Friday, August 30, 2013

8/30/13 - lots of activity!

The siding is about finished.  All 15 windows in the old house are being trimmed out with aluminum siding.  A crew will finish the insulation of both the old house walls and attic and the two garages and the addition today!  Next week, dry wall will begin.  Dan and our guys David and Roy have leveled the front and back yards, have dug trenches and put drain pipes to drain excess water from the back yard, anoter trench to bury the house electrical lines, and one for the line to feed the front yard light. We've ordered new shutters for the front windows.  Moving pretty fast!  Once the dry wall is installed in the garage, Dan will order the garage doors.  Glass blocks will be installed in the basement windows.  Then, my friends, the house will be 'buttoned up'!!

Soon, we'll be painting, installing cabinets, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, outlets, switches....all that good stuff!

Pictures soon, I promise!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22 - yard has been graded, trenches going in for drainage and electrical service

Yesterday, Dave and the gang used a John Deere tractor with a blade on the back and a shovel on the front to move the mounds of dirt we had stored in the front and the back yard.  The entire yard now is level!  Today, the machine of choice was a trencher - still hard going with our millions of rocks, roots, and hard hard clay.  Our backyard is lower than our neighbors and has a flooding issue when there's lots of rain or snow.  Also, we're burying our electrical service line.  So, after leveling the yard  yesterday, today the trencher was put to work.  The siding guy started his work today as well.  Pictures follow:
Our level back yard!
So far, the white pine has survived.
 Another view.
 This box is on the back garage - intended for electrical connection to our camper (or anyone else's who happens to camp in our driveway.....)!
 Now, that's what I call electrical service boxes!!

 Jim, the siding guy, has started!
Roy, Dave, and Dan cuss and discuss the trencher machine....
 Future lovely back yard!
Side of yard - no more heaps of dirt!

 Front yard - a little more leveling, maybe some top soil, and we're ready for grass seed!
 No more raggedy bushes next to the street.
 Trenches going in - painfully!
Here, you can see the trench that was dug.

Not easy!  Man with shovel is needed to facilitate the trencher's job.

This will be buried to carry the water from the back to the front yard and to the street.
 Bushes ready to plant in the back - should provide some privacy in a year or two.

Ok, now folks, you are all caught up!  Next week, insulation, both in the new and the old house.  After that, dry wall!

Catch up from August 9 thru August 22!

Well, Dan couldn't leave town, but I went to Alabama with both my kids, their spouses, and all five grandchildren - had a fabulous time!  Here's a picture of all of us;
When I got home, I couldn't believe the amount of work that had been done!  Our bricklayer, a true artist, had finished.  He also replaced some ugly old aluminum siding that, for some unknown unfathomable reason, had originally been installed under both windows on the front of the house.  Here are some pictures of the brick work:
 Our main entrance, between the main house and the garage.
 People that don't know us well will ring the bell of this front door....
 Our worksite supervisor is at work every day.....
 This is the basket weave pattern that the bricklayer, Rich, created to replace some ugly white aluminum siding.
 Another view.
 This is the membrane in Dan and my shower.
 Beautiful brickwork on the front of the garage.  The bricks were reclaimed from the part of the house that was torn down.
 We're going to plant bushes like this in the space between the driveway and the garage.
Side of the garage.
 Back door to Dan's 'man cave'.
 French doors that will open on to a deck.
 East side of the house.  We'll be putting more fill here to cover up the insulation.
 New mailbox!
 Front of the garage.
 My hydrangea tree took a hit from the excavator - should be ok.  You can see here where we've removed the old shutters.  The new ones will be shorter and narrower.
Another picture of the basket weave bricks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Late June into July - plumbing, electrical, windows, bricks, interior....!

We lucked out with a good friend of David,  Roy.  He is a trained and talented plumber.  Turned out that, not only did we have to do the plumbing for the new part of the house, but ALL the plumbing for the existing house had to be replaced.  With Dan's help, Roy pulled out all the plumbing, including the stink pipe, replaced it.  We've put in all water lines, gas lines, and tried to anticipate any needs in the future.

 Old windows being completely removed to rough openings.
 Old windows going.....
 New windows ready for install...
 Installation next.
 New windows in!  The shorter window is because the same size would encroach on the new roof.
 Rough opening ready.

 These are ready.

 New windows from outside.

 David preparing the rough opening..
 It's a two man job!
 Like a glove!

 New windows all in!
 Hydrangea tree in full bloom!
 Hydrangea tree, nine bark bush, more bushes.

 Plumbing for our master bathroom.

 Kitchen wall ready with electrical connections.
 Canned lights and connections for pendant lights over the bar.
 Here, you can see some of the big plumbing pipes in the basement and lots of wire!
 Our bricklayer, Rich, a true master of the art.
 The reclaimed bricks actually look better than the original walls!

 New windows are in, old shutters removed.

Now would be a good time to insert a note about my friend, Linda Adams, who is a decorator.  As I was bemoaning all the choices I had to make for this big new house, Linda, who at that time was just a golfer on my league, said "Hey, I'm a decorator and I'd love to help you!"   She started coming to the house while things were still really rough.  She had ideas, really good ones, on so many things while we were still in construction.  For example, she realized that the bar in the kitchen was placed wrong - it would have impeded traffic flow.  She suggested a slightly different configuration of the wall of our shower which resulted in a more roomy shower.  She helped me choose light fixtures, tile, backsplash, colors....pretty much everything.  She insisted from the very beginning that we should make the old dining room into a sitting room and use the living room as our formal dining room.  We really resisted that idea!  But, out of respect for her, we decided we could start out that way.  As it turns out, we love it!  She shopped all over the metropolitan area, and even in Chicago when she visited there, for items for the decor of the various rooms.  Her taste is impeccable, she respected our views on things, was concerned for our budget, for our comfort in the use of the new rooms.  I couldn't have done it without her!  I will be forever in her debt.

 Side of the garage - above the brick will be vinyl siding.

Now, I can show progress on the inside of the house.  Getting pretty exciting!
Ceiling fan in family room
Lights for over the bar in the kitchen

Old fireplace cleaned up

old wood floor needed some replacement boards

powder room floor in the new addition

kitchen cabinets, granite counters, backsplash installed!

light in the new sitting room (old dining room)

ceiling light in upstairs bedroom