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Some quick updates

A mid-week visit up to the house for some appts and I have a few more pics to share and a tiny bit of progress updates as well.

First some more pics of what was done over vacation …

Another shower view

The painting continues smoothly and he will be finishing up what he has time for this weekend, anything left will be for us unfortunately but I think he’ll have almost all the trim done (that’s already installed).

Washer/dryer stand ready to carry those up and install

I still forgot to take an outdoor (front porch ceiling) picture – this weekend I will hopefully remember but I did get a pic of the floor in the master bedroom that Ryan fixed up (it had damage and a hole from the radiator).

Repaired floor in cupola!

And the electric in the bathroom is officially done – of course I forgot to take a picture of the ceiling fan but the outlets and vanity lights are in and everything is working/wired up.

Outlets and switches (need another double switch plate…

Vanity lights … so…

Turns out that when they say the vanity light is 24″ across they measure the edge of the metal NOT the glass!  Since our sinks are 12″ in from the sides and we wanted the lights centered I thought I was safe with a 24″ wide light.  Not so much it turns out :(  Luckily I think I can just buy different glass and change that out for a small fee instead of using this flared design.  I’d have to have to unwire and replace them completely as it was a pain to get up of course!

That’s it, it was a short trip and I mostly just worked remotely while there.  We’ll be heading up tonight for another weekend of work including grouting the bathroom, putting up the bathroom trim, spackling the last wall in the diningroom (me) and working on the banister maybe or hanging ceiling fans.  We are going up next weekend too so some of that may happen then.

April Staycation… in NH

Well this was our last stay-cation at our NH house where we take a week off of work to work on the house, definitely not as much fun when it’s finishing a house that will get sold :(  Add to that my back has been killing me (sciatic) with this part of pregnancy (so much fun) but we got a ton done and we are on track to get the house listed in mid-may i think.  Let’s see if I can recap the vacation a bit…

We drove out Friday night (Alex’s birthday).  Saturday Ryan worked on getting trim installed, the painter was starting on monday so he wanted all but the master bathroom trim done if possible.  He got the back bedroom windows and doors trimmed, then the window by the washer/dryer…

Baseboards done … the old baseboard tops had to be stripped of paint and cleaned up a bit then the caps put on, plus a small piece had to be pieced in.

Doors trimmed

Window trimmed by washer/dryer

When i had time I focused on electrical.  These lights were done the last weekend we were out but I didn’t take pics so here are the lights i installed in the stairway and top of stairs.

These will have shades on top

Chandelier at the top

I got the back bedroom outlets all wired up at some point during the week (a naptime – there weren’t many naptimes).  So master bedroom and bathroom are really the last outlets left.

Sunday Ryan worked on the master bedroom trim (baseboards again) and also patched up the floor where the radiator had done damage.  The floors are officially ready to be refinished now (well when we have time!).

Over the weekend our neighbor finished spackling the bathroom and then sanded it on sunday so I could prime it and Mark could paint it Mon-Tue, we went with a light grey paint.


All done!

Monday started the master bathroom project in earnest, Ryan had to get the shower pan installed which took some work and included putting the drain in, then the foam floor insert (Kerdi system).  Ryan’s dad came out to help Monday afternoon-Wednesday which was a huge help.  The kerdi system involved putting down the underlayment then letting it dry so working on something else until they could tile again.  It slowed down the project but hopefully is worth it.

The project they chose as extra was putting up most of the front porch (wrap-around) ceiling!  They put upstrapping to nail the new ceiling to and then put up bead board panels.  We’ll need to put up some trim on the seams and around the edges to make it look really finished but it’s a huge improvement and looks great.  Over the 3 days they got all but 2 panels installed.

In the bathroom on Tuesday they got the floor to the shower done AND the floor to the whole bathroom tiled!  All day on hands/knees as this is a large bathroom! Oh and Mark also painted the entire bathroom

Shower floor – charcoal – love it!

Starting the floor tile, simple subway layout of 12×12 on the floor.


