Taping and Spackling

As I’ve mentioned we are focusing on 2 bedrooms (Alex and Bella’s) and the smaller bathroom at the moment, hoping if we get those finished we can move in before finishing the rest.  So we’ve started taping and spackling the bathroom and Bella’s room.  My pictures aren’t the very latest progress but show some progress in that area.  Ryan and I hope to spend Friday evening making more progress while Bella sleeps at the new house for the first part of the evening.  Alex will be having a sleepover with grandparents.

Bella’s room

Another view

That picture is the first day of progress on Bella’s room.  THe second day I got the ceiling long seam taped and the 2 corner seams.  Her closet still needs sheetrock but at this point we’re hoping to finish the rest of the sheetrock spackling before the closet because we need to put in a new attic access out in the hallway before we close up her closet (current attic access).  The hallway will make more sense because it’s closer to the air handler which is the only reason we’ll really go up there and we should be able to put a staircase in (pull down).

Bathroom progress

another view

The bathroom we ran out of mesh tape for so we need to get more before we can finish that up.  The tub area will be tiled so that just needs the ceiling and upper part of the wall finished nicely.

Progress!  Can’t wait to do more!

Staycation at Lake House

We took our annual ‘birthday week’ off between Ryan’s and my birthday.  It sure is a bit different having kids though – and not living in the house we are renovating yet.  I haven’t updated in a while so let me just update by project.

We’ve been working on Siding before this week off … the dormers got new siding – the fronts and one side.  No progress over our staycation as we had inside projects to focus on but it looks great!

Siding matches the old stuff great!

Sheetrock – Alex and Bella’s rooms are both almost done with hanging sheetrock.  They both have small sections that need rock and then all the taping/spackling.  We held off on totally finishing as we knew we had to jack up Alex’s room and put in some better supports under the floor (we’ll do the same to the master).  So over staycation we did the jacking up part but before that we made good progress on the sheetrock:

Alex’s room has 2 pieces of sheetrock left to do (small sections)

I don’t have a picture of Bella’s room but hers is done except for her closet!

Over vacation we focused on some more heavy lifting type projects.  Kitchen ceiling project – jacked up and added to the main joist holding most of the weight …

Jacked up

New blocking and supporting that one floor joist and the floor upstairs is MUCH firmer!  And raised up quite a bit.


Another project as the washer/dryer closet.  We had to widen the opening on a load bearing wall as well as build a new bathroom wall since we’re pushing that back to make room for the washer/dryer.   This is in what will be my sewing room/office.

New opening

Another view

All that demo (which was what we did on Monday) – also got trecked over to the dump – no dumpster this time around.  Cleanup is done though and looking good.  Not too much left to demo in our house – just a few ceilings, the rest of the kitchen eventually and the livingroom when we get to that.

Since we demo’d the kitchen ceiling and I had to move a bunch of wires around anyhow – I installed some new kitchen lights – functional but not pretty 🙂

Much better for cooking though!

Thursday was sheetrock day – the little bathroom!  Ryan and his dad got sheetrock hung on all but 1 small section that we are waiting on plumbing on (just moving the tub spout);

Bathroom rocked

We are in pretty good shape.  A tiny bit of sheetrock left to hang then taping time.  I’m hoping to start taping this week.  Our big goal is now to finish the 2 kids bedrooms and the small bathroom so we can move in to those and finish the rest once in – no longer trying to get the whole upstairs done.  Things will move faster once we move in (and slower too).  We’d really like to move in for memorial day – not sure if it will happen but hoping 🙂





Sheetrock time!

Well we had planned to hire someone to sheetrock but they never got back to us and after missing our first appt we didn’t like the track record of having to re-schedule or re-reach out ourselves (I did reach out by email asking about the quote and got no response) so I guess he didn’t want the job and we didn’t have a lot of options around here.

So this weekend Ryan picked up some sheetrock so he and his dad could start the project.  I’m trying to get in the mood and excited about taping and spackling – I really don’t mind doing it, it’s just tough to find the time with the kids.

First up this weekend Ryan and his dad put down the new subfloor in the bathrooms – new plywood which really stiffened things up then hardi-backer.  They also built the stand for the tub in our bathroom since we have the measurements.

Master bathroom tub stand and floor done

Small bathroom floor done

Plumbing for shower started

Next up Ryan and his dad started hanging drywall in Alex’s room.  First they re-screwed the existing ceiling and then patched in the section we had cut away.  Then they did most of the dormer – until they ran out of sheetrock.  A good partial day’s work!


There are lots of angles in this room!

During one break (nap) I got the rest of the subpanel wired up so our closet can also be sheetrocked when ready.

No progress this coming weekend as we have family fun planned.  Ryan does plan to work a bit in the evenings at least tomorrow for sure.


Progress continues quickly as we finished up all the prep work for insulation and they came out last Wednesday to start the job (they are finishing up today with a few small touch ups and cleanup).  We are seeing a huge improvement in heat retention even with the heat turned off this weekend (we turned it off so we don’t get any of the insulation spray fumes in the air handlers/filters).  We used the fireplace this weekend and today it was still 50+ degrees on both floors!  Once we start running the heat again it will barely have to run!

A few pictures I took last week…

My sewing room

All 2×4 walls have 1.5″ of closed cell, then open cell to fill.  The 2×6 (new) walls in dormers are just open cell.  The attic and basement rim joist were also all sprayed.  The only part of our house without spray foam is now the addition section (over the slab) which is the livingroom, washer/dryer room and the un-insulated garage.

Downstairs bath

Front entry



Ryan and his dad worked on the house this weekend.  They got the ceiling between the old ceiling and new dormer section firred out, ready for sheet rock :

Ready for sheetrock

They also got all the rest of the frieze board/trim installed on the dormers as well as the front of the soffit corners covered with white aluminum!

Dormers ready for siding

The hope was to do siding last weekend but the siding that arrived was the wrong kind so we are now waiting 2 weeks for a special order siding.  In the mean time we are getting ready for drywall upstairs – our plumber has started running the lines for the bathrooms and Ryan is finishing up the last bit of framing.  I have a tiny bit of electrical (hooking some lines up to the panel box) and we should be ready to go.  I think if we were doing the drywall ourselves we’d just be going on it already – our hold up is that we hoped to hire someone because the taping/spackling would go so much faster if it wasn’t us doing it.  We’re not hearing back from the one person we found that could do it so we may just have to do it ourselves and hope we can do it quickly enough.


Almost ready for insulation!

We’ve made a lot of progress in the last month.   It’s not easy to take pictures because it’s mostly demolition and wiring but the end goal is to get both the upstairs and downstairs of the main house (not the addition which is the livingroom/garage area) insulated.  Originally we were going to do just the upstairs but we decided with the new heating system it made sense to get the downstairs also done at the same time.  This meant more demo, more electrical.

This weekend we were close to done on electrical and I had a handle on it.  I’ve got exactly 3 small tasks left to do before we’re done and ready now.  I got a new outlet circuit run in the playroom, broke apart some lighting circuits (the whole downstairs was on a single circuit so I put the hallways on their own, the others can be modified later as they are on interior walls).  I got the small bathroom wired up – I need a double gang box to finish it and I need romex connectors to wire the fans in both bathrooms but I plan to pick those up tomorrow and finish that up.

The sewing room/office outlet circuit needs a new feed (it’s fed off the basement lights which doesn’t work well for us), the fans have to be wired and the 4 wires fed to the subpanel that aren’t hooked up yet need to be hooked up.  Then electrical upstairs is done completely (and downstairs exterior walls are done).  Next Sunday we’ll finish removing the old insulation, check for any nails we missed in the walls and tie down any loose wires we missed (hidden in insulation).  Then insulation will be that week after!

Ryan and his Dad worked on an outdoor project since the weather was so nice – they started getting the soffits covered with vinyl and the frieze boards covered with aluminum.  We need a bit more material but it looks awesome so far!  We haven’t ordered siding yet (nothing matches that we’ve found yet) but it looks great seeing this come together.

Updates all over

I’ve been very neglectful in updates because I didn’t have pictures and I haven’t been there for 99% of the work that’s been done… partly because Ryan’s dad has done so much for us!  One afternoon he went over and demo’d all the exterior walls because we had decided we’d do that and spray foam… next day they were done and in the dumpster already… amazing!

Another afternoon it was the bathroom floors (with all the tile) – all removed and cleaned up!

Ryan and his dad have been hard at work getting all the framing done – including adding firring in a lot of the new closets to allow for more spray foam/higher R value and to cover the joists to get barrier.  We’re going to go with an inch of closed cell then filled with open I believe in a lot of the areas.  It will be a big investment but worth it in the long run.

Wiring/electrical continues when I have time.  I’ve got the last bedroom ceiling fan/light installed and working along with a light in the small attic space and one closet done.  There’s a lot to do left – just in Alex’s room alone I have to do light in the dormer, light in the other closet, smoke detector, outlets (add new and run a new feed in general), cable run.  Pretty much repeat that for the other rooms and the bathroom I haven’t even started.  Plus i need to do a subpanel still.. currently we’re just running lights off the old feeds that fed the whole upstairs (it was a 3 wire).  I have no outlets upstairs currently wired.

