Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Help

Filed under: Interior,Master Bath,tile — Duane Diefenbach @ 6:17 pm

With parents and my sister’s family visiting we took advantage of the help to get a big project started in the master bath – the shower needs to be tiled.  This has been a daunting task because I have never done wall tiles before and this is a custom shower.  And one of the design mistakes we made was to not pay enough attention to the area of the shower and where the bathroom door was located. As a result, to maximize the shower size I had to bring it right up to the bathroom door and the wall between the toilet and shower was too small. So…

In preparation for tiling the shower in the master bath I first had to build out the wall between the shower and toilet

And here it is painted and ready for tiling

I started with help from my mom to install the Schluter shower system waterproof membrane that seals the shower. You install the tile directly over this membrane.

We took a break from working on the shower on Thanksgiving Day (milled hemlock boards for the porch ceilings instead) and then Friday I tiled the shower with the help of Pete, my brother-in-law.  It took all morning to get the walls complete. “All” I have left to do is tile the shower floor and curb and grout (and install the fixtures).  Here’s what the shower looks like at this point.

During all this my dad finished insulating the basement (Thanks Dad!). Friday afternoon Pete and I cut down a box elder where the clothes line will be relocated and we moved the chicken tractors under cover for the year.

In case you’re not from Pennsylvania, it’s deer season on Monday so it will be at least a week before I have any more progress to report.

November 17, 2010

Well, it is woodcock and grouse season

Filed under: flooring,Interior,Master Bath,Master Bedroom — Duane Diefenbach @ 9:24 pm

That’s my excuse for no updates.

After returning from MN I had some wonderful hunts in PA. In late October in about 3 hrs Walt and I had 25 flushes in just 2 coverts. Then I went to MD for a workshop the first week in November but upon my return I hunted the last Saturday of woodcock season and had 16 flushes for the day. But I get ahead of myself.

On the 6th of November Molly and I went to Quehanna for our traditional grouse hunt (but we couldn’t stay overnight) and Windsor pointed a black bear.  A great story that is best told in person, but the short version is that as we were walking out of a covert she pointed a crack in a big flat rock. I climbed on top of the rock and looked down in expecting a porcupine when a black bear growled at us.  Suffice it to say I jumped back and called off Windsor.  A half minute later a 300-400 lb black bear climbed out and ran away.

Then on the following Wednesday after school Molly and I hunted the hillside behind our house for an hour. We flushed 3 grouse and Molly had a shot at one (but like me, she missed). No woodcock. Then on our way back Molly noted that Windsor’s tail looked funny. I concluded it was broken.  Took her to the vet and left her for the evening to have her tail docked by about 4 inches.  No grouse hunting for 14 days.  She is recovering well.  Did I mention Windsor and Hazen were at the vets on Monday – Windsor had a thorn removed from her foot and Hazen was spayed?

But I digress – this blog is supposed to be about the house.  I have been trying for several weeks to finish up the master bedroom. I think every weekend I have been telling Lisa, “I think we can move in.”  But I have been too optimistic. However, on the 14th I had everything completed in the bedroom except (1) trim above the closet, (2) doors to the closet, and (3) a bedroom door.  So we moved in Monday night.

Moving the bedroom is a story in itself because the pencil post bed I made when we first moved to Pennsylvania (and I had my first real job and bought a table saw) required that we cut a notch in the header above the stairs to get it to the 2nd floor in the stone house. Fortunately, not much changed or shifted since we moved in 11 years ago and we got it back down the stairs. Except this time Ethan was of more help than Lisa.

After the move here is a picture looking in through the doorway (no door yet) to the master bedroom and of the  closet (no doors).

It is an absolute pleasure having plenty of room to walk around the furniture without stubbing a toe or banging a shin. And we’re quite pleased how Hazen highlights the color of the pine floors that we reclaimed from the attic.

In the bathroom I (almost) finished the vanity (still need to make the drawers) that is designed around the vessel sink we carried home from Spain in 2006 (inspired by the bathroom vanity in the wonderful hotel we stayed in Sevilla). Just fyi, the design inspiration is on the right. I made our vanity out of walnut with some cherry trim and highlights. You will have to visit us to truly appreciate it!

I have also been able to test the clawfoot tub twice since it has been installed. At the price of embarassing my grad students (and kids). Here is a photo of the second test of tub performance. It is everything I wished for – lots of water and plenty of room to stretch out!

So now that we can sleep in the master bedroom I have to set new priorities. I have been told they are to get a door hung to the bedroom (as you can see I am working on that).

And to tile the shower in the master bedroom

Not to mention getting the crawl spaces completely insulated before it gets really cold and making a kitchen. Stay tuned!

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