Ply Down, Walls to Go

Yes, it's down! Wow. World record. Our neighbor was supposed to come over to do the drywall, but once he came down and saw Mike making such progress, he decided to just let him go at it and save the drywall for tomorrow.

And here's the final result. Awesome to behold isn't it? So tomorrow - the drywall. It needs another coat of mud - and then it's going to need to dry again. And then sanding... and then painting.

Next weekend will be all about the paint and prime, or prime and paint. Woa, totally backasswards there. And if all goes swimmingly there, the following weekend will be all about the wood. Sweet.

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Living Room Week!

Welcome to LIVING ROOM WEEK! Probably the best week I've had in quite a while, actually. This sickness is finally leaving me, house work is being completed, and best of all, Mike and I have a special event in Boston to attend at the end of the week. Everything has been generally good.... note I'm not claiming that this is the best week ever or anything like that... but "generally good" is pretty good after a slew of "very bad," "horrible," "sick," and the ever-popular, "Uuughsph" weeks.

First lets rewind to last Sunday. Mike completed the leveling to a point of less then perfect, but more then adequate. And, I might add, no cracks in the upstairs drywall or hardwood floors. The same afternoon, I was able to get a break to remove the living room window trim and a large section of drywall that needed to be replaced.

Upon removal of said drywall piece, I was shocked to find a portion of the exterior wall that had been left uninsulated. How we managed to forget one little portion is beyond me and this was definitely contributing to the whole downstairs heat problem.

I also found some nifty souvenirs in the wall from when we originally demolished the old plaster walls that I'd completely forgotten about.

This "No Snake" sign I created to help guide and inform all the confused snakes that kept getting into the basement. (at that time a dirt crawl space)

I hoped to encourage natural snake control with this "Mongoose OK" sign... but never saw any mongooses. Both signs I left in the wall for future renovators.... funny that I got to take one last look before the wall went back up again.

On Monday, Mike cut a new sheet of drywall to replace the damaged one. Monday night, he removed the pipe - put in originally in hopes of a wood stove. (We still hope to add our wood stove someday... just a little differently.)

Also he cut a new piece of drywall to fill the void left by the pipe, insulated the wall portion that had been previously neglected, and then screwed both pieces of drywall to the wall.

On Tuesday night, Mike started on the plywood - managing to install 3 sheets. (Note that each cat couldn't resist getting his and herself into Tuesday and Wednesday's picture.)

On Wednesday our neighbors Dana and Rich came over to tag team the drywall while Mike and I were at work. Though we really just needed a couple of areas fixed, these two are perfectionists and taped up ALL the problem areas.

And that brings us up to date. Next, after the mud dries fully, the guys will return to sand and all that good stuff. Then the entire room will need to be primed and repainted. (Yes, they fixed a lot and the entire room will need to be repainted. No way around it.) At the same time, Mike can continue installing the subfloor.

Timetable? No clue. But this is a heck of a lot farther then I thought we'd be at this point. Just goes to show how much you can accomplish when you do a little every night.

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Just a Little Bit of HIstory Repeating

Sometimes just for fun I take a look back at posts from this day in history last year - or even the year before or the year before. Ironically, at this exact time last year, we were doing the floors in the baby's room. And I mean - near to the day same exact time kinda time. Isn't that incredible?

Last night Mike began leveling. I was watching Mikey, so I'm not quite sure what was going on beneath the living room, but it sure sounded productive, what with all the hammering, sawing, etc etc. He quit for the night around 8 - good thing too, I was exhausted. Actually, I'm still exhausted.

Yes, I've got this cold thing. I sound terrible - I'm coughy, siffly, achy, moody, and tired. Extremely tired. And outtofit to boot.

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Let the Inconvenience Begin

It was so much less of an inconvenience to be inconvenienced a few years ago when we had less stuff and no baby. Now the mudroom is fulla tables and hutches, the upstairs is fulla couches and pictures, and the kitchen is fulla miscellaneous - including liquor. Looks like we just had a rockin party, actually.

Woo-hoo we partied so hard, the living room just exploded all over the house! I wish that were the case.... there'd be less dust.

But the guys really accomplished a lot. Besides moving all the remaining major furniture, they took up the entire old floor and nailed the subfloor to the joists. No plywood yet, but already the floor feels stabler... stabler? That might not be a word. More stable. Yes, more stable.

