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Work continues

We were back in NY this weekend getting things settled for our move soon!  While there work continued on our house, our contractor came over for a couple of days.  A little time this morning too and he’s finished up 2 projects – the upstairs hallway now has flooring and the front hallway downstairs has crown molding!  He’s also doing the last bit of work on the closet door for the front hallway so I can get that painted soon.

Crown molding in the hallway!

A view from the stairs. We are having it stop here, not doing crown upstairs.

New floor – this is the washer/dryer room and entries to the stair cases

Another view. That doorway will actually be a full wall between the staircases but hasn’t been framed in yet.

I hope to make progress on a few more projects this week.  Right now our front stairs are being protected from the rain and hopefully after tonight i can uncover them to really dry out and then stain them by the end of the week so they will be safe.  (Hand rails too).  The other main project is getting ready for insulation in the 2 bedrooms and attic (moving stuff and electrical to be done).  Insulation is next week!

Front Porch

The porch has been moving along steadily since Thursday afternoon.  Ryan got most of it demolished (leaving enough for us to use the side door for a while yet).

When Mark arrived they started right in replacing the first post bottom, and getting the decking going.  By the end of the night they had the second post in (including the decking to that point).

Friday the decking and railings were done all the way up to the side door and the porch was demo’d ready to go for Saturday morning.

Saturday The decking and railings were finished up (besides the small back railing) first thing.  A trip to home depot with the toddler and we had some wood and lattice to finish up the porch as well as some runners to do the front steps!  That was an unplanned but awesome surprise.

Decking done!

My new paint sprayer arrived Saturday so I got the boards all pre-painted yellow (first coat) and the lattice was easy to paint once installed.  On Sunday the lattice was all installed and painted first coat, the runners were installed, the concrete was busted up ready for new pavers and we had dinner out then ran over to buy some pavers.

Getting ready for pavers

Front right side is done

Right back side just needs a railing – otherwise it’s done!

This morning we got the final coat on the lattice, Mark laid all the pavers into a beautiful diagonal pattern and Ryan did the vertical boards over the lattice.  They are working on the stairs now and the paver set will be finished after the stairs are done (final sweep of it and then water it down).

New pavers and stairs ready to go!  What an awesome surprise!

Got one side of my closet doors primed with the sprayer – it goes SO fast!


The stairs are finished, the posts at the bottom are made up to match our posts on the porch.  One hand rail is installed (the other needs some fussy cutting).  The pavers are finished and watered down so we need to wait 24 hours for that to set (and 72 hours to cure)!

A morning view as the paver set stuff still dries!

Amazing!  The caps on the posts are solar lights so that is neat!

We have a few projects left to really finish the porch

  • Finish the vertical boards on the left side
  • Finish the hand rails on stairs
  • Finish the railing by the side door (a small one)
  • Finish the railing across the back of the right side
  • Sand/stain the deck!
  • Ceiling (that’s a big one!)

We could not have gotten anywhere near this amount done in 4 days without Ryan’s Dad’s help – holy cow!  And the pavers  and stairs – what a bonus!  The front looks great.


Wednesday was a very busy day.  First Ryan did a bunch of cleanup/moving stuff to prepare for demo (out on the roof mostly).  Then after lunch he started the actual demo with a break for dinner.  After the little one was in bed he finished the last 2 walls and I helped with the cleanup of that and all the lathe that was out in the driveway (thrown off the roof).  By 9:30 we had the wood all in the dumpster and Ryan has all the plaster bagged and on the roof/in the room ready to get thrown off the roof into the truck (and driven to the dumpster) later. (Truck was in NY at the moment).

After demo!

I think the negative air machine worked well, it really helped keep the dust from escaping throughout the upstairs (man i hate demo dust!).

While Ryan did demo our contractor was here and he finished the crown molding in the livingroom (which is now our bedroom)!  Only the front hall and the diningroom left to get crown!

Crown installed!

The rest of the crown

Today started with driveway cleanup (sweeping for nails from last night), then cleaning off the porch.  Next Ryan took off the railings and finally started the porch demo (pulling up the decking).  By 4pm Mark (his dad) was here with the new railings and they are out there now getting a start on the porch project!  I’m so excited about this one!  (I guess i’m excited about all projects but I am looking forward to enjoying the new deck for a bit before we leave!)

Railings gone – this was before the deck was pulled up

I’ll have porch updates this weekend for sure!  I am hoping to get some weekend time (naps) to work on the demo cleanup (vacuum out ceilings etc) and getting some electrical/lights installed in our empty rooms so we can work after bedtime too.  Those rooms just need to be prepped for insulation and sheetrock and electrical has to be finished.  A full week to go still (although admittedly ryan will need a couple days off too!)

Small porch

Work on the house continues this week.  Maribeth and Dan came out for a long weekend and worked away on our small porch off the bedroom.  They stripped all of the old paint and it looks great!  Can’t wait to get this thing sanded and painted so it looks nice.  We’re going to put new out door carpet in there, a new ceiling and call it done (once painting is done).  Of course the door has to be stripped and refinished as well.

