Tag Archives: construction

Ice (almost) Out

We are watching the lake and waiting for ice out. The water is getting wider every day. Last night we made a bet. I think ice out will be 4/29. Ned says 5/2. We’ve bet a nickel. We’ll see who’s right.

The last two days have been warm here on the shores of Messalonskee. We have spent the better part of both days in the sunshine working in the yard and getting ready for spring cleanup. There is a lot of spring cleanup to do – we lost a tree last winter in the high winds and there’s a lot of raking to do. We never got the flower pots in before the dirt froze so we have that to finish, too. We could use a full time gardening crew! (Not likely  to happen!)

Ned has also been planning and chipping away at some granite that he found under the old house. He’s going to make a bird feeder. When the demolition of the old boathouse was complete, he used the backhoe to move the boulder to the front corner of the house. Now he’s decided to move it to the center of the garden nearest our driveway. He’s been “noodling around” a plan to move a 1000 pound rock … yesterday he worked it into its spot. Using a winch, some chair, a sheet of plywood, and some logs he moved the rock across the yard. I watched!

Ned is rebuilding our boathouse with Tom and the Chore Store. They’ve completed the platform on top of the old concrete foundation (a slab was poured late last fall under the old garage end) and then up went the walls. Another day and we had a roof. Watching a building being stick-built is really amazing. Tom and his crew do a great job and Ned is thrilled to have a sturdy building again. He will use the back end as a workshop and the front will still be our boathouse in the spring, summer and fall. We hope the big dock spiders have gone out into the woods never to return.

Today Ned went for his first “swim” when his waders weren’t as long as the water was deep. It was a cold shock for sure! Never the less, he persisted in getting the scaffolding up so that he could wrap the front of the building with whatever-the-wrap is. I wish I could tell you that I have been involved in the process, but I haven’t. I’ve been busy working at the Yardgoods Center while my boss is out of town.  I’m tired from being on my feet and sore but I still love working in the yarn shop!

Our Florida friends are still asking us if we are ready to leave Maine in the winter and if we regret moving up north. The answer is still and unequivocal “NO!” We are so thrilled to wake up in this beautiful place every morning. We love watching the birds return to the feeders, watch the ducks arrive back on the lake. We loved watching the Bald Eagles on the ice all winter long. The feathered loons should be returning soon. The human loons have taken their ice fishing shacks off the ice for another season. It was a good winter and we continue to feel so lucky to live here.

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“Space, the Formal Frontier”

   house under construction 2 (1 of 1) The house has gone through an unexpected transformation. With the sheet rock going up, starting on the ground floor, this construction site of wiring within the walls, plastic covered insulation, conduit hanging limp, has transformed into a house.

r construction 3 (1 of 2)Construction sites are messy. Extension cords and hoses snake through piles of scrap lumber and unused materials while shingles litter the ground, coffee cups sit upon windowsills. While the walls were unsheathed, the mess of construction mattered not. With the addition of drywall encasing the bare 2×4 walls, the space becomes more real, more imaginable, and I have an unquenchable urge to clean. Sweep, pickup, repeat.

    house under construction (1 of 7) Preparing the interior for drywall entails visualizing the planes made by the studs, corners, doorways, etc., and seeing where the drywaller needs additional wood to place a screw. Even with walls up, interiors can be in need of much additional, non structural wood.  This “deadwood” allows sheet rock to be properly affixed. So one must be able to picture the closed space even while looking through the transparent space. An unusual exercise.

house under construction (5 of 7)

    The interiors have become manageable constructs. Visually, a house of stud walls, is difficult to parse. I can walk up the stairs and see the bathroom on my right and guest room on my left but being able to see through the walls, it still feels like  a very large space in which someone has nailed 2×4’s vertically in front of me. With the addition of drywall, these spaces are enclosed and formalized. r construction 3 (2 of 2)Where once I could see and walk through walls, I now have to obey laws of physics and walk the proscribed paths. This has formalized the space, allowed me to imagine a defined existence within.  See-through walls afford no visual or aural privacy, characteristics essential to a home.

house under construction (3 of 7)

Oh yea…the bald guy speaks….

A Quick Update

This is what I arrived home to see the other day! The driveway was full of vehicles!

Plumbers and Electricians and contractors, oh my!

