Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rain and cold. Tapers are here.

There was a chance of snow flurries today, and we had a few of those, but mostly it was windy cold and rainy. On our way out to the Farmers Market and then the Farmers Museum, we caught a stranger and his son coming down the driveway. Turns out they are the "tapers". Still back there, been there since about 11 am taping and spackling the sheetrock.

Yesterday was pretty much the same weather, except for one bright spot—we went to closing on our "bridge loan". The last big roadblock has been removed, so we now have the money we need to finish this project.

Lester and Sophie are bored after 2 days of bad weather. Thanksgiving day was a beautiful day—so beautiful The Husband took me for a short walk that turned into a very long walk. And then we went to the Otesaga for lunch/dinner, so the dogs missed out on all the fun. I am sure they will get over it. It is supposed to be a nice day again tomorrow. We'll get them out there before we leave to wear them out a bit.

Hope that you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving as well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rock is done. Door is red.

The day before Thanksgiving, so not a whole day of work on the house. Jim the Builder was proud to show off my red front door—it was painted over last week, and he said the blue made a nice tinted primer...

Rockers were out today. They finished up before noon. The downstairs bath fixtures were delivered today. Turns out the missing fixtures were not so much of a holdup. They just cut the sheetrock but didn't attach yet. Jesse the Electrician came yesterday to finish wiring the basement, which also needed to be done before rocking.

Jim still thinks we might be done by Christmas, but we're not gonna make him stick to that deadline. He also might stop by early some morning to shoot that 6-point buck that has been spotted a few times by the guys.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And a special shout out to Lisa and Jersey, cooking a turkey for "The Boys" tomorrow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Master bath on order

Bathroom orders have been placed (thanks, Kelly!). This is my $45 either oak or ash vanity that came from the New York Hotel, by way of my friend Anna at Finders Keepers in Richfield Springs.

Some pathetic Photoshopping has put it all together with a recycled cobalt glass top, undermount Kohler sink, and Kohler Archer faucet. There was much discussion about whether or not the blue glass will be as blue as this sample. It better be! Or I will need therapy to get over it.

Gary the Farm Table guy, in addition to making me the kitchen island, is going to do some surgery on the vanity to make the sink fit, and to make the drawers work a bit better than they do. I dropped it off at his shop yesterday. I will definitely lose the top drawer, and maybe some of the second. But since I like it so much better than the other options, I think storage space won't be a big issue.

Everything but the lighting and medicine cabinet has been ordered. Now I just have to hope for some more Pottery Barn clearance items to show up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New rock rocks. New, not so much.

Apparently I did not order the tub and shower fixtures soon enough. They needed to be installed BEFORE the sheetrock. So now some of the sheetrocking will be held up, all because of me. Of course no one told me I had this deadline until today, so I can't take full responsibility.

Jim the Builder called me while I was in the bath showroom hanging out with Kelly. He told me that he needed both bathrooms delivered pronto. Only problem was, I was just ordering the upstairs bath fixtures today. Took me this long to make up my mind about the vanity. Other stuff will take at least 2 weeks to come in. The downstairs fixtures are all packaged up waiting to be delivered, but their normal delivery to this part of town is Thursdays. Too late for today, next week is Thanksgiving.

I am pretty sure it was an accident. Or maybe Jim's paying me back by painting my front door sky blue. So, whaddya think? Nice, huh?

Easy enough to make that mistake—I left him 2 gallons of paint—the red for the door and the blue for the porch roof. Jim knew the difference, but didn't tell Jerry the Painter. At least he didn't paint the porch roof barn red!

The sheetrockers finished most of the second floor today. They will come back tomorrow and Monday to finish everything...except for the part below the shower and tub. It really changes the whole look of the rooms inside now that there are walls. Soon I will have to choose paint colors...

This is the first big bump in the process, at least the first big one on me. Not so bad in the general scheme of things. At least I don't think so.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rock and rolling right along

Sixteen-ft and twelve-ft pieces of sheet rock were delivered today. Even though the boom truck offloaded them, the guys still had to grab them and move them inside. Thanks guys, for all your heavy lifting! Upstairs rock came in through the windows (sashes are easily removed), basement rock came in through the Bilco doors. (I hope! I didn't stick around to watch that part.)

Spray-foam salesguy stopped by to inspect the insulation...said he hadn't seen the soy-based stuff in use before. Other than walking on the still-tacky deck floor before I could catch him, he was pleased with the outcome, as am I.

Shortly after he left, the appraiser (for the bank) came by for a tour. He asked a lot of questions and genuinely seemed to like the house. I am fairly certain he will do a MUCH better job than the previous appraiser for the previous bank who nicely put a wrench in our initial attempt at a construction loan.

I stopped in Cooperstown to chat with Karen the Kitchen Designer and Jessica our new Bank Hero. Things are mostly finished up on both accounts.

Going to visit with Kelly from Northrups tomorrow in Oneonta. Will stop at Lowe's and Gary the Farm Table guy's on the way back. Making excellent progress this week, and coming back next week with The Husband to finalize as much as we can. Also making our yearly visit to the Otesaga for Thanksgiving brunch—turkey and ALL the trimmings you could ever possibly want.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Near perfect progress. Near perfect weather.

These are front and back photos from this morning.

I finished a lot today, even if it doesn't feel like much. Had a nice grilled pizza to top it off.

I spent the morning e-mailing and designing bathrooms and kitchens (again). Stopped by to talk with Gary the Farm Table guy, and we are nailing down the details. Did a quickie food-shopping at the Fly Creek General Store, because it was around the corner from Gary's shop, and saved me a trip to either Cooperstown or Richfield Springs. Got some good apple cider, peach preserves, pumpkin bread and oat bran bread.

