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.

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