Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last Week's Remodel Progress

Since last week Sharon focused most of the blog posts on our efforts, it's been several days since she showed pictures of all the work the contractors have gotten done. They've been busy too. We had quite the wood shop set up in our driveway. There were probably four stations set up for cutting and planing wood.

The siding on the lower portion of the house is almost complete. There's just a small section left on the back of the house. Presumably they're waiting to finish until after the door is installed and trimmed out.

The painter came out and started shellacking the dining room stained woodwork.

Sharon's sewing room closet door got hung on the new main floor bathroom and trimmed out. The door that used to be on this bathroom was only 24 inches wide so we decided to sacrifice a closet door rather than to spend a fortune to have a wider door made to match. (These raised 3-panel doors are impossible to find used; been looking for over a year and we've never found one.)

The colonnades are in progress!!

Finished Stencil "Class"

Sharon decided to get in gear on finishing her stencil class before she leaves town tomorrow. She just had one project left and that was to practice stenciling three repeats of a stencil on a wall. She decided to just pick a stencil and get it done!

It was quite the learning experience and well worth the practice before she tackles the main floor common rooms. The walls in her sewing room (where she did this stencil) are really bumpy. Not textured, but very lumpy and it was hard to get the stencil correctly placed and smoothed out. The ceiling is also not smooth and straight. Next time it would be worthwhile to chalk a level line with Jeff's help before starting or the stencils are liable to wander along with the ceiling line.

Sharon probably should have practiced the colors on paper first because she's not loving them, but they'll probably go well with the fabric she picked out for curtains in that room.

Visit from a Leonard

Yesterday Jeff and Sharon were excited to meet one of the Leonard daughters, Lois, who grew up in this house. She had an errand in the area and drove by and when she saw all the work happening she dropped by for a visit. We're really glad she did. She seemed pleased we were taking care of the old house and not fixing and flipping it.

She left after a brief tour and gave us her contact information. We're hoping to meet Lois again and next time her sister too and try and gather together more of their recollections of this house and what it was like to grow up here. We're saving all this information for a house history we're accumulating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glass Replacement Success

Our wavy glass replacement saga has finally come to a conclusion! We went through 3 old windows and spent a total of $46 and made three trips to salvage places.Our learning from this project is prices at salvage places depend on who happens to be working on the day you go in. Our first window was from Salvage Works and it was $25. The second window was from Rebuilding Center and was $6. But today at Rebuilding Center, a window we were told last week was $20, today was $75! So we headed back to Salvage Works and today they sold us the twin to the window we bought last week for $15. Probably prices get lower as you get to know the staff people. (Sharon did actually look into buying new reproduction class. Cline Glass said it would $150 for a 2'x3' piece! Yeah, we don't think so. Not this time.)

Sharon managed to put a crack across the length of the glass trying to pull out a glazing point, but thankfully, the large piece was still just the right width.

Jeff was able to get the rest of the glass out in one piece, then cut it down without it breaking wrong. We did have to pull out our glass grinder to grind down one edge, but Jeff got it done. Huzzah!

This project has been good practice for our stained glass project, when we figure out what pattern we want to make.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Organized Garage

We decided to spend our Summer Solstice continuing yesterday's progress by organizing the garage. We got rid of quite a lot of stuff and today we wanted to go through and organize what was staying. Since we've realized the garage is so leaky, we decided it was better to try and pull stuff away from the walls so we decided to run a path around the edges and fill the center of the garage.

We now have all the salvage confined to the back of the left side. The contractors will use the front of the left side during the remodel to store their tools at night.

The right side of the garage has our "stuff." We still need to do some more organizing, but we made a lot of progress. Our plan is to clear the front of the right side so Jeff can set up our "camp kitchen" in there and then he'll finally be able to boil water!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cleaned Out the Garage!

We finally gave up dealing with all the salvage leftover from the remodel demo. We just don't have the space to hold onto all this stuff. And now that we've visited the Rebuilding Center, it's become pretty obvious to us that it's pretty easy to buy used cabinetry if we decide we need some. So we pulled out all the stuff from the garage and called the Rebuilding Center to pick it up. They came out and picked out the best stuff and left the rest of it for us to try and get rid of.

Sharon posted a free ad on craigslist for the aluminum storm windows and those were picked up within a couple of hours. (Have we mentioned how much craigslist rocks?!)

Once we round up everything that is left we'll try another free ad. Most likely anything that doesn't go will probably end up in the dumpster, though we are told the dumpster is sorted and recycled at the landfill.We are keeping most of the painted mouldings that were removed, primarily because it is old growth douglas fir and we might need pieces later for wood repairs in the upstairs rooms. Once we've got all the woodwork stripped throughout the house, we'll get rid of whatever pieces we don't use. We're in the process of de-nailing it so it is easier to bundle and store.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Front Door Stripped!

Today Sharon finished stripping the front door! After she found a very similar fir moulding to what was on there, she decided not to invest the time stripping the chewed and painted moulding. We went to Woodcrafters this morning and bought replacement pieces and got some help this afternoon installing them.Sharon never would have sanded down the front side had she realized it was purple stain! Doh! So, she didn't obsessively try and strip everything and we'll go ahead and apply another, somewhat lighter, purple.

We went this morning and bought another wavy glass window at the Rebuilding Center in our attempt to replace the glass in the dining room window. It was such gorgeous wavy glass; it was probably very old. But, unfortunately, the glass was so brittle that it actually broke before we could even remove the glazing. Sigh. It's more satisfying to use old salvaged materials, but this is getting silly. We'll probably try one last time to salvage old glass and if that doesn't work, then we'll just break down and buy modern restoration glass.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Replaced Glass

Last weekend, Jeff and Sharon went and bought a salvage window with wavy glass to replace a broken pane in a large dining room window. Well, today we tried to cut it. Ooops—the glass did not cooperate. So, tomorrow we'll be off shopping to find another window. We spent much of the day chipping out old glazing to release the glass from old windows. It is slow, tedious work.

