Enon Hall

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October 2, 2006

I hate those Extreme Makeover shows. The other day I looked around at what we have left to do and convinced myself that if we had enough people working on the house all at once, that it really could be finished in one day. For a short while that idea made me feel really good. Now that thought's just dogging me. Especially when I haven't gotten as much done at the end of the day as I had hoped. Yeah, women are supposed to be rail thin fashion models and houses are supposed to be built in a week. Stupid TV...

Anyway, the master bathroom floor is primed and ready for paint.

I also installed the baseboard in the the master bedroom since we're committed to carpeting that room.

I really wish that I had been able to install all of the baseboard prior to the plastering. But for time and budget (the baseboard would be more expensive because it would need to be thicker) I opted to install 1/2" beaded baseboard after the plaster was done. But the irregularities in the plaster keep this from being a real speedy job. Getting a nice tight fit to the wall takes some finessing. But when it's done it looks good. Gay primed and painted all of the baseboard before we installed it.

Tomorrow I will be able to start putting down the kitchen floor. The cabinets will be delivered next week sometime. -- Bill

October 3, 2006

The plasterer packed up and moved out this afternoon! That's a good sign, but it doesn't mean that he's gone for good. I need to do some trim work on the staircase before he can do the downstairs center hall. I've been waiting on stock for this for two weeks now. I ordered some custom-milled poplar in the ultra-wide widths that I need for the skirt boards. But other than that area, the plasterer has finished everything else!

Gay and I got started on the kitchen floor, but sure didn't get as far as I had hoped. I am convinced that the first and last boards of any job take 60% of the total time of the project. We had a slow start for trivial reasons that it would just take too long to explain here. Tomorrow should fly. Should fly.

The 8 penny cut nails that we're using to face nail everything are starting to put a hurt on my right hand. Everybody was asking me if nailing the siding with cut nails was getting me. That was no problem, but the floor nailing is much harder.

This floor will be painted, but we still haven't decided on a color. Gay wants to do diamonds like we did in the old kitchen. I'm trying to pretend that I didn't hear that.

I'm ticked that my favorite Stanley hammer somehow disappeared last week. I wound up buying a new one and it's taking some getting used to. When you really become connected with a hammer it's tough to switch to a new one. While standing in the store aisle I debated whether I should get a 20 oz. hammer to speed the nailing process, instead of a 16. Finally I decided that if I should miss and whack the floor, a 16 oz. divit is much better than a 20 oz. divit. I don't do that too often anymore, but it does happen. But I'm ready when it does. I keep a bottle of water and a paper towel nearby and immediately put a pretty wet paper towel on the dent. Within a minute or two the wood has swelled and the crescent shaped indentation that brands you as an amateur is gone. A quick sanding and there's no evidence at all.

Here's the reverse angle from the photo above showing the back hall.

Pantry on the right. Garage straight ahead. Turn right to go to the laundry room and the guest bath. The stairs by the garage door go to the room above the garage.

This is a weird angle, but this is the view from the landing on that back staircase, looking down. The small door on the left goes to our attic.

It's getting tougher to get good pictures of the rooms now that all the walls are in. I wish my digital camera had a wide angle lens.

I'm not happy that the siding guys haven't been here for the last two days. Part of the deal was that they would stay on our job continuously until it's done. So much for that!

I talked to our electrician today and he will be back next late next week to start finishing up the electrical. We're not far from being able to call the plumber back in too. -- Bill

October 4, 2006

The siding guys were back at work today and actually got the first of four gable vents installed. It's so nice to finally see a gable almost finished.

Gay and I almost finished the kitchen floor. We have about four more rows of flooring to go.

The brick mason came back today and finished the top of the chimney, bringing the tile flue above the brick top and the sealing everything off with mortar.

And I got an E-mail from Vintage Tub & Bath saying that Gay's new clawfoot tub has shipped and we should be hearing from the trucking company in a couple days to set up an appointment for delivery. Gay picked out the tub and fixture that she wanted almost a year ago. Then a couple months ago Vintage Tub extended the offer of a huge discount if we would review one of their products on our site. It was pretty hard to say "no" since we were already planning on buying from them and since I would already be talking about the tub anyway. (And since we're really scraping pennies together here in the home stretch.) Also the offer was presented in a way that made me feel totally comfortable accepting. They made it very clear that I am under no obligation to say anything nice if I have nothing nice to say. If it arrives broken in twenty pieces, that's what I'll write. If they ship the wrong item, that's what I'll write. If the fixtures don't fit or the directions don't make sense, that's what I'll write. If it sits in our front yard for six months because I can't talk anybody into helping me lug it up the stairs, I'll write that too. I don't expect any of that to happen, but I did want to make the point. Yes, we're being compensated with a wonderful discount in exchange for writing about their tub on our site. No, it won't affect my objectivity. Full disclosure.

Now, who wants to come help get it upstairs? -- Bill

October 8, 2006

We were on a mission to get William's bedroom painted this weekend. We started by priming the walls with a lovely buttercup yellow. And then followed up with two coats of the final color.

We still have some details to finish up. Like the trim at the top of the closet. Both the bed moulding and the trim board below it will both be the same off white as the ceiling.

Ever since we discovered the original 1880s paint colors for the law office William has been determined to use them again when this room became his bedroom. The photo below (from March 2005) shows the original colors that we unovered when we tore out a 20th century closet.

It's a good match. The only differences are that the red was originally a rich red stain and that was also the color of the ceiling. We opted to keep the ceiling light rather than closing the whole room in with dark colors. I was a little concerned about the heaviness of this color scheme, but it looks good. The room is big enough to handle it.

I was also on a mission to finish up the trim in the master bath...homemade baseboard, baseboard cap, inverted shoe moulding under the top cap, etc.

And yes, we painted the floor black. It's something you see free frequently around here in old farm houses. We love the look, but I'm not sure if we'll actually be able to live with it. Of course it will show everything...baby powder, dog hairs, you name it. But it sure will make the white clawfoot tub and sinks pop. Dunno, we're going to live it with it a little while and then decide. That's the great thing about paint. You can make bold decisions and, if they don't work out, you just repaint. Other than that, the only thing I have left in here is the shoe moulding (waiting until we decide on the floor color) and some kind of cap for the top of the half wall around the shower. -- Bill

October 9, 2006

** Today's update is guest-hosted by William who had Columbus Day off from school. **

Well, to begin the day, my mom painted the board arround the ceiling the same color as the wall. It was going to be white but that looked awkward. By unanimous vote, we decided to make it blend in with the wall. I like it better this way.

Meanwhile, in the master bathroom, my dad added the "shower cap" (heh heh). Working in sock feet so as not to mar the new floor, this took a while but wound up looking great.

By the way, I was slacking the whole day because I got a day off for finishing my painting. I was, however, searching for the fabled tub truck that was supposed to arrive bearing 400 pound cast iron gifts from Vintage Tub & Bath. At about 5:30 in the morning, I heard a trucklike rattle outside and feverishly grabbed a big flashlight and pressed my face against the windowpane and flashed the beacon arround the yard in search of the tub-carrying behemoth. I was disheartened to discover that the "truck" was a van coming down the road. Suddenly, I felt like a moron for pressing my face against the window and lighting it up campfire/spooky style while probably scaring the sense out of the poor driver with my light.

The tub did arrive later (and unharassed by flashlight-wielding boogiemen). We gathered arround as the truck driver lowered a big brown crate onto the front lawn. As he pulled away, we lifted the crate from the palatte on the bottom to reveal a tub wrapped in plastic. It was Christmas in October!

My Mom got a nice new clawfoot tub and I got a nice box. -- William (below, in the box)

P.S. I look wierd in this picture. I really don't look that wierd. Trust me.

October 10, 2006

I spent the day on my hands and knees in the kitchen.

We have considered dozens of different ideas for this floor. We knew we wanted a painted look that would wear gracefully over time, but weren't decided on the approach. We considered floor enamels, tinted stains, even exterior semi-transaprent and solid color stains. We really didn't have a final plan, or even final colors, until this morning when we finally picked an approach to test on some scrap boards.

Well, our first test didn't give us the look that we were hoping for, so I headed back to the paint store to pick up what we needed for our plan B. When I was telling the lady in the store what we were trying to achieve (including wanting to see some of the grain in the floor) she told me about what a lady in town had done last year. She used an acrylic primer tinted to the color she wanted and then wiped it on, instead of painting it on heavily. Then she used a polyacrylic finish to seal and protect it. She even tried to call the lady to see if I could run over to her house and see her floor. (I love small town life!) But she wasn't home, so we proceeded with some tests of our own and loved the result. At this point we decided that if it turned out badly then we worst we would have is a primed floor. So we went for it.

Which lead to me spending hours and hours on my hands and knees applying the primer with cheese cloth, like you would a stain.

painting the floor

painted floor

The result is kind of a pickled effect. The color (which is hard to capture accurately with the camera) relates to our kitchen island.

The windows are blacked out in the photo above because the sun was blazing in the kitchen in the afternoon (southern exposure) making it hard for me to see what I was doing and also making the primer dry too quickly to blend my passes. Garbage bags over the window did the trick.

Gay still wants diamonds, although I'm less sure. At this point, I'm in favor of quitting while we're ahead and getting on with the show. But, if the lady wants diamonds... She wants the second color to be dark to relate to the slate tile in the connecting back hall and the soapstone countertops. So the next step will be taping them off. Good news is that the primer dries VERY quickly, so we can keep the process moving. Diamonds tomorrow? Polyacrylic on Thursday? Stunning finished floor by Friday? We'll see. -- Bill

October 11, 2006

It's so funny to watch Gay these days. She's like a little girl at Christmas. All the things that she's been looking forward to for so long are finally coming together. Her clawfoot tub. Her kitchen cabinets (arriving tomorrow). And her checkerboard kitchen floor. Those are the big three that she's been waiting for. Oh...and the kitchen appliances. Those are the big four that she's been waiting for. Oh...and a washer and dryer. Yeah...those five things.

Anyway, the floor painting is done and it looks fantastic. And Gay can't stop giggling which is nice too.

Here's the aerial view from up around the family room ceiling.

painted diamonds

Big ole diamonds! We settled on 32 inches as the magic size.

diamond pattern

We used an acrylic primer tinted black and I wiped it on just like the base coat so that the grain shows through. It was a bit of a challenge because it dries so quickly. Even more so than the base coat it seemed. Each diamond was a race. Wipe in on, wipe it off, quickly smooth it out before it dries.

A couple people emailed me last night asking why we bothered to paint the entire floor when cabinets will be covering the perimeter and an island will be in the center. Two reasons... First, I just don't like the idea that somebody (a grandchild maybe) might tear out the cabinets 50 years from now and find that I chintzed out on the paint job. But more importantly, those areas that will be under the cabinets are where I start and figure out my technique before proceeding to the parts of the floor that will be seen by everybody. Best to learn and make any mistakes where nobody can see it!

Boy, this sure went a whole lot faster than our kitchen floor painting saga back in 2001. The main difference was in being much smarter with our taping. Taping for diamonds seems to be something that challenges everybody who undertakes this project and I've yet to find a great "how to" on the topic. I took lots of photos of our process and hope to find time to put together a step-by-step guide here soon.

Tomorrow we seal it all with the polyacrylic finish. -- Bill

October 12, 2006

Wow. Busy day!

Prepare for lots of photos below.

The day started with the long-awaited arrival of our Crown Point kitchen cabinets! They've been in storage in New Hampshire for months and months. And months.

Gay and I had to unload the truck. As with most things like this, the driver only brings the items to the tailgate and then it's up to you to get them off the truck and to whereever they're going.

There's Gay doing more of that giggling I was talking about.

The cabinets are absolutely beautiful. They really are more like fine furniture than any kitchen cabinets I've ever seen before.

I particularly like the round top and bead detail on the two corner shelves. We specified this design to carry through a look from the bookcases in the library. (That top shelf will be removed.)

Will all of these cabinets really fit in the kitchen?

Right now, they're all stacked in the family room until the floor dries.

Speaking of the floor, here's a leg from the island. It's going to look fantastic on the floor.

Also speaking of the floor, I put on two coats of the acrylic polyurethane today. We opted for a gloss finish for better cleanability. (Is that a real word?)

Bill Chapman

I tell you, I'm a johnny-come-lately to the idea of water-based primers, stains, and polyurethanes. In fact, this is my first time using these products and I am very impressed. This may be a life-changing event for me.

We finished off the day by hauling the clawfoot tub upstairs. I have really been impressed with the information provided by Vintage Tub & Bath. When I first placed the order I received a confirmation Email detailing exactly how the shipment would arrive, how to inspect the crate, exactly how to sign in order to protect your rights should you discover damage when opening the crate later, how to unpack the crate, etc. This same document was also attached to the crate when it arrived. Then today I called them with a quick question before we attempted to move the tub. I wanted to know whether you could carry the tub by the feet or not since I knew that we would need to turn the tub on its side to get it through the bathroom door. I called their toll-free number and had my answer in less than a minute. (Answer: not such a good idea.) I love good communication and so far they've been very good at it.

