Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Time

Its December. Our family celebrates a few birthdays and Christmas this month. Thus, our effort has been diverted from work on 3283 to family and seasonal activity. The break is wonderful!

I've had a few comments made to me personally that some are gong through "withdrawal" due to the reduced frequency of my posting. I'm sorry for any health issues that missing these blog posts may have caused. But, really, there hasn't been a lot of progress to report. Since work on the bathroom was [substantially] completed there has been very little work done on the project. Only a little painting in the addition. But there is more to be done. 2014 won't be nearly as exciting as this year was, but anyone following will see progress.

Off the top of my head, here is some of the work that will likely be done next year:

Finish Painting the addition
Install pocket doors to addition and bath
Install -- and paint -- trim molding in the addition
Install flooring in the addition
Trim out the new living room windows
Install "curtain wall" in laundry area
Get window coverings for living room and addition
Cover heating duct in living room with paneling
Install closet/cabinets in laundry/entry area
Paint rails and balusters on entry porch 
Complete stair surfaces on outside basement entry
Deal with leaky windows on front porch 
Install floor covering on front porch
and, maybe some garage upgrades.

I am excited about living at 3283 over the winter. I have gotten a taste of cold and snow during November and early December. And January, February and much of March are still ahead. Good thing many of the projects I listed above are inside. I'm sure I can keep busy.

The Legacy of 3283 continues. All of our kids and grandsons will be together next week. Not yet, at 3283. But, maybe next year. Only time will tell. Thank you for your interest in our legacy..

   Merry Christmas   
   Happy New Year   

May God Bless Everyone
as you
Be Happy
Have Fun

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bath Progress -- Snow Arrives -- Thanks

The work over the last week or so was concentrated on the new bathroom. I spent a day or so painting the walls. This included the necessary preparation to tape off the ceiling. This is definitely not one of my talents. I taped, the best I could and I painted the walls. When the tape was removed it became obvious that this was not a professional job. Bobbie will be here for Thanksgiving .... we'll see if she thinks some kind of repair is needed.

I also installed the light fixture above the sink. And, most noticeably, Glass Images arrived and installed the glass shower enclosure and the vanity mirror. The new bathroom is now fully functional --- only needing trim to be completed.

Bathroom pictures are below.

I covered the cabinets and taped the wall/ceiling joint.
Straight taping is not my strong suit.
Here Glass Images is delivering the two piece
shower enclosure and mirror.
The first piece installed was the "wall" section
between the shower and the toilet.
The tile was drilled to fasten the hinges for the glass door.
The final step was sealing the wall edge with heavy duty silicone.
After the shower was complete the mirror was installed using only hi strength adhesive. I was assured that there was no chance it would fail to hold. And, to remove it you would need to take hunks of drywall with the mirror.  Pictures below are of the completed glass installation.

Over the last couple days I was at 3283 during 2013's first real snow storm. I watched as "lake effect" snow continued to fall most of the day yesterday. It wasn't a major storm in terms of what can occur here in Holland. We got about 3 inches of snow. This is the first time that 3283 has been occupied during winter. I'm sure there will be all kinds of new "issues" identified that we will have to deal with. It will be an eye-opening few months. But I expect that nothing will be identified that can't be handled.

I shoveled snow here today. And, this evening I was out on my cleared front walk as the sun was setting. The pictures below are some of the first November photos taken from and of 3283. At least the first of an occupied 3283.

Everyone [anyone] who is following this blog knows that 2013 has been a very exciting and fulfilling year for us. Most of our plans for the transformation of 3283 from a summer place to a year-round home have gone smoothly. There was additional work that was unexpected. There were costs that even my conservative budget hadn't included. And I can see that the winter will expose new things that need be dealt with in the spring.

But nothing will prevent the Legacy of 3283 from continuing.

For all that has taken place --- and especially for all the support and love given to me by Bobbie, Susan, Mike, Damon, Lindsay, Drew, Leo and JJ -- I am truly thankful.

I wish everyone who is reading this a
Happy Thanksgiving

And, I hope you will always:
Be Happy
Have Fun.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Catch Up

Back in the spring and summer I wrote blog posts almost every day. There was a lot happening at 3283 and it was happening quickly. Things have slowed down. Progress continues but at a much, much slower pace. I even took a week off to go to Livonia [it was time for doctors, the dentist and a haircut]. Its been a couple weeks since I posted, so this morning, before I grab paint brush and roller, I thought I'd do a quick update.

Most of what has been done has centered around the laundry area. The old bedroom which has become the entry to the addition will contain the laundry and a wall of closet/storage units. We worked some to get the laundry portion, along the east wall, functional. And, yes, it has been used.

