Thursday, March 25, 2010

Window and Trees - a pictoral post

The two Chinese Pistache were planted yesterday. They are taller than I expected but a little spindly. In 3-5 years they should be beauties. If you intend to see the trees in the two following pictures, look closely. The second picture is a bit of an optical illusion with a much larger tree helping to fill out the Pistache's canopy. I've been trying to get a shot of the trees from across the street but work trucks are always parked out in front of our house obscuring the view. I'll take the work trucks thank you.

Those large trucks have been unloading our windows! We have all but one in as of this morning.
Front office window looking out West

Living room looking out

Kitchen looking out

Looking into the mudroom

Front of house with one set of new windows and one set of old.

I love this shot of the house. Our front lawn reminds me of a very zealous political enthusiast's. At the urging of E, I took down two of the older signs. It still makes me giggle, just not as much.

Once the house is insulated and sealed up, I expect E will wander around from room to room taking measurements of sound with the new windows open, and closed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three Doors and a Window

Two new Marvin doors went in today. One big set of horrific double doors came out, if you could even call our master bedroom doors that much. I prefer to think of them more as a glass sieve that water, wind and dirt came through but kept the really big chunks (such as raccoons) out. Although, I never really tested their limits on keeping raccoons out. I always assumed they could keep a raccoon out, which was probably a good assumption since after every rain, I had to throw my whole body weight against the doors in order to open them. Let me add to the list of things they were good at; not opening and closing.
The back of the house is prepped for tomorrow's door installation.
Can you spot the small dog?

The side yard with our spiffy new kitchen door.

The mud-room door.

I have it on good authority that a window showed up at the house as well so with any luck, the first of 17! windows will go in tomorrow as well. I am of course counting each of the large front windows as three in total, a center picture window flanked on either side by a tall narrow casement window. Count it as 13, count it as 17, either way the windows are going in.

I can't wait to get home on Sunday and see it all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reflections and Good News

After a month of opera, I feel creatively revived and ready to tackle some more projects on the house. I have next week back at home, then I hit the road again for another 6 weeks. I've had the luxury of dreaming about the house again, much like when we first put the offer on the house. I've had several "brilliant" ideas.

The first of my brilliant ideas was inspired by a post on apartment therapy.

Not to fear cleanly folks. There won't be any grease spatter besmearing the chef's image in my kitchen. However, while fixing a delicious espresso drink, there might be a little something extra to reflect upon. The built-in residing in the dining room has a mirror above the center portion. I want to create a similar built-in feel with the coffee/wine buffet in the kitchen.

The buffet in the kitchen consists of 2-24" upper cabinets (12" deep) hung over 2-24" base cabinets (12" deep). The unit will be placed in the corner of the kitchen on the wall closest to the dining room and opposite the dining room built-in. It is flanked on the other side by a pantry. The upper doors are glass with divided lights that, bare with me, mirror the dining room built-in.

We already have two huge mirrored closet doors that we removed from the cottage apartment. With a few measurements, a glass cutter and pair of pliers, I'll have a cool and free mirror detail. An added bonus is that the buffet will go in directly across from the glass kitchen door - reflecting sunlight!

Good News - The issue with the hole in the ceiling of the small bedroom, mentioned in this post, has been taken care of. It is only a matter of when I can get the ceiling and wall work scheduled.

Indeed the walls need quite a bit of work as well. What started out as a room with four complete walls and an intact ceiling as turned into a larger project than anticipated. I admit, my penchant for well done details and gung-ho demolition attitude turned the lower half of the room into the unstable environment it is today. When I tore down the wood paneling masquerading as wainscot, I left behind exposed lathe and crumbling plaster in my wake. But that was only the beginning. When the exterior dry-rot work was going on, something not so surprising occurred, an interior wall began to migrate south. Below is a picture of such a corner in the small bedroom. The upper corner sports a hairline crack which has since turned into a 3" gap with the plaster slowly sliding down the wall.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sink Hole

Yet another mystery has been solved. Ever wonder where the run off from the roof goes? We have. There are two drains, now two triple sized drains since our new roof, with downspouts attached to subterranean pipes. We previously discovered that the downspout on the western side of the house drains out to the street. The piping is intact and fully functional which is a HUGE surprise. We'd previously noticed the eastern drain seemed to be directed towards the front of the house along the East side of the house, but had until last week, been unable to find the outlet.

E and I were on our way out for a run when he decided to disconnect the drain from the exposed piping and run the garden hose down the opening for 10 minutes. Still at a loss after walking along the curb, I noticed a damp spot on the sidewalk in front of the house. Logically following the damp spot to the lawn (o.k., weed garden) I noticed something of a bulge in the yard. Yes, I said there was a bulge in the yard. It was something like a potbelly. When E tapped it with his foot, the belly gurgled and squished. The 3' patch jiggled a bit and then stopped. Again, "tap, tap" followed by a "jiggle, jiggle". Our yard was either growing boils or we had very own underground aquifer just under the surface. The weed garden was tightly knit enough to keep the water from rising to the surface, instead, 10 minutes worth of hose water lay trapped under the yard, jiggling and generally creeping me out.

Yet we do have an almost fully functional drain system. We know where the water goes to at least. It is away from the house. Suppose we'll have to do something out how it plumps up in the yard, but that is a detail. I'm a big picture person at the moment. It is easy to be a big picture person when sitting 100s of miles away in a different city.

Since I am sitting 100s of miles away, I'd like to include a gratuitous pet photo, because, I can.

I have left Sophie in charge of things while away.
She has informed me that she enjoys her new position of power.