The bumpout part

Unfortunately they needed to give the tile 24 hours to dry so the shower project had to wait until Wed night before starting.  So that’s when they worked on the porch ceiling the most.

I got some lights in the master bathroom wired up so Ryan would have light in there at night if he tiled the shower.  I also worked a little on the banister project I have planned.  I’m sanding it lightly with 300 grit, cleaning it well, staining it dark so it hides any knicks then i’ll give it a wax.  Here is a section I did with just stain, no wax yet…

It darkens a bit but really hides the old knicks well and looks awesome in person! This section only took about an hour so won’t take too long to do the rest!

The painter started on Monday with prepping (filling holes and sanding) the trim we had installed.  Then he got to priming – he’s doing all the trim upstairs, some downstairs and all the doors we’ve had dipped.  I actually drove the last 3 doors down to Worcester on Tuesday to be dipped and they’ll be brought back this week when I make another trip out!

Painter got the trim all primed in the back bedroom

Hallway trim all primed

Trim at the top of the stairs primed

Master bedroom windows all primed

Some great progress this week… Alex, Mark and I headed back late Wednesday night so I could clean the house and prep for the birthday party Thur and Fri.  Ryan stayed through Thursday, tiling the shower!

Matching tile in 12×24 for the shower.

The glass guys came and measured on Thursday once the shower was tiled and Ryan also met with the realtor … about 4 more weeks and we’ll be listing hopefully!

We have a few big projects left and lots of little things.  We need to fit in finishing the floors, the painting is being handled so that’s not a concern.  The bathroom has to be grouted – this weekend! And then the glass can be installed in the shower.  We have to get the vanity upstairs and put in – that is crazy heavy and will be tough but hopefully soon.


Last Kid free weekend

Well this past weekend was most likely the last weekend we’ll go out kid free – the next weekend we go out is for our ‘vacation’ so of course we’ll bring Alex (plus it’s her birthday weekend!).  After that we’re getting close to the end of what I can do anyhow as I get further along so we’ll bring her along.

We drove out Thursday night and both worked from the house on Friday so we could get the new vanity delivered.  Then we worked friday night from 6-11 with a break to go to Lowe’s for our tile!.

Bathroom tile!

Friday night was mostly making a new door frame for the master bedroom door and getting that installed.  Ryan also worked on some chair rail in the hallway and I got some outlets installed in the master bedroom.

New door installed!

Chair rail!

Saturday we started with another hard project and got the master bathroom fan vented out through the attic frieze board.  Ryan had to hang out of the half moon window to cut the hole for it, it was quite the ordeal but the fan is vented!

Fan vented! I didn’t take a pic outside because it was snowing – ugg in spring!

Other than installing lights (I got the front hallway lights all installed up the stairs and top of stairs!), I also took up the carpet on the stairs finally.  We can finally see these beautiful stairs that will look great refinished!

Stairs! the lower part of the wall just needs to be painted and this will look great!

Ryan got trim around the rest of the upstairs hallway (chair rail and door trim around the master bedroom door).  Then he did the other doors in the master bedroom (outside door and closet door).  The bathroom door is our last one in there that needs to be installed and trimmed out!

Trim around doors and some baseboards done too

I got the vanity light boxes installed (we were waiting on the vanity so i could make sure the lights were centered above the sinks properly and I think we are good here).

Vanity light boxes installed!

Our neighbor finished spackling the back porch and got that sanded.  It’s ready for primer/paint and trim!  Then he built the knee wall in the bathroom for the shower and put in some blocking for the glass door to hang on when we get that.

Shower walls ready

We headed back to NY Saturday night at 7 so we could have a family day with Alex on Sunday which was very a great idea and ended up being a blast.

I’m headed back to the house this week to get the master bathroom inspections done so that the next weekend we are out we can move forward on the bathroom (and our neighbor can start sheetrocking it).  Exciting!

Lot’s left to do but the inside is coming along nicely and if we hire someone to paint we are getting closer for sure!

