Friday, February 26, 2010

Exhausted... but closing in on success


Tonight has been my first night not working at the house in a long time, and thus I finally have a few minutes to post some pictures. For those ever planning on building a house in the future, I do recommend doing some work yourself; you make a connection with the construction of your house that you simply cannot have when you just walk in to a finished home that was 100% done by others. It's great to see wood floor that you laid, or walls that you painted, even little mistakes that you made that will always be part of the house. That said, I (not surprisingly) do not recommend doing the amount of work that I (with lots of help from others!) am doing. I wouldn't have chosen to do this much work; this was something that ultimately needed to be done to make the numbers work for our home loan. But, after 14 straight days of 14-hour days, I think we're within striking distance of getting everything done that needed to get done by Sunday. Thanks a million to all of those who have helped during this time, we could not have done it without you! You are all a great blessing to our family!

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

My good friend Greg, and fellow member of the men's group I am a part of, priming the storage room.

My brother Evan and my aunt Mary doing some priming.

My friend and co-worker Rob, roller in hand.

My Dad after a long day of priming.

This ridiculous composite picture was taken by my sister, Allison, when I was priming the ceiling of the chasm that is our staircase. I got the longest pole I could get at Home Depot for just this occasion.

Allison, after another long day.

Here are some boards for the wood floor we selected from Lumber Liquidators. It has a distressed finish, which will mask the scratches that inevitably will happen from the kids.

A picture of the underlayment that I laid down before laying the wood floor on top (an arrangement called a "floating" wood floor, to allow it to expand and contract as the radiant heat in the concrete slab below turns on and off).

The wood floor being installed in the school room.

The floor being installed down one of the lower floor hallways.

My friend Joe, who graciously helped with the wood floor installation the first two days and lent me all of his saws to use during the installation. Thanks Joe (and Jenny)!

A first look at the painted color in the kitchen -- Tranquil Aqua from Sherwin Williams.

The palette of colors viewed together from the family room, looking down to the kitchen.

A view from the other side hallway.

I don't have pictures of everyone who helped unfortunately. My cousin Katherine has come over multiple days to paint and been a huge help, I'll have to get a picture next time!

By the way, the in-floor radiant heat is incredible! It's a completely even heat, everywhere, with no cold areas or drafty areas, and our structural insulated panel home is so well insulated and so efficient that during one 48-hour period (of roughly 10-20 deg F temperatures) I heard the radiant heat turn on one time... ONCE. It's truly amazing; the most comfortable temperature-controlled environment possible.

Lots more pictures to come, at some point!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A good way to start off Lent...


A blessed and prayerful Lent to everyone, sorry for the lack of updates on the house; I've been, shall we say, busy. I am in the middle of the first of two weeks of "vacation" from my day job in order to work on the house. So far, with the help of many family and friends, the whole interior of the house (ceilings and walls) was primed last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tuesday was spent hauling the wood flooring from storage to the house so that it can acclimate for 72 hours before starting the install this Friday. Today was spent painting the ceiling and walls of the family room and library, and tomorrow will be doing the same in the rest of the first level. 

Suffice it to say, I am sore and tired, but it's a good kind of sore and tired :-)  As far as I can tell, everything that needs to get done is on track to get done within the two weeks that I have. The labor that I (with help) am providing in order to save on cost is:
  • Interior priming (ceilings and walls)
  • Interior painting (ceilings and walls)
  • Wood flooring installation (first level, stairs, and second level hallways)
  • Carpet installation in all second floor bedrooms
  • Pick-up, storage, and delivery of all kitchen cabinetry/appliances/counters 
  • Assembly of all bathroom vanities/cabinets
  • Interior enameling (all trim, interior doors, and exterior doors) 
  • Installation of all light fixtures 
  • Staining of fireplace cement board
  • All exterior painting (likely late April/early May, after we move in -- warmer weather is required)
The first five are what I hope to get done in these two weeks. Compared to my PhD, this is still a cakewalk (it's always good to have a "somehow I made it through that, so I guess this will work out okay" comparison situation to buoy one's spirits). I'll try to post some pictures of the priming/painting soon! Thanks to all of those who have helped thus far!

**A note from Molly:  Brendan has been working diligently these past several days and our entire family is grateful for the time he is putting in!  Especially considering the money this saves us!  In terms of Lenten sacrifice, apparently the Lord saw fit that a fall I took on a quick jaunt up the stairs would result in a spiral fracture to my dominant hand.  I suppose if it had to happen, it couldn't have happened under better circumstances--living with an orthopedic surgeon and all, not to mention a Nana willing to change diapers.  So, while Brendan is working on the new house night and day, the kids are learning all kinds of helpful tasks like stripping and remaking beds, rolling socks, and grilling cheese sandwiches.  Lenten blessings everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Twitter for unborn babies


Though I think, after a while, little unborn child may have to have their Twitter account deactivated due to too many tweets.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why big families might be easier...


I've got to get back to posting some non-construction content on this blog, so in that spirit, I wholeheartedly agree with this very humorous article:

I think this doubly applies for any large homeschooling families out there!