Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Decking Arrives

The decking for the porches was delivered today. It looks very nice. Hopefully I ordered the right amount. Not sure when I’ll start laying it down. I really should get more of the painting done first. However, I’m thinking that I will lay the stairs sooner. The contractors said that the stairs would likely begin to warp if I don’t get them decked as soon as possible. But, if I do the stairs now, I need to figure out exactly how I want them. I’m thinking that I would like to have solid risers rather than leaving the stairs open. For this, I was thinking cedar 1x. But, I can’t rip the decking for this because it is grooved on one side. So, I was thinking I would go and get some 6ft square-top fencing and use that for the risers. Then, I will need to lay down the decking on the steps so that it has just the right amount of over hang without making it fragile. Also, I need to make sure that the outdoor-wood framing is not visible when I’m done. This means wrapping the sides with 1x as well. That’s more tricky since each step must them be cut out of the ‘fascia’ board. The good news is that this should only be an issue for the stairs that stick out from the porch and not the ones (one) that is concave.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Summer is Here!

It was a warm weekend. Temperatures were in the mid 80’s both days. I had a hard time getting motivated to work Saturday, but put in several solid hours of painting on Sunday, as did Jenn. Jenn started painting color in the master bedroom and sitting area while I painting primer in the closet, master bath, upstairs hall, 2nd bedroom, and 2nd bath. The master closet, master bath, and upstairs hallway are ready for their finish coasts, but I didn’t finish either the 2nd bedroom or bath. Jenn put two coats of the dark blue on the master entry area, but put a single coat of the lighter painting the bedroom and sitting areas. I think it’s going to look nice. A friend of our, Shawn, has volunteered to help us paint tonight. We haven’t completely decided if we will accept his offer yet or not. It probably depends on how hot it gets up there since the forecast calls for temperatures exceeding 90. Despite that, my goal is to have all primer painting done by the end of this up coming weekend. We’ll see.
However something that may compete with my painting time is the porch decking. We ordered the decking from Parr lumber and it should arrive this Wednesday. Yippee. After much hand wringing, I decided to go with the 2x6 tight-knot cedar. I think it will look nice. The porch decking turned out to be more than I expected, nearly $2000. I will still need to build the railing, probably sometime this fall.
We invited over for dinner Wednesday evening a couple who have been friends with Jenn for a long time. The guy, Jason, is a professional tile setter. He helped me put a tile order together, something I was concerned about doing correctly. In the past, I’ve only dealt with cheap tile from Home Depot. I would buy some tile, tile until I ran out, and then drive back to Home Depot for some more. But, since these are much nicer tiles that are painted in small batches, I wanted to make sure I got the right amount with only one order. With Jason’s help, I think we will. We placed our order at Daltile and it should arrive on Friday. The tile was less than I thought (how often does that happen?), about $700 including shipping costs. The dealer gave us Jason’s contractor discount. That was good. In addition, Jason provided some useful tips including reinforcing the tub decking with some 1/2” cement board to make it stronger and more resistant to cracks. Good stuff.
The bid on putting a metal railing on the balcony came in it at over $1000. So, I have decided to put in a wood one instead. When I was ordering the porch decking I completely forgot to include enough for the balcony. Oh well. I will have to get this done before the end of the summer. Fortunately we’re talking about a small space and I can probably get the wood on my own using Sioux’s truck. At this same time, I’ll probably get all the wood for the porch railing.
I registered for a two classes at Portland Community College this term. The first one is on how to lay down wood floors, the second one is how to sand and finish wood floors. Very cool. I think the total cost is something like $60. Money well spent, I’m sure.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Must Paint!!!

Well, looks like Thursday was the last day we’ll see Dave or Dale for a while. We need to finish painting before we will call them back again to get the electricians out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Back Steps?

Met with Dave and Dale this morning. We talked about steps for the front and back porches. They were under the impression that they would not need to put steps in out back. Ugh. I THINK they are now going to make me some steps for out back. However, I wish I had talked to them about it before today. So, we should get 3 sets of stairs in front, and 1 set in back. Hope so.
I paid them another $4600 today. Ugh. But, this should cover everything except the dumpster. This should run me another $400 or more. We’ll see. But, after that, I shouldn’t have to pay 3D Construction any more. Despite this asterisk, I think we’ve reach an important milestone in the project today. Cool.
I’d really like to get the primer in the master suite done tonight so that I can start painting the ceilings. For the ceilings I got a 5 gallon bucket of a pure white ‘ceiling paint’ from Home Depot. Should be good enough. For the bathroom and closets walls we’ll use a white satin paint also from HD. But, for all the walls with color, we’ll use the Miller paint again.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Pain in the Neck!

