Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Transformation Of The Door View

The panel wainscoting install is still continuing. I'm current working on the small wall sections near the office door and stairs, which has been a challenge. But in the meantime, here is the view to the new French Door.

Without moulding....

Then with moulding...

(I really like before and after photos)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Small Moulding Install

On Friday evening, I cut all the small corner moulding pieces for the panel wainscoting that essentially 'frame' the panel. I was surprised how quick it went - 2 and half hours for 200 linear feet. It wasn't exactly fun, but once I got my momentum going, I just couldn't quit til it was done. Then on Saturday, I took about an hour just to nail it with my handy dandy nail gun. That thing is a huge time saver!

So here's some proof:

Saturday, January 27, 2007


After getting a few nice compliments on the panel wainscoting project so far, I feel I should probably fess up to a little mis-nailage that occured. Since the wainscoting cap sits on top of a 1x4, I nail (with a pneumatic nail gan) from the top to secure the cap in place. I'm not sure what happened here. I just didn't align correctly or something. I've been trying to push through, pull it out, nail it back up and it's just not budging.

So, I guess I'll just leave it as a conversational piece.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Capping the Wainscoting

This past week I have been wrestling with a twisted cap for the wainscoting. I think it added about 3 days to the entire project. Of course, these "days" consist of about 2-3 hours of work time. Last night I was finally able to make the attachment. I think I was able to straighten it out enough just by nailing on 3" centers and using a little muscle. I'm not sure if that is proper woodworkmanship. I'll let you be the judge:

Here's where the panel wainscoting project stands at this point. I still need to add the small corner moulding at the stiles, which will hopefully occur over the weekend.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Doing My Tag Duties

For the non-houseblog.net referrals to this site, I first have to explain that there's this community of house bloggers called houseblog.net with a collection of about 520 blogs pertaining to home remodeling. It's a great way to get ideas, share information, and most important feel OK for having a blog solely devoted to your house. Lately in this little e-community, there's been some tagging going around where you are requested to list five things that other house bloggers don't know about you. And guess what....I was tagged by Chris at The Emery Restoration. (Chris is a good writer and most importantly, has a fantastic sense of humor so check out his site).

The following is a list of five things you probably didn't know about me:

1. I play the irish fiddle. I started about 7 years ago, after becoming a little bored with guitar which I have played (and continue to play) since I was 13 years old. I got attracted to it through a tape of Tom Dahill-Live at Harling's Upstairs, where he sings these great old ballads and rebel/drinking songs. In between the songs are real driving sets of jigs and reels. I hated them at first (busy, too many notes, all sounds the same) and used to fast forward through them, but after awhile it really grows on you. Now, I play out at sessions in Portland sometimes up to 3 times a week.

2. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I gave my mother a very expensive diamond ring. The problem was - I stole it. But the look on her face when I first presented it to her was so worth the prison time. Ok, I never did prison time but she did returned it to the jewelery store. It was just across the mall where we were eating at Le soup con - now closed down, but the world's greatest onion soup. I so miss it.

3. I moved out to Portland Oregon for the strong consistant wind and large swells that occur in the Columbia River Gorge. Although, I don't go nearly as often, I have logged many, many hours windsurfing on the river zipping back and forth, jumping (and falling) high into the air, and my favorite - riding the 6 foot swells like they're waves. Just writing about it is getting me all ansy.

4. When I was 7 or 8, I was determined to be an Olympic swimmer. I think I was supposed to be in 1988 summer Olympics. Somewhere along the line though, I discovered Marlboros.

5. For my future travel plans, I would like to visit each state before I die. There is so much diversity in the US with regards to both culture and scenery. I think it would be fun just to pick a random state, rent a car and just drive around for a week or more, checking out sites, meeting people, etc. However, if I keep going to Ireland at this rate, I may have to hit a couple of states per year.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Panel Wainscoting Begins

On Tuesday morning much to my surprise, I awoke to about an inch or two of snow. That's a big deal in Portland, Oregon and the meterologists had not forecasted it either so it was a complete surprise. Though I still went to work, it wasn't for long as the snow was still coming down pretty heavy and it was obvious the roads weren't going to clear themselves. So, I took a snow day which translates into productivity in the dining room remodel.

