Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Kitchen Door and a Little More

We've had a busy week! Lots of help, and lots of evening work. We're starting to get very eager to move in to the house. There is a sense of urgency in the air, so we're busy little bees.

Karen and Benson are painting the siding here. It will be a relief not to have to paint the house from a ladder. The paint looks orange in this picture, but it isn't...
Our resident timber tiger. He eats all of our bird seed, and can fit a surprising amount of it in his cheeks. He's living in the cracks of the rocks that were displaced during blasting for the basement. I hope he's not home when the excavator moves all that around.

Christopher is working, and Karen is not. But she's happy, and who am I to argue with that? This is the second loop of tubing for the radiant floor. It was very satisfying to put in, and seemed to progress very smoothly. Our plumber cautioned us to keep the loops about a foot away from any toilets. He's seen radiant floors melt the wax ring that seals the toilet to the floor. There are rubber gaskets you can use instead of wax, but we kept the tubing well clear of toilet drains.
Andy and Benson are working on the final hookups to the manifold in preparation for the pressure test. We have four loops of roughly 250' apiece. There are eight valves on the manifold; four outgoing lines, and four return lines. Once everything was hooked up and secure, we pressurized the system to 50 psi, then let it sit for two hours. The pressure gauge didn't change, so we were all set. If the pressure had dropped on its own, there would have been a lot of troubleshooting to find the leak. We're glad we didn't have to redo any of it.
Close-up of the manifold.
Everything is connected. The outgoing lines are on the left, and the return lines are on the right. There isn't a right or wrong way to set those up, they just need to be specified.
The kitchen door is finally in place. There are so many tasks at this stage, it's hard to keep on top of everything. Only one door came in from Perkins, so when we get up to the store this week, FirstDay said they'd have another exterior door waiting for us. John offered to have it sent down to us, but we need to run up there anyhow, so we'll pick that up while we're there. Notice the big first step from the kitchen floor to Andy's level. I don't think we'll be using this door for awhile.
Sanding. Sanding. Sanding. Wow, there is a lot of wood in this house. We had four sanders running this weekend - a Ridgid belt sander we bought recently, a DeWalt orbital sander, and two other little sanders that aren't nearly as effective, bought before we had a project large enough to justify a large tool budget.
We stuffed the cracks around the windows with pink fiberglass insulation. It's rewarding to feel the insulation in place and know that all the little seams and cracks are filled. Ideally, we would have cut the window insulation exactly the right size for the window, and would have no need to chink at all. Amateurs... Maybe on our next house we'll be a little more exact.

Some good friends came by on Friday and helped for awhile. This is Amanda, making her first cut with a circular saw. Both cuts came out just right, and they became trim pieces for around the egress window on the North wall. We installed that window, but apparently haven't taken a picture of it yet.
Hmmm... I think the perp was Andy, in the loft, with the belt sander.
Mindy took the trailer and the Subie to NY this past week to pick up the cherry. Andy and Chris' parents helped load it, and this is Dad, ratcheting the load up securely. They will be in Massachusetts this coming week, and will help on the house for a few days. This will be their first trip to the house since they helped with the decking way back in January.
We have lots of plans for this coming week - the basement floor is scheduled to be poured on Monday, the well guys should be back sometime this week, the excavator will be back to start on the rest of his work later in the week, and we will sand, polyurethane, and paint everything we can. We also have a few more trees to cut down before we send them away to be milled. Plus there's the rest of the kitchen to design, the basement to frame, the cherry plywood to buy, and the cabinet carcasses to build.

I'm beginning to think people were right - building a house is quite a bit of work!


Kelly Tillotson said...

i am so impressed with all of your efforts! the fact that benson and the kids are getting on it is so great...thats an experience that they wont ever forget and will really help them out as they get older!! youre home is going to be BEAUTIFUL!

The Wests. said...

Thank you, Kelly!