Sunday, January 8, 2012

Interior Doors and Trim, transom windows, concrete leveling and the deck

This week brought the return of the trim carpenters who installed all the interior doors and casing - both of which are poplar that will be stained darker and have a clear-coat applied during the painting stage.  They also worked on the baseboard and window sills and got the lower set of stair treads and risers installed.  They did not do the window sills and baseboard in the basement, partially due to materials but also they want the floor installed in the basement before installing the baseboards.  The head trim carpenter (Nelan) of WoodPro took on the task of installing our leaded-glass transom windows.  He worked his magic on them after we adjusted the openings the framers installed which ended up being about 2" to short (they were correct on the width but short on height). One thing we did find was that the stairwell lights were installed too close to the tread height so we had to move them before the skirt boards could be installed - we haven't put them back yet but that's not too difficult.  One of them will have to move horizontally due to it butting up against the header of a loadbearing wall but the other two are simply sheekrock adjustments.

Master bedroom door with transom window installed - see the next picture for the full effect

Master Bedroom Transom Window

Upstairs hall bath transom window - there's one just like it in the door adjacent to this one (a bedroom which will be a quilting room).

Laundry Room Door from the family room

Transom window over the laundry room door.

A picture of the window sill and trim installed in the family room - yeah, that's the break area on the deck.

One of the pantry closet doors

Work room bifold door and entry door.  Baseboard not yet complete between the doors.

Master bedroom doors

Some really creative work - the door had those two corners that had darker color so when the trim carpenters installed the casing around the door, they matched it.  Looks like curtains on the door all the ime!

We finished installing the decking and stairs but have a few surface-screws left to install. We used the Kreg Deck Jig system with their coated screws (saving money over the stainless screws which are about twice the price - and we needed 6 boxes of 700 per box). The one complaint we read about was tear-out of the wood using the drill and jig which we did experience but I found that since the screws were self-drilling if we simply gave them a pilot hole and did not use the countersink, the success seemed better.  Regardless we're happy with the jig system.  The one thing that we also found was using the jig for setting the screws really slowed down the process.  Drilling with the jig and then setting the screw using the drive bit without the jig seemed to work fine.  One other note is that each box of screws comes with a driver bit which is pretty long - that bit limited how close to the house we could get with the driver so we're going to cut down one bit and use it for at least one more row before face-screwing the last row of boards.
West side of the deck

South Deck
Deck Stairs - 
  We had the crew that poured the basement slab return this week to flatten out some inconsistent areas in the slab.  They poured 11 bags of Mapei self-leveling compound in 4 main areas to try to get the concrete wihin the 1/8" per 10 foot tolerance required for our Natural Cork click-together planks.  This weekend we spent a day identifying all the areas still out of tolerance, adding leveling compound where it was low and grinding down the concrete where it was high.  We used another 4 bags of leveling compound in addition to spending about 7 hours on a grinder (taking it in slow steps to prevent over-grinding).  Tomorrow we'll do one last check of all the areas and ensure we're within tolerance and then start laying down the flooring.  We anticipate taking 3 or 4 days to complete the flooring which is 200-300 square feet a day.  Most of the rooms are square but there are 9 doorways and a stairwell that will impact the speed at which we can lay down the cork.  We'll have to plan out the cuts carefully so that we dont' have slivers of flooring panels.  Each plank is just under 12" wide and 36" long.    We purchased a 3-way underlayment for use with the flooring which is supposed to be better than simply using plastic sheeting.  This provides a moisture barrier, cushioning and a modicum of leveling (we think) so we're hoping that the minimal variations in the concrete are negated by this underlayment.

This is what grinding concrete does to you - that's a black shirt and I wear a hat to avoid the dust in the hair.  An air compressor comes in very handy after finishing to rid your clothes of the dust. 

The room I was grinding down - that light patch at the top center is the ground spot which was a hump of about 3/8" that was about 1/2 done in the grinding process here.

The storage area floor covered with the cork planks which have to acclimate for 72 hours out of the box before installation.  Hopefully this week we'll be able to show you what this looks like installed.  It's the Natural Cork Lisbon matte tile we chose.  We've installed this material before (though not this color) and were very impressed with the durability of the product.  

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