Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Ending Trim Work

This has been a frustrating two weeks.  Just as I decided I should replace my old stove after continually noticing the faint smell of gas in the kitchen, my refrigerator died.  So I bought two new appliances I wasn't planning.  Also, one of my cats has been sick and after one trip to the vet and another to the emergency room over the holiday weekend, another $400 down the drain.  I don't think there's anything worse than having a sick pet.  If they could only tell us what's going on, it would be much easier.  Fortunately he's feeling a little better.

Oh, and the estimate to trim the tree is $1000. 

At the same time, progress on the exterior trim seemed to come to a halt.  Some days I would swear that the workers only came to take bottles of water out of my (new) fridge and to use my bathroom.  As it turned out, the guy I hired to do the job was out of town so I think it was a case of "While the cat's away..." 

But once he got back, the pace picked up again.  The stock window casings have been trimmed out with a molding (left) that really dresses them up and after a few mockups for the top of the corner boards, this is what I decided on (right).  Sometimes, I think it's a little big, but the siding will reduce the depth and once everything it's painted, I think it will be perfect.  It's pretty similar... the ones on this Greek Revival in Harvard Square.  (Isn't the air conditioner in the front window a nice touch?)

The treads are on the front stairs... well as the lazy stairs.

The new (and larger) living room windows have arrived.  Even in the plastic, they look amazing and I can't wait to see them installed.

As for the rest of the windows, I've held off ordering them until now.  When you start ripping apart an old house, you never know what you're going to find so holding off on ordering the windows was one thing I could do to leave a little cash in reserve in case something went wrong.  They're installed from the inside so it doesn't hold up outside progress so that seemed to make sense.  They'll take about six more weeks.  Not bad.

And here's a sneak peak at the columns.  Remember, getting the composite columns was a concession but now that I see them in person, I think they look really good.   I'm really eager to see these in place because I think they'll make the biggest impact.

On this driveway side, I'm keeping the old shingles for now so...

...the shingles were carefully cut back to accommodate the new corner board.

This little detail at the bottom of the corner board is a really nice touch that they added without my even asking for it.   (Notice the iron post at the left.  It's one the contractor brought so we could try it out for size.  That's still an ongoing project.)

The painters have been on the job for over a week filling the holes left over after removing the vinyl siding, scraping the old shingles and...

...the trim around the windows.

Look what a beautiful job they did on the old window casings.   This is the window right next to my kitchen sink.

And look at this little surprise.  All of the original window sills have Roman numerals chiseled into them.  It's my guess that as they cut them, they numbered them so they knew exactly where they were to be installed.  

Next week should bring big changes.  Can't wait to show you.


  1. Sorry about your kitty, I hope he's better soon. I don't know why all these bad things seem to come at once sometimes. Your trim work looks great and I can't wait to see your windows installed.

  2. hi steve,

    wow, a lot has happened in a week. taking murphy in as a house guest can be problematic. but i love everything. it is going to look amazing when finished.


    ps ~ only one thing worse than a sick pet. a sick baby.

  3. I was wondering where you were!
    Wow! The trim, treads, columns and windows look amazing!!! It's going to be so lovely when it's all put together. You must be so happy.
    I just love how the porch and stairs look -

    Now that the boss is back I'm sure you'll see quicker progress. Funny how that works...:)

    Hope this week is a better one for you! When it rains, it pours, huh?!

  4. That is one amazing project. I'll bet you come home every day wondering what's new. It's really looking nice. Your attention to detail is incredible.

  5. Love what you are doing. The window choice and columns that you chose are perfect. I am looking forward to seeing them installed. Lori

  6. First- hope your kitty is better. I agree, there is nothing like a sick pet to turn your world upside down...

    And so sorry about the timing of the new frige and range- I'm afraid it's just the law of renovation;) that make these things happen.

    I think things looks great and love the new columns! Pleeeeeease tell me you don't really let the workers in to get water and use the loo in your absense?!! Now I'm all worried!:)

    As someone who just dug up their front lawn yesterday (ok, I actually sat there and watched while Dan did it;) my motto is: it's got to get ugly and messy before it gets BEAUTIFUL!!!! Keep the faith my friend!

    hoping it's a better week for you and your project and your kitty!


  7. So... you're not planning on emulating the aircon in the front window then....? ;-)

    Glad the cat is feeling better. Isn't it frustrating and worrying when you know there's something wrong but haven't a clue what.

  8. It's all starting to come together. If it looks anything like what I've got pictured in my mind when finished, it'll be stunning. Be prepared for people stopping by to see what companies you used to get her done! The wood restoration looks amazing. I can't wait to see the columns up and the taller windows in. Do you think it'll be finished before the holidays?
    Ouch on the tree trimming! Maybe you should feed it some chai(?) tea and hope it lasts another 50 years!
    Last, but certainly not least- I hope your cat is feeling better. As their person, it makes us worried sick to not know what's going on with our pets, or how serious it is.

  9. Now things are getting exciting! And to think that i'd assumed that you must be away on holiday! It is so pleasurable to uncover workers marks from long ago, it gives a real sense of continuity.
    Yes, it's horrible having a sick animal. No reply to, "and just where does it hurt?"

  10. I can't wait to see the big changes! hope your cat is better.

  11. I had to laugh about the lack of progress. We were also quite dumbfounded by the snail pace of the work getting done. The best part of the day was when Mike came home from work and he went around scratching his head trying to find a day's worth of work accomplished. Good times.

  12. Love your windows, the roman numerals where there winter storm windows? as that may have been a number to match to the storm window. Just remember that from my grandparents.