Wednesday, September 30, 2009

who's your daddy now?

Today was an epic day. This will be a long post, so let's get started.

A perforated, bent strip of metal called "corner beading" is what you use to make crisp corners on the window returns.

In addition to working on most of the windows, the drywall guys focused on the seams between the wall and the ceiling.

The bedroom.

Three roofing guys appeared today and proceeded to make an IMMENSE amount of noise scraping the roof off the original house.

These guys work fast. Here they are having done half of the west side in something like a half hour.

And here they are dragging their haul into the dumpster.

This is the whirlybird thingy that one of the builders suggested we use instead of a ridge vent in the existing house. Apparently it will catch the least bit of wind, and do a pretty decent job of venting all the excess heat in the attic. This baby will get installed tomorrow.

The excavators came to dig the septic line and regrade the site. But you know, once you have all this big equipment on hand, there's all sorts of fun you can have with it. For instance, the old water tank, that's been languishing out on the lawn... why not just...
pick it up?

and squish it?

and take it over to the dumpster?

And that big rock that is gradually heaving itself up, a couple of inches per year, and wreaking havoc with the underside of my trusty Honda - the rock that is situated smack dab in the middle of the best parking spots on site? The one I managed to back over this very morning, while moving my car for all the guys' vehicles?

Why not dig that sucker up while we're here? It'll only take a minute.

Who's your daddy now?

Let's just move this puppy....

...over here. Out of the way.

Oh, and how about all those other piles of big rocks that have been lying around this whole time, ever since we dug the foundation?

How's about a nice little fire pit?

After that first boulder of doom got moved, Kevin and I went upstairs and met with Bonus Stephen and (correction: Alan) Alan-the-tiling-guy. We talked over our plans for the design for the tub/shower. Once Kevin and Alan got into some seriously geeky details, I wandered over to the window and watched the septic line being put in.

Here's the septic line itself.

By the end of the day, the trench was filled in and the line's location was marked with stakes, so that when we build a deck (translation: pay our friend Michael to build a deck), we don't accidentally sink the posts into the line.

Other site improvements happened as well.
Remember this pile, on the north side? That was this morning.

Same spot, end of day.

They're not done quite yet - under that blue tarp is a bunch of fill they'll use to raise the grade a bit more here and there. Just how big is that bucket, you ask?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gravity isn't always your friend.

Stephen called us this morning to let us know that Jonathan injured himself on Friday on another job: he broke a finger and a couple of ribs, and bruised his kidney...a roof was involved, as was gravity. We're just glad it wasn't worse.

We miss you, Jonathan!! Feel better soon!

Nothing too photogenic occurred today. Louis, one of the drywall guys, was using this fabulous tool that extrudes the mud and the tape simultaneously, and then cuts the tape. He was running it along all the millions of seams. I ran a google image search for "drywall tools" and found a picture of this wondrous gizmo. It'll run you a cool $1,300.

Tomorrow they'll continue that process, and slather mud over the screw holes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

But I never inhaled.

This is the drywall guys' boombox, resting above our tub. It's so caked with ...what is that stuff? Joint compound? Magic dust? Whatever it is, I don't want it in our lungs.

The office as seen from the stairs, with Kevin's corner on the far left. Once again, crap on the lens; oops. Today, they finished some sections on the north wall... they finished all the returns on all the windows. I can't help but think there is one more step to bring the pieces to a crisp corner. I'm guessing it involves slathering goo along the seam, and using tape? metal bits? to shape it.

Our favorite part is that they completed drywalling in the bump out, including the inside of the existing living room, on the header. This means that the protective veil that the insulator guys had put up between the living room and the bump out is gone, and we can once again enjoy the view and the expanded sense of ROOM. Them's my feet, above.

For the record, I am experiencing existential angst about paint colors.

Last but not least, my sister's exterior lights arrived in the mail today. She's using two and decided against using the remaining three, so she offered 'em up for the cause. Thanks, Jen! Here's a picture of the one outside her front door.

I think it's great that we'll match.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hanging drywall: almost done

Oh, man, I forgot to make sure the lens didn't have crap all over it. My apologies. OK, we're almost done with the drywall hanging process. Here's the office.

Where Kevin's desk will be.

And to the left of that - there's a bit still to go here, by the under-stairs-closet.

Here's a window in the stairwell that's had the inside edge done (the "return").

The inside of the bump-out.

Jonathan patched the hole in the basement window with insulation. These pipes all run to the addition. Soon, there will be a couple more, to hook the solar panels to the new water tank.

We bought some pendant fixtures for the bump-out today. And a ceiling fan for the bedroom.

By the way, local folks? If you ever need help with lighting, we highly recommend the Lighting Showroom in Keene. Those guys are awesome.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drywall with a side of lighting

As he sometimes does, Charlie accompanied us on today's tour.
The drywall guys made beaucoup progress today, doing most of the first floor.
It's looking like an Actual Space now, which is intensely cool.

This is where my desk will be.

Inside the closet under the stairs. Originally, as some of you may know, we were going to have a full basement, and this would have been its entrance. Alas, we hit ledge.

Ain't it cute how one of them hangs his hat from the light fixture's wiring?

Word on the street is, they'll wrap up hanging drywall tomorrow. Next week will be all the taping. The week after: paint.

Tomorrow, we're going to settle on the lights for the bump-out. We'll have two pendant lights. Here are two that we like.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today's drywalling progress:

The north wall of the bedroom. Tres exciting, non?

Here is a closeup of one of the windows.

Next up, they'll do the returns (that's a fancy technical term; it means, "the inside of the frame of the window". I think.) Also, they worked on the exterior of the bathroom -- here's a view from the stairs.

My favorite part? They must have had extra purple drywall.

They started in on the stairwell.

Here we are going down the stairs.

Those circles are where the way-cool gooseneck lighting fixtures are going, to light up the books that will be filling up this whole wall. (You can't be a Friedman on the one hand, and a Brennan with two master's degrees and a doctorate on the other, without having a fair number of books.)

Oh, remember how I got all geeky and tried to draw the strapping on the addition that would prevent rainwater from collecting behind the siding and causing problems? Here's a box of the leftovers. The straight piece on the lower right is the original product. The curving piece to the left has been sliced in half.

As for context, we have, and will continue to have, various islands of delight throughout the lawn.

The dirt mountain, lush with weeds. Really, I think it adds a sculptural quality to the landscape that some people would pay good money for. Come to think of it, we DID pay good money for this.

Miscellaneous scraps. To the right is a staircase - you can just see the top tread, carpeted in vintage 50's yellow wall-to-wall. The same carpeting my grandparents had throughout their house. This dates back to an earlier time when we thought we'd have to temporarily enter and exit the house via the bump-out.

In the foreground to the right is the "ooops" pile of cement. That ought to be fun to remove.
The square pile of stuff is for the roofers, who allegedly arrive next week to replace the roof on the existing house - it's a tough call, replacing a vintage roof. It's practically an antique. It dates back to 1972. And you'll see the old water heater, sulking as it awaits whatever fate is in store for old water heaters.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2nd floor drywalling continues...

The two drywalling guys made a ton of progress today. They did the bathroom...
(The best thing about the mold/mildew/humidity-resistant drywall in the bathroom is, it's PURPLE.)

They did the east and south facing walls of the bedroom...

And, they finished the hallway into the bedroom.

This is the view from the 5'4" perspective, of that groovalicious bathroom window, from the top of the stairs.

And that same place, as seen from the landing a few feet lower down.