Friday, September 28, 2012

Geothermal Progress and Other Friday Facts

The crew finally returned today (September 28) to continue the geothermal heating/cooling system installation. Each of the four pipes leading from their respective wells is now linked, and a trench was dug from the well field to the house.
The trench has been filled in but the ridge left behind makes it look like a giant mole has taken up residence.

The trench surrounding the well field is still open though protected by a ring of snow fence. I am hoping the crew returns on Monday to finish.
I hope the geothermal system comes with some sort of instruction manual. I'm sure these new valves that were installed in the basement today do something important to keep the house cool and/or warm. For now, I will just look but not touch.
The HVAC ductwork contractor has been working every day, installing all sorts of ducts, return air lines, etc. He will soon have to figure out how to connect the shiny new stuff to the ducts in the original portions of the house.
The plumber recently added a new spigot on the west side of the garage. Neato!
Our old friend Bibbers enjoyed spending time with us as we walked around the job site (or was he really hanging around, hoping to annoy our Leo?)
Leo has found the best spot to observe the noTTafarmyard goings-on. He perches himself on the scupper of the new courtyard patio. His backside usually hangs out the back so he's not "hiding" very well but he sure looks cute!
Of course, Tux is never far away if the other kitties are out and there might be food. All around, a nice evening for the noTTafarm cat family!
Have a Great Weekend! Check Back for Updates!
Go Big Red!

Shopping: My Favorite Task!

On Thursday, I finally felt like I was contributing to the new addition project as we traveled to everyone's favorite furniture and appliance superstore to purchase a few necessities. It was easy since we (1.) went on a weeknight, (2.) we knew exactly what we wanted, and (3.) we found a great salesman that was very helpful. The delivery date has been set; let's see if we need to adjust it or we will be ready for our stove, range hood, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and new mattress by Saturday, November 3rd. (Yikes! That's about five weeks from today!)
Thanks, Nebraska Furniture Mart, for another fun shopping experience! As my mom often wonders, "wouldn't it be fun to have the money they earn in just one day?" I'm guessing it would be more than enough to pay for our little construction project.
Stay Tuned for More Details!

AV Wiring Continues

Scott has been chipping away a little bit each evening on the AV wiring of the new addition.  He is drilling holes through walls and running cables so that we can have satellite television, phones, and Internet throughout. He must complete this before the insulation contractors begin their work early next week.
Tuesday (September 25), I worked late . . . Scott took advantage of me being out of the house, went to Home Depot, and scurried home with a new 8-ft. step ladder (which I had tried to tell him he didn't need.) It has come in handy, doing the wiring tasks!
Wednesday night, Kevin came over and pitched in.  (Thanks, Kevin!)
After the hole between old and new was punched open, Scott posted this sign as a warning to the contractors. So far, no one has been injured by our orange tabby cat.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Inspection Day: Pass or Fail?

The electrical and plumbing inspectors both visited the project site today.  Both gave us a "PASS" which means they approve the work done up to this point. Yay!

Also on Monday:  the new addition was treated for termites.  (Sorry, Termites. You'll have to take up residence elsewhere.)

As I type this:  Scott is in the new addition running his AV cabling for Internet, satellite TV, and land-line phone. He needs to get it all done before next week. (Why do we still have a land-line? Mainly because it allows caller ID display on the TV.)

Tuesday Morning:  Scott has a meeting with Darin (our GC PM). They will be discussing next-steps with the wood trim contractor and the insulation contractor.

Scheduled for Thursday:  The geothermal contractor will return to dig the trench from the wells to the house . . .then hook-up all of the piping and install the equipment in the basement.

On Tap for Next Week:  In addition to turning the calendar to October (how did that happen so quickly?), our concrete crew will return to pour the driveway and the new south patio.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

The construction activities during the past week have been important but not especially "showy." Once the siding was done, we were able to sleep until 6:30 (what a relief!) and the work being done by the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC proceeded at a good pace. Electrical and plumbing inspections are scheduled for tomorrow (Monday), and inspections for HVAC ductwork and the framing will also occur soon.  Once those elements are given the "OK", the project will continue with insulation and drywall. It's crazy to think that in two or three weeks, we could have real walls ready for paint! We have a lot of work of our own to catch up on, too. 
The electrician "made up" the wiring throughout the addition. Once drywall is done, he'll come back to install the actual outlets and light switches.

Scott spent three-plus hours Friday evening and Saturday morning vacuuming all of the sawdust and dirt throughout the addition - all so that we could take down the temporary barriers between the old and new, and live for the weekend in our "opened-up" house. The view in this photo is from the original 1920 front door (on the south side of the house) looking through the "parlor" and into the kitchen and great room. It really felt fantastic to have the house opened but having an operable furnace would have been nice when temps dipped into the 30s overnight. 

On Saturday (September 22nd), we were excited to welcome Nick, Brooke & Allie to lunch at noTTafarm! Allie has grown so much since we saw her way back in June at Lumberjack Days. She tried her best to chase Leo around the great room.

 Daddy Nick knows how to control his rambunctious 15-month old.

While Brooke and Allie went to meet a friend across town, Nick got to help Scott with a project. He used the sawz-all, the nail gun, and a it was a good couple of hours. The whole family arrived decked out in their KSU Purple, ready to cheer their Cats to a victory over the Sooners.

Scott took advantage of a small space behind the pantry, and framed a small closet. We're going to put a few coat hooks and a small shelf here for easy access to the new east door.

Leo has already learned that the new east door can be opened for him - all he has to do is sit there and meow loudly, repeatedly, and the door opens (like magic!)

