Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mechanical Work

A lot has happened since I last wrote. It’s funny I actually write less the more work we do. I only get around to posting here when I am not working. Last week was spring break which meant no break on the house.

The week started interesting, our HVAC did not start on time. The plumber’s started work, before the HVAC. This of course is not the way it is supposed to work. When the HVAC did finally start we had to cut some pipes to make way for the duct work. The duct work is now proceeding and should be done at the end of the week. At that point the plumber will come back and fix the things we had to break. I hope they are not too unhappy with us.

The house is starting to come together. We got the form stone removed from the front of the house. They washed off the lead paint below with a caustic soda. Finally the repointed the bricks to make it look nice and new. In the back of the house we have a new door and new windows.

We are now looking at drywall crews to hang and finish the drywall. There are a lot of little details that need to be sorted out before we can call them in. We need all the new windows and doors installed. Any electrical lines we want to pull need to be put in. We want to put speakers into the ceiling and possible install a security system before the walls are closed. Basically went the drywall is up, it is move in time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Archeological Dig

We are trying to get the house ready for the tradesman. It is a bit hard because we really don’t know what they need or want. We mostly did little jobs to get ready for the electrician coming at the end of the week. We put up one wall in the kitchen that we build a long time ago. We also did some last minute demolition work pulling out some pipe left in the house.

We also dug out some space in the kitchen. The funny thing is we kept pulling out old bottles, some broken some not. We tried to keep the unbroken bottles. There must have been a drinker who tried to hide their habit by throwing the bottles under the house.

The coming weeks will be very exciting. At the end of this week we will have a new service line, electric panel and back door opening. Soon after the plumbers and HVAC will come in.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Washing the Bricks

It is really getting stressful to try to get the house ready for the contractors. We are trying to get all the little things in place and in order. Of course there are some issues that are holding up the entire project. We are still trying to sort out the back door. That has really become our nemesis. We must get an electrician in to work on that before any other work can go forward. Of course that has to be the one contractor we have not settled on. Hopefully this week will see all of that settled.

We did not do any major work this week. We spent a bit of time framing and replacing joists. We ordered our cabinets from IKIA. We will not need them for a while, but it is nice to get that out of the way. We will just put them in storage. It was good to get it done, that way our kitchen layout is set.

Yesterday we rented a power washer and washed down the bricks. It was amazing, the house looks so much better. It is the first surface that looks good. It was fairly easy, but very messy. Before starting I covered everything in the house in plastic, tools, lumbar, everything. Our next door neighbor David has noticed a smell on his side of the wall. I can imagine that some water went through the wall. I hope that it is not much and goes away soon. There was no water damage so I think it should be ok. The other problem is the furnace gave out. I don’t know if we will get it working again. We are heating the house and drying it out with an electric heater. Hopefully with a little time the furnace will decide to start again.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Helping Hands

We started the weekend by taking down a chimney on Friday. It was very messy work; think about being a chimney sweep. It was also very heavy work. We had to haul a lot of bricks out of the house, along with a lot of mortar. We were originally afraid to take it down, but our neighbor Frank said he did it with no problem, so we followed his lead. We are all very happy that we did. It was taking up about 2 square feet upstairs and down. Not much but it is significant to us.

On Saturday we got lucky. A friend of ours Joe who is training to take over his step-dads construction company came over and gave us a hand. His help was very useful. We got a lot of work knocked out with his help. He gave us some hints on how to work efficiently, but most of the help was just the fact that he was there. We stopped working when we ran out of lumber. Annie and I ran out and bought another 80 studs so we had something to do on Sunday.

Sunday we got some help too. Meekins came by and lent a hand for a while. Even though he is not a pro, he was very helpful. After a hard weekend we have basically finished framing the upstairs! We have not framed around the windows yet, but we have to wait for the windows to come in to do that. Four more walls downstairs and that too will be all framed. Woot!