Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas gift to you

an update!

We decided to hire out the tape and mud portion of the drywall.

Wait, did I even tell you we were already to drywall?

During September Frugaldad hung the drywall on the ceiling with his friend Jack.

In October we hung the drywall on the walls together. I put the first two screws in most of the sheets while he held them up. Also in October we moved, widened, and heightened the opening from the main house into the addition.

Then we had a baby! He built decks outside each door and started on the stair railing. We decided that it was worth it to hire out the tape and mud and texture, so the crew started work this past Monday and will finish up next week. We spent the weekend cleaning up tools and drywall scraps getting everything clean for them.

A peek at the progress. More pictures in my Flickr Addition Set.
north half looking west

Friday, September 5, 2008

From sill plates to sheetrock--a year of construction

We have a posterboard on our kitchen wall on which we write down the major milestones in the construction of the addition. For my own curiosity, on Monday, which was September 1, I looked back a year to see what we'd been working on. On September 1, 2007, we installed the sill plates. (yes, we're cheap. look who we hire for labor)

Daddy's helpers

And on September 1, 2008, Frugaldad finished putting drywall up on the ceilings and started on the walls.


(this is the last piece of ceiling to get sheetrock. Tune in soon for the explanation of how one man and a very pregnant lady got drywall on the ceiling of a stairwell all by themselves without too much work.

Getting pregnant and breaking my ankle at the same time really derailed me from regular updates on this blog. Sorry. Baby is due in 6 weeks so I will try and get the rest of the photos in Flickr at least.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Our electrical inspection, that is. On the first try! Think of it like this--the electrical code is a huge college textbook that is updated every three years and you walk in and pass the final without ever going to class or meeting the professor, who can change or enforce the details of the code at will. Go Frugaldad!

And what a pretty, neatly wired sub-panel!

We also passed our structural (framing) inspection on the first try as well!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


You might remember that we broke ground for the addition back in July 2007. That was almost 11 months ago! Since the old air conditioning unit was in the path of destruction, we bought a little window a/c unit. Combining the little window unit with about 5 strategically placed fans, we were able to bear the summer heat until the weather cooled.

We've been lucky enough so far this year that until the 2nd week of June, the temperatures stayed below 70. Not so good for my garden, but great when you don't have any air conditioning. Until now. We're now the proud owners of a shiny new heat pump and air handler and I don't even feel that guilty when I turn the thermostat down to 75 so the kids can get some sleep without sweating.

There's still a lot of work to be done, but every little thing is one step closer to completion!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


After we did the blue foam insulation on the outside of the building, we hired someone we know to come put the siding up. I just realized I don't have any finished pictures, so this one will have to do! It is currently raining or else I'd go snap some.

Unfinished siding

Friday, May 2, 2008

In the trenches

While we were in the midst of all this addition craziness, we decided it would be fun to add another element. Since we ran new plumbing and connected it to the existing sewer, it was the perfect time to run an extra water line out to the pasture for a future barn. We'll also put an electrical line in the trench so there is power out there, too. We rented a trenching machine and dug a bunch of trench.

Teach them young...
Playing with the big boy toys

The trenches
In the trenches

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Electricity and siding

Frugaldad decided that he is going to do all the electrical work himself so on Saturday we did some attic cleaning so he'd have access to run wires. Yesterday he drilled a hole through the top plate of the garage wall to run the wire for the new a/c unit. It's the old wire, just moved from its old location. Then he'll run new wire for an electrical panel in the addition.

We hired a guy we know to come and put the siding up, and it is being delivered tomorrow. He is also doing the soffits, so we'll be officially closed in sometime in the near future!

It all sounds so easy, but after the wire is run, it's insulation and drywall, and then it's basically finished space! There might be a place for the new baby to sleep after all!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Exterior foam insulation

We are putting foam insulation on the exterior of the building to help with efficiency since there are so many windows. We are finished with the south wall so far.

Foam insulation for the exterior

foam insulation on exterior

insulation on outside of building


Last week the HVAC guys came and did all the rough ductwork in the addition. They haven't tied into our existing system yet. We are replacing our 30+ year old furnace as well as putting in an air conditioner to replace the one we got rid of last summer, and we don't want dust in the new equipment, so we'll wait until the drywall is finished before we install the new stuff.

The main trunk in the basement that feeds all the vents
main trunk in basement

Ducts in the joist bays
air ducts in joist bays

Air vent in the basement ceiling for one of the future bedrooms
air vent in basement ceiling

Air vent on first floor

Air return in south half
return in south half

Air return over the stairs (serves the north half and basement)
return over the stairs

Basement perimeter walls

Frugaldad framed the perimeter of the basement when I was laid up on the couch with a broken ankle.
framed basement perimeter walls

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Our #1 and #2 Priority

Plumbing inspection sticker

We passed our plumbing inspection on Valentine's Day. The inspector was very impressed with Frugaldad's DIY job. Then the following Saturday, Frugaldad cut into the existing septic line and tied the new plumbing into it.

In case you missed the news, I fell and broke my ankle on February 13 so I haven't been outside to take pictures or even see the progress for almost 3 weeks. But Frugaldad assures me that the progess is great. He framed all the perimeter walls in the basement so they can be insulated and now that most of the snow is melted, he and the kids cleaned up most of the rest of the debris around the site.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The last door, finally

I'm not even going to apologize for the lack of updates.

We ordered the last door on Dec 14, it came in 4 weeks later (2 weeks late) and wasn't even what we ordered. So we ordered again and less than 2 weeks later the right door came and was installed on Saturday Jan 26. It is very nice to be able to get into the addition on both sides of the building now, instead of having to walk around.


All the doors and windows

We're also almost done with the plumbing. The drain side is finished except for the vent out the roof, and there hasn't been a snow-free day to get on the roof yet. A couple weeks ago, an entire Saturday was spend tapping into the supply lines of the house and all the supply lines to the addition are run, supported, and in the walls ready to be attached to fixtures.

The dirt pile out back, once the bane of my existence with it's ability to migrate into my house, is now quite a fun sledding hill.

winter morning sky

Monday, January 7, 2008


We finished installing all fifteen windows over Christmas break. He and I were able to do 13 of them alone, and we got some help with the other two that were too big for just the two of us. The last door is supposed to be here but I haven't gotten the call yet. Over the weekend we cleaned out the garage so Frugaldad can access the water heater to start the supply side of the plumbing. I think he has acquired all of the supplies now.

Sorry for the lack of updates, but it's hard to get a minute to blog when the kids are around. The three older ones went back to school today so I making time to update!

Applying flashing tape to the window sill.

first piece of corner tape

Rolling out the flashing tape.

rolling out flashing tape

Smoothing out the corners.
corners of tape on window sill

Almost ready for the window.
flashing tape on window sill

I didn't actually take pictures of the window going in since I was assisting in the lifting, but you'll see one eventually.