Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sparkle and Shine

I hope you had a nice weekend. Ours was very productive. We didn't really go anywhere or do anything but stay on the property and work. The men continued to shingle the roof and they also installed the skylight! Michael's friend Jason, helped out on Saturday.

The men could only go so far with the shingles before they had to stop and cut out the opening for the skylight.

                      Michael decides exactly where the opening will go in the bathroom ceiling.

                                                       And then starts framing and cutting.

  Jason stayed on the roof and made the first cut. 

                                                                 Let the sun shine in!

                                 And Voila! A skylight. Now the bathroom will be nice and bright.

While the guys worked on the roof and the skylight, I kept myself busy cleaning the gas stove that was left in the house. At first glance I thought we would just junk it. It was a terrible mess with caked on grease and grime. It would require more than just a good scrubbing. But upon further inspection, I decided it was worth the effort to at least try to make it look new again. I checked all the burners and although slow to start because they were filled with dust and grit, they worked just fine, 
so did the light panel. 

I disassembled, scrubbed and scraped (mostly with a razor blade...carefully of course) for over nine hours! But look at the beautiful, sparkling stove we now have! I discovered it's a 2002 Maytag so it still has a few good years in it. It's not my dream stove but it sure beats spending hundreds of dollars for a new one and it also provides a non-electric way of cooking should the power ever go out.

I'm looking forward to our first Thanksgiving dinner cooked in this stove.

On Sunday, Michael got a bit creative and decided to play around with a
 few designs for the front door overhang. 

                               This is just a temporary design but it is fun to play with ideas. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bye Bye Buzz!

Well, the skylight didn't go in yesterday as we had planned but we were still able to get so much done. I stayed inside the house ripping, tearing and painting while the men continued their work on the roof.
We chose a driftwood colored, architectural shingle to use on the roof. We wanted a softer color rather than a harsh black. You may not be able to see it that well in the photos but it is a brownish, charcoal color. I really wanted real cedar shingles for a more cottage-like look but of course they are not that practical in Maine, so this was the next best thing.

Young Michael, (a student of architecture at Wentworth College) thought it might look better if we weaved the shingles where the dormer meets the roof. He felt it would look less contemporary than a rigid straight line. We agreed.

Inside I was busy painting the exterior trim boards and then ripping out the closet in the little blue room.

This will eventually be the walk-in closet for the master bedroom. 
The old doorway leading to the hall will be closed up and a new door will be built to the left,
 leading into the bedroom.

              The front side of this room will become the new, front entryway when we build a wall.

Bye Bye Buzz!

After the closet, I set my sights on removing all the interior trim around the windows. 
Once removed, I headed to the half-wall in the old kitchen.

                        Those double windows will eventually become a patio door leading to a deck.

              This will be the new living room. The door you see in the photo will become a window.

Back outside the guys finished one side of the roof and started on the other. 

        A lot of changes in one day! More to come today.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Big Change

At 7:00 AM sharp, on Wednesday morning, the men began setting up staging at the front of the house.
The lumber yard then delivered all the roof shingles and wood necessary for the new roof, and the work began. Luckily Michael had the boom truck set all the shingles on the roof, so no one had to carry the heavy bundles up the ladder.

We decided we wanted to build a false dormer and overhang on the roof so of course it had to be built before the roof could be shingled. The structure will offer a little more charm and a break-up to the flat roof. It will also give us a decent overhang above the front door.

     This photo was taken on Tuesday while we checked the height of the peak we wanted. 

Lots of math and planning went into this project, although no blueprint was used.

                                                                I painted the trim boards.

                                          And up it went! (Young Michael took these two shots).

      I had to leave to pick up supplies and choose a skylight. When I returned a few hours later,
        this is what greeted me! I couldn't believe how much the two Michael's had accomplished.

As you can see, the overhang is not directly over the front door. That is because we are shifting the front door to the left, where it will be directly under the overhang. 

