Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kitchen - Week 20

The guys are here trying to fit the panels to the fridge as I write this (Saturday morning).  I'm eavesdropping and it sounds like a little rework is necessary before they will fit properly.

They installed the handles on the panels, but the panels can't be installed until the necessary modifications are made.

Progress was made this week, though.

What you can't see is that the fridge is making noise.

The good kind.

The kind that means it's working... :-)

The panel was installed on the dishwasher. Along with its handle.

And the doors have been fitted below the sink. They'll need to be adjusted and will get handles eventually, too.

The range and microwave are in place. Though the microwave has a trim kit that will get installed eventually.

Wainscot and cap were installed almost everywhere, so it can be painted next week.  It will be "Ivory Tusk" to match the window trim.

They created and installed a new base molding on the curved wall. They have access to all the right tools and materials to bend, laminate, and route the edge of the piece (not necessarily in that order), so it looks a lot prettier than what I did in the attic.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hydronic Heat

While the guys have been working in the kitchen, I've been working on other projects.

The control panel for the in-floor radiant heat had to be special-ordered and it finally arrived.

I spent a good part of the weekend installing it and laying out all the tubing.

The tubing coming into the upper right corner of the panel supplies hot water from the existing boiler. With radiators we've removed we will have plenty of capacity.

The tubing leaving the upper left of the panel sends the hot water to the two zones: the kitchen and the master bath. Each zone has a separate zone valve (in white) that is controlled by a thermostat in the respective rooms.  Each thermostat also has a floor sensor to keep the floor from overheating.

The tubing entering the lower left of the panel is the return from the loops in each of the rooms.

And the tubing leaving the lower right of the panel is the return to the boiler.

The panel came pre-assembled with all the electronics to control multiple zones (4 total, though I'm using only 2), a mixing valve, and a pump.

When I get time this week I still have run an outlet for the electrical supply and fix a small leak where I tapped into the existing hot water supply.  The leak is a slow drip that appeared after I crimped the last pex connection to the main boiler supply.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kitchen - Week 19

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

A little electrical.

The chandeliers and sconce have been installed and are mostly working, though there's an issue with the the 3-way switches (I think one of them isn't...). The outlets, switches, and cover plates are now the correct color (though one of them is different than the others - glossy vs matte). The electrical hookup finally got figured out for the range, but we've yet to test it out. and the other appliances are in a similar state.

A little plumbing.

Supply, waste, and vent lines are hooked up in the basement, but not under the sink. The water line to the fridge is hooked up (but untested). The gas line to the range is hooked up as well (again, untested).

A little of the range hood.

There was a bit of head-scratching to remove to cabinet panels that wrap the hood; they need to be off for installation of the hood. There's a big hole in the exterior brick, but the hood liner is prominently on the island, uninstalled. Sounds like some modifications are necessary on various pieces before it will fit right. And ... the reason we got the cabinetry and the liner from the same vendor was to avoid this situation... [shakes head]

If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hidden Spaces

While the guys have been chipping away at the kitchen, I've been chipping away at other projects.

The second floor back hall had a number of things that needed to be corrected. The work for the mater bath and dressing room relocated some doors. There were also some drawers and a glass linen hutch that moved from the back hall into the dressing room.

There was no floor where the drawers had been, which was repaired by the guys and refinished earlier in the summer.

There also was not base molding where the drawers had been and where the doors had been moved.

I also needed a place to install an air bleed vent for the master bath's in-floor hydronic heat. There was really no elegant place to locate it in the bathroom, so I created the access to it from the back side of the wall in the hall.  If you look closely at the picture, you can wee that there's not a lot of clearance below the drain for the sinks.

There was just enough base molding salvaged from the kitchen to fix the back hall. It's a four piece molding. This picture shows the first piece after installation.

The right side show a piece cut to fit around the radiator screen at the top of the back stairs.

In the center you can see the salvaged flooring that was used to patch the hole where the drawers used to be.

This photo shows the second piece after installation.

Again the pieces wrap around the corner to meet up with the radiator screen.

I've also left a gap that's beveled so that I have a removable panel to access the bleed valve.

In this photo, you can see the installed cap along with the completed removable panel.

We had the base shoe made to match the old profile. It still has to be primed and installed.

Lastly, you can see what it looks like after the panel has been removed.

It just slides in and out along the wall.

All that remains is paint!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Kitchen - Week 18

The last cabinet finally arrived Monday morning.

And caused a collision between subs.

Nate, the tile guy, arrived to install the backsplash and the area behind the range. Of course, the last cabinet needed to be installed before the backsplash could be installed on that wall.

Not everyone played nice until everyone was reminded that it is a 16x20 room. I know it may seem hard to believe, but a cabinet can be installed in this corner while tile gets installed in the far corner of the room (25.6124 feet away for those of you who've forgotten your high school math...).

