, Dean is working on enclosing the soffits with bead board.

That's it for now.  Let's hope my next post includes a photo of a cozy fire in the woodstove.