Siding Done, Almost in!

This past week has been pretty crazy. We’ve been moving at a breakneck pace in order to get a final inspection and be able to move in by now, but it hasn’t worked out exactly how we’d like. No matter, we’re simply continuing to get things done and hopefully move in before August.
Thankfully we had a three-day weekend, what with the holiday and all. I’ve also been taking off any days I have available, to take care of the single-man jobs.

On Saturday, Bob continued to work on the railing, while Jean watched Lucas and helped him out. I finished the installation of our ceiling fan and light fixture in the great room. Bob had to take Kate, Kip and Clan to the airport later in the day, so ducked out around lunch.
My parents were busy helping to finish the front porch railing that morning, doing an excellent job with the materials provided, and fashioning 2×2 spindles with 2×4’s after lunch.
Jean and I ducked out to have lunch at my parents’ and then took a mid-day lunch break to look for new swimsuits and some bargains. You simply can’t work during that heat – the Europeans have it right on that point.
After lunch Jean and I stopped by her parents’ to receive a pie (a pair of cobblers actually) from one of Jean’s Mother’s First friends. She had come out earlier in the week and picked berries (wine berries and black berries) from Hearthwood, and with some added berries from the store, made these tasty treats which didn’t last past Saturday night.
We finally made it back to Hearthwood around 4pm and worked a little bit more on attaching fixtures and outlets.
On Sunday, my parents made it out before Jean and I (Lucas has been teething and a little snuffly at night, rendering us sleepless zombies much of the time recently) and started on the porch right away.
The first thing I did was to attach the stair rail per Bob’s instructions. That only took 30 minutes or so. We now have a complete stair rail!
After that, Jean and I began working on siding the dormer outside of the master bath. The heat and humidity were nearly intolerable. Krissy came out like a real trooper and helped to watch Lucas and clean up the dome a bit.
By mid-day the sweltering heat gave way to a torrential downpour that completely halted our efforts at siding, and my parents’ porch-building. Fortunately, my parents had seen fit to bring large sun umbrellas, which served a bit in the rain. I even used on of the pieces as a make-shift shelter during the worst of it. We decided to give in to nature and get some lunch at my parents’.
It continued to rain a bit after lunch (we got soaked again going to the car, and sheltered Lucas in his car seat with his little rain jacket), so we decided to do some more inside work. My dad helped out, installing ceramic light fixtures (extras from his basement collection of stuff?- Thanks dad!) while my mother trundled off to Home Despot for more supplies.
I installed the remaining outlets and switches in the master bath (save the jacuzzi tub circuit – we ran out of outlets) and then Krissy helped me to install the main light fixture in the first floor bath. Her main duty here was to keep me from breaking the glass dome, as I have a habit of breaking glass. (the dining room chandelier, two windows…)
Soon after, the rain cleared up and the sun came out. Time to side again. I ventured out onto the dormer and called down measurements to Jeano. She is quite the skillful cutter with the electric shears our contractor, Ron, lent us.
My mother was back, so she and my dad finished up the porch railing. It looks excellent, and makes the porch much sturdier.
We all broke off work around 5:30 or so, in order to make an appearance at Bob Warhurst’s July 4th picnic and party. We didn’t intend on staying the whole time, but with the food (excellent smoked ribs!), family, friends and all, we ended up staying to the end of the fireworks display that evening. I’d have to say the highlight was the rock-climbing wall with the auto-sensing repelling caribeaners that let one down slowly no matter the weight. I’d never done a rock-climbing wall before and it was a blast! My parents even tried it, which is saying something:)
I had the 5th off along with the majority of the work force, so Jean and I plowed ahead on the last 1/2 wall of siding. We had to get that done, as well as re-grade the house-site with a swale of dirt before the septic distribution box before the end of the day.
The first half of the day, though sweltering, was less humid. Kathy came out to lend a hand, pulling the grandmotherly duty of holding Lucas some of the time. Jean and I worked as fast and diligently as possible to fill in around the window, door, light fixture and other oddities that break up space on the wall.
Kathy went out to grab some Wendy’s (our official corporate sponsor practically) while Jean and I finally moved past all the odd cuts. The end was in sight.
The heat finally drove us inside as Kathy pulled up with lunch. We gratefully scarfed down the life-giving burgers and fries while Lucas napped.
After lunch, we pushed on, full force. Around 3:30, with rain clouds forboding, Jean went to get the Kubota tractor to move the palette of siding, in order to start grading. Kathy and I moved on from the vertical clapboards, to soffit pieces, and finally to trim as Jean showed up with the tractor and fork lift to move the pile. She re-positioned it to over by the well-head and then went back to my parents to switch out the fork lift for the bucket. Kathy and I measured, cut, and nailed the final pieces around 4:45 or so. We were done! Siding took us nearly seven months to complete, one of the longest jobs on the dome.
Jean fed Lucas, after which Kathy was gracious enough to take him home. Jean and I moved the remaining siding pieces and scraps, took down the scaffolding outside the house and then she began grading. I installed our front porch light, and then helped her by moving wood scraps to Bob’s trailer or to the brush pile.
We finished up grading by leveling out the dirt with shovels and finally called it a weekend around 7pm. I drove the Kubota back to my parents’ and we retired.
Jean, Lucas and I are both in California this week (me for training, Jean and Lucas visiting Fiona) and don’t get back until Sunday morning (the red-eye). So no work at Hearthwood this weekend (a first!). We are taking the one day opportunity to drive up to Pennsylvania and pick up our hand-crafted rocking chair we ordered last year from Grant Furniture. Unfortunately, it’s not near Carlysle or we’d visit the Market Cross.
I have a fully-packed work schedule this next week, so won’t be taking any days off during the week, but we’ll be out Saturday the 17th to hopefully finish up whatever we lack. Generally, that’s figuring out the problem with the dang recessed kitchen lights (probably rewiring switch-switch-fixture instead of switch-fixture-switch), adding a grippable hand-rail to the front porch, covering the un-wired basement receptacle boxes with plates or wiring them, adding a gate to the deck sliding door (no deck yet), and probably adding more grass seed and perhaps straw to our lot, once the final grading is approved.
Our HVAC folks will be out this week to install the return registers (which they forgot to install before drywall – doh!) The County inspector also comes out on Thursday for the final grading inspection. Our septic contractor, Ron, will be there to meet him. Yesterday Jean met with a decking company about subbing out the construction of our deck, something we both agree would best be done by someone else while we construct our hardwood floors and tile our kitchen, along with the other innumerable tasks that make this dome a home.
Ah. And I WILL have some pix up soon, along with a slight redesign. Just give me to the end of July:)