Tuesday, July 30, 2013

House Signature a/k/a Front Door

New Front Door!

From This When the Door was in Window Jail
And the Door Opening in the Front of the House
To This!
Now we Need a Front Porch!
Inside View (Hard to get a good shot with all of the light)

We now have a front door! OK, so it’s nailed shut and there aren’t any steps to it but it’s in. A front door says a lot about a house. It can signal a warm and welcoming house or it can be just the opposite, keeping the Halloween candy seekers away. And everyone else for that matter. Ever notice how you always seem to look at the front door when you’re checking out a house? It’s the signature of the house  isn’t it?
We opted for lots of windows which will let in tons of light to keep the front entrance warm and welcoming on the outside and inside. I’m sure we’ll put some sort of curtains over the windows to have some sense of privacy. I don’t want to scare the neighbors across the street in the morning after a night of too many gin and tonics.
We’re planning on having it stained and polyurethaned to protect it. I wish I could tell you the name or the model but I can’t remember at the moment. I’ll update this once I do.
Now the character of the house is starting to show. We have a front door to welcome friends through.
And our house has a signature.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Roofing & Skylights

On the Ridge. Note how he has a rope tied to his harness.

The planking provides a good place to stage work

Starting Roof around the Skylights

Roofing the last of the Exposed Section

Adding the Flashing

The Roof is Finished!

Framing around the Skylight. This method maximizes the light

Room over the Garage Looking from the Entrance

View from the Other End. These two Skylights really open up the room.
I went over to the house on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised to see the framing crew working. They had been waiting for the skylights for the room over the garage to come in before finishing the roof. The shipment arrived on Thursday and they were now tackling the installation and wrapping up the roof.
It was a hot and muggy day again and I’d take a break every now and then from what I was working on and watch these guys work. They were absolute professionals and kept the work moving even on what had to be a very hot roof.
By the end of the day, the roof was now complete and the skylights installed. This is great news because this means that I’ll no longer have rain coming in and finding its way to the basement where I still have a large puddle from the last rain storm. Now it can finally start drying out.
And begin week three of the weed whacker still in the box. Man am I going to be in trouble.
Enjoy your week.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Newport Antiques Show

Nautical Antiques

Ship Model that the Exhibitor had reconstructed from Pieces

Great Ideas for the Garden

More Ideas (and money)

Old Wood Carving Set

Close up of a George III table

Small Sampling of Art work

Ship made out of bone by French Prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars

Close up of another bone ship. Note the Amazing detail.
Jeanne sur la terrasse
Daniel Ridgway Knight
With permission of the Rehs Gallaries, Inc.
There is nothing like seeing the actual piece.

So I’ve found another reason to hit PowerBall.
Yesterday was dreary with off and on rain and a slight chill to the air. I had taken the day off from work to do “things” around the house but the weather was in the way of accomplishing anything. And being a guy, any excuse is a good excuse to do something other than what I should be doing. So we headed down to the Newport Antiques Show  http://www.newportantiqueshow.com/).
Now, I have to tell you, this is not your run of the mill antique show that is made up of a few antiques with junk from somebody’s basement thrown in. It is all high end furniture, artwork, jewelry and so on. And a checkbook would not be enough. I’m not even sure a credit card would be enough. You’d have to have your personal investment advisor in tow with a suitcase full of cash. But hey, we can dream. And marvel. And laugh. Laugh because the money I had put in my wallet in case there were any “finds” was staying right where it was. There wasn’t enough of it.
But it was fun and entertaining and the exhibitors were great taking the time to explain the pieces and give us the history behind them. I felt like I was at The Very Best of the Antiques Road Show Live. At one exhibit of artwork (http://www.hill-stone.com/) they had a couple of engravings by Rembrandt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandt) listed around $110,000. Yes, those zeros are correct. The exhibitor took the time to explain how works like that were an investment just like diamonds. I cracked that I would need a bigger credit line. I didn’t get a smile in return. But he was still a gentleman and took the time to explain all about the various works that he had on display. He must have been practicing.
I don’t think there was a single exhibit where I didn’t see something that I wanted to buy. But the best was the Rehs Gallery Exhibit (http://www.rehs.com/)where I “discovered” that I liked paintings by Daniel Ridgway Night  (http://www.danielridgwayknight.org/), Julien Dupre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien_Dupr%C3%A9) and Antoine Blanchard (http://www.antoineblanchard.org/) . Of course all of them were out of my price range with one selling for around $400,000.
And that’s why I now have another reason to hit PowerBall.
Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Nail Collection

Magnet Nail Sweeper and Friends

My Nail Collection.

Through the past couple of months as construction has been going on, I noticed that there were a ton of nails on the ground around the house with a bunch more in the driveway.  I know nails just go with having a house built but that doesn’t mean I can’t let them drive me crazy.  And they do.

I had nails everywhere. Short nails, long nails. New nails, nails that are already rusting due to the rain. Roof nails, spikes, you name it. I have them. And they are everywhere. I had been picking them up by hand and dropping them in a pile in front of the garage like one of those rock cairns you see on trails in the woods. I was hoping that by leaving them there the builders would realize that I'm kind of crazy about not having nails in my future lawn which will then find their way into my lawnmower tires. Or in my driveway which would make it into my car tires. Or worse, the tires on my better half’s car. Instead, I believe they started helping me build up the pile by dropping more nails to replace the ones that I've picked up. And I’ve also found that no matter how many I’ve picked up, when it rains, they magically grow like weeds.

So I picked up one of those metal sweepers from the local big box home improvement store. I really wanted the type which was a magnet on wheels but didn’t want to spend the $75 they were asking for one. Besides, being the impatient guy that I am, you had to order it and I didn’t want to wait. So I picked up the cheap $10 model. I’m not sure one is better than the other.

