10 September 2015

Getting plastered

I finally took on the job of filling in some plaster on the stairwell wall, item #101 on the never-ending to-do list. I've been putting it off for years a long time, but it really wasn't that bad once I got started. Now it's just waiting for the drywall mud guy to tape the corner and finish smoothing it out.

It's hard to tell exactly what I did, but everything to the left of that window trim moulding (the existing plaster is painted white, the new stuff is grayish) was just exposed brick. I had to build up layers of Durabond until it matched the level of the existing plaster, which was a little over an inch thick.

08 September 2015

More drywall

I guess I never mentioned I finished drywalling in the kitchen too.

I'm now in the process of moving everything out of the drywalled rooms as much as possible so the mud guy has space to work. 

02 September 2015

Back stairs

I finished repairing the old back staircase. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd imagined it would be, and it probably only took 6 hours total to complete. I built a box out of 2x8 and attached a tread before building the next step on top. They aren't to modern code, but since this is a repair of an existing historical stair, simply replacing what was missing is acceptable.

Having another staircase in the back is kind of awesome, and I use it almost as much as the front stairs now. In the second photo you can see where I've built in a drawer for a little bit of extra storage. The riser will double as a drawer front and will all but disappear when closed.

11 August 2015

Drywall? No big deal.

Still working with just the camera on my phone. Sorry.

05 August 2015

After a few intense weeks of work, we are finally far enough along to have put in a big drywall order at Lowe's. It was supposed to be delivered today, but when it arrived, it was short by more than 20 sheets. Also, chunks were missing from corners, and the edges were badly torn. I told the guy I couldn't accept the delivery, so he'll be back on Friday or Saturday with (I hope) a better and correct supply. In the meantime, I'll be prepping the kitchen so we can start hanging sheetrock as soon as the delivery arrives.

I have officially waved the white flag on the bathroom plumbing and called a plumber to help. He's finishing up a whole-house rough-in installation this week and *hopefully* will get to us next week. It shouldn't take him more than a day or two for him to complete his work here, and I'm optimistic about the progress I can make in there once he's done. The ceiling will need to be dropped somewhat, and I have to wait for the plumbing to be completed before I can do that. Pictures to follow once there's something to take pictures of!

07 July 2015

The next major project I've been working on is finishing the downstairs framing. After 1001 iterations of the floor plan, I've got a plan and it's as set in stone as we get around here. The walls are up, the electrical boxes are starting to go in, and we're well on our way to having more habitable space in our house.

I spent a bit of time today in the basement installing a beam and posts. There was a bounce in the floor of the kitchen that's always bothered me a little bit, and the new beam virtually eliminates it. The house is fine structurally, but it was unsettling to hear dishes rattling when you walked through the room. Now the kids can be downstairs running around without giving me a nervous tic with all the bouncing.

20 June 2015

Clara calls it the "curly path"

Unfortunately, my camera won't take clear photos anymore, so I'm stuck with a crummy cell phone camera to document my progress. Here's one project, the side yard, as yet incomplete. Here's what it looked like before:

And here's what it looks like now:

I obviously have a lot of filling in to do with plants (I've actually done a bit more since this picture was taken), but I like how it's coming together so far. The sunlight conditions are difficult - a few hours of intense afternoon sun, which means it's too sunny for shade plants and too shady for full sun plants. You'd think that part-shade would suffice, but most of those plants will wilt in afternoon sun. I'm trying a few plants at a time to see how they handle the spot and will find new homes for them if they don't work.