The short wall between the laundry and the basement door wasn't drywalled. Rather we chose to cover it with beadboard to match much of the rest of the cottage. I worked on that recently: picture below.

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The last change to the laundry / addition walkway was replacement of the light fixture. An old wicker single-bulb light hung down into the walkway. This week I sent it to the trash and installed a new multi-light modern fixture. It will be able to both light the laundry [although I did install under-cabinet lights above the washer and dryer] and provide light to the [future] closets.

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Paint. I've said it before. But there is a lot more painting included in this renovation than I had envisioned. I do admit that when complete it does make projects look better. But there sure is a lot of it. Yesterday I put the first coat of paint on the new bathroom walls. The ceiling had been done before tile was installed. The actual painting didn't take too long -- maybe a couple hours. But the taping and protection of the cabinets took all morning to complete -- and I'm still not sure how good my tape line at the ceiling will turn out. It will be what it will be. 

I'm sure between flash photography and digital reproduction you can't get a real feel for the color. Its sort of a putty tone that goes well with both the shower tile and the floor tile. Second coat once I'm done typing. Then I paint the living room wall. Then, next week, the ceiling and all four bedroom walls will get coated. Bobbie did a wonderful job of selecting colors, and buying the paint. Now it's up to me to transform the bare white primed walls into works of art. Pictures of partially painted bath are below.

I hope to see the glass contractor next week. They will install the shower door/wall and the mirror above the sink. My last chore before they come is to put the light fixture above the bathroom sink. Maybe tomorrow or early Monday. It will be a good break to painting.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Final Plumbing -- Bath and Laundry

Today was a plumbing day. Not everything I had envisioned got done...but the most important and most visible work did. Bob Tolsma drove up around 8:30 this morning. Actually he followed me down the driveway as I was returning from retrieving the garbage tote from the street. There was a whole checklist of plumbing items to be completed. I guess about half got done today. Much of what remains didn't get done because I decided to use the laundry tub that was planned for the basement in the new laundry and because the washer and dryer won't be delivered until tomorrow. Bob wanted to wait with locating the gas line until he knew where the connection was located on the machine.

Install faucet/drain/soap dispenser in new bathroom
Install shower valve and shower head in new bathroom
Indstall toilet in new bathroom
Install laundry tub in new laundry area

To Be Completed
Run gas line and install washer and dryer
Install utility sink in basement
Install drain valves to allow boys bath to be winterized

Thanks to the work done today the new bathroom in the addition is functional. We need the glass wall and door to keep water inside the shower, a light fixture allow use at night and a mirror so we can see how much better looking we get each day. [This time the line is from an old country song.....anyone know which one?]

Below are a couple action shots of Bob contorted inside small spaces and a few of what the final products look like.

For those of us who were in high school and college in the late 1960s and early 1970s much of our understanding of the physical and social geography of Southeast Asia was centered around our own or our close friends involvement in the Vietnam "conflict." This blog is not a forum for political commentary [except my frequent jabs at federal and local building regulations]. However I find it quite interesting ... maybe amusing ...  that when we make use of any of the three "porcelain thrones" at 3283 they were "made in Vietnam." 

Bob left around noon. I have not felt well lately: cough, headache....just achy. So I didn't get a lot of my list worked on. I did, with a couple goofs, manage to get the inside frame of the TV alcove trimmed out. Since my measurement/cutting was only about 90% accurate I decided to wait on cutting trim boards for the outside and the windows until I feel better. Hopefully tomorrow. Here's where the bedroom TV will eventually live.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Duca's Done -- Winds -- Winterizing and More

It has been a few days since I posted. To anyone looking for daily updates, I'm sorry. I'll get caught up for the progress of the past few days.  The most notable effort was the completion of the bathroom tile by Johnathan of Duca Granite and Tile. He spent Friday completing the the tile on the bathroom floor and began to grout the shower area. By weekend all the tile was installed and looked very good.  On Monday he returned and finished grouting, sealing the granite in the 'wet areas' and cleaning up after his week of work at 3283.

His work was superb and the bathroom looks absolutely amazing. Glass Images came late Monday to measure for the door and glass wall to the shower and for a large mirror over the vanity. In about two weeks they will be installed and the bath will be 99% complete.

Below are some pictures of Johnathan's tile work .....

....and here are some pictures of  Duca's finished product. Flash pictures don't do justice to the beautiful work.I'll eventually post more when we have lights installed in the room.

