Saturday, September 30, 2006

Drywall Completed.... for now

I just spent 3-1/2 hours hanging the last pieces of drywall, 2 of those hours were spent on the bay window area pictured below. With the poor framing job, some slight modifications and careful measurements had to be made. After the new windows and door openings are modified and are installed, I'll finish drywalling that area.

Next on the list is a slow removal of the linoleum stuck on the douglas fir floor. What fun that will be!

Friday, September 29, 2006

More Drywall

Last night I got the bulk of the dryall done and it feels great to see some progress. I installed 7 pieces, and have 4 more to go. To be honest, I am a drywall hack. I just hope the folks I hire to finish the seams and corners can work some of their magic.

The bay window area (to the left in the picture below) won't have the drywall installed until I get the windows and door in, since I will have to modify the widths and heights to make it more symmetrical.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

French Door and Window Shopping

With the installation of the drywall, I came to realize that I really need to get the custom door and windows ordered, since the lead time will be about 4-6 weeks. The bay window is not symmetrical so in order for the interior trim to look decent, I'll need to undersize one current window, and the door width. Hence, a custom product. So far, I've gotten two estimates though I have called about five places in the last 4 days.

For the french door, I'll probably go with Simpson, as that seems to be the standard for the Pacific Northwest. See picture below and just imagine two side by side. I'm going back and forth between using the 10-light or maybe just a 1-light of all glass, which would be easier to clean.

For the windows, I'm replacing the fixed-old foggy's with casement, where I can create some flow-through during Portland's 5 days of 95° + weather. So far, the winning brand has been Marvin, though I'm open to suggestions. Are there any favorites out there?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Sheetrocking Begins

On Saturday morning, I borrowed my neighbor's truck to get 8 sheets of drywall (thanks again Mark!). I started hanging the top half of the dining room the next day. Since I'll be installing panel wainscoting on the lower half, I decided to use 1/4" plywood for that half, to be covered with 1/4" birch sheets as the panel. That's the plan for now, anyway.

The drywall install was going fairly well, until I came across a 4" stud that was sticking out 1/4" more than the rest. Old houses are great, provided you have enough patience for them. So, tonight I'll be putting the Sawzall to work to make a more level surface for the drywall.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Stove Area Lighting

I got the track light Friday afternoon (much earlier than I thought) and I just got done installing the track system tonight. It took about 3 hours or so and was a little tricky getting everything level. When I finally switched on the the light, I was much more impressed that I had thought I'd be.

Here are some other pictures showing the steps along the way....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Shiny New Boxes

Last night I spent 3 hours installing (2) new outlet and (2) switch boxes in the dining room. I originally thought it would only take an hour, maybe an hour and a half. But it generally never goes as planned. On one of them, I had to fit a box in a 2" space between two studs. That had to take some creative chipping/sculpting of part of the stud to get to fit.

The pictures below show a before and after of adding the outlet box in a specific location to fit within the panel wainscoting that I'll be installing later. Don't you hate it when you go to unplug something and the entire box and outlet comes out? That was the situation with these outlets before last night.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Inner Chimney Mortaring Fun

In preparation for the wood stove installation, which is due in the beginning of October per my Gantt Chart, I wanted to touch up the mortar near the insertion point. First I wanted to round off the corners to make insulating a little easier, then I wanted to slap some mortar on the other side of the chimney where there's an additional insert in the kitchen. I just wasn't sure how the cover in the kitchen would handle the heat. So I thought it best to just use up the remaining mortar that's been sitting in the pantry room corner for awhile. It only took about 45 minutes to do, and the mess I made wasn't too bad. Believe it or don't.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Finally Decided on Stove Lighting

After weeks and weeks of fairly passive searching, I've finally ordered the track lighting that will be used above the wood stove. It's actually "monorail" lighting and is most commonly found in low voltage lighting applications. I was heading down the low voltage path, but the additional cost of a transformer and special dimmer added about $300 to the overall price. I just opted for the line voltage at that point.

The monorail application is not too common for line voltage, but I was able to find Nora Lighting. Here's what the fixture will look like, and I'll use 2 of them:

Some earlier progress on the stove lighting includes some pre-wiring to the lights. You can barely see the wiring sticking out in the picture below, and some holes punched in the ceiling for wiring access. The black thing in the corner is stove pipe which I bought on Saturday. When I hooked parts of the stove pipe up to the wood stove, I was immediately stoked. And so re-begins the momentum. I even cleaned the cresote from the chimney on Sunday. I didn't wear a top hat, but I think I still got the job done.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Just More Insulation

I don't have much to show for the dining room remodel lately, but it is still continuing. With some neighborhood activity, along with a trip to the rim of Mt St Helens, productivity has been slowed. The current status is that I'm waiting for an estimator for installing the wood stove to make a house visit. Once that's done, I need to purchase the lights above the stove. Then the electrical.....drywall.....etc.

But I did manage to put more insulation up!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Labor Day House Painting

I love 3 day weekends. There's something about that one extra day that makes me feel like I can get SO much more done. Like paint my house!

Earlier this spring, I noticed quite a bit of paint chipping off of the west side of my house. This came as a little bit of a shock, since it seems I just painted it. But I soon realized that was over five years ago. Since the west side of my house gets little shade, I guess I could accept this fact, though I was hoping for more of a 10 year life span.

Here's a picture after scraping:

And the final product:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Historic Finds

So far, the status of the dining remodel project is establishing lighting for the stove area. Due to the intense heat from the stove, expense, and possible futility of lighting an area blocked by the stove, I decided to bag the idea of uplighting the oak tree mural. Now, my focus is on a couple of spotlights from up above.

Last week I took down the existing hideous chandelier and cut some holes in the ceiling. The intent of this was to get an understanding of the existing wiring configuration and how to manipulate it for my new hip and cool stove spotlights. I love digging into the walls and ceilings of my house in hopes of uncovering some cool history involved with house. Unfortunately, nothing was uncovered this time, other than some fake vampire fangs. But I did want to share some old newspaper finds that was used to mortar the chimney.

This is from a newsletter type paper called the "North Pacific Union Gleaner" which I am assuming is a religious newsletter, probably Seventh Day Adventist. The date is October 2, 1919.

Here are some interesting business notices from the newsletter:

Here's an ad for a tailor, with a special 10% discount for being a Seventh Day Adventist:

And finally, the treasure I've uncovered. A 1937 penny that I found under a patio I broke up some years ago: