Monday, October 29, 2012

Dry Wall and Other Progress

The drywall contractor completed his portion of noTTafarm's new addition on Monday. In true drywaller fashion, he left quite a bit of dust behind but other than that, it appears that the walls and ceilings are ready for paint.

In other progress news . . . the weather has not cooperated for the exterior painting. We will wait and see if sunshine and warmer temps coax the painters back on site. 

The electrical contractor seems to be setting his own schedule. At this rate, it will be Valentine's Day before I have any usable outlets or light switches. He has yet to add any wiring to the basement though he did place some conduit last week. We've been parking in the garage but don't have lights or openers. Seriously, what is the hold-up? 

The tile we ordered for the master bath, powder room, and first floor kitchen/circulation spaces is at the warehouse and ready for delivery! Before it is installed, the T. Hurt crew will need to add the substrate and level the floor in the kitchen. 

Many more pieces of the puzzle will be falling in to place during the next few weeks - so, of course, we will keep the blog up-to-date with all the noTTafarm news you can handle.  Until then . . . 
Happy Halloween!
Happy Birthday on October 29th to Mama Marita and on 
October 31st to our Brother-in-Law Alan!
(oh, yes, and to me, too on the 31st)

Great Grout!

The 1920 bathroom floor has been grouted! After a short delay caused by depleted supplies on Sunday, Scott was able to finish grouting the floor Monday (October 29th) evening. It looks great, and the effort served as good practice for the 7,000 pounds of tile yet to be installed (by us) in the new addition.
And so it begins . . . 
Scott began by grouting the floor in the shower. We chose to use dark gray grout to contrast with the bright white tile.

After the grout was mushed in, Scott used a big sponge to wipe up the excess. Many buckets of water were hauled up and down the stairs to complete this task!
The main floor of the bathroom . . . Scott was about half-way through when the grout supply ran out on Sunday. The haze covering the tile in the foreground will be wiped up with a damp cloth (as soon as Scott is finished with his Klondike bar.)
Now, Who Wants to Help Move the Bathtub Up the Stairs?
Stay Tuned for More!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Exterior Tri-fecta: Garage Doors, Gutters & Chimney Cap

This week has been rainy - not stormy - but rainy enough to stop the exterior house painting. Luckily, the rain didn't deter other exterior improvements. We now have garage doors (gorgeous!), gutters (useful!), and a cap on the new chimney (raccoon-proof!)
 The garage doors were installed on Monday, October 22nd
Since power is not yet hooked-up, the openers are not installed. Luckily, Scott knows how to open them with his bare hands. (I learned to shut it by pulling on a rope...I know, it feels so "old school!") The mahogany color of the 8 ft. tall x 9 ft. wide fiberglass doors is a great contrast to the new paint (though not quite yet complete on the front of the garage.)

 The gutters were installed on Tuesday, October 23rd.
It's funny how something as mundane as gutters can make a house look complete. (Love the detail of the beadboard roof overhang soffits, too.)
The chimney cap was also installed on Tuesday, October 23rd. 
After work on Tuesday, I watched Scott install a new stainless steel cap on the new great room chimney. My duty was to keep my phone handy, ready to dial 911 should a slip-and-fall occur. Of course, he did a great job and the chimney cap was installed perfectly. Good job, Scotty!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Welcome to hoTTafarm

That's right . . . I typed hoTTafarm which can only mean one thing:  we have heat!  Just in time for a cold snap, the mechanical contractor hooked-up the new heat pump.  The whole house - old parts and new parts - is now toasty warm.
The main control panel next to the heat pump in the new mechanical room 
We will eventually have three zones, each controlled by a thermostat. We've got a lot to learn about this new system but are happy with its performance so far!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Week in Review: October 16 - 20

The week of October 15 started with a lot of promise - we were especially looking forward to having the exterior of the house painted. Wouldn't you know that, once all of the windows were covered with plastic, the rain began? We had three days of gloomy, sprinkle-y weather that kept our painters away from their task.  Living in a house with the windows sealed off is like living in a snowglobe...light can get through but you can't see what's going on unless you go outside.

In the meantime, interior work progressed slowly. The drywall hangers were done on Monday, then the tapers and mudders started Tuesday...then stopped until Thursday...then didn't do much on Friday. That being said, the drywall looks great; one more coat of mud in most rooms, then the sanding, then they'll be done - hopefully on Monday or Tuesday!
 A view into the kitchen from the great room.

Does this look safe?
The drywall crew set a ladder on the stairs, leaned it onto the high wall in the connector hallway, then made a place to stand by putting a piece of scaffolding through one of the rungs. Perhaps I'll have to employ this same method to stain the windows and paint the ceiling & walls!

Inspection Cat
It's always nice to get Leo's approval on the progress. Here he is, exploring the perimeter of the master bedroom.

One Step Closer to Heat
Big progress was made this week toward the installation of our new heat pump. The equipment arrived on Monday, then the necessary copper piping was run through the space, and the electrical was provided. They also installed a water tank which will harvest excess heat exhausted by the heat pump then send the hot water through a series of pipes to the hot water heater. Pretty spiffy!  (Again, Inspector Cat gave his approval.)

Mechanical Room
All of the heat pump equipment is now housed in its own room in the new basement. Drywall has since been installed here, too. 

No Going Back
The old furnace was placed on our driveway on Friday - which means we really can't use it any more. Before we take it to the metal scrapyard, Scott wants to take it apart and save the "interesting" pieces. I have penned a letter to the producers of the Hoarders television show . . . I think they need to do a barn-full-of-lumber-and-stuff episode!

Sunshine Returned on Saturday
With clear blue skies and warm sunshine on their side, the painting crew arrived Saturday morning. They have worked off and on over the past two weeks, scraping and priming the older parts of the house, and painting the soffits. They started spraying the body of the house at about ten this morning, and are going over parts of it with a brush. So far, it looks fantastic!
With all three sections (1920, 1972 and 2012) of the house painted the same color, Scott's vision for noTTafarm is shining through.
The mossy green of the Hardieplank siding you see on the great room at right will soon be covered with two coats of Sherwin Williams 6204 "Sea Salt;" the trim is painted 6203 "Spare White."

Grant Street Revisited - Again
We used Sea Salt in our kitchen and the 2nd floor bathroom at our old house. Hope Kevin and Sara don't mind sharing another piece of Grant Street style with us!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Concrete Caps Add Finishing Touch

The mason returned Monday to place the pre-cast concrete caps on the new east wall. We are really pleased with the results!
 The caps were created to replicate the color of the limestone accents.
 The shape of the cap slopes slightly to help shed water.
The mason will return on Tuesday to do some final touch-ups. 

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Drywall: Day 3

The drywall crew kept up a great pace on Saturday, and finally left noTTafarm just after dark. They continued today, and will finish hanging wall board in the kitchen and pantry tomorrow (Tuesday) then make way for the tapers and the mudders.
Is there a messier element in new construction? 
I wish they would accidentally leave their scaffolding behind so that I can stain those windows way up on the great room wall. Oh, and for painting  . . . someone has to climb up there to paint the wall.
After work on Monday, Leo checked out the progress and seemed intrigued by the waste pile in the great room. 
Remember when I always made Scott stand in the future laundry closet
Now that the drywall is done, it's looking pretty good!
Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"New People" Welcome New Baby!

Congratulations, Kevin and Sara!
The lovely couple that purchased our Grant Street house a year ago welcomed their first baby this morning. Their son, Bennett Spalding, was born at 6:20 a.m., weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz. and measuring 18 inches long.

Snug-As-Bugs with Room to Spare

With storms predicted to rumble over noTTafarm Friday evening, and with the concrete cured sufficiently, Scott agreed that we could park our cars in the garage for the first time. It was quite exciting to pull the Mini, the Escape, and Scott's prized Audi into their respective spots.
Pretty Cool!
Stay Tuned for More Progress!

