Saturday, November 23, 2013

24 Times noTTafarm Looked Awesome

The professional photos taken November 7th were delivered this week, and we couldn't be more excited to share them with you! Tom Grady ( did a wonderful job of capturing the design of the new addition. The 24 photos below are those which will help tell the story of the new addition project in the aforementioned award submittal. We hope you enjoy seeing noTTafarm through the photographer's lens! (Hint: click on each photo to open it in an enlarged size.)

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Kitchen's New Addition Makes a "Splash!"

Finally! The backsplash I first told you about back in September arrived at the house on Friday. After a three month delay caused by what can only be described as a lack of communication, the sheet metal fabricator finished their task.
The three backsplash pieces were fabricated from sheets of stainless steel, scored with a 3"-quilted pattern. Most of the notches and holes for outlets were cut for us but Scott had to use the Dremel for some small touch-ups.
Thanks to a brilliant suggestion from his wife, Scott used super-sticky, double-sided tape which was leftover from the installation of the rubber stair treads.
Once the paper backing was removed, the steel was ready to press into place. The first piece was the simplest; this is the small area above the microwave.
Ta Da!
One down, two to go . . . 
Most of you know that this opening will eventually hold shelves on which I will stack the Fiesta. In the meantime, this sliver of stainless steel is held temporarily by the outlet cover plates.
The biggest backsplash challenge was the stove wall.
He test-fit the piece before applying the tape. Luckily, this piece was fabricated very precisely!
Adding the sticky tape . . .
Removing the paper backing . . .
I helped guide this large piece into place. It was a little scary since the tape wants to stick to everything, including shirts and hands - so we had to work quickly. My reward for being a good helper was getting to pull some of the protective plastic off the stainless.
We really couldn't be more impressed with the way this looks! The kitchen feels finished now, and the stainless is beautiful.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

noTTafarm "Smiles Pretty" for Photo Shoot

Thursday morning at 6:30 while you all were still snoozing, we were up and at 'em. A professional photographer arrived in time to watch the sun rise over the new addition, and to begin a 6-hour photo shoot. The general contractor of our project, T. Hurt Construction, is entering the "Addition" category of the CoTY (Contractor of the Year) Awards of the NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry.) T. Hurt has a great track record, having received previous CoTY awards at the regional and national level. You can imagine we are quite pleased and excited that our home may garner industry attention - even though we already know it's a real winner. 
The photographer, Thomas Grady, set up in the east yard first. We were blessed with another sunny, warm (for November) day so the light was great for exterior shots.
We cleaned and staged the house, trying to make the best impression. Doesn't the great room look lovely?
Tom used all sorts of lights and filters along with his camera and tripod.
T. Hurt Construction's customer relations and marketing manager, Sara Lorenz, stayed at the house all day, helping Tom set up the shots. She is responsible for submitting the entry for our project and two others in different categories. She has a lot of work to do in the next few weeks!
After completing the bulk of the shoot at around 1PM, Tom returned to see the sunset, and take evening shots of the house. It was a perfect night for photography!
We had just about every interior light switched on to capture the new addition aglow. It will be interesting to see how the photos turn out. I have every confidence that seeing them will make us appreciate our home even more.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Oak Provides Stylish Cap

The stair rail project progressed throughout the week. In fact, about two-thirds of the wood caps are now stained, poly-ed, and bolted into place. We just need to finish the rail on the first floor connector, and finish the poly panels and rail that lead down the stairs to the basement.
The rails are made of oak but are stained the same Minwax Cherry we used throughout the house. It was like old times, being in the basement with my bucket of stain and my latex gloves.
The two horizontal pieces that form the upper connector rail were pegged and glued together before finishing. The big "V" shaped piece fit perfectly, of course, due to Scott's excellent measuring skills.
Looking down the stairs at silly ol' Wilson who always seems to be dreaming about going outside. Note the "window" to the kitchen at top of the photo. Will that project be "next?" Stay Tuned to Find Out!
A view from the 1920 hallway behind the kitchen. The lower horizontal rail is currently being held in place by double-sided tape. There is a little design and fabrication that needs to occur in order to connect that rail to a series of small pieces that will turn the corner, leading to the long basement banister.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stair Rail Progress Continues

Scott made fantastic progress on the connector stair railing system over the past week - in fact, he was able to attach all of the polycarbonate panels on the first and second floors. (The basement portion will wait for now.) After some thoughtful planning, the process went very smoothly.
Scott made a template out of a piece of scrap wood upon which he measured and marked the location of each hole that needed to be drilled. It was easy to keep the holes even from section-to-section.
Drilling through the steel was loud but not that difficult.
After drilling each hole, Scott went back and used a countersink bit to create a funnel-shaped hole. The head of each bolt would now settle in, rather than protrude and perhaps snag a passer-by.
The panels were held in place with spring clamps, then drilled through the previously-drilled holes. Six bolts and acorn nuts attach each panel to the steel.
The poly panels in place at the second-floor balcony.
I pitched in and helped attach the panels on the lower section.  Scott let me use the drill, and thread the bolts through each hole. Helping was a good distraction from the Husker football game on November 2nd - which, until literally the last second, we thought was a lost cause.
On Sunday, November 3rd, Scott purchased five oak handrails in a variety of lengths. He will cut each piece to the right length, making adjustments as needed to make them fit perfectly. It will be my job to help sand, stain, and polycoat each piece before he bolts them in place. 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!