Thursday, August 16, 2018

Have a seat

It seems as though there is no end to the things that can be built around here!  Even as the house inches towards the finish line, Brian is tackling new projects and acquiring new skills...and new tools, of course, as well.  He already started his woodworking career with the table for the kitchen banquette; now he's gone ahead and built a custom dining table for the formal dining room.  He took the old 2 x 8 rafters from the old roof and repurposed them for a table.  Off to the pictures!

First - a before and after of the basement.  Using and/or discarding a lot of the leftover wood has made a huge difference in space and organization.

The before picture - not a lot of room to move around here
And the after - so nice and clean now!
And moving onto the table construction.  The wood was decently straight but in order to build the table well, we needed a new tool - a jointer.

Hello jointer!  We think you'll be very happy here
Now onto working with the wood:

This is not ready to be a table yet
But skipping ahead many, many steps, this is starting to look like a table.  Here, the wood is glued and clamped together to let it set

Skipping over even more steps, now cut to size and with end pieces attached
Seeing how it fits with sawhorses as legs before we finish it with three coats of a matte finish poly.
Now starting work on the real legs.  These are built from wood and primed for painting

Painted and working on spacing.  As you can see, Brian initially planned to use three legs but once we got the table in place and set the chairs next to it, it became clear that three wasn't great for chair spacing.  So we experimented a bit and decided on this....
Clean, simple, and chair-spacing friendly
And done!!

Ready for a dinner party!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Closing the door on the project list

Another week, another project done!  We've been waiting to get to the finishing touches for awhile now and the first project up was a set of barn doors for the second floor living space.  We're using this space as a den right now but since it's right by the smaller bedrooms, someone with kids might want to make it into a which case, doors would be key for closing off the area!  We built custom barn doors for the last house so this was an easier project in that Brian already had a design in his head and knew how to execute.  But, instead of going with regular white doors, we took a leap of faith and went with a bright color.  We both love how it came out...hopefully others will love it too!

Onto the project:

We didn't take many pictures in the building of the door - this is made from pre-primed (by us) 3/4" veneer plywood with floor trim ripped to size for the detail
Moving onto setting up the track.  Laser level is key here

There it is!
Dryfitting the doors - looks like they're the right size
Doors set up for painting

And painted!  We went with a really bold color - Sherwin Williams Lakeshore (SW 6494), using Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane trim paint in satin 
Ta-da!  Open...

and closed!
 We also took some "after" pictures - even though there are still a few small projects to do on the first floor so it's not completely finished yet.  But it's getting close!

The kitchen/family room area.  There will be another barn door on that far wall to the pantry in the not too distant future

Looking into the kitchen/family room from the front door/living room area

Formal living room

Finished fireplace in the living room

And more kitchen/family room area pictures

From the other side of the room

Looking out towards the front door and living room area

Hello stairs

So many stairs (looking up from the basement)

More stairs (this time, looking down

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Painting progress and finishing touches

It always surprises me how the house can look and feel so unfinished, for so many months, and then all of a sudden it comes together.  We're finally at that point after what feels like miles and miles of trim installation and other detail work.  It helped immensely that we hired out painting for the first floor and, after it took three guys six full days to prep and paint, we're glad we did.  There's still some touch-up to do, little details here and there to clean up, and a handful of additional projects on the list but for the first time, the house does not look like a construction zone!  That alone is cause for a celebratory post, but add in that Brian had the time to build a custom dining table and I have another foster puppy (I might be starting a foster puppy mill here), and there is much good news in this update!  Let's start with a couple of "after" pictures:

Stairs are done and painted!
Another angle - walls are also finally painted too!
Brian also went ahead and started the install on the crown molding in the kitchen

And finished the install - we forgot to take pictures of the rest of the cabinets but they all look like this now!
Then it was time to work on a fun project - building the walnut base for the custom dining table.  Brian made a prototype awhile back from regular 2x4s and has been waiting to have time to build the real table from walnut.  We picked up the walnut pieces when we bought the living edge bar top and it looks like they came from the same tree.  After Brian bought some new woodworking equipment (a planer, drum sander, and other fun things), it was time to make the real table.

