Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Levels of Awesome

This past weekend was full of greatness. First of all....

Plumbing complete, hurray!

The best of all father in laws has been working for weeks on getting this soddered and pressure tested. We thought we had it last week, but the hot water heater (which was in the house when Dad bought it) had a serious leak that we didn't know about. After getting everything set, Dad had to disconnect the pipes and buy a new hot water heater. We spent part of this past weekend hooking up the new heater and checking all of the joints for air leaks. Please note the orange bottle on the heater; those are blowing bubbles that we all used to plague our parents with when we were kids. If you put bubble solution on a joint with an air leak, the joint will produce bubbles. We tested every joint, found all the leaks, and we now have a stable pressurized water system for our house!

Speaking of heaters....

Our furnace has been hooked up....kind of.

Our contractors were having trouble with the mud on the walls - nothing was drying because the house was too damp, and they couldn't sand the walls without the mud drying. Dad and one of his heating/cooling buddies set up the furnace so it would turn on and blow hot air. Only problem is that the duct work has not been completed, so the furnace is blowing hot air only in the basement. Thanks to a fan and the awesome insulation in the house, the furnace was able to dry out the entire house without any direct duct connections to any of the rooms. And, with autumn weather well underway, it is nice to have a warm house to work in!

Our floors have all been patched! When we took out bad chimneys, useless closets, broken baseboards and an old bathroom, there were a number of holes and sections of bad floor. A local Amish man made us new boards that would fit the old style flooring. It looks very mismatched since none of the new boards were stained, but we'll be taking care of that soon. 

Spare Room #2 (where the old bathroom and a chimney used to be)

Hallway (part of the old bathroom)

Living room (where a fireplace and a useless closet used to be)

The biggest news about this past weekend is that we were able to prime the walls of 6 rooms this weekend. We almost were not able to do any of that because of contractor conflicts with other jobs that came up, but our contracting team came to the house Saturday morning and sanded the walls so we could paint. So thankful for those guys!

We invited a few friends to join us :)

The ever-wonderful Audrey Mauro

Our ceiling painter, my brother Mark

And his lovely girlfriend Sophia, who keeps him
around for some reason :)

And, of course, my amazing mother in law who has been
gracious enough to put up with our nonsense for the past
8 months or so.

5 rooms and a closet are finished! I didn't get photos of everything, but here are the ones that I took.

Living Room


Master Bedroom

Spare Bedroom #1

Thank you to our friends and family who painted with us this weekend. It's a huge step towards getting us in the house, and we are grateful for your help!

Just a few other random pictures of awesomeness: 

We were able to get our heat pump set up this weekend. We're putting it behind the garage instead of the house, so Daniel and Dad had to dig a trench to get the pipes to the house. 

Part of my weekend was spend with old doors from the house. We're trying to use as many of the old doors as possible, but they need to be stripped down to the wood and matched with their frames. I matched a number of them, and Dad will be taking them to a local workshop to see about getting the old paint off. We'll also be keeping the hinges to a number of the doors because they are so pretty!

Going to soak them in a caustic solution to remove the paint 
and restore the original metal. Love the vine-ish designs on them!

Next week: finish the priming and start working on restoring the floors!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Zombie Apocalypse Hole and Other Matters

Much of the focus for the past two weeks has been on the plumbing. We had all of the pipes and exhausts in the outside walls done in preparation for insulating and drywall, but there was still a lot to work on. We had to buy showers and shower fixin's before we even got to any of the actual piping.

We got a full tub/shower for the upstairs bathroom (walls not installed yet).

Our downstairs bathroom is equipped with a 
shower, making the tiny bathroom even smaller.

Why did we stuff a shower into a 5x6 bathroom? After growing up in a house with 6 people and one shower, Daniel and I agreed that having a second shower, no matter how much it crowded the space, would be easier than trying to work with one. We bought the smallest shower we could, as well as a 17 inch sink and vanity to fit into the corner. It will be tight, but I'm sure we'll manage. Dad has been working in this bathroom to build a shower wall to run the pipes in. 

Much of the work in the past two weeks has taken place in the basement. I haven't written about the basement before because, believe it or not, it is the one part of the house that didn't need any repair! It's cold and a bit damp, but what else can you expect from an old house? The basement has become the central hub for electric and plumbing for the whole house.

The electric has been wired and we're ready
 to attach all the wires to the box.

Water pump, water softener and heat pump.

Dad has been focusing on running the copper water pipes to these. It's been a frustrating puzzle, since certain faucets don't need softened water, or heated water, but he's making progress!

Underneath the downstairs bathroom AKA: The Zombie Apocalypse Hole

I have to admit, this cracks me up. When the contractors put the bathroom addition on, they left a hole underneath so the plumbing could be run. To get there, you have to climb up part of an old chimney left in the basement and squeeze through a hole in the foundation. Hard to get in, but it is suprisingly spacious. I've declared this the zombie apocalypse hole - should we ever need to hide from zombies, we're heading in here!

In addition to the copper pipes, we've been working on running PVC drain pipes for the two bathrooms. My dear husband and his brother designated these as the "poop tubes," and had too much fun running these this past weekend.

We still have a lot of plumbing to do before we'll have running water and flushing toilets, but we're definitely getting closer! We have seven weeks to get it all done, so we're really getting down to the wire here!

Other items of note.

Dan worked really hard on our attic. We now have a plywood floor and an access ladder so we'll be able to use the attic for storage. This is huge because our house has a grand total of two closets - one in the master bedroom, and one in the room with the attic access. I'm no pack rat, but we're gonna need more storage space if we ever add to our family.

(itty bitty closet and attic hole)

Daniel and I hung boards in the kitchen so we would have something solid to attach our cabinets to. This was a bit of a pain in the butt - I had to chip away at the insulation with a razor blade to make space for the boards, and Dan had a difficult time screwing the boards in place. It will be worth it though - our kitchen cabinets should never fall!

Last, we've taken off all of the baseboards and window trim. Some of it was pretty badly broken or cracked, but the pieces that were good have been piled up and are now waiting to be planed by our contractor. We wanted to keep as much of the original as possible, so we're hoping that once they are planed we'll be able to reuse them in the house. 

Next week: priming the walls, ordering paint colors and starting to sand the floors!