I recruited the siding guys to help out for some extra beer money and they were glad to oblige.

The tub weighs 335 pounds. (700-some-odd-pounds when filled with water...plus, the weight of the bather. We opted to carry it empty.) With four people it was really a piece of cake.

Then we hit the staircase and there wasn't room for me the tub and Gay to pass the handrail, so suddenly it was me on one end and the two other guys on the other. Somehow I always seem to wind up in this situation...the smallest guy, carrying the heaviest part of the load.

I was very happy to finally reach the landing.

It was smooth sailing from there until we reached the bathroom door, which Gay pointed out was too small for the tub.

The plan to turn the tub on its side proved difficult because if you're not holding onto the feet, then all that's left is to try to grip the tub's super smooth round bottom. Which doesn't work so well. After some deliberations I had an idea and asked Gay to go get her most prized possession. Her "Scoot-N-Do." It's a little plastic seat with wheels that is usually used for gardening. Would it hold up to the weight of the tub or would it crunch into little bits? Right upfront I promised Gay I'd buy her a brand new one. So we turned the tub onto its side onto the Scoot-N-Do and rolled it easily through the doorway and to its final location. No damage to the Scoot!

So, it's pretty much in position. I'm sure the plumber and I will have to tweak its location some and it's not exactly level yet, but the hard part is done. Sure looks nice!

Before becoming tub movers, the guys finished the last gable end on the main part of the house. We are finally all closed in, except for the garage!!

They also pointed out that it would be a really good idea for somebody to paint the top of this gable while they have their platform set up. Otherwise, if I hire a painter he's gonna have to rig something similar all over again. Good point. Since I don't have a painter lined up, I guess I'll be headed up there tomorrow myself. That'll be a new height record for me. -- Bill

October 15, 2006

I had such big plans for the weekend. And now that it's over, I accomplished very few of them. I got stuck in a neverending spiral of "can't do that until I do that."

For example...

The plasterer can't plaster the center hall until I trim out the staircase.

I can't trim out the staircase until I take down the construction railings.

I didn't want to take down the construction railings until we had hauled the clawfoot tub upstairs. (Just seemed like a bad idea.)

With that done, I thought this weekend I'd finally be able to start on the stair trim.

Not so fast.

I decided this would probably be a good time to hang the center hall light fixture while I could use a 16-foot walkboard to span the distance from the construction railing on one side of the stairwell to the window sill on the other side.

So far so good. Except I can't hang the light fixture until I go buy a shorter nipple for the bracket because the electrician roughed in with a shallow box.

OK...back from the store. The fixture is hung.

Now, I can start on the stair trim.

But first we need to take down the railing.

And now it's dark.

The whole weekend went like this. -- Bill

October 17, 2006

Today we started the installation of the kitchen cabinets. It's rather slow and tedious work getting each piece leveled and aligned with the next and ensuring that you're leaving exactly enough room for appliances.

I consulted with our rep at Crown Point and he went over exactly how he would approach the installation, which was very helpful. We started with the right-hand corner cabinet and worked our way left. Tomorrow, we'll put in the left hand corner cabinet and work back to the sink cabinet. In the photo above, the first cabinet is for a farmhouse sink, then the space is for the dishwasher, and the next space before the corner is for a 15" beverage refrigerator. Turning the right corner, there will be a small bar sink under the window and then the refrigerator goes to the right of that.

It's a bit intimidating to cut into these beautiful pieces for things like the toe kick AC vents. But the first one went smoothly. Especially since I finally invested in a nice Bosch jigsaw to replace the 30-year-old Craftsman jigsaw that I have been using. Also, there is a veneer piece that spans the toe kicks which will dress it up nicely and hide any mistakes that might occur. I called the HVAC company and they said that they generally bring the vents flush with the front of the toe kick and then tack the vent to the cabinet with roofing nails, so that's what I did.

