Busy Week at the Build

After what felt like a glacial pace last week, this week was a large leap forward. We were just stopping in briefly each day to stay out of the hair of the team members working on cabinetry and each visit showed incremental progress. The goal was to get the cabinetry installed to the point where templaters could come on Thursday to take templates for the granite countertops. Let’s look at how we did.

One squad arriving on Monday morning was the plumbers. They brought in the water heater and began hooking it up. The mechanical room is looking very stuffed and since I assume we are going to need water softening, potentially water filtration and treatment and we still need to fit in the solar inverters, internet switch and routers, I am not sure how we are going to organize it all.

The kitchen cabinets were all installed by the end of the week. Unfortunately we never got a complete look at them because the drawers were in another room during the install and by the time we arrived in the evening, everything was covered in cardboard and moving blankets for safe keeping. This is a prudent decision obviously since I noticed yesterday that, even with the cardboard corners in place, the breezeway door threshold got dinged up by something going in and out. This is par for the course but we obviously want to keep the touch-ups to a minimum.

The mudroom install was almost completed too and we are still marveling at how much room we are going to have in there for boots, coats, jackets, bags and anything we may need to go outside. We noticed this morning that the plans from the cabinet makers didn’t have the wall pegs that were on the original proposed design. They must have gotten dropped somewhere along the way. Since I’d like the pegs and mounting board to match the ash cabinets, we will have to have the cabinet makers produce the assembly.

The pantry will have a lot of room for canned and jarred food and will have a wall for hanging brooms, mops, aprons, bags etc. The south wall will have a counter that will house the coffee maker, microwave and other appliances we don’t want sitting on the main counters in the kitchen. There are going to be shelves above the countertop as well.

We decided to stain the sills in the summer porch black to match the siding and wood on the south side of the house. We were worried about the bold choice at first but after one was completed we were confident the choices was the right one. They look incredible but will also help prevent rain stains and sun-aging.

One of the big worries I highlighted in past posts was the fact that the bathroom tile was ordered incorrectly and we were short by a few boxes. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big problem – you just order the tile and move on – but the pandemic has added strange delays to things. The tile order to complete the first floor bathroom was placed back in May and was delayed many times over the last four months. We were starting to think about backup plans like picking a different tile and starting the walls all over again. It was going to be a waste of money but we were worried we would not receive the additional tile in a timeframe we could live with.

Luckily for us, the tile arrived last Friday and made it to the site on Monday. In addition to finishing the bathroom tile on the walls, the floors and walls were grouted as well. The vanities were also installed so they could measure the templates in the bathroom.

But the big news was that we had a major concrete pour completed on Tuesday. Monday, when we arrived at the site, the concrete team was there installing rebar and putting up the wood for the board-pressed concrete edges. Mid-afternoon, the concrete truck arrived and they poured about half of the porch and the lower patio on the south side of the house. On Tuesday the concrete truck showed up to deliver the rest of the porch concrete and it was finished off by the crew by the end of the day. It turns out that Monday and Tuesday were the only two days that we didn’t have any rain this week so they fit it into the only window possible. We got very very lucky. We are happy with how it turned out, including the embedded rocks in the lower patio.

On Friday, the tilers were installing the missing wall tiles and cleaning up when the wood floor finisher arrived and started sanding the second floor. We stopped by the house at the end of the day and the sanding was well-along. I suspect that will be finished on Monday and then the finisher will put on two coats of sealer.

Next week, hopefully the excavators will come back to finish the landscaping and earth moving now that the porch is poured. They were waiting for porch completion before digging the trenches for the drip edges and putting top soil on the rest of the land. They are also going to prep the area on the north for the patio and stairs as you exit the breezeway.

I believe next week will also see the team finishing up cabinetry and working on fabricating panels that will serve as a mount for the railings. We are also going to talk about desk fabrication for the office and completing the bench next to the fireplace. The electrician has been coming in the evenings to work on his part as well so lights should start appearing and the electrical panel should start filling up.

I will leave you with some art shots by my wife. The embedded rock in the south patio and the railing on the second floor.

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