Trim and Outlets

This past weekend we went out to work on the house but had Alex so that left Ryan doing most of the work and I got naptime and tvtime to work a bit on electrical.   First Ryan started by attempting to install the master bathroom door however it doesn’t fit in the old frame without being cut down so he put that on hold with a partial install.  Once you clean up the old door frames and screw them together they get a bit tighter and the door needs probably 1/4″ taken off the hinge side which is fine, just annoying to bring down to the basement and needs 2 people to do well.

So he moved to trim while Alex and I went shopping at various lumber yards to buy what is hopefully the last bit of trim we need to buy.  We bought the rest of the window apron and baseboard cap trim in Brookline then over to Hudson to get the rest of the chair rail and shadow box trim (hopefully).  Ryan got the master bedroom windows finished up (just aprons really were left), then got the back bedroom windows trimmed out except for the tops – we leave the tops to last so we know which pieces of trim to cut/use as we are limited and need to use the longer pieces for doors first.

Baseboard cap in the hallway – top of stairs

Capped down the hallway

Other side of the hallway done too

He also installed the last door in the back hallway once we realized we couldn’t bring the washer/dryer up that way anyhow due to the basement door being too small, so they will come up the front steps – no reason not to install the door and get it trimmed out too.

Last door installed and trimmed out in hallway (minus the top of course)


Ryan put the trim up around the washer/dryer stand and I caulked and water proofed it with redguard.  It’s ready to be sanded (front) and painted then the washer and dryer can be installed!

washer/dryer stand waterproofed and trimmed out

Note the baseboard is capped all around the stand too – so the upstairs hallway is pretty much done trim wise.  The top of the stairs section still has to be done – we need to install our bedroom door and do the chair rail and boxes there so more work.

Back bedroom windows mostly trimmed out

Aprons installed on the last 3 master bedroom windows!

During my breaks I got the outlets in the upstairs hallway wired up/installed and hooked up the washer/dryer outlets to the panel box so the upstairs hallway is all wired.  The only electrical left is to wire up the master bathroom and install the rest of the outlets in the 2 bedrooms, then install the light at the top of the stairs.  Getting so close!

It was a pretty productive weekend, we stayed until noon on Sunday and then packed up the truck and headed home.  Ryan helped my dad on their new house for a bit and man were we all wiped out that night!

This weekend we are home and celebrating my nieces’ first birthday!  Then next weekend it’s back out to work on more trim, hopefully finish up electrical and work on cleaning up the diningroom built-ins if we can!


Last week my brother-in-law came out and finished up the rough-in-plumbing for our master bathroom!  It’s almost ready for inspections, we want to get the rest of the cement board down on the floor and I need to hook up the wires to the fan and probably hook up the exhaust pipe to the fan then it will be ready!

Double vanity plumbing all set!


Basement …. so nice!

Also while we’ve been in NY Ryan’s dad has been busy stripping trim for us.  We have a box of stripped and sanded rosettes ready to install as well as a little bit of leftover trim we had hanging out in the basement.  I got the door frame for our bedroom door stripped last night so Ryan can install the door this weekend and then finish up the trim in the upstairs hallway!

Looking forward to a hopefully productive weekend but we’re also bringing the Boo so we’ll get time with her too.  Oh and this nice weather – awesome… come on spring!

Kid-Free weekend again

We are on an every-other weekend schedule going out to work on the house and this weekend Alex stayed with her grandparents so we could go out by ourselves and make more progress!  It was a productive day and a half for sure.

Saturday Ryan worked on trim all day – starting with the master bedroom, putting up window trim.  We need to buy more window apron trim but he got what we had up and the windows look great!

3 windows even have aprons!

3 without aprons (plus we need aprons for the back bedroom and master bath)

Next up he worked on baseboards.  He couldn’t finish the uptairs hallway shadow boxes and chair rail because the door for the master bedroom needs to be installed, and before that it needs to be stripped, so we packed it up and brought it back and Ryan will strip it here and we’ll bring it back ready to install.

Had to cut the old baseboard down to match and then put in a new piece.

