Saturday, November 3, 2012

Owner Building a Home - Week 24 - Doors, Millwork, Geo-Thermal, Etc.

It's Saturday morning as I sit and write this.  The house is quiet.  The boys are with Jay at the new house and the girls are playing a few doors down with a neighbour friend.  I am tired.  But, I usually am by this time of the week because I usually spend Thursday and Friday evenings working long at the house.  This week was not exception.  And that is why I ALWAYS have a Sunday afternoon nap.  Ooh, and today we get to move the clocks BACK one hour so if I am really smart, I will sleep 1 hour more, not work 1 hour more!  Alrighty then, the week in review.

Monday - My dearly beloved husband took a trip into the nearby town to pickup this beautiful secretary for me.  Surprise was that it doesn't come apart into 2 pieces as we were expecting (and as the seller stated) so I am not sure if we will be able to get it into my craft room like I want.  I will either have to figure out how to separate it without destroying it OR maneuver it down the stairs in one piece OR remove the basement stairs and drop it down into the basement.  As for me, I went to the orthodontist with both boys in the afternoon and then did some shopping so I wasn't at the site at all.  Mr. W started working on the casings around the windows.

Tuesday - A long-awaited day - hydro finally came and hooked up power to the house. 

We had limited power before with extension cords but now we can power up the whole house.  It is so lovely to work late at night and be able to turn on and off lights as I go.   It really helps to eliminate falling down the stairs or tripping over tools!  I think this is the day the interior doors started going up and casings continue. 

We also started installing  baseboards.  However, it was another short day due to small group in the evening.

Wednesday - Also another big day - the installation of the Geo-thermal pipes outside began. 

The excavator digs big trenches, lies 2 rolls of coiled up pipe in each trench and then covers them back up.  Those coiled up lines are all attached to another straight pipe which runs into the house.  All those pipes are filled with water which is either heated or cooled by the earth itself.  That is a really simple explanation for a more complicated Geo-thermal system.  It was fun for the kids to watch.  We have the perfect soil with no rocks at all.  Well, they did find one large rock, which they removed, but there weren't any other rocks at all - not even fist sized ones.  Perfect sandy/clay soil mix.  While they worked outside, Jay was working on the plumbing in the basement. 

Our other plumber/HVAC guy is too busy to get our work done so we are finishing it up ourselves and hiring some other help.  For now Jay is doing the plumbing.  I continued to work on the casings and baseboards while Mr.W continues to hang doors.  Hanging doors may look really simple but to get them exactly straight and level and closing perfectly can be a bit tricky, especially if there is any torque or twist in the doors.  Mr.W does a great job.  He hangs the doors so that I can do all the other trim work.  This was another short day as we went out for supper with the kids and then shopping to fill shoe boxes of toys/toiletries for Operation Christmas Child, a yearly tradition for us.  We went to Boston Pizza where they had this amazing deal that for a $5 donation, they would give you 5 free kids meals.  We bought 4 cards at $5 each ($20) and received 20 kids meals ($6.99 each).  It saved us $119.80.  Going out as a family the next 4 times to Boston Pizza will be very economical! 

Thursday - The outside work for the Geo-thermal was completed today and they will return in about 1 1/2 weeks to start the inside work.  Mr.W continued to hang doors.  Jay continued plumbing.  I stayed late and installed baseboards, casings and made some pretty crowns for the door headers.  Mr.W had made one crown header for me as a sample and I took it from there.  They are easy to make and add so much detail.  I made 3 headers on this day. 

Friday - Jay finished the basement plumbing for now and worked his way into the master bath where he is trying to get the drains for the shower and tub connected.  Mr.W hung a few more doors upstairs and then started making his way to the main floor.  He just started to install the base cabinets in the kitchen, ensuring they are level and well-stabilized for the concrete counter tops going in.  While they were doing that, I continued with casings and baseboards.  The pink room (little girl's) room is now done.  {When I say done, I mean all the casings and baseboards are installed - the filling of the holes/sanding/touch up painting on the mill work still needs to happen}.  The orange/grey room is done.  I was working in the purple room but getting frustrated at the mitered corners so I started working in the hall.  I also made 2 more crown headers for the master bedroom door and installed the headers I made on Thursday.   Mr.W painted them earlier and they were ready to go up.  I really like how they turned out.  I stayed late working on all those things yet again.

Saturday - That brings us to today.  It snowed last night - I am not sure I am ready for snow yet.  However, I am extremely thankful for our wood-burning fireplace at the new house.  It is what is keeping the place cozy warm.  We keep it filled all day and Jay fills it back up first thing in the morning.  The house is also well insulated so that heat is staying in the house just where it should.  I also believe we have much better windows in the new house so even without window coverings, they are insulated well, being that they are triple-pane, dual-argon, dual low-E.  They are some good windows.  At the house, Jay continued to landscape the yard with the tractor.  He was pulling clay away from the area where the Geo-thermal is located and putting it on the driveway.  The driveway needs to be built up quite a bit by the garage and clay is the perfect thing to use.  Either later this fall or next spring, we will bring in more soil to cover the exposed clay in the back.  I brought all the fixings to make french toast at the new house so we ate lunch there.  After lunch, I installed a few light fixtures.  I bought this one of the girl's room so long ago, it was fun to finally put it up.  It is so cute.  Super filthy right now but once we are done with all the dusty work I will clean it properly.  Plus I only put 3 bulbs in when it takes 6 but it looks super cute already!

After the lights I continued on the casings and baseboards.  I added a few here and there but the main work was to make a huge crown for the end doors in the hall.  At the end of the hall, as you can just see on the far left in the photo above, is Pepe's room and around the corner to the left are 2 hall doors and then around the corner again is AJ's room.  All those doors are in such close proximity that it doesn't work to make 4 separate crown headers.  Instead, I made 3 headers, 1 above each of the boy's rooms and 1 above both hall doors.  However, they are all connected so they look like 1 giant crown header.  With so many corners to consider, they were certainly tricky to make and they aren't perfect but they look great.  They will be painted next week and then I can install those.  I have now made crown headers for 9 doors upstairs and I have all the inside of the master bedroom/bathroom left to do.  These fancy crown headers will only be on the hall side of the doors on both floors plus on all master bedroom/bathroom windows and doors.  They are actually fairly simple to make and come together pretty quickly.  And that brings my week to a close.  What did you do this week?


  1. Great post and what a great job you’ve done so far. Two thumbs up! I’m looking forward that you’ll be getting what your expected result out of this and I’m hoping to see it soon… Thanks for sharing!


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