It's a big sandbox and you have to be nice to the other kids.

As far as I can tell, no blood was spilled in the tussle and a bunch of stuff got done. Except that there's not enough crown molding for the cabinets.

So again we wait on these d*mn things.

Sorry, I'm back in my happy place now...

Most of the knobs and pulls got installed.

They are an antique pewter color that coordinates with the exposed parts of the appliances. It took a bit to find what we were looking for, but they look fantastic!
And the faucet got half-installed.

Again, it's an antique pewter that will coordinate with the knobs and exposed appliance parts. It's not hooked up to the water supply, yet.

And the tile backsplash got installed, sealed and grouted.

We chose to pay homage to the subway tile of the period.  This has a couple of little twists though. It is not pure white, has a crackle finish, and is an unusual aspect ratio.

As well as the area behind the range.

Similarly, we wanted a bit of a visual statement here so went with an arabesque pattern with contrasting grout. There is sort of a "terra cotta" undertone that shows near the bevel, but the face of each tile is a mottled green.

And, as you can tell by all the light in the photos, today the electrician was on-site getting started.

Those with a good eye will note that the switches, outlets, and cover plates are the wrong color.  They need to be light almond rather than white...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Kitchen - Week 17

A little more cabinetry got delivered and installed last week.

The painter had some extra time and put a little color on the walls.  The photos don't do justice to the color.  Once we have finish electrical done and the final coat on, the color will become more apparent.

You can also see that the door casing has finally been installed.  What you can't see is that the missing bit of casing on the fourth window has also been installed.

And they started on the crown molding that hides the gap to the ceiling. It's at least 3 pieces, so takes a bit of time to install.

We're still missing a cabinet though. And that's holding up a bunch of other stuff.

There's going to be a collision soon...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Extension Cord

During the kitchen project there were no working outlets nearby.  The closest was actually in the basement. So a cord was run up through a hole in the subfloor.


When the holes were patched and the new subfloor was laid down, someone forgot about the extension cord.

Now it's stuck there forever...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Threshold

Back when this doorway led into the master bath, there was no threshold here. Or rather, there was just an inelegant transition from the back hall to the tile floor of the master bath.

When the old master bath got reworked into the dressing room, I just laid enough plywood to level up the floors between the two spaces. I finally took the opportunity to start looking for thresholds.

It’s no surprise that there’s nothing pre-made that would work, regardless of where I searched.  I should know by now and should just save myself the time.

So I went to Hiawatha Lumber and they helped me find a nice piece of 1x6 oak that has an appropriate grain pattern.

I cut it to length, cut the notches for the door jam, and hand beveled the edges so that it more-or-less matches other thresholds in the house. Then a few coats of oil-based poly, followed by installation. Now the dressing room is almost ready for carpet.

Another thing checked off my list of projects…

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kitchen - Week 16

A little more cabinetry got installed this week. And there's still more to go...

In addition, most of the countertops were installed.
At least where they could be; a couple of chunks will have to wait for their base cabinets...

And the painters have been here to start on the millwork, both in the kitchen and the back hall.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sash Ribbons Revisited

Over time there have been questions about the sash ribbons in the house. Some people have suggested that the ribbons were replacements for broken cord or chain, but I was convinced that the ribbons were original.

I’ve searched high and low for replacements for my broken ones, but always came up empty.  The closest things were the “tapes” that are included in “Pullman” balances, but as far as I can tell the tapes are not sold separately. That’s probably because Pullman balances are spring loaded and you’ll kill yourself trying to service them.

As part of the kitchen remodel we need to replace a couple of broken ribbons, so I thought I’d try one last search.

Lo and behold, I found this quote from the 1906 edition of Building Construction and Superintendence, by F. E. Kidder:

238. Sash Cords, Chains, and Ribbons
Until within a few years past, linen or cotton cord was alone used for connecting the weights with the sashes of double hung windows, and cord is still more extensively used than either ribbons or chains.


Sash Ribbons. - These are now also extensively used in hanging the sashes of the better class of buildings. The ribbons are made of steel and aluminum bronze or of some mixture of aluminum, and in 3/8, ½, 5/8, ¾ and 7/8-inch widths. They are claimed to be practically indestructible, and work easily and without noise. The 3/8-inch ribbon may be used for sash weighing up to 100 pounds (50 pound weights). For a window 6 feet 10 inches high and 3 feet wide, glazed with plate glass, the ribbons with attachments will cost about 75 cents.
Sash ribbons are now manufactured by a number of firms who also make the necessary attachments for weight and sash.
For the best working of windows hung with ribbons, the following size pulleys should be used: [table of pulley sizes]

I still don’t have a source for replacement ribbons, but at least I can be confident that the ribbons are original.

It's amazing that most of them have lasted for 120 years.