What's Happening Now:  Mid-November


A couple of weeks ago, Eddie Moran and Shawn Burnett (our contractor's assistants) finished the exterior trim work on the house. You can see it in this photo -- on the corners, around the windows, and between the main floor and the upper floor.

Now they're working steadily to get the siding up. They finished the east side, and here they're working on the north side (the back of the house).

We're using HardiePlank, which is a combination of fiber and cement. With its wood grain, it looks like cedar siding after it's painted, but it's lower maintenance and not prone to termites. We also figure it would be resistant to any forest fire that might someday come through this area.

Eddie and Shawn putting siding on the back of the house


Masons quickly installed the rock face on the chimney and the lower wall of the basement level.

We're using "Cultured Stone" made by Owens Corning. It's the "Dressed Fieldstone" style, in "Bucks County" color.

It looks gorgeous!

Applying 'Cultured Stone' to the chimney

Finishing the masonry work on the chimney


Spencer West, of West Woodworks (and our grandson), carved joists to fit on the beams between the master bedroom and the guest bedroom.

After bolting the joists to the beams, he then used wood "car decking" for the surface. We now have a walkway!

Spencer West installing joists on the walkway beams


Spencer West carving a stringer for the stairway

Spencer then set to work on the two large beams that would be stringers supporting the open stairway from the main floor up to the upper floor.

Each of the 4" x 16" beams is about 20 feet long and weighs several hundred pounds.

Spencer took his time making calculations, carefully figuring angles and distances.

Then he went to work.

He carved the ends of each beam so the bottom would hook onto the edge of the stairwell down to the basement and the top would hook onto a beam on the walkway above.

Spencer West carving a stringer for the stairway

We have thick wood slabs for the stairs -- 16 of them! Spencer carved a notch for each stair to be inserted into the stringer.

Then Spencer, along with his brother Jeff West and friend Brad Simpson, sanded everything, smoothing all of the faces and edges.

Spencer West sanding a stringer

Finally, they assembled the stair treads and the two stringers.

Spencer, Jeff, and Brad moved it into place over the basement stairwell.

Spencer and Jeff West moving the stairway into place

To lift the assembled stairway, they rigged up a pully and come-along above.

Spencer West operating the come-along to lift the stairway into place

Then they pulled it into place.

It fit perfectly, and it looks beautiful!

...although iIt just won't seem the same to be able to go upstairs without using a ladder!

The beautiful stairway

Interior Trim

In spare moments, Spencer, Jeff, and Brad began work on the interior trim for the windows.

He's using wood cut from the edges of alder trees. The "wiggly waggly" edges give the windows extra character!

Interior trim around a window.  (That's the kitty door below)

Getting Ready | Well | Milling Wood | Excavation | Concrete
Framing | More Framing | Plumbing | Electrical | Floors | Roofing

What's Happening Now:
Late Oct | Early Nov | Mid-Nov | Late Nov | Early Dec | Late Dec
Early Jan | Late Jan | Early Feb | Late Feb | Early March | Mid-April - Done!