December 18, 2016

Beating a Polar Vortex

In my last post I mentioned that this next week would consist of enclosing the garage, getting the furnace set, and getting plaster on the walls.  It also included sub-zero temperatures.  I had to buy a heated water dish so that the cats could survive (they have). I was thinking of getting a dish large enough that I could dual purpose it as a hot tub, but apparently the heaters in those things are only designed to barely keep the water from freezing. I'll have to find another way to get a hot tub.

Despite the arctic blast, the guys at Andrew Hurst Construction braved the weather, and got the garage done. 

Roof on. The day before it got cold 

 Roof on and covered with snow. Garage Doors on.  If you really have nothing better to do, you can see the inaugural "opening" via this link. A note about the garage. Andrew had the garage enclosed, but we were waiting for the garage door contractors to come.  They needed power to the garage.  In order to do that, we needed to get wires run through the basement crawlspace.  My last time in the crawlspace, I couldn't make it all the way to the wall, because my dad bod wouldn't fit any further without getting stuck.  Seth hasn't been married, or a dad, as long as me, and his dad bod is still a work in progress, so he actually fit.  He made the 25 ft. trek through the cobwebs, and so we were able to power up the garage doors.

We moved in to where it was only slightly warmer (it may not have actually been warmer) removed the doorway to the upstairs and installed plaster board and recessed lighting.

In addition to getting the garage together, Andrew and the Hurst Construction guys removed the wall between the kitchen and the living room.  It makes the space feel so much larger now.

The old wall.

 Where did the wall go?

 Looking into the living room from the kitchen.

In addition to all of this, the plasterers have the base coat of plaster on all but the hall and bathroom upstairs (no pictures yet). While all of this has been going on, I've been working on running ductwork because the furnace was installed.

 This is the furnace during installation. It looks a little different now.

 I brought home some of the ductwork so that I could work on it in the warmth.  I convinced CJ that this was a good idea.  He didn't stay in there too long.

Due to a scheduling miscommunication, the propane company didn't come to install my propane until after it snowed and the ground froze, so they only do a temporary setting of the tank, and run the gas line over the ground.  The driver asked if he could just set it in the front of the yard, because he thought he might get his truck stuck. I insisted that it be as close to the permanent location as possible.

Truck in place. 

 Tank getting set. You can also see this in video (it's truly the best thing you will watch all day - sarcasm noted).
 And the truck got stuck. the little Kubota couldn't quite do the job. It ended up working well for me though.  They send those tanks basically empty, and they had to send a big propane truck to pull him free. As soon as he was free, I got my tank filled. The furnace works, but not all of the ductwork in the upstairs is connected yet. I should finish that on Monday, and then can start building the shower, plumbing, and putting up plaster board in the bathroom.  Within about a week, all of the really nasty stuff upstairs should be done, and we should be ready to paint, remove the carpet, and start the final touches.

We are approaching the Christmas Holiday, and so life apart from the house has been busy too.  If you are curious about some of the things that our family has been up to when we aren't at the house, you should check out Vanessa's latest blog post.

That's it for now.

December 4, 2016

Starting to Put it All Back Together

What could have been a bust of a week (I was sick and lost a couple of work days/nights) turned into a pretty productive week. 

The guys at Andrew Hurst Construction got started on the garage.  After one day, they had the walls up.

 After 2 days, it looked like this.

The garage is going to be huge!

The wiring and register ducts have been installed in most of the rooms upstairs. This means that the plasterers can start refinishing the walls, and the HVAC guys can set the furnace. 

1 Ceiling boarded and ready for plaster.

 CJ's Room, ready for plaster.

 So close, and yet so far. This kid was a big help today. He got Seth and I everything that we needed, fed the cats, and cleaned up after our messes. He really wanted to put the last piece of plasterboard up in his room.

The hallway is ready for plaster. I may or may not have cut the cord for the attic ladder in half while notching out the board for the lights.

In order to get the return and supply lines in place for the furnace, I needed to remove a portion of an 18" thick stone wall in my basement. Fortunately, my brother, Justin, has this amazing tool called a hammer drill.  But this isn't like any hammer drill I've ever seen before.  It did in seconds what the sledge hammer couldn't do at all.  When I grow up, I want one of these!

 The tool meets the wall.

 Sometimes it was still useful to have a sledgehammer and a chisel (courtesy of my mom and dad).

On a previous post, I mentioned how much I dislike spiders.  I'm not sure if it is all of the construction, the cold weather, or something else, but I haven't seen many spiders in a long time.  So while I was knocking out the stone wall, this enormous wolf spider ( this picture doesn't do it justice, but his body alone was over a 1/2" in diameter ) crawled out.  Although he put up a good fight, ultimately he was no match for the hammer drill.

The End result.  I mentioned above that CJ was a huge help.  He carried all of those broken blocks and stones out of the basement (some weighed about as much as him) loaded them in the RTV, dumped them, and then swept up all of the little debris.  He was so tired that when we got home, he headed straight for the shower and then to bed with no prompting and no fussing - we'll have to do this more often!

The best part of the week was that I got some good snuggle time with these two cuties.  I think we are all looking forward to the day when that can happen at our new house.

A lot of big things - plaster, furnace, enclosing the garage, will happen next week!

Until next time!