Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Burning Down the House, Part IV

So, here's the latest--the guys are back to work after a few slow days. Apparently two of them are sick. Yesterday they put the trim around the door and pushed it over so that it doesn't gap so much on the right side. The guys think it's funny that I love this door so much--I expected a plain, inexpensive door and this is what I got. Apparently Don said "I wasn't gonna give her a cheap door. She's gonna get her a good door for that laundry room."

They are also retaping my bedroom ceiling where I had a leak a while ago from a loose shingle:

The storms we've been having kept them from finishing the aluminum covering for the fascia. I guess they don't want to be on metal ladders holding large pieces of aluminum when it is storming...

The new and improved south side of the house:

They started working on the porch floor today, too. This revealed yet another poor decision on the part of the previous owners, the Disgustingtons. Apparently, I have two floors, but they aren't directly on top of one another. It seems that Mr. Disgustington put a new floor over the original one, but the new floor had no holes in it for drainage. This wasn't a problem for him because he covered the porch in astro turf, which I ripped off the day I moved in. I have had to vacuum my porch to get it clean since then.

Originally, I thought the guys were going to drill some holes in the grooves of the floor, but I guess they wanted to cut all the way through. In doing so, they found another floor underneath, but Mr. Disgustington didn't put the new floor directly on top of the old one nor did he match the boards. So, my guys are sawing through about four inches of flooring that is slightly offset and here's the result:

The debris in the back of the house:

My new post bases are now unwrapped:

And while I was out in the backyard, I took a few extra pictures. Like my mother, I grow fabulous spiderwebs such as the two you see below:

You can see the second one better because of the sawdust that is caught in it.

Little McKenna hanging out on the porch:

Monday, July 28, 2008


Sometimes a dog has a lot of energy and just needs to play:

Then a dog seriously needs to relax. As my friends are fond of saying, "it's hard to be McKenna." Apparently McKenna had a rough day of sleeping and needed more sleep. In fact, she's sleeping again as I write this.

Burning Down the House, Part III

Once the contractors put the paneling up last week and the Amish people installed my new windows, it was time for me to paint the laundry room. I only painted two walls because the other two are log walls. All of this started when I got my new pretty washing machine and decided that the room was too dingy for such a lovely appliance (see below).

So, here's what I was working with:

Yes, that's right--two completely different kinds of paneling to paint. So I put a coat of Zinsser on first to prepare the surface for painting:

It's looking better already and I'm not done yet! I ended up putting on two coats of "Snow Cap" and here's the result:

Eventually I will stain and varnish the new door, but they weren't done with it yet.

In between painting the three different coats in the laundry room, I repainted the kitchen paneling. For some reason when I did this the first time, I chose a matte paint that was hard to clean. So I painted again with "Pot of Cream" which is a little brighter than what I had before and I made sure it was semigloss. So, here's the mess on the kitchen table from everything that had to come off of the counters:

And the walls before I repainted:

The newly repainted kitchen:

I'm not done yet, gentle readers--I've got a lot of work ahead of me. Hopefully this week the contractors will finish their work and I will be able to put the laundry room back together. Next weekend, I plan to stain and varnish the window trim and new door and also deal with the porch floor. Then I will blog about it. While drinking a glass of wine.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Papa Don't Preach, Part II

The time has come, gentle readers, for my window installation. You may remember my previous post explaining that this was going to be done by some Amish men and I promised to blog more about it. At about 8:30 this morning, the trailer pulled up in front of my house and out came Non-Amish Guy and Amish Guy (the guy I really liked before, Favorite Amish, wasn't here today):

It was pulled by this truck (which has one of those OBX stickers on the window--I'm guessing this truck belongs to Non-Amish Guy):

They got right to work--out came the power tools, which you can see to the left of the trailer door:

After clarifying that they were supposed to trim the windows as part of the installation process (at which time the Amish guy told me that he couldn't reach Nelson on his cell phone to check with him, which is why he was asking me), they began to install the windows.
Here is my kitchen window before:

And after:

The window in my laundry room before (this window shared an opening with the one in the kitchen, so the new window is a single window that is larger but fits into the same opening and it slides so that I can have part of it open in the kitchen and the other part open in the laundry room):

And after:

The window on the west side of the laundry room before:

And after:

This is the window in the loft that a bird once used to infiltrate my home. A view before:

And after (now it can be pulled down from either the top or the bottom and it also swings out so that I can clean it):

So this is what the exterior of the house looks like now on the west side:

And a view of the awning open:

A view of the exterior of the house on the south side before:

And after:

I wish I could make the photos go side by side, but I can't. Sorry.
They finished all of this in three and a half hours, including vacuuming after themselves (well, Non-Amish Guy did that part). Then I had to pay them (Amish Guy handled this part) and they were on their way after I told them for the fifteenth time how much I liked the windows. If you look closely at the passenger side of the truck as they start to pull away, you can see Amish Guy's blue shirt.

Unfortunately, I did not get to ask them what they use to tame their facial hair, how they justify using power tools for this purpose, why they had cell phones, or whether or not they liked the movie "Witness." I did get to shake Amish Guy's hand, though ;-)

Burning Down the House, Part II: The Chaos Continues

Well, gentle readers, it isn't over yet. I still have at least one more day of construction ahead of me. Here's what has happened since my last post:

Sunflower seeds--the breakfast of all champion contractors. These are even jalapeno.

My awesome new door from the kitchen side:

The hinge:

The hinges are important because they make the door swing both ways--how cool is that? This was my bright idea:

Moving outside, here we have the underside of the fascia partially wrapped in white aluminum:

The old, steep, rotted stairs are now gone:

New concrete bases have been poured for the posts:

Close up of the new concrete base:

All of this work makes my porch filthy. There is a dusting of dirt all over my house, including the porch floor:

And to end on a high note, we've had a lot of rain lately, so the creek is running again--here's the view to the north:

And to the south toward the waterfall: