Inch by inch, row by row…

Day 29 and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Sunny, breezy, warm, but not too hot – spectacular. And it came just in time. The dreary weather had taken its toll on the Team, leaving them listless, tired, and just plain exhausted. Yet they persevered, rallied, and managed to turn out a day full of detail work, full of intricate measurements, and full of hauling themselves up and down ladders in search of a finished exterior. Success! Despite the stain (which we will apply), they finished the exterior! Brad finished his exterior electrical (save for the last doorbell – hey, a potential movie title!), and Dave and Eric finished shingling around the windows (including moving some fragile, antique shingles from one part of the house to another for continuity’s sake), and painting the trim on the new windows. What a relief to have one part of the job wrapped up! I know they needed the sense of finish more than we did (we’re no where near normal inside, so we didn’t so much mind the exterior as it was), and the knowledge that they got it done was not unappreciated. Good work, dudes!

The other star of the day was Brad. He got to play rockstar and install the range hood. The first real piece of Finish (not the nationality, the Phase) in the kitchen, Brad (and I, as his helper/photographer) was able to decipher and hang the hood and chimney vent, bringing much needed life to the newly anointed kitchen. We had a debate as to where we should hang the hood – I wanted to hang it higher than normal so that I wouldn’t bang my head on the top as I look at whatever I’m cooking (I do that often), but I didn’t want it so high that it looked ridiculous. We arrived at a happy medium, one that, hopefully won’t mess up the tile installation. It’s amazing how each step of the process affects the next, and how often one decision is made to accommodate another step. I’m still learning which steps matter to whom. Hopefully I’ve paid enough attention to make good decisions that help keep the work moving along. I think that is always the goal, no matter the design dilemma.

Tomorrow marks the end of Week 6, and the official beginning of Phase 3: Finish, with Brad completing the re-wire portion of the project, and with the arrival of cabinetry (!). The Finish Phase is the most grueling, as the end is always in sight, but very far in the distance for some time. Not unlike running a race, but being able to see the finish line for miles, this phase will test the Team’s focus, determination and stamina. I am confident, however, that this next phase will be rewarding, fascinating and challenging. We have our own preparations to deal with (clearing out the first level), and our own mini tasks to do (paint, stain, etc.) that we’d like to finish before the Autumn season really begins. I’m up to it, and Jeff’s about to get swallowed by work. It should make for an interesting, and Ibuprofen-filled September.

Pictures, you ask?