Christmas Vacation

Merry Christmas / Happy New Year.  I should be doing something productive house-wise but alas I’ve spent Christmas Vacation being a decidedly unproductive member of society.  Monday I, of course, had to spend the day playing with all the toys Santa brought me.  I at least stopped out at the house and changed some light bulbs.  Today I didn’t even make it down there.  In all fairness though I had the pleasure of watching our youngest whilst the mom / wife team member was out and about shopping.  Were I a good brother I’d have run down to the job site and helped to unload the cement board which will eventually become the foundation for all the tile and stone used inside the house.  And if I were a good homeowner I’d have installed 1/4″ fan board in all the knee wall spaces.  Alas I’m neither of those, nor am I a good whatever it is I am in relation to you….unless of course you’re my youngest boy, in which case I’m a pretty cool dad.  At least for a few hours today.

Things we’re accomplishing since we last blogged together…..let’s see.   We’re holding at about 60-70 degrees for inside temperature so trades are re-emerging on site.  My brother has been working out at the house this week.  First on the list is sanding down all of the OSB sub-flooring to level out the seams.  With the house being open for so long the sub-flooring started to lift at the seams.  The sub-floor needs to be relatively flat before the wood, tile and carpet can go down.  Failing to sand the seams will lead to creaky wood, cracked tile and carpet that wears un-evenly.  He used a simple hand-held belt sander; very loud so wear ear protection if you do it yourself.

Our Mercier hardwood flooring is getting acclimated to the house's environment. To be less harmful to our environment it's Greenguard Certified. This means it won't off gas harmful chemicals into our super tight house. It's also sustainably sourced.

Tomorrow is drywall day 2.0.  We should have water online by 10am.  Until then I don’t know what they’ll do but the drywallers will be out there.  Within a few days we expect the interior walls to be mudded, taped and sanded.  Water will be necessary so they can mix their “mud” for the drywall.  Our septic system won’t be hooked up until the last-minute so any excess water, not used, will have to be routed to the sump pump or hauled out via a 5 gallon bucket.  The cistern should be electrified and able to pump water by early morning (as I said).  We had about 4,000 gallons of fresh water delivered today at a cost of $132.  Once the siding is done we can get gutters installed and stop paying for water.  Of course by then the world (at least our world) will be frozen so no water will flow down gutters.  I guarantee the first sub 20 degree day will be the day the gutters are finished.

Siding is almost done on main house. Awning over my studio is still missing. May be a Spring project I guess. Victim of dragging heels and cost overruns.

On the ordering front, we put in for our fireplace stone order today.  We’re going with a cultured Southern Ledgestone in an Aspen finish.  Stay tuned to see how that turns out and more details surrounding why we chose that.  We’re just stoning the fireplace for now, so it won’t be critical that we match the stone exactly when we go to do the exterior down the road. 
As far as picking out the rest of the lights and bathroom cabinets it’s been like an act of Congress.  Actually worse.  Just need to pick stuff out already.  In the craft room the electricians switched out the 4″ recessed boxes to now accept low voltage trims so I can order the articulating task lights we so desire.  Basically we’re down to just a handful of lights for the master bedroom and all the track lighting left to select.  Cabinet-wise we’ve found it nearly impossible to select a cheap $500 60″ white cabinet for the boys bathroom.  Picking out a divorce lawyer may be the simpler route but we’ll continue wading through the muck that is selecting finishes for our custom-house.  We’re gluttons for punishment.
I’ll keep you posted.  Should have more fun stuff to look at in the coming weeks.
I’ll leave you with some Christmas goodies that Santa brought the boys.  I thought they were nice designs, with some great packaging.

Go Car by Kid O Products. Simple design captures the essence of car-ness. Large handle makes it easy for little hands to race across wood floors, living room carpet and coffee tables. Packaging is 100% recycled paper. Car is BPA free molded plastic.


Automoblox once again capture the essence of the car shape to create a really fantastic toy design. The parts are interchangeable so the kids can use their imagination to create all kinds cards. Kinda pricey but well thought out and appear to be good quality. Wish they had this stuff when I was a kid.

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