Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Amazing Progress, Due to Unbearable Pressure

As everyone knows, we are under a lot of pressure around here to get done and moved in as soon as possible. So, with that bearing down upon us, (and the help of our dear friends) we have made some progress.

Thanks to J, the furnace is on a real electrical line (meaning, of course, the electric pilot sparker and the thermostat line), and most of the heat vents have now been vacuumed. The rest will be cleaned out tomorrow, and then the intake filter will get cleaned and we can throw the switch, turn on the gas, light the pilots and work in a warm house. We also magically have lights in the kitchen, with a bonus lightswitch!

The dining room bay has been reframed (where necessary), insulated (Hurrah! now the heat won't be sent directly out of the house from the vents in the bay!), and sheetrocked. It looks astonishingly civilized, barring the untaped seams.

The last remains of the old, nonfunctional, passthrough closet in the master bedroom were demo'd out, and the floor given a temporary patchjob. Relaying the boards and refinishing can wait, honestly. We have a nice seagrass rug I intend to tack down over the ugliness. All that remains in there is to remove Far Too Much Wallpaper, patching where that pesky wall was torn out, painting, and replacing the mouldings. We are now, as of tonight, properly armed with a scoring tool and more blades for the scraper, and I expect to be doing battle with the Powers Of Evil (six layers of old paper with two layers of paint) by Thursday.

The bathroom isn't any closer than last reported, but we did buy the rest of the tile, and found out how to return the extra. How did we end up with nearly 10 extra linear feet of edging tile? You tell me. The math checks out, but I must have overbought. Oh, and we did buy more grout, just in case. We can return that too, if we have to.

Yet to do, and urgently needed, is the ripping out and replacement of the hopelessly fractured dining room ceiling plaster. In addition to the quarter of it that has already fallen away, leaving a breathtaking view of the attic through the exposed lath, there is a large section - say 1/3 - that is partially keyed, but hanging onto lath that has almost entirely separated from the beams down the center of the room. This problem was made worse (as was to be expected) by our re-squaring of the dining room when we added the support posts a couple of months ago. The plaster's not salvageable in the time we have, so it must go. We have already purchased the drywall, and we have a plan of action that includes saving as much as possible of the original plaster, even giving our pressing schedule.

I still need to scrape, patch and paint the West wall of the kitchen, and re-engineer the sink cabinet drawers and doors, but mostly, the kitchen is at a "usable" stage, once the gas is on. There's stuff to do, but it's little stuff, by comparison.

I think we might just get moved in before Chris goes. This is my driving force, to have our home be our home, even for a little while, before he is gone for so long.

No pictures today, and probably not for a few days. The work is more important than the talking about it, but I promise to keep y'all posted on progress, even if it's short.

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