Carl and Marita stopped by to see the "opened up" house on Sunday. So far, we have their stamp of approval!
The architect ponders the upcoming work . . . 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nailed It!

Walking through the yard surrounding the house and picking up nails for the last two months has not only been good exercise, it has yielded quite a harvest of a large variety of nails, screws, and tacks. Of course, we must keep each and every one of them because you just never know when you might need a nail, screw or tack of that exact type.
Nails for Sale:  10/$1
Contact Scott @ noTTafarm

Siding Buttons-up Exterior

The best thing about arriving to your job site before the sun is up is that by 9:30 in the morning, the project is done! After just a week of work, the siding crew wrapped up their portion of the addition Tuesday morning (September 18). We think it looks great, and look forward to seeing the entire house painted in the near future. Even more exciting - the fact that I won't be woken up by the sound of trucks on the driveway at 6 o'clock!

The crew slept in a little on Saturday, September 15, waiting til about 6:45 to arrive. As I slipped off to Minneapolis for the weekend with Amy B., Scott supervised their progress and took a few photos.
 I think they arrived so early each day just to unload their trailer full of ladders.
Suddenly, our project looks like a real house!
Looking north toward the great room addition and the 1920 front porch.
Looking east at the back of the garage and the north wall of the great room.
 The north side of the garage is pretty plain except for the rooftop scuppers.
 I wonder when the garage doors will arrive? 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Late Night Grout

The tile work in the 1920 bathroom continues - but seriously, it's getting close to being done. The tile at the right in the photo is already done . . . check out how cool it looks!  Scott got some help Tuesday night from Leo who always seems to have something to say.
Stay Tuned for More Updates!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Siding: Day 3

Friday was another early start for the siding crew; they arrived at 6:15 this morning to get busy. They are already promising a full day of work on Saturday, too, so we should have a lot to show after the weekend. 
 Proof that the siding guys have been hard at work . . . lots of HardiePlank scraps!
Here's a photo of the trim detail. They did a wonderful job of matching the traditional look of the original house.
By the end of Friday, half of the great room and back of the garage have siding. More to come on Saturday!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Concrete Brings "Courtyard" to Life

T. Hurt's crew arrived on Thursday morning to complete the concrete work on the east and north sides of the 1972 addition.  We now have a really neat concrete slab that wraps around, creating a nice little patio.  Check out their hard work:
The first step after smoothing the dirt was to add all of the reinforcing and the forms for the stairs.
The concrete arrived and was pumped to the site; it made quite a racket and filled the house with diesel fumes (but it was worth it.)
The square opening was prepared for its new life as a through-wall scupper. (Don't you just love the word "scupper?")
More reinforcing, looking toward the north.
A peek through the north door . . . you can see the big tube of concrete being pumped onto the porch.
By the end of Thursday's work day, the concrete was all in place - troweled and scored and looking good. This patio turned out quite a bit larger than I had imagined, and will be a great place to have a row of chairs or a small table set.
The crew also made time on Thursday to pour new concrete steps in the basement.  They knocked quite a hole in the 1920 wall to link the rooms.  Leo has already discovered this new secret passageway into the addition, and has fun hunting crickets in the new basement.
All in a Day's Work for Our Awesome Concrete Guys!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The crunching of truck tires on our driveway woke me up this morning; it was only 6:30 and not quite light out.  Apparently, that's the time that siding contractors arrive for work!  We were happy to welcome another hardworking crew to noTTafarm, despite the early hour.
After a consult with Scott, the crew began the process by adding all of the trim boards around the perimeter of the new addition, up the edges, and around the roof line. (You can see the trim - the white board right above the window wells - in the photo above.) The profile of this trim matches that of the 1920 house.

The siding crew stopped for a bit after the trim was on because - oddly enough - it was sprinkling today! By the time we got home after work, they were back and adding the siding to the west wall of the great room. As I type this, it is now pouring down rain as it has been for almost two hours.  Jeff, the siding foreman, told us that they may not be able to work tomorrow if it is raining or unusually muddy. Jeff said they hadn't missed one day of work this summer due to weather, so I guess our drought was good for business!

The siding that we are using is HardiePlank Lap Siding, a long-lasting fiber cement board. It will be painted, along with the original house, before our project is complete.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Updates

Just a few photos to show what happened today:
The first pieces of our plumbing fixtures arrived today! The faucets for the master bath are Kohler "Margaux" (polished chrome) and much prettier than this photo illustrates.
Leo helped Scott review the wiring accomplished today in the great room. The electrician should be moving on to the second floor tomorrow.
This trailer is now parked north of the house. We think all of these ladders belong to the siding contractor - so we can only assume that the siding will be going up soon!
Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Running 'round noTTafarm

The new addition saw action from the electrical, security, HVAC, and plumbing teams on Monday, September 10. Evidence of their work now runs all throughout the house. 
 The east and west high walls of the great room will each host four uplights. 
 The security system wiring is a little harder to spot.
 The plumber is just about done. 
Scott "ran" out of the basement with an abandoned electrical box. He has deemed this worth keeping, and I'm sure he will be glad someday that he saved it.

Later this week, we should see the siding going up and some concrete going down - so be sure to check back for details.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Great Grout!

Scott began grouting the 1920 bathroom Sunday afternoon.  Hooray! But before you get too excited, he's not done.  It will take a few more grouting sessions to finish this task.  Progress is progress, after all.

 Mixing the grout . . . 
Smooshing the grout in place inside the shower . . .
Good job, Scotty!