This week started slowly, with some digging and concrete work for the second-floor deck footings, delivery of new windows and decking material, and other undramatic but necessary activity.
On Wednesday, the corner windows went in, which was kind of exciting. Here's the southwest end of the expanded kitchen, where the little deck used to be:
The downstairs deck, my preferred good-weather hangout, is not very hospitable right now, piled as it is with lumber for the upstairs deck. The boards closest to the camera (below) are the new deck flooring; they're a composite material designed to look like Ipe wood. I like the natural-appearing variations from board to board. I wish we'd used something this good-looking on our front porch when we built it, but the material probably hadn't been invented yet.
By Wednesday afternoon, the south wall of the house looked like this:
Then the pace picked up. Thursday was totally insane: two electricians and a plumber worked upstairs and down simultaneously, while Les began framing the new deck. Power went off and on unexpectedly. The noise from all quarters was varied and, at times, horrendous. The electrical work involved the breaker box, of course, which is adjacent to our makeshift kitchen sink. Several downstairs ceiling tiles in the same area were removed to run pipe or wire. Sawdust drifted ankle-deep (you think I'm kidding) in the construction zone; the west end of the basement received, through the subfloor, a light but significant coating.
I managed to escape the madness for a while to have lunch with a couple of friends. They declared it a month-to-the-day delayed celebration of my birthday, and presented me with a tiara and matching magic wand. Can you guess what I wished for?
By the end of an 11-hour workday, plumbing and electrical rough-in was complete. Here's the wall by the entrance to the kitchen, where the phone will live, as well as an outlet and light switches for most of the kitchen, including the undercabinet lights:
We'll have plenty of outlets at counter-level, too. This is the south wall to the left of the sink-to-be. I can barely imagine a functional kitchen without three-prong plug adapters and tangles of extension cords. Apparently we will have one:
Friday AM, while Jerry and I were out shopping for cabinet pulls, the city inspector came and passed us on electrical, plumbing and framing. Woo hoo!
The rest of the week was all about the deck:
It's Labor Day weekend and, fittingly, "labor" is taking a well-earned rest. We probably won't see any action until Tuesday. But we're still on schedule and, after a week like this one, all of us -- including the animals -- can use a respite.
The tomatoes, though, are still producing.