Notice the blue rug at the top of the stairs is gone!  Floor looks great underneath.  We didn’t take it off all the stairs just this section so far.

Baseboards continue around the linen closet and down the hallway on one side.

And partially around the washer/dryer stand

This is the door to the attic trimmed out (no pic before) and technically there’s baseboard on the right side of it too…

I focused on ceilings and electrical this weekend.  First I hooked up smoke detectors so we now have all the smoke detectors hooked up and connected!  I also put a light in at the top of the back stairs and a bunch of the covers for the HVAC in the ceilings (and recessed lights have covers now)..

Light at the top of the stairs in the back and smoke detector all hooked up :)

Covers on HVAC and another smoke detector (had to do upstairs and downstairs but didn’t bother taking pics of all of them!)

Washer and dryer outlets and put the trim piece on the drain/water thing.

The washer/dryer stand is just about ready – we have to put a piece of trim around it and water proof it, then we’ll bring up the washer/dryer and then we can put the last door in place at the top of the back stairs.

On Sunday we worked a few hours on the master bathroom.  We had our neighbor clean up the ceiling in the bathroom and start sheetrocking a bit (just one section) on Saturday.  Ryan put in the ceiling fan/light box Sunday morning and then we ran all the rough electrical in there (outlets and lights).

Sheetrock on one small wall :)

Fan installed, just need to hook up that wire.

Wiring for lights and outlets by vanity

We drew out the plans for the vanity and the shower so we’re ready to finish the rough-in plumbing hopefully this week.  We’re going to order what we need for the bathroom this week too (need the vanity placement so we can plan the light boxes exactly).

So the master bathroom has been started, trim work continues nicely and electrical is going along.  I replaced a bunch of the switches with the nice rockers we are using and started putting in outlets in the upstairs hallway.

The next trip out we’ll have Alex so probably getting more trim done and I’ll get a bit more electrical done during naps and such.

OH – and we got the built-in doors hung – they need a tiny bit of sanding down to close nicer and then touch up painting in place, then we’ll put knobs and magnet pieces on and they’ll be done…

They look nice with doors on!

Long weekend

Ryan and his Dad both had a 3 day weekend this weekend so they took advantage and went out to work on the house.  Alex and I joined them Friday night to Sunday afternoon to provide entertainment in the form of a 2 year old and so I could do a tiny amount of work while Alex napped or watched tv.

While we were gone, our neighbor has made some progress, the back stairway is now sanded and primed.  Also the ceiling over the front stairs was painted – ceilings done!

Back staircase

Sheetrock wise the only thing left is the back porch – Ryan’s dad installed the light box in there so that room is ready for sheetrock next!

Friday after getting some supplies, Ryan and his dad worked on the front entry trim.  The panels in the front entry were finished up on Saturday and all holes are filled and trim is caulked.  Ryan’s dad also painted the wall portion so all that is left is to paint the trim (considering hiring a painter to just paint all trim and doors when we are done).

This is with only 1 coat of paint but after we left Sunday Ryan’s dad finished all second coats of paint on the brown

Towards the front door

Coming soon.. panels up the stairs

Upstairs Ryan got the attic door installed, and trimmed out doors and windows wherever he could.  He made up the sills for most of the rest of the windows and I hear got the master bedroom windows sills installed!  Our neighbor stripped some rosettes for us too so we were able to trim out a few things completely and not do just the sides :)

Top of stairs – that’s the nursery and the archway – with trim finished!

The window at the top of the stairs trimmed – and that’s the stairway all painted (even cut in) thanks to Ryan’s dad! (We’ll have chair rail and panels up here too)

The hallway – closet and bathroom doors trimmed out and hallway painted!

Washer/dryer spot painted!

Back bedroom door trimmed out and attic door getting installed (and then trimmed).

