Estelle Jan 2007

Estelle Jan 2007
This is the home built by John Nelson

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yippee! The addition has a roof with shingles and no leaks! It's great to take down the blue tarps and put away the water pump - that we used all spring to manage the runoff.

We did the roof on the garage, but had to get some extra help for the second story addition on the South of the house. Getting the trusses up there - sheeting - and roofing - was a little too high for Scott. And I wasn't about to try to do it all myself (those trusses are heavy!).

So, here's what it looks like with the garage done.

Also, here's a pic of Scott hammering out the doorway in the addition room upstairs (area will become two bathrooms).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fireplaces Stained

Sasha and Anya were little help - more of an obstacle - when it came to staining. We had to keep them away from the stain and the paper. Anya wanted to lay down on the brown paper after I rolled it out to cut it and tape it to the fireplace (to keep the stain from getting on the tile and the fireplace glass).

Nevertheless, we were able to get through our staining yesterday and today - and the fireplaces turned out OK. We spent a fair amount of time working outside this weekend on the garage roof (finally some decent weather) - but getting these fireplaces stained was too exciting to pass up. Definitely worth the effort.

We were going for a look that made these new modern fireplaces look like they'd been a part of this 130 year old house since it was built. Here are some photos.

I really like the polished grey grey slate surrounding the red front room fireplace. Each piece is slightly unique - some have black reflective spots. Others show veining or slight swirls. Quite intriguing to look at them.

Fireplaces - Woodworking

Deciding how to decorate the fireplaces was always a fun topic for us to discuss. Because this home originally featured wood fireplaces that vented up the brick chimneys hidden in the walls, there were no open-face hearths. In fact, for the day, having a contained stove/fireplace was much smarter - because these small fireplaces did not suck a lot of air up the chimneys. They were significantly more efficient - and did a great job of heating the home. Often, a cast iron kettle filled with water would spread steam throughout the rooms, keeping the house warmer. These small fireplaces could be regulated by adjusting the air intake - for more or less flame/heat.

It appears that there were small fireplaces throughout the home, including - downstairs in the front room, the kitchen, the dining area and the family room; upstairs in all four bedrooms (in fact, a chimney fire sometime after 1950 left some smoke stains on the wall in the upstairs green bedroom (room by the SE porch).

So, here's some photos of the fireplaces in progress.

The fireplace in the family room is designed to match the kitchen cabinets. We added glass square tiles (1" x 1") around the gas fireplace. I love how they look. We feared they may be too modern, and the entire fireplace looked modern until we were able to finish the mantel and decor touches.

The woodwork is done from Poplar, which stained beautifully to match the tones of the kitchen cabinets. We took samples of the woodwork from the kitchen into the store to get them identical. Their first attempt was not very close to a match on either color. So, we asked to spend a little more time. After some work, they were able to get these colors spot on. In fact, the brown shade (seen in the center carved medallion) is called 'Baird - Door Front' brown [because we took a sample door from the cabinets in for matching] and the red (behind the medallion) is called 'Baird - Red Stain.'

The floor tiles are a 'brick-cut' travertine with Bone colored grout from The Home Depot. You can see our subflooring that we laid down over the pine floors (the gaps were too large for us to save the old floors). We are thinking about 5" wide hand scraped planks for all three rooms and the entry on the main level. The kitchen of course is tile (ceramic tile with a rock look so they'll wear better in such a high-traffic room).

The front room fireplace is very tall. It feels like this room always was supposed to have a built-in fireplace. And with both these fireplaces, they're simple to switch on - the push of a button and you have flames. The logs are gorgeous - I'm pleased with how well the sets look in place.

The trim is very appropriate for a 130+ year old home. And, since we decided on the 'Red Stain' for the front room mantel, it ties in beautifully with the style of the home.

Here are some pictures of the front room fireplace in progress: