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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A progress report.

Things are really happening fast around the house! Everything is going very well and we are making lots of progress. We are at a point were you can finally get a tiny, little glimpse that we might, just might be on the home stretch!

Since my last post:

- most of the rooms in the farmhouse (with the exception of the kitchen, the master and guest baths) have received one coat of wall and ceiling paint and one coat of trim. After the floors are finished the final coats will go on the walls, ceiling and trim. Post on Paint to follow!

- the floors on the second floor have been sanded and as of today they can't be walked on until they get stained. Sanding of the first floor began today. The sanders use a dust-free sanding machine that is amazing! No dust at all- none! The floors will be stained a medium brown that has honey undertones, and then will have a tung oil finish, using four coats of low-VOC tung oil. The finish guy brought by about 6 different samples after I had explained what I was looking for, and immediately I honed into this one particular stain that read "exactly as I had envisioned!"

- showers have been tiled. Guest bath marble floor has been laid.

- beadboard and trim is going in in both the master and guest bathrooms. All new windows are being trimmed to match the original farmhouse window frames.

- the garage floor has been dug out and the concrete is almost ready to to be poured for the floor. Retaining walls in the garage area were installed to reinforce the original antique granite stone walls.

- I set the kitchen soapstone and marble templates on the stones at the fabricators today. All stone will be delivered next Monday!

- the underground electrical lines have been pulled and we are just waiting for the electric company to come to hook it all up. Then we can pull down the current overhead lines.

The magic "no-dust" sanding machine! The original honey finish is seen on the edge which was then sanded by hand.

Sanded guest room floor. All the "dots" in the photo are the antique square-head nails that have been counter-sunk.

This is a sample of my "new" choice of marble for the kitchen island . The left side shows it polished; and the right shows it honed. I am having it honed.

This is my new choice of marble for my kitchen island. The piece of cararra marble that I had originally picked out had a fissure in it and my fabricator decided it was too much of a risk and would probably break, so I chose this marble piece which is called Bianco Venatino (... sadly, this choice also doubled the price of my island from the cararra- but what's a girl to do when one falls in love with a piece of marble?!!) The darker portion shows my template and placement for cutting. The slab is currently polished, but will be honed for installation which will soften the veining.

The stone fabricator's shop. My soapstone is templated and laid out in the bottom left of the photo.

Templated soapstone.

Fabricator marking my templates! I used two full (extra large sized for soapstone) slabs for the perimeter countertops in the kitchen. You can see how close he is to the edge. We had very little waste.
Marble slab with my cut-out for the sinks in my master bath vanity top. We chose to place the faucet and hot/cold water valves on angle to the basin (as opposed to a straight line) which looks more authentic to an antique house.

This is the piece of marble that we chose to place on top of two chests-of-drawers that will sit in the middle of the master closet. The upstairs laundry room is just outside the master closet in the master bath, and this way I can just march the clean clothes to this marble top- fold/hang and be done with them! The marble is Breccia Oniciata. I love coral and this slab has a beautiful coral color to it.

Our driveway, aka-the parking lot of contractors! (there are at least 7 cars/trucks that you can not see in this photo!) God bless 'em for showing up every day to get this house completed!

This photo shows the 2-plus feet of dirt that was dug out to make room for the new garage floor.

One-sided forms for concrete walls which were poured to reinforce the original granite foundation in the garage/original barn foundation.

The concrete truck!

Our concrete guys "hand pouring" the retaining walls. The guy on the right is the owner and he almost came to blows today (for a different pour) with the concrete driver man because he was mixing the concrete too wet and it wasn't to his exacting standards! 

Look how gorgeous the wall turned out! I love how the new concrete wall conforms to the original stone. Dan & I both thought the garage would be functional; we didn't realize that it would also end up being beautiful! The floors will have radiant heat which will help to keep the floors dry in the winter months when snow can drop from the car and then melt/freeze on the floor and then make you slip and break your finger.... Dan is also putting in floor drains and a hot and cold water tap so he can hose off snow from the cars. For those of you who don't live in a wintry climate, the salt and sand they put on the road to make travel safe can wreck havoc on your car's paint job!
The concrete guys were really proud of their work, and rightly so, as it turned out beautifully. All the subs on the job have "garage envy"!!!


  1.'s the deal. Once I get out of your fridge (where I will happily live for a month solid) I'll set up camp in your coolio garage.

    See. I don't ask for much.

  2. I'm sorry I've been away. I've missed you and your progress. I cannot WAIT to see it all finished. I love your choices.

  3. you really are making progress - loved seeing the marble and garage!!!!

  4. When this house is done, will you have any money for food?

  5. Garage envy, definitely. The concrete looks really good.

    All the marble choices, oh wow, how fun. I went with honed, too. Love it.

  6. I get so excited reading about your progress! Amazing how there are the lulls and then the parts where everything is moving along so quickly. I'm drooling over your marble-- it is stunning. Also, your floors are going to be gorgeous- I am obsessed with the wide planks and the nailheads bring it up a notch... it's going to be so beautiful. Love the way you've so carefully blended the new with the old as displayed in your garage. What beautiful old stone there. lastly, it's so fun to see the property from a distance-- I love all the trees- can only imagine what beauty they display during a NH autumn! Anxiously awaiting more progress reports, Julia

  7. What progress in a week! I really enjoy reading your posts; your love for your home is evident. You put a lot of time and effort into these posts, such great detail!

  8. Oh how fun to see this update. Your choices of marble and soapstone are beautiful and I can't wait to see the finished wood floors. I agree with Cindy...your love of your home is evident and you should be proud of all you have accomplished to make this your dream home...Annonymous should say their name with a question like that or not say anything at all.

  9. I love reading your blog and following the progress on your beautiful house, soon to be home! The stone you have chosen is gorgeous and I think your choice of honed for the island is perfect. Looking forward to the next update on the painting!

  10. I so love this post - fantastic progress & very exciting. I can almost hear the champagne corks popping!
    Millie ^_^

  11. I love what your are doing!! I love the colors you have selected and the white Marble.. I love the soap stone!! Great Job!

  12. This post is nearly 4 years old, so I don't know if you are still taking questions but I am wondering if it was difficult (or rather costly) having the fabricators hone the once polished slab? I have had one suppliers rep tell me that it could be done only to have our fabricators say that it could not. Perhaps it is time to shop for a new fabricator. We are still very early on in the selection process, so any tips for finding a good fabricator? There are just so many, it can be overwhelming!

    You home is just stunning, an absolute timeless classic!

    1. Thank you Tera (love your name btw)- I would definitely shop around for fabricators. I have found it shocking the difference in pricing. I did not pay extra to have the pieces honed (I priced other slabs at other fabricators, that were in the same network as mine- meaning that I was encouraged/allowed to visit other stone yards and if I found a stone there they would truck it to my fabricator) that were already honed and the price per square foot was the same. It can be done, hard to believe a rep would tell you otherwise, but knowledge is power! My best advice is to shop around and find someone you trust and who answers all your questions to your satisfaction. If you haven't already done so, it also might help to read my post on marble.... go to my sidebar and under "topics of interest" click on "marble." It is an overwhelming process and hopefully that post will offer some helpful advice. Good luck!

  13. Thank you very much! I am a newcomer to your blog and have been enjoying all the gorgeous pictures and wonderful posts--and you met and had lunch with Bunny! Wow what an incredible experience that must have been!! She is such a legend in her own right; I have poured over and admired those very rooms from An Affair with a House, and you were actually IN them--how wonderful :) your post on marble was actually the first one I came across while researching marble care and maintenance and have found it to be extremely helpful--thank you so much :)


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive it and read it. joan