Framing, demo, electrical – the upstairs is coming along.  We’ve got a tiny bit of framing left, electrical to do, then it will be spray foam and sheet rock.  We’ve done planning – got the master bathroom layout decided and I convinced Ryan on built-ins anyplace I can fit them 🙂  Ryan’s dad actually came up with a great idea for built-ins/desk in Bella’s room – we exposed extra space at the back of the room that we’re going to put some cabinets and shelving in for her.    Here are some pics…

The framing for the master bedroom dormer wall – the two sides will be built-in cabinets with some shelves on top and the closet itself is ready to go once it gets a light!

Our new master bathroom wall – that’s a small closet to the right, we will have a tub on the right hand side when you walk in, the vanity will be straight across from the door and the shower and toilet will be to the left – where they were originally

Bella’s room… that little nook will have 2 cabinets with space between to form a desk (with a top of course) – then some corner shelves in the corner you can’t see – behind the closet. Storage storage storage! That’s the space above the livingroom past her room – we hope to cathedral the livingroom ceiling some day and use that space!

Alex’s room – Dormer is open, closets on the sides of the dormer will have doors.

Another view of the left side – that door way to the left is the entrance to the small ‘attic’ storage space we will have unfinished – it was original to the house like that so we are maintaining it and going to use that space for storing decorations etc.

It’s exciting to see so much progress.  Now I just need time to work on electrical.


The weekend before christmas I got to work on the house a bit!  Suzanne watched the girls on Sunday and we got some wires run – fan boxes installed in 2 of the 3 bedrooms (and hooked up to switches!).  The benefit right now is that we finally have light in those rooms (previously no lights)!

We’ve decided to take down all the exterior wall sheetrock so we can properly do spray foam, we had done enough demo that it’s not really that much more.  In the master it’s 1 wall, in the master bath it’s 1/2 of a wall, in Bella’s room it’s 2 walls (the most) and Alex’s room it’s one small wall.  Because of the dormer walls and bathrooms already being demo’d – it’s not much more.  This way we can do the outlet wiring a bit easier (mostly I just need to confirm the wiring is good and add some outlets to the dormers).

No pictures but progress was made.  I’m looking forward to resuming some work – maybe Friday (holiday).

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is ready for the New Year!

Fireplace Insert

This past weekend we had some great weather (what month is this again?!!).  Ryan and his dad got the new chimney liner installed and finished the top of the chimney!  Next up was installing the insert itself which took basically all day Sunday!  It was quite the project.

Chimney finished!

Insert installed!

Other than that project we did get a few other things done – Ryan has gotten the wall to the master closet all framed and the ceiling to the closet. I just didn’t get pictures when it was light out.  We started installing the cover on the boat (we have to install all the snaps all the way around!).

We’ve got to do a few small fires in the fireplace before we can fully utilize it but we need to get some seasoned wood first 🙂  Our new heating system is making great progress too!  The upstairs vents and returns are all in place, pipes are run.  We ordered thermostats and got the wire we needed for wiring the outside unit.  We *may* have heat upstairs before Christmas!

Heat and Windows

This weekend Ryan and his cousin got the new heat pump installed on the outside of the house.  Ryan’s cousin is making great progress on the duct work in the attic as well and once we get the coolant lines run to the two units (attic and basement) we’ll get some heat going in the house!  We are very excited to see how well this will heat the house – of course we need to get the new dormers and attic insulated for efficiency but we aren’t living there this winter so just need it warm enough to work on weekends for now!

Heat pump!!!

Ryan and his dad got the last 3 windows installed downstairs on Sunday!  Technically we have 2 more windows but we have to order them and we have to do the sliding doors so we’ll probably wait and do all of those next spring.  The upstairs were the important ones to get done!  Really great progress all around.  I haven’t been to look at the progress but Ryan also worked on the wall in the master bedroom that will go across the dormer to make our closet!

New windows!!!

I really love the style window we put in with the divided lites on top.  The quality of the windows are also very good – we are quite happy with them!  I’m excited for more progress this weekend!  Time to get some electrical done upstairs so we can get to insulation after that and then start closing things up!


Ryan and his dad worked on windows on Sunday – putting them in is a two person job and now Ryan can get the trim up around them if he has time by himself!  They got a lot more done than I anticipated and I can’t wait to see them later tonight!

Master bedroom windows on the side done

All the upstairs windows across the back!

First window downstairs done

So there are 3 more windows downstairs in the front there to do, plus one in the livingroom which I think we bought the wrong size for.  We have to buy the downstairs bathroom window (we forgot that one entirely).  We are not replacing the garage ones at the moment, we’ll wait until we do dormers above the garage down the road.

Next up – siding to order!