Um, duh. Stain before poly.

May 5, 2010

Ayesh just reminded me that I missed a step!  Stain is most likely tonight, and then the poly tomorrow.

She also told me that the kitchen might actually go in as ealry as this weekend!  We’re in the home stretch now, baby!



2nd coat of bleach on floors last night, poly tonight!

May 5, 2010

I haven’t been able to go in the house for the past two days!  Monday morning I stopped by and saw that the floors were freshly sanded, so I didn’t dare step in with my dirty tennies. 

The white oak got it’s first bleach treatment Monday afternoon, and the floor guy came back last night to do the second coat.  I peeked through the back glass sliding door this morning, and it looks incredible.  The yellowy color that stood out after they were freshly sanded is softly muted down under the whitish gray of the bleach and they look kind of “beachy” and relaxed to me.  I love it.

I think they get the first coat of poly tonight, and from what I hear, we’ll have to wait two days before it completely hardens and we can walk on them.  Which means that our kitchen cabinets, that have been sequestered to the dark and dreary garage, may actually see the light of day and earn their rightful place inside the house next week!

Meanwhile, the upstairs bathroom vanities are being installed, and the ipe is going into the master bath.  I hope to get some photos tonight if I can get in through the back stairway.  Oh, the anticipation!

Me and Ayesh peeking in the glass door at the bleached floor


A few steps closer

April 28, 2010

For the past few weeks we’ve been considering floor stains.  We LOVE our beautiful light white oak floors just the way they are now, and we don’t really want to see them change color when we seal them.  In researching how to keep the natural look without darkening or yellowing the color, we found several options that we’ve had our GC explore with his trusty floor guy.  These have included a number of stains, white washes and bleaches.  I think we’ve finally found the right combination of finishes that show off the floors in faux-unfinished glory, with all the protection of being sealed against moisture and muddy paw prints.

It’s a little hard to tell because I didn’t use a flash this morning with the sample size (although you can get a good idea of what the unfinished white oak looks like from the “Trial and error” photo, underneath all of the trials), but the sample practically matches the unfinished floors perfectly.  I’m thrilled with the color.  There are actually three sealant finishes on the sample board also – matte, semi-gloss and satin.  We want the floors to reflect a little bit of light, but both of us agree that the super shiny look might be a little much in the small space with all of the windows.  So the semi-gloss (in the center) is out.

Stay tuned to see what we picked.


Fully floored

March 28, 2010

Our floors are fully in and looking fabulous. I really can’t believe the transformation. From piecemeal, mismatched and unlevel random surfaces we now have a uniform, light and bright feel to the space.

What’s more, the exterior is even closer to being done, now that it has crisp white trim, new gutters and downspouts.

We expect the last of the tile to be delivered this week – the most important pieces, the floor tiles, and we’ll be able to start putting the bathrooms together.



March 22, 2010

This weekend was dedicated to flooring.  We stopped by early on Saturday to see that the second floor had been almost completely installed on Friday, and the first floor was being dry fitted. 

Sunday afternoon the first floor had progressed to about one third of the way set.  The white oak looks beautiful.  It’s funny – the upstairs floors are awash in a fine layer of drywall dust, and we love the white washed effect. All of the wood is unfinished, so we’ll be exploring stains and treatments in the coming week or so.

1st flr view toward back

1st flr view toward front

2nd flr view toward back of master

2nd flr view toward entrance to master



Vaulted master

November 9, 2009

The Sunday foray to the house was VERY exciting.  Electrical conduit piping is routed around all the interior and exterior walls on both floors.  Can light boxes are in place in the ceilings on both floors.  HVAC duct work is going in to the basement and can be seen through the first few vent cut-outs on the first floor.  The floors are all patched up and no longer have any scary holes around the area where the chimney used to be. I could do cartwheels across the length of the living and dining room space now if I wanted to.  Or was able to. But I’m old and uncoordinated. So I won’t. Cause I can’t.

Most exciting is that the second floor, master bedroom feels dramatically different than it did earlier in the week.  The old exterior stairwell area that we’ve begun converting into living space has a completely new roof that, rather than being a flat adjunct as it used to be, is now an extension of our A-frame.  You can really see the difference from the outside:

Old flat roof

Old flat roof on the attached stairwell space


Newly built roof matches the existing roofline

Newly built section on the now-turned-living-space that matches the existing roofline


On the inside, the room feels wonderfully tall and airy.  The room is approximately 13’ x 15’ but it feels bigger now – it feels like a grand master.  Plus, with the skylight cutout, it’s light and bright, even towards dusk, which is when I was there.

Master skylight

View of the master bedroom skylight cutout


Master closet framing

Sunlight streaming in through the windows and skylight and bouncing off the framing of the master closet



And the wall came tumbling down

October 23, 2009

The big change this morning: the wall between the old kitchen and the old back porch area is down (mostly) on the first floor.  I have to admit, I was so caught off guard as soon as I realized that I had forgotten my camera (it was safely at home and not in a puddle in the rain outside as I had initially feared) that I never made it up to the second floor to peek around, so I’ll need to go back again later to document the progress.

What I noticed on the first floor:

  • The old 1908 exterior wall that had become an interior wall separating the living part of the house with the enclosed back stairwell/porch has been removed;
  • A new subfloor has been installed in the old back porch area, making it level with the rest of the first floor.  Hooray!
  • Partial wall frames are up, outlining the area where the 4’ x 6’ bathroom will go, at the back of the house (within the “old” back porch area that is now being integrated with the rest of the interior living space).

Unfortunately, I’m housebound now with either food poisoning or a stomach bug of some sort, so I won’t be taking any pictures until tomorrow.

This weekend is going to be all about making the final decision on windows, which apparently can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to come in.  Ayesh has been doing a TON of research and I’m picking up random new vocabulary terms, like “extruded” versus “rolled” aluminum, and have learned that there is a class action law suit against Pella casement windows, which has affected our comfort level with those products and may sway us to choose a different brand.

The biggest thing for us is that we want to choose the most energy efficient, (attractive, obviously) and best quality windows that we can afford.  Luckily, having the general contractor that we do, he knows people and has already proven that he is capable of getting good deals for us.  Plus, we plan to take advantage of the $1,500 federal tax credit opportunity for energy efficient home upgrades.

Wish us luck!


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