DIY House Addition: Month 4 Wrap Up

I’d like to be writing a really witty and/or eloquent opening sentence to this monthly wrap-up, but I’m having a hard time typing through the utter and complete panic I’m feeling about the fact that winter will be arriving in Michigan approximately, um, tomorrow.

For those of you who don’t live on this pleasant peninsula, that’s how it happens around here. Tuesday it’s Summer, and by Friday you have a high of 45 with freezing rain and a chance of snow for the rest of your natural life.

Month 4 Progress: It’s What’s Inside That Counts

You’ll notice two big changes on the exterior of the house since last month…



  1. Those gorgeous doors.
  2. See those windows? 112 trips up the ladder later, and those babies are trimmed and done. (Specifics on that later.)

The thing that you don’t see, which you should, is siding on the exterior of the house. I was really hoping to get started on that this weekend, but with the window fiasco taking up an extraordinary amount of time and the fact that we don’t have concrete pads on the porches and haven’t fully figured out our flashing situation (although big thanks to Kate H. for all her help) we’re a little stuck at the moment.

The good news is, some things have been happening inside the house as well. Not nearly as fast as we’d like for things like the geothermal, but we’ve got first-class plumbers that make up for our heating disappointments.

Look! A tub! (I know bathroom fixtures should not be that exciting, but you try living in a garage once.)



We spent a little time in here putting down a new plywood sub-floor to even things out, and MysteryMan built the frame for the tub, while I was working on the frame for the stall shower in the master bath.

08_sill_for rubber

Overall things are moving, but not fast enough to keep my from having to put my head between my knees and breath into a paper bag every few hours. The one upside to being behind schedule is that we’ve had a little forced down-time to catch up on things like laundry and having interactions that don’t involve throwing tools at each other.

And speaking of…

Month 4 Injury Report: Does renovation induced domestic violence count?

Not that we ever do anything besides make smoochie faces and coo at each other around here. Ahem.

I actually had the video camera on us while we were trimming out the windows for a little project I’m working on for Old House Web, and may have forgotten about it when I captured this little bit of domestic bliss. Oh whatever, I’m not hitting him… just using his face to help me keep my balance on my way up the step ladder.

Seriously. It’s nothing but love in our house garage, people.

Mind you, we’ve been up and down ladders swinging hammers all weekend, and the only actual injury that has occurred this month happened yesterday, when I heard MysteryMan shouting obscenities in the kitchenette and walked into the house to find his face splattered with blood like something out of a slasher film. You heard me right, the only injury that occurred this month was when washing the dishes. Don’t worry, his finger is still attached, the man’s heart just pumps blood like a machine and he could spatter the entire living room from a paper cut.

Month 4 Lessons Learned: Contractors & Factory Stain = Worse Than a Hangover

The blood doesn’t bother me, but I still feel a little nauseous when I think about the cedar beams I had stained sight-unseen a color that I do not love. Still haven’t made a final decision on what to do about that bit of fun.


Added to the aneurysm I nearly had when I figured out our windows had been sloppily installed, frankly, I’d rather drink half a bottle of Jack and pay my penance that way.

I’ll be reading the installation manual on every single thing that goes into our house from here on out, and doing an inspection before the professionals leave the job. And as always, I’m DIYing as much of it as possible from now on Lesson learned.

Month 4 DIY & Didn’t: I’m holding my own this month.

Things we DIYed:

  • Installed new sub-floor in bathroom (both of us)
  • Framed in full and master bath showers (both of us)
  • Installed window flashing (me)
  • Installed all window trim (both of us)

Things we Didn’t:

  • Cut register holes for HVAC
  • Some rough plumbing
  • Bath installation

Month 4 Thanks: We couldn’t have done it without you.

Charlie & Faith – For painting all of our trim on short notice.

MysteryMan’s grandpa – For the sweet corn.

My grandma Mamie – For the worlds best jam.

My badass hatchet-wielding mother – For a really good vegetable quiche, which will probably sustain me all week.

2 Responses

  1. In November we will have been in this house 18 years. I have done a ton of work on it and had a good amount of work done by others. I have one general contractor who is a personal friend, and I trust everything he does, because it is always right. NOT ONE OTHER PERSON has done the work correctly. Except the stucco guys who worked on the casita in the back yard. You are absolutely right in thinking you should be reading up on what needs to be done, and how it needs to be done. And even then, you have to watch those bastards like a hawk. And it still may be done incorrectly! The best is what I have when I can get him. A guy who is a friend. I pay him, don’t get me wrong, but he’s a paid-for-person who isn’t like some of those other, um, paid-for-people… if you get my drift!

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