Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Outlets and Cabinet Update from the Ice Queen of the North

In a recent previous post, I was bragging about how great the weather is in Virginia, even in the winter.  Apparently, I spoke too soon.  It seems that the weather is actually only nice now in Virginia when I'm not there.  Yup - it can be 60 degrees and sunny during the week and when the weekend comes and I arrive at the project, the temperature suddenly plummets to that more fitting of an arctic clime, the wind picks up drastically, and we generally freeze our patooties off.  It seems that I simply cannot escape the winter cold these days.  The connection between my arrival and the weather taking an ugly downward plunge has become so apparent that Rob called me the "Ice Queen of the North" this entire last visit.  Apparently there is much celebrating in the Glenlochan "kingdom" when I take my leave back to Philly and the weather drastically improves for everyone else.

The worst part of this weather?  Cold hineys.  Nope, I sure don't mean a nice cold beverage at the end of a long day:

Trust me, the Porto is NOT heated and I do my level best to stop drinking liquids after 5 PM to avoid the middle of the night run to the icy Porto.

My most recent trip to VA was no exception and despite the cold, we gamely did a walk-through with the electrician in preparation for the upcoming wiring of the home.  "Walk-through" is a misnomer - it wasn't even a crawl-through.  Room by room we painstakingly went through the house, every nook, every cranny, selecting the location of every outlet, every overhead and wall light, every switch, every tv, and which items had to be wired to which switch - and don't forget the outside outlets, porches, and yard lighting....  I'm a fan of lots of outlets (thankfully, so is our electrician), so I was glad to have the opportunity to give input, but planning ahead to this extent without the benefit of even walls to guide me was pretty excruciating.  Admittedly, it would have been more fun in warmer temps and it is very exciting to think we'll actually have walls, switches, outlets and lights, let alone a tv, in the house.  But, this walk-through was on the heels of Rob and I doing our own walk-through prior to the arrival of the electrician, and another later in the day, following his departure to talk about the types and styles of fixtures.  Needless to say, I was akin to an ice cube and had to take a few trips to the camper to get warmed up and my blood flowing again.

We also had another appointment with the cabinet maker at his workshop to discuss cabinet door details and to see the paint we had selected on the bases.  From debating mitered corners to butt joints (we went with the latter as more period) to how many "nooks" we needed on each door to catch the glaze and add to the look of the cabinets (the proper term is the "profile" of the door), there were lots of decisions to make.  Donald had our bases all set up in the layout of our kitchen, so it was great to see, feel and touch them:

Very exciting progress despite the winter cold.  Although I like to complain, way too much, I really am thankful that we have ways to get warm and hate that others do not.  And, when I'm super cold, I try to again imagine the sweat running down my body and my hair sticking so uncomfortably to my head inside those hot and non-porous Tyvek suits we often wore in the extreme heat and humidity of the summer during the demolition phase - progress indeed!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary this month - two full years as the proud owners of Glenlochan.  I use the word "celebrated" loosely because the celebration consisted of more work on the house.  Hard to believe we've been plugging away at this for 24 months now, through setbacks and progress, unexpected budget busters and incredible savings through sweat equity, difficult decisions and exciting planning and generally lots of highs and lows.  This is, by far, the most difficult, extended, complex, and exciting project we've ever undertaken, and although some days we feel pretty experienced at renovation, most days we realize how much we still don't know. Rob's a heck of a general contractor, however, and in addition to all the hands on work he's still doing, he ensures that we stay on task and budget and that the subs are lined up like clockwork.

As per the last post, this month has been focused on readying the original structure for mechanicals and, ultimately, insulation and drywall.  All of the remaining original interior walls and ceilings have been re-framed, leveled, and supported to ready the original structure for the next stage.  It almost looks like new construction now!  Here's a few before, after and now shots.

Original upstairs bedroom shot:

 Same view after the demo:

Where we are today - this will be the upstairs game room and where the original french doors were, above, is now a large addition (shot taken looking in from 10 feet back were french doors used to be):

Original downstairs "study":

The study after demolition:

Where we are today - the window has been re-framed smaller to accommodate the original stained glass window and the door opening to the room has been enlarged and reframed:

Original kitchen:

Shot after the demo:

Where we are today (same shot, but you can now see through to the added half bath and laundry room):

Original upstairs hallway (closed off because the upstairs had been modified to be a separate apartment):

After demolition:

Where we are today:

A nice trip down memory lane and good reinforcement for us on how far we've come.  Here's some additional interior re-framing shots.  

The ship beams have been carefully preserved and the ceiling reframed around them - the full width of the beam won't show once drywalled, unfortunately, but that's the compromise we had to make to ensure the floors above were sound and that the future drywall won't crack when we walk upstairs.  Some beam exposure is better than none!

The living room wall by the staircase:

The front door - shot taken from the back of the new addition/breezeway.

The opposite shot of the breezeway standing at the front door - this will ultimately be an arched entrance to the "keeping room" with a screened-in porch beyond the opening for future french doors.

Fireplace reframe:

Upstairs - we've relocated the main/guest bath to the top of the stairs to preserve the open breezeway concept upstairs, too.  Game room entrance is to the left.

The back half (new addition) portion of the game room leading to the second story screened porch:

The upstairs master bath (formerly the site of Kitchen Number 2):

An example of the solid new ceilings/floors:

All in all a very productive month.  Mechanicals will start with rough plumbing next week, followed by heating/cooling, and then electrical.   Two years ago I don't think either one of us thought it would take this long to get to this point, but it's been an incredible journey so far and we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Framing of the Addition....Check.

We've reached an important milestone - the framing of the new addition is now complete!  With a few adjustments along the way, the windows are in (except for one that was delivered damaged), the roof is on, and the rooms are fully framed.  Here's a shot of the rear of the home with the full addition - french doors and columns will be added to the first and second story porches after the drywall is in. 

Here's a few close-up shots of the addition since the equipment is blocking the full view above, starting with the kitchen bay (left side of home) with laundry/half bath to the far left and master bath on the second floor.

The next few weeks will be focused on the original structure - re-framing, leveling, and reinforcing the remaining interior walls, ceilings, floors, and fireplaces prior to all the mechanical rough-ins. 

And here's a final shot of the front of the home at this stage:

Although the front door is not installed (that installation will also have to wait after the drywall is in to avoid damaging the door) it was delivered and it's even more beautiful than we hoped. 

Because of the glare in the shot above, the red glass is not apparent, but it's really neat.  The door is primed and will eventually be painted - once we've had the great paint color debate...coming soon.