Monday, August 31, 2009

I am in Oregon visiting Jen, and Kevin's never actually played under the hood of this blog. So today we are experimenting with me describing stuff from afar. All Hail Kevin, The Photographer.

Part One. Where we are with the siding.

Holy smokes! They've done the bump out and are clear around the corner of the addition.

This part got off to a wee rocky start. From experience with another job, Steve and Jonathan recommended that we use a special fabricated product - rather than ordinary wood - for the strapping on the addition. (You will recall that the strapping is the horizontal strips that the vertical siding is nailed to.) The idea behind this fancy-pants product is that it's riddled with vertical channels. Any water able to penetrate behind the siding is going to run down these channels and into the earth - it won't have an opportunity to pool up on the lip of the strapping and cause mayhem with rot.

So they order the magic stuff, only to find that it's a smidgeon (technical term) too fat - it'll interfere with the whole goal of having the siding NOT protrude beyond the windows and their trim. Someone - I forget who - got the idea of cutting this stuff down the middle, halving its thickness, with no reduction in functionality.

Many words. Time for picture.

The magic product. Before its surgery. Imagine it peeling apart like DNA being split (geek! geek!) or zipper.

As you can see, they've put the new and improved strapping everywhere. They're ready to completely rock and roll on the rest of the siding. Whoo Hooo!

Part Two: Propane Tank progress

This may seem like a minor detail, but this is key. Connoiseurs of this project may remember that this whole thing entails a complete overhaul of the HVAC (if that's not too big a word for just-a-house) system. Instead of wood stove w/ oil furnace hot air backup, we're doing a propane-fired Budaris boiler, with solar backup. The addition will use just the propane, via hot water baseboards. The existing house will get its own baseboards, but we'll likely continue to focus on the woodstove in that part of the house. (Different zones, so we can control addition vs existing house separately.)

SO (I know, I know, lots of words...) we need TWO propane tanks. Here are the new ones. The old one is waiting in the wings to be picked up and brought back to the propane tank pound, to await adoption by another family...

You may admire the new siding while you're here.

Part Three. Did I say "solar"?

You heard right, solar backup. Solar Dude, Gary, came by and took some readings of the site, ran some numbers, and did the preliminary roughing in of two of three solar panels. These will be on the south facing roof of the addition, over the bedroom, next to the bump out.

Kevin said he took some pictures, but I don't think he sent 'em to me. (Oh honey...?)

I hope I've done this justice from afar. Oregon's great, but it's not this blog, so you'll just have to imagine what fun things I'm up to here on the left coast.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Some big picture perspective

This one was taken from the far side of the driveway, down the hill. The red thing is the crew's trailer-full-of-goodies. Before the spring of '08, this hillside was thick in white pine - you wouldn't have seen the house from down here at all.

Here's the view from the garage. Please note, the newly-widened front landing...(the railings of which are being constructed today)...

As you can see from this one, the siding is making its way around the house. On the addition, we're having channel rustic siding on the bottom, and shiplap on the top. "Channel rustic" just means that there's a ~1 inch channel between the boards - like board and batten, in reverse. And this is the color it's going to be - we're not painting it.

The electrician, Terry, is here today - putting in the boxes and recessed lighting fixtures.

These are the lights that will be over my desk.

Terry also put in the boxes for three fixtures to be placed in the stairwell - these will be 27" flexible goosenecks with 50 watt halogen bulbs. They'll shed light on the bookshelves. Figuring this out - whether to have track lighting, recessed lights way up in the ceiling, whether to mount the lights over the books or across the stairs from the books - necessitated two trips to the lighting store, a lot of websurfing, and loads of excellent advice from their staff. I think we'll be pleased with the results.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I didn't post yesterday. Too many other things going on. On the house front, a variety of things to report:
The old furnace didn't just vanish. It went to live out on the lawn, to get a bit of fresh air before it makes its move to its next home, wherever that may be. In the meantime, the new wall-mounted Budaris boiler was installed last Thursday when the plumbers were here - I just didn't realize it at the time. Here 'tis.

The boiler vents to the outside through the wall; it doesn't use a chimney. (That's what that white pipe sticking out is for.)

Right next to the boiler lives the water tank:
The Old Water Tank.

The plumbers left behind the new one, which will be installed once the propane tank is replaced.

In other news, the crew has been...

...putting extra protection around the windows in the addition prior to siding going up.

...working on the new insulation and strapping on the front (south) side of the house...

...getting the new siding up on the original house - transforming us from a brunette to a blond, as Kevin points out...

...and installing a door to the eventual deck, off the east side of the addition.

I know you're all wondering, "but how are the day lillies?" (You ARE wondering that, right? You haven't forgotten about the day lillies?)
Here they are. They're done flowering. So far, they all appear to be alive.

Friday, August 21, 2009

in memoriam: the furnace (ca. 1972 - 2009)

The regular crew had the day off today, but that worked out well for the plumbers, who were here to put in the baseboard hot water/water supply pipes to the addition. While they were here, they yanked the oil furnace and associated ductwork. They left this sweet grungy space behind. Tomorrow's project - I'm shivering in delight at the prospect - mop that corner out for them, for when they hang the propane-fired boiler.

Look, the scraps fit me perfectly as rings.

We also hung out with the electrician today, plotting the overthrow of the free world via the careful placement of outlets and light switches. Tomorrow, we're borrowing the crew's laser level thingy to mark up the floor with where the recessed fixtures will go in the office ceiling.

After everyone left today, it rained. Hard. The bump out leaked. We called Steve and whined to him, and bless him, he came over and scrambled around on the roof putting a tarp up.

