Saturday, March 31, 2012

Catch up - again

Not doing too well at blogging every day.

Lots has happened since the last time; unfortunately, not enough as we are officially 3 weeks behind schedule.  We want to talk to Josh about how we can work more in parallel - in other words, we start in on the bedrooms while they finish up the bathrooms - but so far no response from that quarter.  Frustrating.

Anyway, the dry wall upstairs seems to be finished and I think the tile work will begin next week.  We can now clearly see the bathrooms:  all the walls are up and the shower basins are down.  Yes, they're small but not tiny; they're going to be great.
The one on the left goes with the "French" room and the other goes with the "Ohio" room.  Guess we don't have a picture of our bathroom.

As for us, we have 3 main areas of attack:  Dom's office and the back staircase plus we've added the second floor landing.  Thought the landing was going to be relatively easy but of course it's not.  Lots of trim to be painted three times to achieve that "stained wood" look with paint; crown molding that has been plastered into the ceiling; and plaster walls in their usual poor shape.

Walls skimcoated, not yet primed; chair rail with first coat of base paint.

Pried out a piece of the crown molding which broke off.  Why they replastered the ceiling without removing the crown molding is beyond us, but this kind of thing seemed to happen often.  We have toyed with pulling it all down and re-doing the ceiling - especially since a light fixture that was installed on the ceiling was poorly replastered - but Reeny and Jon told us about putting a larger crown molding over this one which seems like the right thing to do.

Part of the landing project includes fixing the window cords.  Very interesting to see the inner workings of these old rope and pulley systems.  The (extremely heavy) iron weight has some interesting markings on them.

We're disappointed at the paint job we discovered on the exterior of these windows.  Billy did such good work everywhere else (that we've seen), but he really cut corners on these - virtually no prep work, just painted over all the old stuff.  Guess he thought they wouldn't be seen.  Dom's doing a better job.

The back stairs are the slowest project since I can only work on them during the weekend.  So far I've skimcoated about half of the area where the bookcase used to be.  I  plan to finish that area tomorrow and also finish patching and sanding the rest of the stairwell.

Dom's office, on the other hand, is voted "project most likely to be completed in our lifetime."  He's done his own electricity, he's hung his own drywall, he's done an amazing job of taping, skimcoating, and priming.  Tomorrow, I think, he's going to paint.  His motivation, if he needed one, is the fact that we bought a gorgeous 1862 bookcase to put in it today at the Medina Antique Mall.  We love that place.  (Got a dresser, granola jar, and salt/pepper shakers, too.)

This picture doesn't do it justice and is about a week old anyway.  Got to take some more tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Alarming work

The crew has spent the last 2 days installing 11, count 'em, 11 smoke and CO2 detectors.  Seems they've punched a hole in every wall and ceiling they can find.  Someone is under the mistaken assumption that we are now a commercial establishment, when in fact we are a residence with a conditional use permit to have paying guests.  Not the same thing.  What a waste of time and money.  Wish someone had consulted us about this before doing all this work.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bathroom fixtures

Here they are, ingloriously stored in what will be the sitting room.  They look great except for the medicine cabinet (not shown), which is a piece of dukey.

Moving in the sheetrock

The plumbing inspection was done and passed last week, so now the sheet rock can go up.  First step, get the sheet rock to the second floor!

New project!

We await the advice of a dry wall expert to determine what we're going to do on the second floor landing.  In the meantime, for whatever reason, we decided that it was the right time to dismantle the enormously tall bookcase that was built in the back staircase.

I suppose Professor Ganzell is rolling in his grave, but honestly, books put in this case must have been ones that no one ever wanted to read - they were completely inaccessible after the 5th or 6th shelf.
View from the top of the stairs

We knocked down all the shelves and supports - happily, the bookcase had been built on top of the stairs so this actually opened up some new space in the staircase which is pretty narrow.  The walls were in bad shape with so many nails so most of yesterday was spent patching them.  It's impossible to work on them during the week since this is the crew's only access to the second floor, so it's going to stay roughly patched for a few days.

One step forward, three steps back

I began a new project on the second floor landing and, after pulling down the wallpaper and sanding the walls, ran into  problem.  What a surprise.  It seems that the ceiling was plastered around the crown molding, i.e., rather than taking down the crown molding, plastering, then putting it back on, they skipped step 1.  We pulled a small piece off, leaving a big hole.  So now what?  Do we redo the whole thing, once more?  Do we do a quick and dirty fix and leave the real fix for another time?  How many projects can we launch at one time?

This is a little discouraging, at times.

Office progress

Dom has made great progress in his little office and yesterday took the major step of hanging the dry wall.  It doesn't seem like much unless you've witnessed all the prep work that had to be done beforehand.  The wood paneling, unfortunately, will be re-painted, as it's been painted and stained so many times it would be near-impossible to restore it.  The brick wall, on the other hand, will remain exposed and has been urethaned to keep it looking nice and prevent it from absorbing water.

Now that  most of the dusty work in there is done, we can complete the library.  Yesterday we shelved most of the rest of our books, although there are a couple of boxes left and some rearranging will be necessary.  We have plenty of room for the bar things, DVDs, and art work.  There's still plenty to do but we're slowly getting back the room we enjoyed so much.
Electrical work in progress

Upper sheet rock hung

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Demolition derby

From Feb. 20 to 29 the focus was on tearing down.  Dom and I moved upstairs to the third floor apartment where there is a full bath, if the shower leaves something to be desired, in addition to bed space and lots of closet space.  We moved Sunny up there, too, to get her away from the dust as much as possible.

The pictures speak for themselves: