Monday, August 19, 2013

Are We There Yet?

 Sleeping in the living room is getting old... It feels as though we have been living this way for a year, but it has actually only been 6 weeks.  Progress seems so slow, but in reality things are coming along really well.  The staircase is built and we are using it.  That is pretty much the one finished project of this renovation.  That's not to say we haven't been getting stuff done.  We  just haven't quite finished any of the stages of the renovation.

The stairs obviously need a lot of finishing work but that project will be one of the last and go hand in hand with sanding and staining the floors (one of the final projects of the entire house).  The staircase really personifies the overall concept of the house.  Simple, utilitarian, minimalist.  The stairs will have new treads put on at the end of the renovations and the whole thing will be stained to match the floor.  No railings.  A simple computer/office nook will go under the the second flight.  A modern bright colour on the window wall and a bunch of simple bookshelves will complete the room.  Oooh I feel like a visionary... But I could just be spouting bullshit, only time will tell.
This is coming up the stairs reaching the second landing and the half wall. 

Second Landing
 This is the landing Jeremy built so that someone taller than my own 5'2" could navigate the stairs in retaliative comfort.

 Standing at the top of the stairs you and see to the right the wall of the bathroom which creates a short 'hallway' into the little seating room that separates the bedrooms.

Here is Jordan's room on the left and the frame for the pocket door on the right for the bathroom... actually that is the pocket door in the box.

The door to Payton's room is going to be an unusual shape but fitting a staircase, chimney and door in a line will produce variable success.  I really wanted to leave the chimney exposed but I decided to save the fight for the whole railing issue.  I won no railing, Jeremy covered the chimney.

So Jeremy will continue to plug along on the rest of the construction side of the attic project, but unfortunately harvest in Saskatchewan has arrived so it's pretty much impossible to predict when he will have a chance to work on the house when he's not sleeping.

We are so close to drywall (my half of the project) I'm itching to take the reins an' get er' done.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Optimist

A pessimist and an optimist have fallen off a building.  The pessimist is having a hard time thinking "Oh my god, only 15 more floors to live!".  The optimist on the other hand is thinking: "So far, so good"

Although nothing ever goes to plan, such is life. We have been making steady progress in the attic endeavor.  Jeremy has been building the walls.  After many a discussion as per placement/height/suitability we both agreed that we had exactly the same plan and the other person needs to learn to speak better English. Honestly up and forward are two completely different movements!

Most of the framing is done in the attic.  Jeremy has built for both bedrooms to have a nook in the wall where a dresser can be placed.  He is becoming quite the electrician, with 2/3 of the attic wired.  Pictured here is the proposed walls for the half bathroom.

We have a small (28") pocket door for the bathroom.  We have two new windows for each bedroom as well, now if we could only find the time.


While cutting the hole in the ceiling for the staircase Jeremy came across this little jewel.
It was kind of a cool find.  It's hard to argue with those rates!

Moving forward, I was getting a little tired of climbing up the closet ladder which has now been dubbed "the climb of death'.  So we switched to stair building.  This is our first staircase.  Stairs really are not that complicated, the math is simple and there are more than enough stair calculators on the internet... but for some reason it just never makes sense. We argued and calculated, calculated and argued:

Me: "Just because you have big freaky feet doesn't mean we have to build the staircase to fit you!".

Jeremy: "My feet are just like any normal person, we need to build it to standard size".

Me: "Well just in case you haven't noticed there is nothing standard about this damn place!"

Jeremy: "If we want the railing to go like this..."

Me: "Railing! I don't want a railing.  Jeeze, I grew up with no railing on either my mom's or grandmother's. We never fell down the stairs".

Jeremy: "Yeah and none of you are scared of heights either right?"

Me: "Ugh, beside the point.  Here look the guy on YouTube said to do it like this, see, you one step short.  That's why this piece of newly created firewood doesn't fit".

Jeremy: "Fine.  Here jump up onto this landing and see if it feels right".

Me: "Shit! I'm going to hit my head on this! Oh crap now what the hell are we going to do! I'm only 5 feet tall!"

We eventually did come up with a plan that works and with a combination of beer, stubbornness, and creative thinking it fits all our personal criteria.

It's even level

We are just going to put some plywood on for treads for now because there is so much drywall to come.  I keep telling Jeremy that I'm ready for drywall any day ("Sure no problem, I can do that, I'm pretty much a pro now").  It's a complete lie, I'm starting to have nightmares nightly.

Sleeping in the living room is getting really old.  So I'm dragging Jeremy out for at least one night of camping this weekend.

Project List:

  • Put plywood treads on stairs to circumvent climb of death.
  • Build post under last stair (in kitchen) so safe, comfortable, no railing stairs don't become surprise drop of doom.
  • Finish last bits of wiring, framing, insulation.
  • Make a friend who will help Jeremy pack drywall upstairs...
  • blah, blah, blah, CAMPING!