Posts and details all stripped, ceiling just scraped since we’ll cover it with a new one.

One small section to strip on that top right!

Ryan got a bunch of things done the last few days.  The vent for the upstairs dryer is installed.

New vent!

He worked on the back porch demo, we ran a wire from the switch to the basement when we did the back hallway so that wire is now fed up to the ceiling in the porch and we just have to get it to a new light so the back porch will have light again.    All of the aluminum around the porch was removed and he recycled it with a few trips (getting rid of one last radiator as well!).  A couple trips to lumber yards – got the decking we need this weekend, got some crown for the livingroom (our contractor is here today putting up more crown!).   With all the errands needing to be run (we were sending our truck back to NY with Dan and Maribeth so it all had to be done), Ryan didn’t want to start demo in the late afternoon.  Plus the heat/humidity was crazy yesterday.

Today he has cleaned up the little porch, the roof and gotten ready to start the demo in the master.  Here is a before pic of what he’s starting with – the windows are already all new, so it’s just taking the plaster/lathe down.  We’re saving the ceiling in the cupola since we won’t need a light there (doing sconce lights over the windows in there), we’ll just sheetrock over that ceiling.  The big ceiling has to come down though (yuck).  We borrowed this negative air machine so looking forward to seeing if that contains the dust mess.


Demo and cleanup/prep work today and tomorrow.  Friday starts the porch project!

Weekend update

Friday and Saturday we rented a lift to complete some up high projects around the house.  First up Ryan got a coat of paint on the shakes on the driveway side and the molding up under the soffit.  Some sections of that molding aren’t done yet but they are easier to get off a ladder so we waited – wanting to take advantage of having the lift.  Ryan then painted all the green that he could easily get with the lift that was left (again what’s left we can get off a small ladder on the porch roof).

Red shakes done – green around the windows done! Almost finished with painting 3 sides!

Next up Ryan moved to the back and removed both the aluminum siding and the original siding from the back side.

This took about an hour and a half to get to this point!

That was all on friday, Saturday it was a second coat of red on the shakes and moldings,  then he installed the last 2 windows in our entire house that we plan on doing!  Our contractor is going to reside that back side (hopefully very soon so we can insulate) – so we’re done with that upper section, leaving just the back porch for us to deal with.  The flashing for that porch was fine so a little ice shield to keep water from getting behind it until it’s sided and we’re good to go for now.

Last 2 windows installed! The attic one is just a vinyl window

We attempted to get the lift to reach the small section of green by the electrical wires that i couldn’t reach by ladder last year but it wouldn’t reach :(  So we’ll have to pull out the bigger ladder to complete that green paint.  Finally we started pulling aluminum off the back porch which didn’t really need the lift but we ran out of actual projects that needed it!

Porch with most of the aluminum off. This siding is in decent shape, we’re going to patch the missing piece of sill and sand/paint the siding/trim as is. Not putting a lot of work into this porch as it really should just come off the house and have a garage attached!

Sunday we returned the lift, went out to breakfast and then I spent the day packing while Ryan was on Dad duty.  I got our bedroom packed and ready to empty and the back porch emptied.  These are the next 2 demo projects although the back porch is only getting partially demo’d.  During naptime Ryan got the front area grouted so that tile job is done!  The front hall just needs trim and paint to be completed!


Maribeth and Dan came out Friday night and spent Saturday morning stripping paint off the little front porch off our bedroom.  They are back to it today and it’s coming out great (pictures coming soon!).

Today is a day of getting lots of small stuff done.  We were hoping our contractor would come today and finish the crown in the front livingroom (he did the cupola crown over the weekend) so we could move our furniture down there and it wouldn’t be in the way but he has another job holding him up at the moment.  The plan is to demo our bedroom Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then get electrical done Thursday.

Cupola has crown! Just needs caulk, prime, paint!

Friday will be the start of the porch project – that is very exciting — a finished porch coming soon!  I’ve had a hole in my porch for so long now!  I wrote a list of everything I can see that needs to get done still and while it’s huge it seems manageable with the next 2 weeks of Ryan’s time so I’m excited.  He’ll need a break next week for sure but hopefully putting up trim or doing some smaller easier tasks will be okay!


Around 11 Ryan was ready to start tiling the front area again.  I’m pretty sure almost every tile he did had to be cut (maybe 2 didn’t) today!  So we got the wet saw setup in the driveway and he went to work on tiling.  By 3pm he was done and it looks great!

Front hallway tile done!

A straight on view

The trim arrived early in the morning so Ryan got a couple rosettes stripped (I continued that job after bedtime) and he started putting up trim in the front hallway after organizing the trim (precutting to rough length and storing in the basement).

Chair rail started, the arch has all it’s trim, the door is waiting on rosettes

It’s a good after dark project to do a little at a time.

