Friday, March 27, 2009

Now we have a kitchen

A lot of progress in the last couple of days. Brian is quickly getting cabinets installed. First the kitchen:

Like I said in the last post, most of the cabinet doors are maple. We're looking for a modern craftsman look, so we chose flat panel doors with a full overlay so you can't see a whole lot of the face frames, and stainless steel pulls. The doors on the oven cabinet are maple, but it is highlighted with a cherry frame and cabinet box. We'll have something similar on the other side of the kitchen above the cooktop and oven:

The picture turned out a bit too dark, I'll upload another after the counters go in. Here's one more view of the kitchen:

Scott is making good progress on the stairs. The columns on the first floor are all wrapped in cherry, all of the skirt boards are in, and he started on the tread caps:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cabinets have arrived

The cabinetmaker, Brian Runde of BR Custom Woodcraft in Wales, delivered our cabinets today--one day ahead of schedule. He brought his dad along to help unload the cabinets from the truck. We stuffed them in the garage:

They pretty well filled the garage. And we're really happy with how they turned out. Most of the cabinets are maple:

The maple is stained with a "honey" colored stain.

A few of the cabinets are constructed of natural cherry, to match the trim and contrast with the maple cabinets:

We were looking for contrast, but when you look at the color of the stained maple doors, they look almost the same color as the freshly finished natural cherry doors. The only real difference right now is that the grain looks a bit different. So much for the contrast. Actually, it won't be a problem. Cherry gets darker pretty quickly, so we should start to see some contrast by the time we move in, and they'll look just about right after a year or two.

Brian will start installing the cabinets tomorrow, and it should take him three or four days. Then the granite guys will come out to measure for countertops.

Bill and Mike made some more progress on the tile. They started grouting the floors (so that the cabinets would be installed on floors that have been grouted, and they got more of the master shower finished:

And Scott, the finish carpenter, made some progress on the stairs. Here's how the columns will look wrapped in cherry:

Things will be a bit tight for the next couple of days. Brian will be installing cabinets while Scott is working on the stairs, while Bill and Mike are working on the tile, and I am working on the finish trim. Here's our makeshift workshop in the family room, with dueling miter saws:

I'll post some more pictures of the cabinets after installation is complete.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tile, Fireplace & Stairs

This is a little better. Just over two weeks since my last entry. We're making progress, slowly but surely.

My nephews Jake and Joe helpd out last weekend. They helped me move the interior doors that we bought last October, and did a bunch of cleanup.

Bill and Mike have been working on the tile. They have finished setting tile everywhere but the master bath--which is a bit more complicated since we're doing a traditional mud shower pan and travertine tile on the floor, tub deck, and shower walls.

Here's the guest bath:

And the main bath upstairs:

The tile in the master bath was a lot more difficult to lay. But it looks fantastic. Bill is doing a great job:

Megan and I started working on tiling the fireplace this week, and we finished it tonight. We decided to tile the hearth with the same tile we're using for the back hallway and bathroom floors. Megan found an antique-style glazed ceramic tile that we're using on the face, and we used the same accent strip that we're using in the bathrooms for some interest. Anyway, here's the fireplace:

I took that picture at about 11:00pm. Which reminds me, the electrician has been in to finish up some of the electrical work. We now have outlets and lights! Hopefully, I'll make fewer mistakes at night now, since I'll be able to see what I'm doing. Also, the roofers were back this week to install the gutters. The only big thing left to do on the exterior is the masonry.

I lost about 10 days on the schedule. I started pricing stair components a few weeks ago, and it turns out they're a bit more expensive than expected. Just the handrails we needed would have cost $2500. When I add balusters, newel posts, stair treads, and miscellaneous trim, the total would have exceeded $11,000. Being cheap, and having a workshop in the house, I decided to mill the stair parts myself--all of them. That's where the 10 days went. But that 10 days saved us $10,000.

I did hire a finish carpenter to do the stairs. He started this week, and made a bit of progress before having to finish up another job. Here's the main newel post:

We meet with a landscaper tomorrow, and Megan might be able to stain another window or two. I'll get back to milling trim. Next week, I should have some more visible progress to report. The cabinetmaker will start installing cabinets on Thursday, and the finish carpenter will have much more done on the stairs. Plumbing fixtures get delivered on Monday, and appliances the next Monday. The week after next, I'm taking vacation to install trim and work on the kajillion other things that need to be done.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Floors are in

Wow. It's been almost three weeks since my last entry. Time flies when you're having fun. I finished installing, sanding, and getting the first couple coats of finish on the wood flooring downstairs.

It took a little over three weeks to get to this stage--so far, I guess I have about 140 hours in the floor. I was originally going to just install the floor and wait until after more work was done to put finish on it. But after a small oil spill, I decided the floor needed protecting sooner rather than later.

So here are a couple pictures of the almost finished floor. The breakfast room, kitchen, and dining room look best right now, because there aren't too many footprints:

The family room and entry hall get a lot more traffic, but they still look pretty good:

Installing the floor was a lot of fun. It turns out that the framers did a fantastic job. I started laying the floor off of a line in the center of the house that I stretched parallel to the east wall of the family room. I first worked from the center to the front of the house, and then from the center to the rear. The last row of flooring on each end was parallel--within 1/4"--to both the front and rear walls! I was also able to run the floor continuously from room to room without needing any transition strips.

We chose to use Cumaru--also called Brazilian Teak or Brazilian Chestnut. It's more than two and a half times as hard as red oak (I didn't want any dents in the floor). The close-up below shows what it looks like:

That's the natural color of the wood. No stain, just two coats of varnish. I also installed some flush floor vents to match:

I put two coats of finish on, and I'll put one more on this weekend. Then I'll wait until just before we move in to put the final coat of finish on. With 1200 sq feet of flooring, each coat takes about six hours.

Bill and Mike have made good progress on the tile. They finished laying tile on the floors in the laundry room, back hallway, guest bath, and main bath upstairs. They also built the shower pan in the master bath and started today on the wall tile in the bathrooms.

We're using porcelain tile on most of the floors and walls, with natural travertine stone tiles in the master bath. Here's the laundry room floor:

The tile work is nothing less than excellent. They'll finish the two smaller baths this week, and get some more done on the master bath. Just in time for the cabinets to be delivered on March 23.

A couple more milestones. We picked out the granite for the bathrooms and laundry room today. And the fireplace has been installed and hooked up:

I hired a carpenter to do the finish work on the stairs. When I got price quotes on the finish materials, it turns out that stairs are ridiculously expensive. More than $2500 just for the handrails. So this weekend, I'll be milling my own handrail.

Next week, we should make progress on the stairs, finish up the master bath, and hopefully, I'll finish milling and start installing trim.