Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crappy News...Literally.

We've been having a problem with our toilets.  It started out that they were more finicky to flush.  After about a week of this, the sinks started to gurgle every time you flushed.  Then 2 days ago, the bathrooms and basement started to smell.  Great, just in time for the holiday weekend!  Fortunately, the septic guys were able to come out for an inspection today.  When we told them what was happening and that we had just had our tank and leach well pumped last year, they initially thought that we had a clog somewhere in the line or trap.  Well, the inspector guy came and it didn't take him 5 minutes to diagnose the problem.  Both our septic tank and leach well were completely full!  He showed them to me, and they were both full to the brim!  When he asked me if we had city sewer available at the street (we don't), I knew it was going to be really bad news.  He told us that it looks like our leach well has failed.
Craptastic!  :(
He told us that we needed to get the tank and well pumped now, but that that would only be a temporary solution.   He called the pumping truck and they arrived about a half hour later.  The charge was $240 total for the pumping.  He is going to look into county records to see if their is anything about our septic system on file so that they can recommend a solution for us.  If we don't hear back from them in about a week, we are to call them.  They told us that they can give us some referrals of companies that could do the work of replacing/repairing our current system.
It looks like we might not be paving our driveway this year as planned.  I don't know if we could do both expensive projects in the same year...especially with a baby on the way too.
On the bright side, our toilets are flushing nicely again, the sinks are no longer gurgling, and the smell is already much better.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Attic Insulation

Jim had requested off work today to go to a midwife appointment with me.  Unfortunately, the appointment had to be rescheduled at the last moment d/t the midwife being ill.  Jim decided in the afternoon to head up to the attic to finish insulating the attic above the nursery and guest room and to start the hallway demo prep.  He has currently finished with putting in the fiberglass insulation and has now started removing the blown-in insulation over the upstairs hallway.  He has taken a few pics of his progress for me since I can no longer get up into the attic.

The as-of-yet untouched blown-in insulation above the hallway, bonus room, and stairwell

View looking towards the nursery gable from the attic access in the hallway

Looking from above the nursery towards the guest room gable
 The ridge vents seem to leak a little when it rains and snows, so we have placed some plastic and paper towels in those areas.  This is only a temporary measure.  We plan to have a roofer come and take a look at the ridge vents sometime next month.  We think that the vents are just bent out of shape and need to be least we hope that is all it is.  :?

Cross section of our new insulation in the attic above the guest room
We insulated the guest room and nursery ceilings with R-19 fiberglass batts.  This pretty much leveled with the top of the ceiling joists.  We have now added R-30 fiberglass in the opposite direction on top of the joists.

So far, Jim hasn't found any new treasures hidden under the old cellulose blown-in insulation.

Drywall Speedsters

This past Saturday, my MIL and FIL came over once more to help with drywall.  I was amazed how much they accomplished.  The nursery and guest room are now completely drywalled!  We still have to mud it and such, but all the drywall is up except for the trim around the windows.  Once again, I was relegated to photographer, cook, and water girl.  :)

1/2 the Guest Room Ceiling Complete

Jim Taking Measurements for the Smoke Alarm in the Guest Room

Drywall Coming Through!

Sealing off the Nursery and Guest Room from Each Other

Jim and I tried to take panoramic shots of the rooms, but we haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. ^_^*

Panoramic Views of the Nursery
 This photo was taken from the wall opposite the door and next to the window on that wall.

This photo was taken from the same wall as the door, but in the opposite corner.

Panoramic Views of the Guest Room
 This photo was taken from the doorway.

This one was taken from the opposite diagonal corner.

Next on the agenda will be prepping the upstairs hallway for demo.

Nature Calls

Here are the first pics for the year of my flowers and birds.  :)


I still don't know the name of this flower!
I now know these are primroses.  (Thanks, Mrs. McKnight!)  :)

Or this one!

If you know the names of the mystery flowers, please say so in the comments.

This is a new arrival to the bird feeder.  He wasn't around last spring and summer.

Male House Finch

Smile for the camera!

It was really windy that day, so the pics are a bit blurry.

I'm thinking this is a female cardinal.  It was raining at the time, so her tuft is slicked down.
I could be wrong though.

My dad has christened this tree as our Buzzard Tree.
It is mostly dead.  This is the tree that has a heart shaped hole straight through it.  This is also the tree that our bird feeder hangs from.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hallelujah Drywall!

I am happy to say that we have finally started drywalling!  And by "we", I mean Jim and his parents.  LOL!  I was not allowed to help.  Drywall is heavy!  ^_^*

The first piece!

The nursery ceiling is complete!

MIL scoring the drywall

Father and son working together

Great shot of Jim

Working on the nursery closet and walls

Believe it or not, they did all this in one day!  I was quite astonished.
Thanks Mom and Dad C.!

Sorry I can't give more details.  My jobs that day included taking pictures, bringing water, and making dinner for them.  

Let There Be Light (In The Attic)!

Jim has been a busy bee.  Unfortunately, I haven't been much help to him.  The last project I helped with was putting insulation on the walls of the nursery and guest room and on the nursery ceiling.

 Nursery walls

Guest Room Walls

Nursery Ceiling
This is at the point where I stopped helping due to being constantly sick.

Jim decided at this point that it would be good to install electricity in the attic.  I believe he spent a weekend installing 5 lights in the attic.  Now we won't have to struggle with portable lights and extension cords like we had to when removing the blown-in insulation over the nursery and guest room.

The attic without electricity

Let there be light!
Yea!  This is the portion over the hallway and bonus room.

During this time, Jim also created a new HVAC box for the new louvered vents that we purchased a few months ago.

If I remember right, his fingers suffered a few cuts and scrapes from shaping the metal.

Jim started back in on the insulation after completing the side projects.
 The nursery

The guest room

These 2 rooms looked much more like rooms once the insulation was up.  We could also tell a definite difference in the room temp and outside noise level.

Panoramic view from the guest room.

Winter Wonderland

Whoo!  It has been awhile since I've written a blog post here.  We've been busy here at BCH with various projects.  The main reason that I haven't blogged though is because something exciting is in development.  More specifically, something is developing inside me.  Yes, folks, I am pregnant.  We are expecting our newest member to Blue Century Home in early October.  Since becoming pregnant, my active participation in remodeling has taken a nosedive.  Poor Jim has had to pick up all the slack.  The first trimester was quite rough on me between the morning sickness and total exhaustion.  If you'd like to know more, you can read all about it on our new blog, Bloggle Baby.  You can find a link to it in my profile.  I must warn you that there might be a little TMI for some people.  ^_^*

I have quite a bit to catch you up on so I'll probably just gloss over most things.  I would first like to show you some winter day pictures that Jim has taken.  This winter seems to be holding on with its icy grip.  I am so looking forward to warmer weather.

Snow Shark
Who knew that our side yard was so dangerous! 

Our home after a snowfall

Winter Path
 This is our neighbor's driveway on our easement.

Our backyard

Our back deck

Hope you enjoyed our pretty winter scenes.  :)