We didn't move the bushes before putting up the staging because they are eventually going to be moved to the side of the house (on the left). That side needs to have three windows installed and they would just be in the way. They are protected by the staging now. After the install, I will dig them up and transplant them. They are beautiful Rhododendrons.

                                                Michael didn't want to stop working soooo.....
                                We went to the kitchen and pulled out the last remaining cupboards!

                     The half-wall comes out today and the new skylight goes in the bathroom!
                                                                     I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Floor Plan

Today starts the official full-time work on the house. Now you're going to see some changes!  Michael finished up all his other jobs and today we get the big delivery from the local lumber yard. 

Here are the floor plans of the original house and the plans for the future house. I am not a professional designer or architect so please forgive the drawings. I did a very quick rendering just to give you an idea of how things are going to change. Nothing is accurate and nothing is square but my Dad keeps on insisting I include the plans, so here they are. This is for you Dad!

This is the floor plan of the original layout

As you can see, the plan goes from a tiny 3 bedroom home to a spacious (you would have to be there to believe it) one bedroom cottage. We are adding a bigger kitchen, living room, bathroom and entry way as well as a huge master bedroom with a walk-in closet. All of this is in exchange for 2 small bedrooms. Don't forget, there is a huge, dry, beautiful basement just waiting to be utilized. 
That's where we'll add more rooms. 

I also wanted to point out that in Maine, folks generally enter the house from the kitchen. With snow and mud and dogs, it's best to enter that way rather than through the living room. 
That's why we flipped the floor plan. We also want to optimize the view of the meadow in the living room with big patio doors. A triple window over the sink will offer the same view in the kitchen.

Oh and if you look closely, you will see that the new plan shows the cellar stairs are flipped around, thus giving more wall space to the new living room and easy access from the basement to the new kitchen. A nice big den, guest room and studio will be built in the basement...
 but that's next year's plan.

This is the floor plan for the future layout

I'll keep you posted on today's progress. Have a happy and productive day! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Bathroom Mess

Over the weekend we were able to accomplish so much, that I barely know where to begin. We stripped and waterproofed the rest of the roof, tore out the ceiling and walls in the master bedroom, tore out the wall and tub in the bathroom, purchased all our windows, doors and paint and even started painting the siding of the house. We also managed to fit in a dinner party at the lake and a town auction and BBQ. Needless to say we're exhausted but we have a deadline to meet and if the house must be done by autumn, then plug on we must!

A lot of folks have been asking me to talk a little more about the interior of the house so I guess I'll start there... and the bathroom is as good a place as any. 

    This is what the bathroom looked like when I first bought the cottage

                                                               Bubble bath anyone?
                  You can see the rust along the sides of the tub. There is a lot of iron in the water. 
                                          We will have to install a very good filtration system.

In my design, I wanted to have enough room for a double sink and lots of storage. In order to do that, we decided to enlarge the bathroom by cutting into the closet in the small bedroom that backed up to the bathroom.

                    This was the closet in the small bedroom. The bathroom is just behind that closet wall.

So, first things first, the tub had to come out.

When Michael cut away the back panel of the vinyl tub, we discovered that there was no insulation.    Hmmm...I guess the plumber was in a hurry to get the tub in.

We were in a hurry to get it out! 

It's out now!

Next came the closet wall...

With the wall gone, you can see right into the small bedroom (which is now part of the new master bedroom). 

The outside opening you see in this photo will eventually become the patio door in the master bedroom but for now it's our "doorway to the dumpster". 

This is a shot looking from the bathroom to the master bedroom. The open wall will soon be closed up and the bath tub will be repositioned on that wall along with a built-in 
cupboard for storage. 

                                                And voila! A much more spacious bathroom.

The design calls for lots of light in the bathroom but that will come from a large skylight in the ceiling.
           A double sink vanity will remain on the same wall where the sink is now and the toilet will be    
                          shifted down to the end, with a wall separating the vanity from the toilet.

Just so I don't leave you with thoughts of a bathroom mess, look at the beautiful salmon colored Phlox and pink Echinacea I found blooming on the property this weekend. Stunning!