Sunday, December 30, 2012

Woodwork Staining Wraps Up 2012

This whirlwind of a year is nearly complete, and Scott and I are celebrating by concentrating on staining all the woodwork and windows. My goal is to have the great room and dining area completely stained and poly'd by Wednesday (Jan. 2), and the master suite completed by Friday (Jan. 4).

The wood floors are yet to be installed upstairs. After having our fingers crossed that the floor guys would return Friday (Dec. 28), they were again delayed by the late delivery of the floor registers. They are scheduled to return next Friday (we'll see...)

The scaffolding is really coming in handy! Scott completed staining the woodwork and small window on the high north wall Saturday morning.
The overall look of the woodwork is stunning! The applied trusses have really made the room more cozy.
Saturday afternoon, the countertop guys from GMS Werks returned to work on a few tasks. Scott helped out by cutting the holes for the sink drains.
The crew will return on Wednesday to finish installing the sink and faucet, and to give the counters a final polish.
The big task accomplished was the placement and cutting of an 80-mm hole in the peninsula for the pop-up outlet strip. They definitely measured more than twice before boring into the quartz.
The counter in the master bath was delivered on Thursday but the sink holes were a smidge off.  The guys took care of that adjustment on Saturday so now the sinks are lined-up correctly.  Gorgeous!
Meanwhile, we stained the two west windows before quitting for the day. Scott and I have decided to divide the tasks: he will take the sashes out of the windows and carefully stain every nook and cranny that no person nor drop of sunlight will ever see, and I'll do everything else.
On Friday, the electricians returned to work on the non-functioning light on the connector's balcony. The 6-lamp fixture looks great and casts a warm glow.
A view from the bottom of the stairs...the cable lights are identical at both locations.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Work Progresses Before and After Christmas

Saturday (December 22), the wood floor contractor sent a crew of three to noTTafarm to begin laying out the flooring on the second floor. They worked for about three hours, and managed to organize and place most of the flooring; however, we are awaiting the arrival of stair nosing and floor registers. The crew may be back as early as Friday (December 28) to permanently install the flooring . . . just in time for the delivery of our new mattress on Saturday!
All of the flooring is comprised of three-foot long strips of solid Acacia. (Did I ever mention that Scott is an alum of Acacia Fraternity? This is not the reason we selected this wood but it does make for an interesting tidbit.)
 The floor in the master closet taking shape.
 The bedroom looks even more cozy now!
Scott spent the majority of his Saturday and Sunday in the great room, preparing to stain the applied trusses and window trim. Yes, I said "preparing." He decreed that the taping had to be absolutely perfect, and spent his weekend atop the scaffolding and a series of ladders. We should have purchased stock in the Frog Tape Company!
Luckily, Scott did not work on Christmas Eve so he made good headway on the actual staining. This photo of the east high wall shows the contrast of stained and unstained pine.
The west high wall is completely finished (well, "finished" except for poly-coating and tape removal and paint touch-up.)
On Wednesday (the 26th) the electricians returned to install two of our new cable light systems. Show above is the fixture in the lower connector hallway. For some reason, the similar fixture installed in the upper connector is not working so the electrician will have to do some detective work. These sleek fixtures really look great, and it's nice to have additional light on the first floor.
Also on Wednesday, the leveling concrete was FINALLY poured in the hallway, pantry, and kitchen, as needed. The floor was quite uneven in these areas where the old house meets the new house. This sub-sub-floor should create an even surface for the tile, and prevent future damage.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Christmas Greetings ~ 2012

Merry Day-After Christmas!
Scott and I hope that you enjoyed your holiday; we certainly did! It was nice to take a break from the stress and work of noTTafarm, and spend the day with the Camp family. Again this year, we composed a photo Christmas card and had fun with the timer on the camera on a gorgeous sunshiny day. Let me share some of the photo shoot:
Reject #1
A view from northwest of the house. I like the way the wind blew snow off the tree and made the photo sparkle. This is a great photo but seems to highlight the back of the garage.  
Reject #2
A view of the southeast edge of the house. This is good but most of the house is obscured by the pine tree. 
Reject #3
This view from the southwest shows the great room addition well. 
The Winner!
Scott loved this pose since it mimics the pose of our 2011 card yet shows off the beautiful addition.
The Final Card
After a bit of editing and some magical graphic design, our final card is quite festive! And, I mailed them right-on-time on Christmas Eve so that the holiday could be extended for our family and friends. (I'm a considerate procrastinator.)
Wishing You the Happiest of Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just in Time for a White Christmas

The Omaha area was on the southwestern edge of a giant winter storm that roared across the plains Wednesday (December 19) evening. "Winter Storm Draco" blanketed noTTafarm with a thick coat of snow, and our long driveway sported drifts three feet tall. Scott was happy to get the Ranger and its plow out of the garage, and I pitched in with a shovel to clear the courtyard patio. We made it to work today late but safe.

