Sunday, November 29, 2009

Many Thanks

We'd hoped to finish the house in time for Thanksgiving; its incompleteness did not dissuade us from eating there! Here Mom and Nona are making final preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner among the saws and compressors... It was delicious.
We worked hard over the weekend, too. Here, Matt is laying the first strip of hardwood flooring in the big room, with help from Dad. (Mom helped, too, AND took the picture...)
So that we could work (and eat!) into the night, Matt and Dad installed more of the lightbulbs. Dad stood up high on the loft to put bulbs on the pole; Matt screwed them in.
Mom enjoyed the beautiful day, working at sanding and painting more of the interior doors.
Dad's big project for the weekend marked the end of another era in Julian: he took down the old treehouse. Seeing it come down was strangely sad--it had remained as part of Grandpa's legacy there. But, even though it wasn't built by his own hands, the new house stands as a continuing testimony to the legacy of lessons he passed along to his kids and grandkids.
We kept working on Friday and Saturday, too--Emily started installing a handrail in the stairs.
With a little help, I tiled and grouted the upstairs shower--here it is, midway.
Phil and Shan hung doorway trim upstairs, and installed baseboard in all the rooms that will be carpeted. We're now ready for carpet installation--the measurements were taken on Friday, and an appointment made for mid-December.
They were a great team--measuring and cutting, hanging and lacquering.
Our friend Lea came up on Friday evening, too--on Saturday she did a whole lot of little things, like painting this little box that Dad built to hide the vent duct. (You can see bits of our Thanksgiving table stowed away in the cabinets, too...)
Saturday, we woke to a strange sight: snow!
Enjoying the big, gloopy snowflakes through the beautiful big windows, we celebrated what a cool space the house is. Now, we just look forward to trading saws and compressors for sofas and coffeetables.

(And, along that thought, we had a visit from the county inspector on Wednesday; his list of things to do was pretty close to ours, so we're feeling very good. We're on our way.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

before thanksgiving, after the scaffolding

We've reached a milestone event: the scaffolding has come down inside the house.

Except, as we know by now, things don't just "come down." Phil, Matt and Dad took it down. Now there's space for flooring (and, eventually, furniture!). I suspect this makes the house feel a lot less like a construction zone and more like a dwelling space... I'm anxious to see it in person.
Emily lent a hand, too, preparing the bathroom wall for the sink and vanity.
Meanwhile, the scaffolding got lower and lower...
Matt and Emily set the antique dresser we turned into a vanity into place in the bathroom.
And finally the scaffolding came all the way apart. "It's the end of an era," Phil declared.
Soon, we'll have a fully-functional bathroom as a working sink joins the toilet and shower. Just in time for our Thanksgiving work there!
Besides taking pictures, Mom worked hard at cleaning up the place so we'll be ready to put flooring down.

Additionally, Matt delivered the wood flooring to the house, along with baseboard, on Wednesday and Thursday; Matt and I milled the trim for the doorways on Friday, and Saturday Matt did work on the stairway handrail and the last bits of hooking up the solar water heater.

Now, we're all ready for a big weekend of work over Thanksgiving, installing wood flooring, door trim and baseboard, and tile in the upstairs shower!

Monday, November 16, 2009

cleaning up

While I was down the hill in San Diego, yesterday we crossed a threshold: the tool storage room has become a room ready for carpet. Mom did valiant work getting it ready.Shan braved the cool-looking but tricky-to-grout backsplash, Phil worked toward getting the sink all set up. Matt played with electrical stuff (and supervised, as you can see here).
As the day turned to night, Mom jumped in to help clean up grout lines. It's all looking quite lovely.
Dad and Matt worked taking care of last (hopefully!) electrical details, testing stuff and cleaning up any remaining issues. Now, we're nearly ready for inspection! (Well, as you can see those blue outlet boxes in the island still need to be wired, but that's not too tricky, and now that the grouts all done, they're ready to go...)
It's so wonderful to cross things off the list and imagine completion (or something approximate) as within reach. :) Thanks for hard work yesterday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

kitchen work

Lately, we've all put some work into the kitchen--two weeks ago, Emily and I laid the carefully-cut countertop tiles while Matt, Nona and Mom worked away on other projects.

On our way home (it was Halloween), Emily got a trick: a flat tire. Here she is on the side of the freeway, after Matt and I stopped to help, with the lovely Halloween sunset.
Last weekend, Matt and I went up Friday to do the last bits of countertop tile and take care of a few things, like hanging the last big fan. Then, on Sunday, Phil and Shan came up to grout the tile, put in the island's oven and work at installing all the sink fixtures.
This week, Dad went up to meet the fire sprinkler-installers so they could do their finishing work. (Unfortunately, they missed one; it makes me feel better that professionals do this, too. I think I've installed the "last" outlet cover about 3 times already, and now we have at least 1 more.)

Today, we went back for more. And, in anticipation for whatever Thanksgiving feast we can enjoy there, we took up the deck table that had been waiting in storage. Lunch is much nicer with a table--I wonder why we didn't do this sooner?!? It was a beautiful fall day--a little cool outside, but nice in the house.
Matt helped Dad hang the beautiful upper cabinets he'd built--they all fit perfectly and look great. Hence the nice smiles here:
Emily and I tiled the backsplashes, Dad installed the microwave, and Matt worked on wiring in the garage. Things are really coming together and looking wonderful!
It looks unlikely that we'll really be able to use the kitchen this Thanksgiving, but it's gonna be a great place to work in the future. Our friends Beckie, Jake and Leah stopped by, and they had no trouble imagining tasty sweet things coming out of the oven...