Feb 15, 2009

Steady progress

After my last post I headed to High Point, North Carolina on business. I was pleasantly surprised at the progress when I returned. Good weather helped a lot.

This photo is evidence of just how good the weather really was. And it was around this time that the guys started kidding me about always bringing the good weather with me when I came into town. If my memory is right it was actually in the 70's for awhile on this trip

The walls and roof of the garage went up quite quickly.

The beginnings of a second floor had even started. This is what will be the view out of the room that will be back behind the upstairs bedroom. My first chance to go "upstairs" even though I had to climb a ladder instead of stairs to get there at this point

This is a much more mundane view. I'm standing at the back end of the garage looking down what will eventually be a ramp to the outside. The idea behind the ramp is that I hope it will be easier to haul things like my small kayak into the garage for the winter without having to go up stairs.

I couldn't resist grabbing this shot which is taken from just about where my breakfast table will be. Oh, I can hardly wait to actually have a decent spot for a table to eat at! No more noshing in the living room all summer. And yes, also having the ability to have friends and family over for a meal now and then.

You can see a bit of the old decking in this photo that was just outside the kitchen door. You can also see that the door frame no longer lines up with said decking. This is one of those little things discovered when the plans don't quite match up with the actual construction. This was only the first of several such discoveries over the next several months. Ahhhhh the joys of remodeling.

The next photos are simply a series that show the framing for the lakeside extension going up and how it relates to the garage.

Basically we're bumping out the lakeside wall by six feet from the kitchen to the downstairs bedroom/office. This will allow a kitchen seating area, more room in the downstairs bath, and in the bedroom/office area.

This final photo shows where the doorway to aforementioned ramp will lead into the main garage.

Photos taken November 4, 2008

Pour it on

The same day I went over to the construction site to grab some quick pics of the progress the crew arrived to pour the garage floor.

Backing the truck up to start the pour. If you look closely you can see the wire support grid has already been laid down and the drain is in place

It's surprising how lumpy the cement starts off when you think about how smooth it ends up

The first part of the smoothing process begins as the crew simply drags a straightedge across the surface as the cement is being poured

Once enough cement has been poured another step in the smoothing process takes place as they put together the longest pole I think I've ever seen and attach it to another smoothing bar.

I came back later in the afternoon after the cement had a chance to set up a bit and watched a final smoothing step which required what looks a bit like a hand held zamboni

And of course I couldn't resist making my mark. I was so glad it worked out that I was there on the day of the pour.

photos taken October 23, 2008

Build up these walls

After the long cross-country drive back to California in mid-September I had to wait awhile to see what progress had been made in my absence. I returned in late October/early November to see the first walls going up on the garage and lakeside extension of the cottage.

Here you can see the beginning of what will be the new half-wall surrounding the entry way.

This is a glimpse of the beginning of the garage

The foundation and floor of the lakeside extension are all in. That black rectangle is for a crawlspace access. I know I sure hope i never have to crawl in there!

Fred and Mike are putting the finishing touches on the lakeside wall of the extension before putting it up

I grabbed this simple shot just to show how little insulation this cottage had before this project began. What you see here is part of the old wall with the siding removed. I think the black stuff is called rock wool. It's only about half an inch thick. Behind that were the studs and then what you see is simply the backside of the interior cedar paneling. No wonder it was drafty in the winter! The only places I saw any insulation at all when they removed some of the siding was around the ductwork. Since the whole place is getting resided I'll also be getting new insulation throughout. It sure will make it more tempting to spend more time there in the winter.

photos taken October 23, 2008

Feb 12, 2009

Current progress...

So far this blog is way out of date and I know I'm still behind. I just thought I'd post a quick update to whet your appetite for what I'll be posting in the near future. I'm just wrapping up a near week-long trip to Michigan to keep up with what's going on with this project. Got a LOT done this week. Reviewing electrical plan, plumbing plan, finalized choice for floor tile, started search for new furniture & rugs, met with tiler to start collaborating, found problems, fixed problems, arranged for additional kitchen storage, got new elevations and on and on it goes. I won't be back for another six weeks so there were a lot of things to cover. And I just made my flight reservations for my return at the end of March. I can hardly wait to see the progress between now and then.

Feb 1, 2009

What Lies Beneath

One last shot taken in September. I don't know much about the geology of the area other than it was over-ridden with glaciers several times and that the hills surrounding the area are primarily either moraines or drumlins. I don't remember which. Either way this little pic is not of a hill but of the layers of soil deposits on the land beneath the cottage and I grabbed a snapshot for future reference.

Jan 30, 2009

Brick by brick

How does the song go?

"First of all you need a good foundation,
Otherwise it's risky from the start."

from Putting it Together
Sunday in the Park with George
by Stephen Sondheim

A few more pics of pouring the foundation in mid-September. Here you can see the rebar that's laid in the forms before the cement is poured. One of the surprising things I learned as I watched all of this is that once the cement is poured at this stage then the electrician is needed to ground the rebar, and then the inspector has to approve the electrical work before you can continue.

Here you can see the rest of the rebar that will anchor the cinderblocks sticking up through the poured cement

It never hurts to double check all your measurements before starting something that can't be changed

Pallets of cinderblock being delievered before the masonry work can begin

And the walls begin to arise

I was surprised how quickly it all began to take shape

photos taken between September 16-18, 2008

Jan 25, 2009

Sept 15 - A strong foundation is a good beginning

Once the digging was done it was time to bring in the heavy equipment, litteraly. The local cement supplier, Elmers, came in with several pieces of equipment to pour the foundations for the new areas on the lakeside and roadside of the cottage.

This isn't the greatest shot but if you look closely you can make out the standard cement truck parked behind the pump truck which has it's enormously long arm stretched over the roof of the cottage.

Here you can see that same arm extended out to the lakeside of the cottage where Fred and Mike Lanham guide the cement being poured into the foundation forms.

Here's a better shot that shows the cement flowing into the foundation forms

As the forms fill up Fred rakes the cement to even it out

In a final step Chris Lanham draws a board across the top of the wooden forms to make sure the cement is level

When all the work was done I grabbed a quick shot of the pump arm being folded back up over the rooftop.

*the first photo is of the slogan on the side of the cement truck.