Working in the kitchen today I noticed two things. First, the wall outlet for the microwave was missing. Luckily I had taken photos of every single interior wall after electrical and plumbing had been run and before insulation went in. I referred back to the photo of this wall and, sure enough, the outlet box was there. So the sheetrock hangers went right over it and forgot to cut it out. Using the framing photo I was able to triangulate exactly where the box was and cut it out. The other thing I noticed is that we have no plumbing for our dishwasher. It's possible that the plumber intended to just tie into the water supply and drain line from the adjacent sink. Or else he just overlooked it. And I did too. Either way, it won't be difficult to add.

Yesterday I got derailed from interior work because it made sense for me to go outside and paint another section of siding before the scaffolding came down. I'm really trying to stay focused inside, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.

I'm going to really try to have all of the kitchen cabinets installed before I go to bed tomorrow night so that I can get to work on the stair trim on Thursday. After the stairs we can start putting down the heart pine flooring in the family room. Three big jobs all awaiting my attention at the same time. I'm trying to take care of things that are delaying other things first. For instance, I can't order countertops until the cabinets are in, and countertops have a long lead time. Then I'll hit the stairs so that plasterer can come back, etc.

No sign of our electrician who said he'd be here last week to get started on final electrical. Guess it's time to hound him. -- Bill

October 19, 2006

I had a friend in high school who was fond of saying, "Grandma was slow, but she was old." I've been hearing him saying that in my head a lot the last two days.

Yes, I'm still working on installing the kitchen cabinets. Today I finally finished all of the perimeter floor cabinets. This is really a case of going slow to make sure that I don't screw something up. Measure 5 times, cut once, etc. A mistake here could be costly.

Here's Gay showing her mom the progress.

Here's a puzzler for everybody...

In the photo below, what's that white thing sticking out of the wall? This can be found in the unfinished room above the garage. If you have a guess, post it to the Forum! -- Bill

October 22, 2006

Everybody's big on lists of ten reasons for this and ten ways to do that. So I thought I'd contribute my own. As I worked yesterday I scribbled down these random tips on a scrap of wood. Maybe you'll find one item in the list that's new to you and of some value. Maybe.

    1) If you have something to write down, write it on a scrap of wood. Paper is for sissies and amateurs. Show up at the lumberyard with a list written on a piece of 1X4 and you're in like Flynn. Add a carpenter's pencil tucked behind your ear and you're golden.

    2) Which leads to tip #2. Get to know the beauty of a carpenter's pencil. The funky flat design of this pencil isn't just to be funky. It's actually very useful. First, flat doesn't roll away from you, which is always nice. But most importantly, that flat edge is essential when marking scribes because you can lay it flat against the edge you're scribing without it wobbling in and out. Plus, when sharpened correctly, the line that you draw will always be offset exactly 1/16". Turn the pencil the other way (narrow edge against the board you are scribing) and your line with be offset exactly 1/8". The carpenter's pencil is your friend.

    3) Learn how to hold a hammer. For some reason, I used to always grip the hammer with my thumb extended up the back of the handle. Doing this doesn't enable you to really hammer from the wrist, which is where the power comes from. It was a hard habit to break, but I finally trained myself to wrap my thumb around the handle and it has made all the difference. More control and more power.

    4) Glue all miters. I started doing this about halfway through the game and it really makes a big difference. Especially outdoors where moisture can cause beautiful miters to open up and look awful.

    5) Pre-score jig saw cuts to keep from splintering the wood. Especially with pine. I use a utility knife and score the cut and then cut to the waste side of that score. (My new jigsaw came with an "anti-splintering guide," but I haven't tried that yet.)

    6) When using a tape measure to measure and mark a board for cutting don't just make a pencil line at the desired length. Instead, mark a "V" that points to the dimension. Then take your square and mark your cut line running right through the point of the "V." The benefit is that there is no question where the cut line should be, whereas a single line will probably be slanted if marked quickly. And if you're working with another person, the "V" takes all of the question out of it.

    7) Talk to yourself. Well, it works for me. I get easily distracted, which can lead to careless mistakes. So, on the way to the table saw I can be heard repeating mantras like "Leave the tongue. Cut off the groove." I know, it makes me sound simple, but it works.

    8) Don't clean oil base paint brushes. When we finish using a brush for oil base primer or paint, we slip them into a zip-lock bag and stick it in the freezer. Next time we're ready to prime again, we grab that brush, thaw it out a little in the sun, and get back to work. We do this over and over and over again and the brush stays nice and workable. And we never have to deal with the mess of cleaning the brush with paint thinner and then disposing of the paint thinner.

