New Deck On the Way

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

The temporary porch that Bob the Builder put outside our sliding door is no more. The fine folks at Great Works Landscape are building a new 10′ x 12′ deck in its place. Here are some shots of the work-in-progress.



I’m posting the picture below of the back side of the house. We’re struggling to figure out what to do with this side. We won’t be able to put a deck on this side for a while. Eventually, the deck that’s going up now will become a screened-in porch and the deck will wrap around to the back side of the house and stop just after the “front” door. But until then, we have this ugly foundation to cover up. I’ve got some viburnum, ferns, blueberries, and other perennials to plant here, but I don’t know if any of it is enough to obscure all that concrete. Anyway, here’s the before shot. Hopefully we’ll come up with something nice for the medium term with Kate’s help.


Lounge coming together

November 3, 2011 § 2 Comments

Our new sofa from Nest in Brunswick (my favorite housewares store, bar none) arrived yesterday. It’s in place in the lounge along with our vintage Isama Noguchi cocktail table (thanks to my Dad for rescuing it so many eons ago). We also got a credenza for the TV and a bit of storage. We’ve had the little Eames plywood chairs for awhile, but never had a good home for them. You can see the completed plywood floors in these shots as well. I think they turned out super, thanks to Chad.

Okay, what’s missing? Baseboard and window trim. Also, one day we hope to have Chad build shelves into the knee wall behind the sofa and make a proper window seat with a top that lifts open. The electrical isn’t finished, thus the orange extension cord. There is only one working outlet on this floor and we now have a dangerous number of items plugged into it. Do you hear the sizzling? We are also thinking about painting that end wall an accent color. And, we would like to put an area rug in front of the sofa. So it’s not complete, but getting there.

Plywood floor going down

October 26, 2011 § 19 Comments

The walls upstairs have been painted a light green, Sherwin Williams’ Opaline. And now Chad and Scott are putting down 4X4 sheets of pine plywood. This is going to be our floor for the time being. It started out as a budget option just to cover up the ragged plywood subfloor. But I’m prepared to love it. So far, it’s looking really cool. Here are some shots of the job in progress.

Before new plywood subflooring goes in (but with new paint)

Chad hard at work

Upstairs next steps

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Forgive the super boring post on drywall. This is mainly for Katy, who is helping me decide on paint colors.

Our friendly handy person, Chad, has made great progress upstairs since last I posted. After the mold was remediated and the insulation went in, Chad installed drywall. We toyed with the idea of beadboard on the slopes and ceiling, but decided it was not in the budget. So, we’ll have acres of smooth drywall overhead for now. The drywall is almost finished and next week it will be time to slap up some paint. Here’s what it looks like now.

View from top of the stairs into lounge (south gable end)

Looking back at the stairs (Boogie stretching)

Window seat in lounge

Skylight in lounge

Area at top of stairs, door to office

Looking into office (closets surround window in gable end)

Window seat in office (desk will be to left, closets to right)

Office (my desk goes here)

Down the stairs

Second floor in the works

September 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

We have turned our attention to the second floor of the cottage. It has been partially gutted since we moved in, and we had it completely gutted and cleaned out a few weeks ago in preparation for new insulation. Unfortunately, when the insulation guy came last week to do the job, he called our attention to what looked like a mold problem. So we put a halt to the insulating and called in a mold expert. Sure enough, there is significant mold on the underside of the roof decking. So we’re going to have it thoroughly cleaned early next week and then the insulation will go in at the end of the week. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the new, properly installed insulation and properly vented roof will prevent mold from returning.

So, now I’m thinking about how to finish the space. Stay tuned for more posts on flooring, walls, paint, etc. For now, I will post some “before” shots of the gutted space. We decided to take down all of the walls that had divided the space up into several poorly functioning rooms. Now there will be just two rooms. As you come up the stairs, the room to your right will be the lounge with sofa, comfy chairs, and TV.

