2009 News Archives

This page contains the news updates from 2009, in order to keep the Welcome page from getting too big as I continue to add updates to the renovation project and web site on that page.

click to enlarge
Early Summer 2009 and the garden was looking fine.

2009 Projects
The House: 2009 was quite productive, with major sections of the kitchen and bath remodel nearing completion, as well finishing the exterior paint and trim work.
The Site: With only a few pages left to work on, the KesterHouse site got a few enhancements and a lot more content updates throughout 2009.

2008 News Archives.
2010 News Archives.
2011 News Archives.
2012 News Archives.
2013 News Archives.
2014 News Archives.
2015 News Archives.
2016 News Archives.


Old News Updates

2009.12.27
The House: Spent a little over a week working on the kitchen floor, and now we're ready to install base cabinets. I needed a few more items from Ikea to have everything I'd need on hand for the cabinet work, so I made another trip down there the Tuesday before Christmas. With cabinets and supplies stacked in the corners and the floor finished, we enjoyed a nice quiet holiday weekend at home and played with the new snow thrower a bit. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

The Site: After a short break for the holiday, I've updated the Kitchen section with the latest progress on the kitchen floor installation.

click to enlarge The first snow (3 photos).

2009.12.09
The House: It stopped raining for a day or two, then the wind came, then the snow came. Looks like leaves will wait until Spring... again. I did manage to get all the kitchen floor tile cut outside (the wet saw is definately not for indoor use), then laid it out inside and sealed it all. Installing it now, and it's coming out great.
The Site: My web host finally did their cluster server upgrade, so I couldn't make any updates for the last week while that was going on. All better now, and hopefully you all can enjoy the new server performance. I've almost got the entire web site updated to the point where I'm writing about the stuff I'm actually working on - what a concept! Not there yet (Specifications and Energy Efficiency are still filler), but one step closer with a massive update to the HVAC page of the Mechanical section.

2009.11.30
The House: Mmm, Thanksgiving leftovers. Made a little bit of progress on leaf clean-up over the weekend. Back to work in the kitchen today though (since it's raining and all the leaves are brown mush again).
The Site: Got the kitchen page updated with photos and text for the kitchen ceiling & wall cabinets work. Enjoy.

2009.11.27
The House: I managed to finish paintwork on the kitchen ceiling, hang a couple new wall cabinets, and get the microwave in place the day before Thanksgiving. I even hooked up the bathroom sink so guests didn't have to wash up in the kitchen.
The Site: Kitchen updates are still in the works, as I try and get other sections done before I forget what I did earlier this Summer and Fall. The Siding & Trim section is now up-to-date with the addition of information and photos of the Paint & Trim application.

2009.11.23
The House: As planned, paint is done in the kitchen and the Vanagon is stuffed to the windows with our new Ikea kitchen. Pretty much spent the whole day getting to Ikea®, picking up all the stuff, and getting back. Ah, Boston traffic.
The Site: Kitchen updates are in the works, but in the mean time I got some information into the Plumbing section, since we're getting close to being finished with all the plumbing upgrades at long last.

2009.11.20
The House: Still need to do gable trims outside, but it hadn't rained in a while so I went under the house around Halloween and took care of lots of little tasks under there that I've been blowing off for a long time. I got the last outside water line mounted to the foundation wall (just in time to drain it), then ran a big, stiff 50' piece of 10/3 from the fuse panel over to the Northwest corner of the house for a future A/C unit. I then took down the Reflectex insulation under the bathroom and re-attached all those radiant heat lines to the floor that had been hanging around loose since the bathroom floor replacement last Fall. With the last bit of wiring in place and all the heat pipe re-installed, I then finally finished all the insulation installation and foam sealing under the house. My reward was a nice cold for 5 days.
For the last few days I've been fiddling around inside the kitchen again, since we're fast approaching another Thanksgiving holiday and I'm trying to make some progress to try and make it a little easier to function in there. I finished all the plaster work today with the application of the textured ceiling. Hopefully I can get it painted this weekend, and perhaps make a trip to Ikea® next week to grab a couple wall cabinets to hang before Turkey Day.
The Site: It's a little strange taking pictures of stuff to go with projects I worked on four and five months ago, but it should all make sense. With that in mind, I've been updating the Bathroom page with a couple new photos in the section on Waterproofing the Shower Walls, as well as a few new sections covering additional bathroom work that took place this Summer, starting with the making and installing of the Tongue & Groove Panelling. I also added a a new section with a little info about our boats to the the Et cetera page.