    9) Take photos of any open walls before they're insulated so that you have a permanent X-ray view showing wiring and plumbing. I've been referring to the photos that I took quite a bit.

    10) Don't start a "ten tips" list unless you're sure you can really come up with ten tips.
Regarding my puzzler image above...

That 4X4 sticking out from the wall in the room above the garage is the tail end of this.

Once we find a light fixture it will hang from this post over the garage door. I cut the finial end on the cedar post. And I guess I also need to trim off the other end inside the house.

On the back page of this month's This Old House Magazine is an article about a 1750s gambrel roofed house in Maryland that is being offered free to anybody who will move it to another location. (Something about it standing in the way of a new Wal-Mart. Sheesh.) Here's some interesting info about that house, called Poplar Hill, and the style in general. -- Bill

October 25, 2006

I haven't posted for the last couple days because every brain cell I have has been tied up as I began work on the center hall staircase. This is a project that I always planned to hire out because I thought it was way out of my league. But then we wound up spending the money that I had dedicated to this job on hiring the guys to finish the siding, so here I am. And I'm actually glad it's worked out this way because I'm having a lot of fun with it. The look of the staircase is key to setting the tone of the house. We want a casual/informal Colonial farmhouse feel as opposed to something fancy and formal.

There's not a whole lot to show in actual process so far because most of the work has been planning and designing. What will the newels looks like? How big will be balusters be? Will the handrail run over the post or post to post? Do we want to exactly replicate the old staircase or do something different?

The outside skirtboard is definitely the single most complex board in the entire house. With 29 cuts (13 of them miter cuts) there are plenty of opportunities to screw it up. And because it's a large board, a mistake can be costly. I spent alsmost all day Monday laying out and cutting this one board to make sure I didn't screw up. And I didn't.

I'm using poplar for the skirtboard and band boards because it's the only species that I can readily get in wide enough widths and it paints up well. Of course "readily" is relative. I waited 5 weeks for some of these boards.

The band boards are in place with spacers for the newells that will be added later. Once I make them.

With this much work done I can stop and get the plasterer back in to finish up this area.

Meanwhile, siding is nearing the end! The big question is will we have enough siding? At the end of the day today I inventoried and found that we have enough siding left to cover 264 square feet with a 6" exposure. And the remaining gable top is 248 square feet. So we should just make it, but it's gonna be close! We'll find out tomorrow.

Gay's been working on the floor in the law office. It probably hasn't been cleaned for 40 years. She's been scrubbing and scrubbing and digging ancient dirt out from between the boards. It's looking good and will look even better once it's been oiled. Right now its moisture content must be zero.

Looks like we'll be able to start putting down the heart pine floors this weekend! -- Bill

October 30, 2006

I switched gears this weekend. Instead of starting on the heart pine we focused on finishing up the last details in the bathrooms so that they're all ready for the plumber to come in and install the toilets and sinks. Mostly this meant installing baseboards, shoe moulding, and doing some final painting.

You might wonder why we're having the plumber install these items when they're pretty simple DIY jobs. It's really a matter of expediency. He has to come back anyway to do the final plumbing and it's just as simple for him to go ahead and do all the installations at the same time. Just one more thing off of our to-do list. We have all of the sinks, toilets, faucets sitting here waiting for him.

I did install one of the sinks today because I knew it was going to be a pain...the little corner sink in William's bathroom.

The plasterer totally killed the right angle that I had carefully framed for this sink so I wound up having to cut a tapered block to go behind one side of the sink. (You can see it on the left in the photo.) Aside from that complication, I'm not real happy with the way that the sink hangs. The front corners sit on wall-mounted brackets while two lag screws go through the back corners into the wall. The problem is that the front really isn't secured from being knocked upward, bouncing on those brackets. Knock it upward hard enough and I could see the sink breaking around those lag screws in the back. Plus, any movement will make it hard to maintain a caulked seal along the wall. I'm thinking about finding some kind of neoprene gasket that I can cut to shape and put between the sink and the wall to get a better seal.

The electrician has been in and out powering us up. He never seems to work more than 90 minutes at a time, so it's kind of slow going. But we now have more than 2 working outlets in the addition! And a few overhead lights! It's very exciting to flip a light switch and see...light!

William's been getting ready for Halloween. Carving everything in sight and doing some decorating. I'll leave you with some of his handiwork. He took the last two photos.

Have a Happy Halloween! -- Bill

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© 1999- William H. Chapman