31 Dec 2011, 8:15am

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Porch Renovation 14

December 24 and 25 passed with everyone on vacation.  Then, on Monday and Tuesday, the builder was on site completing the sub-flooring for the whole addition  plus adding the ‘hurricane clips’.  These clips will keep the roof from sailing off during any strong wind action, which we experience a lot, since we’re on top of a drumlin.  On Wednesday, the boys came over for the day.  I thought it would be a perfect time for them to race their RC cars out on the ample surface of the sub-flooring, but apparently, it was too cold for the boys to stay out there for long.

Yesterday and today are quite cold and there is no progress on the south wing.  The JBT’s all came over to have dinner with us and to give us time to be with CJ.  He is adorable and has so many cute tricks up his sleeves.

Friday brought the builder over to tie up some loose ends and hope that the electrical inspector and the insulation fellow would show up.

The electrical inspection will occur  on Tuesday and the architect  will be coming, too.  Roger has a punch list to discuss with the builder.

John Devitt of The Advanced Thermal  outfit was here and, instead of foaming the ceiling, we’ll stick to the original blueprints of having the foam in the walls and fiber-glass bats in the ceiling.


24 Dec 2011, 7:30am

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Porch Renovation 13

We’re happy to have the roof finally complete.  Today, Saturday, December 17, it has been lightly snowing all day.  Of course, the sliding door openings are still exposed to the weather, but the snow was out of the SW, so there was just a minimal of snow blown into the room.
We’ve looked into the ‘smart fan’ that is specified on the blueprints, but have decided it is a bit of over-kill.  The ‘smart fan’  will open a remote grill with a damper flap on it, whenever the exhaust fan is turned on.  There is a powder room exhaust fan, two paddle fans a 6’ sliding glass door and a 9’ sliding door right in the tub room, plus all the awning windows can be opened, so we  think there will be plenty of circulation with just a regular exhaust fan in the ceiling near the west wall.
I asked and the builder says he can expand the powder room door from 28” to a 32” opening.  This is the minimum width for a wheelchair to fit through.  ADA also specifies that the door open into the room, so that if you flop, you don’t block the door.  I want the door to open into the powder room, so I’m not always walking into a partially opened door.  If one of us does require a wheelchair, we’ll take off the door and put up a curtain.  Once you’re in a wheelchair, you have no privacy anyway!
According to the schedule, Dave should be priming the drywall, but we’re no where near that point yet;  about 2-1/2 weeks behind schedule.
On Tuesday, the builder was here for most of the day.  He was laying the 2”x4” sleepers and insulation on the floor.  The Town Building Inspector came and approved the set-up.
Wednesday, I left early with Dave to go into work with him for the day.  They were having a Christmas luncheon and I was invited, too.  It was nice and I did a lot of work on my laptop computer and listened to BARD.  It was a long day and I was really tired when I got home.  We ate the left-overs Dave had brought from the luncheon.  While we were gone,  the builder removed the peope garage door and worked more on the flooring.
Thursday, the plumbers are coming in and out from the basement and porch.  I  haven’t heard them muttering about the basement, but it sure is a mess.
By late Friday afternoon, the Powder room doorway had been widened,the people garage doorway had been moved and the 6foot sliding door installed. It is wood framed 2 panel arrangement, with vinyl outside and natural wood on the inside.  It is quite a sturdy sliding door and looks nice.

17 Dec 2011, 11:21am

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Porch Renovation 12

Monday, December 12 – Well, one of the reasons why our builder doesn’t show up, might be because the Architect likes his work and has asked him to supervise the framers on another job.  They are the same framers that did our wing. On the good days when the builder doesn’t show up,  I wonder if he is working on the Architect’s project?

Tuesday, December 13  –  Dave and I took off early on this beautiful, sunny morning to drive to the Board of Elections office in Syracuse.  I  had been invited to test the software up-date for the handicapped accessible voting machines, also called BMD (ballot marking device).  I’d used the BMD for the 2010 and 2011 elections and I think they have made several good improvements, but I hope they’ll tweak it a bit more.

