Thursday, August 30, 2012

Framing Finale; Masonry Continues; Ductwork Begins

The amazing framing crew completed their first day of work on July 23.  Now, a fast six weeks later, their work is complete!
We now have stairs leading into the new basement!  
I ventured downstairs for the first time since the concrete was completed. It turns out that we have a nice big basement, just waiting for the creation of a rumpus room.

Kitchen Framing
The short wall in the foreground was added; this will contain the sink, the dishwasher, and two lower cabinets.

More Masonry
The masons finished the brickwork of the chimney today.  They will finish tomorrow by pouring a concrete cap (note the wood form, ready to go.)
 A Full View of the Chimney

Getting Our Ducts in a Row
The HVAC contractor began hanging ductwork in the basement today.  Cool!  or Hot!  (depending on what temperature of air you need delivered.)

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Framing: Day 20 + Masonry: Day 8 + Visitors!

Check out Wednesday's day of progress!

The interior side of the fireplace now extends past the ceiling. 
With all the scaffolding set up, it's hard to get a clear photo (but it looks cool!)

 The exterior of the fireplace

The framing crew further shaped the kitchen today, adding the lower portion of the north wall.  
Scott is standing where the sink will be installed. He'll be able to wash dishes and look into the great room at the same time (he'll be able to...but will he actually wash dishes? Only time will tell.) 

The pantry walls are now in place. 
Scott is standing in the doorway which can be accessed from the hallway or straight east from the kitchen.  

A New Hallway
This hall leads from the connector, past the pantry (at left) and continues to the powder room (the white box at left), and then into the parlor (through that temporary particle board "door".)

noTTafarm Visitors!
Welcome Back, Brummet Family!  Amy and Monte brought Tripp and Brenna along for the ride with their friend Jason to get a load of firewood for a camping trip. It was a treat to give them a tour - and to see those cute babies!
Monte and Jason and Brenna (and her popsicle.)

Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Framing: Day 19 and Masonry: Day 7

We were excited to welcome back Heath and his framing crew this morning. They arrived a day earlier than expected to begin their next task:  removing the walls of the existing house to join the new with the old.
With the west wall of the former dining room down, we now have a clearer idea of how the kitchen will lay-out (I say "we" but it's really just me that can't think in 3D. . . ) Eventually, that bathtub will make its way upstairs even though it would make a heckuva kitchen sink. The stud wall at the left of the photo will be the north wall of the kitchen.
The white wall segment in the center of the photo is all that remains of the former nook. It is now known as the east wall of my new pantry!

Meanwhile, upstairs . . . the back wall of the bathroom and the existing hallway are now open to the connector. The new laundry closet is currently occupied by a couple of tubs full of old insulation and broken bits of siding.

So - lots of excitement here at the project site today!

The masons were back, too! The fireplace chimney is creeping taller each day. The framing crew also had to notch out a section of the roof to accommodate the chimney.  

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Monday, August 27, 2012


What do you do when you have a large stack of firewood that needs to be split? Scott suggested to Kevin he could earn free firewood just by splitting a few logs - plus it would be good exercise!  So after a 21 mile bike ride on a humid Sunday afternoon, the two of them got to work.
The "to split" pile is full of locust, pine, and the toughest wood of all - Osage orange. Bring your axe; there's plenty left!

 Kevin brought along his new axe to test out.

It takes a lot of effort to cut that tough Osage orange!

 They spent a lot of time just unsticking their stuck axes.

Not bad for less than an hour of fun!  
Luckily, Sara arrived with pizza so the boys could call it quits for the night and enjoy dinner.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Fireplace Continues to Take Shape

The job site was quiet again this past Friday (August 24) and today (August 27) with only the masonry crew on hand.  Lucky for us, they're doing a great job and building us an incredible fireplace!  There are five more sections of flue waiting to be installed, so it may be two days before the masons finish up with this task.
 Inside . . . 
. . . and Outside

Coming Up This Week:
Be patient, Blog Readers!  We'll have plenty more to tell you in the next two weeks, including: 
1.) Concrete and masonry on the east and north sides of the existing house
2.) Walls coming down!  Sections of the 1920 west and north walls will give way to join the new and old. 
3.) Plumbing the new addition master bath will begin Wednesday.

Even more is already scheduled to begin after Labor Day, so stay tuned!
More Details To Come!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Slow Day

All the hustle and bustle of the last two days gave way to a quiet morning at noTTafarm. Due to a variety of scheduling conflicts, we only had the roofing crew at the site today.  Their work was pretty short and to the point: they installed the membrane roofing over the north end of the garage - the flat roof that will become the deck outside our master suite.
The good news is that the missing chimney piece has arrived so our masons will be back on Friday.  I hope we have some interesting fireplace photos to share tomorrow night!

However, there was one disturbing thing that we noticed today. . . last night or this morning, somebody illegally deposited  the remains of a buck they had taken and processed recently, antlers and all, into the dumpster. It was not a pleasant surprise. We have no idea who would do such a thing but we'll be on the lookout now. Needless to say, that dumpster has gotta go soon, along with the 100,000 flies!

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday = Detail Day

Don't these people ever sleep in? The first crew on the scene this morning arrived at 6:45 - two men from Rock Solid returned with a backhoe to dig the last little bit of foundation in front of the garage. This space was formerly occupied by the OPPD power pole and had been "worked around" while the pesky pole waited for removal. They dug their trench and then skedaddled to make room for the mason and the concrete guys.
Early Morning Backhoe
They came, they saw, they dug, they left.

Garage Floor!
Jarek and the crew from T. Hurt poured and completed the concrete floor in the garage.  It looks great!  We are anxious to start parking inside next week even if the garage isn't quite finished.

Northwest Door Stoop
This newly-poured concrete stoop is slightly larger than Scott designed due to an error on the part of the foundation contractor.  Turns out to be a pretty neat little patio though, so we'll keep it! 

Window Trim
The Pella crew returned on Wednesday to finish the window and door installation. They outfitted most of the windows with crown moulding to match the 1920 style.

The Pella crew also installed the egress windows in the two wells on the west wall of the basement. Plenty of room for you to escape if a basement-based emergency occurs!

The "Wow" Factor!
The 8-foot tall doors were installed on the south wall of the great room. 

The two door sets were positioned so that the outside panels are stationary but the two inside panels each slide, creating a six-foot wide opening.  A concrete patio will be added later.

 A View from the South

Fireplace Progress
The limestone lintel was set into place today along with a few more rows of brick. One incorrect piece of the flue was delivered so masonry has been slowed until the correct piece is ready. 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Big Stuff for a Tuesday

This particular Tuesday was anything but boring at noTTafarm!  It was a day to pour concrete, build a fireplace, and install doors and windows.  A beautiful, sunny day and incredible progress.

In anticipation of the plans for the day, I made sure to stop by over the lunch hour.  It was humbling to see how much the hardworking crews accomplished in the time that it took me to edit a newsletter article and answer the phone during my allotted front desk duty.  (My job is pretty wimpy in comparison!)
The windows at lunchtime
By noon, windows were installed in the east side of the landing, the master suite, and the garage.

The fireplace at lunchtime
The masonry crew had the exterior of the chimney built up to about 6 feet and started working on the interior.

The concrete at lunchtime
OK - these puddles of concrete aren't the big news - the big news was going on in the basement beneath the great room. A 2-man crew was busy smoothing out the load of concrete that had been pumped in through a window earlier in the morning.

We were home from work by 5:45 - and so much more had been accomplished: 

They're getting ready to pour concrete in the garage. The floor is smoothed out and has a layer of gravel with fly ash additive.  

Seventeen windows and three doors were installed today. This door is at the west end of the connector;  the windows are on the north end of the dining area.

 Scott is in the photo for scale . . . now you can tell how tall the fireplace is getting!
Gorgeous Limestone Lintel!
Scott designed the fireplace so that it could incorporate some of the Kasota Limestone he had leftover from our front porch renovation at Grant Street.  It really makes a statement!

 Tools of the Masonry Trade

The West Side of the Great Room Shows Off Its 78 in Tall Windows
 Still waiting for installation:  the great room patio doors.  I can't wait to see these 8-ft. tall beauties in place!
 The landing has windows on both the east and west sides which flood the space with light.
 The french doors in the master suite lead out to the deck on top the garage.
Scott climbed down a ladder and through a future window to check out the basement concrete.  It looks great! The three stairs at the back lead to the mechanical room and to the staircase which will lead up to the connector. The space that looks like a hole in the wall to the left of the stairs is a "bonus room" created under the west door stoop and might make a good wine cellar. The space that looks like a hole in the wall to the right of the stairs will actually be a hole in the wall that leads to the 1920 basement.  
All in a Day's Work!
As the sun set over noTTafarm, we reflected on the day's progress - and couldn't be happier with how everything is going.  

Stay Tuned for More!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Roofers Waste No Time

The Builders' Supply truck roared up to the house this morning at about 7:15 with a big load of shingles. A crew quickly unloaded everything via conveyor to a few spots on the new roof - each big packet thrown into a pile with a big, loud thud.  I was happy to leave for work if just to get some peace and quiet!  It was bound to be a noisy day at noTTafarm.

By the time Scott made it home at lunch, it seemed the majority of the new roof had a new layer of shingles, and the integration of old and new was becoming more clear.
A view of the great room's new roof and the existing house's "old" roof - which is really only three years old.  Even though the 2009 shingles are no longer available, they did a good job of matching shingle style and color for the new supply.
Scott took these photos after he arrived home around 6PM. The roofing crew finally wrapped up their day at around 7:30pm.  Just a little bit left to finish on Tuesday.
The mason was back on Monday, too.  The Rumford fireplace now has a back and sides plus its "throat."
The first of many rows of bricks were laid in place, too. Tuesday should show us some excellent progress!
Stay Tuned for More Details!