more doors, more floors

The end keeps getting nearer, as a lot of detail work continues. We've assembled the preliminary contractor's punchlist of all the outstanding items, most of which should be completed next week, the rest of which we'll walk through with the contractor shortly after that. What's left after that point is our own work: assembling and placing a lot of furniture (most of which we bought at Ikea), and rearranging the two downstairs "bedrooms" (currently a bedroom and a study: the bedroom will become the study, the study will become Rose's "crafts" room). That should be finished by Christmas, if we can find time to put everything together.

Here are some photos: the stairs were sanded and refinished, and they look like this (still some trim to be applied along the tops of the pieces on the wall):

The door hardware has been installed on the two pocket doors: the single one on the bathroom door -

- and the set for the closet:


yesterday upon the stairs...

Work on the stairway has begun. Below are two views showing the existing wood, sanded but not finished. The stairs were a darkish brown, with lots of layers of varnish and wear, even to the point of a slight depression in the treads. Rather than replace them, we opted to sand and refinish them. As it turns out, there's a variety of wood: the landing is, if I recall what the floor guy said, maple, while the treads are birch and the risers...something else? This view shows the stairs from the bottom landing in the back hall: sanding isn't complete yet, but it's nearly done:

Here's a view from above, at the top of the stairs on the second floor. You can see the floorboards of the landing quite clearly in this shot:

They expect to finish the work tomorrow. As noted in the previous post, what's been going on is fine detail work, which is all but invisible to the untrained (or non-obsessed homeowner's) eye: that's nearly finished. What's left? A legally mandated handrail in the stairway; a bit more detail finish work; cleanup; installation of bathroom hardware; and various issues elsewhere in the house, ranging from reinstallation of the shelves in our front hall closet (which, you may recall, was shortened to accommodate HVAC) to remediation of various issues that arose during construction (minor ceiling damage in the library, replacement of some wood paneling removed for access to plumbing, that sort of thing). And the last major item, utterly outside the realm of our contractor's work: the installation of our shower surround. That's scheduled for December 8 and 9.

But once the contractor's work is done, ours begins: we have lots of furniture to assemble, various other items to deal with (such as window treatments, etc.), and - a late addition to the project's scope, entirely our doing - moving the bookshelves from what is now the library (the "orange room") to what is now the bedroom (the "green room"), with the orange room becoming Rose's sewing/exercise/craft room, and the green room becoming the library/study. Finally, there's a bit of business involving moving the wireless router and cable up to the second floor, and trying to figure out the best way to get sound in the new library/study from my laptop. (Right now, it looks like simple external computer speakers are the likeliest bet...unless Apple's AirTunes - which I already use to port music from the computer to the stereo system - can switch between two sets of speakers. I need to do some research...)

So the contractor's work should be finished by the end of the first week in December, with punchlist and final cleanup, etc., happening early the next week...which is the same time the shower surround will be installed. Also around that time, our new ceiling fan (replacing the bad one we had to remove) and missing bathroom light (weirdly, misaligned post so it wasn't level) will come in as well (we're installing those). We'll have a couple of weeks after that for assembling new furniture, installing window treatments, and disassembling and moving stuff between the green room and the orange room...our hopes are that everything will be completely done and set up by Christmas. That's longer than we'd anticipated (as I think this blog has made clear), in fact longer even allowing for the 6-8 weeks of unanticipated delay...but right now, as we can see what things are going to look like, we're pretty damned happy.

Not least, cats will once again be able to roam the whole house, and their litter box will be restored to its old location, in the basement, well away from us, so we no longer have to clean up stray bits of clumping litter on the first floor... Whew!



Much of the work that's been done the last week has been very fine-tuned detail on the woodwork and trim...the sort of thing that's nearly impossible to notice at first, much less photograph.

But yesterday, our bedroom door arrived, and today, it was installed. Here's what it will generally look like, open (which, the upstairs being entirely the private portions of our us*, will be most of the time):

Here's the view of the door closed, with a better view of its detail, as seen from the hallway area at the top of the stairs:

And here's a similar view from inside the bedroom. (The little irregular dots are bits of cork, there to protect the glass, which will be removed.)

* What, you don't like my abstract poetry? That was supposed to have read something like "the private portions of our house" - entirely different from "the private parts of our house"...which would be, I dunno, the plumbing for a start. Or an end.


avoiding all bad puns related to "plumbing"

Our plumbing fixtures are installed. Of course, I have photos...and since who doesn't love a photo of a toilet, that's what's first:

Originally, a failure of communication made it likely we wouldn't be able to get this toilet and would have to settle for your normal, everyday-looking toilet. Oh no: nothing but the finest for our posteriors...the plumbing crew came through and figured out how to make this one work. We thank them from the bottoms of our hearts.

Next, half of the pair of sinks:

The shower hardware, and the ceiling fan (which informs that "humidistatic" is too a word):

Finally, the bathtub and tub fillers:

What's not here yet is the glass shower enclosure, which will probably be the last thing to be installed of the entire project. We needed to wait for the tiling to be done for them to come out and field-measure the project, and then there's a couple of weeks' lead time until the actual glass is made and can be installed. (At least we hope it's the last item to be installed!)


fiat lux!

The lighting is nearly complete! A few minor adjustments here and there, and once we're moved in and furnishings are in place, we'll reevaluate which bulbs go in the fixtures, but here it is. All the photos are without flash but brightened slightly and color-adjusted.

The tour: we begin with the lights above the stairway landing window (because I had loads of work to do, I took these photos quickly...which meant I stupidly nearly obscured one of the two lights in this shot: don't kill me):

At the top of the stairs, we have this fixture illuminating the hallway area between the stairs, bathroom, and bedroom (we have three of these lights; subsequent shots display the fixture itself more clearly. That red plastic thing is a wrap for the fire alarm which needs to remain in place so long as workers are spreading dust about):

Into the bathroom: here's a shot of the main lighting above the sinks. Only one of the sinks is in place, and the mirrors (two of them, placed between the sets of lights) are not up yet either:

Above Rose's bathtub (it's Rose's because she'll be using it way more than I will), there's an overhead light to facilitate reading:

On to the bedroom: here's a shot of the lights flanking the east window bay:

And here's another shot of the fixture that's also in the hallway and just inside the bedroom door (no photo of that particular one, for some reason):

The light and ceiling fan in the center of the bedroom is partially installed, but it's not shown here both because neither of the two shots I have of it are very good, and because its position has to be adjusted a bit. Instead, the last photo in this entry is of our closet light (whoo.):