Friday, August 29, 2008

Cabinets and Range Installed, Granite Templated!

More big stuff every day - kitchen cabinets are all installed. One panel to the left of the island sink was sent wrong and reordered (wrong style on the bottom) but the rest is done. The range is in (oven door to be replaced as it arrived dented!) and the other appliances will be delivered any time, probably next week. See David standing in the space for the new green technology Liebherr refrigerator! M&J Granite was there today to template and will now get to work on finishing the stone. That should be done within two weeks or so. Our master painter finished the master bathroom in "Almond Yellow" and the vanity was moved in. Stone for the top of it comes Tuesday. Most of the flooring in the master bedroom was laid out by Mike today. The finishing work on the window wells has been started by our crack carpentry team of TJ and Jeff and the HVAC guys, Jack and Al did more work on the A/C today. I picked up the lighting for the island, the chandelier and sconce for the dining room and the ceiling fans. I like the calla lily sconce so much we're going to order them for the hallway too. But today I noticed (and had Loretta from next door confirm) that the electrical boxes for the hallway sconces are too high so we'll need to get Ross to move all 5 of them and repair the sheet rock where they were. They're not going to like that but hey, this is our house! Gas, water lines and electric aren't finished yet but hopefully that all rolls next week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Teeming with activity at 271!

There are so many people in there today I couldn't get around to take many pictures! Here's what I could snap. Jeff finished oak stairs to the guest suite last night and they look beautiful. TJ and Jeff are installing the kitchen cabinets with all the puzzle pieces mostly all fitting together. The 36' Capital stove/range came today and was almost a disaster - it didn't look like it would fit through the front door. But out of the box and with storm door hardware removed, the guys were able to squeeze it through. The island sink and all the faucetry were delivered and we picked up the black ceramic farm sink today from Ackermans so the granite counter templating can be done later this week. We also prepped the bedroom for it's "montpelier" blue paint but Mike, the floor guy, showed up to start laying out the slats before we could start painting in there. We're saving big bucks by reusing the flame birch flooring from our old bedroom. It's only about 4 years old and still in great shape. Jack and Al, the HVAC guys, were there to finish the panels for the radiant heat in the entryway hallways. Meanwhile, Jim's out back starting to harvest the field stone from the old stone wall - he's sure there is plenty of it and all of a fairly uniform size and color to more than cover what is needed for the chimneys and retaining wall. After snapping these shots, I got out of everyone's way and started pulled all the boxes out of the basement and now am laying out my paper and bubble wrap supply to begin organizing for packing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The greatest neighbors ever!

Big changes every day now! Sara, Peggy and Loretta - our truly wonderful neighbors - all pitched in on the painting over the weekend so we had it ready today for the cement board in the kitchen to be installed and kitchen cabinets to be unpacked. I think they look great up against our newly painted walls. We particularly like the wine rack (which we can't wait to fill, empty, fill, empty) and the tall pantry cabinet on the cathedral wall. The beaded wainscoating style really suits us. Our beautiful Slate Solutions "Multicolor" tiles arrived for the entryway and kitchen as did the island sink, the bathroom vanity and the lighting for the bathroom. "WinterWheat" tiling of the master bathroom continues and final parts of radiant heat installed so bedroom flooring can go in tomorrow. Oak stairs to the basement are being put in as we speak. I spent a couple hours at Mario's picking out paint for the bathroom ("Acorn Yellow"), bedroom ("Montpelier"), library and hallway ("Firenze") today. Two out of three ain't bad I guess - in the light of our space, the "Firenze" orangey color I picked that went so well with the floor tiles in the store just wouldn't work in the hallway behind the green wall. So back to visit Dottie at Mario's tomorrow for something a little more complementary (in the brown/taupe family) for there. Today Jim walked us through the plan for the deck. Our old deck was 16 feet deep so since we're using the old wood we'll make it 16 feet vs. the 14 feet that was originally architected. A deck that big will reduce the light that gets in to the guest suite/office but we're already planning to light it well to compensate. Since we're not doing the screened-in porch on the side (at least not for now), we'll put deck there too. Jim will start bringing the field stone up this week and we'll have the fireplace delivered so they can start installing as soon as they can. The granite folks come to template Thursday. I've taken vacation to start packing. It's hard to concentrate on work anyway - and most of the clients are also on vacation. Yippee!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Painter Extraordinaire!

As soon as we picked and delivered the paint, our painter started right away - working until the sunset on Friday and back bright and early Saturday morning. Isn't he the cutest painter you ever saw?! The plum raisin wall will have the stove, sink, dishwasher and cabinets up against it and the springfield green wall is where the large pantry and refrigerator will go. We'll use that green throughout the great room as well. And the electricians hung our pendant light in the hallway where the two entrance paths converge - we've only had that for what....two years? We had them tie it up so it would be out of the way of moving stuff in but at least it's finally up!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The kitchen is here!!

How about that - the kitchen has been delivered as promised! It looks to me like a big set of puzzle pieces or a set of german blocks out of which one builds a castle with their father in time to display for Christmas. I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's done. We've bought the paint - "Plum Raisin" for the kitchen and "Springfield Sage" for the rest of the living room. David's going to try his hand at the painting to get it done sooner (and cheaper!) Tiling continues and wood flooring will begin shortly now that the radiant heat parts have been finished. The wood for the new part of the house was delivered this week and our old flame birch flooring will be used for the library and master bedroom. We go to the lighting store tomorrow to finalize the inside and outside sconces, ceiling fans, pendants and chandelier orders. The stone estimate came in and is very reasonable so we're going to give the mason the go ahead to use the field stone and go as soon as can. We still hope to be in around labor day or just after. Oh and I have I told you the leaves are changing already down around Fowler Lake? Check it out - that's the view from our new master bedroom by the way.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First bathroom tiles!!

Lots is happening while I'm away. David just sent me this one photo of the first tiles going up in the master bath shower. I got so excited that I had to post it right away!!! Slate Solutions "Summer Wheat" looks like it turned out to be a great choice. We just heard that the vanity top isn't going to be done until Aug 29th so that's now the thing that's delaying finishing a bit but the kitchen cabinets come tomorrow and once that's done we should be able to move back in!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A break from Renovation

We took time out on Friday to have dinner with our singer-songwriter and blogging friend Christine Kane in New York City. We ate a delicious dinner at the trendy Asia de Cuba on Madison Avenue and caught a glimpse of the Empire State Building as we helped Christine catch a cab. Be sure to catch Christine's blog as well as her new web site

Closing in on finishing

Sheet rock has been taped and guest suite done - next week they will sand and prime, paint, and the wood flooring and tiling will begin. Sinks, faucets, vanity and fixtures will all be delivered next week as well as the kitchen cabinets themselves. Once the cabinets are in, the granite guy will come do the template for the counter and take the sinks back with them to cut the perfectly sized holes. In addition, the concrete guy will pour the floors for breezeway and garage and the fieldstone from the back will be brought up. This next two weeks may be the busiest ones yet as multiple crews are called in to crank away on the finishing work. We're choosing colors for the walls - so far we are leaning towards a plum color like "merlot" for the wall that includes the kitchen and a dusty green of some sort for the rest of the room. Most of the lighting has also been chosen but just needs to be ordered. It's all getting close - we're still hopeful that we'll get back in over Labor Day weekend.....keep your fingers crossed!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fastest sheetrockers in the east!

Check it out! The sheet rock is basically finished after just two days. They've still got some taping and finishing work to do but the upstairs is coming together. It's amazing to step inside the rooms now - they feel like real rooms now that the walls are filled in. They can't sheet rock the guest suite until the electrician and plumber finish their work down there but that will come in the next week or so provided Jim can shake them loose from their other commitments for a bit. The cement guy is working to finish the breezeway/garage foundation too. Today we picked out vanity and mirror for the master bath - a beautiful shaker style cabinet with a double sink, inset glass doors and lovely wrought iron hardware. Jim and David finalized the plan for the tile last week and our tile guy will get to work shortly. We still need to work on that lighting but that will have to wait until we get back from our business trips next week. We think the kitchen cabinets are coming in August 18th and Jim's putting two crews on to finish things up once that happens so with any luck we really will be back in at the end of August.
As we drain all of our savings to pay for the end of the project things are getting a little scary - waking up in the middle of the night, etc. I read my singer-songwriter friend Christine Kane's blog this morning (as I often do before starting the workday) and it hit straight and to the point on "How to Have a Great Day". If you don't already check out her blog, I highly recommend it. And order a CD or two while you are at it! On her blog, she shares so many practical tips on everything you need to live life in the best way, to be successful, to combat your fears, to build your courage, to stay positive, things you can learn from your pets, and so much more!! And she does it with humor and candor and from personal experience. Some of my classic favorites: At the beginning of the year, Christine suggests instead of a New Year's Resolution, you have a Resolution Revolution - choose a word for the year and use it as a mantra. Mine is "abundance" and it helps when writing those checks to contractors or to quell the money fears that keep me up at night. I also love her post on How to Get off the Hamster Wheel and Get on with Life.