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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/30/2015

I was trying to put together a timeline of the journey, but it's pretty hard to do here. Probably best done doing something on Pinterest or other such site. But It's a pain to do on my laptop PC. So I'll just put a few final photos here and will sign off until I get started up on The Last Rodeo.


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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/23/2015

We got the final inspection this morning. Same fellow that had given me some problems with the first framing inspection and fire blocking. This time he had no issues other than an additional handrail which he let me slide on. I think the look of the house and finish quality helped, not only here but in the plumbing as well. Both inspectors were pretty impressed and ended up doing more cursory examinations. Not that we had anything out of place.

We are home free! We'll get to the log mantles today, Todd was going to remove the forms on the concrete, Sandra and Cassidy are arranging and cleaning for Thanksgiving company that begins arriving tomorrow. It's all coming together for first Thanksgiving in the house. I've got to run by HD and pick up a sheet of plywood for a dining table as they don't have one yet, but just one more memory for the holiday.

Sandra and I have something great to be thankful for --- we are clean with the city, and we are done with the project!!!!

I'll post some final pictures after the holiday. Maybe some before and after shots to remind everyone where we started. I know I forget how far we have come in the past 17 months. This elephant was big, but we finally got it eaten, one bite at a time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/22/2015

Finished all the railing including the lower section so I've called in for the final. Should happen before Thanksgiving. Crossing my fingers.

Todd's finishing up the bookshelves, Cassidy has painted them and started filling them up. Just the crown left on top and that'll get done today.

I think I've finally figured out the issue with blowing fuses on the HVAC. When the AC was on it was an intermittent problem so really impossible to diagnose. When switching to heat, it is a constant and immediate condition. By jumping power to the various functions - fan, call for heat, I was able to get the furnace to fire normally. Ultimately, I've narrowed down to my mistake in connecting an additional wire into the thermostat. Why that would cause an intermittent problem under AC, I don't get, but I'll remove that wire today and see if everything fires OK. Hoping it does, as it was 25 F today. The fireplaces keep up very well, but it's definitely time to get everything working. 

Will try to get the old log mantels set today as well. That leaves hanging the laundry door left as the last big thing to do. I feel good that we're on track to be done before we leave for Angel Fire.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/19/2015

Got the final plumbing inspection today! So only the final building inspection to take place. To get that, I need to finish the stair railing, which I'll get done tomorrow. Actually, rebuilding the old railing wasn't nearly the pain I had expected. Just took it one step at a time. The only thing I'm unclear about is what the height should be. I'm using the original height and hope it flies, even though it seems a few inches low. I'll call tomorrow for an inspection that should happen next week.

Todd and I spent several hours this afternoon running concrete for the back deck landing and the steps leading up from the street. We had been planning to get a truck of mix ready, but turned out we only needed a yard and a half. Truck minimum was three yards and a $100 delivery. So we had HD drop off a pallet plus of 60-lb. bags. Really wasn't too bad and better than trying to negotiate the yard, fences and gates with a full load from a truck. With the cool weather, curing will take a while. Normally I'd consider walking on it the following day, but I think it'll be more like two or three, and a week to remove the forms. We did leave the sidewalk for tomorrow as the dog needed an area of the yard. What we did today should be fine for him to walk around on it, and we'll open the backyard for him again.

Kids have the stereo connected and ceiling speakers are working. Bookcases need finishing and I've cut a bunch of trim for it. A few other odds and ends and some general unpacking of stuff in the dining room, but things are really near the end. 

A set of ladder racks came today for the trailer. I need to get them on. Maybe over Thanksgiving. Have very little working time left. Thanksgiving weekend will be time off, the following weekend the kids are having a housewarming party and the weekend after that Sandra and I pack up our apartment and leave on the following Monday with the trailer of tools and clothes, bound for Angel Fire and the Last Rodeo. So my punch list needs to get completed really quick. Wow! I'm already having mixed emotions. Sadness, happiness, excitement, apprehension, relief and several more.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/11/2015

With the exception of putting up the rustic cedar mantel. It's an ancient piece of log from a smoke house. Hewn wood so you know it's old. Kids found a couple of them from a guy that salvages things. Cut them down to size and tried to get the kitchen one done before we left but taking more time that we had yesterday. Will finish next week

But everything else is finished there. Crown, base, fresh air makeup system, decorations. Pictures are attached below.

Working with the bookcases for the den. Going OK but I'm definitely not a furniture maker. And it doesn't help that the wall depths on either side of the fireplace are not the same AND you don't realize until after I've made them both. Ahhhh

But all the crown there is finished as well, just needs caulk and paint. Actually nice to pull all the trim scraps out of the house, clean the hall of it and pull up all the cardboard. So the only room left is the downstairs bedroom/music room. It's where have been storing tools,paint odds and ends. Kids are supposed to clean that out this week, move paint to the basement, tools to the trailer and strip the cardboard off on the floor. Still needs trim caulked and painted. But then it will be done. 

Todd texted me today and said final electrical inspection passed today. Waiting on the plumbing next. We have concrete landing to be poured along with the front steps and sidewalk and we can go for the final final. Whoops! have to make the railings for the staircase. I knew it was too good to be true! ;-)


Kitchen with crown on
Other side of kitchen
Shot down the hall
The den is coming along

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/8/2015

A Realtor stopped by the other night to look at what we had done to the house, solely out of curiosity. Afterward, he commented something to the idea that all there was left was a lot of trim to finish. Now after working on this project for nearly a year a half and and having already put in nearly a mile of trim - just what was he talking about?! Doesn't he see we are nearly done?

Well, I learned in the past few days that there is a fair amount of trim to get finished after all. Crown molding on the cabinets, consisting of a stack of three separate pieces, quarter round around the cabinets, baseboard in the kitchen now that cabinets were set, crown in the den as I have started to build the bookshelves. We should have it pretty well wrapped up this week having gotten most done the past few days.

We hung a mirror in the lower bath today that weighed about 150 pounds with the frame. Used a French cleat to hang it as wire would not have held. With that up I can hook up the sink and call in for a final plumbing inspection. Have a couple receptacles in the bookcases and then can call for final electrical.

So we are making good progress and are still looking at getting done around Thanksgiving.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 11/3/2015

Turns out to be a royal pain. Case in point was the last two days trying to hook up the clawfoot tubs. I had set lines through the floor when running the plumbing this time last year. Complete with shutoff valves that were mated to chromed copper tubing. I went to connect the risers from the valves to the tub faucets and - the risers were 1/2" and my valves were 3/8". OK, cut off the valves and replace with correct ones. Run to HD and get the valves last night. This morning, turn off the water, and cut off the first valve and go to put on the new one and -----!!!???. It doesn't fit. It's supposed to fit on 1/2" hard copper tubing, but the stub was larger. Not big enough as 3/4". I suspect maybe a metric size? 

OK, now I have an open pipe, water is shut off, valve doesn't fit I cannot even think there would be something available, and what am I going to do? Besides tear into the ceiling below and re-plumb? Dig around my scrap copper. 3/4" refrigeration line might slip over, but wait - 1/2" copper, the stuff that fits the new valve, looks like it might fit inside. Yes! It did!! Sweated the joint and slipped the valve on and I was home free. Someone was smiling down on me! Got the other three lines taken care of, and will finish the install on the drains in the morning.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/31/2015

Todd got back last night after a month on the road in Europe. A lot has happened since he left and he was really smiling when he saw everything. He quickly got back in the swing of things as he and I worked on setting the stove wall backsplash. The tile is a white profiled Moroccan style tile that I think will look great in the old house when it's grouted. Actually looks really good now. A big change from the wall marked up with measurements. Would have done the wall over at the other end of the kitchen but time ran out. I'll let Todd tackle that by himself tomorrow now that he is pretty well versed in the art.