We arrive home around 2:30 to find our builder installing the wall for the powder room.  Then, we walked around with him as he marked locations for the electrician to thread his wiring.  We had just enough time to get to the Pal-Mac High School to watch Tyler swim in several events.

Wednesday, December 14 – Late this morning, the builder scared the heck out of my guide dog and me, by flopping bundles of shingles on the old dining room roof.  Apparently, he is going to try to get them nailed down before the rain, which is forecasted to  return this evening.  He finished the south wing’s roof ridge, but left the section over the old dining room for another day.

Dave came home early to do a  walk-through with the electrician.  The builder had marked many of the spots we’d talked about, so the electrician  said yea or nay and made some suggestions, according to codes.  He asked good questions and I think the electrical set-up of switches for lights, fans, and outlets will be very efficient.

We went to the Newark High School pool to watch Tyler swim.  He came in first in the 100 yard Free Style and the relay team came in 2nd.  He looked up at us when he won the first and smiled, giving us the thumbs-up sign.

Thursday, December 15 – The builder is working on the roof section over the old dining room and the electrician is drilling, hammering, and whatever else he does to run the needed wires through the studs to connect everything.  The hot tub will require a special ‘break away’ (panic) box that will cut-off the electricity to the tub if there is a problem.  Code states that the box must be visible  no closer than 6’ and no farther away than 9’, otherwise, we’d put it behind the tub.

Friday, Dec16 – Both the electrician and builder are here today, continuing what they were doing yesterday.  The roof is now complete.

17 Dec 2011, 11:18am

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Porch Renovation 11

Saturday, December 3rd:  from 7:10-7:25 AM, a worker was here.  It was the plumber, who had been asked to return to put in a ‘trap’ for the dehumidifier’s drain  in the linen closet.

December 4  is Alexanddra’s 11th birthday, but, I’m afraid that her card will be late, as Dave is picking it up this morning while he’s out shopping.

Monday’s activity in the rain was pouring the cement floor in the powder room and spa room, as well as the stoop outside the 9’  sliding glass door.  In the spring, we’ll have a landscaper come to re-do all of the brick walks and patios.  If we can swing it, we’ll have them install a  small fountain in the Monet Garden.

Tuesday, Jeff is on the roof stapling shingles.  It is cold and over-cast, but no rain or snow.

Several fellows came during the week and put all of the windows in.  We thought they looked pretty good, but, when the Architect saw them, he was not a happy camper.  Apparently, while he was out with a sore back, the framers installed a few more studs then the blueprints called for.  This is not so much of a problem, except that it reduces the amount of foam insulation that can be blown it-between the studs.  The bigger problem was that an extra stud was put on each side of the large, arched window.  Thus, when the awning windows are added on each side of the big center window, it won’t look like a single unit after the trim is put on.  The Architect has requested the builder to take out the extra stud on each side of the big window, but did not insist the other extra studs be removed.

17 Dec 2011, 11:17am

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ABC’s of Renovation

The ABC’s of Renovation

A – Architect, blue prints to bring a dream into reality

B  – builder, the over-all contractor  who will co-ordinate sub-contractors

C  – construction

D  – demolition, making way for the new

E  – electrician, who enables everything to activate

F  – Foundation that will hold it all up and be firm

G  – Gable where the arched window is

H  – Home that the new wing will enlarge

I – Increased taxes we’ll have to pay

J – Jacuzzi in the new wing

K – the kind and considerate workers with good work ethics

L – lumber that frames the new wing

M – many hours of labor by many people

N – Neighbors, who will enjoy the new landscaping

O – ordering fun of new appointments for the powder room and other fixtures

P  – porch that will metamorphosis into a  3-season room

Q  – quiet and peace that will be attained by the well insulated walls

R – the new roof of architectural shingles

S  – sliding glass doors that will bring the outdoors in

T  – tile flooring in the spa area and powder room

U – utilities close at hand in the powder room

V – vinyl siding outside that will be low-to-no maintenance

W – wood laminate oak flooring in the dining and sitting areas

X  – the x-factors that always crop up in any big project

Y – years of enjoying the fruits of our labors

Z – Zest for staying healthy to enjoy the rest of our Golden, empty nest years.


