Archive for the 'House' Category

Photo Tour

We’ve been living in the house for one month and are now mostly unpacked (except for Larry’s office) so I thought it was time to give everyone the 5 cent tour.

Still some work to do: Once the basement is cleared of construction tools and supplies, we’re going to start setting up the root cellar, work tables, homebrew kit & dart board (a.k.a. man cave.) We’re also still debating the best way to hang artwork on the walls. Larry’s hesitant to put nail holes in the exterior walls he worked so hard to air seal. And we still have a lot of stuff in storage that we need to unpack, but for now we’re just taking a few weeks to enjoy the place. We love it!

Interior Painting

Howie finished taping and sanding the drywall on the second floor on Sunday, so while we’re waiting for the first floor to be insulated and sheet rocked, we’ve started priming and painting upstairs.

We’re using Benjamin Moore’s zero-VOC Natura line. I read a few reviews on other brands that complained about needing 3-4 coats to achieve the desired color, and only saw good reviews for Natura’s coverage. We’re using some pretty saturated colors upstairs, so coverage was key and so far the it’s been wonderful to work with. It’s a little pricey at about $50/gallon, but not only does it cover well, it also goes on smoothly, dries in 1-2 hours, and it’s odorless. In fact, it’s so odorless that I could smell our dog over any paint smell when she came into the room. Time to give Bernie a bath!

I’m debating using some sort of geometric allover stencil on an accent wall in the master bedroom to break up the orange a bit. Any thoughts?

In other upstairs news: The tub was installed yesterday and looks great in the marble surround! All of our bathroom tile has now arrived, so as soon as Larry finishes installing the Schluter membrane in the shower we can tackle bath tiling next.

Bathroom color & tile: Walls are B.M. Natura Goldfield, shower walls and tub apron are tiled with Ann Sacks Lucian field tile in Oxygen, Carrara marble tub surround and vanity top, and 12"x24" Anthracite floor tile with matching pebbles on the shower floor.

While there’s nothing particularily “green” about the tile choices, we are using a no-VOC stone and grout sealer.

No more window woes

Today a local window repairman for Accurate Dorwin came out to fix our window woes. George, from Geo Glass in Vermont, seemed very experienced with our windows. He swapped out four sashes in a few hours and was busy adjusting the remaining windows when I left. He will have to return with some new parts to finish the job.

Overall my experience with Accurate Dorwin has been positive. They make a great product but I think they could exercise a lot more quality control before the windows leave the factory. Their customer service has been fairly good.


CFLs, who knew?

I’m putting together a list of all the known electrical appliances and devices in the house. One of the items on the list is lights. So I started looking around to see how many watts CFLs consume in comparison to incandescents. Then I came across this page…

Who knew there were so many things to consider when choosing a CFL?




A window repair person is scheduled to be at the site Monday morning to swap some sashes and glass units, and adjust the remaining units. We’re hoping this goes smoothly and we don’t find any other issues.


We officially own our entire driveway as of yesterday when the final papers were filed. Before yesterday, the center section of our driveway was still on our neighbor’s land. This adjustment has been in the works since April.

Electric Company

National Grid is like any large organization, lot’s of forms to fill out, they never call you back, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I have spared the blog my venom, but this is getting to be a chapter right out of the movie Brazil. I have to report that we still don’t have a scheduled date for electric service to be installed to the house. It could be Spring before we have power from the grid.

Solar Electric

I really wish it made economic sense to go off the grid completely, because so far we’ve gotten a much better response from one of the solar vendors in our area, GroSolar. They came out to the house to do a solar survey and sent us an estimate that same night. To summarize, after all rebates and tax credits, we’re looking at spending roughly $14k for a 6.9 kW system that should bring us to net zero in energy usage. Pretty awesome.

Window and doors update, siding and snow arrives

Yesterday we had a sales rep for AccurateDorwin come out to the site to see first hand our window woes. He confirmed our findings and promised to set things straight. But as of today, still no official word.

In more positive news, two of the three doors have been installed. We now have a weather protected space to work while its 29 degrees outside. Too bad all the work is on the outside.

Speaking of outside, our siding has arrived. It’s all primed and ready to go in 20 foot long pieces of hemlock. And it’s just in time because we had our first snow yesterday.

We’re still waiting on the metal roof. It was suppose to be delivered last week.

On a final note, I met today with a solar PV installer from GroSolar to get an estimate. More on this when I get a quote from them, hopefully in the next day or so.

November Update

Lots going on the last few weeks. All major framing and sheathing is complete, including the gable ends and the basement walkout. The wood siding, metal roof and fiberglass doors have been ordered. The windows are tentatively scheduled to arrive next week. Warren has been working like mad to get the house closed in before Winter settles in.

Over the weekend we started priming the roof trim boards that need to go on before the metal roof, and one of the three exterior doors.

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