The mild winter was a Godsend. On a particularly warm March day all heat
registers were removed and work on installation of the geothermal system was
begun. It was a difficult job, as there is only a crawl space under most of
the first floor, and the installers did an amazing job. We have heat and air! Thirty-three new windows have been installed and as of last week we can use the bathrooms! Every worker -- carpenter, plumber, electrician, geothermal, window installer, stone mason, etc., etc. -- has taken such pride in working on this house. They show up every day with a smile on their face wandering through the rooms happy to be a part of bringing it back to its original glory. Several have brought
along their wives to show them the project. The plumber found me in a back room
last week while I was painting woodwork, and he said, "You are the luckiest
painter being able to work on this house!"
The original steps on the west side of the house leading to what is now the bride's dressing room were an extreme hazard and unsightly. The warm March weather allowed our stonemason (Super Dave) to begin work on the steps much earlier than expected. I was thrilled to have found "Deconstruction Depot," a part of St. Vincent De Paul, which demolishes homes in the Dayton area and those building supplies are sold at Deconstruction Depot at extremely reasonable prices. I needed antique brick pavers cheap -- not an easy thing to find. I was beginning to worry until I learned of Deconstruction Depot. They were able to deliver 1,500 brick pavers within several weeks. I also found antique beadboard for the outdoor porch ceilings at unbelievable prices. We now need another 1,500 bricks, and they've assured me as soon as they obtain the permit to tear down another house I will have all the bricks I need.
The new steps are finished and blue Endless Summer hydrangeas have been planted on the full length of the west side of the house. A pergola is yet to be constructed on the steps.
After finishing the steps, our stone mason moved to the front of the house and removed all the original hand chiseled stone slabs which were used as a sidewalk on the front and side of the house. Most slabs were broken and crumbling, so it was decided they needed to be replaced with antique brick pavers. One huge 6-foot slab was in perfect condition. It was four inches thick, and Super Dave moved it by hand using a board as a lever. He placed it running up to the front door. It looks amazing, just as if it had always been there.
Super Dave also reset and mortared in the hand chiseled stone retaining wall which had fallen. The next day we were able to plant a few of the over 150 boxwoods, Endless Summer hydrangeas and Knock Out roses, etc., that were delivered last week.
This is just a part of the delivery we received last Friday. We planted about 35 shrubs/bushes so far. Planting goes very slowly, as in digging each hole we encounter rocks and roots.
This is Phase III of our stone mason's work which was begun last Friday. With the brick pavers laid at the front and side of the house, this entry to the kitchen door really looks shabby. All the brick has already been taken out and cleaned off ready to be relaid. I'm hoping by next week this project will be finished. Yesterday we hung a window box at the butler's pantry window, and we have an antique cast iron urn ready to be planted and set in the middle of the flower bed. Then it's on to Phase IV.