Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Air, Water, Power Days 5 & 6

This is a catch-up on the last two days.

I stopped by the house late last night just to check on things because we'd been getting a lot of rain lately, but everything was fine. I didn't have my camera with me so I went back today after work.

New Guy and crew had been to the house and cleaned up. The electrical and HVAC is completely done, as is most of the plumbing. The plumber still has the kitchen to do as well as hooking up the hot water heater. Everything else is roughed in and waiting on insulation and drywall before finishing up.

It was nice walking into a clean work site again after a week of chaos.

These are two of the colors I used outside. The antique white is the trim color and the sea pine is the color of the window sashes. Both colors I picked from Benjamin Moore's line, but wound up going with Duration paint from Sherwin Williams. I just thought this was a neat picture.

I think I'll be able to use these doors. They are the ones that were in the house and are all solid wood. I hope to have at least three matching doors for the Great Room (the little bedroom door, the utility room door, and the main bathroom door). I don't mind if the little bedroom's closet door doesn't match the bedroom door, or if the big bedroom's door doesn't match the doors in the great room, since it'll be in the kitchen. I'll also need a door to the big bedroom's bathroom.

Here is how the utility room is plumbed. Due to the shape of the room with the air handler installed, it made more sense to have the washer on the right and the dryer on the left. Which is a little odd, but manageable.

They took out the old cast iron vent but reused the hole in the roof. They reused the old vent pipe holes where they could. One or two will have to be patched up, but I was glad of this since I put a new roof on the house 2 years ago. No new holes, no new leaks.

In the main bathroom they got the foundation for the hardware set up on the bathtub fixtures.

I spent a little more here but it will have a big impact and hopefully I will only buy these once. You can see the base plate that will be behind the handle. The faucet nor handle will go in until later.

And about a foot above the bathtub is where my shower head will be. I'm a tall guy and New Guy is a tall guy, so he sympathized with me on taking showers where you constantly have to duck down and bend to wash your hair or face. It may seem minor, but I won't ever have to duck down in either of my showers.

They patched up the holes in the sub floor where they had to run plumbing for the big bedroom's bathroom. I'm glad I decided to go ahead and install this bathroom. Although it's twice as many fixtures to buy, it adds a lot of convenience and livability to the home, not to mention value. And it was much cheaper to do it now than down the road.

They got the tub in here. And the fixtures are plumbed out here, too. I used the same faucets as the other bathroom. I think continuity is important in small spaces. Plus it makes a bigger impact when you break from the continuity, when you choose to do so.

This is the area beside the bathtub. The hot water heater box is actually sitting in the closet. It will be installed in the space between the closet and the bathtub, then will be drywalled over. There will be access to the hot water heater through the inside of the closet.

And New Guy got the framing up for the pocket doors in the big bedroom's closet. It's not a terribly deep closet, but it is about 9 feet wide. The pocket doors here take up no swinging floor space, they just slide into the walls and will give me a 5 foot wide access to the contents of the closet, then can be shut to hide the mess we all know closets to be.

This is the top portion of the wall above the new pocket doors to the closet.

Now I'm waiting to move ahead with the insulation and drywall. I had an initial estimate in, but sent it back for a lower figure. And I have the new figure in, but I'm keeping my options open at the moment. It's the last big project in the house.

After that it'll just be floors, the front porch, and finishing touches.

I'll be out of town until next Monday. It'll be interesting to see what I come home to.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Air, Water, Power Day 4

Tonight after work the house looked very clean compared to the rest of the week. The electrician is done with his rough in, as is the HVAC guy. The plumbing is underway.

This is the main bathroom. You can tell where the sink will be and toilet. The tub is already in place. They checked out the existing lines to the city and found they were in good shape, which is excellent news.

Over head you see lots of shiny duct work and yellow wires leading to blue boxes. I also found out in addition to the doorbell, I've also been wired for smoke detectors, which are part of Code requirements now. I liked that.

