Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week 31

Again this week the progress was most visible on the outside. The masons put the finishing touches on the sidewalks and walls, then set the paver blocks for the parking area off the street. There will be a concrete strip that contains these pavers - there mostly to define the pavers and signal that this zone is not part of the public street.

Seldom will a car be parked there and I anticipate the wall will be used mostly by bikers who occasionally take a break at the top of the hill to make adjustments or catch their breath.

Some time after we move in, the stone circles from the driveway will be removed and a layer of asphalt will be added . Todd suggested we do this replacement after the move so the move itself won't damage the surface. That makes sense.

The most asked question about the property renovation has been about the three stone circles in the driveway - and if they are to remain. I usually joke and say how much we have come to love them - but quickly say that they "unfortunately" will be removed.

Landscape workers spread topsoil and mulch today as they finished final grading and seeding. The only question today was whether to put mulch along the wall as I indicated in a drawing. The landscaper suggested not doing so at this time - leaving it grass.

For now, that's the way we'll leave it. With the summer nearly upon us, it's unlikely that the grass planted today will survive through a typical Richmond summer - unless we water it generously. Plants have a much higher survival rate if planted in the fall; when they have all winter for root growth. I may re-transplant selected plants back into the front yard over the summer but most landscaping will start in September. Knowing that I love to piddle with plants, there will be no end.

Before the renovation project began, I moved many front yard plants into a "nursury" in the back and a few other at the edge of the front yard. Now that the outside construction traffic is over, some will move back.

While Carrie and I were checking out the house tonight, a young couple and their two kids stopped by to inquire about the bluestone walks. They are planning a patio and were curious to learn the name of the stone. Unfortunately with so many selections made over the months, I can no longer remember anything specific. For future reference, we'll make a list of material choices and contractors who installed them in case we ever want to make changes or need maintenance.

The kitchen received its final touch last week as the glass countertop was put in place. It cantilevers into the dining room about 10" and is anchored through the granite with stainless posts. This is a small detail overall but it really adds some sparkle to the space and keeps the kitchen connected to the dining room.
Today, part of the handrail to the basement was put in place. Todd and I had a couple conversations about how it was to connect at the top. For now, we have a plan but if it doesn't look right or is rejected by the building official, we'll try something different.
As one of my Hanover friends likes to say: maintain "rigid flexibility".

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