Thursday, July 24, 2014

Woodwork is happening...

Interior trim and exterior paneling details are going up.

The addition is starting to look like more than a box. Paneling details under the kitchen windows, pilasters with their bases and crowns have been added, molding details added at the top.

One can start to imagine how pretty this is going to be when it is painted (and the siding is up and the balcony railing, and the porta potty is gone, etc.).

It's starting to get exciting. The two squares of plywood are covering up the window wells for the basement bedroom.
This is what I call the "ugly" wall. Faces the driveway and will carry almost all of the venting for the house. Dryer, water heater, basement bathroom, range hood, etc.)

I should have taken a better picture of the mudroom porch, the ceiling of which has lovely tongue-in-groove board.

View from above.

This end wall in the attic bedroom always had this vertical board paneling, this, however, is replacement. The old stuff couldn't be salvaged. The window is still waiting for its curved molding.

The baseboard really starts to make it look finished, even with no paint and a messy floor.
Nothing like a properly scaled plinth block to set the right tone. (The intersection of the baseboards and the vertical door trim is the plinth.)

The door to the air handler in the attic is all trimmed out waiting for its door.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Floors and doors and a bit of tile...and one or two other things

The inside of the house is beginning to look like a house. Kind of.

Most of the new hardwood floor is in. Quarter sawn oak I believe. The hard part is yet to come. Choosing the right color.

The interior doors arrived and they look beautiful. They are heavy and solid and made of MDF. Both architect and contractor convinced us that MDF is the way to go for interior doors. Unlike regular wood doors, MDF ones don't warp with time, temp, and humidity. And they look as good as wood that is for sure. One thing that I noticed almost immediately was that the holes bored for the knobs looked too big for the hardware we chose. And I was right. They should have been about 1.75" instead they were just over 2". Thanks to the wonders of email this is someone else's problem to fix. Phew.

Most of the bathroom tile has been installed. The two guest baths have simple white ceramic hex for the floors and subway tile for the tub surrounds and wainscot. The master bath has Carrera hex floors and the shower enclosure is Carrera subway tile. All of it looks good so far. Still haven't pinned down grout yet.

The new family room with its newly installed hardwood floor.
2nd floor landing with guest bedroom to the right in the existing house showing the new wood floors.

Looking into the master bedroom from the master bedroom hall.

Main floor and second floor get the six-panel doors with the basement and attic getting the less formal two-panel doors.

I think these doors seem so beautiful to me because I got to feel their heft for myself.

These will be on one of the master bedroom closets.

Second floor hall looking toward installed tile in one of the guest bathrooms. The opening next to the stair case will be filled with a linen press so it won't be open to the landing and lower staircase.

Tub niche in guest bathroom. Grout not chosen yet, but likely to be match tile color pretty closely.

Guest bath tile wainscot with a bit of the ceramic hex floor peeking through.

The master shower looking pretty darn nice with its Carrera subway tile and very thin grout line.

Window wells getting their brick veneer.

After 80 years this old guy deserved a new roof

One of the great things about a slate roof is that it can last a really long time. Depending on the type of slate used, they can last between 50 and 100 years. What isn't so great is when you get one that has already used up 80 of those years.

When we bought our house in 2010, we were really excited that it still had a slate roof even though it wasn't in the best shape. Most of the houses in our neighborhood had slate, but sadly, most have been replaced with composite material that is less expensive in the short run, but possibly more expensive in the long run. Of course when you are trying to keep a roof over your head (literally) and still have enough money to have a life, I totally understand why most home owner's don't care that they are replacing their 80-year roof with a 15-year roof.

And most don't want to spend money on yearly maintenance either. In the four years we have owned the house we spent well over $10,000 making repairs to broken slates and flashing that needed replacement. Yearly maintenance should not be that expensive, but our roof had clearly not been touched in decades and there had been three large trees providing lots of limb damage to the roof for even longer. We had planned on continuing a piecemeal replacement of the old slate, but when our contractor was making plans for the new slate that would go on the addition and the new garage we asked them to price out what it would cost to redo all of the existing slate as well. The upcharge would be just over $30,000 which seemed like a deal given how much we had already spent on repairs and given the bad condition of the roof. Being able to include that cost in the final mortgage would also help ease the financial pain. So we went for it. Easily the biggest single change order we have approved. Thank god.

But then there was a snag. The Bangor slate that was chosen as being a decent 50-year choice and much less expensive than a 80- to 100-year Buckingham, was temporarily unavailable. The supplier said it would take one to three months to quarry the material for our roof. Blergh. But, for another $2,000 we could have Buckingham in a week's time. Are you kidding? Buckingham for only another $2,000? Yes, please. When I asked a question about getting a slightly different size tile I found out that the reason the Buckingham was available for such a paltry sum, was that it was a lot from another job that never happened and we were getting it for cheap. Ordinarily it would have been $20,000 to $30,000 more than we were already paying. As I said before: Yes, please.

So, to whomever owns our house in 2054 or 2084: you're welcome. But you in 2114: you might want to think about having that slate replaced.   

BEFORE: The darker slate patches on the left represent some of the tile we had had replaced during some long overdue maintenance when we bought the house in 2010. The slate on the right side of the house was probably installed in the late 1940s or early 1950s and was in way worse shape than the slate put on in 1934.
New slate going on. After 80 years there wasn't one board under the old slate that needed replacing or patching.

New slate and copper snow guards on the new garage.

A roof to last 80 years. (Stay away ye storm blown tree limbs!)