The one I have you sweep over the nails and the “powerful” magnet is supposed to pick to pick them up. Most of the time, you have to actually touch the nail to pick it up. At least it has saved my back. So I’ve been dropping the nails in old flower pots. It will be interesting to see how many I collect by the time this is all done.

It’s the small things in life…


Sunday, July 21, 2013

We Have Heat!

We Have a Furnace!

Yup, same one. Different angle.

Like an Octopus, the duct work is ready to snare something.

Future home of a Bathroom

Looking towards my shop area which I'm going to have to reconfigure. 

Future Family Room

Future Spa. Nah, not really. It's just wet. The stairs will come down on the left.
I'm thinking a Wine closet on the right to store my $10 bottles of wine.

Family Room looking towards where the stairs will come in on the left.
Who would ever think that after three weeks of 90+ degrees I’d be happy about heat? That’s because our furnace was installed. Yay! It’s a major component of the house and seeing it installed is just great.   Its gas fired and that’s about all I can tell you at this point. And the fact that it’s installed. The duct work is well along the way too. That means the air conditioning can’t be too far behind.
And believe it or not it’s actually cooled off outside too. Now it’s only in the 80’s. So much for living in New England!
Enjoy your week.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Early Morning Musing

Smoothed over road granite, Warren, RI

Old Gate & Fence, Warren, RI

Night Shot (which is why it's dark) with Camera phone, Warren, RI
We'll need to practice some more...
Here it is not yet 7:30 in the morning and I’m sitting outside guzzling my obligatory second cup of coffee. The heat is already 120 and the humidity is also already 120. Or so it seems. Here in New England we’re just not used to this. Yes, short spells are fine. It makes jumping in 0 degree Atlantic Ocean water perfectly acceptable. And the resulting octave change of voices too. Fortunately that’s temporary. At any rate, this long term heat thing that’s been going on for what, six months now, is enough. How about a break?
The quiet stillness of the morning has now been pierced by the tick, tick, tick of the farm type oscillating lawn sprinkler that my wife of two months has turned on. I think it’s a test. Now that the lawn is being watered, the grass is going to grow and I’m going to have to cut it. In the heat. And the humidity. And then she is going to remember the new weed whacker that has been sitting in the box now for two weeks in the garage. Can’t wait. I think the birds have stopped chirping. Must be a sign…
Cook out with the kids planned for later. I’ll just tell her cutting the grass will ruin the flavor of the food. I think that will work. Ya, that’s it.
Stay cool and enjoy your day.
2 minute update – crap, she just asked me to cut the grass…


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Roof Work

North side
South side

With the exception of a portion of the garage roof, the asphalt roof shingles are just about complete so we'll be able to start keeping the rain out. If there was any.  So far it’s only been heat and humidity. At this point, a good rain shower would be greatly welcomed.
One advantage of the high heat (and only) is that the cellar is finally drying out. I can now actually walk around in it to plan where my workshop is going and of course the other things like a family room, bathroom, exercise area that will most likely just become an open air closet and maybe even a wine closet.
It's kind of exciting because I'll have a large workshop where I'll have tons of room to do projects or just make a mess with piles of sawdust and procrastinate on everything else. My last house was the first place I could actually have a shop (the house before it only had a crawl space and my workbench was out in an unheated garage). So I guess I'm moving up a bit. Yay!
The garage itself is pretty much complete. Because of the slope of the lot the garage ceiling is high enough for me to put a basketball hoop up on the wall. We had a back door designed in but originally planned on leaving it blocked off until we really needed it. However, the builder cut the opening by mistake so we said what the heck, put the door in now.
What's the best way to handle builder's mistakes? You can never prepare for them but you know they're going to happen. I'd rather have the contractor ask before removing or fixing it when it comes to something that might be a good add. That way I have the choice of deciding if having it outweighs the unplanned cost of paying for it.
What about you?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Morning Off

Pottery & Castings

Old Keys and Hand of Fatima door knocker (Paris)
Providence Sky line & Board Walk
Hand Blown Glass

Hanging Glass Vases
(Studio A)
Mirrors with a Old Door Backdrop

Providence Flea Market
On Sunday morning we ran over to the Providence Flea Market (www.providenceflea.com) which is located in a park named the Providence River Greenway. This is the first year for the flea market but it's a nice mix of art work, pottery, glassware, antiques along with the obligatory "who buys that stuff" and a couple of food trucks. For the first year, it's off to a good start and it's right off the highway with easy parking. There is a boardwalk to wander along while perusing the tents and the various wares.
I particularly liked the pottery, forgings and glassware pictured above. These folks are true artists. And yes, I gave them a plug by listing their contact info. They deserve the exposure.
It was good to start the morning off meandering. Especially, after the work I did in the afternoon where I tried to lose weight working in the heat and humidity.
But that's a story for the next blog.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A House is Best Built in Small Bites

HVAC Return - Run between the wall studs

Drains in the Guest Bathroom and Laundry Room

Drains for the Double sink in the Master Bath
Drains, Vents and Toilet Location - Master Bathroom
There is a saying that an Elephant is best eaten in small bites. I don’t want to eat an elephant and who would anyways? But I guess the same thing could be said about a house. It’s best built in small bites.
While it’s hard to get excited about pipes and returns, both are necessary components of a house. Pipes hidden behind walls carry away the water never to be seen (leaks not included) but somehow they magically work. Every day. And the returns carry the spent air (is there such a thing?) back to the furnace for reheating or the air conditioning for re-cooling. And while the pictures only show what’s been installed so far, it won’t be long before they are all connected and working as a system. Small bites.
Anyone have any idea when this heat and humidity will end? 10 at night and it’s 86 degrees and humidity is at 84%. Enough already.