Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Penultimate Floor Finish

At various stages in the last couple of years, we've been floor-less, sub-floored and re-floored.  All these layers and months later and the floors are done...except for the final finish coat which happens AFTER the rest of the work is complete.  It's a great feeling and we are really happy with the way they turned out.

First, the upstairs floors:  these were the original varying width heart of pine floors supplemented with vintage heart of pine where needed. We had the floors professionally sanded throughout (we did not have the luxury of time to take this project on ourselves) and we elected not to stain them, given the beautiful wood tones already there.  Although we had originally intended to use a polyurethane finish, a lot of research later we came to the conclusion that we had to use Waterlox.  After our internet research, we mentioned our choice to a few subs who promptly confirmed the decision.  I had never heard of Waterlox before, but I have to say, I may never use another wood finish again.  Not only are we using it on the floors, but we've been using it on the stained wood trim throughout the home.  The best part about Waterlox?  No sanding needed between coats.  The other huge advantage?  Touch up of the finish is simple, easy and unnoticeable - not only for those dings made during the construction phase, but also for future wear, tear, and accidents.

The downstairs floors are the new wide plank oak flooring and we elected to add stain to these to give them a richer look.  Because stain can be mixed directly with the Waterlox, it was a "two-for-one" deal in a single application.

The ultimate floor finish will be one of the final projects before occupancy.   Penultimate works for now.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chief Procurement Officer

I am demanding a new job title.  Let's face it, the pay stinks, the hours are long, the work grueling, and the benefits are non-existent.  A new title is my only hope.  Based on how I have been spending every minute of my "spare" time when I'm in Philly, I deserve an upgrade from "minion" and "worker bee" to Chief Procurement Officer - it's definitely a C-level position on this project and a title I've earned.  From searching for #93 warm gray sanded caulk, 60 inch black vanities, fans, sconces, tiles, appliances, to wallpaper, paint, wood rosettes, doorknobs, sealer, and other miscellaneous items, it's a time-consuming second job.  Here's my latest cool find:
What is it?  A decorative attic stair pull.  Rob doubted me - he was sure such a product didn't exist, but after all these years together, he should a) know better than to doubt me,  b)  recognize my new title on this find alone, and c) just throw in the towel now on all future disagreements - it would save a lot of time for everyone.  Not only do these exist, but I located a great selection - see Decorative Innovations.  I haven't selected the exact one that I want yet, but I will own one soon.  The cheap white cord that comes with the pull-down stairs is soon to be history.

And, my awesome black vanity and matching mirror - not yet installed - but exactly what I envisioned:

It won't help my case to mention the white vanity that arrived damaged and has cost me countless hours on the phone, and weeks of waiting to get it picked up from the front yard (yes, the front yard) and the fact that I'm still waiting on the credit to my account...

In installation news, Glenlochan is now sporting spanking-new shiny gutters all around the house (which have helped a lot already with the water run-off from the unusually rainy summer/early fall we've had).  Although I'm not into gutters and downspouts at all, I was actually very excited about the finished look - almost like a nice crown moulding on the outside - pretty and functional, who knew?

 And the best part?  I didn't have to lift a finger to "procure" the gutters and downspouts (don't tell my boss).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Papering Our Breezeway

It's been quite a while since I've hung wallpaper (most recent reno projects involved stripping wallpaper, not hanging it).  In fact, besides a few borders, it's probably been more than a decade since I've papered anything.  Generally, we're not big wallpaper fans - stripping it from walls that have been improperly prepped has left me less than fond of the stuff.  However, there is a time and a place for wallpaper and, in this case, we both had a vision for the breezeway that included a vintage-ish wallpaper. The hanging of said wallpaper was greatly complicated by my knee issues (still waiting for a diagnosis) but a knee brace, frequent breaks and ice, and spreading this out over a couple of weeks helped a lot.  It was also an easier job because I didn't have to hang the paper floor to ceiling, which greatly reduced the size of the sheets I was hanging.  Wainscoting will cover the bottom half of the walls in the breezeway - it's ordered but hasn't arrived yet.

Apparently, we're not alone in our general apathy towards wallpaper - most stores do not carry wallpaper books anymore, and the only place I could find my favorite wall sizing was on Amazon.  Home Depot doesn't even carry wallpaper hanging supplies - only the chemicals to strip it, which I found absolutely ludicrous.    (And, completely off topic, but a quick tip - cheap fabric softener is the best stripping agent for old wallpaper - it penetrates, softens the glue and allows it to be easily pulled or scraped right off the wall - much safer and way better smelling than chemical strippers).  That made collecting all of the necessary supplies a bit more complicated than it has been for other projects.

First I primed and sized the walls - here's the bare walls of the breezeway:

The first two strips up by the front door went up really quickly and easily:

Steady progress turning the corner and over the doorway.

 Down the hall:
Over the archway:
And, around a couple of corners to finish the job:
One more project is now checked off of my list!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh Glorious Commode

Port o Potty, your days are numbered.  You've provided for us well for over 18 months - serving up cold hineys in the winter and pungent odors in the summer heat.  You've been steadfast and a constant since the rebuilding phase of this project, meeting our needs, basic as they are.  I may miss you when you are gone.  I'm guessing the neighbors won't.

You've been overthrown (over-throne?).  And, when I take in the gleaming white porcelain of this glorious new commode, there really is no contest.  A real and satisfying full-fledged flush.  Ahhh.  An always clean and super sanitary sitting spot.  Ahhh.  No flies or mosquitoes buzzing around while trying to conduct business.  Ahhh.  Climate controlled surroundings in which to drop one's drawers.  Double Ahhh.  It really cannot be beat.  This was a milestone unlike any other in the project.

I am worshiping at your throne.

Or should I say thrones:

One upstairs, one downstairs, and two yet to be installed.  Life is good.