Thursday, September 18, 2008

I think I can, I think I can...

We feel like the little engine that could...I know we'll make it, but it's been a long ride. My sense of relief comes in knowing that our contractor does excellent work and is very meticulous. That's exactly the kind of attention this siding project needs. They guys are doing a great job and progress is accelerating. It's gonna look incredible!

They started on the side of the house because that's the location of some of the largest panels. Now they're working on the back and it's shaping up well.

This shot might give you a better sense of the details. The Cembonit siding looks great next to the bamboo brow!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One piece at a time...

After some record-setting rains in Chicago dumped more than 90 billion gallons of water on the city this weekend, that's right 90 BILLION GALLONS, we're finally back to work on the siding. The guys got the first few pieces in place today on the side of the house and it looks wonderful. It's probably not obvious, but the siding I'm talking about is the large, dark gray, concrete panels with exposed stainless steel screws in the top of this photo:

At least I think it looks wonderful. Cindy's still skeptical, but I think it will grow on her. This project, especially the siding, has drug on so long that I don't think she cares what it looks like she just wants it done. I joked today that I could wrap the house in Christmas wrapping paper and put a bow on top, just as long as it was done. Cindy didn't argue.

Anyway, we're in the home stretch and it's looking great!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A long, long wait....

We've been waiting for more than a year for this, and the day is finally here! As you know we've embarked on a huge house renovation project over the last year and the last significant loose end we need to tie up is siding on the back of the house. The front already has siding and looks a bit more conventional, but the back of the house is being clad in a more modern, industrial concrete panel system manufactured in Europe.

So after months of delays for a whole slew of reasons, we're finally there. The crew has been here on and off throughout the week preparing for the installation. If the rain holds off and the special screws get delivered, we'll finally get rolling on what I think is my favorite detail of the house!

First the house is wrapped in a special waterproof but breathable membrane (think GoreTex for your house) with liberal overlaps.

Then there's dark-gray Trex decking material drilled in vertical furring strips on all the vertical surfaces. On top of that there are long rubber strips stapled to every single furring strip.

Then on top of that goes the concrete siding panels in a lovely gray color that the manufacturer calls "flint."

We've second guessed this part of the project a million times. Sometimes it was the extra cost, other times it was the exhausting wait (2 weeks turned it to 3+ months), and sometimes it was the exasperated looks from our wonderful contractor. I think everybody's tired of the process, but we're hopeful that this is gonna be the icing on the cake. If things go well here it's going to be an amazing finish to a great project.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of Greenhouse

Andrew spends every Wednesday at the Greenhouse, a wonderful local school that is both Classical and Christian. It's just for homeschooling families and it's a great complement to what we're doing at home. Andrew loves it. Cindy loves it. All around good stuff.

Now while Cindy does 99% of the homeschooling around here, I enjoy participating when I can. One of those times is the first day of Greenhouse when the parents and students go together for an "orientation" of sorts. It's a good time for the kids to transition back to school and a good time for parents and teachers to connect.

Andrew and I had a great morning together and then enjoyed a lunch date for just the two of us. All that to say that I'm sure some of you wouldn't mind another "first day of school shot."