View of the south gable end from the top of the stairs

Here’s the view of the room looking back at the stairs. Picture book shelves in the knee wall and a window seat in the A dormer.

View from south gable end toward stairs

If you turn to your left at the top of the stairs there will be a door into an office with a daybed or futon for overflow company. There will also be a closet surrounding the window in the gable end and another window seat in the A dormer.

Looking toward north gable end past stairs on left

Closet and window seat

Stay tuned for shots of the insulation next week. I know you’re excited.


Finishing touches (almost)

May 26, 2011 § 5 Comments

Bob’s tile guy, Dino, did a beautiful job on the shower tiles. Simple white subway tile with grey grout is accented with a band of mosaic tiles at the top and large green ceramic tiles at the bottom.

New shower with mosaic tile band

Ceramic tile band around bottom edge

And Bob installed the skylights yesterday. Here’s the view from inside.

View from the skylight upstairs

And the view of the roof with the skylight installed.

New skylight on the roof

Robert and I will be back in Five Islands on June 8 to do some small projects. We hope the pine flooring will be installed by then. We’re thinking about doing the finishing ourselves. We’ll finish up the painting downstairs. Then the house should be ready for us to move in on June 29!!

Close up look at the new exterior

March 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

Well, we finally made it back to Five Islands. We’ve planned to come at least twice since late December and been thwarted by weather. We loaded up a truck with IKEA cabinets and some large furniture and headed up here on Monday morning.

It was a long drive in the truck. We were supposed to get a 10 foot truck, but there were none left when Robert got to the shop. So they gave him a 16 footer. Oy vey! That thing is a monster, with no pick up whatsoever. But the best part of the drive was getting stopped by a police officer on the Saw Mill River Parkway in New York. We saw the “passenger cars only” sign as we entered the on ramp to the parkway. Hello?! Why do they wait until you’re on the on ramp to tell you this important rule?! At that point, it was impossible to Not get on the parkway. Admittedly, we could have exited the parkway at the next exit, but we chose to stay on, and thus knowingly disobeyed the law. After about three exits, a police officer pulled up behind me and stuck close until there was enough shoulder to pull me over. Then he turned on his lights. He informed me that if I had passed one more exit, I would have come up on a bridge over the parkway with an 8 foot clearance that the behemoth I was driving would clearly not fit under. I’ve never been so relieved to be stopped by a cop. He told me that he could give me 5 tickets, but he chose not to. So nice. In any case, he told us how to get off the parkway and detour to 684. That took us maybe 45 minutes out of our way, but at least we weren’t stuck under a bridge in Chappaqua.

We arrived in Five Islands at about 10:30 p.m. after almost a 12 hour trip. Exhausted. The last few miles into Five Islands were icy and treacherous. But even in the dark, we could see how beautiful the house is with the new windows and shingles. The inside is a wreck, but we didn’t care. Robert quickly set up his camp kitchen and made us a little dinner and then we passed out.

Here’s what we woke up to this morning.


Front side shingles complete

One of these days I’ll get around to putting the before pictures up next to the after pictures. But for now, you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that the house is completely transformed. And it looks beautiful so far. The kitchen now has 6 huge windows facing the east and south, so the sun comes in first thing in the morning and lasts almost all day.


Street view in morning sun

The north end of the house faces the gully and is the first side you see as you come up Lewis Road. We’re still trying to decide what to do about that concrete foundation. It’s even more ugly now that the new shingles are up. Perhaps we’ll paint it. We’ll certainly be filling in some dirt around the sides to improve drainage.

Gully side of the house

The driveway side will be the last to get shingles. But you can see the new sliding glass door and kitchen windows. This is the side that will one day have a screened in porch. Right now, there is a step ladder to welcome you into our little cottage “on the rocks”.

Driveway side still to be shingled

Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures of the inside as well as our progress in putting together those damned IKEA cabinets.

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