Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I may be getting ahead of myself...

But, today I looked online for a rug for the living room area...

We still have way too much to do in that space to worry about a rug, but it's just so fun to look!

Things left to do:
- Hardwire in the ceiling fan
- Add an outlet on the front wall
- Furr out the front wall to line up with joist above (so we can add the outlet and clean up the look a bit)
- Add a switch for the fan and possibly the new outlet on the front wall, ganged with existing switches
- finish skim coating, mudding, taping, walls
- paint walls
- Choose baseboard and trim
- New front door and new storm door
- Clean up the exposed brick
- Add steel angle to transition between plaster and brick

I believe once all of those items are taken care of, then maybe we can worry about an area rug!

But since I've already started looking, what do you guys think about these rugs?

Just for reference, here's what our furniture looks like in the room:

Old pic...

Sorry for all the bubble wrap!

And here are all the colors we've got going on in the swag lights and other things.

Ok, so seriously now, how about these rugs? 

(presented in no particular order)













Monday, August 17, 2015

Let There Be Light!

The next step in the electrical was to add the light fixture above the dining room table. But first, it needed to be connected to something. Back when Nate and Gary worked on the majority of the electrical in the main room, they discovered that there was a line that went to the top of the basement steps, to an empty box. They used this to install a new switch for the fixture. We're not entirely sure where that switch wants to live for good. but right now it's in the doorway to the basement.

The original line and box, with the new
line for the light coming out of the top.

Not documented was an additional connection that needed to be made to splice this into the line in the basement.
Now, onto the pictures of the ceiling fixture installation!

More holes had to be drilled for the line, and a junction box
had to be placed to make the connection (and support the light).

We found the fixture on Etsy. It came to us all the way from Paris! I'd had my eye on it for some time, but since we weren't in a rush to mess with the electrical, I stalled on buying it. However, sometime last year, I noticed that it was on sale. Half Off! So, I snapped that baby up! It's been waiting patiently to be connected ever since! Thanks to Etsy seller LunaPurPurie

Attempting to connect the fixture's wires to our new wire.

Gary is not very good at using the camera on Nate's phone...

The room is spinning!

There wasn't a lot of wire to work with,
so it took longer than anticipated.

Completed hanging, and a test bulb to make sure it works.

Light switch plate added.

Nate had to go out and find the half chrome bulbs that are necessary for this fixture. So, here they are, installed, and below, with the fixture turned on!

Isn't she lovely?

We still need to clean the light fixture. Also, we're planning to install a cloud above the dining table, so the fixture will eventually hang closer to the table height than it is currently. We're also going to change to a dimmer switch for this fixture in the future. Stay tuned!

I leave you with a picture of Stella sitting on the wall. Best hallway puppy ever. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

It's Electric! (boogie woogie woogie)

Gary and Nate tackle the wonky electrical we uncovered when we took out the ceiling 
(which was way back in 2012!)

If you don't remember, here's what that looked like!

Looking at these pictures does make me feel a little better about where we are with the house currently. It's hard to remember how far you've come when all you can see is how much further you still have to go... So, I'm glad for this post!

The plan here was to keep most of the existing electrical, but to clean it up a bit. Straighten out the zig zag, over under part running front to back, and box the parts that have wire showing. Nothing more than some upkeep, really. 

Nate and his dad spent the first day just trying to figure out what exactly was going on with the electrical because it doesn't seem to make much sense! 

After they traced every wire back to the circuit breaker, it was time to end for the day. 

The next day, they took down the long wire that criss-crossed the ceiling in order to straighten it out. Part of why we were doing that, is for aesthetics. It will obviously look better if the conduit is straight. The other reason was out of necessity. The conduit was not long enough with all it's twists and turns to actually be able to make a proper connection!

First, they ran a chalk line, to make sure to drill the new holes through the joists nice and straight for the conduit. 

The wire is down

Chalk Line

Here's the chalk line. Notice the line of the old holes,
running all over the ceiling.

Since the joists are spaced about 16" on center, they did have to run out and get a flexible attachment for the drill bit in order to be able to drill the holes.

Drilling the Holes

Holes drilled

What a Mess!

Here's the nice straight conduit!

You can see here, what it used to look like.
All over the place!

View from the front of the house looking back.

They were able to take the conduit down so easily, since part of the wires were exposed near the part where it started to zig zag across the ceiling. Here's that area in a nice new box!

Over the next few days, they continued straightening the conduit and boxing any open wires. 

Near the Front Door

That went fairly smoothly, but next, they went to tackle the multi-junction, which looked like this to start:

what a mess!

Here's a glimpse of the MCM light we'll  hook
up at this location,  over the dinning room table! 

Whoever did the electrical before must have thought that no one would ever touch the electrical again! When Nate and Gary started this project, they made sure all the breakers were off for all of the wires in that multi junction connection. However, it was clear that something wasn't right when Gary went to cut the wire and he got a pretty big shock! 

He wasn't ACTUALLY shocked because thankfully he was standing on a fiberglass ladder, and the wire cutters have rubber handles, But here's a picture of the chunk of metal now missing from those wire cutters! The person who last did the electrical left a live wire in that connection that went to an outlet in the guest room upstairs, but that wire was not controlled by the switch that is connected to that outlet! So, there was no way to find out which breaker that wire was controlled by. CRAZY!

Look for the missing chunk on the top right of the wire cutters.

Once they figured everything out and turned all the breakers off, they continued work on this connection.

down to just 3 wires!

Much Better!

The last of the exposed wires is located where the living room fan will eventually be placed...




Just for fun, here's a few pictures of the morning glories that have gone bonkers outside!