Tag Archives: home building

40 Years Later

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The Warners 7/30/16 with all five of our children!

Well, we have finally done it.

On Saturday July 30th at 11:00 in the morning we were married in the yard here at our beautiful home. With our children and family in attendance, it was a spectacularly special day full of love and laughter. The weekend stretched from our only boy’s arrival on Tuesday through to the last daughter leaving the following Tuesday. It was everything that we had hoped it would be.

Late nights, beautiful days, water skiing, tubing, swimming, wine drinking and a lot of laughs. We are so blessed. I’ll write more as we come back to the “real world”.

Now for our honeymoon … at home on Messalonskee!

Life is good.

Wow! Lots of Activity

"Warner's"

“Warner’s”We have a lot going on here at “Camp Smedley”! 

 

We have a lot going on here at Warner’s “Camp Smedley”! Our house is nearly finished although I’d argue that it will never really be finished. Homes are a work in progress. Right? Ned and Tom have been working on the porch railings and the steps down to the yard. It’s wonderful to have our coffee on the porch again!

Last week the landscaping was started and it should be wrapped up on Wednesday with our sod going down. This is a huge project! As far as we know, there’s never been any “real” landscaping done here and many of the plants that we planted have not survived.

We hired Native Notions from Belgrade Lakes to do our landscaping. Matt’s design was creative and the plants were appropriate and hardy (and low maintenance). He really listened at our first meeting and delivered a plan that was just what we asked for. Thursday the crew arrived and went to work scraping the old gross yard away and then began to fill it back in with loam and the flower beds began to take shape. A couple of things that we particularly appreciated what that they installed a silt fence to protect the lake and were thoughtful of re-purposing the hosta and day lilies that were planted by Ned’s mother all those ages ago.

Here’s what it looked like before …

The yard on the railroad side of the house ... before

The yard on the railroad side of the house … before (with a little bit of Ned in the top corner)

Helen's Garden Before

Helen’s Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Lakeside Garden Before

Every day when I came home after work I  was pleasantly surprised by the changes that I could see. It’s already a huge improvement and I can’t wait to see the finished project! I hope I took enough before and after pictures so that you can see what a wonderful job they did!

Day 1 - the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 – the yard on the railroad side after

Day 1 - Lakeside Garden - After

Day 1 – Lakeside Garden – After

Day 1 - Helen's Garden - After

Day 1 – Helen’s Garden – After

One of my favorite parts, oddly enough, is the pathway of rocks around the house that will serve as a drip edge. It’s so pretty!

We are getting ready to have the whole family here for our wedding on July 30. Lots to finish up and clean up in preparation for our big event. I figure if we can live together in our little guest cottage for ten months and build a house without detesting each other we figured it’s time to make it formal!

Every day we thank our lucky stars to be here!

We Are In!

Last night we slept in the house for the first time. It feels great to have some space and “real” heat (rather than space heaters).

We still have a lot of work to be done but we can live in the house while it’s done – and it may be just in time for our first snow storm overnight.

Tomorrow the moving company delivers all of our stuff from Florida. We are eager to see what we own after seven months! We got rid of a lot of stuff before we moved, things that we knew we didn’t want in our Maine house … and tomorrow it arrives.

Our replacement cupboard and counter tops should be coming this week, too. It’s so nice to have a kitchen with more than a one-burner camp stove! Ned’s new stove/oven is so fancy I don’t even know how to make it work … I want to bake so I guess I’ll find out.

We’ve been horrible about writing lately and for that we’re sorry. Chronicling this adventure has been a priority but lately we’ve been busy. Ned has been working in the house and I’ve been working at the yarn shop and teaching knitting. I’m eager to get my studio set up so I can work at home – I have a quilt to finish and a sweater to finish before December 13th! I’m on a deadline!

More pictures soon, we promise!

Welcome Fall!

View From the Porch

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We sat on the front porch for the first time the other evening. We were noticing that the swarms of motor boats have become sparse and we haven’t seen any hummingbirds for at least a week. The songbirds have filled up at the feeders and headed south. The Canada Geese are starting to arrive and as of today, so are the cooler temperatures. Ned remarked that we have our lake back. (Well it feels like our lake!)

We are getting a lot done on the house! The cedar shingles are nearly complete and the floor of the front and side porches are finished.

Kitchen is (sheet) rockin'

Kitchen is (sheet) rockin’

Today the Sheetrock guys arrived and got most of the first floor done. It’s remarkable how efficient these professionals are. We are so enjoying seeing what the house is going to look like with walls!

We have ordered the kitchen cabinets and they will be delivered in two weeks. The range hood is in the house and the vent to the outside is installed. The plumbing and electric are roughed in. The bath tub in the guest bathroom upstairs is also in place. The security lights outside are in place. It’s remarkable!

Tomorrow the Chore Store crew will be framing the porch roof on the front of the house. And maybe the side porch, too. The majority of the siding has been bleached. The trim is all stained and touched-up. It’s time to order the appliances! Soon we will have Ron return with his digger to dig the gas, plumbing and whatever other ditches need to be dug. The gas and electric will get connected and we will have a boiler installed to provide us some heat. We are going to need it!

We turned on the space heater in the cabin this week. The mornings, in particular, have been chilly for us. We are out of practice!

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!

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

It’s Coming Back

I’ve been too busy working to blog about the house going up but there has been a lot of excitement around here every day! We’ve got walls and it’s starting to show us what it’s going to look like and how we can place furniture in our rooms!

First Floor Coming Along!

First Floor Coming Along!

I thought it was exciting when I came home and the first floor was all closed in with the plywood. I could finally see the size of the windows and where the front door would be. Before this I thought it was going to be small. Ned even went and measured the slab one night because I was so worried that we’d built it too small. It was spot on! The door you can see is the one that will lead to the screened porch. The two smaller windows is the kitchen and the large window is the dining room. All of the rooms are in the same place as in the old house. It’s basically the same downstairs floor plan it’s just more open!

And then one day I came home and climbed up a ladder to stand on what will be our second floor.

View from my Atelier on the Second Floor

View from my Atelier on the Second Floor

With some of the exterior walls up, it’s going to be a phenomenal view of the lake through the big windows on the front of the house (and the sides, too!) We have to have a bunch of bedrooms available because we want our family to come visit (and friends, too.) Each room on the second floor will be able to sleep our friends and family. Only one will be a dedicated guest room. The other will be my studio and the third will be Ned’s TV room. Although we discussed moving the TV up to the third floor and expanding my studio when we saw the size of the third floor former attic space.

IMG_5171The best day of all was when I saw the roof of the house rising above the woodshed roof again. There has been a hole there since we took the old house down and nothing felt right. But it’s coming back and all is right with the world. I got a ride with our contractor in the lift that we’ve rented to get the wood up to the roof without having to carry it. What a blast! The view of the house from the air is amazing and the view of the lake from the top of the house is phenomenal. Ned’s office space on the third floor is going to be the best view in the house.

Pinch me! We get to live here!

“Cut a cripple for the dustpan”

It’s been a good week of banging nails.

Mo Betta Bangin’ from Ned Warner on Vimeo.

This is conventional framing, that is without much in the way of blueprints. And since we altered the basic floor plan, it does lead to unintended consequences. An alteration on the first floor ends up hitting you in the face on the third floor. We are using no manufactured trusses, so the roof is measured and cut on site, piece by piece, which necessitates knowledgeable framers. We have them, but there are always several ways of getting the job done, so opinions vary and discussions ensue. I can listen to two guys on site talk about a framing issue and marvel that although they use English and understand each other, I am at an almost complete loss. It does remind me how much of a visual thinker I am and my need to “see it” to aid comprehension.

The third floor is framed in along with three dormers…”dustpan” dormers as one of the carpenters said. The flat roof of this shed dormer may resemble a dustpan, it’s been hard to find any etymological history on the term, but I am fascinated by words specific to a profession.

Having been in two other professions  (television news and kitchens), terminology specific to each sometimes was completely foreign to those not in the business. The worlds of home building and architecture, have some distinct jargon. In carpentry, a “jack stud” or “trimmer” refers to a stud holding up a “header”, which is a beam running horizontally above a window or door to transfer the weight above it. “King rafter” (not sure),  “king stud”(immediately outside a “jack”, and “cripple” which is a smaller, vertical stud under a window sill. terms typical-wall-framing

“Birdmouth” or “crowsmouth” refers to a diagonal cut in a rafter that lets it rest on the “top plate”, which is the horizontal length of wood on top of a wall. I wonder if that is related to “dovecote”- a shelter, sometimes built on the gable end or eaves, for birds or pigeons?DSCF2069

“Cats paw”, “plumb bob”, “crown”, “scissor truss”, the list goes on, identifying tools or procedures specific to a profession, enabling workers to communicate in a shorthand. Not surprisingly, some words are common to both architecture and carpentry, they are after all  intricately linked together. So excuse me while I go cut some cripples.

Get Woody

 

drawings (1 of 1)-2                                                                                                                Lake view

Here are the plans that were drawn up.  Last summer I sat down with my architect, Bob Hayford, over the course of a month or so and hashed out our needs and wants, blended that with the conditions of the town, and came up with some drawings. Just the bare minimum of drawings but Tom was ok with that. Of course that means a lot of computations on his part, stringer lengths, window choices, meetings and phone calls with Dave at Hammond (he must be on speed dial), revisions and decisions. So far so good. (Thank you Dave for the pastries). I barely know how to lay out a wall so I can’t imagine the calculations for the wood, load limits, board feet, etc. Like anything it comes with experience.

drawings (1 of 1)

This is day 4 & 5, set to music that although wonderful,  is quit overused for this sort of thing…so my apologies to Signore Giachino Rossini.

day 4 from Ned Warner on Vimeo.

 

 

Walls are Going Up!

IMG_5103IMG_5102I worked very hard to take down walls that I put up over the years when I was in therapy. Walls act as protection from hurt in a psychological way. They also can physically protect you in a house building way. All of this is to inform you that we now have walls.

Despite a really warm Maine summer day today, Tom and his crew and my handsome fiancé built more walls. We have framed the first floor. I can now get an idea of how my bedroom will look. And the front hall. And the huge windows in the living/dining room. It’s really exciting to see it all coming together.

IMG_5100Tomorrow they will add the beginnings of the second story. I know that when I get home from work there will be more progress to see. More walls will be going up. I used to think I was making progress bringing walls down but now I’m excited to have walls going up. Ain’t life grand?