The next unfortunate task is the leveling of the room. *sigh* With everything removed from the room, the slope and bow of the floor was so painfully obvious that it couldn't be ignored. Why a slope? Apparently, the foundation is low in one corner - as in they didn't pour it level. Why a bow? Apparently, one of the studs is jacked up too high.

How to fix it? It's difficult. Mike will have to break out the lazer (yes, lazer) level and shim, trim, and jack his way to tranquility. He's not looking forward to it. I haven't half a clue as to accomplishing something so tricky, so I'll be no help. (But apparently I'm no help with anything anyway and Mike's done the entire house by himself, but that's another story.)

I suppose that crazy task will be tackled throughout the rest of this week. We're hoping we don't royally mess up our upstairs drywall/flooring. If we do, I'm going to have a conniption fit. I'm so petrified of the very notion that I tried to convince Mike not to level anything... but of course he can't take that for an answer.

Meanwhile we've tentatively scheduled our neighbor/drywall man for this week... pending completion of the leveling process... which will undoubtedly cause mad wall crackage.

As for the weekend - it's all up in the air depending on how the next few days pan out.

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Missing All the Action

It's a sloooo day. Relaxing in fact. Soothing. Yeah.... soothing. So soothing in fact that I deleted the earlier blog I posted this morning in favor of the greater good. For those of you who missed it, yeah, I was pretty miffed. I could get riled up and miffed off again pretty easily - I'm still not very happy with my situation, but I'm going to give giving a second chance and see what comes of it. Karma and all.

And I really think blogging about it will make things worse, so I'm ending the story there.

The weekend. Where should I begin? We cleared out all we could from the living room over last week and Saturday. A timely HD coupon worth 0% for 12mo's found itself well used on everything I could think that we'd need to finish the downstairs - front door trim, stairway trim, hallway trim, plywood, baseboard trim, mudroom closet doors, mudroom trim, french door trim, caulk, and an eyeball. (Recessed light eyeball trim.)

Of course, due to a certain someone's late coming Saturday evening, plans for riding on Sunday, and inclement weather for Sunday night/Monday/the rest of the week - Mike had to run around like crazy taking all the measurements for all the crazy trim work first thing Sunday morning. I couldn't even help him write it down... I had my hands fulla baby.

And he wasn't too happy about that - like it was all my fault that his plans nearly screwed up an entire winter's worth of projects riding on this one opportunity for 0% financing that by the way expired today so it all had to be purchased over the weekend.

Ok, moving on -whatever. We made it, we purchased, and who knows what we forgot and how badly we measured. Already I know we missed window bottoms. The good news is that in all the confusion and miscellaneous woods and trims, the lady at the register missed a big chunka stuff. We definitely made it out of there with more then we paid for.

That evening, after riding, Mike started pulling up the old wood floor, finishing about a quarter of the room before it just got too late. He was tired, I was tired. Little Mikey was tired.

Today is really the big day. The day to take up the rest of the old floor and put down the plywood. That's a full day right there. I'm sorry I have to miss out, although happy to have a sloooo and soothing day. Next order of business drywall.

Pics to come!

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The Last Splinter

Walking across the living room from the kitchen... doo be doo be doo.
In slipper socks.... comfy comfy comfy.
Then out of nowhere - extreme foot pain! (Great band name, Extreme Foot Pain with their new #1 smash, "Giant Splinter")

I collapsed onto the couch, put up my foot and wouldn't cha know, there was a giant jagged piece of wood sticking out of it. Yes, somehow my foot caught and pulled off a bit of the old and damaged hardwood floors, which somehow lodged into multiple layers of foot skin - through a thick and comfy slipper sock. And it was extremely painful. After removing the giant jagged piece, I had to hobble into the bathroom for the tweezers to remove the rest. Even now I have a little red dot on the bottom of my foot to show for the whole ordeal.

For me, it was the last straw.... the last splinter. These floors have to go. I'm not waiting for Mike to finish this vehicle madness anymore. He's spent more then the last two weekends trying to put his camaro back together, which, he rationalized to me, was because he needed to be able to move it in and out of the garage so he could get the truck in there to be able to work on it. Uh-huh. The motor was already in the TA - why not just.... no, no, I'm not even going to get myself started on that rant. Sometimes you just have to hold your tongue in favor of the uneasy Vehicle Peace Treaty both parties have been trying to uphold since the end of summer.

