211) S.T.T.F. Day 7 (Wood box cover)

by Gail on April 16, 2014

A quick report on our house finishing (“Sprint to the Finish”) today.

steel roof on wood box

The basement casement is finished. This window brings light into the basement hallway.basement casement before afterHere’s a worm’s eye view from the floor:

basement casement trimI even cleaned the windows. Who knows when we’ll ever climb up there to deal with spider webs and dust again?

And, outside, in the rain, Rob installed the heavy gauge metal roofing onto the wood box. As you can see from the photo, it matches our roof. I ordered the custom-cut roofing about eight months ago, and it has been taunting me every day as I enter the house. wood box before after

As D pointed out, it adds a significant weight to the lid when we raise it to get wood or deposit garbage. But, it’s so beautiful.

Progress, baby, progress! And tomorrow, we’re going back inside, driven there by the weather.


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I haven’t been doing a daily update on our Sprint to the Finish, because it’s turned into a Limp to the Finish. There’s not much progress, at least to the casual viewer. top lock

The thing is, finishing tasks can be all blood and no glory. Take these persnickety old doors and their truly awkward hardware, for example.door locksbedroom door before

bath door before

In order to make the doors functional, Rob had to take the latch/lock mechanisms completely apart, discard most of the interior parts, and re-build the doors with various hand-shaped pieces of fir.patching doors

Then, he had to cobble together the miscellaneous mis-matched hardware and vintage door knobs we had in the box, plus buy a latch that was the right length for commercial doors.

And, being a bit of a perfectionist, he wanted to use brass screws the same vintage as the doors. Then, once the latches were assembled, we both had to fill and sand and stain the wood adapters so THEY also looked the same vintage. door knob

Here are some results of our painstaking efforts:bedroom door know

bedroom french doors


We definitely ended up with funky door hardware.bathroom doorknob

And, in slightly other progress, we had this eyesore to deal with:window well

Four years after the windows were installed, I have finally done the staining and finishing of the last window. It has been hidden behind the plastic that protected the window from spray-on insulation, drywall mud, and spray paint.light well window before

It’s also nine feet up, with a sink cabinet below, making access to it difficult for me.

Rob has one of those ladders that convert into a scaffold, and it fit right over the sink cabinet. I put a small stool on top to make it the right height for me.cupboard-spanning scaffold

Meanwhile, we laminated, planed, sanded, stained and varathaned four strips of fir flooring to build a sill/surround.laminated flooring window trim

Now that wall cavity is covered up. Much better!finished light well

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209) S.T.T.F.- Day 3 (Door Closings!)

April 5, 2014

So, we hit the number one priority today: putting latches and locks on bathroom and bedroom doors. At one point, Rob said “this is taking so long.” I told him it’s taken us three years, and so in comparison, a couple hours to figure out how to handle these old doors and their hardware is […]

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208) Sprint to the Finish – Day 2 (Pergola)

April 3, 2014

A rare sunny day had us running outside for Day 2′s sprint. (See Day 1 here.) The little garden shed needs a pergola, don’t you think? I have a purple clematis I’d like to grow up around the door. That section of the garden is “the purple section,” because our romantic and creative WWOOFers,  Kelly […]

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207) Sprint to the Finish – Day 1

April 2, 2014

Exactly a year ago today, I posted our 48 little things challenge. When you build your own house, it never gets finished (“Man who finish house die.”) That challenge was designed to jump-start (or jump-finish, really) our niggling little jobs. It gets so that you don’t even see those deficiencies anymore. You just live with […]

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206) Secret Workshop

March 31, 2014

Someone in our family recently had a birthday. Many years ago, he visited a home that included a secret bookcase door that led to the homeowner’s workshop. He said that’s what he wanted in our future home. There are commercial hidden-door bookcases that you can order. Also, here’s a pretty detailed tutorial of how to build […]

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205) Patio Pizza

January 12, 2014

(Guest Post by D) An old friend, in discussing national cuisines, described British cooking as ‘medieval’, especially compared to French cooking.  I was thinking this the other day as I began to binge-watch The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver’s signature show begun in 1999 when he was just 23.  In his first two shows Jamie cooked […]

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204) Guest Bathroom Reveal

November 19, 2013

I have shown parts of our guest bathroom, but not the whole thing. It’s a bit challenging to photograph, because there are so many reflective surfaces. You can see the two tube lights reflected so often it looks as though there are eight of them! The guest bathroom is in the basement (high walk-out level) […]

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Grant Rant

November 3, 2013

(This post will only be of interest to readers who have built a new home in Canada or substantially renovated an existing home to make it look as though it was a new build, or will be building one soon.) I love this community I live in! On a newcomers’ hike in February or March […]

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203) Patio Pinally Pinished

October 23, 2013

The addition of the roof “rafters” and lattice has added a real graphic dimension to the patio, especially when the sun is shining. I’ll let the photos tell the story, which includes the reason that I’m so glad we didn’t attempt to build the patio structure ourselves. (Hint: see Peter scrambling around the rafters like […]

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