Sunday, May 28, 2017

A grate idea

When we started our wee project, we thought a lot about energy conservation. We enlisted the help of the amazing Frank Schiavo on passive solar, and we (meaning not me) thought a lot about how to cool the house in the summer without installing air conditioning that neither of us wanted. And, rarely need. During our occasional very warm days, Bill knew that he wanted to leverage the cool air from our crawlspace to help draw down the temperature inside the house. He installed a whole house fan upstairs, and wanted it to draw cool air from downstairs via the crawlspace. Through the magic of the interwebs, we found this cast iron grate and it is now in place. You can feel the cool air coming up from below even when the fan is not running. His grate idea is helping us cool with science, and that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A trip to the island(s)

Me, calling home at the end of my day: "Hey, love, I'm heading home in a bit."
Bill: "Great! I want to take you on a trip to the islands."
Me: blink. blink. blink.
Me: "AH! You have been working on the shape of the kitchen island!"

The care and crafting of our home is one of the most enjoyable parts of this remodel. Plus the humor. :-)

Each of these marks indicates a factor in the shaping of our kitchen island.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brown v. Red. v. Floored of Education

We chose our floor color today (should we make it more red, more brown, more lightish and greenish?) so we will keep you in suspense about our choice for now. The stain was applied today and three layers of protective coating will follow starting tomorrow.

I do love puns, and I love how inclusive our country can be. So, that's how I chose my somewhat nerdy headline for this post. #punnygirl

Choices, choices.
After choosing from the samples, they are removed.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Keep floor nose to the grindstone

Day 2 of preparing the floor for stain! These workers are talented, hard working, and gosh darn it, we like them.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Makin' lemonade

When we woke today, we expected to have a full day on our own, of our choosing. Most Saturdays and Sundays during this long remodel have been full of either volunteering or coordinating/doing some part of our house construction. It has been rare for us to have a day with no commitments and no tasks that had to absolutely be done that day. Both of us were looking forward to an ordinary, regular day, but that was not to be. Our flooring crew asked if they could come over and sand the hardwoods. Of course, sure. Come on over. We worked through several bits of necessary logistics with them including narrowing down our stain options for their return trip. It's amazing what all needs to be done for a task like theirs, including a trip to the hardware store to get tool parts. Then, all of a sudden, it's 4:00 and the day has flown by. We did what we always try to do, adjusting our expectations and desires for the day to make lemonade out of what we hoped for but did not receive. We're very fortunate to be able to do this project, but we look forward to our next opportunity for a plain, vanilla Saturday. Some day! :-)

Sanding belts, standing at the ready
Our lunch stop (on the way to the hardware store) included some tasty beverages that helped our day quite nicely. 

The flooring fellow looked a bit nervous when I jokingly asked if we had to narrow it down to fewer than 17 options for the colors.

Trying out a few possibilities

A boy with mad skills

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy days!

We always feel like there are plenty of opportunities to be happy in life, but this week brings extra joy. Behold, our new red oak stairway! Later, this wood will be sanded and stained. The risers will be metal, designed and produced by Bill.

Happy wife! 

Happy dog!

Happy carpenter!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Would you or wood you knot?

While we were out of town, hardwood was delivered for our front rooms downstairs. The wood needs to acclimate for several days to the temperature and moisture levels in the rooms where it will be installed, so it is resting just like we were.

We decided to have our flooring contractor install bare hardwood and then stain it the desired color. The bare stair treads arrive in one piece with something called a stair nose. The nose is the curved part that hangs over the riser. For construction nerds (especially stair construction geeks, so much math!), check out the illustration and commence the discussion and other ideas over what the parts of stairs are called in your world.

Bundles of oak for one of our rooms

Stacks of hardwood plus stair treads