Talkin' 'bout Walls

The progress this week at noTTafarm was highlighted by the completion of interior insulation and the beginning of drywall installation. Sound-absorbing insulation was added between interior walls above ceilings which should cut down on the clomping factor (a tell-tale sign that a member of the Ward side of the family (including me) is in the house.) The rooms definitely felt more cozy and quiet with the insulation complete!
By Friday (October 12) morning, the insulation was covered with its vapor barrier and ready for drywall.
A view of the insulated casual dining area ceiling.
 The drywall was delivered at about 7:30 Friday morning. 
After some discussion with Scott, it was decided that the first batch should be delivered to the second story through the deck door in the master bedroom. They used their big boom truck to lift the stack of sheets up and over the deck.
Each piece was moved by hand into the house. I left for work shortly after this photo was taken but Scott tells me that the first floor drywall was delivered through the south patio doors. They used the boom to lift it over our new patio.
The drywall crew made great progress on Friday. 
By the time we got home from work, most of the great room and other first floor spaces were nearly complete.
The master bedroom really feels cozy now that the walls are in place.

The drywall work continues today (Saturday the 13th) as the crew arrived at about 8:15 for a full day of work. They should be able to begin taping and mudding on Monday.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bathroom Tile Progress Moves to the Floor

Scott made great progress in the 1920 bathroom this weekend! The majority of the floor tile is now in place, and it looks great. 
Check it out!
He started on Saturday by placing the tile inside the shower stall. He had to make sure the little mosaics would fit nicely around the drain. Once that difficult spot was done, he moved on to the field tile.
Each 1 ft. x 1 ft. mesh-backed piece is comprised of 144 individual hexagon tiles. It's a good thing someone figured out how to do that whole mesh-back thing! I can't imagine trying to precisely place each tile. I teased Scott about how long he took to place each piece but he just wants it to be correct! (So I can't fault him for that, now can I?)
Due to the nature of the hexagon shape, the perimeter of the floor will need to be completed with half-pieces of tile. Luckily, Scott got to buy a new tool - a pair of tile nippers - to help with the task. He will tackle this process during the week.
The field tile is all in place! Now all we need is a piece of granite or marble to serve as a shower threshold, and the aforementioned half-pieces. Scott hopes to have everything in place and ready to grout next weekend.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

2 Days + 3 Truckloads = 1 Big Driveway

The T. Hurt crew set up shop here at noTTafarm on Friday to pour, color, and stamp the new southside patio. Thursday afternoon, they finished laying out a grid of reinforcing rebar and the wood forms.
Friday morning, the forms were set and the patio was ready for concrete.
By the time I arrived home from work Friday afternoon, we had one beautiful patio! Of course, Bibbers was the first to enjoy it. (Luckily, the concrete was too far along to have permanent Bibbers prints embedded.)
We chose to have the patio stamped in a random pattern, and colored a darker, slate gray. Pretty spiffy!
 Also on Friday, a step off of the northwest stoop was framed and readied for concrete.
A lot of thought went into the layout of the driveway before the grading began. The crew worked most of Friday to get it ready for concrete.
Bright & shiny (7:45) Saturday morning, the crew arrived. 
Three truckloads of concrete were used throughout the day.
Getting started
Temps were chilly this weekend! The high on Saturday was about 53 but the sunshine kept the mood upbeat.
Wonder where I could get a pair of those yellow boots...pretty cute!
Jarek (orange shirt) worked on-site until well after dark, leaving at around 9PM Saturday. After the concrete was poured, he worked a lot at grading the entire job site with the Bobcat. The surplus dirt that was piled on the east side of the barn when the basement was dug has been reduced by about two-thirds, and our backyard now looks more like an actual yard and not a waste site for lumber odds-and-ends.
Thank you, Jarek!
By 10 o'clock, the third load of concrete had arrived and the work continued down the slope. The existing concrete was sliced to create a nice, clean edge for the new concrete to abut.
This may seem like a large area of concrete but think of the rollerskating I could do! Scott even suggested getting a basketball hoop.
By 12:45 Saturday, the concrete was all in place, including along the courtyard wall. Later in the afternoon, Jarek scored the driveway to create expansion joints. Now we just have to wait the prescribed seven days before we can drive on the new concrete and park in the garage!
 Saturday afternoon, the step off the northwest stoop was created. 
Also on Saturday, expansion joints were cut into the patio. They also rinsed the patio to reveal more of the depth of desired color before covering the whole thing with a tarp for curing.
All in All, A Pretty Great Effort by the Concrete Guys!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!
Drywall on Wednesday (?!)