Thursday, February 25, 2010

floors, trim, gas cook top working

Sometimes sanding is not enough and a stripper has to be used.  This means someone has to go to the basement and move cardboard into position to catch any drips of the stripper.  Floors may look like they are tight but after 90 years, it isn't so.  The end result to the right here has much character and will look warm and cozy when finished with polyurethane.

The gas cook top hookup had to be completed to show the plumbing inspector who didn't come because of the snow that is falling.   Nice to know it works though.  More of the trim around the baseboards and windows is going in too.   Unfortunately, it doesn't photograph really well even with the limited sunshine outside.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

started floor sanding today

Nothing to see.  Amazing how the little the house vibrates with the big sander.  The best part is no mess, all the dust is vacuumed up by the sander itself.  They are using a belt sander to do the sides, corners, around floor vents, and in closets.  This means they are down on the floor slowly moving a belt sander with a dust bag attachment back and back and back and forth.

Electrician was here also doing little tasks to make sure we pass the electrical inspection tomorrow.  The plumbing final should happen tomorrow too, barring the snow that is forecast for here once again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No photos but lots of little bits of progress

  1. Bamboo hardware floor in living room is now complete
  2. Dishwasher water line kink fixed, disherwasher tested successfully
  3. Washer and dryer install completed, washer tested successfully
  4. Electrical for light/fan on breezeway moved to switch, sensored breezeway light installed without switch
  5. More progress on cooktop downdraft - fabricating the inside part to hook up to the outside blower (by putting blower outside, sound level in kitchen much reduced)
  6. Bench over attic plastic ducting built
  7. More window/baseboard trim was stained for installation
  8. Vent covers and thermostats installed
 Unfortunately, the cooling part of the thermostats could not be hooked up because the air conditioning units have not been charged yet due to weather.  Also, thermostats were not programmable as I expected so heating/cooling contractor looking into whether contract called for them or not.

Friday, February 19, 2010

plumbing ready for Monday's inspection

The handheld portion of the shower went in today, so theorectically, I could take a shower.  I will wait until there the glass doors are up though.

This is a goose neck pull out Delta faucet in the wrong finish.  It is chrome and will be replaced with stainless later.  The faucet has a unique feature, you can turn it off and on with a touch.   The plumber kindly installed it so the sink is usable until the stainless one comes in.  The chrome is so shiny that what appear as water droplets are actually reflections of the overhead lights.

wood grille marks entrance to old part of house

This wooden grille was part of the original house.  When the house was built in 1920 it had one large single register that heated the entire house.  The grille functioned to allow heat to flow from one area to another that was closed off by large, heavy door.  I asked the architect to designate a spot where it could be re-installed as I intended to salvage the piece and here it is.  You walk under it from the kitchen, which is part old and part new, into a hall that leads to the bedrooms and back bath.  As one of the workmen said, the grille adds character to what is a modern kitchen and I agree.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

pedastal sink and trash to usable doors

Pedastal sink installed in back bathroom.  Not too large but still has a nice edge for setting items on.  I will have to find a piece of furniture for the corner for storing toiletries and bathroom extras as there is a window right above the sink.

So, there was a door from the original house that had been stored in the dirty and yucky store room in the basement that housed the oil tank and had been the coal bin.  It was damaged on one edge and seemed destined for the dumpster.  However, there was a little space in the hall below the stairs to the attic that was a candidate as a closet for storing bulky items such as paper products. Voila, pieces were cut from the damaged door to make doors to that little storage space.   Looks like expensive cabinet doors to me.  I have door knobs to attach that will match the door knobs for the kitchen cabinets but the finish is pewter rather than oiled bronze.

trim going up various places

Photo is too dark but you can see detail above sliding glass door.  The effort is to match what was in the original house.

There is the same trim style in the back bathroom but being white, it looks very different.

Here you see it in the closet, same style but stained dark to match original chestnut as closely as possible.  And, the flooring is natural cork not particle board even though the photo gives that impression.

Spot the iphone taking the photo.  I am running out of cash (who doesn't on a home improvement project) and went with very inexpensive medicine cabinets from Lowe's at lot less quality than the vanities.  You have to scrimp somewhere.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow in morning did not keep away contractor

The contractor has to build a small structure to support the trim at the top of the kitchen cabinets.  When done, there is a strip of crown molding to fill in between cabinets and ceiling.

What you can not see through the kitchen window are very large icicles one can imagine as dragon teeth guarding the house.  Sure glad gutters are not up yet so I don't have to fret about ice dams.  I sure hope this spell of  winter weather never repeats itself for fifty years or more.

Monday, February 15, 2010

French doors going in

The openings from the bedrooms into the walk-in closets and the jack and jill bathroom are getting fitted with french doors.  The doors are basically bi-folds being used as french doors. Bifolds come sized for 30 or 36 inch doorways, so the contractor is adding a  one inch strip of wood on either side of the center opening to fit the 32 inch entries.  The doors will be stained dark to match the trim, which, of course, matches the french doors on the closets in the original master bedroom.

The contractor also prepped the washing machine to go into the space they sanded and poly'ed last Friday.

Friday, February 12, 2010

some work here today

Here's a plank of the old flooring that has been sanded and finished with polyurethane.  It is difficult to say what the wood is actually.  It has graining that matches maple but nails go in easily so it could be white pine.  The contractor will not be staining the floor just sanding and doing the poly, which will give the floor lots of character from all the use it had over the years.


Here's the small section where the washer and dryer will go that has been sanded, bleached, and polyed today.  You can see a stain from water as before a kitchen remodel in the 1940's, the sink was in this spot and obviously leaked.  The washer and dryer will cover up  the worst of the damage and the remaining floors should not have such darkly stained damage.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sun is out ; pavement has bare spots; no one here but me

And these photos are from the height of yesterday's storm in the late afternoon.  We had snow of about a foot on top on the more than two feet from the weekend storm.

No contractors are here as they are still digging themselves out and/or waiting for the roads to clear where they live.  Newfield being a mile square seems to be effective at clearing the roads but surrounding townships and boroughs that are all much larger have a bigger task.  One thing that is nice about the people who run the plow in Newfield is that when the main snow has stopped, they plow open the entrance to driveways, which as we all who have shoveled snow know, is the hardest task to digging yourself out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A different vantage point on a large oak tree

This large oak tree is in my neighbor's yard.  My neighbor is actually my cousin, my father's sister's daughter.  I had a different vantage point for this particular tree when I was a child because I lived in that house.  The tree was large even then and I remember finding cicadas on it. Now, the tree provides wonderful shade for my cousin's screened porch.   The house was smaller then too as my cousin doubled it in size for her growing family.   Originally, the house was built by my father's grandfather, then bought by my father's sister, then bought by my parents when I was about 4 and sold to my cousin in my teen's.  

Last year I had a different vantage on the tree as it had grown a lot over the 25 plus years I was gone from Newfield and I was seeing it from ground level rather than the 4.5 feet above ground level of the breezeway as daily I walk back and forth from the ice house to the addition to nib into what the contractors are doing.

Last year at this time I wasn't seeing snow either.  The weather was warmer but my heart was very sad.  What I saw in the tree was a flock of large birds I thought were crows but turns out are red tail hawks that inhabit the skies over Newfield.  In the summer and fall, the hawks have "afternoon tea" in the large oak trees around my house, squawking news as if they really are exchanging gossip.  Last winter during this week they were keeping a vigil with me and would squawk as I left early for the hospital or came back from my turn for an overnight at my father's bedside.  

The morning my son phoned at 6ish a.m. to say my father had finally slipped away peacefully, I went out to go to the hospital for the last time.  I looked up and the birds were still sitting on the branches as if waiting for me to tell them of his death.  I shrugged and quietly said, "He's gone."    With only the sound of their wings flapping, the birds left too and ended their vigil as I ended mine.

So, although my vantage point is higher, I still see the birds keeping watch as if they were family waiting to welcome my father to a different plane of existence, and I find that notion comforting.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow again!

Feels all to familiar since the last big snow storm was December!


The National Weather Service reports over 25 inches for the next town 1 mile away, so I am guessing we have an equal amount.  At least this time people had time to prepare.  Unfortunately, the snow is too deep to sweep off the ramp into the house as I did last weekend, so I will have to find someone to dig me out.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

bamboo hardwood going into addition

The bamboo has lots of character.  The manufacture is the strand process which is the most durable of the bamboo flooring and also makes it hard to put in the flooring nails.  Several adjustments of the nailing shoe were required to get it right.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

work continues despite my bad cold ....

Toilet and bathrub installed in back bathroom.  Waiting for shower heads on back order.

Matching toilets in front jack and jill bathroom.  Still waiting for shower heads there too.  Other plumbing item on back order is faucet for kitchen sink.

The basement sink and ejector pump is installed with water line and vent but it needs an electrical connection for the ejector pump. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

countertops in

The quartz countertop is so shiny that it reflects the overhead can lights.  The light color is the side of the island for eating and is dining table height.  The darker color is for cooking and is the usual countertop height.

plumbing and countertops

Sink in the jack and jill bathroom got a faucet.  Shower got a faucet.  Counter top with sink going in.  Countertop with gas cooktop and popup vent required sizing on site and a tedious process of grinding out the proper hole.