Thursday, November 29, 2012

Heat and Doors

Things are really starting to move along quickly now. A few big things and a bunch of details. It's the details at the end that usually get us. The projects we do ourselves get to the 99% complete stage in a reasonable amount of time. It's that last 1% that can take months, nay years to get done. But when you've hired a contractor to do the work, he has a very strong incentive to finish it 100%: the final payment.

The steps up to the patio are finished and the brickwork is beautiful. I guess when you've been doing something for 30 years, you get really good at it. There is going to be a wrought iron railing up the right hand side. Apparently the building codes require it - a safety feature so someone doesn't fall off the edge.

This is the heat pump. I've heard positive and negative things about heat pumps so I was so-so on this. But the other option would have been to install a regular furnace. The carpenter who is working in the studio cutting trim and doors has it set at 60 degrees, but it felt a lot warmer than that. There is a ton of insulation, double the required amount in the floor, so I think it's going to be toasty. In the studio there is a unit that blows the air around; it's located up near the ceiling. It's so quiet I had to stand directly beneath it to hear the fan running. I wouldn't have liked a noisy fan.

The powder room now has a door.

One of the elf doors going into the eaves area. 

This is the garage side of the stairwell. That door leads into the area where there will be a hot water heater and another heater to keep the area warm.

Classy brick steps coming from the walkway into the garage.

Painting on Monday, garage doors on Tuesday or Wednesday, flooring after that. Finish up the electrical work and plumbing, install the powder room fixtures and my work sink and cabinetry, lay a new front walkway and put in a new driveway. Bank balance, zero.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, a day late. Although at this house, it's a day early as I do the big cook on Saturday. Have to work around other peoples' families' plans. Here are a bunch of pictures. The siding is almost completely up and the brickwork is moving along nicely. The spackle guys are beholden to the humidity and have to wait for each layer of spackle to dry before sanding it. There are fans blowing full blast in the studio to help the process along.

Door to the studio, notice the beautiful step.

These are the steps from the walkway up to the patio. They weren't part of the original plan but the drainage issue forced quite a few alterations and this is one of them.

We paid extra for these fancy garage doors.

This is the covered walkway from the house. It's going to make a very nice little sitting area.

The interior of the garage. Another change resulting from the drainage issue: those two windows in the back had to be shortened because the grade is coming up a lot higher.

The stairway up to the studio.

At the top of the stairs, looking into the studio. The half wall on the right goes to a full wall and my work sink and cabinetry will be located along this wall. The doorway on the right goes into the powder room. The short doorway goes into the eaves storage area.

Looking into one of the storage areas. It's not totally obvious, but at the far end we were able to extend the available area into the space above the stairwell. So that's about 16 square feet of extra storage. Can never have too much storage space.

This is the other storage space. I'm working on a plan to build moveable racks for quilt storage. Have to think in 3 dimensions in order to allow for the sloping ceiling. 

What's left: finish the siding and trim, finish the brickwork, paint, install the flooring, install the powder room fixtures, install the work sink and cabinetry, install the fixtures and lights, install the garage doors, install the HVAC system, rip up the driveway and make a new one, rip up the walkway to the front door and lay a new one, finish fixing the window in the master bedroom that had to be adjusted to compensate for the drainage issue. I'm sure there are lots of other things on that list, but this is what comes to mind immediately.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The guys have been busy

A lot has happened in the last two weeks. We have had plumbers, electricians, masons, along with the regular crew, all running up and down ladders and stairs, inside and outside. I have a ton of pictures of duplex outlets, switches, light fixtures, and pipes, all of which are boring unless it's your own space. The most interesting is the brick on the front of the garage and in the walkway. It would have been fantastic if we could  afford to brick the entire building, or even the entire front, but that's not going to happen. The brick looks really nice, and it matches the house nearly perfectly.

Pipes and electrical boxes. It's amazing that these guys know what everything connects to and that when it's all installed everything will work as expected. Probably why we're paying them the big bucks.

The fuse box at the back of the garage, along with the drainage pipe. 

Lighting in the studio, or at least the wiring for the lighting.

This week I also picked out flooring, bathroom fixtures, a work sink, and cabinets for around the work sink. This coming week the insulation will be installed and then they can begin hanging the wall board. Also the siding on the outside. I think the end is in sight. Hopefully it arrives before we run out of money.