Our master bathroom concrete vanity is finally in place and plumbed.  But first there was a bit of grinding to do.  We used diamond grinding pads ranging from 30 grit to 1500 grit.  There are quite a few imperfections in the surface and we were not able to achieve a “glass smooth” finish.  But we actually like the chiseled granite look and feel.
It’s great to finally have a working sink. And a rather handsome one at that.

Now on to the next project…. The entry hall closet and laundry.When you enter our home, there will be a coat closet on the right, followed by the laundry area, and then our water heater. (which will be hiden behind a wood paneled door) The partition walls are now plastered and ready for paint.  We still have to build a platform for washer & dryer.

Not Vain about a Vanity

It seems that it’s always a 12 step process to accomplish anything when you are building a house.  And that is no less true in making our concrete vanity for our masterbath.  First there was creating a level workspace. Then there was creating the form. (2 actually)We used 2″ foamboard stuck down with two-sided tape. This is for the small counter that will top the back of our dresser that comes through the wall between our walk-in closet and the bathroom.
Our wheelbarrow is too tall to fit “under” the mortar mixer for dumping so I built this custom cart on wheels.  So finally we could mix the white cement with Quartz aggregate, some regular sand, coloring and other secret ingredients to make our colored concrete.

Time to fill the moldsYou want to try and get out any bubbles so I made a “concrete vibrator” using a pnumatic needle scaler and a tin can. (black beans work best)







Now we wait for a few days. But we really wanted to see what this was going to look like after grinding.  So we tried it on a test piece.  We think the color and look of the aggregate is supper cool.

And now for the big reveal.  We will start on the surface treatment in a couple of days.

This and That

As you may know, I am still recovering from a shoulder injury ( picking up one too many 90 Lb. Bags of mortar). I am happy to report that my shoulder is much better.  I still have a ways to go before I’m 100% but I’m gettingbetter and stronger.  We have been able to make a little progress on smaller projects.

In the entrance hall, there will be a coat closet and laundry on the West side.  So we put up the framing between those two spaces. Once again having fun building to a curve. We have gotten really good at scribing plasterboard to the curved walls.  It’s amazing how sometimes closing in a space makes it feel larger.

Since we had a supply of plasterboard ( looks just like Sheetrock), we decided to finally close in the bare studs above the guest bathroom. It will probably be some time before we can plaster these walls but it’s really nice to get them closed in.

And now for something completely different. We received this beautiful Japanese Maple as a wedding present. Jeff has been very anxious to start on some of the exterior landscaping but there is still much work to be done outside the structure (North side entrance and retaining wall). However we are done working in the area on the West side off the Master Bedroom.  The perfect spot for this beautiful specimen.

Little Shop Of ……….

When we cut in half the metal shed that stoerd the milled lumber from out trees,(now that it’s all used up), one section went to storing firewood and the other half went to storing Dozy.  But now Dozy (our little bulldozer), has to share the space with a small but usable shop space.

We added a partial wall and a door and window  (all salvaged) to keep the elements at bay.I’m trying to figure out a way to make a door large enought for Dozy to get through so for now, a tarp will do.  The LED lights you see in the first picture are powered by a battery charged by the solar panel on the roof.  For now, Dozy has to stay outside as we have set up a workspace to build the concrete bathroom vanity counter. More on that later.

Catch Up

Well we made it through a wedding, holiday festivities and the new year. So here is a recap of some of the things we have done in the past two months. We put in pine T&G boards in the Master Bathroom (matching what’s in the M. Bedroom)  Which is a wonderful background for my fathers watercolor painting. And further reflected in our beautiful round mirror…Jeff and I recieved some (not your normal) wedding presents. Three of which you can see in this picture.A door for our pantry (I am staining to match our other doors), a new fridge and a dresser.Here Jeff is putting a clear coat on the dresser.

And now the new pantry door is installed.Our latest project is the Master Bath vanity.  We have put together the base. (got to love IKEA!)I am excited about attempting to make a concrete countertop. This will be and interesting project. And an opportunity to learn something new.



Big Day on the Hill

Jeff and I have been partnered for nearly 24 years.  It is a true test of a relationship spending nearly 6 years in a leaky trailer while building our dream home in the hill. Not to mention all the monumental challenges of taking on such a project.  Though our house is not yet finished (is any house building project ever finished?), we were able to fulfill another dream.. And that was to be able to be married (legally as a same sex couple), in our own amazing house.  Circumstances were a bit last minute but with my mother and two brothers and my son visiting for Thanksgiving we decided to tie the proverbial knot.

Wednesday, November 26 with a few dear friends and family in attendance, the rainy skies cleared and gave us a glorious day for the event.We are sorry that more friends and family couldn’t attend but we will make up for that when we host a huge “Anniversary” party in April of 2016 which will mark Jeff and I being together for 25 years.  Everyone’s invited!

More Tile Tales

With the tile on the floor done, we worked our way up the wall (behind vanity & toilet)Because of the height of our wall and the dimensions of the tiles, we were left with about a 7 1/2″ strip near the top. Rather than “rip” a bunch of tile, we decided to add an accent strip of small basalt rocks.  These are the same mosaic stone tiles that we will be using in the walk-in shower so it ties it all together nicely.  We found gouting these stones and the vertical tiles to be a bit of a challenge…And rather messy…But I think you will agree, the results are rather spectacular.

The Toilet is back installed (just in time for more guests).  We are going to be making our own concrete vanity countertop but not until my bum shoulder heals.  So it’s a functional laundry sink for now.  Any professional tile setters out there? Building a custom shower pan for our walk-in shower is just a bit beyond my comfort zone.

A Tile of One Bathroom

One of the great features of our master bathroom is under floor heating.  We are using the Schluter Dietra Heat system.  This consists of an uncoupling membrane (The orange dimpled mat).  The dimples hold in the electric heating wires while protecting them from damage.

And then comes the tile.

Opps, I guess I got myself stuck into a corner.:-)These beautiful large format tiles will continue up the wall behind the toilet and vanity.  There will also be a line of small river rock going across the wall.

Stay Tuned!

Stucco Ghost

Looks like we are getting a few days of nice weather so finally the stucco guys can finish up. With all the windows and doors protected the spraying fun began.  It is quite a transformation.

We are very pleased with the color and so glad that it is finally done.  It was beginning to look like our house might have to be surrounded by scaffolding until next summer.  This break in the weather is just what we needed. I think you will agree, the result is pretty spectacular.

Cooks Corner

We have this interesting niche space between the pantry and the water heater housing, lots of neat curves, shapes and shadows.  With the built-in bookshelf there is space for our cookbooks.  Then with the $20 Habitat ReStore 3 drawer cabinet installed, we now have a place to keep paperwork and charge phones (notice the integrated charger and outlet), and of course the requisite junk drawer.  We also installed this cool LED wall sconce to light up the space.