Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Surprise for Kathy!

Kathy is away for a few days and I don't think she knows about the latest development at the house. Frank decided to face the front porch with the field stone from the wall near the lake. Shhhhh ... don't tell ... this is just between you and me!

From Renovation 9/30/08

Just about finished:
From Renovation 9/30/08

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Guest Suite painted

My wonderfully handsome David, painter extraordaire, has finished up the painting of the guest suite. That dusky blue color ("Montpelier") mixed with a quart of white looks really nice - we're naming our new color "Fowler Lake Blue." He's working to scrape and seal the floor down there so the carpeting can happen this week. Then he's off to work on the closets so we can move the clothes over. I am leaving for Chicago most of next week so he'll be the one coordinating the moving of everything in when the floors are ready. Everything has a coat of floor dust on it - I'm going to get help cleaning all that up first. Here's a picture of the master bath vanity with light kit attached and did I tell you I love the chimney???

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finishing touches continue

Check out these finished wood floors! They told us they'd look great but not how much better even the old floors would look. Mike did a spectacular job. The first chimney is also done - it really came out beautifully, complete with some mossy stones for real character. They've finished framing the second chimney and the masonry will start on that next week. And our furniture has arrived! Two PODs worth!! I'm dying to get in there and remind myself what the heck is in that one from Albany but the key to it is now locked deep in the other POD. Oops. They've asked us not to put any furniture down until midweek next week. Darn! David is now painting the guest suite - using that dusky blue color we tried upstairs mixed with a quart of white to lighten it up a bit. We will ultimately tile in there but for now we're putting down Berber carpet. Schrader's is coming to measure on Monday and installation will be Wednesday we hope. We're going to check to see if we have enough tile from either the master bath or the hallway to do the guest suite bathroom floor also. To our untrained eye it looks like we do but we'll ask the tile guy next week. Jim's finishing up baseboards and railings and front stoop. Maincare is coming to hook up the gas wednesday too so COO should be able to happen shortly after that. And just to remind you all of our beautiful view and why we've gone to all this trouble - check out that color changing around the lake!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hard Wood Floors

We have an artful master on our hands. Mike kicked everybody out of the house so he could sand and finish his masterpiece. So the rest of the crew is working on the outside - framing out the new chimney, working on the stone, etc. The floors will take a few days and we may not even be able to put a rug on it by the weekend but should be able to move the furniture (and us!) in by then. We ordered our what I think will be the perfect gooseneck shower arm for our rainshower head yesterday - a Grohe arm will hopefully fit the Moen shower head - faucets.direct confirmed that they think it should. Light bar is now up in the bathroom and hallway sconces have been delivered so every day it's getting closer and closer to that COO. PODS will be delivered to the new house Thursday and we will have as long as we want to unload them from there. I must say, this has been the least stressful move we've ever had. Whoever invented PODS is a genius!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Island Uba Tuba is in!

Phew! What a scary thing that was. I snapped a few pictures in the beginning but when the rollers started moving the wrong way I couldn't watch anymore and went out to the car to wait it out. But thanks to Jim and the guys the granite top for the island on and looking beautiful!! Plumber is there doing some final things, Paul is there finishing up the tile, electric guys are there hanging more lighting, the first chimney is nearly done. TJ is working on the post that will support the granite overhang and the rest of the finishing is happening. On my way back here, I passed MainCare who will hook up the propane tank so the ground can be put back. By end of day tomorrow everybody will be cleared out so Mike Wemitt can refinish the hardwood floors. I changed the PODS to be delivered there next Thursday. What's a week in the grand scheme of things? We'll be in soon enough.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fieldstone is our friend!

The stone looks amazing! I got to meet Frank and his crew today and they told me that fieldstone is always the best to use. We are truly lucky to have had so much of it on our property. Frank confirmed there is plenty for both chimneys and the facing on the wall leading down to the guest suite. The concrete is poured and sealed. Electric is hooked up and working - it was so neat to see our beautiful light from Tim's that we've had for at least three years finally on!! Ceiling fans are installed. The propane tank is buried, trench dug, and Maincare has been called to come hook it up. More finishing work is underway inside and Paul is coming back to finish the tiles on the bathroom walls. The appliances have all showed up too. Jim's also working on the design for the front stoop and I'm meeting with the glass door guy to choose and measure for the master bath shower. We'll still have the PODs delivered Saturday but it looks like we won't get the COO for another week. Mike still has to refinish the floors and everyone has to be out of there for him to do it. That's the way it goes I guess. At least the PODs are packed and ready to go.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Concrete, Masonry, Finishing

It's a beautiful day in Ghent and a flurry of activity at 271 Fowler Lake Road today - the excavator is digging space for the propane tank. The cement crew is pouring breezeway, garage, and footings for the deck, fireplace, compressor. TJ is completing the last of the finishing work around the windows. The electricians are hanging more lights and hope to get the final electrical inspection done in the next day or so. And the masons are working on the chimneys. Appliances get delivered tomorrow and Jim's going to come get the washer and dryer so they can finish the plumbing, electric and venting for that. The bathroom ceiling was finished last week. At this pace, we might just be able to move back in on Saturday as planned!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Master Bedroom and Bath