Jim the Builder AND Jim the Worker were here today sealing the cedar porches. Gave them the lock from Brother Bill's room to use as a temporary front-door lock so they don't have to beat up the expensive lockset on order. (Thanks, Lisa!)

Since I left, the garage slab was poured, the front door installed, spray-foam installation is in and was inspected today, screen porch is pretty much finished up (minus the screen), and the sheet rockers are supposed to come tomorrow. French doors coming Monday. The only other things still held up are waiting for decisions from me, and I expect to get through most of them this week. The appraiser is coming tomorrow, and that should get us the supplemental loan.

Ahhh! Time to take a breather. We're getting there.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No more Nor'easter in NJ!

Finally, after 4 days of wind and rain, the sun has reappeared! This photo is a rare shot of the boys at home, hanging out together. They are in the back room with our new $200 piano ($440 if you include moving it here)...a real bargain.

Since I have been in NJ all week, I have no new photos of Lester's Flat, but there has been progress. The front door and insulation are in. Forgot to ask if the french doors made it as well. The screen porch is finished up in the back, and the sheet rock guys are coming on Tuesday to rock the whole house.

Cousin Greg did his best to rescue the dock—he dragged it back through the water to where it started out, but as a one-man operation, that was the best he could do. Let's hope this $25 bridge to nowhere doesn't end up being a lifetime project. It was supposed to be just a quick fix to give us access to our property on the other side of the creek.

I am heading back to NY tomorrow to see what's happenin'. I have to meet with Gary the Farm Table guy to firm up plans for the kitchen island. I also have to finish up my bathroom and kitchen orders with Kelly at Northrups and Karen at Bruce Hall. It is finally time to make all decisions final.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Still wintry and wet, warmer weather on the way

Friend Jane and I were supposed to go for a nice long walk today, but it's just too raw and nasty out there. It is supposed to warm up to maybe even 60° on Sunday, but I am going back to Jersey tomorrow. I expect it will be even warmer down there, so this time I am happy to go home.

The front door isn't coming until Tuesday. That and the french doors and the insulation should all be in by next week, so when I do come back, things should be warm and toasty in there and some drywall should follow soon after. I want them to finish the basement first so The Husband and I can start moving the bed and some other things down there when we come up for Thanksgiving. With no kitchen or bathroom done yet, we can sleep there and come back to the drafty Dump during the day. We'll pretend we're camping out in the new house...just cuz I want to.

I finally put in the order for the kitchen cabinets and counters yesterday. Today I bought a small oak dresser (only $45!) that I hope will be my master bathroom vanity. I have to either find a marble top and buy a drop-in sink for it, or if it fits and if I can afford it, get a nice Kohler integrated cast iron sink/tabletop. I figure with the money I saved by not getting a $500 vanity that I don't even like, I can play around with the sink and faucet and get something I really do like.

Cousin Greg is waiting for the warmer weather on Sunday to come and rescue my dock. He said he'll try to float it back upstream and leave it on high ground for a springtime installation. Since temps are going down into the teens tonight, I worry that even a wetsuit won't keep him warm in that cold, cold water... We really owe you big time, Greg!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wintry weather to start the day

Beautiful dusting of snow greeted us this morning (best viewed large especially if you want to find the Lester). Since then it has turned warm and sometimes even sunny. Went down to the creek with the dogs and came back without my Sophie. Either she found her way across the creek and couldn't get back, or she was just messing with me. Had to cross the barbed wire fence to go around and show her a way to get back...little stinker.

Need to leave soon to meet with Karen the Kitchen Designer. Final plans are ready, and need to leave a deposit. Jim the Builder said he would pick up the oven and dishwasher and store them in our basement. Slate came yesterday, it's the big white package in the front yard, second photo. They promised the front door is coming tomorrow—that's the last thing we're waiting on in order to get things moving. As it is, the guys weren't here yesterday or today because they can't really do anything without the door.

Post more later, gotta go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

House on hold

My patient house is waiting for its front door to be delivered...supposed to happen yesterday, now waiting on it today. Until the door is installed, they can't close up the house and turn on the heat, which needs to happen before next Wednesday when the spray-foam insulation guys are coming. Going with soy-based foam in keeping with the green theme.

The french doors that lead out to the screen porch in the back (see photo) are the last piece of the exterior puzzle. They are also supposed to come next week, but the guys boarded up the hole in the meantime so they can stay warm while working inside.

Slate floor tiles are overdue as well. Hope to see them magically appear today. Who knew that it would cost almost $100 more to ship from Vermont to NY, than from Vermont to South Jersey? Doesn't make any sense, but it's true. As long as they come this week while I am here, it will be okay...won't be installing them for awhile.

And the Maytag Man wants to deliver the oven and dishwasher even though we are at least a month from kitchen installation. I think we are finalizing the plans for that and actually placing the order for cabinets and countertops tomorrow or Friday.

So even though I am not seeing a lot of progress on the house this week, I am tying up a lot of loose ends. And that can only be a good thing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dock takes a hike

Where Sophie is standing (first photo) is where the dock was a little over a week ago when I left. I just got back last night, wandered to the creek this morning, and now there's no trace of it. It's probably floating in the lake by now, or maybe on its way to Pennsylvania.

I am going out in search of missing dock. I guess Mother Nature did not like our rearrangement of her land. Called The Cousin, who really did a great job installing it, to tell him it was missing...both he and The Husband refused to believe that it was gone.

Update 2 pm: I made my way through the muck and rushing water to find the dock's new home—about 300 feet from where it started (second photo). At least it's not in the lake or in Pennsylvania. We could actually float it back to where we want it, but I don't know if there's a better way to make it stay there. If the cinder blocks and galvanized pipe couldn't hold it, what will?

Note to self: Buy some boots. Waterproof shoes don't work too well when you're in water up to your knees.