Friday, January 30, 2009

Help!! Kitchen Design Help Needed!!

Help, Help, Babys coming and we don't gots no kitchen!!!

Actually we are not crazy enough to think that we'll get the kitchen done in 5 months but not having its design nailed is holding up a lot of other projects that we need to get done.

Yes again....I know I have another post on this but I wanted to start from a 'clean sheet' idea. We've decided that the giant windows were too much of a design constraint. I can't get my mind off of the other design so I need help looking at it in new ways.

What we're trying to do in this go-round is.

1. Fit all the stuff accross the top of the page into the room.

2. We need to fit at least 31' of lowers and 28' of uppers.

3.You can not move the walls but the windows can be removed and added.

4.Want to be able to enjoy the nice view out the back and the great morning light.

5. Ideally we want one good sized sink and one prep sink with good amounts of counter space around them and the stove.

In this picture we've moved the windows up so that lower cabinets can be installed underneath.

I've got a scaled pdf version of this I could email to anyone if you were really interested. I can't fracking figure out how to post a pdf file on the blog??

So there's an empty room just begging to be filled with kitcheny goodness.
So...any takers??..Please?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

fun with foam

I finally spent some time putting foam backer rod in every gap I could find in the double-hung windows throughout the house. Turns out there was surprisingly little air coming through! I don't think the weatherstripping made much difference at all..
<-- ..Especially compared with the gusts coming up through the floor over this bumpout.. this was definitely a candidate for some sort of insulation.

The particle board cover of the crate the heating system manifold came in was perfect for temporarily sealing in under the bumpout. Eventually, we'll have all the heating bits and insulation and wires and whatnot in place and can close it up for good, but for now a little something between us and the 30-odd degree outside would be helpful.
A little measuring, a little geometry, and a little time with a skilsaw and I could practically feel the warmth.

Turns out I have too few hands to screw a piece of plywood in overhead and take pictures, so we jump right to a finished view. All the gaps are foamed in and this definitely cut down on the drafts!

The rest of the foam went into sealing up the vents from the old heaters, and a couple other holes we found.

We'll have awhile before the insulation under the radiant can go in, so we want to have as much sealed up as possible when we're able to fire that system up.. any day now, I'm sure..

Saturday, January 17, 2009

manifold destiny

I mean, manifest density.. I mean, oh never mind

Because we changed the model of the boiler we're using, there was some retrofitting to do. We stepped down from the 110,000 btu model to the 60,000 btu model which does not have its own circulator pump, so here's Dan soldering in the new pump.

Once each of the valves was soldered on, Dan connected the stainless steel flex lines for the boiler inlet and outlet.

And then the boiler magically appeared on the wall, with no heavy lifting involved from the man with the bad back or the pregnant woman. Dan still had to hook it up though.. it's not all magic wands and whatnot.

<-- Notice here there are no pex lines connected to any of this

Next up was mounting the manifolds back to the wall, on top of the nice new fire-resistant drywall. We had to cut the pex to the correct length and remake all the connections. They've been pressurized up to 80psi for a week and no leaks!

Finally, we need to hook the control board up to the manifolds and pressurize the entire system.

For the boiler, we still need to install the vent, the condensate drip line, and the pressure-relief line. And we need to run the gas lines.

And then someday soon, there will be heat.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slacking on the posts.. slacking marginally less on the work

Today's project was installing electrical boxes for the outlets and lights downstairs

The other side of this wall is where the sawhorses with piles of siding live, so Dan did the measuring/marking/drilling/cutting from the backside

Everyone knows the trick to drill holes in the corners of an area you need to cut, right?

If you drill the four corners with a good size bit, you can go back with a skilsaw and easily start at one hole and cut straight to the other

This is the next outlet box over, which was much easier to get to, and the box for the lightswitch by the door. You can also see the thermostat at the upper left, so we'll have power, lights, AND heat in this room!!

The boxes are shimmed out with scraps of the 5/8" drywall that we'll be skinning the whole downstairs with. This way the boxes are already sitting at the correct final depth (Dan's good at thinking ahead like that..)

This is the back wall of the downstairs bedroom. I think we're covered on boxes back here!

The two round white circles are covers for the light boxes for sconces we're going to put over the bed in there, and 2 of the outlet boxes are for switches for those

The dangly white square on the left is currently the only outlet for that side of the house. It used to be outside, but wound up walled in on the inside after the foundation work. I was annoyed at the time, but it's turned out to be very convenient.

And then it was my turn to put up a few boxes..

Look, plastic outlet boxes attached to studs. Exciting stuff, wouldn't you say?

Everything went well until I got to this spot where we need to fit a 4-switch box between a forest of studs spaced just a little too closely together.. chiseling skills are very rusty (as was the chisel when I finally found it.. but I sharpened it before I started so I can't really blame the mess on the tool)

The box finally fit though, so all's well that ends well

the end

Saturday, January 3, 2009

out with the old - heaters

New year's is a good time to finally take care of those nagging chores, so we decided were going to get rid of the nasty scary old heaters in the front room and the bedroom.

Dan got the cover off this one in the front room and started disconnecting it while collected all the cleaning supplies for what we knew was going to be underneath.

And we weren't disappointed.. look, rat poop! hurray! It's been (thankfully) so long since we've seen any that it was just like the first time.

This heater was so low to the ground an attached to the wall, so there was no way to clean back there during the big decon effort. Which is one of the reasons we never wanted to turn it on. The smell of cooking rat droppings just isn't the same as fresh-baked cookies, or anything else you'd want to smell in your house.

The heater in bedroom was further from the wall, so there was much vacuuming and cleaning way back when -Dan got started before I got a pic, so it's a few inches further out than it started.. but it was more than a foot from the wall

The other reason we never wanted to turn these on was evident here.. to pull this out Dan literally just pulled a little. Nothing was attached or sealed to the vent pipe so one night of this big guy heating our bedroom probably would have been our last.

This is a very flattering picture of me cleaning out the nastiness-filled wall cavity around the vent pipe.

And this is what it looked like before. It actually doesn't look so bad in the picture.. seemed much worse at the time

Underneath, on the other hand, was a different story. Just as gross at you'd expect

Don't worry, Henrietta didn't have time to get a paw in there before I fired up the vacuum and she went running off in terror.

The gas pipe sticking up out of the floor was dead, so while I was cleaning the grime Dan was downstairs sawing it off and now that's history.

A couple of days on a craigslist free posting and the heaters disappeared like magic from in front of the house. Now that we're free from those old things hopefully things'll move quickly to get the new system up!