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Archive for September, 2009

Video Tour 4: Mid-framing.

September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

Here is the fourth installment of video tours of the rehab project. These are big files and are intended for hard-core 2Cats fans who don’t mind waiting a few minutes for the clips to download 🙂 Enjoy!

Downstairs

Upstairs

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And call this floor my Moby-Dick.  I will conquer this.

Night shot of the bathroom floor

Night shot of the bathroom floor

I finally got to take a second stab at this thing tonight after work while Nick was home with Sadie. When I first tried to pry off this flooring, it was stuck to the 135-year old pine boards underneath it with a viscous glue formed from all the cat pee that had seeped through the carpet and plywood tacked down over the linoleum and mixed into the original adhesive that bound the linoleum sheets to the floor. I was able to lift up a lot of the stinky flooring with a thin crowbar, but vast swaths of it stayed stuck.

But now that some time has passed, and the carpet and plywood has been lifted and discarded, the old linoleum has dried out, becoming more brittle and more vulnerable to my crowbar. While Sadie was at home eating dinner in her high chair, I was able to go to the house unencumbered and alone for the first time in weeks. I plugged in the big chain of construction lights that now hang around the house and went to work with the only tools I could find. Missing from my arsenal was the perfect tool for the job, the small crowbar I used in the first round, so I used a small paint scraper instead. I imagined that the Horseman and his family could see my silhouette through the window, bending and scraping, looking for all the world like a mad Miss Havisham doing a renovation in her attic.

I was surprised to find that even without the torque afforded me by the crowbar, I was able to get up some decent chunks of linoleum with the tip of the paint scraper. This did not happen before. As the pieces came up, the scent of eau de gato wafted upwards, reminding me why we started this whole job in the first place.

Our floor sander claims he can just sand down the last of this linoleum stuck to the floor, but I really don’t want linoleum (or worse, vinyl) dust floating around our house, no matter how well we clean or filter the air afterwards. Nick thinks we should just hire the Horseman to do it, but I think we’ve already spent enough money paying other people to work on this house, and dammit, I want to get my own hands dirty! I know there will be plenty of time for me to do lots and lots (and lots) of work when we move in, but it’s really frustrating to sit by for three months feeling like you aren’t doing  anything. This is one of the few things I can do now.

So this weekend, while Nick is working, I’m going to drop off Sadie at my mom’s, buy myself a new crowbar, and demolish this whale of an eyesore. Mark my words!

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Inspiration: Rustic Girls

Ok, so there are no photos here, but this description of how to make your own limewash has me chomping at the bit to get into the living room and start painting that ceiling!

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This house project is really stressing me out, so much so that I went in for my first acupuncture session today. I must say, I left feeling very relaxed. Let’s hope that carries through the week.

Last Friday (Day 89) left us with the framing for our downstairs half-bath and pantry, right off the kitchen. It was really exciting to see this completed, as it really gives you a sense of what the kitchen/pantry will feel like.

Future half bath and pantry area

Future half bath and pantry area

Sorry for the camera-phone photos. They’re not as sharp as I’d like them to be.

The other major framing was done in our room (also as of last Friday, Day 89.) Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication between Ben and the carpenter, the wall frame was built all the way up to the trusses, instead of only going as high as the opposite wall. We’re going to have a bit of an open loft feel in the house, in that the master bedroom will have a wall that does not reach all the way up to the cathedral ceiling, but rather ends at about 7 feet tall. We figure that will allow more heat and light to circulate, keeping the house more comfortable. It may also mean slightly less privacy, but hey, we’re a family–who needs privacy? (kidding!) And anyway, I don’t think we’d find much of it in this tiny house anyway….

Too high bedroom wall framing

Too high bedroom wall framing

I’m sorry if this isn’t clear. I’m too tired to make more sense of it, but maybe Nick will clarify for you, or take some better pictures tomorrow. I’m off to watch the latest Project Runway episode before passing out.

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Inspiration: Limewashing

As you know, we have these open rafters in our living room that we plan on painting white, to brighten up the room and make the ceiling seem higher. I learned about limewash and ever since have been obsessed with figuring out how to apply it to our ceiling rafters, rather than plain old latex paint.

Limewash is an all-natural, low-VOC finish made by dissolving slaked lime in water. When you paint it on a surface, it dries into a coating made up of calcite crystals that supposedly glimmer with reflected light. I can’t imagine a better finish for our ceiling. I’m having a hard time finding directions on making my own limewash, however, and there’s some warning about making sure you use the right kind of lime, because the wrong kind can be toxic.

According to this post on Treehugger, Domino’s website had directions for how to make and use limewash. Sadly, with the demise of Domino (my favorite magazine ever, besides Sassy) the website and the directions for limewash are now gone.

If anyone has any experience with limewashing, I’d love to hear about it.

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Going Down!

Going Down!

In what will likely (hopefully!) be the last major extraction from our old house (until we strip the siding), the old, creepy, creaky basement stairs have been removed. In their place will be magnificent new basement stairs, wider, deeper, less steep and will have the added benefit of being both level and sturdy enough for a full-grown person to stand on!

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View from the Kitchen Sink.

Today we had the rough opening for our kitchen window framed. We will have a double casement window (crank-style) to let in lots of fresh ocean air, as recommended by this expert who you may know. When we don’t want to look at the neighbors’ interesting tableau you see above, we will be able to draw a sheer curtain of some sort, still allowing the light in. And it is a lot of light! Such a big difference from the little window that was there before (that you can see boarded up in the picture below).

A wider view.

Another big importer of light into the kitchen and dining area will be the new front door we’ve chosen, a Therma Tru Fiber Classic with a 3/4 lite. In addition, we ordered our windows for the new dining room wall. They are Integrity by Marvin double-hung wood/ultrex with two-over-one lites. We agonized on the lite arrangement and after scouring the neighborhood, the 2-over-1 seemed to be authentic to some of the oldest homes, and very much to our liking. Instead of the four smallish windows that were on that wall to start with, we’re going with three wider (and taller) windows. All in all, that half of the downstairs should be nice and bright (except for the windowless half-bath).

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