Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Living underground

Well to those who don't know me personally, let me reassure you that I was not done in by my house :-)

I am living here and writing this from within. I moved in at the end of last June. Although, there has been organizing, unpacking, and a lot of finishing the little bits that were left when I moved in. I have also been trying to relax some. Getting caught up on some reading, enjoying movies in the family room, and contemplating the next projects.

To note, there are a few projects that have been important during the last few months in making the house really livable. The main thing was communications! The area where I have built is surrounded by 4G cellular coverage. Yes, I said SURROUNDED as in, my neighbors property and mine is in a black hole of coverage. They use a USB WiFi unit for their internet access, and they have an external antenna for it, that gets hung in different locations in the room depending on the weather, and the wind direction! I have the further challenge of having steel, concrete and dirt to block signals. So, I put up an antenna mast, with an antenna for the cell coverage up at its top. It sends a signal into the house and it gets amplified and rebroadcast in the house. Most days I can get a pretty usable signal in the office and in some of the family room and kitchen. I can usually receive a call, but the internet access even with this setup helping my WiFi hotspot, was only so-so. So I got HughesNet installed. It has been working quite well. It provides pretty good throughput, so can download patches for the computer and game consoles, I can surf the web, I can even do limited movie watching over the connection. If you find yourself in a no mans land of internet service, I recommend looking into it. It won't allow you to do everything that a fios or cable internet connection will, but for most things it works.

Here is my tower (it now also has a TV antenna mounted on it down lower, as well).

We finally finished the trim on the front of the house, and here is what it looked like after the snow storm moved through.

This spring I will be moving on to outside work, landscaping, gardens and such. For now I continue working on getting things straightened up on the inside. But here is a look at how the inside has turned out.

A view into the hobby room from the garage entry. I have a curtain rod up, and am waiting for the drapes I bought to be shortened so I can hang them.

In the master bedroom...

Looking out of the master bedroom, this window will also get a curtain put up.

This is my "closet". The bedrooms don't have built in closets. I think this is much nicer and quite sufficient for my purposes. This was given to me by close friends and dad and I cleaned it up and refinished the doors. We added the cedar paneling (which smells great) as the original back had been lost. Our guess is that this was originally made in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

And that is the bedroom, now leaving there...

This is the hall. The white door on the left comes from the garage. I come in, sit down on the bench, take off my coat and shoes and put on my slippers.

Here we have the guest bedroom.

And across the hall, the guest bath.

The dining room, with coat closet, hutch from my grandparents, and my window seat.

Then here is my kitchen. Pantry closet with the door open, and you can't see the sink behind the refrigerator.

Then on into the family room and the view from the family room through the window.

The heating system has worked quite well at keeping the house comfortable, although I have had some trouble with the pumps blowing fuses on occasion. That is something I will have to try to rectify this year once we are out of the heating season and I can afford to have the system offline while I work on it. The house doesn't seem to need the ventilation system run much to keep the air from being stale, but I do have higher humidity than I would prefer. Right now, it is running around 70%. I would like to get that down somewhat, but with the limited daylight hours for providing power, I don't want to keep the ventilation system running, or run a dehumidifier. The air is quite comfortable, no dry skin problems in here, but on real cold days, I do get condensation forming on the inside around the window pane edges.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm legal

Well, I have passed my final inspection. So, I can now legally reside in my home.

We have been working on finishing up the trim details, and some other items that will be best to finish before I move in. There are still a few things, that will wait, until after I move in. Some trim on the columns, won't be difficult to work on after I move in, so we are going to wait on it, so I can get moved in sooner.

We got the molding around the garage doors finished. This is for fire protection, and had to be done before final inspection.

We put a shelf on top of the chase in the kitchen, where we didn't have cabinets sitting on top of it. This will provide a little spot to set things, seasonings, timer, flower vase...

All the trim in the hall is finished.

The door to the office was a little difficult to finish, because of how close it is to the adjacent wall.

The pantry got trimmed out.

Then we worked on the shelves for the pantry. Here are the end supports going in.

I put a coat of shellac on the window seat top, and found new cushions that fit better.

We got the doors on the coat closet. 

We also finished the shelves in the pantry.

I've put up my mailbox, and am starting to change my address with credit card companies and so forth. We have started moving furniture in, and I have been packing up boxes with books, winter clothes, and other things and taking them out to the house.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The window seat

After a lot of planning and re-planning, the window seat is finally complete. We even dealt with some boards that weren't completely straight. Some of it involved me standing on it, while Matt pushed another place, and dad ran screws in to secure it. With everything tied together now, it should be fine.

Matt noticed that the opening between the dining room, and family room, almost perfectly framed the window seat with its side cabinets.

We have also finished the electrical, ventilation and the last of the plumbing work.

So, we have been working on the trim, and the doors. The framer left me a number of different sized opening for the various doors. All the openings were shorter than they should have been. Some of them, were much wider than they should have been and had to add 2x4s and drywall to fill in the space.

We managed to make them fit.

That was a tiring weekend. It will be nice when I am moved in, and can actually sit down on my window seat, and enjoy a good book.