Plumbers and Electricians and Contractors, oh my!

IMG_5516We found a plumber and his crew arrived en masse … and got the rough in completed in three days. Woo! Hoo! We are making progress! I was especially excited to see my tub in the guest bathroom upstairs! Thanks to Brian Bickford for the great and speedy job! And thanks to our friend Janna for the recommendation, too.

We are also all closed in! The last door and window went in yesterday. Staining the cedar shingles is happening … it’s supposed to look like driftwood. I like it. Ned not so much (yet.)

The stain will look like driftwood … hopefully

The stain will look like driftwood … hopefully! Do we call this the front door?

Today I went to check on the progress inside and it was all cleaned up! After the insulation went in, it was a mess!  A MESS! (Did I yell it loud enough?) This afternoon it was all clean! Matt wins the golden broom award for cleaning up! I was shocked at how nice everything looks.

Tomorrow when I am in Bangor at a quilting class, Ned’s going to finish staining the top half of the front (lake side) of the house and then the framing for the front porch can happen while the sheet rockers are inside working. Monday we call for our inspection.

Beam-Strewn Yard With Tall Grass and All … Looking Good!

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

We’ve had a damp and humid patch that caused a little bit of stress here at Messalonskee Chronicles headquarters (the little cabin on the hill). When I went to put on a pair of “fancy” sandals, I noticed that my shoes were all covered in mold or mildew. A rough start to that day but we’ve managed to clean them all off and have purchased a little dehumidifier so it (hopefully) doesn’t happen again!

Lots of activity has been happening on our house and we are rolling along toward an occupancy date! Not sure of exactly when that will be, but we are getting closer every day. Meanwhile here’s what we’ve been up to …

Pipes for heat

Pipes for heat

The heating is being installed in the upper floors. We will have radiant heat in our slab on the first floor and baseboard heaters on the second floor. The third floor will have a plug-in unit. We expect to be super warm come winter! (And luckily, if we find ourselves feeling cool, I knit and have made and am making several warming pieces!)

We have also had our electrician here putting in all of his wiring. We have had to make some difficult decisions about where security lights will go and where we want the cans for the kitchen lights, etc.

lights will be nice!

lights will be nice!

 

 

We are grateful for every choice we are making because it means that we’re getting closer and closer to living our dream! (We hear that heat and lights will contribute to our success in Maine in the cooler months!)

 

Windows are here (and mostly installed!)

Windows are here (and mostly installed!)

 

 

 

Siding!

Siding!

 

 

 

We have had many (MANY!) deliveries by Hammond Lumber and we are continually amazed by the drivers who maneuver their big trucks loaded down with lumber, rolls of metal for the flashing and eaves and soffitts down our driveway BACKWARDS! A Hammond delivery is nearly a daily happening here and sometimes we get more than one delivery!

Painting in Progress

Painting in Progress

We’ve been painting the trim that will go around the windows and will be nailed up on the corners of the house. It’s going to look wonderful when we’re finished! It’s already looking better than we ever imagined (well, maybe we did imagine it but it’s amazing in person!)

If you’ve been by on the lake, you’ve seen the progress and many of you have stopped by to say hello. We appreciate your positive comments and looks forward to having a dock put in so you can come ashore and visit for a bit.

View from the Third Floor

View from the Third Floor

 

 

The view is breathtaking from the third floor … well, I think it’s pretty spectacular from every window! The doors arrive tomorrow! I hear we will be working most of the Labor Day weekend … and the kitchen should be coming pretty soon. We just need some plumbing roughed in and then an inspection by the town. We are making progress every day! How lucky we are!

IMG_5362

We are looking good! Beam-strewn yard with tall grass and all!

Monday 7/27/15

IMG_5190My fiancé took it!

The lake was like glass when I woke up (late) this morning. The construction crew was here and I was in my pajamas so I asked Ned to take a shot today. His photographs are always beautiful.

We’ve had several gray and rainy days and the humidity has been crazy high. (Should I have said, “wicked”?) But the whirr of the saw and the pop of the nail guns mean that there is work being done and progress is being made.

I’m off to the laundromat in Augusta today. One load instead of three is a very appealing thing when you’re doing laundry for a week. Later we may take a ride into Portland … or we may not. I’m grateful for the extra day off today and some time to do some more puttering in the cabin.