In the big bedroom's bathroom, the tub didn't go in yet, but this wall did which will be between it and the hot water heater. The closet will be on the far right, against the wall where the window was.

And more plumbing in here, as well. Again, you can tell where the sink and toilet will be. It's really shaping up. The utility room is also plumbed for a washer. No plumbing in the kitchen yet. I guess he'll work on that next week.

And here is the fan that used to be in what is now the Dining Area. I keep trying to give it away or sell it but no one wants it. I wonder why...

I keep joking that it will be the only thing I keep that was in the house when I bought it. It looks about as worn out as the old panel box.

Soon all the rough ins will be completed, leaving everything to be finished after the entire inside of the house is vapor wrapped, insulated, and dry walled. Also left to do are running the wires for cable and telephone.

Things keep happening faster and faster. I even got a potential move in date, but I'm not sharing it just yet, we'll wait and see how things go.

It's kind of crazy that after waiting 2 and 1/2 years to get to this point that it only took a week to get the new plumbing, HVAC, and new wiring.

It's been a long week.

Air, Water, Power Day 3

Last night when I got off of work the first thing I noticed was very cool, indeed.

And back around front I found this curious little work table set up.

The HVAC guy had put in the vent in the Foyer ceiling.

Just a shot with flash, really, to detect progress and debris. A few days ago this corner was full of duct work, and now it's mainly empty.

The troublesome vent placement was moved. You see the blue box on the 2x4 board to your right. It's the Dining Room light box. It will now be installed AFTER the drywall, to insure proper placement over the table. This will be what you see when you walk in, so it really needs to be in the right spot. We'll bring a table in and everything.

And this bathtub is in place in the main bathroom. It actually makes the room look bigger, though you can't tell that from this picture. They put up a vapor barrier and insulated behind the tub before putting it in.

This is a view from the big bedroom, looking towards the front of the house. They had to slide the tub unit in this way, along the old hallway, then put the framing back up behind it. The old side door is behind this bathtub.

And here is the big bedroom's bathroom in progress. The area vapor wrapped is going to be behind the tub. We're vapor wrapping the inside because in new construction, you wrap the exterior of the house before siding goes up. But when this house was built 99 years ago, there was no vapor barrier, the siding just went up on the studs.

And they had to cut out the new sub floor in the bathroom in order to plumb it, which is fine.

The electrician finished up his rough in today. The HVAC guys should be finished with their work tomorrow, and the plumbing will be majorly underway.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Air, Water, Power Day 2

Finally, a daylight shot of my house.

I keep taking this picture of my house because it motivates me.

The electrician moved this light over so that it is centered over my front door.

I bought this today. It will be in the Big Bedroom's bathroom/closet, instead of under the porch. It's an electric hot water heater, is 40 gallons, a Whirlpool, and has a 9 year warranty.

I also bought two of these one piece shower/tub units. Simple, straight lines, easy to clean.

The ceiling in the Living Area of the great room now boasts 6 recessed lights and 3 air vents.

The air handler's T- section grew arms today.

And in the kitchen, behind the front door, gathered a lot more wires. The electrician is done with his rough-in and will be back after drywall is installed to finish.

The old panel box seems sad, though.

Or maybe just tired?

The only thing that needs to be fixed is where the electrician put the Dining Area light fixture. It's not centered on the double windows and it's too far in towards the walls. And now the air vent is in the way of where the light should be. But New Guy will have this fixed tomorrow.

A lot happened today: I left out about 15 pictures. The wiring on the front and back porches is done, I have been wired for a doorbell, which I am oddly, extremely excited about, and the plumbing has been started. I also have narrowed down some fixtures and finishes that I want in the house. There are a lot of decisions to be made, all at once, and while it can be a little much, it's also a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Air, Water, Power Day 1

Today began the coordination of three sub-contractors, simultaneously. Some work had to be done by New Guy to prep for the Plumber, but the Electrician had to move the panel box first. And the HVAC guy was there, too.

But first, a better head-on view of the mostly clean house.

