Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What I Did This Summer - or - A Cottage Update

So it's been hard to work every spare minute on the Cottage, keep the Etsy Store a little bit stocked and blog. So blogging has suffered. My devoted readers (you kids) have wanted to see some progress. I have been taking pictures so here is "What I did this Summer".
We set the house down on the foundation and framed the floor and walls of the former carport so it could become a new master bedroom and bath. 

Here's the inside looking out. Look at that great floor. Best Loved Hubbs and I did that! And the joists underneath! And those stud walls. 
In framing, we discovered that a previous remodel had removed a load bearing wall between the kitchen and living room which left the roof unsupported and sagging. We beefed up the supporting stud wall and changed the open living room kitchen plan to include a small support wall. 
We got electrical service. This deserved a whole line of exclamation marks because now we didn't have to haul the generator over each work day and we didn't have to work with very loud noise it made. 
Here's the connection at the house. We had a Master Electrician do this connection. Entergy approves it when they hook it up. (No, no inspection other than their supervisor, who's a Master Electrician, approving. We did have our electrician meet with Entergy's engineer so they could plan where the poles and service would go.)

We added sheathing to the outside of the house and doors. We had planned to finish the outside with Hardiboard siding but discovered that vinyl siding was half the price of the Hardiboard and then the Hardiboard needed painted. Switching to vinyl let us replace all the windows. Win Win.  Ask the BL Grandboys how much work is involved in putting up sheathing. They were enormously helpful. We also got new soffits and repaired the eaves where they were rotted or broken. Great to have a youngster when you are working over your head.

In the process we generated a bit of waste. This is the 2nd burn pile (we have another one almost that size that needs to burn) and we've taken 3 trailer loads to the dump.
The old HVAC system was part of one of those dump loads. We removed all the outdated ducting as well as the old gas furnace. There was no AC so we needed a modern heat pump if we want a first rate tenant. It seemed at this point like we are taking more out of the house than we put on it.  

We got rough plumbing. We hired a master plumber to do this. BL Hubby is pretty comfortable with plumbing but there are some codes and calculations to make so we felt it best to hire a pro. We did the same with the "Little House" we did previously. The existing plumbing was almost all removed in moving the house. We kept the bathtub in the existing bathroom but nothing else. The shower in the back is going to be in the new master bath. Went with pecs plastic. The old vents and bits of water pipe left were copper and I salvaged them for $110. Glad to see the cooper go as a lot of homes are damaged by folks who want to steal the cooper. 
This is the future kitchen sink water. Note the new electric plugs. BL Big Boy helped rewire the house. There were three versions of old electric service and we needed it modernized. 
Pipes in the house are no good unless they are attached to water company's pipes. Best Loved Hubby got to rent a big tool and did trenches from the street to the house and then farther up the property to shed that came with the house so that we could have water on the fruit trees and blueberries as well as to the house. 
Before the BL Boys left us they wrapped the house! I found out that this product was invented to help homes be more energy efficient but is now used mostly for a water barrier that helps your house last longer.  The BL Boys made quick work of putting it up. 
All this dirt doesn't look that exciting but it covers a new septic system! Yup, the septic tank is in the front yard. That's where down hill is and we all know what flows downhill.  The white pipe marks the distribution box and our septic guru put it there so we don't drive over it or cover it with a side walk. When all the outside is done it will be removed but there will always be two small green plastic caps in the front yard. Now we have water in, water out but nothing in between. We will need to install sinks, toilets, showers, etc as we finish.  
One of the easiest tasks was putting in the windows. It took BL Hubbs and I only a day to get all of them installed. New windows make the house feel like it is brand new. We used Home Depot's least expensive in stock vinyl windows and because we had no siding it was easy to change window sizes to match what HD had in stock. We used a sticky tar like tape to seal the wrap around the new windows and keep rain from leaking around the windows. 
All this lead up to the best thing ever. We got the siding! We planned to do it ourselves but we discovered a great group of professionals that do small residential drywall, siding, flooring, painting, etc. on the weekends. They did our interior drywall (I'll show you the inside next post) and were so amazing we decided that they should do the exterior and it was a great decision. Three men finished it in one day. Oh, and look at those soffits and eaves. I painted them the lovely white. Lots of caulk and two coats of brightest white plus primer. Hardest part was fitting it in between the rain we got. That and I would work early morning before it got too hot. 
Here's the east side all covered up with lovely vinyl. The gray color was Lowes in stock. I wanted a gray house and BL Hubbs wasn't so sure. I would have painted it darker but the ease of upkeep make both of us happy. 

We still need to finish trim but isn't she pretty? Best day ever! 

I'll post again with the insides. Lots happening there too.  What did you do this summer?