End of the Year Update

We’re coming to a close on 2018 and I’m now 9 years and 4 months into my renovation. We’ve moved in permanently in the basement, so that means the place is starting to come together enough to be habitable. I have a lot more to do, but here’s where we are at the end of the year.

After having the kitchen cabinets installed, we had to remove everything on the first floor for the final finish coat of the floors.

This is looking from the central kitchen area into the sunroom addition. This is the last time the house will be empty, and looking at this is bitter-sweet for me. I know that at my age, this is the last large renovation project I’ll do in my lifetime. Those of you who do your own renovation work know of the life-connection you have with your work. Many may see just wood and paint, but you feel within the space the effort, the thought and care, the mistakes and triumphs. It’s a satisfying feeling.

From the same camera potion, if I look to my left the original living room is finished. I finally installed the gas fireplace. It has been waiting since 2011. Fortunately it works.

And pivoting a little more, the view into the kitchen. The counters and tile back splashes need to be installed, and the dishwasher, and the three sinks, and the garbage disposals, oh and the hot water dispenser – the TV… I better stop, I’m getting exhausted thinking about my to-do list.

The stair treads are finished, but not installed. I put a lot of effort into having all the floors continuous throughout the house, another small element that makes the home visually flow from one room to the next.

All of the major trim is finished and just small projects remain for the rest of the first floor.

My office has the original plaster lath walls and ceiling. It took hours of grinding out cracks and plaster repair, but it was worth it.

My wife’s office. I was able to repair the plaster walls and ceilings in this room as well. The color is BM Wedgwood Gray- which is not gray, but it is a color we both like. It has a Scandinavian feel with the white painted trim.

And, as you can surmise, as the year closes I’m still holding a long list of things to do – and really, that’s the way I like it.

Here’s hoping that each of you have the best year yet to come – that 2019 will grant you peace, happiness, health and memories that last a lifetime.

Happy New Year!

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The Pointy Closet Post #1

Greetings fellow renovators! Sorry for a late post, still working away on all kinds of things at the MisAdventures project. I’ll introduce a 3 part series on the pointy closet that gave me so much trouble. Three posts? Yep, you’ll see. So let’s start at the beginning of this closet odyssey .

Well, maybe not at the very beginning. This is the earliest photo I could find of my destruction. This is the 2nd floor closet that I’ve already got my destructive little hands on. I can only imaging what my wife was thinking when I started tearing this apart 7 years ago. Yep 7 – and it’s not done yet – but we’re getting close.

We’ll revise this little problem closet several times – you’ll see. Here I quickly framed out the new closet space with a nifty pocket door. I thought I had it all figured out.

It wasn’t long before I had drywall cut and in place, with all those fancy angles. Moving along quickly – what could possibly go wrong?

I cut out the ceiling to remove the surface mount florescent light.

And will a little time and materials, I have a new ceiling with recessed lighting. Almost done РI can see the finish line.

We just need to drywall this end and we’re home free!

I’m so close to getting this closet done! Just a couple more pieces of drywall.

Crap! I knew it couldn’t be that easy. It’s right here – at this very moment in time that I had another ‘what if’ moment. Those are always bad for me. I decided to replace the staircase with a new, safer one. That will mean the walls of the closet will be too close, so here we go! I’m removing all the stuff I just did. There’s a lonely brand new little switch box just dangling there.

This will have to be moved back to allow a landing for the new stair layout. I always use construction screws to build walls – just for this very reason. Simple to unscrew everything and use again.

The new door location is framed in place. We’ll have to ditch the pocket door because we don’t have enough space to retract the door. It’s always something.

We’ll use a 15 pane door with textured glass – just like the 1st floor bathroom door. This will let light in through the closet window.

So I think I’m finally getting everything in place – surely we won’t make any more changes here.

But these little access doors to enter the eave area kinda bugged me. Not quite the fit and finish I like.

They were made to be insulated, as the space under the roof in these areas was not insulated.

And behind that little door it looked like this. This area is unconditioned space,  The white bucket was used to catch water flowing in from the chimney area decking. The chimney had a pipe coming out the side with a piece if tin foil over the hole. Nice. We gotta fix all this.

And this lame little window too. This is a sad little room without any character. I’m feeling the demo demon grabbing hold of me.

Please someone help me. That window will need some attention, so off comes the drywall.

Of course to make this look good inside, we have to make it look good outside too. Here I’ve stripped all of the aluminum siding off the front.

We use a little cardboard mock up to visualize and we settle on a 3′ octagonal window to replace the 2′ original.

So with a little reframing and other gymnastics, we have our 3′ window in place.

And we’re working on the outside as well. This will get a stone veneer in the years to come. Stick with me, we’ll make a few more adjustments to the pointy closet – why, we might even make it pointy again.