I noticed immediately that New Guy and his Crew had FINALLY taken down the remnants of the fake header partition where someone in the house's history had closed in half the porch to screen it in. I'd been wanting to take this down since I bought the house.

It just constricted the whole porch, cutting it in half. You can see its ghostly outline, now. It's SO MUCH BETTER gone.

Then I started seeing signs of the Electrician. These two wires pulled through will be outlets on the porch, one on either side of the door, mainly for Christmas decorations next year- think potted lit Christmas trees and lighted garland for the future railing.

Inside the Foyer, I saw the wires dropped for the new overhead ceiling fixture. I'm keeping this wooden ceiling, which used to be the porch ceiling, and am painting it. I have plans for it.

I could hardly see anything inside the house, as usual, since I have no lighting. But we're working on that. All the HVAC guy's supplies greeted me in the Great Room. It was a welcome sight.

A box overhead the Living Area for a fan. There will be can lights in here, too.

Off the Little Bedroom, New Guy had put up the wall in the old side porch turned hallway. Now it's divided into the Little Bedroom's closet, and the other side has become part of the main bathroom.

Back in the Great Room, we see the Air Handler installed above the box built by New Guy. The area below will be the return. This is all actually in the Utility Room. The air return will face out into the Great Room, in the center of the house.

A better, head-on view of the handler. It has a t-junction above it for the duct work to run off of. The air vents will be in the ceiling.

It does take up a good bit of space in the Utility Room, but that's what this room is for anyway. There's still plenty of room for the washer and dryer. And the hot water heater will actually be under the front porch. I didn't even entertain the idea of putting it overhead in the attic.

So the picture above shows the unit as it sits in the house. And below it is this:

A box of empty void. This is where the return vent will be, facing into the Dining Room (pointing out the right, not towards you).

I took this picture so I could read the EnergyGuide on the Handler. The arrow on the sliding scale is ALL the way over to 'most efficient', which pleased me very much so. The unit outside is 15 SEER rated.

This is in the Utility Room, as well. New Guy built this wall, separating the main bathroom from the Utility Room. All this used to be one bathroom for Apartment A with lots of dead space. I've gotten a closet, a utility room, and generous bathroom out of the space.

Said bathroom, the main bathroom. This room is only about 5 feet wide, but about 11 or 12 feet long. You can see where we removed the old side door of the house and closed in the old hallway/side porch. The tub unit will rest against this wall.

The electrician put up 6 can light receptacles in the kitchen. 3 are in a row here from the doorway off the Dining Room running to the back door. Same scenario on the other side, but they will be above the kitchen cabinets, there. There's also a fan box in the middle of the room. I wanted the option of putting a ceiling fan in the kitchen, though I will probably just go with a standard kitchen light fixture.

And the new electrical panel box, behind the back door in the kitchen!

In the Big Bedroom, this wall is finally solid. Two doorways have been framed up and filled in, one that used to be the old side porch and hall, and the other where a closet used to be. You might not be able to tell what I'm talking about, but I sure noticed the difference.

And New Guy also braced the header for the back porch which came in to what will be part of the Big Bedroom's bathroom. Before it was just attached to the wall and I wanted there to be a post under it. Again, something you prob wouldn't notice, but I did.

And another parting shot:

This was taken from my car. I know it's dark but I just sat there for a long time tonight, looking at the house. I think everyone is finally able to see what I saw when I bought it. So many of my friends looked at me crazy when I bought this house. And they constantly asked me why I hadn't moved in yet for the past 2 and 1/2 years. But I can definitely say now it's been worth the wait.

It's finally coming together and looking like a house, my house. I'm very proud of it. And I can also say it's actually turning out better than I hoped, which is awesome.

I picked out bathtub units, vanities, a hot water heater, and started looking at toilets, faucets, counter tops, appliances, and light fixtures today. It was a fun thing, but also a little overwhelming with so many choices and decisions to make. It was also a little bit different this time since I wasn't window shopping anymore, I was actually for real picking out what I want to go in the house, and envisioning the rooms completed.

More tomorrow!