Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Spring Rush, Lights, and a Caulk rant

Techincal note: I do not know why Blogger is showing some of my post text as a smaller font. Everything is checking out to be "normal" when I go to edit it. If it shows up on your device that way, I apologize for the inconvenient reading!

As Spring raced on, we were in a race of our own: there was a house being built nearby, could we finish ours first? 

It was very busy on our side of the county with house-building, and we had already seen a few new houses to “race.” We had already lost the “race” with a friends’ house that was twice our square footage (as if there was ever a chance on that, HA! they were in theirs at Christmas). We lost the race with the red spec-house down the road, the giant mansion over the hill... Then one day one of the lots close by was cleared, and a foundation poured. Well we knew how it usually went with us, so this one was going to be “Their house to our trim!”  Soon a truck pulled up over there and unloaded already assembled walls. Sigh. Not only that, it turned out to be something like a tiny house. Not fair.

Amazingly that there were some big leaps of progress on ours. Most notably the electricity. We hired our electrician again. The man's memory was amazing! We needed reminders of what we put this here for, what is that wiring there, and other stuff we forgot. He knew exactly where wires were that no one could even see any more! We decided that electricity wasn't "our thing."

I recall telling the electrician long before how I wanted to stand at the front door and be able to turn the living room, dining room, kitchen, entryway, porch, stairs, and Christmas lights on.  I think the electrician thought it was quite amusing, and suggested that for some things, I could just walk over to another area to turn a light on. The photo you see is my bank of switches (I had wanted more). The electrician can laugh now; I still haven't labeled them and I am always turning on the wrong lights first. 

The second story now lights up, and heaters were functional. Light and heat! There could have been even more light at that moment, but I had not purchased all the fixtures yet. I really wasn't expecting "finish electric" to be done so suddenly!

With the upstairs lights now working, I was excited to see what the blue paint I put in the half bath looked like with a light on it. It looked like an aquarium in daylight, as seen above. Did electric lights improve it? Nope. Back to the paint store on that one.

I ordered a dining room light, I think we ordered it from Wayfair. Of all the lights in the house this was a comparatively easy find. What we had in our mind's eye just happened to be in style. Some of the others weren't so easy to locate. We still have some lights I consider "temporary" and hope to replace someday. Other lights were what I thought I wanted, but after a while realize they aren't quite right. I guess that is just the way it goes!

The search for tile seems never ending. I saw this tile at the store and was contemplating it for the laundry room floor. It was a stone texture. Compared to the other tile on sale that day, I thought it looked like a good price until my son came home from work and said his boss got tile for 30 cents a square foot! Oh, and his boss bought a door that was $1,200 off. You read it right– the price was $1,250 and it was discounted to $50. That spurred me on... we were going to have to shop around, find bargains, go to all the area ReStores.

My husband put up the newell post for some temporary railings. The post had to be set very straight and the laser level is one of the best tools around. 

I liked the look of the temporary railings, made of flooring scraps. They reminded me of a farm fence. I was seriously considering going for this style (and it IS a style of stair railings I had seen before), but then my brain kicked in. Yours was probably already working the minute you saw the photo. No way would you have something like that with kids around. They will only see ladders when they look at it!

Having the older children involved in projects such as priming meant that if I could not finish an area for some reason, I could hand the paint brush off to one of them and know it would get done. Even the small guy figured out what to do with those brushes, though he was probably wondering where the paint buckets were. 

He was especially interested whenever I washed the brushes and rollers. He never wanted to miss a clean-up. I don't know why it was so fascinating to him. (I cleaned the paint stuff in our RV bathroom for lack of anywhere else to do it at the time)

After talking to a knowledgeable paint guy, I decided to double prime the walls. Somehow or other, I don’t know if it was an impression I got from the can label or somewhere else I was reading, I thought one coat would be good enough. Our drywall was extra thirsty. This double-coat decision messed up the calendar and delayed things, of course.

We had forgotten to finish the top stair reading nook when the drywall was being done, and I was so used to seeing the hole in the wall I forgot that it wasn’t finished yet! Plans had changed about how to trim it out, and it ended up being an arched entrance. It looked a bit like a doghouse to me so I was disappointed, but of course I got used to it. Anyway had to call back the drywall pros and ask if they could mud it...


The window trim was taking a month or so to install. We did all the caulking ourselves, and to this day I wish I had hired it done (if that is something you can hire out). The exterior caulking for some reason was great (probably because my husband did that part), but the interior caulking was so difficult to get right. I watched so many YouTube videos of experts giving tips, my contractor relative gave me tips, and our drywall pros gave me tips, but I never developed the knack for it. Neither did my helpers. I blame the caulk itself! But no matter which kind I tried, or which tool I bought, it was difficult to control. It shrunk and left holes, or it smeared and immediately attracted dirt and sawdust to itself. There is a particular brand I know we bought by the box-full, and whenever I see Matt Risinger recommend it on his channel, I want to yell at the screen: "That stuff is awful!"

We had to call a “progress inspection” to make sure that our permit did not lapse again. The inspector said, “you’re getting close!” Yeah, that’s what the last guy said.

1 comment:

Mrs. B said...

I love the progress! I'm the caulker in my family. I keep a cup of water and paper towels handy for smoothing.

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