I got the fireplaces going after bleeding the lines and kept one on low most of the day. Did a great job at warming up the place on a dreary and rainy fall day. Couldn't seem to get the remotes to work though. Cassidy will take a look at that tomorrow. I'm probably doing something wrong.

Worked a bit on the kitchen faucet and ran some of the PEX, but will finish that in the morning. Will also get the furnace lines purged and make sure they fire up OK. And that'll probably finish off tomorrow.


Backsplash on the kitchen wall. Needs grout and then the pot filler can be set.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/29/2015

It's a continent!! - were the words from a friend when he saw the pic of the marble going in. I must say, it is rather large. The stone guys came this evening after the crews got finished with their regular installs as they needed everyone they had to muscle it into the house and then onto the cabinets. The result is reeeeally nice.

Gas company put in the meter this afternoon as well. Figured they would start the various appliances, but they don't so I walked Cassidy through starting up the water heater which essentially needed cycling several times to purge the lines and bring gas through the piping. Finally caught and she can now take a normal shower. If I had been in town, I would have cracked open a line and bled it, but that's not a smart thing for an inexperienced person. 
Used FaceTime on the phones to walk her through the several steps. So much easier with today's technology isn't it?

Stove needed purging as well but simpler as it doesn't shut off after not starting. The igniters keep firing until gas arrives.

When I get back Saturday, I'll get the furnaces started, and the fireplaces and we'll be a few steps closer to the end. Heat and hot water! Yay! Just in time for the change in weather!


Took them a long time to get from the street through the front door. Like 10 minutes. Yeah it's big.
Getting it laid down
Drilled for faucet. Faucet not set tight, but gives an idea of the final
Stove wall. Will get a tile back splash this weekend. Looks like they removed the top drawers for install.
Island from the other direction. You can glimpse the coffee/wine bar on the side of the fireplace.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/26/2015

I pushed back my departure for this week's trip in hopes that I could get hold of the inspector first thing in the morning. Just after 7:00 we got a call from him saying he'd be out to the house at 8:30.

Read the letter from the engineer on the fireplaces and said OK. Then looked at the tankless and spent five minutes reviewing the installation instructions. He was sure that I had connected the supply and exhaust up incorrectly as I have mentioned in an earlier post. In the end, he scratched his head and agreed that there wasn't anything that I did contrary.

Checked that I ran a new dryer exhaust, and was pleased. Checked the new return air plenum then handed me an approved ticket for both the gas and mechanical final! Finally! Said I could call the gas company tomorrow afternoon to get the meter process started. Fantastic!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/25/2015

Waited through Friday for an inspector. And he never showed. Is this a way to run a city? I just rescheduled my trip this coming week to try to be here again for him. Will call in the morning and find out what's going on with his schedule.

In the meantime, I've set all of the under cabinet things like power for the dishwasher and garbage disposal, connected the disposal and drain, so that's ready to go, set the undercounter water heater. Only thing left is to connect the water lines, but I need some PEX fittings and the plumbing shop was closed Friday for inventory. Got power to the wine fridge says well as the island small appliance circuit.

And I finished the return air modification. Started setting the master bath linen cabinets and will finish that today. They were the first ones assembled, but once Howard came, the kitchen took priority.

We can begin clearing the living room of the few remaining items from the cabinet order, things like toe kick and fillers, and start moving stuff from that was waiting in the den over to its final location in the LR.

So things are coming together. Only things left after this weekend will be to set the stair railings and trim out the kitchen cabinets (crown molding). And miscellaneous trim work around the house. Oh and finish setting the last of the doors and get the handles on.

Yeah we were hot and heavy on the doors, but getting gas and getting the cabinets set took priority for a while.


Undercabinet stuff set. Now that I look at it with clear head, I need to set the drain out the back of the cabinet to get required horizontal distance. Damn! I hate going backwards.
Redo of the return air. Took it to the hallway as it was too close the the fireplace. My mistake.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/21/2015

Yesterday and today, before Howard got on a plane back to Texas, we continued to set cabinets. Did the island yesterday. What seemed like a simple process, took the entire day as the shimming process was long and arduous. And 3/4 of the way through, we found that the starting point had rotated through some strange event and the second side we took off from it was incorrect. Neither of us can figure it out as it was screwed down when set in place. Today we set the cabinet above the fridge, made a wall for the right side and set it, and also set the farm sink and microwave in its drawer. Have to run water to the sink cabinet, and electrical to the microwave, disposal, dishwasher and small tankless, but that's it. Should get all of that run this weekend, as wiring is underneath the floor, while we wait for the counters to show up possibly next week (Stone guy is coming in the morning to measure, now that everything is ready for him).

Waiting for the final gas inspection. Was asked to take place Tuesday, but called them today after a no show and he said he might get to it by Friday.


Stove wall complete, except for painting the wall that is just right of the fridge. Also need to put in a small filler to cover the small space between it and the other cabinets. Sink is to the lower right. It's huge! Whoops, forgot that crown moulding still goes on.
Shot of the island with the sink and dishwasher. The dishwasher gets a cabinet panel for the front. Got to look how to attach it.
Microwave in its drawer. Sits across from the stove.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/19/2015

The engineer got the letter written today. Yay!

Called for an inspection. That should take a couple days, but hopefully by the end of the week. Then call the gas company for a meter. Maybe, just maybe we'll have gas in a week or so.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/19/2015

Made good progress yesterday getting all of the kitchen drawers set, the fronts and doors on, leveling and setting one pantry. Taking the day off today to tour Nashville with Howard and tomorrow will set the island, and run electrical and water to it, as well as set the big old farmhouse sink. Then we can get the marble guy out and have him measure everything.

Engineer called late yesterday and had a question on firebox clearances from the manufacturer of the log set. I've gotten them back to him this morning and he said he'll get a letter out today. Crossing my fingers. Want to call this afternoon to schedule the inspection.


Stove wall at end of day Saturday. Cabinets set, drawers in. No fronts yet.
Island with stove wall in the background.
Other side of island.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/17/2015

Howard and I have spent two days working on the cabinets. Half day was to add a beam underneath where the island will be. The granite weighs 1,000+ lbs, there are a couple hundred pounds of cabinets underneath that, and I could easily see twenty people milling about during a party. The joists are 2'x10', somewhat thicker than today's dimensions, but for a 14-foot span and on 20" centers instead of today's 12" or 16", I figured it better be beefed up. Floor is rock solid now.

Started hanging cabinets on the stove wall. A base cab and two uppers on each side of the stove. Above the stove, is a 42" range hood and cabinet. Got the uppers in yesterday afternoon then and the hood in and connected. Got the base cabs there placed today. Had significant shimming as the drops from right to left. Had no idea that it dropped that much.

Placed the drawer glides and set the drawers. Need to add the faces tomorrow. we set the opposite side of the room as well and after we get doors on, we'll hopefully start on the island tomorrow. Need to build platforms for the two pantries before those are finally attached to the wall. So- maybe it won't be tomorrow for the island. We'll see.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/13/2015

Got back into town late yesterday and went back to work assembling the cabinets. By mid-day today, in have all assembled with the exception of the one over the fridge, and a large one for the den. Few of the doors and none of the drawers are installed, but I really wanted to get the boxes together and make sure we weren't missing anything. So far all the cabinets are here. Next will be to make sure all the drawers and doors are included as well. As well as things have gone so far, I don't doubt it will all be there.

A new range hood arrived today. That was fantastic service. Saw the hood was damaged a little over a week ago. Called and they picked up on Thursday, and I have a new today. Opened it immediately and it is in great shape.

Brother-in-law Howard is coming up from Austin on Thursday night to help me put up all the cabinets. He's here until the following Wednesday, so we should be able to get everything done. 

Oh big news! The engineer was by today and looked at the fireplaces. He took some pictures, some measurements and poked around. He seemed to think it all looked good as far as the closure of the fliers concerned. He wants to review the fire code before he signs off, though. Said he should have something back to us tomorrow end of day. Crossing my fingers! If that's OK, then I'll call for an inspection. He did find a loose brick that I need to tuck point with some heat resistant mortar, but that's a piece of cake.
Really really hoping he signs off.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/9/2015 10:21:22 PM

Turns out the cabinets are labeled, somewhat.  Just not in a very detailed manner.  You can tell if a box is a wall unit or a base unit. And a few of the base units have the dimensions, but not all.  And doors are sometimes in boxes, and some were packed loose in layers with drawer fronts and smaller face frames.  And since they are all wrapped in a foam fabric, it takes some investigation to tell if it's a door, or drawer front or frame.  But slowly we made progress on Thursday.  The two kitchen pantries are together, and 5 wall units. the pile of boxes is visibly smaller, but we have a long way to go, for sure.  While I'm attaching doors as we go, the drawer hardware takes a fair bit longer and we'll wait until the units are all assembled and maybe even set, before we get into that.  

The 11th pallet showed up Thursday as well. It was the kitchen hood cabinet.  A large, pre-assembled cabinet, the only pre-assembled cabinet.  Engineer didn't show, reset for Tuesday when we get back. Then I head out of town and back Friday.  Brother in law is coming up Thirsday night for several days to help kick out the cabinets.  That will be great help!  I'm really looking forward for that, and to show him some of Nashville!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/7/2015

of cabinets arrived yesterday.  10 pallets of the 11 showed up.  They've found the last one and we'll arrange for that to be delivered.  Had them set off the truck onto the road with my car blocking the lane from behind.  Took about 3 hours to haul it all in.  Boxes stacked throughout the living room, drawers in the dining room.  Started sorting through it today to find the master bath linen cabinets.  Really tough finding what's what.  The labels don't tell you what is what. Definitely frustrating, but I'm to the point that instead of trying to find a particular cabinet, I'm going to just start putting together what I open.  Eventually I'll run across the extra boxes for the large pantries.  

Engineer cancelled today.  He might possibly make it tomorrow, but if not it'll have to be next Tuesday.  Really need to get this taken care of.  We've gotten a reprieve on temps for the next week, but I've got to get gas to the house!


Forgot to get a shot when all the pallets were first unloaded. This is about halfway done.
Living room full of cabinets
And the kitchen
And the dining room

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 10/5/2015 11:06:54 PM

I've made headway towards the things the inspector wanted done, including changing out the bathroom vent termination that he said was too small.  Actually I bought the square one and fastened it over the other.  No change in size, but it's easier than arguing.

Got the cabinets marked on the wall around the stove, so he can see the elevations.  Got the dryer vent changed, changing the return air location.  But need some ducts made so went today to order them.  Have the instructions for the water heater to show the vents are done correctly.  Got the insulation changed on the AC suction lines.  And most importantly, I finally got an engineer after several tries.  Supposed to come out Wednesday to review the fireplaces.  We have to get gas hooked up as last week was a preview of the weather that will be here before long.  Until the fireplace thing is worked out, we're stuck.  In the meantime, getting odds and ends done. 

All but three of the doors are hung. Final three getting urethaned.   Master and guest baths are finished with the exception of connecting the clawfoot tubs.

Todd is on tour for the month, so we're missing that help. Especially tomorrow when the cabinets arrive.  11 pallets of knocked down units.  It'll be up to Sandra, Cassidy and I to move it all inside.  But that will be the chore for the day.  And then we can go about putting it together bit by bit while waiting for ductwork and the engineer's response.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/27/2015 10:06:22 PM

Friday comes, I call the inspector as he had said to do in the VM he left and find he will be out that day.  He's there for gas final.  A problem with being new to an area is to understand how the inspections take place. For example, on the Barrel Race in Houston, as soon as I ran piping I could get the final.  Calibrated gauge installed.  No appliances needed to be hooked up.  I asked in Nashville when I called. Appliances needed to be installed and gauge? The plumbers should have tested for leaks themselves.

One thing they didn't tell me was the cabinetry was also to be set.  Why? So they can check clearances to the stove. Arghh! Of course they haven't even arrived yet.

I asked him while he was there to look at the mechanical.   The foam insulation on the low pressure AC line needs to be replaced.  Needs to be 3/4" thick.  Mine is 5/8"
I need to relocate the first floor return intake as its too close to the fireplace - that is something I should have researched ahead of time. And then he has issues with the soffit vent for the first floor bathroom. A 4" exhaust line leading to a 4" vent.  And he tells me that's not large enough. Huh???  Oh and even though I have a letter from the chimney guy on the closure,  that's not gonna pass muster.  I need a letter from an engineer.  I don't know what to do on that one.

I understand about factual code issues, like the return air plenum, but it's the interpretation things that bug the crap out of me.  They themselves are not engineers and yet they make decisions based on opinions instead of engineered judgements.  Bug the holy crap out of me.  But play along, and he sees from the quality of the overall job we're doing and they may cut you some slack on a few things, like - I don't have to rip out the AC lines that are in the walls to install the correct foam insulation and he says " you doing the cabinet install? Go ahead and mark where the cabinets will be around the stove and I'll let that work.  Give some take some.

We did get all three showers set with glass before the day ended yesterday.  They look great!  I started to work on the banisters and railings for the stairwell, and added mouldings along the sides, which Sandra promptly painted.  

Kids are moved in, spent their first night in the house, with the dining room packed to the gills with boxes yet to be opened once the first floor is done, took their first of many cold showers ?? until we get gas but I am sure a first night of many happy ones to come.


master bath shower finished

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/23/2015 10:23:07 PM

The plumber called week ago for a final gas inspection yesterday.  No inspector.  Called and they said yes it was on the schedule but they were backed up. So today I leave a message on his phone at 7:30 am, called the admin assistant and she replied yes I was on the schedule.  No inspector, but he returns my call at 3:30 and leaves me a message.  Says he'll be out until Friday and to call him then, but the inspection will be towards the end of next week.  What the hell!? Two and a half weeks to get an inspection?! This is ridiculous!  And of course both my wife and I are out of town on business all of next week.  Just crazy.

On a brighter note, the shower glass arrived today, in a 700 lb crate.  13 pieces in all.  Took all four of us to unload it.  Sandra and Cassidy held the pieces vertical as Todd and I pulled out the pieces one by one and took them inside.  Got all the pieces for the master upstairs and we'll start on that tomorrow.  If we're lucky well get it all set.  

Brought over a huge mirror that has been in our apartment for months. Its like 5 x 8 and weighs over 100 pounds. It went into the bath downstairs, leaning up against a wall, but will need to be hung at some point.

Speaking of mirrors, the glass company came out today and measured fo the mirror in the master bath.  That should take a week.

Sandra and Cass cleaned the upstairs, put everything in its place and cleaned the floors, made the bed and the clothes are in the closets.  It essentially finished upstairs with the exception of the showers which will be done by the end of the weekend - I think!


the crate of glass ready to be disassembled

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/20/2015

Was a good weekend with three of us working on the house while Cassidy worked her day job.

Sandra was working at caulking and painting the trim downstairs that hadn't been done earlier. The bath, the mudroom, lower bed/band room. She's actually getting near the end of all of it! She paints fast, but three coats and a LOT of trim takes time.

I did get the transoms up with new glass installed in there and razor bladed the fourth one that had glass in it. One side had four coats of thick paint. I had to cut gorges into the paint in order to slowly work it off.

Todd took care of a myriad of things that weren't quite finished: he hung the pendant light in the lower bath, finished door trim for the laundry, and helped me work on installing the new stairs. Didn't get them all run but we made it up to the landing, looks so good. I used clear poplar for the risers and they really match well with the hickory treads.

I did get the master vanity all plumbed so that's off my list. Need to call someone out to measure for a large mirror over it. I'd do it myself, but need to have cutouts for a receptacle and the lights. I do not trust myself with that. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure it'll fit up the stairs. Hmmm. May be a change of plans here.

Todd and I unpacked the stove and assembled what needed to done. Had to connect to gas to it and add a 30-amp cord to it for the oven.

This week, the shower glass should come, and the gas final. Need to call the gas company and have them set a meter, so we can fire up the stove, fireplaces and furnaces when the time comes.


Ripping out the stairs from the bottom up. A couple steps at a time
Just about to the landing. Such a difference!!!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/18/2015

Kids are having a garage sale in the morning to unload a bunch of stuff and not move it. I hope it goes well. They need to purge as much as possible!

At the house, Cassidy's cabinet project is slowly coming together.

The last old door is half finished, but we have the four new ones arriving on Monday and the process starts anew.

The stair treads and the risers are all ready for install, but the sides of the old stairs need to be sanded down and painted first. Clawfoot tubs arrived today as did the hardware for the frameless shower glass. It arrives next Monday. The stone guys did the install on the master bath vanity this afternoon. With the the faucets on, it looks amazing! I'll try to get the water and drains connected this weekend, but there are so many other things, I don't know which to prioritize.

The old transoms have been painted, hardware installed and they will go in tomorrow or Sunday.
Got the new return air line connected in yesterday and reset the damper to the guest bedroom. It has really helped the AC upstairs. I could still turn down the air flow to that bedroom a bit more, but I'll wait until the transoms are in and see how that affects things.

Plumbers came back on Wednesday and found the leaks in the gas line they ran a few months ago. With that done, the gas final is set for next week. So I need to get the stove set and connected sometime this weekend. All appliances need to be connected for the final. 

The lower floor of the house looks a wreck as we have doors, and trim and transoms and treads and, and and... But for some sanity you can run upstairs where it is serene and nearly finished. Ahhhh.


Master vanity with the marble countertop and faucets installed. Honed finish rather than polished as marble can be damaged pretty easily. Honing helps hide some of that.
Clawfoot tub in the master. Still need feet attached and wrapping off and supply and drain lines and faucets attached. But all of that will wait until the shower glass is installed. At least they are up the stairs.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/14/2015

Kids have to be out of their rental house at the end of the month, so Sunday we made a trailer run of the large stuff to the new house. As the upstairs is now nearly done (with the exception of hanging the doors and getting the glass in the showers), the big stuff was concentrated on that. Getting the king bed up the small stairs was a question in our mind. I've left the railing and banisters off for the move, which allowed us to get it up, although the mattress needed to be folded considerably still.

Sandra continued to paint trim, Cassidy went back to work on her recycled cabinet, Todd went back to work on the doors. With the cool weather on Friday, I trimmed the side door and weatherstripped it as the AC was off. Spent half of Saturday doing some AC duct work upstairs. I tied in a new duct to the master, and cut in a new smaller return in the hall ceiling to pull hot air better from an otherwise dead space. As the house was further tightened during trim, the AC keep up well. But it is clear that I needed more air flow to the back, and need to reduce it in the guest bedroom and bath. I've got dampers in the system so I'll spent time next Saturday up in the attic changing the damper on that line.

The stair treads came in Friday. Got them sealed and finished. Four coat process with a sealer and a catalyzed water based material. Need to get boards for the risers as we have decided they need to go too. Will get them next weekend when I get back into town and start the process over.

Need to get the final on the gas lines, so we need to do two things. Contact the plumber who put it in and tell them to find out why it doesn't hold pressure, and then arrange for inspection. The fellow that did the restoration and sealing of the firebox area, has written a pretty comprehensive letter that I hope will satisfy the inspector regarding the suitability for vent free logs.

Waiting on shower glass. Supposed to ship today but will check. Would be wonderful if that came in late this week or early next.


Original door hardware after getting the paint off. It's easy to get the paint off using a crockpot and allowing it to cook in water overnight. Paint just falls off. But make sure you clean the crock pot well afterwards when you dealing with lead paint.
Priming it all.
While most of the hardware was steel, or brass plated steel, a couple door knobs were very heavy and solid brass, and the pocket door pulls were copper. A couple are shown here. They will get clear coated instead of painted.
103-year-old doors. Dipped at a refinishers site and then sanded, stained, and three coats of urethane. I wish I could look this good at 103!
Stair treads on their final coat. Takes four days to fully cure, so they'll be ready to walk on for sure by the time we get them in.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/9/2015

After a wonderful long weekend at the beach, and Todd on a long weekend tour, we got back to work again yesterday. Sandra continues on painting trim, Todd keeps on the doors, something he'll be working on for a while, I think. Long process - coat of stain, three coats of poly - each side, ten doors. 

More mirrors up, more blinds up. Got the first barn door track up, the one for Todd's closet.

Stone guy came over to measure the master vanity yesterday. Marble is in his shop. As soon as the sinks come in he can install. They are supposed to deliver tomorrow, so I'll let him know. Be nice to get that vanity finished. He looked at how to bring in the island marble when that time comes. It's a 5x10 island, and the slab weighs 900 pounds. They'll use six people on it, he indicated. Wow!

Guest vanity is finally up and working. Towel hooks in as well. Clawfoot tubs are ordered for both master and guest baths. 

Weather is supposed to cool significantly starting tomorrow. Great time to yank both front doors and trim them for a threshold. Need to do the same to the side door as well. Been waiting for cooler weather as it'll take several hours.
Taking care of the odds and ends before the big stuff starts arriving in a couple weeks.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/4/2015

Taking a few days off and heading to the beach for some R&R. But since the last post, a few things have progressed. Master vanity is set and ready for marble measurements, upstairs guest vanity is set and I believe functional. Was just waiting on the silicone to dry before filling with water and looking for leaks. 

Blinds are installed in the den and lower bedroom, Cassidy has been re-purposing old front door glass panels into cabinets and is nearly finished. I sure couldn't see the value in the them, but she sure did!

Two doors have been stained and have received the first coat of poly. Chandelier for the dining room arrived and is installed, sconces and mirror for the hall are up, marble for the kitchen has been ordered - a budget buster, yes ??, and four of the five attic hatches have been installed and sealed with weatherstrip.

Hope everyone has a great end-of-summer holiday!!


Cassidy with a cabinet made with old front entry glass panel
Working on making another panel into a couple smaller doors. This particular panel had significant termite damage and two small doors were all that could be salvaged.
Hall sconces and old mirror

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 9/1/2015

I looked outside today at the yard and realized both the miter and table saws weren't out of the trailer! That's weird. We've been using them steadily for the past month, and this weekend, we could have used another miter saw as all three of us were running trim and having to wait on each other for a miter saw. But today it was quiet. I was working on modifying the custom master vanity and plumbing lines out of the wall to work together, Sandra showed up and went back to work caulking and painting, poor girl. And Todd was sanding one of the six original doors that had been dipped and stripped, in preparations for stain. No trim was happening. Yeah! Yes! It's basically done. The baseboard, the quarter round, the wainscot in the dining room and two bathrooms, the crown molding. Close to 4,000' - done. What little is left has to wait for the cabinets to arrive at the end of the month so we can run trim up to it. The kids really did well on it. I can't thank them enough for taking so much of it off my hands and allowing me to get to more oddball things that needed attention.

Sandra and I worked up punch lists, Sunday starting with the upstairs so that the kids can get moved in by the end of the month and quit paying rent. The kitchen will not be in yet, but we are working at getting the upstairs totally finished. They can camp out until we get the kitchen moving along. They have started to put things on Craigslist to reduce the move as much as possible.

Glass for the showers has been ordered. Should ship in ten days. And we'll set up those. I'm hoping my measurements and trigonometry worked OK on the one panel that meets up with the roofline. I used an app on my phone to measure the angle. It should have been 45 degrees, but as I suspected, a bit of sag reduced that to 43.4. While that doesn't seem like a big difference, it makes a large difference on the panel. Like 3/4" over the run.

I made doors for the attic hatches yesterday and used piano hinges on them. Will try to start attaching them to the hatch frames early tomorrow morning before the attic space becomes an oven. Not sure I'll get all five set, but any progress is good.

Also created the curved trim for the front door this past weekend. Another job I've been procrastinating on. So little by little we are getting closer to the end!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/30/2015

After ordering another 1,100 ft. of trim this past week, finishing the last of the trim is priority. The door frames that were ordered arrived and we installed and trimmed them yesterday, so the rest of the baseboard can be run. And quarter round. The kids will take care of that while I set out to do some of the stuff that takes some additional thought. Like cutting down doors to fit thresholds now that the weather is cooler, and getting the vanities set (yes that one I was going to do a few weeks ago still hasn't been done). Kelsey worked out a design of the shelving for Cassidy's closet, and using materials from The Container Store, that was installed yesterday. This is the second time we have used their system and it is really nice. It costs some $, but really, comparing it to the stuff that HD and Lowe's carries, there is no comparison. It's really very well made. And not much, if any more expensive. Simple track at the top that everything then hangs from, so it can be removed or reconfigured at a later time.

Well, time to head over for the day. Hope the rain holds off.


The shelving system installed in Cassidy's closet
Shot showing some of the things that can be added like shoe racks and drawers

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/23/2015

Although today was rather warm, with temps close to 90, summer is waning as temps are holding more in the middle 80s recently. I would expect we may get some mid 90s at some point soon but you can tell there's not a lot left to summer. And I guess I should expect that, being that it's almost September. That said, we are still hoping to get done in October, but truthfully I say Thanksgiving is more like it. Certainly we have to be done by then as this will be the kids first one in the house and Todd's family will be coming in for it.

While the list is getting whittled down, much of what is left is big stuff. A whole mess of cabinets, the glass for the showers and the claw foot tubs. A still a bunch of trim - and I need to order more! 

But Todd has now been taking that on while I move to taking care of other things like building the LR mantel and slowly trying to get the guest bath sink hooked up. And since Todd is around while I'm traveling during the week, it's good he has something he can work on. He also put in the light and mirror in today.

Sandra's been caulking and painting. Much of the first floor is done and she's moved upstairs. The dining room is completely done except for the chandelier and quarter round, but I won't order quarter round until we get further along. Living room is as well now that I was able to run the last of the baseboard since the mantel is built and set. 

Weather has generally been cooperative giving us enough sun to spray and cut trim. As long as it continues we can keep moving along. Really need to get the trim up before the cabinets arrive as we need the space to store, assemble and install when they get here.


Paint setup for spraying trim. Only a few boards at a time unfortunately.
Living room mantel built this weekend. The top came from a 150-year-old house in Houston.
A more oblique view of the mantel. Still needs to have finish paint.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/21/2015

I sent inquiries to three local glass shops and three online. One of each set didn't get delivered for some reason, but the remaining four did. Haven't heard back from one of the local shops and heard back from two of the online.

Now during the Barrel Race project in Houston, we did two showers. The glass for each was was around $1,200, installation not included. I did get a quote from a shop in Florida on the Web and while he was $300 less, the freight brought it up pretty close, so I stayed local.

So imagine my surprise when the local fellow responds first and his quote was $2,000 each! $6,000 total!?? Then I get an online quote from California for $5,200. Now, I'm thinking of going back to Houston and getting there and driving back.

Then! I get the quote from the company in Plantation, FL. Including freight, $3,550 for all three - ~$,1200 each?????? Now that is what I was expecting. Plus the fellow calls me this morning and suggests several things that he feels will make a better install. So I'll confirm the measurements over the weekend and finalize Monday. I love it when a plan comes together!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/19/2015

Set the antique mantel by attaching nailers to the brick and finish nailing the mantel sides to them. Worked well. This allowed me to get nearly all of the remaining wainscot up. Just need to scribe a piece on each side of the mantel to fit around a crown molding section as you can see from the photo. Sandra has continued to finish paint the trim, finishing the existing trim in the dining room, the crown in the hall and the in the living room and working on the LR windows.

Todd finished the last door frame yesterday. I've set all the originals except for the last one, and showed Todd how it's done. The mission, if he accepts it, is to set the last one and trim it out while I'm out of town the rest of the week.

Girls are going over granite choices, complicated by the large size of the island and available slab sizes.

I sent off drawings for the three showers worth of glass this morning and was stunned by the one quote that I received so far. A full 50% more than I expected. And I thought I would have gotten some discount over 3x a single unit price. I'll wait for the others to come back. I want to buy locally, but at this price, I fully expect the online quotes to easily beat.

Took in the five original doors that haven't been stripped. (we tested one a couple months ago). They should be back in a week. $100 each. to have stripped, but less than 1/2 price of new, and have the charm of original house.

Was hoping that the cabinet order would go in by now, but there continues to be small revisions. Hopefully yet this week.


DR mantle set with wainscot up.
Original front window with finish trim. This window was a filthy mess before we started. Had to reconstruct the sill and side frame pieces. It is not operable as we decided not to reset the weights. All of the new windows do open and will provide any ventilation needed.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/16/2015

But things just keep looking better and better. Every door frame that gets trimmed, every piece of baseboard, the wainscot that gets finish painted, and really- when Todd put together the chandelier and we hung it in the living room - wow! 

We've all been working our butts off, but the changes are really driving us forward. The more we do the more changes we see. Sandra started caulking the wainscot I had gotten up and painting it as well. Really pops. But I can't finish it until we get the antique mantel up. A picture of the kids unloading that last fall, yes last fall, is in a previous post. And to that end I made a couple small pedestals to set it on to raise it up about eight inches. Used maple plywood and stained it to match the mantel.

So tomorrow I'll go ahead and set that, attach the mantel to the fireplace, and try to knock out the rest of the wainscot before I leave town on Wednesday. Sandra can finish with the painting of that and the pocket doors, the kids can run quarter round and that room will be done, with the exception of a chandelier for it. 

 Then it's on to the living room. The original front window needs caulk and and paint and I need to create a complete mantel base for a 150-year-old mantel ledge that we picked up in Houston when doing the Barrel Race project. Once that's in, I can finish running the small amount of baseboard that is on either side, kids can run quarter round and that room will be done.

I think I may get pretty good at making mantels by the time this project is done. Have the den mantel to make as well. Not something I really wanted to learn - but. At least the den will be the last room to finish. It can't get done till all the cabinetry arrives.


Section of wainscot completed ,caulked and painted
Living room chandelier

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/14/2015

Well, I'm not completely inept. I can run baseboard and small crown molding all day long, doing inside corners the way they should be by running one piece straight and the other piece coped. But I'll be damned if I can figure how to do inside corners on this 5 1/4" crown! I've made templates for varying angles (as especially with drywall, they vary from 90), but to no avail. I still end up with a space between the two pieces, like the coped side is hanging up on the straight side. Outside corners, even on the bay window where the angle is about 32 degrees, were easy to run. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've got nearly all of it run at this point. Need to run the downstairs bath and finish the den once the bookshelves are in place, and by caulking the corners, they look fine, especially when it's a 10' ceiling height, but I like doing things well, and using caulk to this extent is not correct.

The kids finished the floor and it looks fantastic. Cassidy finished the stencil work in the dining room ( so I could run crown) and Sandra has started caulking the wainscot. All the windows have been trimmed out up and down, old and new. Sandra will be caulking all of that as she gets time.

We need to get doors upstairs, and to that goal, Todd has been cleaning up the old door frames of those we will reuse, and taking the hardware off the doors so we can have them stripped. We still needed four doors as they not the same size as any of the existing. Yes we tried, but three we need are only 24" due to space restrictions and one is 36". We had lot's of 30" but that was it. So I ordered the remaining four doors that we need. As delivery is out 5 weeks and I wanted them pre-hung, they'll make the frames and send those out first, but still two weeks out. Ouch! I really need those to run baseboard. I did get the two frames that Todd sanded down, set, and it's looking good.

Speaking of trim - I had to order another 600', 400 of which was 1x4. Seems 1,000' of that wasn't enough. So I'm up to a half mile of trim in a 2,500' house. Is that crazy? 

Made some measurements for the three showers' glass. Will itemize that and go out for prices next week. Let's see what else? 

Oh! Our other daughter, the Barrel Race project in Houston, has been putting together the kitchen cabinet order. Been working it with the supplier. Ready to go at this point. There were a lot of details to work out, like the range hood cabinet, one of those large things, and we also are including linen closets and base cabinets for the den shelving we'll build. Glass front cabinets on some of the uppers, two pantries, coffee bar area etc. We give her the dimensions, and she just takes off and gets it done. She's a great help. She thinks it'll be about 5 weeks to get them which will fit in our schedule pretty well. That would be late September, just before Todd goes back on tour. So while he won't be around for all of the assembly, hopefully he'll be there for some.

Another vanity arrived this week. I need to trim the feet on it as the floor up there is a bit unlevel. Damned old houses. But it came with the top, the sink bowl and the faucet. So I should get that done and installed so we have a working sink. I may put that on the docket for this weekend as I'm going to run out of places I can run trim soon.

The stove arrived early this week, the kitchen sink, has been ordered, the chandelier for the living room arrived today, the dishwasher was ordered - wow! Things are happening!

Oh I just remembered - I need to make three fireplace mantels. I need to clone myself.
A couple times. ;-(


OK. See if you can figure which closet is Todd's and which is Cassidy's. This picture one.
This is picture 2. Which shows only half the length. Can you guess?
Hallway crown
Crown in the den. Notice the seam in the corner. I cannot get rid of that without caulk.
Upstairs guest bath vanity that arrived this week. Need to trim feet to get it level.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/9/2015

Todd and Cass have continued on the hardwood and only have the two master closets to finish. The master bedroom was a bit of a pain especially in one corner once we removed the old OSB. Subfloor wasn't supported along one edge, and the floor joists were sagging about an inch and a half. I should have expected it as this is the area above the French door below and where we shimmed up most of the ceiling joists from below, but the last two we never could get to budge, so I trimmed the bottoms to make the first floor ceiling come out correctly. After an hour, we had it supported properly, and shimmed above the subfloor. Actually came out far better than I was expecting.

I spent the weekend continuing to work on trim. So much of it. Figure it will take the month of August to fully run it. There are things in each room that prevent me from finishing a room, which doesn't thrill Sandra. Like the dining room and living room have to have some major work done to create the base for the mantels. That's furniture type stuff. Something I'm not thrilled about. And it takes time. More than I want to spend when I have a couple thousand feet of trim to put up and the kids will be ready to tackle something else. I can sure use their help on the trim, especially the crown, but I need to be ready for them. And things like baseboard can only go so far until door frames get in, and cabinets get set, which by the way will be ordered this week.

Nearly all the windows have been trimmed. Only lacking the lower bath. And the French door upstairs. All need to be caulked, which Sandra will handle, and finish painted, again Sandra. Should run crown this week and get that out of the way and off the floor. And then put up what baseboard I can downstairs.


Master bedroom hardwood done ,
Cassidy running floor in Todd's closet

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/2/2015

While Cass and Todd were working on the dining room floor, I started trimming the windows and the inside of the exterior doors. I'm missing the small crown that goes on the top of the window and door trim as it was back ordered, I'm also running some baseboard and starting the board and batten in the dining room. A true A.D.D. dream!

I'm spraying the trim before it goes up, but am limited to painting early in the morning and late at night as it has to be done outdoors. And - there is only so much room to lay out painted trim before it gets assembled and put up. Fortunately, there hasn't been any rain and nothing in the forecast for a week, so cutting trim and the flooring has been great out in the yard.


Windows minus the crown on the top and underneath
9" baseboard. I thought it was going to be too large, but with the 10"' ceilings, not at all.
Board and batten wainscot in the dining room, all four walls get it. Simple but time-consuming.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 8/1/2015

Ordered baseboard, crown molding, and 1x4 and 1x6, for door and window casing. Over 2,000' total. I rechecked my numbers several times, especially on the 1x4s which comprised 1,000' by themselves. They all come out the same. Each interior door uses four 16-foot boards to build up the trim on both sides and then I have the inside of the exterior doors and all of the windows which use two sticks each. As the fellows were unloading it, I made a comment it seemed like too much, but the old fellow said no, it looks about right - most people under order and have to get more. We'll see how close I am when finished.

Meanwhile, Todd and Cass have been continuing with the hardwood on their own. Just have the dining room and lower bedroom to get done and then move upstairs. They are really doing a nice job on it.

The custom 7' vanity arrived yesterday as well. We had to muscle it up the stairwell after we removed the banister.. Actually went far easier than any of us thought for a 250-lb big item and the stairs making a U-turn. The placement of the shelves on either side is going to be a bit of an issue, though as they line up directly with the plumbing out of the wall. I wish the guy had called and asked for the dimensions on that. But we'll make it work.


Stacks of 16' trim boards
Spray painting the trim before putting up

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 7/26/2015

After a glorious week+ off for my daughter's wedding in a cool mountain climate, it was back to Nashville heat and the project. :-(

Finished the shower curbs during the week, and when the kids came home from the honeymoon this weekend, we all started in on laying the floor. Got the huge hall, living room, mud room and lower bath finished. About a third of the kitchen is laid, and what is great is that we finally unboxed the new fridge that's been there for nearly a year and plugged it in. Need to get a water line for it, but when done, we'll have cold water, ice, a place to keep sandwiches - all of which are everyday things to folks, but when the place hasn't had them for as long as we've been working on it, it becomes a cool accomplishment.


Started laying in the huge hall 5' wide by 45 feet long. As soon as we have a room finished, it gets covered up with either ram board or cardboard for protection. It takes away the overall wow factor, but we know what is lurking beneath the cardboard, waiting for its final reveal.
Lower bath wood floor. I have been a bit reluctant because of moisture, but the shower won't be used all that often.
Living room finished!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 7/12/2015

Outside. Really glad we're inside with AC. I didn't get the tile finished as I had planned, but did get the master shower set as the tile came in. And - I got all the shower fixtures set! Four fixtures total as the master has two. They had been sitting around for 6 months taking up space at our 700-ft apartment, and some at the house. (Our apartment is like a warehouse). Sandra grouted the two other shower floors. So I did also start the curb tile on the first floor one. Still have the top edge to do. It takes time to cut each one, get the vertical pieces set so the final slope will be correct on the top.

Also started trimming out the windows yesterday. Yes my ADD is kicking in. Did I mention before that tile is not my favorite thing to do? Went and looked for sill stool, the horizontal piece at the bottom of the window sill. It was like $4.50 a FOOT! All it is is a 3/4" piece that has a little routed edge at the front. Crazy! I'm going to run it like I did on the addition at the Barrel Race project using layered 1x lumber and small crown underneath. It'll still be a whole lot cheaper than the stool and casing underneath. Went and got 1'x5', yes you read that right, primed finger-jointed boards at Big Orange for about $1 a foot. Cut them to fit which was a bit of trouble on the mullioned set, and will go ahead and finish trimming the windows out when we get back from a well- deserved vacation. Nashville daughter and fiancé are tying the knot in Jackson Hole. It is amazing how many friends and family are making the trek! It's a week-long affair and people are already on the road if they are driving. Reminds me of the movie Trains, Planes and Automobiles ;-). Those that are driving are posting their travels on Facebook and keeping all informed. Yeah I know you're not supposed to do that, but - its still cool. Everyone is stoked! Although weddings can be stressful I hear, I can't see it on this one.


Master set of shower hardware. Same set is in the upstairs guest room, the downstairs has a less expensive set. A royal mistake. You get what you pay for. No instructions Other than a drawing, the dimensions for setting the mixing valve were incorrect (I found out today when setting the face plate), no screws for the face plate. Frustrating.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 7/7/2015

A few posts back, I commiserated about the upper AC not working out as planned. As the house has dried out some from all the moisture we put in with the painting a few weeks ago, the upper AC has improved some. Could be the very heavy humidity was sucking a lot of the cooling, at ~1,000 BTUs/lb of water. And we've been tightening up a number of drafts that I know we're letting hot air in or cold air out. Still have to create doors for the access hatches and I know they are letting air in, but overall, the system is working better. I have decided to add an additional outlet in the master bedroom and add a second return in the ceiling of the hall to better draw hot air.

As part of my tightening up, I reset the attic stairs and foamed around the frame today. I had originally set them before we decided to fur the ceiling, so they weren't flush with the sheet rock. Been something that needed to be done, so at five this morning, went over before the attic heated up. Got the trim on it and with the ceiling grills over the vents and ceiling fans put up yesterday, the upstairs is coming along.

Got the guest and first floor shower floors laid. Stainless steel penny tile. I think it looks a little too Vegas, but the girls are in love with it. Need to tile the curbs after Sandra grouts the floor. The correct penny tile for the master will be in this Friday, and will get that done over the weekend.


Guest shower floor laid in stainless steel penny tile. Should finish at least two of the showers this coming weekend. The third, after vacation and then order glass.
Laying the first floor shower floor.
Also got a chandelier, sans shade, hung today in the stairwell.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 7/6/2015

Got all three showers tiled and grouted on the walls. Will begin the floors tomorrow. I went around this afternoon while the girls were grouting and worked on installing odds and ends of electrical receptacles and plates, and got all the remaining can lights in and picked up ceiling fans that I'll install Monday. We're at the stage where things make a difference visually and that gets you further excited and want to get more done. Even something as mundane as getting the eight smoke alarms wired up today helps finish off the look. Need to get ceiling register grills and get them in and the ceiling will be finished. Nice to see that things will slowly get finished!


Lyle, Cassidy's Weim, had to stay in the action. He was in the middle of them grouting a 3x4' shower. Can you say he needs attention?

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 7/3/2015

And Sandra replied "Are you really asking that?" We're doing the same thing we have been doing for every holiday - working on Cassidy's house. 

Making our way through tiling the three showers. Man it takes a long time. Especially back buttering each piece. But the master is nearly done. We had a problem with the floor and niche tile that came in a week ago. Two colors instead of one, so we have to wait for the more of the correct color to arrive to finish the master.

Cassidy's been helping Sandra with cutting tile as Sandra was installing. The two of them work well together on it. And while grouting, Sandra wipes on, and Cassidy wipes off. Should finish at least one shower this weekend, two if we don't run out of wall tile, which may be a possibility. Oh well. 


Sandra working on the ten foot wall of the master.
Wrong color tile for the niche. It's gonna stay but the correct color will go on the floor.
One wall beginning grout

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/28/2015

...When the highlight of the day is getting the first toilet installed. Yes that was the big accomplishment of the day. Finally no trips to HD for that! Since Sandra grouted the master bath floor, we could finally get it in permanently, so before I left today, got it set. Instead of the old beeswax ring that's standard, I thought I'd try something different and went with a foam ring. Actually a piece of cake to use and since it's a second floor I feel a little more secure in it sealing. Five times the cost of a wax ring, but what the heck; I consider the $12 well spent.

Got started running wall tile in the master shower. I really don't like running tile. A very tedious chore that never really looks good until it's grouted, so there's not interim satisfaction. 

Sandra went through and vacuumed the entire house again. Got a lot of stuff sucked up, so hopefully will finally stop tracking stuff everywhere. Basically was still some sheet rock dust and of course a bunch of dry paint over spray from a couple weeks ago.

Will continue working on the master shower this week.


Bath wall tile started with the leveling system used
A shot of the floor after grouting. Most of it is covered with paper to keep it from getting dirty during construction. But this corner is open and shows the results of the leveling system.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/26/2015

Just a few pics:


Master bath floor laid. The red things all over are part of the leveling system that I used. Raimondi tile leveling system. There are a few other types out there as well but the cost on this was more reasonable and Raimondi makes a lot of tools and machines for professional installers.
Tile started in the upstairs guest bath. A weathered barn wood look.
Cassidy installing one of the ten speakers into the ceiling. She did a great job finding the ceiling joists and positioning the speaker properly. We do have holes to fill where the drywall guys bought the wire through the ceiling right at every joist. Bummer!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/24/2015

While the downstairs AC works great, I'm having some problems with the upstairs unit. It's not that he unit isn't working, it's that it has a big problem keeping up with heat wave that we're in. If y'all remember, I ran some heat loss calcs and two tons should have been more than adequate for the much smaller area up there. But it just doesn't keep up and the temp will climb up to 80+ in the afternoon. Now I know part up of the problem is I need to get more wire to the back of the house. To much is going out up front. I can get another register in pretty easily, but I'd like to get two in and the second one is going to be more problematic. The other issue is the unit is in the attic as I don't think I'd be able to fit it in the conditioned space and get my ducts to run. This seems to really decrease the effectiveness more than I expected. The supply air is noticeably warmer in the heat of the afternoon even though I have R-8 ducts. It just gets beastly hot up there. In hindsight, I should have taken a niche of the master bath where the return plenum runs, and used a drop ceiling at nine feet to run my ducts. Although more construction work, the AC would have been simpler and more efficient. Now, I do have a number of things to finish that reduce the heat gain, like put on solder film onto the windows, and build proper insulated hatches for the access doors to space behind the knee walls, and finish caulking the can lights where they come through the sheet rock. But I am bummed that it isn't as good as I had expected.

On a brighter note, I finished laying the tile floor in the master bath today. And started the guest bath upstairs as well.

I'm using something new this project - a tile leveling system. This one uses plastic hoops slipped under adjacent tiles that you then drive a plastic wedge through to tighten both and make them perfectly level. I always had nice level tiles the day you lay them, only to come back the following day to tiles that are a bit unlevel to each other. Especially noticeable on tiles that have sharp corners, or with marble. Turns out its normal. It happens all the time even to the professionals. So there are several systems out that eliminate the problem. 

Sandra does all the grouting, but the first order of business Saturday will be to set a toilet in the master!! Whoopee! Such a momentous occasion. No more trips back to home or HD!
Will post pics next time.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/21/2015

Started the day off by heading to Big Blue to pick up the tile. They had called us twice in the past two days to tell us it was in. When we get there, they looked it up on the computer and said no it wasn't. Wouldn't look at the order number, kept looking at the inventory. It showed nothing there, but as it was already paid for, it wouldn't show up as inventory. But the guy wouldn't listen or go in the back to look. Another salesperson went back then but 10 minutes later still hadn't returned. Another guy came over and said it was arriving tonight and could be picked up in the morning. Huh?

That didn't make sense at all. It's like this so often when you order from the big guys. They are clueless. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

So I couldn't start tiling the showers, but did go to work running membrane on the last shower. Went ahead and cleaned the master bath floor, scraping drywall mud off, vacuuming and finally cut the plastic tile isolation material and set it in thin set. So this week I can start running floor tile on it with the tile we had bought elsewhere and picked up yesterday. Cassidy went and installed a few dimmers, set a bunch of electrical plates until she ran out, then she started scoping out the ceiling speaker installation. 

