Jimmy & Patsy's Adventure

March 2005

This is YOUR welcome mat.  I hope you plan to use it soon and often.

Rumor has it that the house is "scheduled" for completion by the end of this month.  That would be great if were true.  However, it think mid-April may be closer to the actual completion.  Either way, the end of this "adventure" is in sight.  Or, perhaps, another adventure is just around the corner. :-)

This is a rare uncluttered view of the house.  The remaining "rocks-in-a-box" have finally been moved out of sight and the dumpster is out of view.  We have a new chimney cap in place but still have the temporary front door.   The front steps are a little narrow (just ask Becky) but wider ones are on their way.

See, I told you that wider steps were on the way.  What I thought would be a simple excavation job to dig the footing for the steps turned into a real "big dig".   Apparently, the excavation has to get below the frost line.  In Virginia that may be a foot.  In Colorado, it is more like 3 feet.  The excavator put brand new teeth on his bucket before he started digging.  Now, I know why.  The term "hard as a rock" also applies to frozen dirt.

Keith has finished installing the deck posts and will begin working on the railings very soon.  Once they are in place, we can get back to finishing the staining. 

Today, Sunday, March 6, 2005 we had our gutters installed.  We changed our mind a few times on gutters from absolutely no gutters to well, OK but only because we didn't want our deck to be an ice rink all winter.  And, from definitely green to match to roof to a "mousy brown" to match the stone.  Actually, it is "musket brown" but I can't tell the difference.  And, for no additional charge, "The Gutter Guys" will autograph your gutters for you.  What a deal!   Now remember, you can't believe everything you see. :-)

These two photos may help put things in perspective.  Buck is finishing the trim on the the windows in the great room.  Needless to say, working at that height is no fun. He must have been up and down that ladder 500 times.  Keith is working a little lower but his trim weighs a lot more than Bucks and cutting opposing compound angles on a round log is difficult at best.

The corner posts are installed and they look terrific.  We can't wait to see them finished.  The larger post on the left is about 15 feet long.  But, it's not the length....its the weight when you are trying to fit it into place.

The granite counter tops have landed!  Not in a "big rig" as I expected, but just a little "pick-um up truck" with a steel support in the bed.  So far, not too impressive.  But, just you wait.  :-)

The granite is called "Indian Piranha".  It is almost impossible to capture the colors in a photo but, as you can see, it has browns, blues, greys, and many other smaller features that make it "special."  There are a lot of reasons we chose it but, primarily, it just seemed to fit in with our little log cabin in Colorado.

The first piece installed was a small hearth on the downstairs fireplace.  It fit perfectly and was even shaped to fit around the rounded corners of the walls.  This was the first hint of what was to come.

The granite is 2 cm thick and doubled up in the edges to make 4 cm thick.  That's about an 1 1/2 inches for you folks in Virginia.  It is supported on 3/4" plywood strips screwed to the cabinets.  This, by the way, will be our only seam in all the countertops.

Needless to say, some pieces were a little on the heavy side.  These young fellas, however, had no problem jockeying these sections into place.  The tough part making sure it is aligned and level before you glue it into place. Needless to say. they had to pick this sucker up more than once.

This is the "elbow rest" for the island.  We were extremely pleased that they were able to cut it in one piece. It is about 10 feet long, just about the length of a typical slab of granite.

I have tons of photos of the new countertops.  None, however, capture the real beauty of the granite.  You will just have to come see it for yourself. 

This is one happy camper!  And, boy am I glad!

So, what do you do with all the scraps?  You make vanity tops for the powder room, of course.  By the way, except for the hole for the undermount kitchen sink, all the holes for the outlets, stove top, fan controls, etc. were cut on site.  They made it look really easy and had no problems cutting, shaping, or polishing what ever they needed.   I was impressed.  But, then again, anyone one with no talent is often impressed by those who have it.

At the same time the granite countertops were being installed, the tile work in the master bath was being completed.  Of course we used some of our scrap granite for the shower seat and a couple shelves. 

Needless to say, it was a hectic day with lots of activity going on.  At any given time we had three granite guys, three tile guys, two hammer and nail guys, two or three supervisors, and a couple "tourists" as we were called.  What a day!  We were exhausted with the  excitement. :-)

The landing for the porch steps was poured today. "Poured" is not quite the right term as about 50 bags of concrete were mixed by hand.  We are planning a red slate walkway from the driveway to the front porch.  And, one of us wants a "water feature" along the walkway.  Only time and talk will determine if we have one or not. :-)

It is snowing today. You can only imagine what it is like to be able to watch the snow from so many vantage points.  If only there was a fire in the fire place and friends and family were gathered at the "bar"....everything would be perfect. 
Get your reservations in early!  The "bar" will be open before you know it.

The railing for the stairs has been installed.   A little sanding, a little varnish, and it will be all done.  Code requires a smaller handrail to be installed as well.  It remains to be seen if we leave it up or not. 

The "Naughty Elder" front door has been installed and the front steps have been completed.  Patsy didn't want me to take this photo because the painters --- yes, the painters are here doing their thing --- have everything taped up and covered.  I, the impatient one, couldn't wait to show you the front door.  I'll add a new one once it is completed.  BTW, you should see the bronze pine cone door knocker we have for the door.  It's cool!

I told you I would put up another photo when the door was done.  It still has a temporary lock set but it has been varnished inside and out.  In fact, the painters just finished the inside painting today.  There is still some outside staining to be done and a "green door" has to be painted but we are getting real close.

Except for hooking up the gas stove, all the plumbing fixtures have been installed. We actually have running water!!
Notice the dual controls in the shower.  One controls the shower head and the other controls the shower wand.  Hmmm....could this be a two-person shower?  No, one of us is much too shy for that kinda foolishness. Guess who that might be.  ;-)  

I'm not a "bath person" but a bath on a snowy day like today sure looks inviting....after we clean the sawdust out of the tub.

Keith installed all the deck rails today.  It truly amazes me how much can be accomplished in a short period of time by those who know what they are doing.  We'll let them "age" a little and get the painter back to stain them.

Jerry put the trim on the cabinets today.  Needless to say, they look fantastic!   It is hard to imagine that the same person that set the main ridge beam (with Buck's help, of course) also did the finish carpentry work on the cabinets.  Truly a carpenter's carpenter.

The kitchen island is nearly complete except for a couple pieces of trim on the island.   We have already picked up our bar stools and, believe it or not, one of them has your name on it.

What the heck is this, you say?  Well, these are a couple covers on our sprinkler heads.  They look pretty good on the white ceilings but leave a little bit to be desired on the wood ceiling.  But, even on the wood ceilings, it looks better that an exposed sprinkler head sticking out of the ceiling. 

In case you haven't heard, March is Colorado's snowiest month.  Today is March 25th and this just may the the biggest snow of the season.  We hope so anyway.  :-)    The sign on the front porch reads:

The hardwood floors will be sanded and finished here on Monday, March 28th.
Do not plan on entering
"Boss" Becky

Yahoo!   We are really getting close!!
Of course, that sign doesn't apply to me.  I'll be there watching as usual.  :-)

The network is completed.  Well, at least all the wires, speakers, and controls are in place.  I guess it remains to be seen it all works as it should.  From left to right: Satellite TV panel, telephone panel, and most importantly, computer network.   Items remaining to be installed include a receiver, amplifier, and wireless router.   Since we cannot get cable or any other high speed Internet service, we will have to get DSL service.  What a shame. :-)

Now we are really getting down in the weeds with details.  After some wringing of hands over just the right kind of knobs for our cabinets we consulted our cabinet lady (another really nice Pat) for some good advice.  She is never short on opinions and said "simple is better".  And, by the way, there is no need to spend $10 on each knob.  Sounded like good advice to me.   So, a trip to Home Depot, an hour of Gerry's time, and we have knobs on our cabinets.  Waddya think?  :-)

The paneling is finished on the island, the knobs are on the cabinets, the plumbing is in place, so what's the hold up.  Let's get those appliances installed!  We have parties to throw.

This is the last update for March.  Needless to say, we are making good progress and look forward to what April will bring.....besides more snow.  See ya next month.

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