Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Passed!

After six weeks of "last minute" work, we had our final inspection yesterday--and passed! So what was done in the last six weeks?

  • The mason finished the stone in front
  • The cabinemaker finished cabinets, including a custom wood hood (almost)
  • Finished (almost) the finish carpentry
  • Caulked the exterior (with 100 tubes of caulk)
  • Installed interior door hardware
  • Painted exterior trim
  • Two coats of varnish on all interior trim
  • Finished the floors with three more coats of polyurethane
  • Coated all visible foam foundation insulation with stucco
  • Hired Jim to install Nichiha stone panels on our side exposure, and hang our front storm door
  • Cleaned and cleaned and cleaned again. The garage served as our dumpster for the last couple of months. A 10-yard dumpster was almost enough to hold it all after we broke cardboard boxes up into 5 3x3x3 bundles.
  • The landscaper built a retaining wall around our window well. We call it "the pit" now. He also buried drain pipe for our downspouts.
Here's some proof. Here's how the house looks with the trim painted:

Doesn't look much different, does it? Megan chose a paint that was exactly the same color when wet as the primer was when dry. So I couldn't see the spots I missed until after the paint dried...

We rented a 40-foot boom lift (cherry picker) to get up to the gables without having to move a ladder every 10 minutes. Zeke loved the cherry picker:

The first time I brought Zeke up in the cage, as we were going up, he told me: "I'm not afraid of anything!" But the higher the boom went, the tighter his grip got on my hand. But he actually loved going up in the air, and complained when Megan arrived and we had to lower ourselves back to the ground.

Had some great views from 30 feet in the air. Here's my favorite (me towering above Megan):

On my last round of touch-up, when I was finally finished with the painting, I got into the cage, and knocked over a can of cedar-colored touch-up paint. So we had a big orange splotch on our new roof. A little bit of water from the hose, and some scrubbing with a toilet brush, and now we just have a bunch of little orange splotches on our roof:

The pit is great. We had the landscaper put in some steps to get in and out of the pit, and a raised planting bed. Here's a picture with the stone panels on the exposure wall:

Now for the interior. I finished installing the fireplace mantel:

Now it looks like a fireplace. And the kitchen is pretty much done too:

I had a lot of help in the last few weeks. Megan and Linda did almost all of the varnishing, with some help from my nieces Gretchen and Diana. My sister-in-law Toni came and helped clean out the garage. Her brother Jim put up the stone panels on the foundation, and generally helped out for the last few days. Linda's friend, Gene, helped out with finish carpentry and with some cleanup. And Melanie (Zeke's part-time Nanny) has been putting in extra hours to let Megan spend more time at the site.

Even though we're really not quite ready, we move in on Monday! I'm trying to finish putting the last coat of varnish on everything before we move in, so Megan and Linda are doing all the packing. But the rental house isn't cooperating. With the heat wave this week, the air conditioner fried itself. So they're packing the house in 90 degree heat, while I get to sit around in an air-conditioned house. Megan also got caught by a strep throat infection earlier this week, so that hasn't helped either. But we'll make it.

It's 11:30pm on the Thursday before the move, and the carpet guys are upstairs installing pads. I'll wait until they're done to get a bit more varnishing done upstairs.

After the move, we aren't done. We have nothing in the closets to hang our clothes on, so I'll have to figure out what we're doing with the closets. I still have molding to install--base caps on our baseboards, crowns on our windows and doors, and most importantly shoe mold to cover the gap between base boards and floors. I also have to set up the audio/video connections, finish installing the central vacuum, and paint the garage doors. But it should be much easier to get work done with us living in the house.

The next post will be after we move in, and hopefully finish some of our final to-do-list items.