Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Moving day

Moving day! It arrived with snow but we got lucky and it died down to just wet and sort of chilly. Not bad at all considering it's February in upstate NY.

The family arrived bright and early to help and they did great! We got not only the furniture moved but most the miscellaneous jetsam too. There is very little left in the old house and we will have that moved and the house cleaned for closing next week. Woot!

Most of the crew
What I noticed most that day was all the smiles. We worked hard but there was a lot of laughing mixed in.  It made for a pleasant work day.


More smiles
Up at Beech House it was again necessary to ask the tractor for assistance. 
Easy does it...
The Bridge was an awesome entry point for furniture and boxes. Plus we're storing stuff out there as long as it can take the freezing temperatures. Keeps it out from under foot as we sort out and unpack.

Tractor assist

Got a laugh this time
I got up before sunrise the next morning and started to set up my temporary kitchen. I was so excited to be there I just couldn't sleep. Since it'll be at least a year until I get cabinetry (gotta cut down the trees, cut the boards, then let them dry before Chris can build them) so I wanted a fairly robust set up. So far it's working well.

Temporary kitchen

What to do when the cat wakes you up at 1:30AM

The obvious answer is go back to sleep. What I actually did was get up and pack for moving day. However after a morning (night?) of packing and an afternoon hauling and unloading stuff, I crashed at 7PM last night. Still, it was a pretty darn productive day!

The electricians have been busily installing lights and switches and outlet covers. I had picked up a couple of antique lights at the Habitat for Humanity Restore (if you've never gone to one of these, you definitely should) and we determined that one base was a dead loss and one had to be gutted and new hardware installed. I bought a new base for the globe and the electrician took care of the other. Now both are up and I love them!

My cracker jar lights also came out great. I will not have to worry about casting shadows over my work zones in this new kitchen. And the bee stencils really show well. I used glass frosting spray paint rather than etching medium on these and it worked really well. It does however scratch rather easily. For lights that won't be handled often, that's okay, but if I was going to do a decorative jar for counter use I'd definitely use the real etching stuff.

The industrial outlet over the island-to-be is so cool. I smile every time I look at it. And we installed it to plug in rather than be hardwired just in case I stop smiling sometime in the future. It will be easy to take down if I ever change my mind.

I had pictures to go with each of these paragraphs and managed to lose them. Camera fail; argh. So taking replacement pics is definitely on the agenda.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cleaning and touches of home

After we painted it was time to do some clean up. Needed to get the construction debris and the paper covering out of there.

Pre-clean up
Under the paper the floor was still coated in drywall dust. Except it had turned to drywall paste due to the water brought in on all our boots. Ick. Spent way too much time mopping to get it up.

Paper gone. Some mopping done.
It's slowly coming up. The good news is that since it's well and truly stuck to the floor it isn't creating dust anymore. Does that count as a win?

The electricians have been working on finish wiring. My kitchen pendants are up and they came out much better than I'd even hoped. What started as a cost savings measure (I'm still in lighting sticker shock), ended as a cute feature. A word of caution if you want to do this - the glass frosting spray paint I used worked great but scratches a bit more easily than I expected. Fine for something that won't be handled often, but if I were to do a matching jar I would use real etching medium instead.

Frosted bee pendants
And it's amazing what two plants can do to make a place seem more like a home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And now we're painting

We're moving all our worldly possessions this weekend and wanted to get paint on Beech House before we filled it up with stuff. Went up yesterday with paint colors in hand, bought much paint, and got started. Succeeded in getting two coats of paint downstairs and one upstairs. Ran out of time for more but that's an excellent start.

We have used our neutral paint color on three buildings now - and it looks different on all three. We like that it's a chameleon and turns shade depending on the lighting. At the moment it's a bit browner than I'd expected but we'll see what different lighting conditions bring. Plus furniture and accessories always have an impact as well. 

The main color
Chris has a power painter that sprays the paint onto the roller and makes it all go much faster. He got the big room done in the amount of time it took me to do the bathroom and half the pantry.
Well used machine
The only room that I decided to paint a different shade is the DS bathroom. I went with a very dark shade of purplish-grey and I absolutely love it. We'll have slate tile in the shower surround, white fixtures (including the big soaking tub), and brushed nickel lights and bars. I was going to do a colored trim but now that I see the walls I've decided to go with a bright white trim instead. It'll make everything pop and I'm so thrilled with how this color came out!