After a 2 hour adventure at Mt Tabor with Scully, I was able to start in on the panel wainscoting. I had the wood stove blasting away as well as some good tunes, and just really enjoyed the afternoon "off" creating the following:

I still need to add the cap as well as some other moulding but it's a start. I was pretty amazed by how much is changed the feel of the room so I'm all the more motivated to complete the rest of the walls. Pray for snow!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Let The XP180 Be Your Guide To Horizontality

Pretty tough looking little guy, isn't he? But with a name like XP180, how can you NOT be?

For Christmas, my brother Ed bought me this "Cross Line & Laser Plumb". I finally made use of it this evening with the start of the panel wainscoting (pictures tomorrow).

So, here it is in action (be careful not to stare at the laser too long):

Sunday, January 14, 2007

French Door Install Complete

I finally found a dry weekend to finish up the siding install on the outside of the french door. Unfortunately, it was about 25° F and windy (feel free to leave sympathy comments). I think my inner core still cold and I've been done for about 6 hours. However, it feels great to have another task completed.

Here is a before view from the inside:

And an after view from the inside:

I completely forgot to take a 'before' picture from the outside, but here it is in mid-install:

This is where it stood for about 2 weeks while I waited for a dry few days. I had installed adhesive flashing (similar to house wrap) to seal it from rain:

And the final outside view. I still need to caulk and apply a few coats of paint, but that's going to have to wait until spring:

Friday, January 12, 2007

Slate Tile at the Bay Window

I finally have accomplished a task in the dining room remodel that is worth posting - the installation of the slate tile at the bay window. It went fairly well and the only hitch was some flexing sub-floorboards that were cantilevered due to the partial removal of a joist for the return air opening. I was able to reinforce it by tying in each sub-floorboard to the supported sub-floor board running perpendicular with 2x4's. I lost you, didn't I?

Anyway, the subfloor is now solid to avoid any mortar or grout cracking. Or at least, I hope it is! I actually used a special mortar that applies to wood bases and will supposedly allow for some flexing.

Here's a little pictoral tour of this latest endeavor...

With old floor:

Existing subfloor:

With new 1/4" plywood covering subfloor:

Applying thin set mortar (special to wood subfloor) and installing tiles:

Applying grout:

The finshed product:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Now, That's A Sill

As most home remodellers know, a project generally never goes without some unexpected challenges. In fact, after the many projects I've taken on, I still visualize everything to go as according to plan. I have no idea why I still do that. Just undaunted hope, perhaps.

This weekend was no exception. I planned on my friend Guy to stop by at 1:30 to help me lift the French Door into place. This would give me enought time (an hour and a half) to remove the originally sliding door and prepare the rough opening. Oh, and to also clean up the sill because the door installation guide told me so.

And this is what I find after tearing out the old sliding door:
A closer look into the hideousness:

In the interest of time, I was able to slap a couple of 2x4s to rebuild the sill but I was rushing since I had already spent the good part of the day removing the old door and darkness wasn't too far off. I needed to get that 80 x60 hole filled with something- it was cold outside. Guy was a big help in nailing the 2x4s to recreate the rough opening and we were able to get the door inplace before long. However, after finally getting something to eat, I got a chance to have a look at the work I had done. That's when I realized that I had placed the door incorrectly. It was installed on the floor, not the subfloor. This meant that the bottom piece would be sticking up almost an inch higher that what it was supposed to be. That would have driven me crazy.

It turned out to be a blessing though. I was able to give some more thought on how to reuild the sill and the next day, I was able to spend more time on that since I had a head start. Working at a slower pace for stuff like this is vital and I enjoy it a lot more.

Here it is, the newly built sill:

Regarding the French Door itself, it's up and working beautifully. I really like it and much more than I thought I would. However, I still need to finish up the siding on the outside in the vincinity of the door so I'm going wait on posting any pictures until that's complete.