Saturday, December 31, 2011

At the End of the Year

December has been a busy month, and I haven't had a lot of time to write in the blog. But the work has been moving forward, even with all the holiday mishegoss going on. It's actually been great having the house as a place to go and focus, and get away from everything else. So a lot has gotten done.

One of the things we did was we went to Ohmega Salvage, and we bought a mantel for the fireplace. Of course, it was not in finished shape - we needed another project, of course - so we bought a painted mantel, with a missing mirror. When we started to strip it, we realized that the four raised panels around the missing mirror were in fact also mirrors, and that the mantle itself is mahogany. We carefully scraped the paint off the four beveled glass mirrors, and we're ordering a new mirror for the center.
The mantle being stripped in the basement on Parker Street

Now that the paint is off, we can see that much of the mantle is missing. There were clearly two columns, and probably three separate shelves, that have all been removed. So back to Tom Pedemonte we go, to get him to make us the pieces we'll need to finish the mantle. It will end up being a beautiful piece.

All the wiring is now completed, with the exception of the light switches for the back bedrooms and the WC, and the outlet for the washer/dryer. We found a wall sconce to hang at the bottom of the stairs, and it is now wired in and working. We no longer have extension cords going up and down the stairs, because there are now working outlets on both floors.
The sconce at the bottom of the stairs

The ceiling in the living room is mostly stripped, and the scrapping has commenced. We'll still be using the heat gun for the baseboards, a little more on the ceiling, and some more in the upstairs hallway - but we can see a time when we won't be using it.

And the back porch has been built - no stairs yet, but the porch is there, and so the back door can be opened, and it gives us a place in the sun to sit and have lunch on work days. We've had a lot of sun lately (of course it won't rain, now that we have a roof!)

We've been having a lot of visitors - neighbors, friends, etc - and everyone has been complementary about how fast the house is coming along. It always surprises us when someone says that, because we feel like it's moving incredibly slowly.

So in 2012 we're hoping to really move this project along. If we get our financing, we plan to put the new foundation under the Delaney House, and get the new walls built, and then really push to finish the Cheney Cottage. A happy and successful 2012 to us all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Adding wiring, removing paint

The dining room chandelier
The project continues. More wiring going in, more paint coming off.

The living room ceiling is 90% finished, so the scrapping will commence soon. The baseboards are still not done, but all the rest of the stripping is finished. We hope to have Tom Piedemonte in to give us some estimates on helping finish the project - that should happen next week. Tom is a real artist, and will be able to make sure the finished woodwork is as beautiful as it was in 1902.
The dining room

The living room ceiling, in process
In the course of doing the stripping, I realized that we needed a natural place to stop stripping, and it's hard to find - we stripped the paint all the way up the stairs, but then it looks odd at the top to suddenly have the baseboards stripped. So we've decided to also strip all the woodwork in the second floor hallway (basically, we're stripping all the woodwork except in the bedrooms, the bathrooms and the kitchen). So stripping is now happening upstairs and down.

All the outlets are in except for one in the front bedroom and one in the hall (I ran out of plugs). So the wiring is definitely moving toward completion.
Trim replaced in the back bedroom. The trim was labelled so we would know where to put it back

And the place is looking more and more finished. Next up: more paint stripping, electrical in the kitchen and bathrooms, and plumbing.
The trim at the top of the stairs, reinstalled and ready to be stripped.