On Friday night --- to quote Gordon Lightfoot's song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald ---    ".. the storms of November came early." The wind coming off Lake Michigan blew constantly at speeds over 40 miles per hour. And the weather station located about 3 miles south of here routinely posted gusts over 50 mph on their website. 3283 fared well during the storm. We had some branches come down...but none major. The bird feeders we had filled over the previous weekend were  blown sideways and all the feed was shaken out. And, the steel table with umbrella that has resided on our front deck was completely overturned....moved about 8-10 feet and the umbrella deposited 30 feet away in the front yard.  Here are a few pictures taken the next morning. Note that the wind was still playing games with the bird feeder.

I knew we would have to 'button up' 3283 for the winter.  I guess the windstorm prompted me to get moving on that project. While we've done a lot to change some windows, add insulating and seal 'legacy' weak spots in the structure both the back and front porches are still way too porous to stand on their own over the winter. Since we've never spent a winter here it will be an interesting few months ahead of us. We will empirically determine exactly where the weak points are....and figure ways to deal with them. But, for now we knew we needed to tighten the porches.

The back porch has historically been covered with plywood where the screens are in summer. This year we decided to cover the exterior with heavy plastic. This will hopefully create an envelope of air to act as additional insulation between the outside and the east cottage wall. So, on this weekend Bobbie and I did what many of our former boat-owner-friends were likely also doing --- wrapping our prized possession in plastic. Pictures below.

We normally remove the screens from the four front porch windows that open. And since they don't seal tightly we have been caulking them closed. We use a produce called Seal and Peal. It goes on like normal caulk but can be pealed off somewhat easily in spring. Yesterday morning I took down the screens and completed the caulking. This year I also applied the caulk on the inside of the window openings. Today I attempted to turn the front screen door -- which was falling apart anyway -- into a pseudo-storm door by covering it with plastic. Hopefully that, and some upgraded weather stripping on the main door, will keep much of the west wind out of the porch.  Here's what the wrapped door looked like at about 5:30 today.

Since the tile work was completed we will be ready for Bob Tolsma to return to 3283 and finish the plumbing installation. He is actually scheduled to be here tomorrow [Wednesday]. Duca had the bathroom ready but we needed to get a few things wrapped up in the laundry area to allow the sink and gas line to be installed. I painted the laundry walls, Bobbie and I wrestled a couple cabinets into place on the wall, and I stuck some vinyl tile on the floor where the washer and dryer will sit. Believe me this "tile work" was very amateurish compared to the craftsman quality tile installed by Duca.  Pictures of these efforts follow.

Tomorrow the plumbing will be finalized in the bathroom and the laundry. We are also having a utility sink installed in the basement. On Thursday the washer and dryer are scheduled to be delivered. Bob will have to return to make the connections. Local rules require that gas dryers be installed by a licensed professional ... and I don't think my P.E. would qualify.

When the plumbing is complete...and the glass installed in the bathroom all of the currently identified contractors will be done at 3283. I'll get to spend a bunch of time installing lights, putting up trim, painting and putting the flooring down in the bedroom. Lots and lots of little projects that I will be able to work on into the winter.  Posts wont be as frequent...but I'll keep you all appraised as little things get finished.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Snow and Tile Day 4

When the renovation of 3283 began about March 1, 2013 the weather in southwest Michigan was cold. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground. The cold, windy and wet weather lasted well into the spring. But that weather didn't have much impact on the project. Work continued through the summer and a few weeks ago we watched the sun set directly down the front sidewalk....due west as the equinox signaled the beginning of fall. Since then its been cool along the Lake Michigan shore. And today we awoke to the first snow of Winter 2013-14. It was wet sloppy snow. It was a good thing that the work scheduled for today was all inside.

The inside work today was a continuation of the bathroom tile installation. The Duca crew continued working in the shower. The effort didn't show a whole lot of visual change from yesterday. The guys finished all the wall tile in side the shower; put the 'bull-nosed' tile along the edge where the tile will meet painted walls; installed the granite caps on the two knee-walls; put the granite threshold on the shower entry curb; set the granite seat on the bench in the shower; and laid the pebble-tile on the floor of the shower. I'll admit I slowed progress some this afternoon. When they had about half the shower floor covered I noticed an obvious difference in color between sheets of pebble-tile that had been installed. Johnathan agreed that the color difference was obvious and spent some time relaying that tile keeping the color consistent throughout.

Tomorrow the remaining tile -- outside of knee-wall and the floor will be installed and some of the grouting will begin. But, it seems that, the final grouting will have to wait until next Monday.

Work progress pictures don't show a lot of change from yesterday....but I thought some visuals besides those of snow would be expected by anyone who might be reading this. The colors really change depend on the lighting....sorry.