Building a Modern Day Craftsman

Web Log of the construction of the Cullman Cottage


This is my web log of the construction of a modern day Craftsman Home

The Cullman Cottage


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The Web Logs
Days 1 through 68 * Days 69 through 162 * Days 170 through 280
Days 283 through Day 307 * Days 319 through 350 * Days 351 through 403
Day 346 * Days 420 through Day 448 * Days 546 though Day 662
* Days 663 though Present


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7/26/04†††††††††††† Day 283SHAFTED AGAIN!

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Two things I knew going into building a house but have I have had to learn once again.


1.      NEVER EVER expect anyone to show up on time or when they promise.It simply doesnít happen

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††

2. Second never pay them till the job is done!You donít have any leverage to make them come back. (See above comments)


††††††††††††††††††††††††† We went to the cabinetmakers shop to check up on the cabinets to see what is going on. To our surprise the shop is empty. I mean cleaned out. Nothing there!He was supposed to start on our cabinets this week too! Now we are looking for new cabinetmaker and my lawyer is looking for my old cabinetmaker.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I am still trying to get the Heating and Air people to show up and finish up the job they started. They were only two weeks late coming to install the thermostat and firing up the unit for the first time.They brought the grills for the return air and ceiling vents but didnít install them. Then I found out the drain line is not properly installed and the unit is leaking into the emergency drain pain instead of the drain line as it is supposed to.Still waiting on them to come and fix that one. See #2 above.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† It is appalling at lack of service and commitment that I see in the construction field. If I ran my business this way I would have been out of work years ago.


8/2/04†††††††††††††† Day 290Movin' onÖ

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Slow but steady progress. The spiral stairs came in and I have them installed. Started on Friday and finished up on Saturday. I have wanted to see these in for months now. Itís so nice not to have to climb the ladder or walk around the house!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† We are installing the cement board underlayment for the ceramic tile in the kitchen, baths and laundry room. Actually we are have them installed and just have to fill the joints with mortar and tape them. That is a one job I am really glad to see done! Itís not hard but just no fun.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† My wife has found someone to trim the interior of the house that she really likes. He is available to start Monday, one week from today. However I still have a bunch of work I need to do before he can come. Not sure I can get it all done this week. I need to install the wood wainscoting in both baths and make the wall paneling for the dining room and install it. Makes me tired thinking about it.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† A few new photos


8/7/04†††††††††††††† DAY 295A good week!

††††††††††††††††††††††††† I have spent all but one day working on the house. I have the wood wainscoting installed in the guest bath. I also got the bead-board wainscoting installed in the Master Bath. Plus the last of the cement board is in place in the Master Bath shower.I had to remove the drywall they installed and replace it with cement board for the ceramic tile. I didnít think of that originally so they installed drywall.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Yesterday I bought 11 sheets of birch plywood to panel the walls in the Dining room. I have to cut them to size, stain them and then apply a finish coat to them. I am thinking about spraying the polyurethane on. I have never done that but I think it would be much quicker and should make a better finish.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Today I think we are going to start laying the kitchen floor. If we can get it done in the next few days we can have the stove delivered and put in place.


8/8/04†††††††††††††† Day 296 Stupid, stupid, stupid!

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Thatís how I felt about 8:30 last night. We laid the tile in the kitchen. We had finished up and were double checking where the cabinets would rest..We laid the tile first so that the cabinets would rest on the top of the tile and look as if the tile ran under the cabinets.


As I was double checking everything it hit meÖ..I forgot to allow the two inches for the toe kick under the cabinets!!!That in effect made the cabinets 22Ē wide and not 24Ē My tile was an inch short! Stupid stupid, stupid!!


8/10/04†††††††††††† Day 298Columns started!

††††††††††††††††††††††††† I had planned on working on the wood panels for the dinning room today but ran into a snag. The stain that looked so good on the test panel didnít look anywhere near as good on the actual wood I bought. So I had have some more stain mixed and I didnít want to cut up the wood till I was sure I could get the colors I wanted.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Since there wasnít must else I could work on (thatís a first!) I decided to work on the tapered columns for the front of the house. First I built an extension/table for the planer. All my cypress I bought for the columns is rough-cut wood.Then I started to make the jigs for cutting the compound angles on the columns.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† The first one was easy. The second one was a bit more difficult however. Third attempt worked perfectly. I then sawed two panels as prototypes to see if it would fit together as I expected. It worked so I must have learned something in all those Geometry classes I took.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Prototype column photos


8/14/04†††††††††††† Day 302Third times a charm?

††††††††††††††††††††††††† The stain for the dinning room walls has been a challenge to my patience but it looks like it was worth the wait. We had a sample color we really liked.We had it mixed to match a sample our previous cabinetmaker had made. We tried it on a piece of plywood we were thinking of using on the walls. The color looked great but the wood looked awful against the maple we are building the cabinets from.


I tried some birch plywood and the wood matched well but color was awful.My friend at the building supply mixed it for the birch and it looked great. So I buy quart cans of the different colors of stains and get home and start to mix them. As I am poring the last can of stain in the bucket I notice (to late of course) thatís itís a different color than the previous one.I went ahead and tried it and it looks awful! I go back to the building supply and all the cherry stain they have is the wrong color. Apparently it all been labeled wrong at the factory. Bad news is it going to take a couple of days to get replacements.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† I got the replacement stains yesterday and this batch looks great! I stained all the wall panels and I am very happy with the color. Tomorrow I am going try a second coat on a sample piece and see how it looks. Once it is dry I am going to coat the sample with half in Amber Shellac and half in clear shellac and see what looks the best.


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Since we getting close to the end I am getting to work on some details. Today I built the two traditional Craftsman shelves for the front doors. I think I posted many months ago that the company I bought the doors from wanted around $150 each for these. I spent $20 on tools that I will use over and over and made them from some scrap lumber that was laying around and a couple of hours of my time.Quite a bargain I think!


††††††††††††††††††††††††† Todayís Photos


8/16/04†††††††††††† Day 304Oh dear!No deer, the four legged kind.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† For the second time tonight I found deer in my pasture. I have seen them a few times off an on since we bought the land. Twice this spring I have seen one chase my dog across the yard. Turned out she was protecting her fawn.


One night last week as I was leaving I decided to shine the truck lights across the pasture and saw 5 does. Tonight there were at least three in the pasture. Maybe more?I am beginning to think that they graze in my pasture every night and go to the pond/mud hole for water.


8/19/04†††††††††††† Day 307

††††††††††††††††††††††††† I stopped for lunch and thought I would update the progress. Yesterday I mounted the mantels on the front door and painted them.


I just finished spraying four coats of shellac on the panels for the Dining room walls. The first couple of panels had a run in them while I learned how to set up the gun. The runs were easy to brush out and they turned out pretty well.It took four coats of the clear shellac to get them to looking like I wanted.


After I eat I am going to start back on the columns for the front porch.