Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday: Playing 'Where's Woofer?' (5/28/11)

The good news is that the drywall guy asked our permission to work some more on Saturday and did the first pass on mudding in the last invisible speaker, as well as other details.  The bad news is that after he left, we tried the speakers again, and realized that the woofer wasn't working on this particular speaker.  It probably wasn't working the last time either - it wasn't his fault - we were rocking out too much to notice.  So we scraped up his careful joint so we could pull it out, and sure enough, the woofer isn't working at all.  We'll have to contact the company about the 5-year warranty as soon as the holiday weekend is over.

Friday: Invisible speakers and visible siding (5/27/11)

Here, the invisible speaker has been "mudded in" where the TV will be in the living room.  A little more mud on the speakers surface than we'd hoped, but the sound still seems to be quite good.

The speakers in the kitchen on either side of the computer opening...

...and mid-way through installation in the dining room.  Jack put in one of Sheila's CDs by one of her favorite bands, Care Bears on Fire, and we all danced room to room for a bit.  It rocks.

We also got two sample pieces of the cedar siding for the exterior.  We were concerned about the v groove on the sides looking a bit too "cabin-like," but I don't think it does.  We're looking into the wood grade though, as it was supposed to the the highest grade (clear) cedar, and has more imperfections that we expected.

And the finish being used is starting to get complicated.  The cedar siding (two panels on the left) and the Douglas fir window frame on the right look more alike (and are treated with the same sealant), than does the cedar window trim between them, which has a different brand of sealant.  We'll be trying to figure out how best to proceed next week.

Wednesday: A busy day (5/25/11)

They've been spending the day applying the drywall mud.  It's amazing how quickly and smoothly it can be applied when it's done right.

Reuben in his favorite spot...

This is before the invisible speakers are installed on either side of the computer niche in the kitchen.

We also got a battered box (Fragile!) of lighting parts.

Everything seems to have survived.  It doesn't really look like ten lights, does it?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday: A faucet conundrum (5/25/11)

I need help...  This is the sink we got for the main kitchen sink.  It's interior dimensions are  15 1/2" by 20 1/2".

And this is the faucet we bought for the above sink.  It's about 11" from escutcheon to the top of the spout and 8" from the inlet to the outlet, and controls are 8" center-to-center.

The second sink will be visible from the main sink, and we're thinking it will be integral to the counter material (black).  It will be somewhat smaller, but must still be usable - maybe 14" by 14"?

We'll also be installing an InSinkerator (sp?) at the second sink for filtered instant hot and cold water - it's smaller - 8 3/8" from counter to the top of the spout and 5 1/4" from the inlet to the outlet.

So should the second sink have pretty much the same faucet as the main sink will have (pictured above, but without the side spray), or should we go with a single mount like this:

I can get different sizes on the spout to be more proportional to whatever size sink we get.  So, is it confusing to have the same handles oriented differently on two sinks near each other?  Or does it seem more fitting to have the two different faucets at the second sink both have single hole mounts and vertically oriented handles?  Or have I completely confused you by all this jumping around?  I'm feeling a little baffled myself...

What say you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday: Stuff I forgot, mostly (5/17/11)

The house has been such a busy beehive (pun intended) of activity, that I've missed the few opportunities I've had to capture the progress on a timely basis.  So some of these photos are reaching back a couple of days just to get caught up...

Here, they've put cedar trim around the exterior of the living room windows.  There's an issue with the bottom so they're holding off on that.  The architect told the window guy that we wanted no brick mould, and basically, no exterior trim.  Apparently, this got translated as no sill at the bottom, which should be considered a functional part of the frame rather than trim.  Thankfully, someone else is dealing with them on this subject, and thankfully, I think the window company is being very gracious about it.

Here, they've started the cedar window trim in the courtyard.

Apparently, replacement of the stunning wallpaper and faux-wood siding in the basement stairwell were not included in our contract.  Damn.  At least, in the future, we can close the door on it...

I've neglected reporting on the raised ceiling in the living room.  More cedar plywood will look continuous with the 'ceiling' of the porch roof outside.  The plywood tends to darken quickly in a few days, so we'll see if the lighter portions even out.

Turning around from the last photo, this pocket will be a built-in office niche with a sliding barn door.  Our old office is the new walk-in pantry, so this will be a space for the computer, printer and files on which we can just shut the door if it's a mess.

The kitchen sink will be on the other side of this half wall.  This will have a little counter top bar on top so you could pull up stools on the near side.  (Hey, what happened to my mock-up pendant lights?!)

We're back in the kitchen.  As I said above, the sink will be to the right (as well as the dish washer).  The wall here will be a stretch of lower cabinets with a triple-screen computer display above (all the better for showing multiple skateboard videos during dinner parties, right Jack?), thus the days-worth of work on the wiring.  The wall on the left will have the stove, hood and a few drawers.

I didn't show this wall in yesterday's photos.  This photo was taken exiting the kitchen and looking toward the dining room.

And this is our industrial/minimalist dining room chandelier.  (kidding)

This mass of wiring is remaining exposed, for now, near the front door.  This makes one appreciate how important it is to fully think out electrical while you have the opportunity (making me think all the more that I've forgotten something really important somewhere...).

Monday: Holy drywall dust, Batman! (5/16/11)

It's sort of like a house, all of a sudden!  Walk with me, won't you?

We've just stepped in through the front door.  This is looking to my right, toward the new hallway and courtyard...

This is looking straight ahead, through the kitchen, with the coat closet just to the left.

This is looking to the left, into the living room.  The areas between the windows will be trimmed out with Douglas Fir, to match the window frames.  This was an idea the architect had somewhat recently, so it will look sort of like one big unit.

Again, looking toward the living room windows...

And now, turning around in the living room, looking toward the bedroom hallway.  Note that the basement stairwall on the left is now walled in.

Oops - bad transition...  We somehow leapt through the kitchen wall, now looking toward the walk-in pantry.

Now our back is to the pantry, looking at one wall of the kichen...

Now turning toward the other wall of the kitchen, with an opening out to the new hallway.

Stepping through the new hallway into the dining room...  The cardboard templates are where the "invisible speakers" are to be installed (approximately - that's a whole other story!).  In short, they get installed flush with the wallboard, the joints around it get drywall mud that's feathered down, and then you just paint over them.  Voila, invisible (we hope).

We've stepped out of the dining room, into the new hallway, looking toward the front of the house (courtyard ahead on the left, kitchen on the right, back door behind us).

Now we've gone up the hallway and are looking back toward the back door (dining room to the right and kitchen and pantry to the left).

OK, let's stop.  I'm exhausted.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday: Friday the 13th must be good luck for ceilings (5/13/11)

I've not kept up on the porch ceiling work.  They're starting to wrap up the porch ceiling which is cedar plywood.  We're liking it almost as much as the carpenter bees.  How fitting...

This is looking back from the other side of the front deck.

This is looking down the living room windows.

Back to Friday: Insulation day (5/6/11)

So sorry this is out of order...  We had a meeting with the architect and builder on Friday which ate up much of the day, then went early on Saturday to Ladew gardens.  So I'm posting out of order...

They're putting in the insulation, which proved to be a bit difficult as we were trying to discuss details in our Friday meeting.

This is putting your back to the big windows in the earlier photo, fireplace to your right.  You finally start to feel where the ceiling will be.

The dining room is not user friendly yet.

And this is the area around the front door.

We also received a batch of drywall...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday: Mom, I've found the house for you! (5/7/11)

We visited Ladew Gardens and were greeted, upon parking, by a trillion hounds - true hunt country.  They were all baying...  Thank goodness we hadn't chanced bringing Reuben to leave him in the truck for a bit!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom - I've located the perfect house for you.  This is the manor house at Ladew Gardens (this is the rear of the house) and it seems just perfect for you and Dad.

As you put your back to the last view of the back of the house, this is the yard that follows.

Take a few steps down, and this is to your left - a true garden room.

And this was to the right - white wisteria, maybe?

And a few steps further down, was a huge stretch of waves of water with a string of swans swimming upon it.

A broader view...

And if the manor house is a bit too large for you and Dad, you could always opt for the Cottage.  Wisteria conveys.

Other topiary includes the two steeplechase participants...

...and the dogs they're following...  (couldn't capture the whole shot with all the plant sale tents)

But we brought another dog home from the event.  Reuben was momentarily interested in him.  We think we might name him Bonsai.  He's amazingly uninterested in walks.