News Archive: December 2018

Sunday, 30 December. Met with the HVAC contractor today. As I anticipated, there may be some complications getting the heat pump system running right because of the small number and size of the ducts, but the contractor is flexible and creative, so I suspect we'll work out the kinks.

Saturday, 29 December. Dotted some i's and crossed some t's with the living level insulation, then cleaned the area out to get a better sense of the finished space. I even put the shower floor tiles in place, and was immediately struck with a strong vision of the future—it was surreal. In other news, I've been having second thoughts about my choice of kitchen countertop (scroll down to the bottom).

Thursday, 27 December. My helper and I have all but completed insulating the living space—just some finishing touches over the oven and refrigerator are all that's left.

Wednesday, 26 December. Given that it's been too cold for me to work outside, my helper and I are both working on insulation together, and the main living space is now hours away from being finished.

Tuesday, 25 December. I "celebrated" Christmas by listening to music while insulating.

Monday, 24 December. The newly-inaugurated old stereo has made working in the house far more pleasant. Although I'm still nursing a bad back, I've been able to do some insulating in the main living space. This will likely continue through the holidays.

Friday, 21 December. All I accomplished today was finish the refrigerant line conduit for the heat pump system.

Thursday, 20 December. The front porch is nearly finished—just some trim to do here and there, as well as the staining (but that will have to wait for warmer weather). Also, the main living space is around two-thirds insulated, thanks to my helper.

Wednesday, 19 December. Once again, my helper insulated while I finished the front porch ceiling and got started on the siding along the "firewood" wall.

Tuesday, 18 December. Wrapped up the faux board and batten siding on the front of the house, including the trim and garage door weatherstripping.

Monday, 17 December. The garage door is now fully functional.

Sunday, 16 December. The garage door is working. Was easier to do than anticipated. All that remains is to wire and program the opener.

Friday, 14 December. The garage door is in. It's not working yet—the lift spring mechanism isn't finished—but the hole is plugged. Rather nicely, too; when the siding is stained, everything will blend almost perfectly.

Thursday, 13 December. Again, my helper insulated while I did more "glamorous" stuff. Got some more siding up, and when the garage door arrived, I started bolting it together. I'll need to go shopping for some stuff before I can install it, though.

Wednesday, 12 December. While my helper insulated, I finally resolved the problems with the porch, and got some more soffit and siding up. Meanwhile, Pella called to say the two replacement windows wouldn't be ready until sometime in January. Not surprising, and since there are windows already in place that are only cosmetically defective, not a concern.

Tuesday, 11 December. Sunshine and still air made it quite nice outside, so I messed around with the siding. I'm not entirely sold on it yet... but I have no viable alternative. I also tried adding the house number, but it totally didn't work for me:

Monday, 10 December. At the risk of jinxing myself, and after having privately made a number of prior claims to the same effect, I declared today as the end of all electrical (re)wiring. Victims of a Township request to revise the sheathing on the back of the house, the deck security lights (below left) have been relocated to the front of the house to illuminate the parking area at the end of the driveway, which in retrospect seemed more important. Although the lights themselves can't be installed until the soffits are finished, the wiring at least is now in place, including a special twin control switch (below right) required because there's no room for a double-gang box next to the front door. Plus, I preemptively installed wiring so I can add a third light for the area around the side door off the garage if I ever decide to do so.

Saturday, 8 December. A critical little detail I've been addressing on and off these past few days is preparing for the heat pump system. (To be honest, I don't know if this will get installed this year or not, owing to the financial crunch, but we'll see; I'm working with multiple sources to find the most economical solution.) I'm installing a 4-inch PVC conduit from the compressor pad to the blower space over the laundry for the refrigerant lines. The conduit is being assembled from materials left over from the electric service line installation, and requires punching several large holes through the rafters over the bathroom, an arduous task at best. But, when it's done, it will allow the refrigerant ines to be run (or replaced, if necessary) with great ease after the insulation—and even the sheetrock—is installed.

Friday, 7 December. Today I purchased a kerosene heater to heat the main living area, since it's now all buttoned up. The only holes left in the house are the garage door—now scheduled for arrival on 13 December—and the window box in Kitty Central, which I'll temporarily plug with a piece of Plexiglas. Meanwhile, I began insulating the main living area. It's a long, slow process given the (comparative) vastness of the space.

Thursday, 6 December. As promised, my helper arrived with two young, strong friends to get my sliding glass doors installed. And, as a surprise, I learned today that the garage door is arriving two weeks early. Yay!

Wednesday, 5 December. My helper showed up to finish insulating the studio, while I just sort of fiddle-farted around all day.

Tuesday, 4 December. Finished all of the kitchen cabinet and island framing, as well as all of the countertop cores in preparation for some kind of countertop finish. Also began work on the cooktop downdraft ventilation system.

Monday, 3 December. Piddled around in the kitchen, mostly just to kill time while everything dried out after a weekend of rain.

Sunday, 2 December. It's something I've sworn I'd never do: ask for help. But I'm running out of options, so today I pulled the trigger on a GoFundMe campaign.

Saturday, 1 December. Despite not being able to finish my home, I worked on it anyway. I figured if I somehow find a means to finance its completion, it made no sense to just stop now. So today I finished a bit of soffit so I could get some siding up just to see how it might look. But it's too cold to apply the stain/sealer, so I have to use my imagination for now.

I like the effect of slightly random board lengths—it helps disguise the fact that it's just cheap T-111 plywood sheathing. At least I think it does. Now comes the challenge of deciding exactly how to frame the windows...

November | Home

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