Talked to Dave this morning and a sinking feeling that ‘gutters aren’t included’ were confirmed. Much like the porch framing, I’m certain that the gutters WERE once included, but have no paper confirming this. It appears that he too has gone through the paper work looking for things that are not explicitly spelled out so that he can deny their inclusion. Bottom line, I’m on my own for the gutters. Considering all the other work that I’ll have to do, I’m probably going to have a professional put in seamless aluminum. I’ve read that I can pretty much get any color I want, so I’ll probably go with either copper or white. The idea of copper looking gutters without the expense (or the patina) is kind of appealing. Not sure if Jenn will like the idea though. I’m also considering not putting gutters on the dormers. Not sure if that’s a good idea or not, but it would reduce the costs and keep the look of the dormers more simple. So, I’ll just need a strait run on the front and back of the house, wrap it around three sides of the sunroom, plus downspouts. The article says I should expect to pay $10 a linier foot, which would make the entire project cost a bit over $1000. Not too bad, considering.
Btw, my neck is still a little stiff and sore. I still don’t know exactly why. I’ve never had a stiff neck last this long. It’s been a week now. Granted, it’s a whole lot better than it was a week ago, but I can still feel it. Very strange.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Even More Painting

The painting continues. We’ve painted primer on perhaps half the surfaces. I focused mostly on the master suite, while Jenn has been working the 2nd bedroom, 2nd bath, and hallway. We’re leaving the sunroom alone for now until we can mask off all the windows and woodwork.
Jenn found some paint for the master suite that she likes. It’s kind of a bluish lavender, not my choice, but it will look nice in the bedroom. We agreed to paint the walls the lighter color, but the hallway between the bedroom and the sitting room will be a darker color. We’ve also decided to paint all of the ceilings a bright satin white, as well as the bathrooms and closets. That just leaves the 2nd bedroom, sunroom, and hallways to decide for sure. I thought we were in agreement to paint the hallways the same color as the living room (cane: a kind of a golden harvest-wheat color), but Jenn would like to introduce a new color, though she isn’t sure. We also bought two more 5 gallon buckets of primer. We’ve already spent over $260 on paint. Ugh.
I managed to hurt my neck too. I’m still not exactly sure how, but I think it was when I was painting the ceiling in the closet. All that I know is that I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore stiff neck that got stiffer and sorer as the week went on. By Friday, I had decided to take the day off from work and spent it lying in the basement watching TV.
I talked to Dave and Dale this morning. They think they will be done with the ‘construction’ by the end of this week. This still leaves some odds-and-ends such as the remaining electrical work, gutters, etc., but it is still an important milestone.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Painting and such

Spent some time painting last night. We’re still doing the primer. Jenn painted most of the upstairs hallway while I spent time on the sitting room. We’ve been doing a lot of ‘cheating’ in that we are only painting areas that don’t require masking. We’re going to have to start masking if we want to keep going. We need to mask off the windows, the tub and shower enclosures, and exposed beams. That will be a lot of work. It is also taking more paint than I had thought. We bought a 5 gallon can of the primer, but it’s going fast. There appears to be only a little over a half a can left while we have painting less than a quarter of the upstairs. Ugh. And at $83 for 5 gallons, it isn’t cheap. At this rate, we’re going to end up spending at least $500 just on paint.
I spent some time last night drawing pictures of built-in ‘sideboards’ for the dining room. This built-in is intended to do a lot. I hope it will hold most of our dinnerware, be a display case for Jenn’s china and other nice things, and also be a lockable liquor cabinet. In addition, I thought a counter top would be nice, with a mirror as a ‘backsplash’ of sorts. I paged through the ‘Bungalow Nation’ book for some good examples. The design I came up with is simple, but has the potential to achieve all of the above goals. It has 4 glass cabinet doors above the countertop, 2 more cabinet doors below, and a set of 3 drawers below as well. One design problem for the area is that the left half is deeper (32”) than the right half (18”). This is because the left side was originally a bedroom closet and the right side is space borrowed from (and shared with) the bathroom. Finally, I might like to make the glass doors and mirror into a tiffany-style leaded glass project. The pattern would have to be fairly simple, but it could look really great.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Painting Starts

I started painting the primer on the drywall on Sunday. I painted part of the master closet and it looks pretty good. Dave says we need to finish the painting before the electricians come back to finish the wiring. The electricians need to wire everything all at once and make sure everything works. Therefore we will need to have the lights installed, but we don’t want to have to mask off the lights while painting. We could remove the lights again after the electricians are done, but considering the master bedroom alone has 7 wall sconces, that’s a lot of lights to remove. So, we’ll do what we can to get as much of the house painting before the electricians show.
I designed something I call a ‘candle stand’ for the landings on the main stairs. These are triangular shaped attached tables with a storage cabinet below. I was thinking about building two of them, one for each corner of the landing. We can keep candles in the cabinets, then light them and put them on the tabletop during parties or special occasions. I was even thinking about mounting small mirrors on the wall just above the table top to help reflect the candle light, but I’m not sure about this. By making them triangle shaped and wedging them in the corners, they won’t take up much space or get in the way. I think the candle stands will be nice and add character to the house.
Dave and Dale installed much of the cedar shingles around the balcony on Tuesday. It looks very nice and I can hardly wait to have it done. He also asked that I pay for the entire garbage removal. Oh well. I think we’ll just have to see how much stuff will fit into one big dumpster, and then use Sioux’s truck to move the rest of it. Yuck.