Here's Kevin's knee, the drip-catching stock pot, and Steve.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bump out gets framed in; siding's delivered.

This might take the prize for the coolest truck so far. This is WW Building Supply (formerly owned by my dad's oldest friend, from kindergarten) delivering the siding. They'll start putting that up next week; in the meantime, all of the windows are in - including in the bump out.

As seen from out in the lawn...

Next up: knocking down the wall to the left, putting in a ceiling, eventually staining the concrete a darker gray, getting drywall up on the wall behind Kevin, figuring out how to wire the exterior light...all the detailed stuff. The cats were surprised to see this today. I think they'll sprawl here in the sun on cold winter days. That's the plan, anyway.

We took down that plastic sheeting that was up for the past couple of days. Already, even with the cut out not complete, it greatly expands the feeling of the living room.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Windows are going in

All but three in the upstairs - including the ones in along the stairs - are in.

From the outside.

That same spot, from the inside.

The slider-with-transom and the rest of the downstairs windows await.

In other news, the expanded landing by the front door is also underway...

And Jonathan's been in the basement doing unspeakable things to the addition's concrete foundation, where it partially fills one of the windows in the existing basement. It involves a jackhammer and many drop cloths, and it's left Jonathan looking like his brain has been vibrating inside his skull a little more than normal.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The concrete guys came back today

It's been so unbelievably hot and sticky that I've been getting up at O'-Dark-Early to take advantage of the cool and quiet. So I wasn't completely surprised by the arrival of the concrete guys and magic swirly truck at 7:15 am.

Nice boots!


Also, in order to make way for insulation on the front (south) side of the house, the landing and front stairs got a bit of an overhaul. We've asked them to widen the landing while they're at it. There was an interesting period of time when entering and exiting the house required something of a leap of faith.

Also, the windows were delivered today. We're almost done with the lighting/outlet plan.

Monday, August 17, 2009

General mayhem and destruction

Kevin and I went out this afternoon to get some advice from a lighting designer (free! yippee!) and when we got back, MAN was it loud. Jonathan was in the living room, making a ruckus. You can't trust these guys for a minute - leave your house, and they break in and start messing with things.

They'd ripped out the slider. By the time we got home, Jonathan was drilling the concrete form into place. The concrete guy was here watching, but won't be able to do the pour til tomorrow.

Here are Jonathan, Kevin, and Steve getting some plastic sheeting ready to block the opening for tonight. As much as we love the great outdoors, there are only so many mosquitos, mosquito hunters, daddy long legs, and moths that one house should have at any given time. I believe, if my encounter with a spider the size of my fist this morning in the shower is any indication, that we may be at our bug quota.


And then, Josh put in the insulation. We're all ready for tomorrow's pour.

In other news, they pulled the oil tank from its peaceful slumber under the front room.

Friday, August 14, 2009

the noisiest day so far.

We had a new record today: seven guys were here. The usual crew - which is four - and three roofing guys. At one point, there was banging and carrying on - I'm quite sure - simultaneously, on all four sides of the house, the roof, and under the floor of the front room (where we sleep, and where I was futilely seeking refuge). Needless to say, the cats were nowhere to be found.

So. Onwards. Part one. The roof. Please note there is a roof, as in, shingles and what not, on the addition. The whole thing. One day. Magic!

There is a temporary roof on the bump out as well.

Also, the bump out is totally framed out. Next step: ripping out the wall behind it, and then pouring the slab, and then knocking out a bunch of existing ceiling up behind it, and putting the ceiling in.

Another thing that started today: clearing out (oh joy!) the mice-pee drenched old insulation from under the floor of the front room (which started life as a porch, that eventually got enclosed - so it doesn't have a proper foundation).

Mmmm, tasty. That's the oil tank lurking behind the day lillies. The oil tank is going away, because we're moving to a propane boiler system. These are the day lillies I started moving yesterday - I'll move the guys above this weekend.

Two items from yesterday that I didn't take pictures of until today:
The strapping on the insulation. That's the word I couldn't think of yesterday.

The plumbing. This part is cool: the pipe comes up into the shower, up up up, up through the ceiling and across the bathroom, and then back down to the where the vanity will be, which is what is shown above. Who knew?

And THEN my favorite bit of all: turns out that Steve has - for pleasant weather days only - the sweetest little car - a '59 Austin Healey Sprite.

So cute! He gave me a spin after work. Sweet!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Steve (left) and Mike (right) putting the rafters on the bump out.

The carpenters giveth, and the plumbers taketh away, leaving behind little piles of sawdust. Here's one of 'em roughing out the bathroom.

Yesterday, we learned about what the baseboard heating requirements will be in the addition. (Next week we'll figure out the existing house.) One immediate impact: it looks like we will be able to put bookshelves under the windows in the corner of the office - yippee! (You can't really have too many bookshelves. It's like my sister's approach to garlic: multiply the amount called for in the recipe by six, and you're good to go.) (Come to think of it, this is my approach to garlic as well. Hm.)

It's amazing how these these decisions all drive and influence one another. For instance, we realized that the vanity's bottom left drawer won't be able to open up because of the baseboard heating in the bathroom...unless we move it over about three inches...good thing the countertop guy hasn't started cutting the countertop...etc. etc. etc.

Not shown in today's pictures: Josh has been working on insulating the existing house with that silver stuff shown yesterday. I told him the house looks like a space ship. He offered to add rocket thrusters. Today he added horizontal strips of wood (not the correct technical term, no doubt) that the siding will be nailed to.

And in my first ever gardening project, I've been transplanting day lillies into a half-barrel to save them from being mauled.