Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hiatus Explanation -- A Little Progress

I wonder if I have any followers left after my long hiatus. If so, you all deserve an explanation of my absence. First of all, 3283 is in somewhat of a lull period in its transformation. Lots of decisions need to be made and certain work must wait for other things to happen first. But more on that later.

Second, and more important to me personally, I took a little "vacation."  Since my first day of retirement (March 1st) I've spent the vast majority of my time here in Holland. I had returned to Livonia for a few weekends...and one two day work assignment; but nothing longer. That changed a week or so ago when I returned there for a week. Much of that week I spent watching my grandson JJ while his mom and dad tended to other commitments.  I'll admit that playing with a soon-to-be two year old for six-plus hours a day can exhaust a 64 year old body. But I loved every minute of the week we were all together.

OK, Back top 3283. Over the past weeks my mantra of "Before you can do anything, you need do something else first" was well served. Much of what needed to be done "first" involved decisions. We received quotes from three potential contractors to do the drywall installation. But before they can begin we need to make bathroom tile decisions since different tile installers use different "systems" inside the shower. So before we can drywall, we need to decide on tile so we know which installer will be used. Bobbie and I spent much of this week getting more and more confused about what tile we want in the bathroom. Stay tuned...we will decide soon.

Some work was done here the last two weeks. Though it was more baby steps.  As I mentioned earlier, we bought flooring for the front porch. And, in preparation for installation we wanted to paint the outside walls. These are simple beadboard strips between 2x4s at the top and bottom. Most are tightly interconnected, but some have formed gaps over the years which were sealed with caulk. Bobbie and I spent a day scraping loose paint and old caulk from these walls in preparation for paint. Then I caulked the bottom board and the gaps. The walls are 50 feet in length and there were dozens and dozens of gaps. It took three tubes of caulk to do the job.

Here I'm starting to scrape -- lots more ahead of me.
Eventually, lots of old paint and caulk came off the front porch walls.
We hired a painter to deal with the high walls around the basement door and retaining wall. They came on Tuesday and power washed the walls. Paint will be in a day or so.

Two heavy duty power washers were used.
Since some mold/mildew formed on the east dormer wall,
we are having it washed and painted, too.

It was good to clean off even the new siding.

Of minor note: We previously combined all of our communications systems [telephone, internet and cable] under one umbrella provided by Charter Communications. Thus our AT&T line was no longer in use. This week they came and removed our last overhead wire from 3283.

The box and wire were disconnected from the house....
...and the wire disconnected from the main line.
And, one other item of preparation took place on Wednesday. After I finish the porch floor I will begin to frame in the heating ducts feeding the second floor, build the knee walls in the bathroom, frame the south wall of the laundry area and some other miscellaneous carpentry. I needed a bunch of 10 foot studs and some large 4x8 sheets of plywood. Rather than dealing with them in Bobbie's Jeep, we had the order delivered. It was due "after noon" on Wednesday. The Zeeland Lumber truck pulled in at 6:30 PM and dropped off a bundle of wood. Bobbie and I then spent a hour or so moving it into the garage and basement.

The last delivery of the day.
Small by their standards.
The bundle...waiting to be moved to the garage and house.
A 16 foot handrail sits on the walk.
The basement entry sure helps.
Two, three or sometimes four at a time all the lumber made it into the basement.

I'm writing this on Thursday morning. Already there is activity outside that will be chronicled tonight. Mervin is here with a crew of 4 and is prepping the yard for sod. If all goes as planned tonight I will post again with pictures of grass around 3283. How cool will THAT be???

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