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!!


Bob and his team have been busy this week

December 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Check out the photos Bob just sent me. He and his team are transforming the little house completely. It’s going to be gorgeous!

The new chimney is very distinctive. Much better than that old plywood surround.

New roof, trim, and chimney

The rotted cedar shingles are disappearing in preparation for the new ones.

No more rotting porch and shingles

Goodbye ugly kitchen!

Gutted kitchen

Goodbye upstairs walls! Goodbye toilet!

Second floor

Upstairs bedroom

Hello great room!

Former dining room

New roof stands up to the big storm

December 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Bob sent me some pictures of the new roof and trim this morning. Despite the very high winds yesterday, it held up just fine. The scaffolding around the chimney is for the mason, who will come later this week to build a brick surround to cover up the cinder blocks.

Street side of house after snow

Street side with new trim along roof line

You can see the new trim around the A dormers and along the roof line. Very nice.

And along the gable end of the house nearest the driveway.

I also spoke to our neighbor, Rich Start, this morning. He said they got about 8-10 inches of snow, not as much as predicted. But the winds were dangerously high. He said they are feeling lucky not to have lost power.

And I just ordered our first oil tank fill up. I can’t wait until we can enjoy the benefits of second home ownership and not just the expenses.

Work has begun at 35 Lewis Road

December 14, 2010 § 2 Comments

Bob’s team (Benny) has finished the roof on the street side, framed the skylights, and installed the trim on the driveway side (that’s the “gable end” of the house, thank you Bob).

Unfortunately it rained all day Monday in Georgetown, so they didn’t get any work done. But Bob tells me the skylights are in, so they should get those installed today or tomorrow. The rest of the windows are supposed to arrive this week.

Katy and I set a good example the weekend before last when we demolished the knee walls in one of the upstairs bedrooms. I have to say, demolition is very therapeutic. We also put up several colors throughout the house. We’re leaning towards shades of orange upstairs and greens downstairs.

Upstairs bedroom

We would have knocked out all the drywall on the second floor except for the mess. We promised Bob we would clean up any construction debris we created. The knocking down is super easy. It’s the carting the debris out to the dumpster that sucks. So we stuck to one room upstairs. In December, when we have Mark and Robert to do our bidding, we’ll gut the whole second floor.

Upstairs bedroom

The plan is to take down all the walls upstairs to create a sort of “loft” space up there. Perhaps Mark will build some window seats in the A dormers and built in shelving in the knee walls. We’ll definitely take down all the extraneous trim throughout the house. Katy got us started already.

I’ll post pictures of the construction as they come in. In the meantime, keep those cottage names coming. We’ll announce the winner before we head back up there in late December.

Renovations start this week AND a contest

December 1, 2010 § 5 Comments


Bob the Builder

The little house has been sitting empty and lonely since October (with a visit from Bob the builder and one of the neighbors to check on things after a big Nor’easter in early November). And Mr. Jorgensen, a local landscape guy, did some work to clear away all the brush and debris after the tree work was done. So I assume it looks very tidy now. I hope the squirrels and chipmunks are keeping the inside tidy too.

I’ll see for myself tomorrow when I arrive in the afternoon. Yay! A little winter getaway in Five Islands, just what the doctor ordered.

Things are about to get very busy on Lewis Road. Bob the builder starts work this week. Already there seems to be a delay because of the massive storm moving up the coast (it’s pouring in Silver Spring as I type). Bob doesn’t want to start removing the roof shingles ahead of high winds and downpours. So, the dumpster has arrived and materials are on the way.

My lovely niece, Katy (did I mention that I helped bring her into the world as her mom’s Lamaze coach?), is going with me. Because she and her lovely husband, Mark, are going to help out with some of the inside work like flooring, tile, cabinets, she needs to get an up close look at things. We’ll do some measuring and paint sampling. We might even demolish a wall or two. More importantly, I will introduce her to all that is fabulous about Maine and Five Islands. Bath, our nearest town, is having its big Christmas festival this weekend, so there will be a sort of art walk on Friday night. We’ll get our fill of watercolor landscapes of the Maine coast and hot cider.

So check back this weekend for winter pictures of the house and Five Islands. And now, on to the contest. . .

Our little house needs a name. We discovered a piece of weathered wood next to the back door with what must have been a previous resident’s attempt at a name plate. You can just barely make out the words “Ocean Glimpse” sketched in pencil on the wood. That’s actually quite an appropriate name since from that side of the house you can just see a glimpse of the water. Of course, it’s not technically ocean, it’s the Sheepscot River on its way to the ocean.

We might stick with the name, but we’d like to consider some other options. Thus, the contest. Suggest names in the Comments section and if we pick your entry, you will win a beautiful set of lobster claw salt and pepper shakers like these:

Let the creative thinking begin. To get your juices flowing, here are some common themes in vacation cottage nomenclature: Maine coast as paradise on earth (of course), sunshine, ocean breezes, pine trees, mosquitoes, rocks, lobsters, cocktails . . . .

Home inspection passed

September 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

Well, we just got home (to our first home, that is) after a very long 36 hours. We set out yesterday morning at 7 a.m. to fly from BWI to Manchester, NH, and then to drive the two hours, give or take, to Five Islands. We arrived at 35 Lewis Road just in time for the home inspection.

The very nice inspector, Eric, had already located the sectic tank. Yay! Actually, it was not as disgusting as you might expect, perhaps because no one has lived in the house for a whole year. Here’s a picture of the entrance to the tank.

Our new septic tank

I won’t bore you with the blow by blow. Suffice to say that there were no catastrophic problems with the house, just some basic repairs that we expected. The roof is shot; two sides of the house need re-shingling; the back yard needs regrading to take water away from the foundation; some trees need trimming. Here’s the front of the house. You can see the bad shingles around the door.

Front of the house

The neighbor’s yard is still filled with bags of cans and other junk. A fence and tall shrubs are on the priority list.


But their cat, Bobby, is quite friendly. He hung with us throughout the septic inspection. Notice the lack of a tail on that guy.

Our wonderful agent, Jason, arranged to have two contractors come by. So we walked through our wish list with each of them. Hopefully they’ll get back to us with bids in the next couple of weeks. We’re starting to think that our budget might only allow for the most important structural repairs and upgrades. We want to dormer the upstairs to create more space in the two bedrooms and to make room for a 3/4 bath. So I think we’d have them build the dormer and put on the new roof, but leave the upstairs rough on the inside for awhile.

Anyway, more ideas to come. Fingers are still crossed. We aren’t scheduled to close until October 29. It could all fall apart before then.

One more shot of lovely Lewis Road.

Nirvana is just around that bend

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