Monday, October 31, 2005

the installation completed Posted by Picasa

the new window with solid header and battleship strong framing Posted by Picasa

Bud and I examine the original framing Posted by Picasa

the old window comes out Posted by Picasa
a new kitchen window

Not nearly as difficult as I expected, our new kitchen window installation was completed today. Lot's of heavy framing, compensating for everything else in the kitchen being off-level, and a bit improvisation is all it took. Bud was a big help, and our watts line to Dave's boatshop for last minute advice was invaluable.

Friday, October 28, 2005

sam makes a fire - walls stripped back for new windows Posted by Picasa

new wall in bathroom with switches Posted by Picasa

mike roughs in the shower for tile Posted by Picasa

the kitchen fully gutted. the window to the right was removed today Posted by Picasa

our new dumpster - filled in two hours! Posted by Picasa

siding removed to make room for new doors and windows Posted by Picasa

Two weeks ago, I stated here that we had passed the point where demolition ends and recontruction begins. Wrong. We've discovered since that any room receiving a moderate amount of renovation needs to be taken completely down to the studs. It's just that much easier to work from scratch than to work around little details.

But we have made significant progress lately. The bathroom is now in the hands of Mike G. - our friend and the tileman on the project. The master bath now has complete plumbing, and the walls are back up, including the new walk-in shower. 40 gallons of concrete and some sticky black waterproofing have made the floor for the shower, and the tile is sitting in one of the barns, waiting for installation, which begins later today. Samantha and I have installed some new wiring in the bath, including switches for the lights, which previously required hand-screwing to turn them on and off (?!).

The new kitchen windows and the large glass doors and matching window for the living room have arrived as well. Framing for the kitchen window is partially complete and I'll be doing more of that today as well.

Samantha finished painting the front of the house, just in time for two weeks of heavy rain, so no further exterior work has been possible. Although Dave and I went up on the roof on one dry day to check the flashing around one of the chimneys where some water was getting in. It was an easy repair and the chimney stack has been much drier since.

I expect the kitchen to start coming together quickly over the next two weeks, and we'll probably ask the appliance people to deliver the big appliances toward the middle of next week.

With the amount of work the two of us are putting into the house, there's no doubt that this place will truly be ours when it's done.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

a very hard-to-see rainbow, during a break in last week's rain, across the back yard. Posted by Picasa

looking down into the kitchen from the little 'cathedral' ceiling Posted by Picasa

the bathroom floor, with new plumbing Posted by Picasa

the shower wall (with water on the chimney stack) Posted by Picasa
it's all destroyed

We've finally hit the point beyond which demolition starts to slow, and reconstruction picks up. The master bathroom is stripped to the studs, with the new plumbing roughed in. Mike should be laying down the subfloor for tiles, and the wonderboard for the shower wall foundation. It's a good thing he didn't start when he was scheduled, as the recent heavy rain has revealed a leak around the bathroom vent and the woodstove chimney, which rises behind the shower wall. In another week, it would all be sealed up, and we'd likely have to pull some of it out in the future.

The kitchen is significantly more destroyed than during my last post. The ceiling is entirely torn down, and all that remains is the old cast iron sink, which is too heavy to move by myself.

Samantha has been painting away (interiors only during this wet season), and we both hope to put down a new floor in the den next week. After that, we'll have lots of molding to put in, having removed much of it in the demolition.

Monday, October 03, 2005

potential cathedral ceiling Posted by Picasa

would you trust this man with your kitchen? Posted by Picasa

kitchen destruction Posted by Picasa
demolition man

Demolition, which seems like the simplest, most primitive, part of reconstruction, is actually quite a challenge. Removing a wall or ceiling, pipes or electrical lines generates new problems and possibilities at every turn. With the master bathroom fully demolished, I turned my attention to the kitchen. But after two days of Sawzall and sledgehammer work, it's down to the studs and plywood. All except the ceiling, which we've decided to remove entirely, revealing a small extension of "cathedral ceiling" above the center island and counters.

Deconstruction proceeds on the living room outside wall, where there will be a new pair of doors and a matching window, replacing the rotting wood siding and porthole-like octagonal window.