First Snow……man

We made our first snow man last weekend. 

Our first snowman.

The snow that would go on to wreak havoc on our schedule during the work week, was perfectly benign and conducive to making a little snowman before we departed on Sunday.  To top him off we added clay eyes and twigs for arms.  James was a bit pokey getting his twig so ultimately it ended up as a “horn” on the snowman’s head.  It was about as much fun as I’ve had out there so far.  This place is going to be a perfectly good time for all, year round.
Painting has been dominating the house this week.  Other trades are trying to wrap up as well.  We have less than two weeks to complete everything and I honestly don’t know how it will all get done.  Because the painters have basically take over the place with all their masking and spraying it makes it impossible to get much else done in the main house.

The entire house is masked off for the spray painting of the trim

All the trim is being painted white.  The painters mask all the floors, walls and ceilings to prevent overspray.  Everything should be done painting wise by end of day tomorrow hopefully, so about 3-4 days total to finish sanding, mask and paint everything inside.  As you know, the outside doesn’t get painted until Spring when it warms up.
On the outside the excavator finished hooking up the septic system.  We’ll get a sink and toilet installed so we can get the system inspected next week.  We had a back up system installed for the sump pump as well.  As you know, and especially now, there is a lot of surface water the seeps down into the soil and eventually into the basement.  The back up sump pump is battery operated and will kick on in case of electrical failure.  It should also kick on if the primary pump stops working.  This will give us peace of mind in the long run that we’ve done everything we could to prevent flooding in the basement.  Of note, once the gutters are in they’ll divert most of the water that would currently be getting into the basement.  Landscaping and settling soil in the yard will also help to divert and keep water away.

We went with the heavier duty battery back up for our sump pump. It includes a back up pump, battery which should run the pump for up to 12 continuous hours and a trickle charger for the battery

Also the final hookups for the cistern were made this week and paperwork submitted for the final inspection as well.
In the basement it’s exciting to see the furnace installed now.  The geothermal lines are run from the foundation wall to the unit and each is fully insulated.  The “water furnace” is a hybrid system that includes a 95% efficient natural gas furnace as well as a geothermal system.  I’ll follow-up with more detailed info, but for now I believe the geo thermal system runs most of the time and the gas kicks on when it’s really cold out.  Very similar in principle to a hybrid car motor / engine.  The geo system also provides summer cooling so we don’t need an air conditioner condenser outside the house, for better aesthetics.

Water furnace unit installed. Large tank to the left is actually part of the drinking water supply.

Finish wise, the only thing going on this week has been installation of the 3×6 glass subway tiles in the Master Bathroom.  There are about 800 tiles that need to be installed.  So far it’s been two days.  I estimate another 1-2 days to finish being installed.  They look really nice and my brother has been very kind not to complain about what is surely a tedious chore, installing each tile individually.  We chose a staggered pattern.  The tiles are real glass with a white background.  The diamond grout has flecks of glass in it and casts a nice shadow line across each tile; providing a great deal of visual depth and interest to the shower.
Some of the electrical fixtures are going in as well.  I’m really happy with the lights I picked out for the Master Bathroom.  My goal for the bathroom was to give it a hotel feel so that in a way everyday would be like being on vacation at a really nice hotel.  The lights are retro art deco units from Restoration Hardware.  And the aforementioned glass tiles add a real touch of something special. 

Glass subway tile being installed.



Master Bath lights and cabinets, sans sinks and mirrors.

Beyond this, we’re just wrapping up some odds and ends.  I was going to work on the fireplace tomorrow but the painters need the house for another day.  Fortunately the snow is gone, so while we won’t be making any more snowmen for a while, at least tradesman can get to the house and work.  Goodbye for now.

Gallery wall upstairs has gotten its primer coat.


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