*The Vehicle Peace Treaty acknowledges that both parties have the right to own his/her selected vehicle(s) and purchase parts for said vehicle(s) using not unlimited but moderate fundage as needed for irregularly scheduled maintenance and emergency breakdowns. Both parties agree not to bitch and/or nag about the amount spent on or choice of vehicle(s) by the opposite party. An unlimited amount of time will be given to work on any and all vehicles in breakdown situations and is ineligible for matched babysitting makeup time. Work on any and all vehicles will not be considered free time and therefore is ineligible for guilt trips. Both parties agree that each has chosen their own vehicle(s), rendering all complaining about said vehicle or the state of said vehicle or the amount of time needed to fix said vehicle null and void.

You get the idea.

So I'm breaking my own promise to myself to finish the vehicles first. And Mike, who's actually quite sick of dealing with the vehicles... not to mention the cold and snow... jumped on the idea and ran with it. Today he's going to install the last of the reinforcing beams under the living room floor. Throughout the remainder of this week, we'll move all the furniture... somewhere. Probably mostly the mudroom.

And if luck is on our side, we'll be able to complete the plywood this weekend and get started on the drywall. (Not sure at this point if Mike has remembered that we need to repair and replace some of it... and repaint. He'll remember once we move that couch and there's a big ol' warped piece of drywall starring him in the face.)

Before pics comin' atcha!

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Entering Our 100th Year

Our house was built circa 1910. I'm not sure of the exact date, though I should probably look into that, huh? At any rate, 100 years!

I think of 'ol Herb Allen, the man who built our house. His father actually lived right next door, and if I remember correctly, sold off a chunk of his land so Herb could build his house. (Can you believe there's a book about our village taken from mostly diary entries of a local resident? It's terribly boring reading unless you're super interested in the mundane people who lived in our neighborhood 100 years ago.)

I take that back - there are a few interesting anecdotes. One involving Herb himself. He was a thrifty and conservative type of guy - one who was distrustful of the day's latest novelty, automobiles! But his wife was persistent and finally convinced him to buy one, which they drove to the town's annual 4th of July festivities. But Herb was also stubborn and once they had arrived, refused to get out of the car. Bad idea. He was struck and killed by a stray bullet shot from one rowdy reveler.

His wife soon moved out of the house, but kept ownership and rented it out right up until the early 1950's. In desperate need of renovation, the house was purchased by Robert Thompson and his wife, who overhauled the entire property right into the early 60's. (How do we know that? Newspapers we found in our windows - ancient insulation - were dated 1955. Behind the bathroom tile, a date of 1960-something.)

The Thompsons owned the house until they passed away in the early 00's - and in 2004 we purchased it from their sons when it was again in desperate need of renovation.

And that brings us right up until today!

In honor of the centennial, we'll be planning a huge party/open house this summer. I hope to feature Herb's story plus before pictures in every room and a video. And of course we'll have a big BBQ and all that fun stuff too.

I had kinda hoped we would be done by now... well, not done because you're never done. You know what I mean... at a point. And I suppose I can at least hope that the hardwood floors in the living room, plus the farmer's porch will be complete by mid-end of summer.

Speaking of which, all this snow as of late has pushed back completion of Dodge #2, (although Mike did get the transfer case installed - everything's ready for the new cab to be lowered on) so we may be moving on to the hardwood sooner than expected. Plus, after talking with our plumber friend, (yeah, our heat downstairs is still fickle) Mike decided that the easiest and best solution would be radiant heat.

What is radiant heat? Well, basically, you run flexible plastic tubing beneath your floors. Hot water runs through the tubing just as it does through the radiators and heats the floor. That heat then rises, warming your home... not to mention keeping your footsies nice and toasty. Since it's not copper, it's economical. There's no soldering or any of that either. Just a few connections to the regular heating system, and off you go.

Mike discovered he could order all the materials through his work too - bonus! So he already has everything on order... and he's feeling mighty excited to get started. Once the heat is finished, which should be a simple procedure, why not just keep the ball rolling? Tear up the old floor, slap down the plywood, and install the hardwood. Mike and I are hardwooding machines and it wouldn't take more than a few hours to complete the entire living room once the plywood is installed.

Stay tuned!

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