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Posted by Bob in New Florence, PA on 12/28/2007

The days seem to be flying by now that we are in finish mode. It's amazing now how each thing that you do really stands out and you get such a feeling of relief and satisfaction when you can see what that area of your home is going to look like.

We wrapped up the kitchen and dinette tile yesterday, there is just one center row left to grout, which we left undone to give us an exit way since we were laying the granite tile in the foyer and we locked the front door so no one would walk on it, that basically left the garage as the only exit. After I grout the granite today and it dries, I'll be able to open the door and then finish off the grout work in the kitchen and laundry room. The tile looks sensational and I must say it is remarkable straight. We also decided to add a 3'x4' patch of granite in my office right in front of the door going out to the deck. Today, I'll grout that along with the foyer, closet and half bath. We will also be laying our final room, which is the main bathroom. That will be ceramic along with a tiled walk-in shower. It will likely take two days to finish this area then we are done with the tile.

The masons are finishing the brick on the back of our front arches, that should be completed today, then the exterior brick will be done minus the pillars on the deck/patio, which we'll wait until spring to do. They are starting our mailbox next.

The electrician was back out today putting in more ceiling fans, receptacles and switches. We had a fan that was a lemon that we had to take back, so now we have three more left to put up in the master, office and living room. We did get the medallion up in the living room though. Today, we'll work on getting the wall- and ceiling-mounted speakers in and the rest of the fans.

The walk-in shower has been more work then we anticipated. We finished adding all the HardiBoard, so then I mixed up the Ardex 8+9 waterproofer that was recommended to us by the sub that did the base. I mixed up one batch that was trowelable so I could fill in any gaps and then tape them with mesh tape as recommended on the directions. It worked well for about five minutes until it began hardening in the bucket and became useless. I then mixed up a second batch that was a paintable consistency as recommended. I got one coat on and it also dried up before I could get the second coat on. The product is definitely good as it dries to a rubbery film, but you should use gloves, which needless to say I did not do, so I spent an hour picking the stuff from my fingers before I could drive home. I still have not gotten it all off of me. I also lost a few patches of hair from my arms because once it is in your hair anywhere, you're done.

I have two more days of working on the house and then I am off for a week for a work trip, so I'm nervous and almost depressed that I am going to miss a week's worth of the house being done. Hopefully, when I come back the garage-door openers will be on and the trim, appliances and carpet will be in. But we'll see.

Here are some more pictures.


The porcelain tile in the dinette
The garage has taken on a life of its own.
The pillar between two of our arches
The Travertine in the master bath
The arches in the front of the house
Jamie, our tile man, and my father-in-law laying the granite tile in the half bath.
Granite in the foyer
Father-in-law on the wet saw
They turned me into a grout man and it stinks
Jamie finishing up the half bath
My oldest son admiring the electrician. Notice the nice Spiderman knee pads
The wife polishing my grout work and eating dust

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