A Second Story
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Updates and Schedules!!
Sorry we haven't blogged for a while - lots going on too so no excuse! Shame shame. Anyway.

We went to Home Depot and picked out lighting fixtures - from ceiling fans to bathroom lights to outdoor deck lights. I think we came in under budget on them, so hopefully we can apply the funds to another area of the house. Tomorrow we go back to finalize paint colors, pick out bathroom fixtures, cabinets, etc. The contractor also brought by a catalog with interior doors to choose from. Not only are there like 24 doors in this line alone, you have the choice of raised or flush moulding on each style. Sometimes I think we have too many options in this world. I mean geez, it's just a door!

Here is a brief schedule of completion:
* concrete foundation work done - week of 3/29
* electrical and plumbing rough-in - week of 3/29
* windows and french doors - week of 3/29
* interior framing and outside siding - week of 4/5
* insulation - week of 4/5
* sheet rock - week of 4/12
* painting (interior and exterior) - week of 4/19
* cabinets, doors, hardware and millwork - week of 4/26
* finish deck - week of 4/26
* floor covering - week of 5/3
* electrical, mechanical and plumbing trim - week of 5/3
* gutters - week of 5/5

Here is a picture of a house with the colors we want for our exterior. It is sort of a sage green, with a brownish purple trim. Hopefully it won't look ridiculous on our house since it isn't a cool old Victorian!

house colors

The house has been abuzz with activity! Two or three electricians, a plumber, the regular crew, some poor kid hired to dig a trench and jackhammer. The trench for the foundation is nearly finished, and they unearthed this cool old truck, which has seen better days.

Old Truck

They even put stairs up to the deck (with a few rickety planks to walk on - here is Derek enjoying a cigar from it) so you can easily access the second story.


We are still dealing with some issues - one wall of the house is hooked up to a different meter than the rest of the house, posing a slight problem with the electrician. The plumbing running from the basement to the well is beyond terrible apparently, and will need an upgrade. The waterheater is in a location not to code. Most things here are not to code. Figures.

That is all I can think of. Will post more when it happens, promise!!

Thursday, March 18, 2004
Framed In
All the outside walls are framed in, so you can see where there will be windows. The big window you can see is in the new bedroom, and they will be cutting a small window to the right of it for the bathroom. Now we can't see what they are doing while they are working! I believe they are working on the inside walls and floor next. They think the foundation will be done by next tuesday, and a plumber and electrician are coming next week. Derek is looking into having someone help with wiring the upstairs for multimedia/surround sound coolness. The contractor brought to our attention that the french (excuse me, "freedom") doors we chose were solid wood and $1700 each. Needless to say, we chose a cheaper one! Sheesh.

Monday, March 15, 2004
Treasures in the Attic
The workers found some old papers under the insulation. They are made up mostly of schoolwork, and are dated 1956 and 1957. We recognize the last name as the people that owned this house from the beginning (the house was built in '52 or '54 or something). I beleive many of the papers belong to our neighbor, who grew up in this house. A majority of it appears to be typing practice, with a few graded sheets. There is a bit of math homework, a few outlines for papers, and a couple water damaged letters.

Here is the outline for a paper. It must have been on current history, because #4 happened in 1953. If you can't read it, it says:
1) "Brain-washing" in Korea
2) Communism and its world aims
3) The state of communism in Russia
4) The Rosenburg Case
5) McCarthy Hearings
6) The 15th Amendment
7) Guilt by association
8) Soviet Espionage in the U.S. and Canada

Here is the partial letter. If you can't read it, it says: "Hi Honey. Sorry you weren't able to come up Tue. Are you still coming up tonight? I sure hope so because I don't know how I'm going to get there if you don't. I don't know why but father just won't let me have the car in this kind of weather." It is dated Dec. 6, 1956.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Sneak Preview!!!
A lot of progress today, and I got to see it first hand! I asked if I could go up the ladder and take pictures, and they said sure! Below are views from either end of the addition.

Looking West: You can see a large opening that will be a french door to the deck. There is a big picture window just beyond that, with views of the backyard. The little stepladder at the end of the photo is where the stairs will come up. You can see a metal pipe sticking up in the middle, that is the exhaust for the stove. It doesn't work, but if it did, it apparently just vented right into the top of the roof, not actually outside. That is Joe in the background.

Looking East: You can see the large opening for the french doors, and just beyond that is a large opening for another set of french doors (the deck can be accessed by french doors (can I say that any more? french doors?) from the bonus room as well as the sitting room of the new bedroom). On the left is all that remains of the old roof, angling up.

Here is a close up of the french doors (;P) and you can see the frame of the deck beyond them, and the great view we will have. Yippee!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Windows and Skylights
Ok, no skylights, but a worker did step through our attic "door", making a big mess in the hallway. It is covered up now... and presumably the hole in the bedroom ceiling too... We chose windows from Milgard - just standard vinyl windows. Some open sideways, some open up and down, and some don't open. We will also have 2 french doors to the deck upstairs, and a new set of french doors downstairs to replace the ailing sliding glass doors.

A "day laborer" (read: Mexican worker from a street corner (not that there is anything wrong with that, well, I don't know how much they are paying him, so there are probably all sorts of things wrong with it, but I'll leave it for now)) was hired to dig the trench around the house for the new foundation. He is actually going at a pretty good pace, considering it is about a foot deep and a foot and a half wide. Guess this is the time of year to dig - the ground is wet.

Thursday, March 04, 2004
Meetings and more Pounding
The roof is finished, and we think it looks good. It is really too tall to see, we have to stand way back in the property to see it. We choose moire black as the color (scroll down this page to see a sample).

We met with the contrator today, and it went really well. Got a new contract that we are to go over and give back. Discussed all that was bothering us. He'll be coming out every monday (he seemed perturbed that the deck wasn't as finished as he thought it would be). We have itemized lists, and are meeting with him monday the 22nd to find out what he needs from us (lighting, flooring, etc). All in all a good meeting. Plus he gave us his email address. Won't he be sorry!

Today the guys took off the overhang of the old roof on one side of the house and put plywood up along the 2nd story. In doing so, they ruined the roof inside our bedroom. The contractor wasn't please about that! They'll continue with that, and start digging a trench for the new foundation. Seems things might be moving right along!

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