2 Dec 2011, 4:57pm

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Renovation 10

The builder worked on the roof for most of Saturday.  Dave used our shop vac to get rid of most of the rain water.   The builder said the plumber and electrician would be here on Monday.

Monday, November 28, 2011:  This morning, the plumber and his helper came  and knocked a hole in the basement wall to bring in the soil pipe from the new powder room. Dave came home early so we could do a ‘walk through’ with the electrician, whose name is Steve.  The builder checked his  blue print as we went around the inside of the shell.  Most of the discussion surrounded what to put in for the hot tub and whether or not it would need a  ‘break away’ switch.  The electrician seemed to think what we wanted to do was do-able.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011:  The builder is out on the shell, pounding away.  It sure sounds like he’s installing more roof shingles.  He came in to cut off the excess sewer pipe in our basement and stuffed insulation or something in all the open ends to keep water and critters out of the pipe until the plumbers hook it up.  The Town Building Inspector stopped by to check out the sewer pipe  lay-out and said it was good to go.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011:  This morning, the builder brought back the little ‘Dingo’, a caterpillar type of scooper/bull-dozer.  The sewer pipe trench s all filled in and he dug out a  section of formerly a garden in front of the 9-foot sliding door.  Eventually, this area will be a cement stoop.  Right now, it is full of packed, crushed stone.

Thursday, December 1, 2011:  An e-mail alerted me to the possibility of the Andersen windows and doors being delivered any time soon.  Dave came home to find them all in the garage.  If they’d rung the doorbell, I’d have opened the big garage door, but I don’t really know when they came.  They must have had to carry those heavy items from the driveway all the way around to the back and go through the sliding door frame in the shell.  Well, the stock is here and it will be great to have the skylight and windows installed.  It will be warmer for the workers and keep out the snow that is sure to flurry soon.

Friday, December 2, 2011:  Early this morning, I heard what I think was the builder tamping down the crushed gravel, but when I took Peyton out  at 10:20,  there was a cold rain and no one in my yard.  I’m glad the windows and doors are in the garage, but I’ll be even happier when they are safely installed.

2 Dec 2011, 4:55pm

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Porch Renovation 8


The framers came back at 7:45 Saturday morning to continue installing the trusses over the sitting/spa room.  They left around Noon.

.  The studs are 2”x6” and the headers are extra strong, so I think if a tornado or hurricane hits us – after the wing is built – I’ll wait it out in the powder room with my guide dog.  Maybe I’ll stash survival supplies in the roomy closet that will also be in the powder room.  The wing is already taking on a personality of its own.

This morning, we went to watch Tyler’s swim meet.  He swam three heats and came in third, second, and one disqualify.  He was swimming in Lane 6, which was right under the official’s nose.  Apparently, Tyler made a few flutter kicks while he was doing the Butterfly (which uses a Dolphin kick) and the official saw it.  Tyler handled it well.  We met Joe, Cj, and John at the Yellow Mills Restaurant for lunch.  We celebrated John’s being on the Dean’s List.

Saturday was a busy day, as Dave and I went to Lowe’s after lunch to order all of the powder room things:  vanity and top, mirror with frame, and toilet.

It appears that the framers have finished their work and it is only Monday, November 21.  Karrah’s birthday was yesterday, but we didn’t get to mail her card until today.


2 Dec 2011, 9:18am

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Porch Renovation 9


This week, the framers continued to work on the roof.  One of them commented that he could drive his truck on the roof.  The specifications call for such think under-layment, that I suspect the roof will be able to withstand just about anything  the weather man sends our way.

The boys spent Tuesday night with us and then went to work with Dave.  We send my laptop computer with them, so that one uses Thomas and the other uses Dave’s work computer.  They had breakfast at McDonald’s and stopped at Taco Bell’s for lunch.  When they came home around 12:30,  we took off for the pdc’s in Edinboro  for Thanksgiving.  The JBT’s would be arriving in Edinboro around mid-night.

Dave and I arrived back home on Friday around 11:30 AM.  The builder was up on the roof installing the shingles that had been delivered that morning.

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