Thursday, September 27, 2018

Progress Report Week 13: Stairs and Doors

It has been an exciting week at the Brick House! At lest, it has felt exciting to me. Quite a few projects that have been on the list have been checked off!
But before we get into all that, this was this mornings project. All these doors were in the garage when I bought the house. (Who know for how long! They were filthy!) I was pretty sure they belonged to the closets in the bedrooms, but wasn't certain. This morning I pulled them out, hosed them down and measured them. They all fit the closets! Yey!

 I was surprised two of the doors had different doorknobs. Very Art Deco, aren't they? You just never know what you are going to find in an old house!
The plan is to scrape these down and repaint them this weekend.

 With fall in the air, we knew time was running out to get any exterior painting done. So last weekend Mom and Mandy helped me paint the porch floor, steps, railing and porch walls. Doesn't it make it nice and crisp looking? Love the power of paint!

I darkened up the brown, the old color seemed to be clashing with the brick. I also moved the house numbers. Not sure why, but putting up new house numbers has kinda become my thing with new houses. Just another way to put my mark on a house!

 We have also been working the stairs. Thankfully, it is going really well. I was not looking forward to climbing up a ladder perched on top of stairs. (Heights are not my thing anyway.) But I survived and the stairs aren't scary to climb up now! We also added a steel jack post at the bottom of the basement stairs. It has sagged a bit and I was worried over the years it would continue to sag. The post has also made a difference it making the landing and stairs feel firmer.

 To the right, do you see the pale pieces of wood? Those are the new wooden shims. Once the house has settled in place from the jacking up, I will climb back up the ladder and nail them in place. We will also put screws in at the joints where the step and kick plate meet. You can see a few steps still have tiny little cracks that the light is shining through, I will have to snug up the shims and see if I can get them tighter.

I had some extra time one evening and decided to prime the back bedroom. Two of the walls were dark dusky purple. This room faces north so it is a little darker anyway. 

I also have been working on the bathroom floor. Sanding it down, getting ready to paint it. I am very excited to see how it turns out. I love painted floors!

So that has been my exciting week! What about yours?

Friday, September 21, 2018

12 Week Progress Report: Bushes and Primer

Fall is certainly here in our corner of the state! The weather has been yoyoing from cool to warm with plenty of rain and storms. I am not sure if am I ready! There are so many things that still need to be done on the outside of the Brick House. I decided it was time to focus a bit on that! This weekend we are going to paint the porch and front steps a darker brown.

 A couple mornings and evenings Mandy and I played in the dirt. We are moving some of the plants from this front flower bed to other locations. Did you notice the little flower bed next to the porch looks better? I cut down the old bushes(which had thorns!) and moved the two azalea bushes over. The little boxwoods also got re-arranged. It was cloudy and rainy, which was good for the plants, they haven't even noticed! Don't they look like they have always been there?

 This week I've also been priming. I primed all the nail holes, cable holes and plumbing holes that had previously been patched. So exciting to finally see the walls look normal! No more gaping holes. I was planning on doing a post on how I patch my plater walls, but of course I get into the working/fixing and forget to take pictures! Opps! 
This morning most of the bathroom also got painted. Just a little bit of cutting in left.

 Still loving my little sink! It is still not quite connected, but I finally got the part that we needed. Hopefully we can finish it up this weekend.

 Look at those lovely maple floors! I couldn't bare tearing them up. So for now I am going to paint them. (After a bit of sanding!) I realize it might not be a long term solution, but it will be fun to enjoy them for a couple years.

We also started working on the stairs this week. It is a little hard to tell with all the paint lines, but the steps and treads have separated. The stairs squeak and squeal, moan and groan when you tromp up them. It is a little hard to explain, but they way they built the stairs is called the "wedge method". The trim boards you see on the wall are actually part of the stairs and are holding it up. Slots are cut into it for the steps and treads and then to make everything firm and non-squeaky, wooden wedges are also put in on the underside of the steps. We are not sure if mine steps were built wrong or if they have not aged well, but one side of the steps have lost their wedges which has caused all the steps and treads to shift. Mandy and I are not 100% sure what we are doing, but we are attempting to put in new wedges and fit the steps back into their slots. The first two steps are done and it is a vast improvement! So that is encouraging!

Friday, September 14, 2018

11 Week Update

 The last two weeks have been a bit slow. What with Labor Day and then going to visit our sister, there wasn't a whole lot of time to get a lot of things done. Plus, I am still savoring the fact we have the bathroom just about done! :)

 With the insurance guy coming, we tidied up everything so it didn't look like too much of a construction zone. It has been awhile since it was this clean! I have enjoyed the space. I thought this was a good angle too. I don't think I have showed the radiator that is in the kitchen.

And since I mentioned the insurance guy, a quick update on that. We are good to go! They had nothing to say, no "recommendations" for fixing or anything. Whew! I was a little worried they were going to think it was too much under construction and think I needed special construction insurance. So that is taken care of!

And this kind of gives you a bit of perspective on how cozy the kitchen is. I am standing in the door to the deck. I am giving the black fridge to my brother, but he doesn't have a place for it yet, so it is still in the house.

Plastering  is a pretty easy thing to do in small pieces of time. So that is the one thing that has gotten done! Both holes upstairs in the stairwell and downstairs in the hall are done! I just have to sand a finally time and they should be good. While the trowels were out, I made sure to also get any cracks and nail holes in the rest of the house. So the walls are ready for paint! 
In the picture above, the first or "rough" coat of plaster is on. I have since topped it with two smooth coats of plaster.

And this is now the view from the back deck! 
In the middle of plumbing the bathroom, Mandy I decided we needed a break and decided a bit of bush cutting was just the ticket! If you recall, there was a scrubby walnut tree blocking the view. The deck seems so much larger now too! 

What is next? Painting! And we also have to figure out how to fix the stairs. I am sure that will require a post all it's own!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

We have a Bathroom!

I am kind of tired today, but oh so content and happy. After weeks of slogging away at the plumbing and bathroom, it is (mostly) done! The floors are patched and back in place, the walls covered with a coat of plaster and the toilet and sink are installed. 

We have been keeping up a good pace the last month as the insurance guy was coming for a walk through (did I mention that before?) and I was quite sure he didn't want to come look at holes in the floor and walls.

It was a bit anti-climatic when he arrived this morning, he was in the house for exactly 6 minutes and then went outside to measure. He didn't even step into the bathroom that we had stayed up late working on! One picture snapped from the doorway, checked off the list and on to the next thing. 

Oh well, I don't really mind. I am just happy it is done and content to sit back and enjoy the progress! How cute is the sink?!? I love how it has made the bathroom more spacious! 

Of course, there is still quite a bit to do, the walls aren't painted and the floor finished or trim yet.... But getting a sink and a toilet in is a milestone! And for this week, I am going to enjoy it!