2009.10.28
The House: Yes, I've been working on the house and making progress all summer. Today I finished the exterior trim on the house (mostly - still need to do the gable ends), and I'm finally getting back inside early enough to update the website again.
The Site: Okay, so it's been 5 months since I updated the site! I've been re-reading much of the site over the last couple days to see where I left the status on many of the projects that were unfinished at the beginning of the Summer, and now I can get busy finding the photos and updating the various sections with the most recent progress.
The site host is getting ready to perform a system upgrade, so I'm not allowed to make any changes to the site for the next few days. I just wanted to get something up here to mark the 1 year anniversary of the Kesterhouse web site! (Yeah, I know... 1 year and I still haven't updated all the sections).

2009.06.04
The Site: So I finally got Internet Explorer 8 working on my system at home, and noticed its wonderful "enhanced browsing" features apparantly don't know how to play nice with JQuery. With IE8, all of the pop-up images (viewable with the Shadowbox image viewer) were not popping up. I managed to fix it with a few changes to the style sheets so it should be working properly for anyone using IE8 now. If you still have issues with the site (I noticed some of the other JQuery based animations aren't as smooth as they were in IE7), I suggest you view the site in "compatibility mode" by clicking the appropriate button compatibility toggle button in the IE8 toolbar to add the site to the compatibility list (or just use another browser for web surfing - I prefer Apple's Safari link opens a new window ). I'll never understand why the programmers at Microsoft do the things they do, and I'm not going to re-code a site that's already compliant with strict XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2.1 just because Microsoft still can't produce a standards compliant browser.

2009.05.28
The House: It's finally raining, so it's back into the woodshop. I'll finish this millwork someday, really.
The Site: Added a few more photos to the Plant Lists in the Garden Design section. Updated the bonsai status section with a minor re-write and photos of individual plants as well as some specimens that are waiting to get transplanted. Added thumbnails of the old "Welcome" page photos to the old news section too (viewable when you open the news archive with the "Read more" link below).

2009.05.21
The House: Outside I've been plucking weeds from the moss and karesansui, and doing a bit of pruning on the shrubs. Inside the bathroom plaster has finally been primed and painted. Still haven't finished milling the bathroom paneling boards... that's a rainy day project and it hasn't been rainin'.
The Site: With lots of time spent in the garden lately, I decided to snap some photos of all the plants (or at least the ones I can find) and add them to the site. I've updated the existing Plant Lists in the Garden Design section to include a pop-up image for each plant in the tables there. To view a plant's image, hover over the "¤" symbol at each plant in the table. Some plants don't have pictures yet, since I'm waiting until they're in bloom or looking a little better later in the growing season to get the remainder of them posted.

2009.05.12
The House: Finished Pine pruning and all the Spring leaf clean-up at last. Bathroom plaster is almost ready for paint.
The Site: Did a little re-arranging of some information in the Garden intro section (minor stuff - just put some pond info that was there into the Pond section). Added photos and content regarding Pine pruning and candle pinching to the Garden section.

2009.05.08
The House: Had a couple nice days recently so I've been pruning and patiently candle pinching the big Pines on the East side of the lot (details and photos on the way). I unearthed the Bonsai from their Wintery home and the results are not good. Still slathering a new layer of plaster on the bathroom ceiling each morning too.
The Site: Updated most of the internal links to now go directly to the pertinent information within a section, rather than just load the referenced page at the top. The hand plane photo gallery on the Vintage Tools page was getting rather large (37 planes in 33 photos and growing - sheesh), so I split the photos into 3 categories to make clicking through them less tedious.

2009.05.05
The House: Been busy with lots of little projects inside and out - lots of leaf clean-up on the nice days, then working on millwork for the bathroom paneling and handplanes on the rainy days.
The Site: Uploaded the introductory page for the Mechanical section, which mostly describes the state of things when we bought the house. The Wiring page has also been uploaded.

2009.04.27
The House: Skipped the yard work, and ended up tidying the house on Saturday, then entertaining guests on Sunday. At least we finally got the entryway cleared of building materials, so I snapped some pics of the space.
The Site: Now that I have pics of the entryway, I updated the Genkan section. I also added a couple pics showing the current state of the living room and bedroom, although I suspect there won't be much work done on those areas until the Fall. Now that the old "Lorem Ipsor" filler is gone from the Living Room and Bedroom sections, all pages for the Interior section have some content.

2009.04.23
The House: Still working on the bathroom. Probably doing yard work this weekend, as the weather is supposed to be very warm (and the new pond pump showed up).
The Site: Updated the Bathroom page in the interior section (it's pretty long already, and the bathroom's far from finished - sorry). I couldn't resist adding more hand plane info to the Hand Tools page, including photos of all the planes I currently have (in their "before" condition, which is pretty rough).

2009.04.19
The House: Did a little tinkering in the yard this weekend, and helped the neighbors get the docks in. Waiting for a warranty replacement pond pump to show up (the old one failed 10 days before the warranty expired) so we can get the filters up and running for the pond.
The Site: Updated the Kitchen page in the interior section.

2009.04.15
The House: Been making decent progress on the bathroom & kitchen walls (and taking plenty of photos). Pulled out the old handplanes and started getting those in working order to, since I'll be needing some of them for upcoming trim work.
The Site: Updated the main page for the Interior section, and added some hand plane info to a new Et cetera page (which will remain off the main nav menu since it's not really about the house). Other interior section pages are underway.

2009.03.30
The House: Paneling boards for the bathroom are all rough sanded and planed, still need to run them all through the router table to mill new T & G joints in them. Got a couple new (used), difficult-to-find Japanese cabinetry books. Picked up a lot of the Schulter Systems® tile supplies for kitchen and bath floors.
The Site: Added some photos of the bonsai tools to the bonsai section, since I was cleaning up the shed a bit today and pulled out the tools to have a looksee.

2009.03.12
The Site: The Siding section has been posted, and I found few more photos for the foundation section. With that, the entire Exterior section is completed for now (I'll update it again when work resumes outside). I also took the time to add photo credits to the footers of any pages that include photos not taken by myself or the lovely bride. I've found these additional photos of Japanese architecture and gardens extremely useful in helping to illustrate how we arrived at many of the design decisions for our project, and sincerely appreciate the willingness of the photographers involved to allow their free use under the Creative Commons license.

2009.03.11
The Site: The Windows & Doors section has been posted.

2009.03.09
The House: Still doing prep work with wood paneling boards for bathroom. Got a couple new books I'm looking over before going too much further with kitchen and bath finish work
The Site: The Roof section has been posted.

2009.03.03
The House: Insulation and drywall in bathroom completed, working on milling wood paneling boards for bathroom.
The Site: Exterior and Foundation sections are posted.

2009.02.20
The House: Kitchen drywall applied, working on insulation and drywall in bathroom. Met with a structural engineer to discuss the relocation of a bearing wall and received his notes on my plans... ready to go when the time comes.
The Site: Just uploaded the new Teahouse page, which means the Garden section is finally complete!

2009.02.05
The House: 4" recessed kitchen task lighting installed, kitchen ceiling insulated and air-sealed. Ready to start drywall.
The Site: Still working in the Garden section, got the Garden Shed section completed.

2009.02.04
The House: Outer kitchen wall is insulated and air-sealed. Should have 4" recessed lights today so I can finish the wiring and insulate the ceiling. Got another foot of snow yesterday and last night.
The Site: Did some work on the Bonsai section. It will need more photos, although that won't happen until warm weather arrives.

2009.02.03
The House: Lots has been going on... rough plumbing inspection done. Interior remodel permit obtained, and kitchen and bath framing and rough wiring inspections done. Working on insulation and drywall now. Oh... Happy New Year! (a month late)
The Site: Local web server just had a loose cable from the last time I tinkered in there, so disk was fine (thank goodness). Did a network upgrade to lots of new Netgear components running at 1 gigabit eithernet, and went to 5gHz wireless running at 300 megabit now. Speedy. Got the Pond section finished as well.