212) S.T.T.F. Day 8 (Guest Room)

by Gail on April 24, 2014

Our Sprint to the Finish campaign is steady and productive. To begin with today, you may remember this staircase I painted last year:

painted stairs 3

sky-painted stairs

What the pictures didn’t show was finished drawers. I had some trouble getting the painted drawer fronts attached to the installed drawers. They restricted the smooth opening by scraping on the treads, or were misaligned, or I couldn’t get the screws in tightly, so that the drawer fronts flopped around a bit.

Rob had a neat trick. First, he trimmed my drawer fronts with a plane, to adjust the size. Then, he used the heavy double-sided foam tape – the same kind that mirror installers use to hold mirrors in place while the construction glue dries.taping drawer front on - tip

He put the tape on to the front of the box, then pressed the drawer front onto it, lining it up, and using a spacer under the drawer front which allowed just enough space to extend the drawer fully open. taping drawer on stairs

Next, he removed the whole drawer and screwed the front to the boxes from inside the drawer. He also installed the two remaining vintage Bakelite handles.painted stair risers

It was a fiddly job, as most finishing jobs are, but the drawers are working perfectly and look great.drawers in stairs

Next up was starting the guest room renovation. A couple years back, I paid $10 at the thrift store for a stained oak headboard . It reminded me of the one my parents had in my childhood home, complete with built-in reading lights. On one of the many rainy days when working outside in the garden was torture, one of my WWOOFers painted it this midnight blue.Thrift store headboard

Rob built a box the exact dimensions (width and depth) as the headboardplywood base for headboard

and I gave it two coats of the same blue.

He assembled the two partsheadboard back

and added a thin trim piece where they joined.finished headboard

He installed the vintage reading lights I had found at thrift stores. We cut off the plugs ends so that the electrical cords could be inserted into an inconspicuous small hole to the back of the headboard, then reattached plug ends. The plugs will be hidden inside the box where a wall outlet is available.

headboard with light

Also needing attention was the cupboard above the closet in that room. It has been an ugly hole that houses electrical wires, built-in vacuum tubes, and heating ducts.

Rob cleverly crafted a frame to hide the rough framing, and built a couple of lovely doors to fit just so. guest bedroom closet

When the door hinges could not be made to fit, we scratched our heads, tried different adjustments and replaced fittings. Rob finally concluded that the 1.25″ thickness of the doors was the culprit. He trimmed the thickness down to the 3/4″ standard cabinet door thickness on his table saw, and, sure enough, the hinges worked! door hinges

Now, the house guts are hidden, the doors look fabulous, and Rob and I both learned another lesson in building.guest room cupboard

And, finally, we started a secret project that had us building a 4′ grid on the ceiling. It was tough finding those ceiling joists with the stud finder.finding joists

I dug up an old photograph of that room construction. It showed the location of the joistsbasement bed studs

and Rob patiently marked where they were on the finished ceiling.

chalklines on ceiling

Then, we installed a 4′ grid with 2x2s and long screws.

guest room grid

I’m not telling you (yet) what I’m doing. If you’re curious, I’ll be updating when there is more progress in the guest room. I’d be delighted if you paid me another visit.

The next report will be coming to you “live from the loft,” where we move to next, in our Sprint To The Finish.


Sharing with: The Brambleberry Cottage, Common Ground , Rooted in Thyme, The Charm of Home


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.


Sharing with: The HomeAcre Hop






210) S.T.T.F. Days 4-6 (Door closings and window trim)

April 11, 2014

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.  The thing is, finishing tasks can be all blood and no glory. Take these persnickety old doors and their truly awkward hardware, for […]

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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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