Typical Seattle, Memorial Day weekend was mostly rainy and cool – perfect weather for working on the house. And napping. And watching TV in bed. What it wasn’t good for was installing skylights. Fortunately, we got a surprise break (sun break that is) on Monday afternoon and were able to quickly change the day’s game plan.
1. Not counting those pesky skylights, we are done with framing! On Sunday, Kyle and Dustin finished up installing the rest of the miscellaneous blocking as well as furring out the old kitchen wall. For whatever reason, that wall was framed with actual 2″x3″ studs and was thus out of plane with the adjacent walls. This job entailed string lines, laser shooting, and lots of furring strips – but she’s done!
2. With framing more or less done, it’s time to move on to electrical! We’re looking forward to this because even though it can take a bit more brain power, it’s a lot less messy than framing and is easy to do on weeknights. The first and most important step was finalizing the electrical plan. Now, when we moved into our house in ’06, we had an outdated electrical panel and 7 outlets. That’s right, 3 outlets in the living/dining room, 3 in the kitchen (one for the fridge, one for the oven, and one for everything else!) and one in the basement. Kudos to the previous owners who must have had a very small electrical bill, but we needed to bring things up to at least the 20th century. Before we moved in, we hired an electrician to update the electrical service to the house, install a submeter in the carport, and put in a couple of outlets in the bedroom. Since then, we’ve gotten by with extension cords and power strips. But now is our chance to design and install a much more functional layout – and we’re not talking about just plunking in a few more outlets. It’s time to modernize things, with data, audio and cable, more (and better!) lighting and switch locations that actually make sense!
Here’s the plan we worked up. This allowed us not only to finalize the design, but became a shopping list of sorts.
On Saturday, after 3 hours at Home Depot and 17 phone calls between the two of us (I stayed at home to price check things online and verify dimensions or other requirements that we forgot to check), we were armed and ready. The electrical will be a task in itself, but thankfully the minimal amount of rough plumbing is done and the mechanical system was installed with our future layout in mind.
3. On Monday, I assembled the kitchen island frames so we can know exactly where to place the pony wall that will run behind the cabinets and house a couple electrical outlets. (There will also be a custom, open shelving unit that goes on the left side, which will hold the microwave and Bailey’s bowls.)
5. We weren’t expecting it, but Monday afternoon brought some sunshine! We took advantage of the weather by cutting a hole in our roof.
Cutting the hole and installing the skylight was the easy part. After that came the tedious chore of pulling the surrounding shingles, installing flashing, and then re-shingling the surrounding area. We still have two more to put in and they’re both twice the size of this one. But it will be worth it, in fact, it already is. Even with the single skylight the amount of natural daylight in stunning. Plus, once we have drywall up it will be a light-reflecting great room of glory. That’s right, glory.
This skylight also frames a view of our neighbor’s cedar tree. Sometimes, nature has to be borrowed.
We’re hoping that we’ll get a little more nice weather this weekend so we can truly cross framing off the to-do list. But since Junember seems to be in full force, I’m not too optimistic.