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!

Dormer Update (late)

First off – Ryan did an amazing job closing up the second dormer quickly.  On the following Saturday he finished the roof on it (Nov 14) while I was out of town.

The windows arrived last friday and that night Ryan got the first one put in already!  He put the second one in on Saturday and got them sealed up with trim on Sunday.  He also installed the small window over the garage so Alex’s room has 2 new windows now!  Both dormers have plywood flooring now too.

New window friday night

Flooring in dormer

Other dormer floor

Windows installed on both dormers!

I was away with Bella Saturday night through Sunday but got photo updates as the trim went up!

Window has trim!

The second with trim

The small window replaced with new trim

We are using Azek for the trim around the windows.  The brown siding is vinyl and we haven’t found a perfect match yet (we found matching style but no colors match perfectly) so we haven’t pulled the trigger on new siding yet for the dormers.

Our HVAC equipment is all here and Ryan’s cousin is starting on duct work this week (and they got the attic unit up into the attic last night).  Progress everywhere – hopefully soon the outside stuff will be done and we won’t be so weather dependent – it has been COLD on the weekends!

Dormer Progress

We got hit with rain this week – especially on Wednesday which was the day Ryan and his dad hoped to finish up the dormer.  THey worked in the rain but they couldn’t finish the roof shingles in the rain so they just finished up the soffit (closed it in) and Ryan got the window cut.  They also put down plywood for floor in the first dormer so that floor is nice and solid now.

Hmm I didn’t seem to take pictures once it was all closed up so here are some pictures from Monday’s progress when they ad started the roof (ran out of shingles) – after this they closed up the front and as I said, as of Wednesday the soffit is closed up and the window is cut and everything is sealed.  Just waiting on windows and siding now!!!

Dormer 2 roof going on

A side view

Our new (to us) cherry flooring!

I’ll update again after this weekend – Dormer should be finished up (until we get windows which may be next week!) and Ryan will hopefully take a little break sunday as the girls miss him on weekends quite a bit!

Dormer number two

It’s not really a surprise that dormer number 2 is going a bit faster than the first – lessons learned and all that!  Ryan and his dad worked 1/2 of Saturday and all day Sunday this weekend on the dormer.  Saturday morning Ryan went and picked up the wood we had milled into flooring – it’s cherry we got for free from someone my dad knows, and we had it milled – it came out beautiful!  It should be plenty to do both of the girls’ rooms!  The person that milled it also may be able to get us another chunk of cherry for a decent price to do our master bedroom too so the whole upstairs would be cherry.  He also recommended ash as an option for downstairs because it’s very hard and takes stain well and we can get it cheap.  That might be our plan now!

Anyhow so the dormer went fast!  Ryan had pre-built the front wall so it was a matter of doing all the cutting, then putting the wall up, and doing all the flashing Saturday.  Sunday they put up the side walls with plywood, then did the support post in the original roof, and all the roof beams.  Ryan took tomorrow off and hopes to get the plywood on the roof before it rains on tuesday.  Then Wednesday is a holiday so he hopes to do the shingles since his dad also has the day off.  Next weekend will be the buttoning up I’m sure.  I can’t believe how different the front of the house looks!

I love it!  And there’s so much added room in each of the bedrooms!

Tomorrow I will work from the new house so I’m there in case of emergency since Ryan will be working on the roof by himself!  Luckily we have internet at the new house now :)

Dormer work

We didn’t start dormer 2 this weekend – due to the supposed rain on sunday – that never came and it was beautiful on sunday – all well!  Ryan got a few things buttoned up on the first dormer and built the first wall for dormer 2 so it’s ready to go next weekend.

Window cut and seams taped

Another view

We also got more brush burned and a tree taken down (dead one) for firewood this winter.  We have a few more dead trees we’ll take down to burn and another pile of brush to work our way through still. We had a visit from a heron while we burned wood:

They drain the lake down in the winter so by our dock is just mud with a little water in the center.  It’s a great opportunity to clean up our area and get some downed trees and branches out – just need to bring my mud boots next weekend!


This weekend Ryan and his Dad spent most of the weekend closing up and putting a roof on the first dormer!  It was a lot of work but it’s pretty close to done now (obviously we are waiting on windows to arrive and we have to buy siding too which I think I found the matching kind so we may be good there now too).

So the soffit was closed up, the roof was taped, the valley was flashed and the new roof is on and is VERY close to matching the old!

Dormer has a roof

Another view

Now we need 2 more weekends and some evening time to do another one which will hopefully go a little faster the second time around we think.