While our days of heavy labor don’t seem to be over, we have started getting used to the idea of living here full time. Some days it doesn’t quite feel real – like we’re on vacation – but that feeling is subsiding. The build crew has been working on two long sequences and so large obvious progress hasn’t been front and center. Inside, they are doing taping and mudding of the drywall and outside they are attaching the black metal siding.
They almost have three of the exterior walls well on their way to being finished with the large west wall still remaining. The window trims are very fiddly and I expect they will take some time as well but they are important and we want them to be “clean” because they will add to the overall look if done right.
The areas under the porch have had all of the shou sugi ban (which I was told might be more accurately described as “yakisugi”) completed and the concrete team should start prep this week and hopefully pour the south porches as well.
The walkway on the north side of the house is going to look great once the white cedar flooring is installed.
The garage soffits look amazing with the yakisugi in place. I have shown these before but this was with good light showing off the wood grain.
The window details are coming together. If we can get them all clean, scratch-free, with tight seams – a tall order given the difficulty of working with the corrugated metal – I will be very happy.
Some of the furniture has started to arrive and we needed to rent out another storage facility in Stowe to manage it. Because of such a huge variance in lead times, we don’t want to wait to order things but getting them on-site creates other problems. The wait times for sofas are “two weeks to 4 months”. How do you manage logistics like that? Regardless, we are ordering this stuff now and we have a storage facility set up to handle overflow. It adds yet another unexpected expense but it is safer than waiting because otherwise we might not have a sofa until January.
We also evaluated two major things which would have been very difficult if we weren’t on-site. First, we walked through some changes to the kitchen that were suggested to us by the fabricator/carpenter. The changes add expense (of course…) but should give us more room, more drawers in the kitchen, a cleaner finish and a more sensible configuration around the refridgerator. He also suggested corner cabinets using a product called a Lemans which does what a lazy susan does but much more efficiently. Once we approved those changes, they did the shop drawings and should start fabrication soon. Cabinets in the kitchen is a big one to get completed.
The other major thing we needed to weigh in on was colors for the library and plaster. You can make a lot of choices based on swatches and photos but actually seeing the colors and surfaces in person, on-site, made a big difference. It is likely we would have chosen differently if we did the whole thing from PA. We drove down to Montpelier to share the materials and colors with our designer, who was laid up with an ankle injury. I had no idea that the area surrounding Montpelier was so gorgeous – ponds, vistas of fields and mountains – amazing.
One other “glad we were here” moment came up this week when the large, fabricated light was due to arrive. It was a Friday when no one was at the house site to receive it, and then we got a call from the shipper that the truck wouldn’t fit down our road. I had to go to the supermarket parking lot to meet the driver, find a way to get the box into our car (it barely fit) and then drive it to the site myself and unload it. No idea how we would have made that work if we weren’t here. It made for a crazy afternoon.
So this coming week is corcerned with moving boxes from place to place to make room for bigger boxes, finishing the taping and sanding of the drywall, finishing up the black metal siding and windows, and pouring the concrete porches.