For no very good reason, I had assumed that once winter went away we would have massive amounts of time to spend, uninterupted, working on the Project House. Snow, impassable roads, melting snow, muddy roads and issues with getting subcontractors to complete the wiring and HVAC have all been challenging.

But Spring is here, I thought, and all will be perfect. I had forgotten about rain. Normally we just don’t get a lot of rain here, but this spring has been unusually wet. It’s raining right now and has been all night… nobody’s going anywhere today. It’s the perfect time to post about the house and where things stand at present. The interior is actually a little bit further along than the photos indicate — I haven’t taken any new photos since last week. Also, I somehow managed to break the flash on my camera, so until I get that fixed, some of my photos may be a bit dark.

This is a scene enroute to the house. This is how it looks on a good day. The road sign is not joking!


New LEDs installed in the porch ceiling. At least they are are white and reasonably innocuous. Much exterior painting and touch-up remains to be done from last fall. The metal porch supports will eventually be replaced by Tuscan columns which resemble the original ones.

The dining room as it looked when we started. The square opening in the wall was the location of a built-in china cabinet which was removed in the 1960’s — at the same time the fluorescent “light trough” was added above the doorway (which leads to the breakfast room).

The goal is to keep this wall open, but make it look normal. I remove the bit of wall between the two openings.


This is my intent for it… a proper casing will create something like half of a colonnade!


Here is the same wall as seen from the breakfast room. The kitchen is at left.


In the kitchen Jim readies the third wall cabinet for us to hang. The cardboard on the floor is (hopefully) protecting the newly-installed laminate floor.


This niche will hold a stacking washer and dryer.


This is the basement as it looked last fall. The last two treads of the stair were removed to allow for a new concrete slab to be poured… the existing floor was dirt.


The slab was poured in October.


New slab, new stairs (thanks, Randy!).

The first floor bath as I began to demo it.


The same space today, slightly smaller after we moved a wall. Did I mention that the house has a lot of recessed lighting?

The upstairs bathroom begins to get bathed in white primer after numerous repairs to plaster and woodwork.


We had to install the vanity cabinets somewhat before the optimal time in order to allow the marble company to field-measure for the vanity top. They drove five hours to get here on Tuesday, but got stuck in the mud and had to go back. I don’t know when it will be dry enough to reschedule.


This is the bathroom as we started work on it. I removed a portion of the ceiling to allow for a new shower. The rest of this sloped ceiling actually reflects the roof slope, but this one portion (beneath a shed dormer) was sloped just to maintain a consistent look. Fortunately it was just big enough for a 3-foot shower — usually things don’t work out so smoothly!


The shower still needs some bullnose trim and grout, in addition to a glass door. The wood door has been given a hinge-mounted door stop to prevent its knob from colliding with the future shower door. The floor will be tiled with the same tile used in the shower.


The adjacent bedroom when we started. The door at left, installed in the 1960’s, leads to the bathroom. Its casing is at odds with original woodwork.

That same doorway today. It has been given a new casing to match the woodwork in the rest of the house. A small space previously to the right of the chimney was harnessed for the condensation line of a furnace. The repairs to plaster in this room are nearing completion.
There are still several rooms we haven’t even begun to patch…


The dining and living room ceilings received a lot of damage in rewiring. I had asked the electricians to notch the ceiling at the joist locations, but they just trenched across the ceiling instead. The lighting plans also called for junction boxes to be centered in the ceiling, not 11″ away from the center. I drilled a new hole which probably annoyed or amused them.


Jim took fiberglass window screen and set it in a bed of joint compound to conceal the damage.
With a little more feathered mud and some texture (duplicating the original finish) the repairs to the ceiling will not be evident.


I began to mark all of the light fixture locations precisely (in order to avoid non-centered fixtures). I assumed that they would use a hole saw to drill out the 4″ holes needed for the LEDs. I was wrong. Instead, the electrician used my mark to drill out a hole to feed his wire through! This left nothing for the pilot bit of a hole saw to bite into!


So, I had to make little patches (I cut up wood paint stirrers) to cover all the holes he drilled out. You can see the immense care used in creating a hole for the ceiling fan, too. The hammer appears to be a favorite tool.


I drilled their holes out for them rather than risk having the fixtures not align properly and ended up with lots of these momentos. These are the kinds of setbacks that just really, really, annoy me. Such is the cost of the privilege of living in BFE.


At the end of the day, however, I enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful six-mile commutes and the knowledge that there is cold beer in the refrigerator at home.

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