Going Up and Going Down

Amazing what the impending end of summer can accomplish for you. In our case, we had a visit on Sunday from Timmy, our carpenter. He was all set and ready to build those front steps. Wow. Ok. Mike dug out the rest of the decking planks from the basement, some lumber lock screws, and some joist hangers, and we were ready to rock - no additional purchases needed.

A few quick hours later and we had the stairs we'd been waiting for... for four years. (Hard to believe we started this porch four years ago, aint it?)

Next up, we'll have to purchase the two railings, two posts, and six 6" post end caps. I think I'm giving up on my dream of having solar lit post end caps. They just don't exist in 6" for a reasonable price. (4" solar lit ones are under $20 at the DeepHo - but we don't have 4" posts.) I just want ye-old regular end caps to finish off this job! Those plus a little bit more trim... a little stain on these front steps... a little bit more lattice work... and this job is done.

While Timmy was over, Mike talked to him about the kitchen roof. As you'll recall, it's been tarped since March when we discovered that it was leaking on the back wall when we were re-re-doing the kitchen in early spring. Well, needless to say it can't be tarped all winter. The tarp is in fact, fading fast as you can imagine. So Timmy took some measurements and he'll see if he can order the roofing through his work. He'll be getting back to us on that - the roof job will need to be completed before weather gets cold. Rubber roof cannot be done under 50 degrees. It's scientifically impossible.

Now that we've gone down (stairs), we move on to up - the chimney. The chimney guys will be back this Friday night and plan to go up another 10 feet. So, in preparation, Mike loaded the scaffolding with blocks and removed the siding from another 10' up the house.

Mikey on the scaffolding

Mike tears off siding up another 10 feet.
 Meanwhile, in the basement, Mike cemented in the top part of the chimney hook up (or whatever you call it.) And as for me... in the bathroom... my closet organizer arrived on Monday, but Mike did not have an opportunity to install it. I must admit, I'm dying to organize. I'm hoping he'll be able to do it tonight, since tomorrow we'll be having friends over and Friday night is chimney night. BUSY!

Up, Up, and Up Some More

Mike successfully exchanged the chimney liners and the guys were back to work last night, 6pm to 9pm. This time, they were up to house level and had to cut into the old siding to get the blocks right up against the house.

You'll see that the hole has finally been filled. (No more rain storm cave-ins and re-digs.) Also, you'll see that the guys are almost up to the old hole in the wall... This, we cut into the house when we were first renovating and imagined that we'd put a fireplace or wood stove in the living room. Now, of course, we're going in a different direction with the stove in the basement. The living room hole has long since been filled and covered on the inside of the house - and now it's about to be covered on the outside.

Next session, more cutting... more blocks... and so on and so forth right up to the top of the house.

Chimney Holes, Stair Stringers, and Other Surprises

All of a sudden and out of nowhere - chaos! Yesterday evening, the chimney guys arrived to begin construction. Yes, yesterday evening. They arrived around 5pm and worked until nearly 9pm. After those few hours, we had two brand new holes in the basement wall:

 And outside, we have the start of a chimney nearing ground level:

Bad news, some of our materials are the wrong size... the liners do not fit. Mike's going to have to make a call and see if we can get them exchanged. Once that's taken care of, the guys will return and it's up, up, and away with the rest of it.

Believe it or not, while the chimney guys were working, our neighbor stopped by and told us that our carpenter told him that Home Depot had the stair stringers we needed for the porch for just $15 each. He was going over there and offered to pick them up for us... uh, ok? And sure enough, he was back around 8pm with four stair stringers. So... the porch is all of a sudden happening again. After the stair stringers, we really don't need to purchase much more. The biggest ticket items will be the two railings and the 6 post end caps. Which I suppose I'll be ordering soon?

If that wasn't enough, I've still got bathroom on the brain. Last week I visited Lowes and picked up a brushed nickle mirror for over the sink:

I also ordered the Rubbermaid FastTrack Pantry Kit - from Amazon. Theirs was just $116 with free shipping, as compared to Lowes $149. (And I did check it out while I was at Lowes - they had one left in stock and it had already been opened. No thank you. It was meant to be, I saved big bucks buying through Amazon instead.)

The kit is due to be delivered next Monday, so I'm hoping Mike will be able to take a break from all his other tasks to install it for me.

It's a Girl!

Our new baby girl, Zaida, finally arrived on Thursday 8/2, and man are we ever happy she's here. For me, it begins a much needed break from our fast paced finish everything rush of the past few months. (And also relief from all the back pain and heartburn.) Finally, I get to just sit and relax and recuperate with a little girl happy in my arms.

It also gives me time to catch up on all the computer activities I had to put aside in the last couple months of pregnancy.

So, here are some much needed house blog updates:

Baby Room
First, lets get the final picture of the old office, now split with room for my desk and all of Zaida's things.

As you can imagine, the desk is on the other side of the room. And I am waiting for the pictures for those frames to arrive in the mail. (Another computer job I was finally able to complete.)

Basement Bathroom
Some time before I gave birth, Mike installed the basement bathroom doors. No, they're not stained yet. No, they're not trimmed yet. But they're hung! And you can close them! Oooo! Stain and trimming are next on the agenda. Next on my agenda in the basement, the closet. I'm so sick of having to travel up and down for towels and toiletries. And I can't wait to store bulk items like diapers, paper towels, and toilet paper in there. All I need is a closet organizer. This one from Rubbermaid is pretty much exactly what we need: http://www.lowes.com/pd_325991-315-FG3R16FTWHT_4294857751__?productId=3239927&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

Four deep adjustable shelves. What do you think it costs? Well, at the local Lowes, it costs $150. What what? That's over $35 per shelf. Redonkulous. But I'd really like to get the Rubbermaid, since that's the same one we have in the mudroom and we can use some of the extra shelves and tracks leftover from that project, if need be.

Mike was sick of waiting for the inspector. He imagined that he'd already come, but not signed off on the permit because it was inside the house, taped to the window. So he went to the town hall with it, and got it signed in person.

Straight from the town hall, he went and ordered all the chimney block and other needed materials to build. Those were just delivered a few days ago and already Mike has scheduled the chimney dude to start building this coming Monday. We'll see just how fast this thing can go up. The dude told him it would only take a couple days, max. It will be nice to complete this project and fill the hole. (And yes, it has once again caved in from recent heavy rain. Mike's going to need to dig it out again, so you can imagine his excitement.)

Outside the house, Mike spent part of his paternity week off cleaning up the yard. Our neighbor recently contracted Lyme disease with several horrible complications all arising from a tick bite. Fearful for the fam, Mike borrowed a brush cutter and took down the massive overgrowth in the back back yard. Then, he cleaned out underbrush along the edges of our property and used the weed whacker to take down the tall grass on our hill (too steep to mow) and around the house.

Next Up?
Don't forget, there's still a tarp over the kitchen roof. This will need to be completed before the winter.