Luckily, replacing glass in our dining room door went much better! No problems there. Our stained glass tools came in really handy. We still need to finish putting on the glazing. Jimmy Cookman (our paint stripper) is going to come out and help us with glazing all the downstairs windows tomorrow.

Our exterior light order arrived this evening! We opened the mailbox to see how it looked. The rest will stay packed up until the electrician is ready to hang them after the exterior painting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stripped Front Door

Sometimes you just get a muse to do a particular task and you go with it. Sharon had other plans for today, but woke up wanting to tackle the front door. Luckily, Jeff was willing to go off alone and do the errands today and Sharon stayed behind and stripped paint.

Our front door is veneer—douglas fir on the inside, oak on the front. The exterior was stained dark and the interior was painted white.

Sharon found the paint came off easily with the heat gun. When she discovered quite a lot of scratching in the bottom portion (probably from a dog), she decided to tackle the rest of the paint in the grain with a sander instead of chemicals. Luckily it's old veneer, so it's something like an 1/8th inch thick. It only took a few hours of sanding to do both sides.

After she had been sanding the exterior of the door for a while she discovered the stain was actually an eggplant color!! It had just darkened so much over the years, that it wasn't until she had sanded down a bit of the top layer that she realized what color it was. Since purple is Sharon's #1 favorite color, it seems like fate that we must put purple back on this door! Of course, the challenge will be finding eggplant/dark purple stain. Sharon's only managed to find one Canadian stain brand so far.

We still need to strip the moulding around the window with a chemical stripper. Sharon didn't want to chance using a heat gun that close to the glass—it might break it. Hopefully we'll get back on this project tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dining Room Progress

It's been quite the process so far!Staining started today! So exciting!! This is after the first coat of stain.

Here it is with the second coat of stain after the next day.And here it is several days later with shellac.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stripping Inside China Cabinet

We were originally planning to just paint the insides of the china cabinet with a paint that mostly matched the stain. But after some success yesterday stripping paint in the master bedroom, Sharon decided to give stripping the insides of the china cabinet a try. We've had fairly decent success so far.

Unfortunately, while we were working on this project, the painter showed up with tools ready to get started on the dining room. Oops. Luckily, he was nice enough to give us an extra day to get ready. But that means we have only ONE day to get as much paint as possible stripped.

The more we uncover the wood, the more we realize how nice it is! Which only makes us want to redouble our efforts to expose as much of it as possible. This project has also given us a new appreciation for the job Jimmy and his crew did.

Our environmental goals have been compromised by the speed needed on this project. We don't have hours and hours to wait for SoyGel or ReadiStrip to work. For this projecct, we're using Klean-Strip from Home Depot.

Sharon is really wishing she'd started over the weekend, instead of painting the closet, because then we probably could have gotten it finished to a nice point. Now it will just end up being "better than painted."

Here's where it's at when we reached the point of physical exhaustion this evening; no more is happening tonight. If we manage to wake up early tomorrow, we'll do some more.

The wood grains are just gorgeous! This clearly needs to be a project someday in the future to properly strip the inside of this cabinet.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Painted Master Bedroom Closet

Sharon painted her new master bedroom closet today. We had two cans of this "Orchid" paint leftover from two years ago when we moved to Sharon's grandmother's house. She really doesn't remember it being quite so dark. Luckily, we like bold colors!

This probably isn't the color we would have picked if we went and bought new paint, but with two perfectly good cans of paint sitting around, it seemed silly to go buy more. Especially since these cans were actually very good quality paint.

She was expecting the paint to go a bit further, but it didn't. It took more than a gallon to do this one large closet. Guess it's not too surprising since the closet is 8.5-feet by 9-feet.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sharon Graduated!

It's been a long time coming—three years actually—but Sharon finally finished her Paralegal degree. She doesn't recommend transferring schools twice while working on a program—it tends to slow down your progress as you typically have to repeat quite a few classes! =)

Now it's time to see if there are any jobs out there. She's hoping to line something up by the end of the year.
These little ditties are from one of Sharon's favorite blogs, Economicrot.

Update on June 14: Got grades today! Sharon managed to complete all of her Paralegal program (not just at PCC) with a 4.0 GPA, despite all the distractions! Yippee!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Siding Progress

Wow, the siding is going really slow. We had no idea it took so long to put on those mitered corners. Funny thing is we didn't specifically ask for them. Sure, they look great, but our inspiration house had the corner boards so we probably would have been fine with those instead.It took two guys all week to make their way across the front of the house. Granted, there are a lot of corners on that first bit. Maybe it will speed up from here on out as there are fewer corners on the rest of the house. There's just one more bump-out on the back of the dining room.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Waterline

When we got up this morning there were a couple of official-looking guys digging up the front of our yard, so Sharon felt compelled to ask them what they were doing. We are apparently getting a new water line today!

That in of itself is not a big deal—but Sharon thought the way they did it was impressive and wanted to share with others who may also someday need a new waterline. First, they dug out the utility box at the street. Then they brought over this big machine to the hole. Next they actually drilled underground to the house; it also drilled through our basement wall. Finally, they hooked the pipe onto the drill head and pulled it back through the hole as they pulled out the drill.

The whole process took something like an hour and made relatively little mess. We just had one puddle of muddy water in our basement where the drill burst through. Pretty cool.