It’s busy time at Uphill House these days. Warren finished the siding yesterday (except for one tiny section where the east entry is going). We started siding back in June, so it was a big milestone for us. The gutters are almost finished too.
The brown maple wood flooring arrived today from Vermont Plank Flooring. It is beautiful. It has to sit for a couple of weeks to acclimate before we start to install it.
Jill was busy grouted the bathroom floor tile today while Warren and I built a small stone retaining wall that will form the parking area next to the house.
Meanwhile Howie is finishing the taping this weekend and we should be able to start priming the first floor Monday night.
Our HVAC guys are scheduled to install the indoor unit of our heat pump on Thursday.
And we’re hoping to take a trip to Ikea to purchase our Kitchen cabinets next weekend.
We’re going to need a vacation very soon.
Since we are still having trouble envisioning the final hardscaping around the house we hired a professional landscape architect to draw up some plans. (www.nancyhandhigby.com) Our main goals are to plan circulation routes (parking, entry access, and walkways) and to minimize focus on the basement entry while still allowing access to it for use as a workspace/root cellar/mudroom. Other considerations are siting a future garage, integrating a vegetable garden utilizing the rainwater cistern for gravity-feed drip irrigation, controlling erosion on the slopes, and locating a possible area for a fire pit and sitting outside.
We are concentrating on finishing the home this year, but may be able to have our excavator do any necessary terrain reshaping while he is working septic/final grading later this summer. We hope to install much of landscape ourselves wherever possible, and plan to phase the work over the next few years.
In the meantime, we are sowing grass seed and putting hay down to prevent erosion. We’re also still cleaning up the trees that had to come down to make way for the power line. We’re hoping some of these logs can be used in landscaping, others will be turned into firewood. The brush pile is growing, and we are looking into either buying/renting a wood chipper to turn it into mulch for future gardening/landscaping projects, or getting the fire department to do a controlled burn.
Electrical , Landscaping
We’re trying to do as many things inside as we can these days due to spring rains.
The main activity has been installing electrical boxes and running wire. We want to be ready for the solar installers, who may begin their work later this week. We got the main panel in last week and are now working on installing wall outlets and light fixture boxes. We’re fitting our exterior wall outlets inside poly boxes to simplify our air sealing details. A little foam where the wires pass through and some sealant on the edge of the box when we install the drywall should help keep interior air out of the walls.
In the landscaping department, we received the 3 apple trees we ordered from Trees of Antiquity this past weekend and planted them on the hill behind the house. Our mini orchard consists of a Macoun, a Jonathan, and a Newtown Pippin—all organic NY state heirloom varieties. Then we surrounded them with deer fence and a 4 stage electronic surveillance system designed to thwart all but the most devious of deer. (Just kidding about the surveillance system.)