Saturday, October 18, 2014

In which we have extra flooring....

Greg and I researched what would be the right flooring for the lower level that would work for most any business we wanted to put in, office, etc.  In the beginning of July, we found a nice laminate flooring that would work well for wasn't hardwood, so it would work in a daylight lower level space, it wasn't carpet, which might get musty on a concrete floor over time, and it wasn't an expensive tile, which would've broken the bank at the time. We went ahead and bought 1500 square feet....80 boxes of the stuff.  The flooring manager was skeptical that we had let the cement cure enough to put a floor over it.  "Ideally, you want at least six months before putting a floor down over a new concrete slab."  The moisture content of the concrete was supposed to register in the somewhere around 4-6% and we had four months since the pour and a moisture reading of 18%. We would chance it.

Well, here it is, October 18th and this is what the laminate flooring looks like today:
Yep, we never got the chance to put it down because of the mess up with the sprinkler company and their using the lower level as a workspace and then us getting busy with other things. 
So here we are, seven months after pouring the slab, dunno what the moisture content is, but probably closer to what we would need to put this flooring down.  
Our new potential tenants for the lower level want to leave the concrete floor as is and just seal it with a clear coat....the same treatment we thought about doing from the start, but cast aside because we thought a gallery or an office space would want something "wood like" and slick.  

We love that the potential new tenants are embracing the "industrial chic" look that Greg and I bandied about when we were building the space.

But, that leaves us with 1500 square feet of flooring.  We thought about moving it upstairs to use in bedrooms and such, but we really have other plans in our minds for those spaces.  We thought of taking it back, but thought we would offer it locally first.  The flooring is beautiful and durable and looks like mahogany planking. 

It has a foam backing and is a snap and click floating floor, so even I can install it! 

It even comes with the rolls of plastic underlayment needed for installation, and you can see that the boxes still have their plastic wrap on, never been opened.

So, if you have a need for a lot of good quality laminate flooring and you are near Belfast, hit us up!

Am leaving for a week on a road trip with my mom.  Updates on what is happening at the Ocean House will resume upon my return.  Suffice it to say that if the potential tenants decide that the space is right for will all LOVE us!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

In which we have a new parking lot

Three days of digging, filling, grading, stoning, and then mulching has gotten us a much improved back lot. The next rain will wash the peastone and we will have a lovely, simple back lot without hot top, something that neither Greg nor I wanted to do.  There is enough asphalt in the world!  We missed the planting season, so the whole lot still looks a bit barren, but we plan to move a lot of the hydrangea we have here at our house (we have three enormous patches of it!) to the berm that Dan made at the back of the lot, this will do a lot to screen the graffiti-laden tractor trailers that reside on the next lot over from our customers and tenants.  

Remember when? 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In which we start on the back lot

Dan Waldron and his merry band of men started working on the back lot to make it more parking friendly.  We finally got rid of the last dumpster and the port-o-potty, which will probably upset "the regulars."  Anyway, there was still the matter of what to do with the giant granite boulders that were dug up from in front of the building.  You can see below how large they actually are.  Somehow, someway, we are going to make them into natural benches for next summer's food truck onslaught in the back forty.  

Our plan is to have food trucks in the far corner of the lot away from the building,.  The trees make a lovely shady spot to have lunch.  The grassy hill across from it will accommodate the sun worshipers.

The parking area for the building.  Note the conduit that Dan placed yesterday. We are putting in lamp posts to light the back at night.

With just digging a trench for the conduit, Dan dug up some old intact bottles, including an old amber bottle of "Dazzle" a late 1940s detergent.

Dan also took home about 800 lbs of old car parts. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

In which it is a rainy Sunday in October at The Ocean House

Fall has been spectacular in Maine this year.  This is perhaps the first time in three weeks that we have had a rainy night and early morning like we just did.  The leaves are gorgeous and just at their most wonderful.  Fall is my favorite season and since Greg and I missed summer altogether, I decided to slow down and enjoy the nice weather and calm streets before winter projects set in.

Lots of boats have been hauled.  We still hold out hope for some lovely days like today to go boating.

Our thoughts are turning soon to the apartment, which is the next phase after we finish the lower level.  I have to paint the walls and the pipes here before doing anything else, besides get a bathroom or two in place! 

Oh, and a kitchen built too!

The sprinkler pipes in the apartment have left the whole thing kind of quirky.

We have had a few interested parties in the lower level space.  I am loathe to show it because it really isn't finished and I think people might not see the potential it has.  I've spent part of every day putting on four coats of white linen paint on the darn sprinkler pipes and about the same time filling the holes left by the sprinkler company.  I think the pipes finally fit in.  

The lovely hole in the my brand new walls left by an errant try at getting the pipe out of the building!

Lisa and Jasmine have been moving in for the last several weeks, and the place looks great.  There appears to be a constant stream of people going in the door!

I love the weathervanes in the window...some of you may know of my penchant for weathervanes, and in fact, if you click here, you can hear the audio podcast of my noontime art talk on American weathervanes at the Colby Museum last year.

The ole' girl glows now with all the attention!

We have lawn! 

and some beautiful fall color. 

Stay tuned for photos and commentary on the back lot, which gets graded, gets parking spaced. and prettied up this week...fingers crossed. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

In which....stuff goes on.

I was verbally slapped by a commenter that I haven't posted any updates in 12 days.  Once Lisa and Jasmine moved in....oh, do you know about Jasmine yet?  Lisa will be sharing her space with Jasmine, who will be creating the most gorgeous fresh floral displays for sale out of the Ocean House.  Fresh flowers downtown...wooot!
Lisa is moving her things in and getting organized and feeling out the space.  Her merchandise and her props look amazing...someone saw us last night said that they had been in the space and bought a few things and thought the combination of Lisa and the Ocean House was a "game changer" for downtown Belfast in a great way.  I loved that.  Below are some early shots of the Brambles installation.

Not to be belabor the point, but note the gorgeous floors!

Anyway, after Brambles moved in, Greg and I tuned out.  We needed a break, both mentally and physically.  It is crunch time in Greg's studio, so he is up there working away on beautiful winter coats for clients, and I had to take a few weeks out to assess some auctions for potential purchases for clients.  Bought a beautiful pair of life-sized cast iron hounds in a London auction for clients in Chicago who have been looking for this pair of dogs for years.
 I then spent four days in New York buying a few more things for clients and attending a wonderful lecture on Irish Country Houses and their collections given by a friend and colleague. It was good to put on a suit and feel professional again, to show everyone that I am still alive and still in the game.  A lot of antiques dealers have imploded over the last six years, so the potential buying field at Christies was tellingly smaller than usual.  I picked up a gorgeous pair of 18th century New York side chairs with some of the best carving I have seen on NY chairs of the period, and a Boston easy chair with really lovely proportions.  I passed up bidding on a chair that ended up costing more than our house because of very hidden stress cracks to the legs, probably caused by kids jumping up and down on the seat over the years. or by some rather large soul plopping themselves down in it repeatedly.   

Back here now and slowly getting back to work on the building. We put down the floor for the bathroom in the lower level space so that we could get the bathroom installed down there and I have been painting sprinkler pipes to match the walls.  We are hoping to have the lower level space finished in October.  I haven't wanted to show the space to anyone yet because it is still in rough condition and I've found that potential renters don't have the vision to see the space finished the way we do.  The floor isn't down, the lights are not in, the back driveway isn't complete, the parking spaces are not evident in the back lot, etc.  
I am toying with renting the space to a group of artists for the Christmas season to introduce the space to Belfast and to let people see exactly what it could be.  That is of course, after we fix the damage to the walls and ceilings done by the sprinkler company.  What a friggin' mess.  That was the other "thing" about the building...the last contractors...a fire suppression company, left the lower level space dirty and damaged. There are holes in the walls everywhere. I was heartbroken to see the space after the sprinkler company left, and it took me awhile to kind of get back to it.  Needless to say, I am not happy.  
On a better note, the back lot will get a makeover starting next week when it is scraped and graded and stoned.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

In which we compare...Its before and after Friday!

Way, way before...around 1890s

Just before.....October 2012

After.....September 2014. Props to Alicia Nichols for the photo.
not bad, eh?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In which we work on the landscaping.

While I wait around for the sprinkler system to hold 200 lbs of pressure for the next few hours...(It was a bit harrowing this morning listening to the pipes slowly fill throughout the building while we searched for non-existent leaks)...I thought I would take this opportunity to show off some of the hardscaping that has been going on down at the ole-girl, courtesy of our favorite landscape geniuses: Dan Waldron and his merry band of rock toting lads and Larry Jones and his dazzling back-hoe and rock placement skills.  
We have new pea stone pathways and some ready to plan mulched gardens around the ADA ramp.

The large courtyard of hay will be a beautiful lawn next year where we can rent space to pop up tent artisans on the weekends.  I figure we have about five to seven spots right on Cross Street that face Main Street.

The door yard has perfect visibility coming down Pendleton from the Coop.

About 85% of the large stone that we used around the building came from onsite, this this granite step into the first floor.  This was the threshold for the basement space when it was a garage.

 This enormous flat piece of granite came from underneath the building.  It makes a great step 

Though these granite steps didn't come from the building the stones at the top were some of the ones that I pick-axed out from underneath the Ocean House

Larry used boulders, uncovered when the front of the building was dug out, to make this cool retaining wall.  The short wall in front crafted on the fly by Dan Waldron is made up entirely of granite mined from under the building and I think is beautious.  Dan's hardscaping skills are evident everywhere .

The beautiful bluestone block at the door was dug up somewhere under the building as well. 
Quite the difference from what it used to look like over here!  Dan and Larry had a good time finding uses for all of these stones.

 Some leftover concrete curbing from the MBNA days was scoured to used for grading steps at the back door.  No more puddles!

And of course I wanted us to have a gently sloping lawn so we could roll down it on sunny days.

All of this granite was found onsite and cut to make an awesome staircase between Cross Street and the parking lot.  Anyone know of a good iron smith who can make railings?