What a pretty blue! David finished the first coat in the master bedroom. Vanity is back in place in the bathroom. Shower ceiling is going up, more window framing is in, excavation for the fireplace, front stoop and the air conditioner are in. We have now passed the electrical inspection so now it's just a matter of the COO and we're back in. Today the electricians are there installing our cool petal ceiling fans, my lily sconce, our pendants over the island and maybe even the chandelier! The cement should be poured as well today but the weather doesn't look like it will cooperate with that plan. It's been overcast all day and they are calling for rain. But it's held off so far so by the time I get back over there it might all be done. We still need to pick sconces for behind the bed, order the track for over the propane stove, choose bathroom towel rods and light for over the powder room sink.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughts About 9/11

The seventh anniversary. It is unbelievable that it has been seven years since the World Trade center buildings toppled and the pentagon was hit and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. The memorial services were extremely touching today and many of those feelings from that day came back as we all remembered the victims. Our story? 9/12/01 was supposed to be David's and my first real date. And then the towers started falling down. David was still working for IBM then so we could communicate via our internal instant messaging system when the phone lines were all jammed....he was in Virginia and I was in White Plains so neither of us were in peril but close enough. The events of that day catapulted us past any artificial barriers to making a go of our new relationship - he talked me into letting him drive up to be with me and accompany me to two NYC friends' wedding in CT that weekend. We held each other and cried and comforted and grew through the realities of the day together. After that weekend, you couldn't keep us apart. Seven years later we're still going strong as are the victims families and America. An event the terrorists thought would bring America to our knees only succeeded in making us all stronger and more resilient.

Chimneys, Grout, Painting and more!

More great work the past few days! Lights were done up outside the bedroom. The chimney extension is going up in preparation for the stone mason. Kitchen faucet hardware was installed. Window frames were installed and stained. The top to the master bathroom vanity came back with the right edge finished and the guys got it installed today. And the bedroom is finally getting painted once we settled on the right blue ("Exhale") - and it looks beautiful!! This shot is an early one of David trying to cover all of the other samples. One coat did it - this Aura paint from Benjamin Moore with primer built right in is the best. More floors were tiled and grouted - this is a view looking towards the front door from the kitchen and you can see the laundry room on the right. We've been looking all over for the stacking kit for the washer dryer and finally just ordered a new one from Kenmore. Late today, they dug the spot for the new front entrance - the excavator and cement guy will be by tomorrow to finish that and pour the foundation for the garage and breezeway.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Part of the countertop came in today and we couldn't be more thrilled! Uba Tuba turns out to be a beautiful choice. The colors are just right with the floor tiles, the cabinets and the paint. The sink we chose for the island though is too big - and any sink (even just a bar size one) is going to be a nightmare to install. Our options were to let them do it in two pieces if we insisted on an undermount sink, switch to a smaller drop in sink, or bag the sink all together. So we've just decided to nix the second sink. Paul has been working on the tile floor in the hallway and the intersection of the two aisles looks beautiful. We made his day when we decided to do with straight 12x12 tiles in both hallways instead of the original diagonal plan. He's going to work our tiles from italy into the design on the wall under the window and will do the ceiling of the shower in 12x12s (which until today he didn't realize we wanted tiled.) Ross and Justin are working to hang the lights now - when I was there they had finished the front and were working on the patio area between the master bedroom and kitchen.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Floors and finishing

The wood floor is all installed and are just beautiful with "picture frame" edges around the kitchen, the stairs down to the great room and the fireplace. Mike Wemitt will come back to sand and finish it next week. Paul Trapenese has the kitchen tile floor just about done too and looks great too. Jeff and TJ have been working on the window and door framing - their attention to detail is spectacular as you can see with our very own "carol maryl" showing one off. They've also finished the laundry chute flap and two way linen closet door. Today the master bath vanity top was delivered and the color is a great complement to everything in there. They didn't polish the stone on the edge near the tub though so it might have to go back if they can't do that on site. I popped my head into the old basement for the first time in awhile - the radiant heat panels and little Peerless Pinnacle heater are down there but much of what used to be in there is long gone (big oil tank, carpentry bench, etc.) Next week they will do the cut through the guest suite so we have an inside way to get to that side of the basement. David is driving down to the Container Store in White Plains today to get the hardware for the master closet. He'll install that himself. As big as it is, we can already tell there is not enough room for all my stuff :-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Great Room Floors!

More great progress while I was off visiting my sisters in Medway and Westford MA. The guys have just about finished the kitchen tile and laid out the great room hard wood floors in a single day. They've also finished up the wood floor in the master bedroom and hallway. The tiles are just what we had hoped they'd be and similar to the colors of the shale that's all around the house. David and Jim installed the master bathroom vanity today after the plumber was through with the "T" for the sinks and marking where the hardware for the tub will go. Jack did finished the radiant heat panels in the hallways. David and Loretta painted "Etruscan" in the hallway over the weekend and it looks fabulous. Not so with the paint I got for the bedroom however - it turned out to be the wrong color and has to go back. They mixed me up "Montpelier" instead of the "Amsterdam" that we finally decided on. We got a call that the outside lights are all in and the vanity top/sinks will also come tomorrow. It's going to be hard to go back to work while all this is happening!