Category Archives: construction

You make it so good, you turn a woman around…*

*Lyrics from Aretha Franklin’s version of Something He Can Feel. I am in need of a little soul, and who better to sing it for me than Aretha. We’re on a first-name basis, have been since I was a child. Though, I suppose, every woman is (or should be). Sing it, Aretha. Ladies, let me see your hips swaying to the music. 

AFTER: The latest view from my kitchen. Vast improvement.

Well, first, I had planned on updating you with the status of the basement. But, well, the basement has more transformations to come, and the exterior, well, that’s pretty much complete. Of course there are more stages of finish to complete – filling holes, more staining, sealing, painting, caulking, etc. – but the overall effect is one of completion. Which is thrilling.

read on…

Time and light, I guess you are afraid of what everyone is made of…*

*Lyrics from St. Vincent‘s The Apocalypse Song from their album, Marry Me. I just love them, and since we’ve just lost an hour of darkness (or gained one in the morning) the refrain of this song was particularly poignant. And the Pandora station for her/them is amazing. If you’re into that sort of thing. Which obviously I am.

When we last met, this was how my kitchen entryway was looking.

Since I last updated you on the state of affairs at the ol’ (so happy) homestead soooo much has happened. And yet nothing has really changed. Sort of. Ok, so we changed our entryway decking and stairs, but the overall effect is the same. They’re still just stairs to get inside. I suppose it’s like wearing a grungy pair of pants to paint/stain/joint compound/generally be disgusting in and then changing into a nice pair of slacks. Still pants, but soooo much nicer to look at.

Ta-dah! Look at that! Red cedar decking, stained Burnt Hickory in Cabot exterior oil-based semi-solid stain.

read on…

I used to love it, it used to be pretty…*

*Lyrics from Neptune City by Nicole Atkins. I heard this song on Pandora the other day and really liked her voice. Not sure how I feel about her more recent album yet, but I can confirm that her voice is attractive to me. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

DURING: Our plan is to redo the railings to match the other side of the house, use cedar to wrap all the pressure treated (i.e., ugly) lumber, and to replace the storm door that pretty much failed after our kitchen renovation.

Yeah, so, yeah. I’m a crap blogger. I mean, I hope you like what I post when I get around to it. But, I’ve been pretty unable to keep up lately. I have (what must be) a hundred half-finished projects sitting around the house, ones that I’m hopeful will be worth posting (I’m taking pictures as I go, but nothing is ready to share), but for now you’ll have to settle for some progress pictures of half done-i-tude.

read on…

But don’t ask me where I’ve been or what I’ve done…*

*Lyrics from Amarillo from the Gorillaz album The Fall. The album was recorded using almost exclusively iPad apps. Crazy and cool.

Client kitchen renovation – days 9 and 10 (end of week 2)

With an insanely tight schedule and a rapidly dwindling summer calendar (I hate the knowledge that soon we’ll be voluntarily using blankets, sweaters and other implements of warmth-making) Dave, Jonas and Brian got busy finishing the drywall and flooring installation. Details left to tackle: taping, mudding, sanding, paint and thresholds. Though it may seem like a small list, the actual work involved spanned days. The breakneck speed which started off the short week eased into a quite rapid but not hideously over-fast speed, and the guys put their heads down and got to work. I am constantly impressed with how much they each do (Jonas can paint, don’t let him tell you differently), and how many things they are capable of doing (and well!).

read on…

I bet the groove that you’re hearin’ is keeping you satisfied…*

*Lyrics from 2 In A Room’s 1990 “hit” (can you say it was a hit if you had to hunt wikipedia for information on it?) Wiggle It (Just A Little Bit). This one’s for you, Dave Powell. This is what you get for mentioning off-hand old lyrics to a crappy song from our youth.

Day 8: Client kitchen renovation

My head is still spinning from how much work went on today. After a week of waiting for subcontractors and inspections (passed!), after many mostly quiet days spent twiddling thumbs (or leg jiggling, fingernail biting, pacing, etc.), today Team Carpentry made up for the lack of visible progress and then some. Working through sweaty, humid and dead of summer weather, the guys rolled their way through installing 3/4 of the new hardwood flooring and installing sheetrock on nearly every wall and ceiling. Let me put it another way: there are now floors and walls and ceilings where yesterday there were none. It’s a mighty impressive step toward making the space take shape, toward realizing the vision for the design, toward putting back together the bones of a formerly hard-working (and much missed by Mr & Mrs K) kitchen.

read on…

Obligation, complication, routines and schedules drug and kill you…*

*Lyrics from Radiohead’s Little By Little from The King of Limbs album. Clearly, I’m obsessed. Try here for the remix. Also clearly, I have some more music shopping to do.

Days 2 & 3: Client Renovation

As predicted by Dave and Team Carpentry, demo and framing was done in two days. A full crew, fully caffeinated, fully focused and fully drenched in sweat ripped apart that room revealing ancient (ok, more like 90+ years old) lathe that was in good enough condition to be able to affix new drywall to. A bonus since that’s what Dave had hoped for. Also discovered (and expected, but not hoped for) non-plumb, non-level spots on the salvageable walls that will definitely make things trickier to install down the road. But, all in all, a successful two days of cleaning out the old to make way for the new.

read on…

We both know that it’s time, So walk on by…*

*Lyrics from Fitz & The Tantrums’ song Winds of Change from their album Pickin’ Up the Pieces.

Ok, I’ll fess up. I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. I blame the dentist. Or rather my wimpy constitution. (Turns out minor tooth pain is all-consuming, even when it’s planned.) And I blame my epic lack of emotional fortitude. Watching that bathroom come together inch by inch really damaged my psyche. And made me want nothing to do with finishing it. But I have to. It’s my job (the hubs is busy like the dickens, and has NO time to fiddle around with joint compound, grout sealer, or primer and paint).

read on…

And there upon the rainbow is the answer, to a neverending story…

Throughout the past week, Team Carpentry (aka: Team Jonas this time around) has been here working diligently, tirelessly (well, ok, he did get tired), and mindfully to get the built-in cabinet done for the Family Bath Project (aka: the neverending project, ahha ah ahha ah ahha ahhh). read on…

The quicker we go, the faster we fall behind…*

With a sickly (feverish) wee one at home awaiting his arrival, Dave (& Jonas) arrived on Sunday to do the hour or so of work that needed to get done before J.J. could (can) finish the floor in the bathroom. A bit of mud, tape, sawdust and vacuuming, and suddenly the room felt like it was ready to move on. (I’ve been ready to move on for weeks, now. But I digress.) The seam between the durock and sheetrock was bound together – though multiple coats of compound still need to be applied – making the room instantly feel more finished. Nothing like plugging up holes to make a room settle a bit. And, after patching a few more spots where attic air could penetrate our cozy little room, and cleaning up the threshold so that a new non-beveled piece of marble could be installed, Dave and Jonas made a date to come back and finish up the carpentry portion of the project.

read on…

Then put your little hand in mine, there ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb…*

It’s Groundhog Day. The day we’re supposed to (superstitiously) find out how much longer winter is going to last. And the snow in our yard is at least 3′ deep. Groundhog or not, winter is here, and she’s not leaving anytime soon. Our Family Bath project looks like it might not end any time soon, either. Which is starting to really bring me over (you’ll have to watch Better Off Dead for that reference). Sigh.

But let me rewind a bit.

read on…