Friday, December 26, 2014

12-26-2014 More interior milestones completed

We gave ourselves a couple of Christmas presents that would have been very difficult to gift wrap this week.  Two major interior completions have put us tantalizingly close to being able to say the house is done.  First and most importantly I finally finished the walk-in shower in the master bath.  We changed plans on the style, since it had been so long from initial planning, which meant I had to return all the subway tiles (boxes and boxes of them!), and Debra chose the color pattern we had used throughout both bathrooms for continuity in the design.  I chose to go with a larger 12X12 format for ease of installation and to give a little contrast to the 6X6 used in the rest of the bathroom.  All tile, grout, and sealing have been done and after the appropriate seven day curing process the first use of the shower was on Christmas day.  What a feeling!  The glass door is not on yet (ordered and not arriving till later in January), so we have a temporary shower curtain being put to use.  The other item was the tile back-splash for the kitchen.  We had the counter tops installed without integral back-splash because we knew we were going to tile.  We just didn't realize at the time it was going to take so darn long.  We used a 9X12 base tile with 1X2 glass and stone mosaics, all in neutral earth tones for contrast.
Now, the only thing left to do for a finished house is lots and lots of staining and trim installation.  Here on the day after Christmas we are again pulling out the tools and continuing that process.  We both look forward to a day when we can plan on participating in some of our long ignored hobbies and pastimes that have fallen by the wayside since starting this whole building process.

All the stress and mental anguish worrying about how this project would turn out have finally ended.  The concrete floor/base that I was losing sleep over, turned out perfect, in that it is smooth, consistent, and properly drains from all directions.  The little shampoo/soap niche that was so difficult to work on also turned out great.  All in all, the hard work and worry payed off with a shower we are proud of.

The back-splash went much smoother than expected.  I had never tried cutting glass tiles before, so that was a new skill requiring great care to prevent chips and exploding tiles (don't ask).  The proper blade for the tile saw helped immensely.  One challenge we hadn't expected was how our cabinets aligned with the outlets.  The outlets were measured and installed a specific distance from the floor all around the kitchen.  If you have seen the cabinet install portion of this blog, you know the kitchen floor varied by as much as an inch and a half from level from one side to the other.  Because we installed all the cabinets with levelers it appeared that the outlets were misaligned when we started tiling.  This required some creative processes as we went to mask the difference.  The process turned out well, and is nearly impossible to notice, and only then if you are looking hard in the right places.

This is something that has been important to us from the start of the whole build.  Look closely at the top of the back of this tile.  We went out of our way whenever possible to put Made In The USA materials in this house.  We're happy to say every piece of tile in the house was made by this company, and we couldn't be happier with the product.  Sometimes it cost us a little extra, and surprisingly when you researched hard enough, we found we could get quality Made In The USA materials for less than the "stuff" coming from the Asian markets.  The same with any new tools I picked up along the way.  It was that important to us.

A little side project we took on was this portable(?) structure to keep the tractor and some of our other outside equipment out of the weather for the winter.  We just couldn't afford the pole building we were hoping to build this past Fall for storage, so this will have to do for another year or two.

Merry Christmas from "The Farm With A View"