Getting to the end

There’s still plenty of painting to do (inside and out), but aside from that — and actually unpacking and arranging furniture — we’re really getting to the end of the big project now and are slowly moving into day-to-day maintenance territory.

As of this weekend, the first burn pile was still smoldering away, though no flames were visible (it glowed at night, one night-owl family member reported):


On Saturday, Natty and friends came to burn the second (bigger) pile. They lit it


and it flamed for a bit, but then fizzled out. Too wet. Natty et al will return in a week or so to try again. We’ve had much drier weather since the weekend, so it’s possible they could burn it this coming weekend.

Also last week, because of the rain, we got a small leak in the new basement. It was in the one spot we could have predicted: through the window frame of the basement window over the laundry area. This window is an inch off the ground (outside) and in the corner where the ell and house meet, so all of the rain from both roofs pour directly down into this area.

Here’s our stop-gap solution, which worked:


(you can sort of make out the little basement window under/behind that sheet of plywood). The plywood carried the water out a little distance from the window, and then a slight ditch helped carry the water around the corner of the house.

On Monday, Steve (our current project manager at McKernon) came out for a final visit. He fixed the last few things on the list (including the basement window leak), took our final payment check, and said goodbye. We won’t see any McKernon folks at the house again unless we have a problem with something they built or installed.

On Tuesday, two guys from the oil company came and put the propane tank into its final position, under the deck:


I tell you! Where else on the Internet can you find such fascinating photos?!

So… what’s left? Well, there’s the front door situation:


We’ve had two companies out to look at it and give us an estimate to build a retaining wall on the left corner of the house, raise the grade, and put some stone steps in for the front door. We’re still waiting for the estimates, but it sounds like this is something that could be taken care of late in June.

At the same time, we need some other landscaping work to be done. The area we seeded is actually growing grass — you can see the green haze in this picture:


but there are just so many stones and uneven portions – mowing would be impossible. We’re looking into getting some topsoil put down and have things smoothed out more. This, of course, probably means reseeding, which means no lawn this summer probably, but a rocky, bumpy lawn we can’t mow isn’t much use anyway.

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