Dramatic colors - ooooh
And it decided to snow a bit while we were there. Big fluffy flakes that didn't last very long but were oh so pretty. And next week I'll be able to sit on the sofa, have a cup of coffee, and just watch it coming down instead of having to get in the truck and drive back to get another load of stuff. Ahhh.

Pretty snow (and I have to get rid of those railings!)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Priming the walls

Drywall is done and we spent a full two days priming the walls and ceilings.

Realizing this stuff sprays everywhere
Love this primer - it's sold by the place we bought our drywall and it's called Sheetrock First Coat - a very original name. No marketing dollars wasted here, let me tell ya. Thicker than typical primer it feels a bit chalky to the touch. And it covers great! It also spatters everything within a five foot radius. Fortunately we started upstairs where the floors are still plywood so no damage was done. Once we realized how much this stuff sprayed we covered the first floor with paper (again) before painting downstairs.

We also needed to shroud the wood stove and stove pipe to protect them. Obviously couldn't do this with the stove hot so we let it cool overnight and then painted around it early the next morning before building another fire. The house is holding heat wonderfully so we didn't even have a chance to get uncomfortable before starting an afternoon fire. Awesome! Took the opportunity to do a finish coat on the ceiling around the wood stove too so we wouldn't have to cover it again.

Well protected stove

Action photo!
Chris is painting inside the stairwell. There will be a finished closet beneath the staircase so we wanted to prime and paint in there too.
First coat coverage

Cutting in

He's always covered in paint...
I'm still packing the Troy house and making great progress. Good enough in fact that Chris is taking a couple days to put the finish coats on the Beech House rather than helping me. So much easier to paint before moving all our stuff into the house! Paint color decision was easy - we're using the same color that we used in Troy: Ralph Lauren Veranda color matched in some other paint brand (sorry - won't pay RL prices). The whole house will be that shade and I'll use fabrics and accessories to add style and pops of color. I prefer a neutral backdrop so I can easily update or change things around. I may paint accent walls later on - need to live in the space for a while before I can make those types of choices.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Moving the hobby truck

One of Chris's many interests is restoring a 1954 Chevy truck. It's a true hobby - fun, interesting, and a definite learning experience. It also eats up a lot of space (like any good hobby). We haven't been able to park in the garage for years as the truck slowly went from a whole unit to completely disassembled (we now officially have parts in three counties). With the sale of the house he had to move it up to the new place. And as you can see, it's not in any condition to get there under its own power.

Our friend Al came to our aid and helped Chris move it today. First they winched the chassis up onto the trailer. 

Ever wonder what a chassis looked like?
Then they rolled out the cab. This is all that's left of our big snow storm. We got lucky - only about 8 inches fell on us.

Cab on heavy-duty dolly
Then they hefted the cab up onto the chassis. That puppy weighs around 500 pounds and the guys managed to lift it onto the trailer just fine (definite grunting involved - very manly).

Then they strapped it down for the drive north. 

The transport went well and it's now happily resting in the north bay of the garage. Chris will have room for his welding equipment and mechanics tools up there and I'll still be able to park in the middle bay. A win for both of us.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Drywall? check.

And so the drywall is hung, mudded, and sanded. They did a very good job although we'll have him in today to fix a few spots that need additional attention. And they managed to cover one of the hall light sockets. Fortunately I noticed that it looked off balance with just one socket in the long hall.

Mudded but not yet sanded
We spent hours yesterday cleaning up drywall dust. They'd done a vac and sweep of the area but it just seems to take several attempts to get rid of it all. Chris swept the ceilings and walls to knock down the superfine stuff clinging there and I used the shop vac around all windows, switches, outlets, and walls. Had to keep banging out the filter so I didn't end up just shooting the stuff right back into the room. Ugh! What a mess!

Our personal dust bowl
Heading back up today to clean some more and to take a load of the boxes I packed over the weekend. Then we'll start priming the walls. Hope to have that done in a couple days so that we can start moving stuff into the house instead of just putting it on the Bridge.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Did I mention I'm glad we hired it done?

I've been packing all week and have made good progress despite a sick cat that took up an entire day with a vet visit (punctured foot, abscess, fighting mad, sedation, lion haircut, enough said). Woke up at 4AM and decided to get started on my day - and finished packing the massive hall closet. Woot!

We're making daily trips to the house to drop off boxes and to stoke the fire so the drywall mud will dry properly. The drywaller is on his third coat and expects to be done sanding by Monday. Everything is a mess up there and I'm extremely happy that we're not the ones who had to do all of this. As to the mess, he'll do a preliminary clean-out but our experience with drywall dust is that it lasts forever. We've got plans for a dust blowing system that will be cobbled together using shop vacs and Chris's sawdust collection system. Then we'll move on to mopping, more blowing, more mopping, and if we're lucky some initial painting before finishing the move out of Troy. Too aggressive? Maybe! But we're gonna try.

In the meantime, here is a picture of poor T'BD feeling very sorry for herself. Since she's normally long-haired, this new do is definitely on the chilly side. Fortunately for her, she has to be kept inside for a week. Unfortunately for me, I have to try to keep her inside. Glad the pain meds make her drowsy.

Not a happy cat

Monday, February 4, 2013

Drywall progress and moving

We snuck up to Beech House Sunday morning to see how far the drywallers got the day before. Answer: far!

Pantry/Nook/My space
The light through the windows really bounces around now. It's much brighter inside as a result.

Looking into living room
I was amazed at how large the rooms seemed. The pictures don't really convey this, but the sense of space and light is great. I'm itching to get started with paint and furniture. Chris reminds me that we've got a ways to go and a lot to do (a little thing like moving a household full of goods plays into that) but this is something to look forward to.
Master bedroom
Since we were headed up anyway, we moved boxes. I've got two rooms packed so far and we've been moving boxes every chance we get. Now most of the stuff is stored on the Bridge; at least the stuff that won't freeze anyway. It was 11 degrees up there yesterday.

Another tractor assist
Chris loaded the front bucket and then used it to lift the boxes up to me on the Bridge. Made quick work of all those boxes especially as we don't actually have stairs inside yet. I'm going to be sad once we have to put railings up. Gotta remember to make them removable in case we want to move a piano or something up there (just kidding Hubby! I promise, no pianos).

They still have the mudroom and utility room to hang plus some purple rock in the bathroom. Then they'll start taping and mudding and sanding. I thought it was a mess in there yesterday - apparently I haven't seen anything yet.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Let the drywalling begin!

We spent our first night at Beech House Thursday night. The drywallers were due to arrive first thing Friday morning and we wanted to have the house warmed up before they arrived. Previous sleepovers have been in the Nest and we wanted to see what it was like in the big house. 

It was beautiful. We set up in the master bedroom and learned a few things: the woodstove is able to adequately heat the upstairs without need for fans (hooray!), the moon shines beautifully through the east facing bedroom windows, and the Bridge's westward view in the morning is a mix of sun and shadow that makes me long for a comfy chair, a cup of coffee, and nothing to do. We're really going to enjoy that space.

Looking west at sunrise
The drywall delivery truck arrived bright and early and we had to do some serious sanding to help them  get down the hill. The warm weather we've had the last few days had abruptly changed to 20 degrees and the road had frozen. We all held our breath as he maneuvered the truck around that turn and down the slope.

He made it and they used the boom to lift 16 foot sheets of drywall up onto the Bridge. Lotta good uses for that space; it's not just for coffee and views. 
Putting drywall upstairs
By end of day, our drywaller and his helper managed to get the ceilings installed both upstairs and down. Quick work!
Drywall lift
Lifts and screw guns made the work go quickly. Still lots of lifting and ladder climbing and I'm really glad we decided to hire it done.

Drywall dust obscuring the lens
Chris is back up there today to install the water line for the solar hot water system before they close in the wall and the utility room ceiling. I'm packing (this is just a short break! Honest!) at the Troy house and have one room finished and a good start on the next. I better get back to it.