My contributions were minor, I caulked the trim in the front  hallway and played with the toddler.   I can’t wait to go back and see the progress next weekend!  Pretty soon Ryan and I will do another kid free weekend and I’m hoping to get a bunch of electrical done then.  Progress everywhere.  Pretty soon we’ll be starting on the master bathroom, we just need the rough-in plumbing finished so we can get inspections before we close up walls and start tiling!

Quick/Short Day

We went out to work on the house this weekend but had a holiday party to attend Saturday night so it was a short day of progress.  Still progress none-the-less.

Ryan started with installing the door for the back bedroom.  We’re using new doors for the 3 doors across the back hallway and the installation of a new door is so much easier than an old one :)

New door installed

I got the smoke detector in the back bedroom installed.  I need to order more smoke detectors and get them all wired up but it was nice to check one off the list ;)

smoke detector (covered from dust since it’s not even hooked up to the panel yet)

Ryan worked on trim in the upstairs hallway, plinth blocks, the sides pieces (need rosettes stripped to finish), and getting the wood installed around the arch so it could get trim too.  This moves along pretty nicely, faster if we had rosettes done!

Hallway closet trim started

Hard to get a picture of the arch but here’s one side (both sides are done).

Our neighbor got the first coat of tape/spackle on the back stairway last weekend, this weekend he finished sheetrocking the bottom area of the stairway.  I got the 3-way switch/light wired/hooked up so the stairs have proper lighting now!

Back Stairway with light

We have a lot left to do but a little here and there was good to get done.  I think it’s fun working on the back room because it has less trim to do so it’s so much closer to finished :)  Looking forward to next weekend!

Happy New Year

The new year started out about the same as last year – a weekend trip up to the NH house to work :)  We had Alex with us so I mostly just spent time with her and Ryan worked.  He got the final coat of spackle on the upstairs hallway (above the staircase).

During ‘naptime’ – otherwise known as Alex screaming or talking in her bedroom time – we got the first coat of paint on the 2 bedrooms (the back room and master).  We are playing around with color, we bought white paint and we’re tinting it with the leftover orange from the gym to give it just a bit of yellow.  The back bedroom came out perfect, the master I think had a bit more orange so we’ll lighten the bucket a bit more before second coat time and then save the leftover for touchups.

Master bedroom – first coat of paint

Back bedroom

At this point I think we’re still planning on finishing up 2 coats of paint before we install trim so we only have to cut in on the trim painting.  The ceilings are done so we can install the heat vents and lights/smoke detectors when we have time.  One big thing holding us up right now is getting rosettes stripped.  We can’t install all the trim until we have rosettes and they need to be de-nailed and stripped – ugg.

We’re hoping to work the next 2 weekends – maybe even get a kid free weekend in there.  We’ll see.  Lot’s to do and goes faster if both of us can work!


Another work weekend

This weekend we brought along the peanut and she was a big help :)

I found her like this when I came downstairs from doing something – she’s ‘making lists’ and has her tools ready.

Don’t ever change alex – you are too perfect :)

We had a busy day Saturday.  Alex and I ran to home depot while Ryan started with some spackling.  We have this tough to reach spot at the top of the staircase (ceiling and walls) that is taped but not finished.  Ryan got a good coat on that area.

Doesn’t this plank look totally safe?

We also managed to get 2 coats of paint on all of the ceilings that were ready – that’s the 2 bedrooms and the hallway (minus the stairway area).  Next time we’re out I can do smoke detectors and lights now!

Ceiling painted – 2 coats!

Back bedroom

Hallway ceiling

Our neighbor was over to work and he sheetrocked (which included some 2×4 installation) the attic stairwell – we are only doing the first section to the 2x4s they have up because the attic is unfinished but this way when you open the hopefully soon to be installed attic door, it opens to a seemingly finished stairwell.  We will probably leave this untaped since the rest is unfinished but we’ll see.

Attic stairwell – calling it done for now

All in all we had a productive weekend when you consider 6 hours of that is driving :(  Sunday we ran errands then drove home after packing up.  Attempted to drive during naptime (no nap).  All well.

Now it’s time to enjoy Christmas and family.  In the new year we’ll return to the home building :)