Thursday, February 28, 2008

With flying colors!

We passed our plumbing inspection today. That means we've got two fully-functioning bathrooms, a kitchen sink with garbage disposal, dishwasher and a basement utility sink. Yee-haw! As a bonus our stove was also hooked up to gas yesterday and they're working on the gas to the two fireplaces. The exterior doors are stained, polyurethaned and eagerly awaiting our trim carpenter to give Eric the call for help to install them. Cross you fingers and mabe he'll return to us tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Plodding along....

The details we are working on are fairly uninteresting. Eric is putting polyurethane on the exterior door jambs (still) and I am working on grouting the wine cellar. They are sorta slow, methodical projects. We flipped the door jambs over this morning and Eric put on the first coat of poly on the remaining side of the three frames. He'll go back this afternoon for a second coat and perhaps this evening for a third and they'll be ready for installation....which may happen as soon as tomorrow! I grouted the shelf base tiles yesterday night and the left wall today with terracotta colored grout. The seams are larger and fairly "freeform" so it looks like I'll need another bag of grout. Luckily I'm doing a lot less grout wiping due to a tip from our tile guy, John. Since they are ceramic tiles, they should not really absorb the grout, so if I give them a couple good wipes with the damp sponge, once the seams are dry I should be able to "buff out" any remaining grout. So far that has held true. Fun note: the carpet squares we ordered last week showed up at the house today so we should have another new project to show off soon!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mundane (Monday-ne) happenings

First, I got a decent photo of the arched window trim:
The view of the park looks a little bleak on this overcast day. Justen put in the window that overlooks the living room. Here's how it looks from below:
And from the den. It's got nifty manual casement window hardware:
Today we got Tim Truxall plumbing. I think he hooked up the dishwasher and drilled holes for the vanity:
I attempted to hang the mirrors. I measured a dozen times and used the stud finder and managed to only get one decently placed:
I spent a couple hours staining wine racks until my head was spinning:
I got rid of the grout haze on the wine cellar tiles:
And I couldn't resist "playing" and filling in more spaces with mosaic tile:
More tucked into the corner:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Still staining and tiling!

Actually, the first order of business today was to pick up the supplies to build our glassblock shower wall. We tried Home Depot yesterday, but they were short the necessary decorative end pieces. They were going to send us out to one of their remote stores, but on the way there today we decided to rule out our local, 2-minutes-from-home Lowes (we didn't remember them having everything we needed either). As luck would have it, our Lowes had every last piece we needed and we saved ourselves a 1/2 hour car trip! Then it was business as usual at the homestead. The exterior doors themselves are complete so we swapped them out with the jambs and Eric got to staining: If you squint at the photo above you can also get a vague glimpse of the finished arched window trim. I tried eight different angles and still couldn't get a good shot of it in the broad daylight, too much backlight! Eric's staining setup from above:
The basement tilework I finished yesterday (entrance left):
The very farthest wall:
Today I grouted the floor in there. The familiar grout haze dilemma:Here's a trick I learned, if you take the photo while the tiles are wet, the grout haze disappears:
A view above and below, floor and wall:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More plumbing, trim, poly and tile

Justen (carpenter) worked on the trim around the living room window arch and it's looking really good. Alas, the photo did not come out as we were taking a pic into a bright window. We'll have to give that a "do-over." The coat closet door now has glass:
The plumbers put in the guest bathroom toilet and Eric affixed a toilet seat today:
Likewise he did final assembly on the master bath toilet:
The kitchen sink now has its IKEA faucet, garbage disposal AND running water:
Eric did some furniture assembly today and put together our bathroom cabinet:
I tiled for a few hours and Eric gave the doors their final poly coat. That's all folks!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Photos as promised!

The new steps leading from the hallway into the "den":
New threshholds so you don't trip into the guest bath:
Cute framing on our extra bedroom storage left:
Justen used the cabinet doors I so love that are also on the linen closet. And on the right:
More rows of tile in the wine cellar. Wall to the left as you enter (on the right is the wall that's straight ahead as you enter):
All this row needs is the grout:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In other flooring news.

Eric and I have been contemplating what sort of flooring to put in our little "den" area amongst the eaves next to the closet. Our first thought was cork flooring and we were jazzed about these Atlantic Green cork tiles from online:
But then we also considered that the room could probably use a little help with noise reduction (if we have a TV/music in there). So our next investigation was floor tiles. While we really liked the tiles over at I then discovered these online at Home Depot:
They are the current fave for a number of reasons: (1) they are within our budget, (2) they've got the "funky green" thing going and (3) they give us cool pattern options to play with. We were thinking of creating a "rug within a rug" design by using the "Legato Fuse Block" design in the center of the room and surrounding it by the "Legato Fuse Texture" to take it to the walls. With the various shades of green going on in the hallway and the runner we picked up at Lowe's We think the carpet squares will work well in our "groovy room"!

More tiling for me...

I came to the house tonight to work on my ongoing project of tiling the walls in the wine cellar. It's a little slower going because these are chunky, heavy tiles, so as they are going up the wall I'm afraid if I do more than one row at a time I will have them falling off. Tonight I managed to get a fair amount of the main wall that you see as you walk in the door and the side wall to the left completed. I suspect one more day of tiling and I'll get them all affixed, then I'll be good to grout! I was at the house alone (Eric went to a meeting) and managed to freak myself out over all of the little noises it makes. I'm in the basement, in a tiny brick room (with a nice view of the stairs from the doorway) and occasionally the floor will creak or some other weird noise will cause me to pause, then walk to the base of the steps and listen to make sure no one is prowling around upstairs. I had to get water for the mortar and now that we have RUNNING WATER INSIDE THE HOUSE (sorry for the caps, that's an excited emphasis) I headed upstairs to the master bath only to discover that one of our contractors killed the breaker for the hallway lights to the 2nd floor, at least that was my rationale as the hall lights would not turn on and I had to skulk upstairs in the dark. Thankfully the bathroom light worked, but that just made me feel illuminated on a floor of darkness. After 2 1/2 hours of tiling (and an hour of over-listening to creaks) I called it quits. Photos? You wanted me to go back down the basement with the camera after all of that? I think not tonight! You'll get some photos from a trip in broad daylight tomorrow. Other notes: Justen put in the stairs up to the closet. They look nice, but in doing so he removed our copy of the blog that was supposed tucked under the stairs and supposed to be sealed in there as a "time capsule" of our work for some future owners. Oops.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Full house

When we got to the house after work the backyard was full of contractor vehicles. Bish, our plumber was there, Justen our carpenter was working and Travis the tile guru was finishing up with caulking the weekend's work. The muy impressive thing finished today, the eyebrow windows received their proper adornment. This one faces the backyard:
This one overlooks the front of the house and Batelle Park:
We are loving the "keystone" piece at the top of each arch that Justen custom-made for us.
Both pedestal sinks in the master bathroom are now completely installed:
And fully functioning...running water INSIDE the way:
A well-placed note (not that you can read it- it says "NO MORE SAWING UPSTAIRS PLEASE") means that the sawdust was relinquished to the basement today:
We resumed our tasks....Eric polyurethaned the doors (side 2 coat 2):
Guess what I did? If you said "TILING" give yourself a gold star! Here's row two up the wall for the wine cellar:
And an overview of the completed work on two walls:

Monday, February 18, 2008

The return of the plumber....

No sooner had the guys finished tiling on Sunday then come Monday morning our plumber returned for the final install. Behold the master bathroom toilet:
We now really NEED to get toilet seats, obviously,and while there's water in the toilet we were too afraid to flush it as we've not seen one of these in the house in about 9 months and we didn't want to jinx our good fortune. He's also got the pedestal sinks set up, but they are not hooked up to water or attached to the wall yet:
And now we've got a lovely showerhead:
Eric practices singing in the shower:
Our fabulous tile guy, Travis, left his tile saw for me to finish up the basement floor today:
And since I had leftover mortar I put up the running pattern of tiles on the bottom of the wall:
We came back later this afternoon and Eric polyurethaned the back of the doors:
I deciphered the Swedish hieroglyphics on our IKEA base cabinet for our guest bathroom sink. It ain't much now, but will be much cooler once the doors are on (and the shelf is in). Voila:
Mostly we're just stoked that it fits the sink we bought over a year ago. We'd been searching for some sort of vintage cabinet or something that would fit the drop in sink, but we've settled on the IKEA version until we find a piece that works. My other task for this morning was spending over an hour vacuuming the entry/dining room. Apparently our carpenter was using it as his sawing studio. I wanted to cry when I walked in after being sick and out of the house for half a week and the room was literally buried under inches of sawdust. So I broke out the ShopVac (you'd think a contractor MIGHT know how to use one of these) and vanquished the nasty mess myself (again). Time to reinstate the "no sawing in the living areas of the house" rule.

New week in review

Sorry for the slow updates this week. I've had a nasty chest cold and haven't been at the house since Tuesday. The great news is that the tiling in the bathrooms is COMPLETE! John did a fantastic job. Here's the master shower nook:
John sitting in the guest bath tub grouting:
The finished guest bath window wall:
The finished wall where one day will roost a shower head and faucet:
Future home of two pedestal sinks:
A closer look at the shower bench:
Getting a feel for how it will look all put together: