Friday, September 23, 2011

Three and a half tons of flooring

Our bamboo flooring arrived today - luckily, the truck arrived during a slight break in the rainstorm, but we still had to unload 95 boxes of flooring at 75 pounds a box from an eighteen-wheel truck.  According to our delivery contract, we had one hour to complete the task so we staged the boxes on the porch first and then brought them into the house after that at a slightly more leisurely pace (if carrying big boxes of heavy flooring can be described as leisurely).  We owe a huge thanks to our neighbor Judah, who came over to help us, as well as two of the drywall guys who took pity on us and lent a hand with unloading the truck.  But once everything was on the porch, the truck pulled away and then we still had to carry it all into the house.  Judah helped with a good part of the heavy lifting and then Brian and I moved the rest in...with a few breaks in between.  But it's all in the house now.  We even opened a box to do a quality check and it looks great!  Just the color we were looking for and it's strand bamboo so it has a nice striation to it without any of the knots that the horizontal bamboo flooring can have.  It's rather crowded around the house now with all these boxes but still, it's nice to have the flooring here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vent installation

We spent the day punching holes in our walls and then, of course, filling them back in.  We installed the vents for the dryer in the new second floor laundry room and for the stove vent on the first floor.  We had a small delay when Brian sliced his finger open on the stove vent but he claimed that the only thing more painful than working while injured would be watching me try to finish the install.  I poured a little more alcohol on his cut (you know, just to be safe) and work continued.  We finished with two nice new vents and we're one step closer to installing our appliances (someday). 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My new favorite things

I don't think the pictures here match the actual products, or properly reflect how excited I am - what we're looking at in the first picture is our new stove, a Wolf 48" range with six burners and a griddle, and two ovens.  I am very, very happy with this stove.  When we first started looking for appliances, we checked out the usual suspects and thought we'd get a nice but average 30" or 36" stove.  Maybe something a little bit nicer, definitely stainless steel, but all in all, nothing too crazy.  Then I wandered over to the much, much higher-end section of store (damn you, appliance showrooms and your manipulative layouts), saw the big Wolf range, and promptly decided that this was the stove that needed to move into our new kitchen.  I checked the price tag and sadly realized that the Wolf cost more than the first car I ever bought (granted, it was a pretty cheap car but still).  After quite a bit of research and a few months worth of polite but persistent phone calls, I located a floor model Wolf with all the features we wanted, struck a deal, and voila...we have a gorgeous new range at a (relatively) reasonable price!  As a result of my bargain shopping, we had to take delivery of the range before we were really ready for it so it's now sitting in the still unfinished kitchen space, but we'll be careful and work around it.  A little inconvenience is a small price to pay for such a lovely range.

On other happy news, drywall finally started this week after a brief delay caused by last week's flood and subsequent drying out.  We subbed out the work and it's taken them three days just to do the closets and upstairs bathrooms, so I'm glad that we're getting some help on this project!  So far, our laundry room (second picture), master bedroom closet (third picture), and most of the master bath (fourth picture) now have walls.  It's great to walk around and feel like the house is finally becoming more of a house than a construction zone.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Much work, few pictures

We spent the long weekend insulating the addition, the second floor, and the crawl space and it was a long weekend indeed.  Unfortunately for blog post purposes, insulation is one of the more boring things to photograph since all the walls look, well, like walls.  But all the walls are now stuffed full of insulation!  It turns out that the Roxul is not as itch-free as advertised (a lesson we learned the hard way, predictably) but it was still much easier than working with fiberglass.  We have a bit of the crawl space left to do but first we have to get the plumber out here to fix the last drain (a task we thought was done until we crawled under there and saw that it wasn't).  So, we'll probably have one more day of itchy work before we can call this task complete.

On other news, we're looking forward to starting drywall next Monday.  We went ahead and hired it out after calculating that it would probably take us a couple of months worth of weekends to do it ourselves.  Instead, they'll probably be finished in a week or two and then we should have some better pictures to share!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Insulation begins

We passed all our inspections so it's time to insulate. We chose Roxul insulation for our house. It has a higher R-value than fiberglass and you can touch it with your skin without getting itchy. Although it does feel like a thick wool sweater so it's not completely itch free, but it washes off whereas fiberglass doesn't. I've done 3 bags out of 32 and it goes somewhat quickly. You can cut it with an electric knife easily, but it's very dense and heavy. A bag of it weighs about 60 pounds so hauling it upstairs was quite a workout. We're making sure to foam or caulk all the edges and any gaps so we should have a very tight, energy efficient home when we're done.
Roxul is also a green product made from 40 percent recycled material. The R-value is 4 to 8 higher than comparable depth fiberglass. Plus it's fire resistant and a better sound barrier. The downside is that it's twice the price of fiberglass, but we're saving money doing it ourselves. I think our cheapest bid using the cheapest material was $4200 and the Roxul and cellulose for the attic cost us about $2200. It should take us the better part of 2 days for the walls and another day for the attic when the drywall ceiling is up, but you can't argue with the cost savings or energy efficiency gains! Should be a productive weekend.