We should have the opportunity to take some Christmas-card-appropriate photos on Saturday...just in time to pop them in the mail before the big day next Tuesday. 

Enjoy the Beautiful Snow, and Drive Carefully!

Progress Check

The week began with a list of six things that we could expect this week (see previous post). With the impending holidays and giant snow storm, only a portion of that list was accomplished. Rather than worry about what's left undone, let's celebrate what has been done during the past four days!

DONE:  plumbing hook-up of hot water to Geothermal
DONE:  second floor flooring delivery 
SORTA DONE:  Counter tops delivery and installation
ARRIVED: two boxes of light fixtures

This copper piping runs water used by the geothermal system into the new storage tank. This warm water is piped across the basement to the existing water heater which now runs more efficiently because the water is already warm...does this make sense? Ultimately, our water heater should use less electricity and save us millions of dollars each year. Or something like that. (Geesh...and I work for an engineering firm...I should be able to explain this.)
The golden acacia flooring selected for the second floor was delivered Wednesday. 26 boxes weighing about 2,000 pounds total were stacked neatly in the garage. Scott toted 12 boxes upstairs during his lunch hour. I helped him move the other 14 boxes in after work. Now all we need is for the flooring guy to find time to come and install - which may or may not happen as soon as Saturday. 
The kitchen counters were delivered on Thursday, and they are beautiful! The quartz is a soft gray, contrasting nicely with the dark-stained cabinetry. The peninsula pictured above will be ideal for rolling out sugar cookies...too bad it's not ready for this week's holiday baking.  The installation was delayed slightly when the delivery van got stuck in the snow at our driveway's entry. The countertop guys should return on Friday to finish and perhaps bring along the master bathroom counter. 
The cable light fixtures we selected to use throughout the new addition arrived in two big boxes on Friday. Scott sorted through all the parts and pieces, and got them ready for installation. Luckily, the electrician is eager to give this a go and even got a good start on Wednesday by installing most of the transformers. He may be back next week to finish. 

Now that the holidays are imminent, I suspect progress will crawl to a near-dead pace. Scott and I will need to make good progress of our own on the woodwork staining. If anything happens, you'll be the first to know! 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Week Ahead

Christmas is a'comin' and the goose is getting fat . . . but who has time for holiday planning when all of this is scheduled to happen at noTTafarm this week? 

1. Monday or Tues - plumbing hook-up of hot water to Geothermal.
2. Monday - Wed. - second floor flooring delivery one of those days with installation to follow.
3. Monday - Wed. - alarm system extension hook-up.
4. Wednesday - Counter tops delivery and installation.
5. Thursday - Friday  - first-floor floor leveling.
6. Wood trim crew to return after floor leveling to install pantry door, east porch columns, colonnade columns, and misc. wood trim finish.
Each week, a few more tasks are checked off the list. We may not be "done" by Christmas but we're not too far off the mark. In the meantime, we have plenty of work to do including staining, staining, staining! 
While I painted the majority of the 1920 stairwell (a task made more difficult by the tight space,) Scott made good progress staining the windows and deck door in our new bedroom. We need to concentrate on the woodwork upstairs in anticipation of having floors installed later this week! After the bamboo debacle of last week, we re-selected the second floor flooring, settling on a beautiful solid Acacia wood. 
The flooring is similar to the illustration above, and will offer a nice transition to the heart pine flooring in the 1920 portion of the house.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Floor Pattern Options: Vote for Your Favorite!

Scott and I are looking forward to maybe, possibly, someday soon having the opportunity to start installing the tile on the first floor (including dining and kitchen areas.) As a beginning step, Scott placed some of the gorgeous 12x24 porcelain tile on the dining room floor to get a feel for how it will lay out. He tried out two patterns:  herringbone and running bond. The difficulty now is deciding which to do!
Running Bond

What do you think, dear reader?  This is your chance to help make noTTafarm history! Just vote in the Poll posted in the upper right corner of the blog's home page. By the end of the week, we should have a "winner!"
Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking Flight

After my grumpy post earlier today, I learned that the electrician was at noTTafarm installing light fixtures! Nothing gives you hope and lifts your spirits more than a little unexpected progress. And to top it off, Leo came home from Gramma's house tonight!

Leo checked out the newly-installed "Flight Ring" centered above the dining area. This 48"-wide stainless steel halo of light is absolutely gorgeous! A team of two from the electrical contractor completed the task of installation; the ring is suspended by 4 thin cables which had to be precisely attached in order for the fixture to hang correctly.

What a treat to walk into the house and find the warm glow of eight uplights illuminating the great room! These fixtures are just enough to create a cozy atmosphere. Four sconces are positioned on each of the east and west high walls.