Today Ryan went and got the lift.  He’s already got the aluminum siding on the top section stripped off and organized, he’s starting on the old siding.  The little back porch is last since we don’t need the lift for that.  Once the siding is stripped it’s time to paint the high sections that are left.  Lots of red accents, a coat of green and we should be good to go.  We have the lift through sunday morning.


Wednesday Wrapup

Just a quick wrap-up on what Ryan finished up yesterday.  With Alex’s help he dry laid the tiles into the pattern we were thinking and of course we were short one mosaic tile :)  No biggie.  Once Alex was in bed he mixed up some mud and did the pattern so it would be dry today and he could do all the cutting and finishing around the pattern today (after a trip to go get that missing tile).

Tiled until he ran out of mud – pattern almost complete!

And here’s a picture of the washer/dryer stand:

Almost done

The stand is VERY sturdy, the top isn’t screwed down because we have to install a drain through it, then there will be a lip around the edge of the box and our baseboards will wrap around.  We’re going to use redguard to make it water proof for the emergency drain instead of getting a pan (which is tough for an oversized washer.  And since it’s for emergencies and red guard will make it water proof we’re not worried about it.

Ryan is back from home depot and getting ready to tile.  I like working from home so i can see the progress!  Oh yea and big news – the trim we had made to match our existing just came in this morning!  So we can finish the trim in the front hallway now and we have enough hopefully to do the whole upstairs when it’s ready!

Back Bedroom

Ryan has a couple of weeks off and is hitting the upstairs hard!  We have a crazy ‘list’ written out and we’ll see what he can get done so far he is on a roll as none of these jobs are easy!

Monday he jumped right into demo and got the back bedroom completely demo’d and cleaned up.  It still has some final work left like removing nails, cleaning the last bits of insulation from ceiling but it went well and Ryan did it all himself.

Back bedroom demo’d

Another view

The bedroom is now rectangular, no more diagonal cut for the door!

Tuesday he pruned our front tree in time for the dumpster to arrive.  Then he loaded the dumpster with everything from the back bedroom.  Next he started working on the back wall, he had to shift part of it back towards the 2 staircases so the washer/dryer will fit in there (then he has to shift the washer dryer over to make more room).  He got the 2 doors reframed out again.

The washer dryer room, expanded a bit

Wednesday (not over yet) he framed out the door to the back bedroom and cleaned some wood out of the basement (into the dumpster).  Then he finished up the washer/dryer stand (finished picture tomorrow!)

The start of the washer/dryer stand we had to shift over.

One big goal by the end of these 3 weeks is to have both bedrooms (ours and this back one) ready for insulation/sheetrock completely.  That means we have some cleanup and electrical to do in the back room, flooring too.  And in our room we haven’t even started yet!

Tomorrow the plan is to tile the front entry (yay!) since our contractor just finished installing the closet door for us.  He is now getting a start on crown molding in the livingroom (he has to make the base pieces).

I won’t even get into EVERYTHING else planned however we are renting a lift Fri-Sat so we hope to get the exterior painting finished and the siding off the back of the house with that.  And by we I mean ryan :)  Going to be a busy couple of weeks!

Bedroom porch

We’ve been doing a lot but instead of covering the weekend I’m going to post by project.  Ryan is going to be working on the house for 3 weeks straight starting next week and I’ll try to keep up the documentation to follow that but this week I’m going to just try to catch up on some of the project updates.

We’ve had our contractor working on the little porch off of our bedroom the last 2 weeks.  First he rebuilt the little 1/2 wall entirely and repaired the roof around it (flashing/roofing) so that hopefully that fixes the leak in the porch roof below.

New walls and sill

View from the bedroom door

Then he put up shiplap bead board on the inside which I love the look of, built a new sill and then did the siding on the outside of the porch.

Hard to see from down here but new siding is up and ready for paint. Obviously those posts have to be stripped first. All is primed though so prepared for any rain.

The porch still needs works.  We need to scrape/strip the paint on the inside for all the original wood we’re keeping.  Then it all needs to be painted.  And then we need to put down new exterior carpet for the floor.  We also have to add in some drainage from the floor out to the roof – the flashing is there for it but any new floor will need some weeping holes or something to get water down to the flashing.

We are going to keep the screens off instead of refinishing them but we saved them so they could be refinished in future.  For now we’re keeping it an open porch because it looks nicer I think, and you can see more details on the inside that way!

Next up – the new wall in the upstairs back hallway Ryan has been building!

Floor is finished

We put the final coat of poly on Sunday night! Ryan sanded when we got back from NY and I got it vacuumed and poly’d while he put Alex to bed!  It’s done!  And great timing, we can let it dry/cure for the week and we’ll definitely be using it a bit by next weekend!


Just a few small things left to do (crown molding and trim paint) and the front livingroom will be done!  The front hallway has a bit more work and the diningroom is on hold because we have to do the bathroom above it (plumbing).  So excited though!  We can finally put furniture back in the rooms officially.  Here comes my new office (front livingroom), sewing room (diningroom) and playroom!