Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Whoa! Lots to catch up on!

Friends! I'm sorry it's been so long. Over two months, to be exact. The holidays took over our lives and this year was especially crazy with Steve being at the house almost every night and weekend. And, the busiest three weeks of the year at work for me are in December. Oh, and between the four of us, we had pink-eye, a double ear infection, a tooth infection and a terrible cold. Let's just say the only Christmas decorations that went up in our house this year was our Christmas tree. But, at least there was that.

Since November, some of the more time-consuming projects were completed. I'm going to try to touch on each of them, but if you want more information, leave a message here and I'll expand on those things in future posts.

Let's start with the fireplace. The framers set it up according to the measurements we got from the fireplace manufacturer, after we picked the insert, the type of stone, mantel height, hearth height, and many other measurements. Who knew fireplaces could be so complicated?!? We purchased the fireplace insert and stone from Condor. Really nice people, super-helpful and on time. We've loved working with them!

Here you can see the framing and one of the reclaimed barn beams installed for the mantel.
Closeup of the barn beam ... and above it, is some darker reclaimed wood that is going to be installed above the mantel up to the ceiling.
The insert and stone are in! Painting has started as well.

The drywall is also complete (which you probably figured out from the photo above). They were in the house for about a week, and all I can say is WHAT. A. MESS. Holy dust ball. But, they were great, did a wonderful job and when they were done, it really felt like a house. It's amazing what walls will do!

Drywall equipment in the kitchen
Apparently, to be a drywaller you can't have a fear of heights. Yikes.
Steve literally spent days taping off the beams so that they wouldn't get drywall or dust on them. That guy. :)
Drywall in the dining/foyer area
Drywall in the loft
Ah! Finished! Those beams look more awesome with each passing day.
Outside, things were also moving along. The siding and gutters went up with only a few minor setbacks. You might be able to see on the front and back of the house that we did board and batten on the peaks. And the metal roofing above the front porch is also now on. It's a dark steel grey and looks awesome.

south side of the house
Rear, west-facing side of the house
From the barn, looking at the whole front of the house
Ha! Had to add this last photo. We had a couple of beavers on the north end of the property doing some significant work on a number of birch trees. Trapper Al came out and helped us take care of the problem.

That's a quick summary of November and December. I'm already working on January, so that post will be up in the next week or so. Thanks again for reading! - Gretchen

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The "Shed"

Last Fall, we intended to put up a large "shed" before winter, so we could start to move some things out to the property. You know, country living kind of stuff: tractor, bush hog, a mower (or two), reclaimed lumber, etc., etc. However, due to building permit regulations, we pretty much had to do the "shed" and the house at the same time. (There are time limitations to constructing a building without a residence on the property first.) So, we had to wait, and unfortunately, wait ... and wait ... and WAIT for Cleary to come out and build this damn "shed." Well, they finally came last week and the "shed" is up. 

Now, the reason "shed" has been in quotations is because I'm pretty much the only one involved with this project that calls it a shed. Everyone else calls it a BARN. Yep, a barn. This city girl never, EVER thought she'd own anything that could even remotely be called a barn. But, alas, I have come to embrace the term that literally means "a large farm building used for storing grain, hay or straw or for housing livestock." (Do my husband and kids count?!!) And, I think "barn" actually fits better with this country livin' than "shed." So there. We have a barn.

Excavation for the barn.
A view of the barn coming up the driveway. You'll actually drive past the barn to get to the house.

Barn framing. I'm pretty sure it's 30'x48', but I could be wrong. I'll wait and see if Steve says anything!
A piece of the barn siding. I love this picture because it shows the color really well.
Siding going up on the back of the barn. Finished floor is recycled concrete.
Finished barn - east side.
The wainscoting and roof are dark gray. It has a birds-beak feature on the front and a decorative bale door.
Finished barn - west side
The cupola is reclaimed from Steve's great aunt Elsie's farm in Dayton, MN.
It is a really special reminder of her and the farm, where Steve spent many days of his life.
Elsie is no longer with us, but I know we'll think of her every time we look up at that cupola.
Close-up of the cupola without the horse on top.
The horse is my favorite part, so I'll add a picture of that later, when I get it from Steve.
On par for this project, there is a lot going on this next week: sheetrock and siding, for starters. Two major elements that are going to change the look of things, big time. Can't wait to share it with you next week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pieces of the puzzle

LOTS has happened since my last post, almost a month ago. It's amazing how fast this house is going up. The weather has been on our side, and these 60 degree days in November are truly a gift. All of the pieces are coming together and the reality of moving into this house sinks in a little more each day. I'm not going to write too much in the intro, because I have a ton of pictures to share and I'll write a little note below each one. They are in rough chronological order. Many of these jobs are done in phases, but you'll get the idea. Enjoy!

The roof is on! This is a view of the garage in progress. The roof is a dark grey, almost black. The only part that is not done is a metal roofing that will be installed over the front porch.

A lovely view of the septic field

Retaining wall going in. It is so cool. I can't wait to see the patio finished next Spring.

A view from the field looking at the back of the house.

Basement. Lots of wires. Utility room.

Kitchen window. My white apron-front sink will sit in front of this. Picture white cabinets, black counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. I can feel the good vibes already.

Can lights

Rough-in plumbing for the mudroom. From left to right: washing machine, dryer, sink
Cement has been poured in the basement

Cement in the garage (entry door to the back left of photo; stairs to basement in the back right)

Cement is poured for the front porch. Our dog, Nikki, is checking things out. This is the section of the roof that will be a metal roofing. The porch pillars were not in yet; the beams were there for stability. You can see more of the roofing in this photo as well.

Cement for the garage floor and apron has been poured

Another view of the retaining wall. Finished for now. It's gorgeous!

Close up of where the fireplace bumps-out

Insulation going in. The white moisture barrier is on all exterior walls.
The is what it looks like after they blow the insulation in

Stairwell (sans stairs) to the basement from the garage. Genius idea we stole from my Dad and Terry.
Looking down now that the stairs and door are in

Looking up from the basement into the garage

Thanks for reading! I'm already working on another post about our long-awaited shed. Stay tuned!