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Posted by Larry in Nashville, TN on 3/30/2015

Got started early Saturday morning, swapping out the guts of the meter base to the style that is required by Nashville Electric and hopefully get connected this week. Didn't take long, about 30 minutes. Sandra and Cassidy started trimming out the exterior of the windows, using the 3/4" x 3/4" pieces left over from the frames we made a couple months ago. Adds some additional depth to the otherwise pretty plain windows. Afterwards they primed the now scraped brick mold and yesterday started the top coats.

I've decided to move the water heater to a niche in the laundry room as there just wasn't enough room to install the valves, the drip pan and the pressure relief valve and keep it above the dryer. But to be able to do that, I needed to rock the niche. And as I do that, I am reminded of how much I hate to sheetrock! It's a godawful chore that takes me an order of magnitude longer than a professional, with a result that smacks of AMATEUR! Well, not quite an amateur, but not a professional for sure. Plus the sloping wall from the dormer edge over to the corner did not present a level surface, so some sleight of hand had to be employed to trick the eyes. Actually works pretty well. A little sanding and a last coat of mud tomorrow and Sandra can prime and paint. Then I can hang the beast and finish plumbing and drains and think about the exhaust vent.

But you should have seen the kids! The magical transformation when a wall of studs becomes hidden with a cloak of sheetrock. That simple, utilitarian board of gypsum and paper now defines the space, no matter how small and misshapen. They can now sense that a larger change is on the horizon. And that change, I can say, will blow their minds. Especially at the speed it takes place with a professional crew.

Way back when we put in the upstairs patio door, we decided to put one in the downstairs as well. Got that done yesterday. My three-hour estimate turned into eight, but we got it done. The framing under the old single door was very surprisingly solid, as I had expected it to be eaten up rather badly. This area was ground zero for termites when we bought the house. The framing was fine, but when we took off the siding, it looked like an ant farm was once between the siding and the sheathing. But - no termites remained. Something akin to the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi. Were they killed by marauders? Was it a change in climate? NO, it was the Pest Doctor! I did tell the kids, that they should think about keeping the yearly subscription. Seems like the treatment really did work well, but definitely do not want to give them a chance to re-infest. And they were swarming in the neighborhood this past week with the warm weather.

Picked up a bunch of duct fittings as well as flex duct to begin laying out the upstairs system. Had Todd cut holes and attach the takeoffs to the plenum today. Sealed them and when dry, we'll finally look at attaching that section to the air handler, and running the ducts.

But a really neat thing occurred tonight. Some months back, Sandra ordered a porch swing. Same make as the one we got for the Barrel Race project in Houston, but a different color. Fantastic quality. It has sat unassembled in the dining room since well before Thanksgiving. But as we are kind of in a zone where it's starting to be hard for finding projects for them to do with little supervision, Sandra and Cassidy put it together yesterday. This afternoon, I put it up on the large front porch she has. The girls came back from Lowe's and they were so happy. Todd and I had finished for the day, and we all sat for an hour, Sandra and I in the swing, Todd and Cass standing/sitting - just talking, relaxing, like a family does. Basking in the unfinished fruits of our labor, enjoying how the house has been, and is to yet to be, transformed. Just a really great, very simple feeling on a pleasantly warm Spring evening.


Todd working on the door opening for the patio door
Door installed
Todd and Cassidy's Weim-Lyle, checking out the activity going on
The new swing. A little lost in a porch this size, we are constrained by the width to the posts.

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