Archive for the ‘Porches’ Category

Acid Etching, Tin Lighting, Loft Railing and Floor, and, Of Course, More Snow–Feb, 2010

February 8, 2010

We are pulling together loose ends and finishing projects at Bunny Vista. Erin has been a frequent worker and has painted, cleaned, and helped push us forward as we try to make practical decisions to get the house ready to pass the occupancy inspection. Nick worked to clean and prep the basement floor for acid etching. The radiant floor heating is operational and is finally using the geothermal system instead of the on-demand hot water heater. The electrical work is also nearing completion. Here are a few photos of recent work.

John Boody gave us some amazing spalted sycamore for the loft floor, which also forms the ceiling for the dining area. Kelley is putting finish on the prepared floor boards.

John Boody kindly gave Kelley some spalted sycamore for the loft floor, which adds another unusual element to the timber frame room.  Spalted wood has been discolored by fungi or rot. The discoloration can form amazing patterns. Kelley says that the spalting of this sycamore looks like an oil painting. It is particularly wonderful looking up at the loft floor from the dining area, where it forms the ceiling.

The basement floor during acid etching

Kelley, Nick, and Erin painstakingly acid etched the basement floor, using muriatic acid to change the color of the concrete floor to this leathery brown color. Kelley decided to acid etch the floor for several reasons. First, it is a permanent finish with little upkeep. The lime in the concrete reacts with the acid when it is applied, changing the color of the concrete, so it never chips or wears, although it will need to be waxed once or twice a year. More important to Kelley, finishing the concrete rather than applying another layer of flooring on top of the concrete allows the radiant floor heating to work most efficiently.

Acid etching the floor required many hours of research and consultation, followed by countless hours of hard work. Nick and Erin spent several days scrubbing the floor to remove every trace of paint, dry wall mud, and dirt. After Kelley, Erin, and Nick tested a couple of different acids and a couple of different application methods, they felt at least a little confident that they had achieved the best color they could. They began applying the acid to the floor. Kelley sprayed two applications of acid onto the surface and Nick brushed it with a long-handled brush. Erin removed all of the residue, another process that sounded easier than it actually was. Kelley and Erin sprayed on three coats of sealer and spread the sealer with paint rollers and a lambswool mop. Finally Kelley applied two coats of wax. There are apparently a number of YouTube videos showing the ease of this process. None of them are to be trusted. It was a labor-intensive chore, but the results are beautiful. Thanks, Nick and Erin. You are invited to watch TV in the TV room and spend the night in the guest room. But you may not store any items in the storage room. Sorry.

Yes, the floor is beautiful and shiny with the lovely color and leathery look the Internet sites promised.

We ordered some tin lighting fixtures from Michael Walsh, who is the person behind Early American Tin Lighting. We have ceiling fixtures for the dining area and the hallway between the log rooms. We also have three pierced tin pendants for the kitchen, some sconces for the log rooms, and three exterior lights. Mike’s work is beautiful, and I was really happy to find a local craftsman. Mike lives and has his workshop and gallery in a wonderful log home west of Dayton.

This fixture hangs in the hallway between the two log rooms.

The ceiling fixture at night.

The master bedroom has two sconces and the office has one.

Master bedroom sconce

The second master bedroom sconce

Kelley is working now to complete the loft railing. He is using Atlantic white cedar boards left from building the deck.

Kelley set the boards for the railing in place to check for size and placement. The center board will be wider, and our plan is for Kelley to saw a decorative cutout in it. Kelley has taken the boards out, and today he worked on putting finish on them.

And, of course, we have had more snow. About a foot of snow fell this weekend. Kelley and Erin spent much of the afternoon today getting the truck unstuck and shoveling the driveway. I am trying to remember that the snow is beautiful. Here are some snowy views from the front porch.

Standing on the front porch and looking toward the southwest.

Icicles on the log section

Front Porch

December 19, 2009

Lewis and the crew built the front porch this week and finished putting the poplar bark siding on the front of the timber frame. Bunny Vista is so different now–it begins to feel like home. From the road that runs along the ridge just west of us, the house is so intriguing. The porch roof and cedar posts somehow tie the house to the ground so that it looks as if it’s part of the landscape. As Erin said, “it looks so snug.”

So here are some photos from the building of the porch and from the second snowfall of December.

Aaron and Braxton scamper along on the rafters. Kelley says they were like Tigger bouncing up there. The rafters are hemlock, which Kelley bought several years ago and stored at John Boody's sawmill. The beam that supports the rafters is cypress, left over from the timber frame.

The bark shingles await.

It is such fun to stand on the porch and look at the log section--there is snow on the windows and logs and stone and even on the poplar bark siding.

Standing on the front porch watching the snow. I hear that the light fixtures are done, and I'm anxious to see how they will look beside the French doors. The porch rafters and roof are hemlock, which Kelley says is resistant to boring bees. Thank goodness for that.

From the top--hemlock roof, hemlock rafters, red cedar posts from Aaron Tammi's property, cypress rafter-bearing beam, Atlantic white cedar decking, cypress deck frame, hemlock deck joists

Let's see. . . from the top: hemlock porch roof, hemlock porch rafters, cypress rafter-bearing beam, red cedar posts from Aaron Tammi's family property, red cedar posts, Atlantic white cedar decking, cypress deck framing, hemlock deck joists.

Kelley says there is enough poplar bark to finish the work on the front--the basement entrance and the little porch between the two log rooms. The door for the basement is here, and Kelley is going to make a door for the little porch. Someday we will say goodbye to all the Tyvek.

Snow at Bunny Vista

December 11, 2009

The stone and log section of the house--see the retaining wall at the left and the remains of the Pufferbellies Christmas float in the foreground.

The work on Bunny Vista continues, and I’m excited that Lewis and the crew have put some of the poplar bark siding on the timber frame section of the house. They finished the deck of the front porch today, complete with posts made from cedar trees cut from Aaron Tammi’s family’s property. The joists for the porch deck are hemlock, which Kelley bought a long time ago and stored at John Boody’s sawmill. The decking is Atlantic white cedar. On the interior, the heating and cooling systems are complete, the drywall is nearly all installed, there is beautiful cypress paneling on the back hallway, and the ceiling is almost done.

Kelley walked around the house while it snowed and took these photos, so here’s a virtual visual tour of Bunny Vista as it looked last weekend. Just pretend you’re walking in the snow all the way around the house. Then come inside for a cup of coffee.

The cedar posts for the front porch with their little snow caps. The crew was able to put the decking on the porch after the snow melted this week.

At the right, under the porch, you can see the poplar bark siding. It transforms the house.

The gable at the bedroom end of the house has a temporary siding, which will be replaced with poplar bark.

The main entrance, at the right, will also have poplar bark siding. The kitchen is at the left. I love its big windows, which give such a clear view of the wooded area behind the house--also of what seems to be miles of mud, when the ground is not covered with snow.

Poplar bark siding is under the porch. The entire timber frame section will have poplar bark. The white doors, which lead to Kelley's workshop, will be painted red to match the other doors and windows. The porch will have a roof, and the crew put the porch deck on this week after the snow melted. The cedar posts supporting the porch are set on big stones.