Getting ready for winter

Well, the house is now finally hooked up to power. The first sign was the power line strung from the pole across the street to the new pole on our property:


The next sign was the microwave oven the guys brought to the house so that they can (finally) have a warm meal.


And the last sign was the string of work lights on each floor.


With the power, the guys can be more comfortable, the furnace can be hooked up and started (after the oil tank is delivered, that is), and the whole place can start to feel more like a livable house, even if it’s still in quite a state of chaos.

Another big step to making the whole place more comfortable for everyone is insulation. Hyla was the first to notice the Pink Panther logo on the insulation packages:


Here’s what the new living room looks like with its insulation installed:


And here’s the cozy new bedroom:



With all that real insulation in the walls and ceiling, this could be the warmest, coziest room in the house (the old part of the house has minimal insulation and the upstairs, with no heat vents, has always been a bit, um, chilly, in the dead of winter). Add the heat we get from the wood stove pipe that will be going through the room and we might even get to sleep with the windows open all winter long.

The last kitchen window was finally installed this week, too:


This gives us a nicely lit corner in the kitchen, as well as a handy pass-through for serving drinks and snacks to those hanging out on the porch.

Also in the kitchen, work continues on the ceiling structure. Here you can see part of the support structure (which will be hidden by the dropped ceiling) to hold up the new beam:


Since the kitchen is being made of two previously existing rooms (the bathroom and laundry room), the floors were of all sorts of materials and heights/thicknesses. To smooth things out a bit, we’re having the existing floors of the kitchen area removed, and they will be replaced with new pine flooring (probably wide pine). Here’s what the area looks like with the just the sub flooring visible:


The old slate tile that used to be under the kitchen sink was also removed (when the sink and it’s old cupboard were removed) and that, too, will be new pine flooring that will continue into the kitchen. Aside from those two areas, we plan to leave all of the downstairs flooring as it was (with some patching in some areas, as needed).

The next step after the insulation is to put up the sheetrock. Some of this work began last week and I expect much more will be done in the new rooms this week.

Here’s the sheetrock in the new shower:


And in the office:



To continue the “sealing up” process, the little windows in the basement (over the laundry and workshop areas) have been installed:


These are more for ventilation than anything. They don’t provide much light and aren’t reachable by lowly people like me, but they’re there just in case we need them.

The utility portion of the basement (where the electric panel, oil tank, furnace, water heater, etc.) will go doesn’t have any windows. We had planned for windows here, but after the house was moved to the new spot, the grade just wouldn’t allow for windows.

Now that we have electricity, though, the area isn’t in the dark:


And Stewart says they will install some simple fans/vents so that we can get fresh air in the area when we need it.

Outside, the septic tank has finally been hooked up (I guess we were waiting for the power to be available for the final connections to be made) and has been covered by dirt so that it won’t freeze:


And McKernon has removed its portable trailer (which contained tools and the generator) so you can now see the entire front of the house, including it’s new clapboards):


To be able to move the trailer away, the guys needed to be able to have onsite electricity (check!) and to be able to store their tools in the house. This week, the new front and back doors should be installed, along with locks, so that tools and anything else in the house are safe.

The combination of electricity, insulation, walls, and doors is starting to make this feel like a “real” house, snug and ready to keep the elements out. There’s still a lot to finish, but here’s what the ol’ place looked like as of December 15. Not bad.


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