Even our finished things are never quite finished

DSC_0029As you might remember, we’re furiously working to finish a few key projects before my brother, his family and my mom come for a visit in a week and a half so my brother can run his first marathon — the Marine Corps Marathon. The most crucial part is the guest bedroom, which still has about a week and a half of work to go, but we did manage to knock out the bulk of our other biggest project on tap: the downstairs sleeping porch.

We went to North Carolina last week to visit some of our best friends for the week and while we were gone, I had a guy come to finish up the drywall ceilings (and one wall upstairs that I didn’t have time to finish before leaving.) After a year of watching every tiny bit of progress minute by minute in person like watching grass grow, man, it was so fantastic to leave for a week and come back to something major being completed. Our electrician wrapped up the last of the projects a few days before we left, so everything was ready to be buttoned up. (Drop me a line if you need an electrician recommendation — the guy we chose was tremendous.)

When we got back from the mountains, I only had to look over and sand down any spots that our guy had missed after taping and mudding the seams. By the end of Sunday I had it primed and painted, with the can light covers in place and nearly done. I had to add an extra coat of paint Monday night (after getting sick Sunday night. Was it the 6 little kids we were with all week? Who knows.)

Sanding the porch

I installed the new fan we bought a few weeks ago Monday night (which had its own problems due to the electrical box installed slightly above the ceiling line.) We cleaned up the room and it feels done, but I still have to do all the casements for the windows, the door, and the baseboards and trim. I’ll probably get the baseboards and trim done this weekend, but the casement for the doors and windows will probably have to wait.

I did hear from a friend that Fragers on Capitol Hill carries the kind of casing trim that I need, which has been incredibly hard to find. We want to try and match the trim to the rest of the original trim in the house.

I’ve been relying on birthdays and loaners and hand-me-downs and Christmas presents for almost all of my tools, but I really had to step out and buy one big tool for this trim job — and for about two dozen others like it coming down the pipe in the coming months or years.

Oh yeah, new chop saw baby! It came to my office today, so I’ll be bringing it home tomorrow.

Ok, enough talk. Here’s the best before/after of this room. First photo is from the first time we saw the house. And Rachel would like me to add that it’s not decorated or finished in any way in the second. 🙂

Pre-closing: 1st floor porch north
Sleeping porch north - after

Here’s the full rundown of what we did in this room in the last 11 months: We tore out the old windows, door and full framing of the back of the house and replaced it with new framing, insulation, windows, a door and HardiePlank on the outside. We ripped out the dropped panel ceiling and tore down some shelves and storage things on the north wall. The bricks on the north wall had turned to powder from water damage, so I sealed them and built a stud wall to cover ’em up. We added 2 new receptacles, including one in the stud wall, and an extended electric line up through the floor upstairs for future work there. We moved the new ceiling fan to the center of the room and added two can lights on either side of the fan. And all new white paint on all the walls.

We still need to clean and paint the bricks on the former back of the house (the east wall), paint the backside of the 10-light french doors and windows, and finish all the trim. Hopefully we’ll have that done by the next family visit at Thanksgiving. This room may not be quite finished yet, but it sure is nice to have something else almost wrapped up. We’re plugging right along!

More photos:

Pre-closing: 1st floor porch south

Sleeping porch west

1st floor sleeping porch northNew stud wall

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