Just three pieces of walnut right now

Getting the legs notched out
Yep, that fits together!

And a close-up of the joints

A few coats of rub-on poly in satin will finish the wood off

And now it's time to glue and clamp it all together
Now that's a custom table!  
And a wider angle shot with the living edge bar top from the same tree
The kitchen is finally coming together!
And here's our current puppy resident, Ella!

Such a sweetheart!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A long climb

After knocking out a bunch of smaller tasks, we turned back to one of the last major projects in the house - the stairwell.  The stairs seemed like a good idea at the time we were building them - a version of a U shaped staircase with two landings per level (not one, as is more common).  And the framing itself went moderately well, although a few measurement tweaks had to be made on the fly.  But then it came time to start the finish work - adding the stair treads, the stair backings, the trim pieces, the posts, the rails...and the enormity of the task became clear.  This was no weekend project.

After much contemplation and more than a couple of false starts, we've not only made a lot of progress but the stairs are nearly done.  And, most excitingly, we had our final inspection on the house a few weeks ago and passed!  Everything, including the stairs, checked out to code and now our permits are officially closed out.  There's still some trim and a fair amount of painting to be done but the summer is looking like it may be a little more relaxed (at last).  But first, an extremely long post to document this project.  We're still not quite finished yet - there will be more trim and then paint on everything, but this should get us caught up for now.  And at the end - more puppy pictures!

Stair treads in place, makeshift 2x4 rails that have been in place for...let's just say a fair amount amount of time (it's been a very long time).  Plus a very important and stylish cardboard puppy guard to keep little ones from running off the edge of the floor and plunging to the basement below

Starting to trim out the side wall with wainscoting for an accent

Dryfitting the posts and getting set up for the rails.  We used a piece of yuca board to help figure out the height and slope of the rails so we could determine the correct height of the posts.  The board was a great trick and made it easier but...this was not easy even with the board.  A serious downside of this stair design is that there are many individual stair runs, each of which had to be measured for each post.  Not for the faint, or impatient, of heart

Getting ready to cut the posts.  We had planned to custom build the posts but found these available at a relatively nearby woodshop.  Buying them was a great decision as it saved some time on an already incredibly time consuming project

Getting the post into place after cutting the bottom to fit and checking that the rail will hit in the right spot

Moving to the second floor (and looking down), we needed to get the floor trim pieces into place on the edge of the floor before putting the posts and rails in.  A lot of blue tape died for this cause.

And now getting the anchors for the posts into place
An army of posts in place
Starting to custom stain the now cut oak handrails.  We used the same stain we've used elsewhere in the house, a mix of Kona and Walnut
Installing the handrails

More handrails

Yep, more handrails

Setting up a jig to cut the balusters
Working on install

Getting everything set on, yes, another run (so many runs)
And now moving to the rest of the trim work - setting up custom ripped pieces to box out the columns

Working on trimming out the ceiling - getting lots of use out of the Starrett angle finder on this project

And back to the columns - this does not look finished yet

Getting the trim into place

Now that looks good!
But still not done yet - time to get back to trimming out the walls

More detail

And yet more detail - on both the underside of the stairs and the stair walls behind it
As Brian has been hard at work, I've been hard at play with these foster puppies!

This is Sadie, a rottie mix, who was so cuddly that she may have convinced us to let her sleep on the bed.  I'm a softie.
Puppy playtime
And then we had this pair of siblings - Marley (on the left) and Charlie (on the right).  These were our youngest puppies yet at seven weeks and they were sweethearts, even if rather babyish.   
Look at these adorable faces!  Makes getting up several times a night a lot easier when it's to care for this level of cuteness.  Although I was still delighted to sleep through the night once they were adopted