Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Office Completed (finally!)

I've been working my way around the downstairs these past couple of years, trying to bring major construction to an end...EIGHT YEARS after moving in! This little project called "PhD" has been slowing me down a bit. This summer when I'm not writing I've been finishing the office. First step was emptying it out (no small task):

As you can see from these images, we've been living with the SIPs panels as wall surfacing materials for a while. Once the desks and books and the rest of the junk was moved out, the next task was prepping and painting the ceiling and plaster walls. Next, I built extension jambs around the windows and put up the tar paper so the SIPs wouldn't be viewable through the spaces in between the barn wood when that went up.
Then the barn wood - which I had stacked in the basement after washing it and ripping it into 5" strips a few years ago - began to go up...
And finally baseboard trim, a wooden cap on the sill that surrounds the perimeter of the house on the first floor, and shelves.

Here are some shots of the office after partially moving back in:

 I built these two pine shelving units and mounted them over the desk on the west side of the office. They're part for storing office necessities but also for displaying some of my book collection.
There are still a few additional jobs that need to be done, but I have already begun emptying out the next room (my bedroom) in preparation for the next task. Hope to have that one wrapped up by the end of the summer...along with my dissertation. Crossed fingers.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Boys' Room Completed

After living in the house for, what, eight or nine years now - and in light of the fact that my eldest is heading off to college in less than two years, I decided it was time to check another room off of the list of projects. Here's the before and after shots. The boys chose the colors and the wall decals.

I'm actually up about 12 feet up in the air measuring for a difficult piece of trim.
Here's the view down.

Cutting and fitting the drywall around century-old beams that aren't quite straight or true is a b-!

Roughing in the closet.

Finished product. Tree decal was the boys' call. I love it.

You get a sense of the height of their two-story bedroom from this shot.

New Red Mailbox!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recent Views

More to come soon...

Monday, September 10, 2012

more barn board goes up

this project actually pre-dates the one below (master bath) but i just realized i forgot to post it. as i slowly make my way around the bottom floor with the barn board sheathing, that "finished look" creeps further and further around the place. i like it. i think some day i'm going to really really love being "done" with this house. right now work has slowed to a crawl.

master bath completed!

Knocked off the master bath back in June. My LAST TILE JOB! The barn board looks really nice contrasted with the bright white of the walls and ceramic tile. Overall, I am pleased with the project. What I'm not crazy about is the fact that I check off only one or two major projects like this a year. I guess that's because I've got other big projects going on: phd, kids, teaching...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Installing barn board sheathing continues after LONG hiatus!

As many readers know, the timber frame of our house is encased in a shell of insulated panels called SIPs (structural insulated panels). These SIPs allow for the full depth of the timber frame to be visible from the inside, since they are nailed to the outside of the frame. Nothing of the frame is lost to studs and drywall. However, the panels are composed out of two layers of particle board (OSB) sandwiched around 4" of rigid insulation. Now, I'm a pretty huge fan of contemporary architecture and design (hey, I read DWELL magazine), and I have seen a lot of tastefully done OSB interiors. But that's not the route we chose for BHB. Instead, I have been sheathing over the OSB with 5" horizontal strips of antique barn wood - the very same wood that protected our barn from the elements when it was in tis original location up in maine.

In the shot above, you can see the OSB inner panel of the SIPs surrounding the tall window at the end of the hall. You can even see the tufts of yellow fiberglass insulation sticking out around the window frame. See what I'm dealing with!!)

I had finished sheathing upstairs a few years ago (well, except for that spot over the refrigerator...), but the downstairs has remained unfinished far too long. The process is fairly time-consuming. I first have to wash or otherwise clean the wood (since most of it still has the "original" dirt and cobwebs still attached!), rip it to the 5" dimension, cut it to size and then fit it in place. This past year (while I was on sabbatical) I found the time to begin working on the downstairs. In this photo and the one above, I am working on the downstairs hall. It went quite smoothly, most of the pieces being very small and manageable to work with. I'm pleased with how it turned out!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Railings Completed

Work is slow at BHB...but steady. Before we move in (pre-Thanksgiving '07) I was probably putting in around 3-4 hours a day (and double that on weekends). My current average is about 2 hours per WEEK. I have made my lists of remaining projects (my Dad claims he STILL has his lists...from 26 years ago!!!) and I am working top to bottom.

So, I have to say (despite the critics who are all over the code-violations here) I am extremely pleased with how this project turned out. The railings are made of chain link fence parts plus some 1/8" cable - all purchased at Home Depot - that cost me around $150 total. And the result looks simple, clean, slick, just like "professionally" done railings that would have cost 10x that.

Anyway, DIYers take heart. It CAN be done!

Friday, December 04, 2009

New Strategy For Finishing the job

The owners of BHB are taking a radically new tack to deal with the on-going problem of how to finish construction on their home; they are now actively PLAYING THE LOTTERY. So, wish us luck! We'll keep you updated.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some recent interior shots

Life has assumed some normalcy here at BHB. Which is another way of saying, I just don't work on the house that much anymore! Recently I have made a pact with myself to do a couple of hours of work on the house each weekend. It's a modest goal, but over time I WILL make some progress on the long list of tasks that remain.

It's hard to imagine a time when we weren't living here. Sometimes I look around and try to imagine the time when this was all a dream in my head and some sketches in my notebook. I am amazed and humbled and grateful all at once. This house is so special and so...US. The adventure continues.