Sunday, November 04, 2007


At long last the plasterers returned and they seem to be staying until the job is done. (One of the biggest frustrations of working with all these contractors is the common practice of beginning a job then disappearing for a day, two days, even a week before returning to finish the job.) In the image above, you are looking at the street end of the downstairs well as the mess that these plasterers make! (This we were told to expect.)

The view up the main stairs to the second floor.

Detail of plaster and timbers. Our builder does a lot of antique timber frame work so he has a plasterer who knows how to negotiate exposed beams. All along I have been looking forward to seeing what this would look like - the plaster up against the barn's timbers. The way this shot (above) is framed it looks like some artist's abstraction. This abstract quality in modern architecture is the hallmark of minimalism. Of course, our house is not a true minimalist house, but there are "minimalist moments" that (for me) really enhance the building's beauty.

This shot (above) really doesn't do it justice, but the upstairs is really shaping up nicely. It is here that the modern and the antique come together most noticeably. Again, up until the contractors/builders actually finish a particular detail everything is purely conceptual. We imagine what it will look like and how it will feel, but the outcome is a mystery and never certain. When it begins to finally come together piece by piece, bit by bit we can begin to catch glimpses of what the end will be. In this case, I am very pleased with the results.

When I arrived on site Friday evening (it was already after dark) as I came downstairs I heard an awful sound: water, like the sound of a tap left slightly open and dribbling into the basin. Now, we don't HAVE running water in the house yet and as there was nobody there...I freaked out. This (above) was the culprit. The plasterers had hooked up a hose to the basement water service to mix their plaster and had not QUITE turned off the hose. The hose was in a large plastic barrel and had filled the entire thing to the top and then had begun to overflow across the master bedroom floor. Eventually it had found a hole or two and was cascading down to the basement. There were two small waterfalls, and this was the sound I was hearing echoing throughout the house. FORTUNATELY I caught it soon after it had begun to overflow and was able to stop it before it had gotten too far. There won't be any damage. That subflooring material is really tough (it was exposed to the elements for months before we got a roof on the house) and the puddle in the basement was small and will dry before long as well.

This is the boys' loft. You can see the challenges posed by the exposed frame of the barn. There are many places where the beams protrude from the plaster and I am sure this has slowed down their progress. Still, they are doing a careful job and I think the results are going to be really beautiful. I believe they will be finishing up the job on Monday, at which time the plumber and electrician are free to return and finish their work. This week will be an important one. I am hoping (praying!) that, contrary to what experience has taught us, they will be prompt and finish up quickly. Occupancy will not be far behind.

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