Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The great summer summary

Once upon a time, we tried to update this blog on a near-weekly basis.  Then it became a near-monthly basis.  And now?  Now it's August 31st and I see we haven't posted since, er, mid-July.  And yet, we really have been working on the house here!  So here's the summer update as we head into (hard to believe it's already) fall.

Starting where we left off, we went ahead and installed the Trex on the back landing.  The landing - I can't quite bring myself to call it a deck when it's only about four feet wide - will eventually be the pathway from the double French doors in the kitchen to the outdoor patio/grill/firepit area.  But first, we had to get the landing itself built.

Getting started

Now that's something we can walk on!  (Even if there is not yet anywhere to walk to...)
Then we moved inside for a bit to install the sliding built-in screens and finish trimming out the French doors:

Installing the screens on the untrimmed doors

Figuring out how the trim is going to fit together

That's looking better

Putty, caulk, and paint and this will look nice
And then it was back to the great outdoors to finish the front patio trim:

Our contractor made some odd decisions on this front porch originally so we took over on the finish work.  Boxing out the edges here.

And adding some more detail

Over to the other side

Getting the underside squared away - I have to note that we paused in order to exterminate a hive of wasps that had taken up residence under the bead board.  But with the trim on, they shouldn't be able to get back in again!

Nearly done
Ta-da!  Still need to install a non-construction mailbox but looking much more finished now!
Then it was off to the backyard again to work on building a patio.  This was another project that we can't imagine doing without a bobcat:

Very much a "before" photo.  This yard is not good.

Not any better from this angle either

Step one: clear out the mess

Step two: start flattening out the patio area

More step two, now with gravel pile on the driveway

Go bobcat go!

Getting the string lines in place for the right slope

Delivery is here!  Pavers and sand and wall block and fire pit, oh my!

Not going to be parking in the driveway anytime soon

Getting everything staged

Finally building!  Starting the small retaining wall on the side

Wall in place
Starting the gravel pad

This is a big patio space!

Now for the sand base

And getting the pavers in place - these are Nicolock Rustico in Granite City color.  We used 6x6 and 6x9 in an alternating pattern

Moving along

And still going.  Starting to rethink the size of the patio at this point!

This shows how long the patio really is

Finally almost done

At last!  Pavers in.

Time to put the edging in and cut the curves

And now with the firepit at the end

Another angle 
We still have a lot of work out here - stairs to the patio, more landscaping (grass, mulch, more trees, etc.), finding the right place for the boulders, and probably the biggest project - building a countertop and adding a built-in grill.  But we've made a lot of progress in a few weeks!

And one more indoor project before we end this incredibly long post:

We started tiling the master bath floor.  We're still picking out the rest of the tile but are starting with this encaustic-like ceramic.  Since we'll add a solid border around it, we had to make sure everything was perfectly centered.

Getting the floor laid out

Setting a straight edge 

Now we're moving

Encaustic-like tile installed, trying some border options - more to come!