05 July 2007

Oh, It Has Been Too Long

I've been meaning to post these updates for a while now. I have more pictures I would have liked to show, but even with these five (apparently huge) picture files (which eat up all of my allotted space for this post), I think you can get the picture.

Here's Muirne supervising. We had just had the basement "damp-proofed" (tarred), the last step before backfill.

Here's Abe backfilling. I could tell you that he did it all by hand, but that would be a lie. We had Vic the Septic Man come back with his excavating equipment and, well, un-excavate. We have great mountains of dirt way back in our yard, so no shortage of backfill medium. I was thinking at the time, "This is great! Now I don't have to worry about the kids falling into the dirt hole!" Until I realized that if they did fall, they wouldn't roll down the softly graduated dirt mound, they'd drop a very steep eight feet down into the not-so-soft basement. I was glad the next weekend when the basement was covered.

Here's my kitchen ceiling. On Charis' birthday. The day I was supposed to be cooking and cleaning, decorating a Dora cake, and preparing to host 15 people (thankfull, all family, so very forgiving of messes) for Charis' birthday party sit-down dinner. I didn't get a very accurate shot of my kitchen, but as you can probably imagine, it was less than sterile. Dust covered every surface. Tim stayed a while after the day's work was done (referenced in the next picture) in order to "save our marriage." Suffice it to say I was not pleased that Abe would choose to tear into my kitchen on a day when I needed it to be, oh, crumbling drywall-free. To his credit, he really didn't know that the project they were doing that day would require ripping part of my kitchen ceiling out. But I was in no mood to hear that at the time...

Here's the view from the outside on Charis' birthday. They tore the exterior siding and insulation out in order to install a beam (in the open spot near where my kitchen ceiling was). This particular picture isn't too exciting, but I realized I didn't have another picture of the basement with a ceiling (also called "deck" or, if you're asking me, "first floor" over it), so that's the function this picture is meant to serve. It was a relief to gain that--no only safer for the kids, but it also made entry into the house much easier, removing the need to walk all the way around the front.

The final picture I had room for belies the amount of work it required. It required two very full Saturdays: on one Saturday, the large back wall went up (which I helped lift, thank you very much), and the next Saturday, the two side walls and some interior walls went up. I wish I had room to share the interior pictures in this post, because they merit looking at--the bathroom walls are framed, but not up, awaiting the installation of the tub/shower fixture. Also, the laundry room walls are framed and up. My laundry room will have a huge beautiful window in it, and before the guys framed that back wall, we had a big discussion about the laundry room and its dimensions, which ultimately were altered from the original plan. According to the original plan, it was much smaller, with basically room for the washer and dryer and a little space for hanging things, but after talking through it, we realized there wasn't another suitable place for coats and boots and things to go, so we expanded the laundry room to essentially become a laundry/mud room, with lots of room for outdoor gear, hanging racks, shoe cubbies, etc. It is directly adjacent to the main entry, so hopefully, it will facilitate mess containment efficiently.

My favorite part, also not shown, is the window that is mounted in our basement stairwell which began life as a sliding glass door. It will be a fixed window, not able to be opened in any way, and exists solely to let more light into the space. Our current plan is to leave the stairwell open (as opposed to walling it off) so that light will be able to bleed into the rest of the addition. Code does require that a door figure into the equation somewhere, so our current thinking has the door at the bottom of the stairs instead of the top. Unconventional, I know, but I think we'll ultimately be much happier with it that way. It will seem so much more open and also aid the flow.

But we keep making progress (and I think you probably understand that when I say "we," I do not mean me at all), and this week (or next Tuesday), we're slated to receive the floor beams for the second floor, so those will be installed, then the second floor walls, then the ceiling of the first-floor part, and then the roof of the second-floor part, and so on, and so on into eternity, I think. Because even though we keep making progress, we've got a LOT to do still....

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