17 January 2010

Busy, Busy

Lots of windows (almost all of them are in), and lots of siding:

We spent a lot of time at the house today. On Friday I got an estimate to prune our neighbor's 50-year-old tree -- several large, high branches are directly above two of our bedrooms. It was more than five times as much as I wanted to spend, so I implemented Plan B and took to the branches myself, cutting everything I could reach with a ladder and a 12-foot pruner I borrowed from our neighbor. I'm perhaps halfway through what I can safely reach, and then I'll get another bid on the rest.

We also revisited the exterior paint color. We're set on Divine White (a shade creamier than Panda White) for the trim, but there was still time to change our minds about the siding color. We painted each of the green sample colors on a few boards of installed siding to get a feel for them "in the wild." Here they are:

Coastal Plain -- too bright, too blue

Privilege Green -- darker version of Coastal Plain, darker but still too bright, and a frighteningly elitist name

Clary Sage -- too light?

Sageroom -- custom color that's a combination of Clary Sage and Chatroom, which is a much greyer green. We were settled on this one until I thought about the fact that it's almost an exact match to a volume builder's model home. That's when I realized that this color is just too safe.

So I went back to all of our previous colors and decided to try a darker version of Clary Sage. The first sample I had gotten was 150% (50% more pigment than regular Clary Sage), so I though I'd try it at 175%. It's subtle, but if you look carefully, you can see that the right half is a little darker. That's the 175.

We painted a bigger area at the back of the house, and we still like it, so it's a go. This picture also shows the little awning roof over the back bedroom window. Since the window faces south, the awning will help block the sun and keep the room cool in the summer.

We also did some wiring. The electrical work started this week when the porch fans and recessed lights were roughed in so that the tongue-and-groove ceilings could be installed (these attic areas will be completely blocked off from the sealed attic, so we won't have access to them any other way once the ceiling is in). We were planning to put in speakers on the back porch, and today was our last chance to put in the wiring and boxes. As you can see, it got dark before we finished, but we had come prepared with plug-in lights. (It took me right back to ten years ago, when we spent about a week of evenings wiring our condo for speakers and internet.)

The speaker boxes are the ones all the way on the left, in line with the ceiling fan boxes. The boxes will come out when we put the speakers in; they're only there to ensure that holes will be cut in the ceiling so we can find the wires.

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