If you're in the neighborhood, stop by 
to bask in the noTTafarm glow!

Now that the cabinet staining/finishing is complete, Scott agreed that we could take down the final barrier between old and new portions of the house.
For the past several months, this has been the view to the north if you are standing in the south doorway. Layers of Tyvek and rigid insulation helped keep hot air out, tried to keep dust down, and offered some privacy from a string of contractors. 
Now with the temporary wall down, a full view of the kitchen and dining area from the south doorway is afforded. It won't be much longer (maybe a month?) until the floors are in and the parlor can be cleared of its status as our TV room.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Deep Breathing

Be glad the internet hasn't figured out a way to send odors to your desk top . . . I would love to share the scent of the fumes we've been breathing this week!  Suffice to say that if your cabinet finisher offers to stain and clear coat your new cabinets on-site rather than back at his shop, insist on the "shop" option.  The good news is that the cabinets are nearly finished and look fantastic.  The bad news (aside from the dull pain I feel in my noggin) is that Leo has been at Gramma and Grampa Camp's house for two days to avoid the potentially-harmful chemicals; we've missed having him underfoot!
The final finish is pretty dark so it's hard for me to take a photo to show detail, especially with a work lamp as the only light source. The stain looks just as I had hoped!
The painters will be back today (Wednesday) to finish hanging the cabinet doors. They dropped one of the drawers yesterday and damaged it so they'll have a new drawer front fabricated and return it soon. Hopefully, they'll finish it at their shop! 

In other news. . . 
  • We found out on Monday that not only is the hardwood flooring not being installed upstairs this week as scheduled, the flooring we selected hadn't even been ordered yet. We are now facing a 2-3 week delay in having flooring upstairs. (Ask me if I'm happy about this . . . I'll give you a colorful description of my thoughts on the topic.) Scott is scrambling to find a good substitute flooring, so stay tuned! 
  • The electrician planned on installing light fixtures in the great room yesterday but had to leave when the painters began the clear coat process...too stinky even for a tough-guy electrician! 
  • We had our first really, really cold day of the winter on Monday. Luckily, we have a wonderfully-insulated garage so my car was nice and toasty when I left for work. 
  • Work continues on painting and staining woodwork - photos of progress to come!  
  • I was granted a reprieve from work on Sunday so I could join Mom and Chelsie in Lincoln. We enjoyed a little shopping (of course!), a nice lunch (naturally!), and a tour of the Governor's Residence. The Governor and First Lady greeted visitors at the front door, and had the home open so the public could enjoy their Christmas decorations. Mom has worked on the Residence planning committee so was a wonderful tour guide for Chelsie and me. We especially enjoyed meeting the First Puppy, Snickers.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rubble, Anyone?

A crew from T. Hurt returned Thursday to complete the transition between the 1920 and 2012 basements. Since early September, we've been cautiously passing between the two rooms through a roughly-cut opening. With the use of a hydraulic-powered wet saw, the crew was able to give us a "real" doorway by cutting through the 8"-thick wall.
The crew also left a nice pile of 92-year old concrete and bricks behind for us to take to the dumpster. Leo seemed intrigued but didn't offer to help with clean-up. 
Just another sign of progress at noTTafarm!

Cabinet Staining Begins!

On Thursday, December 6, Prestige Painting returned to noTTafarm to begin finish work on the cabinetry in the kitchen and master bath. A lot of attention was given to masking all of the cabinet boxes and prepping everything. By Thursday evening, about half of the kitchen cabinets have their first coat of stain. So far, it is lookin' good!  So nice to have progress in the room I have anticipated the most.
All of the doors and the drawers were taken into the dining area and great room for staining. 

Once again, a Sherwin-Williams product helps to make my house beautiful. This dark stain was created by mixing black, maroon, and gold tints. The finished product should replicate the tone of the wood floors we had installed last year in the library and parlor (and soon to be in the great room.)

Refrigerator wall 

Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Wood Trim: 95% Complete (For Now)

The wood trim crew finished up all that they could on Wednesday. All of the windows and all of the doors (except one) now have beautiful pine trim. It's amazing how "finished" a room looks with the trim in place.
The window on the west high wall of the connector was accessed with the help of a scaffold. The crew was kind enough to agree to let us keep the scaffold until we get everything stained and the light fixtures installed. This should be much easier (and safer!)

The doors to the linen closet and laundry closet

Barn Doors!
The master bath and master closet utilize sliding barn doors. We are so pleased with the sleek style and smooth operation.
The pantry door will also have this type of hardware. It is the only door that is not yet hung and trimmed. The floor in the kitchen must be leveled before the trim can be finalized. 

Stay tuned for our adventures with staining, sanding, and poly-coating all of the beautiful trim. And don't forget baseboards! They are ours to stain, sand, poly-coat AND install. 

More Progress To Come!