Friday, 28 January 2011

The fireplace grows up a little

Here's what the fireplace looks like a day later.  Our mason had to make an adjustment to some of the coursing so that slowed him down a bit.  Isn't it the cutest little fireplace in the whole wide world? 

He's gone back to his family for a week but will be back the week after next to continue building.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tenants' bathtubs are in; windows are bricked; construction begins on the fireplace

We've been getting hammered by snowstorm after snowstorm here, which makes it really hard to do any of the remaining outdoor work...and I hear that we're in for another set of flurries next week too.  It's torture waiting for weather that's warm and clear enough to put in the headhouse windows.  Look how much snow is piled up on the roof.

The tenants' bathtubs have been installed, and some of the framing around them put in.  I absolutely love how those bathrooms are turning out.  They feel really spacious for basic bathrooms and the tubs are wonderfully deep.

The plumbers have also run the rough plumbing for the tenants' toilets, sinks and their washers and dryers.  Lookin' good!

Our wonderful mason has been putting in brutally long days for the past week and a half, bricking in the dozen or so windows.  He's done now, except for a little part of one window. (The HVAC guys have been crawling through that space to install pipes in the back corner of the building.)  Here's what it looks like.  I'm so impressed with the way he angled the bricks to fill in the arch.  It's too bad it's going to be covered up with insulation and drywall.

Today he starts to build our fireplace!  I took a few "before" pictures, with all the bricks laid out for the firebox.

I'll keep you posted as it shapes up.

Friday, 21 January 2011

The headhouse windows are brickwork

We were out of town for a few days this week but in our absence the headhouse windows and French doors were delivered.  They're stacked in the building because it's been snowing/raining.  When the weather clears up it will be exciting to see them go in.

Also this week, our mason has been bricking up the inside of the windows on the back of the building.  He is doing an absolutely beautiful job.  Check it out:

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Progress, but it ain't pretty

I feel guilty about the light posting.  I keep hoping that if I hold off, I'll have something pretty to show you.  But it ain't pretty, so I'm giving you a few glimpses of what we've got going on inside the building.

Most exciting to me this week is the fact that we finally have the steel post installed between the master bathroom/bedroom.  This is the structural support we need to put in a massive glass wall (9 feet tall and about 10 feet long) between the two rooms and not have the garden and garden room come crashing through our ceiling.  Voila, the much-anticipated post:

The last photo shows the view from the far corner of the bedroom back towards the walk-in closet/alcove.  The opening is oversized.  It's actually going to have 2 pocket doors front and center that slide open to reveal the alcove and then slide closed to meet in the middle of the opening.  The closet feels wonderfully huge at this point, but I'm sure that will change when the drywall and shelves go in.

In other news, the HVAC installation continues, with ducts and equipment running pretty much everywhere now.  Here's the compressor that's in the wall/closet space between the two guest bedrooms, plus pics of its intake openings in the hallway on the third floor and in the ceiling of the second floor.

The last photo I have to share is one showing the framing for the concrete hearth that will form the base for the fireplace in our living room.

We're still torn between the wood mantel and the marble mantel.  Since both are beautiful, it's coming down to a question of size.  The wood one needs 6 inches of non-combustible material lining each side of the opening, which reduces the space for firewood to pretty puny dimensions (24 inches).  The marble fireplace, on the other hand, whose opening is 35 inches, carries no such requirements and might actually be able to be enlarge by a couple of inches at the top.  Our master mason (my boyfriend's godsend nephew from Milwaukee) is coming to town for two weeks on Sunday night, so we've got to make a decision stat.

Room framing continues in the basement.  Our poor crew spent the early part of the week sawing out the 3 foot deep granite foundation so that we could run the plumbing pipes closer to the outer wall of the building.  The work looked brutally hard (I dropped by during the sawing and fled the building in a cloud of dust, plus there were rueful comments about soreness the next day).  We're so glad we had it done, though, since it's going to make the bathrooms a much more respectable 8 feet by about 6.5 feet.  Since we were tweaking the size of the bathrooms anyway, I decided to put in really nice soaker tubs.  My priority was to get the deepest model available, with the cleanest inside shape.  It's shockingly difficult to find a deep tub with otherwise relatively small proportions!  (Ahem, bathtub manufacturers, you might want to make a note.)  The best I found was the Kohler Underscore (66" long x 36" wide x 22"deep).

Two have been delivered and are sitting in their boxes in the basement.  We're going to tile around them with our 3x6 Carrera subway tile.  Do I even need to say that I'm very excited to see how it looks?