Oh - I went to install the occupancy sensor switches in the two master closets. That way you can't leave them on continuously. But Cassidy's switch box was covered up! Another one the drywall guys missed. Pulled out photographs on the phone and located where it should be. Found it, installed the switch and ---- nothing. What the heck? I check continuity and find - there wasn't a feed wire into the light's j box. Crap! There was one leaving the switch box - called Todd, asked if he had a better picture of the area. He did and sent it over. There was a forgotten wire! Through two studs and hanging in the stud bay. Argh! I hate screwing up! Had to open up two places in the sheetrock pull it through and into the box. Then patch the holes. Two steps forward one back today.


Shower membrane installed in the master shower. The tile will go to the ceiling, but the membrane only needs to run up around 6' or so as that is the wet zone.
Isolation material cut to fit before the being set in thin set.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/21/2015

While I was MIA this week, Sandra started painting the final color inside. Two coats. She and Cassidy will finish today. There are a lot of walls. Been using an 18" roller instead of the sprayer so that helps things along, but still slow at three days so far, add a half day today. 

I've been running the membrane on the the showers and shower pans. That seems even slower. Only have two of the three done yesterday. Tile came in and Cassidy and I will run some of the shower wall tile today, so she can begin learning how that is done. Sandra and our other daughter Kelsey have been deciding the kitchen cabinet sizes now that we can get the actual final dimensions. We'll be buying ready to assemble -RTA - cabinets from Conestoga. While it is takes time to put these together and I would much rather order pre-assembled, the budget doesn't allow for them unless we drop quality and style a lot. By the time they arrive, Todd will be back. The band has a fairly long hiatus this summer so he will have time to go ahead and work on them.

Well - time to head over to start for the day.

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/17/2015

As I was washing out a thinset bucket - yes finally starting on the showers - I was standing near the AC units outside and I see a mall cloud of vapor coming off the unit I had the most issues with getting brazed. Hell! After two full days, the original pinhole shows up again. At least I was there while it happened so it didn't have to go hunting for it.

So I set about gathering all my stuff, recovered what charge was left, re-brazed the leaking joint and recharged the unit. Back working again, but wasted three hours time.

Todd and Cassidy set about setting LED lights in the cans and some surface mount units upstairs where there wasn't enough space to put in cans. Trouble is I'm running through HD's total stock. LED's have come down in price tremendously in just the past year or so. You can find Cree or Philips lights for under $20, including the trim rings. Considering trim rings are ~$7 and a good CFL bulb is going to be $7, for a little more you've got a bulb that will never need changeout, it only makes sense to me to go ahead with it. Plus they are instant on, unlike the CFL bulbs. 

Cassidy needs to choose wall colors and as soon as that is done, they'll start on painting, this time with a roller. When I get back from traveling the next few days, I'll go back to the showers and if the bathrooms are painted, start of their floors as well. Todd's back touring again so he's MIA for a month. :-(

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/14/2015

We pulled out the sprayer that has been stored since the fence was done. I figured it might be a better way to spray at least the primer. Sandra wasn't so sure at first. Amazing how things change as time progresses as you will see - Sandra spent the better part of a day masking off the windows, electrical plugs and switches on the first floor and around 4, I set the sprayer up and she started out. As we were spraying latex, I set the pressure up high. It also didn't help that I had the tip reversed at first, dumping a ton of paint onto the walls which we had to roll out. Sandra saw the problem with the tip and after setting it right, we had a wide pattern and she set off. But there was a ton of overspray and soon Sandra looked like a snowman. This was a mess! I suggested strongly to her that in the morning we'd switch to rolling, instead. After spending hours taping?! No way Jose!

You know how guys never ask directions and women do? Sandra gets on YouTube in the evening and searches on how to spray paint. Hmm, the guy doesn't have a lot of overspray. And he's showing on where to start/stop cut in and simply how to hold the gun to the wall. OK we'll try again. I head over in the morning and turn the pressure way down and try it. Yeah! Much better. My ADD takes over and I do the kitchen tray ceiling. 

Sandra shows up while I'm at HD getting more paint and takes over. Man that girl keeps going. Finished the downstairs and moved upstairs. 

Now, what I haven't talked about, and I'll tie all of this together in a bit, is that yesterday while Sandra was taping, I charged up the upstairs AC. It was slowly cooling down the upstairs while Sandra was working on the first floor in the heat. Well, today when Sandra moved upstairs, we had to turn it off so it didn't suck paint spray into the unit. Now it was 92 today with a heat index of over 100. The second floor warmed up and with Sandra spraying, the humidity was close to 100%. How she put up with it I don't know! But she did, got it all knocked out -after buying more paint of course. Did I say that we used 55 gallons. Yes you read that right: 55 gallons of primer that's 11 five-gallon pails. I can't fathom it. Yes you lose some with overspray, but not that much after we set the pressure down.

This evening I asked Sandra was it faster spraying when she had to mask off everything which took so much time. Yes absolutely. No way she would have gotten a whole house of this size done in two days.

Got the lower AC started today and with the two of them going hopefully it'll start drying out. Imagine 55 gallons of water being sprayed on the walls. Just how long will it take? From the amount of condensate coming off the AC's, maybe not too long.

And lastly, I know I'm rambling here, Cassidy ordered the floors a couple months ago. 3/4 inch hickory in 3" and 5" widths. It came around the first of June. Figured we better pick it up. We showed up yesterday - guys says it's 6,600 lbs. Whoa!!!

I guess it'll take a few trips, three as a matter of fact. But not in one day. Each box weighs 70 pounds. Getting up all the steps into the house one box at a time in this heat, it's pure torture. Todd and I did one load yesterday, one this morning, half of which we had to haul upstairs around the staircase. Third one we'll get tomorrow. Not looking forward to it, but it'll be done.

And no, I didn't get started on the showers. But - I will start that this week.


The snow woman. And this was after we toned down the overspray!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/10/2015

...When Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, but I have an idea on what it might have been like. The guys sanded the drywall this morning and I returned in the afternoon to find the place coated in a thick layer of drywall dust. It was amazing! Todd and I swept it into a multitude of piles, used a dust pan to get it into a couple 5 gallon buckets and then we started vacuuming with the shop vac. But the filter clogs about every 20-30 sq. ft., so it's a slow process. Todd took over the first floor vacuuming and I went about running switches and receptacles. Got nearly all finished. A couple switches left and one receptacle.

I'll vacuum the upstairs tomorrow, and afterwards rip some of the high density foam left over from the shower pans into strips for shower curbs. Yep! On to the bathrooms! Sandra and Cassidy plan to start priming the wallboard this weekend. Gonna try using the spray gun with an extension to get up to the 10' ceiling. We'll see how that all goes. It would be a huge amount of work to have to roll it all. About 9,000 sq. my estimate. Cool to be working on something new and something that is going to be finished product!

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Posted to Mutton-Busting by Larry in Nashville, TN on 6/9/2015

Drywall should be finished tomorrow when they sand. May need to have a few touch-up spots, but should be essentially done. I got the lower AC lines brazed yesterday. Need to pressure test both systems. If they hold, I can evacuate, charge and get the upstairs going once the sanding is done and all the mess is cleaned up. I DO NOT want to get that stuff in the coils. Lower unit still needs final wiring, but the first floor is not as much an issue as far as AC goes. It would be nice to get AC by the weekend. Hopefully so! Weather has warmed substantially again in the past week from the wet misty days earlier.

Sandra and Cassidy are out looking at tile for the bathrooms locally. We were looking at ordering at least the floor tile online, but the shipping may have killed that. We'll see what they find today. Baths are the next order of business after the AC is started.

Not much else to report. Sandra and I took a weekend at Angel Fire to review the Last Rodeo project one more time. So we had a break from Nashville. Todd was on tour and Cassidy worked all weekend so the house sat alone.

Next weekend we'll also go and pick up the wood flooring as it is in. Still have a few weeks before we need it, but might as well get it in so that it c an acclimate once the AC is up and running.

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