Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Week's Progress Report: Devil's in the Details

I thought I'd update with a progress report for this week. Sometimes I think we'll get farther than we do in a week. But after I compile these pics, I realize that a lot was actually accomplished! There are simply many things left to be done on our house. Even though we just passed two major inspections (last week)—and we can now begin to drywall the inside—there were a few critical details to take care of first. Such as closing up the kid's shower/bath. This is actually a pretty big shower. I do like the natural light that streams in through the sky lite. Below is a fairly deep and large soaking tub area framed out that will be cast entirely in concrete. The kids will have to use two steps to get up into it—but I have a feeling they will love it. They'll probably try to swim in it.

You can see the cement board and the paper going up. Only one wall will be stone. The rest will be plastered Navajo white like the rest of the house. I also asked for a couple niches to go in--although they are out of view in this photo. 

Wow! The stone went in quickly. Our design plan was to include a little bit of the same Vineto Fieldledge stone on the inside that is already on the exterior of our house.  Not too much so as to become overbearing. Just a wall here and there mixed with the white plaster to create a cohesive look to the whole house. We're hoping it gives it that rustic vacation home vibe that we love so much. And somehow this stone lends a feeling of sturdiness to the house overall. 

Here the wall is getting grouted. It should be done by the end of today. That beam there is one reclaimed from our old attic and stripped down. It will be white-washed later to match the oak door to the water closet in this bathroom.  We just picked this door up from a Craig's lister last Friday. We bought three nice, heavy arched oak doors and we'll use them in several places inside. We'll have to strip them--but the effort will be well worth it. They were only $50 each!

Here's a view of the back of our house. The corbels were sanded and sealed this week. And, the back door got a couple coats of Varithane varnish. We gave these doors several coats of sealer first (last week). And finished them off with the clear varnish this week. We opted to keep the natural color. While we were thinking that taking care of these doors would be one of the last steps, we decided they may get ruined without any protection. As it was, they were on the house for almost a year without any protection. Thank heavens the sanding took care of all of the little blemishes and even some water stains that looked to be set in. Whew!

Here's a look at the two of the French doors in the front of the house. We started sealing them last week and finished sealing and varnishing this week. You can see the difference between the one on the right getting the sealer before the one on the left. I really belabored what color to make these doors—and we opted to go natural. Over time, they will darken slightly. I think it was the right choice. Although it's hard to say just yet. We still need to do a little lime-washing of the brick and the stucco to make these colors appear a little dustier. That will be a very last step to this remodel.

Here's our neighbor and resident door/painting expert Ray Buscemi. He put us on the right path to treating these doors. He walks his dog by our house often and has been watching us make progress on the house over the last year. He decided we needed some help. We're glad he stopped by with some tips! I got really excited when I saw this door getting sealed.

We also sealed and varnished our front bedroom window. Although this shot does not show the varnish coat yet. Our crew also sanded, sealed and varnished the wood corbels here, too. This wall got a little too much overgrouting. We'll have to apply an acid wash to bring back some of the natural stone color to match the rest of the house.

Here's a view of one of our front French doors, sealed and varnished.  We're selling these chairs on Craig's list right now. Let me know if you're interested : )

Here's a shot of our house while the doors were getting another coat of varnish. And, oh yeah, I did get a flat tire this week, hence the tire laying in the driveway. The landscaping here actually belongs to our neighbor Sam's yard. It is so wild and lovely. It gives me the idea that we should continue the theme with some similar plants in our yard. Nothing labor-intensive, of course. And our front yard will be mostly pea gravel. But, I think I love the juxtaposition of the salmon tones of our house with the purple and silvery greens of our neighbor's yard. Very Provence to me. Oh, I should also add, we gave a new treatment to the front door this week. A special mix that Ray applied to make the wood carving on it pop and help make the color of the front door better match the French doors on the front of the house. I'll post better pics of the front door soon.

We also made progress on our bedroom alcove this week. Our two-guy crew put in the insulation, cement board and added all of the stones with grout. Our old sleigh bed will go right under this window and we'll add the two sconces we used to have on each side. You should be able to reach them from our bed, which is essential for nighttime readers like me!

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