Small change = big difference

August 7, 2010

We’ve been crazy busy trying to live around piles of boxes, unpacking little by little as we finish the last of the punch list projects around the house.  This week was a productive week in terms of touch-ups, re-wiring, repairs and the like.  A lot of little things that add up.  We installed the second of our two dining pendants and FINALLY got our back-ordered curtain panels for the first floor.

I was amazed how a second layer of fabric and a hint of pattern warmed up our space SO much.  I love the burn-out panels we put up (West Elm is having a sale right now) in coordination with our awesome good-buy white grommet panels (Ikea is the best place for affordable, versatile staple pieces).

It feels wonderful having the first floor transform into a warm, comfortable place for us to relax (while we hide from all of the rest of our boxes that we’ve tucked into what will someday be the office, upstairs).

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Inch by inch

February 28, 2010

There has been just a little bit more progress on front Hardie installation – which you can see from the photo below.  Inside, the taping and mudding is coming along a lot more quickly.  Despite being EXTREMELY messy, the living quarters are looking fantastic.  Of course, the difference between open framing and closed drywall spaces was such a shocker at first.  Without ceilings between the floors everything looked so huge and spacious.  But after a few days of getting used to each of the spaces being closed up, the house still feels very open and generous.  The best is the brightness.  Even on gloomy gray days the house feels so light and airy!  I couldn’t be happier with our window choices.

Front of house as of 2/27/10

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Windows: Check!

January 16, 2010

All the windows are IN! Ta-daaa!

 

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Good day, sunshine

January 13, 2010

Daylight view this morning, and it looks like the second floor windows are going in nicely!

Master bedroom windows in on the second floor

Second floor windows in front guest room and over stairwell

Profile of our changing chanty

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Back in business, BABY!

January 11, 2010

The windows have arrived!  We ended up going with Marvin windows – excellent quality, beautiful windows that are made to order (read: take forever). 

Two things I love most about the Ultimate Double Hung window: the one-handed tilt-in operation for easy cleaning (which means I don’t have to strain or hurt myself) and the Low E II with argon insulating glass (which means that we’ll have energy efficient windows and lower utility bills).

I stopped over to the house after work, even though it was dark, and I stumbled around with my digital camera just hoping that the flash would be bright enough to capture what I couldn’t actually see.

New Windows

Wrapped and ready to go

In the living room, wrapped up in plastic and cardboard are the largest of the windows: the three-panel front windows for both the first and second floors, and the glass sliding doors for the back of the house.

Second

First one installed!

On the second floor, we actually have a window in one of the guest rooms!  The bedroom at the center of the house used to have two small windows in it, one of which was glass block (this used to be a bathroom).  Both the old small windows are out and spaces boarded up.  The brand new window has been placed in the center of the wall, and looks great.

It looked like there also may have been one or both windows installed in the master bedroom, but I had to be careful not to trip over debris, so I didn’t venture too far into the room.

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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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