Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In which there is little time to post here, but I wanted to share some progress photos.

This is one of those "sorry for not posting in so long" posts.  We have been busy!  

The final foundation coat went on last Thursday.  I immediately thought "Oh shit, what did we do!" It is quite red.


Then a few days passed and I was cool.  This is five days in and I love it!


The North side will take a bit more time to cure.

We still have to back fill here by about 6-8", so really, one won't notice the foundation colors from the front of the building.  But, we decided that the lower level needed a bit of eye catching....and it works!  I really think the brick red was the way to go.   

Greg has been hard at work making the front of the building as adorable as possible.  His railings are gorgeous and so impressive.  The first floor railings are not finished yet, in case you were wondering.  I am trying to get all the old caulk off the boards on the first floor before we prime and repaint.  It is a bitch, but satisfying!


 a shot of the railings on the upper porch


The apartment has been primed...it looks like a real apartment now...well, almost


I love all the angles here, they came out well


I spent yesterday faux-ing the new support columns to make them blend in with the old wood


I have also been spending a lot of time in the lower level, painting and getting it ready for flooring.  We were going to stain the floor, but several problems arose.  One, the mudders never put down paper before doing their thing, so the plaster stained the floor.  I spent three days scraping and washing the floor to nice effect, but the stains are still there.  Two, we think a floor will really finish off the space better and make it more attractive and less basement-like. 


This photo shows the walls as yellow, yet they are linen white, but the ceiling is this gorgeous blue that we discovered several years ago.  Nice trim on the windows though.

The colors are better in this photo, but I wanted to show the window trim in the photo above. 

We played hooky yesterday afternoon and had a well-deserved rest on the boat while our favorite painter slapped some toxic fire retardant paint on the ceiling in the first floor space.  

Apparently we will be getting a roof starting tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In which we are official

Putting it out there officially:  We are looking for a renter for the lower level of the Ocean House.  Ideal retail location with off street parking, views of the Harbor, lots of light, heating and AC, 1350 square feet with private bathroom.  Ideal for gallery or retail location.  Space comes with a 250 square foot outdoor terrace space facing Federal Street. ADA accessible.  Building has recently been rehabbed with new windows, doors, insulation, sheetrock, floors, etc.   This is a chance to be in one of Belfast Maine's premiere buildings with lots of visibility.  The incredible Lisa duHamel and her shop Brambles will occupy the first floor.   The space is still in the raw stages, which would give potential renters the option of choosing finishes.






Monday, July 7, 2014

In which there is paint...lots and lots of paint

Thanks to our neighbor Karen for snapping this photo of Greg painting the front of the building yesterday.  I have been laid low with either food poisoning or a stomach bug, so I spent the day in bed and elsewhere in the house.  Greg got two coats of paint done on the upper, hard to reach, half of the building and a single coat on the rest.  In other painting news, we also painted more trim boards over the weekend so that the front of the building can get finished up with trim



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In which we are feeling the ceiling on the first floor

As I said in a previous post, Greg told me that he would work on the ceiling of the first floor and that he had a plan all worked out to make it look great.  We had a lot of replacements to make to the ceiling above where there were lots of holes and pipes from years past.  After spending several days scouring the wood and getting all the crust off, Greg got the ceilings looking fresh, but still old-y-timey. He decided to blend the old and new with stain.  It took a few tries, but he finally found a formula and technique that worked magic.  
The orange support beam that you see in the foreground is an LVL beam that helps hold up the building.  Greg vows to make it disappear.  



Keep in mind that the "Y" posts are all new, Greg simply applied his magical wood aging process and now they appear to be oxidized the same way the ceiling is.  After he finished, Greg looked at me and said, "see, it looks like our house now...and everyone loves our house!" Which is completely true.  


 Meanwhile I worked getting the old sun blocking film off the big picture windows and wanted to show these photos with all the new double paned glass in place.  A bit of elbow grease and some glass cleaner got the big windows cleaner than they have been in years!

The view straight to Main Street through the front windows

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In which I don't really have a topic, just photos

So much is going on right now and it is going on so fast that I haven't had a chance to do much more than work and take photos.  
The last couple of weeks was devoted to the Our Town Belfast benefit auction gala, which raised over $12,000 after expenses from all you generous folks.  We had a great time helping, and my dashing husband won best dressed of the evening for his black tie ensemble.  

We have both been fiendishly working on the building around the guys who are trying to finish up the exterior.  Below is a photo taken yesterday, mostly focusing on the dormers, which should be finished by the end of the week.  The stucco foundation is done and is curing before our favorite masons put on the final skim coat.  I have to say, the masons have been a pleasure, nicer guys one couldn't find.  I like that they take pride in their work. 

Speaking of the final skim coat, we had the masons do a couple of color patches for the final coat, I really wanted something that would replicate the pinky brick of the old foundation, but Greg liked the darker red color of a newer brick.  I couldn't wrap my head around this lighter color shown below, even though it matched the pink brick pretty well.  I decided that it would be a bad choice because at some point it will fade and become very pink...bad idea.  The darker will fade as well....and will probably fade to the color I see in my head. 

We had to tent the front of the building last week to remove the probable lead paint from the facade.  We were told that we couldn't scrape the boards down ourselves because of the new laws concerning lead paint removal.  It only took the contractors about half a day to scrape though...the paint pretty much fell right off.  No need for sanding!  It is all ready for us to prime and paint this week.  I might start today on it. 


And, I have been busily priming the lower level space, which is HUGE! Seriously, I cannot believe how big this space turned out to be.  One friendly local came through the other day and told us it was the smartest thing we had done with the building.  I don't know about that, but the space does represent all the hard work that went into this place. 
 temperature wise, it is also the coolest place to work!  



I am saving photos of Greg's work on the first floor space until he gets a bit further.  He essentially told me to concentrate on other areas of the building because he had worked a plan up in his mind for the first floor, and, I must say, his experimentation with blending the new and the old in the space has worked out beautifully.  He spent four days cleaning and washing the ceiling rafters, which made such a difference!  Now he is working on staining the newer boards to resemble the older boards and it is hard to tell which is which.  We have to spray the ceiling with a clear fire-rated paint coating, so he is getting ready for that and then we can prime and paint the walls up there.  Today is July 1 and we have loads of time to finish before September 1.

And....on a bittersweet note, my beloved Little Bohemia will go under contract today.  This was my first foray into real estate investing and it was a learning experience. We will walk away with some money, the beds, and the dishes, which we'll need, so that is still good. I will always love the architecture of this cottage.  I had fun furnishing it and take it as a compliment that the new owners negotiated for all the antiques that I bought for the place.  Luckily, they like the house the way it is and will only make minor changes..like a few coats of paint.  






Sunday, June 22, 2014

In which we turn our focus on the East Side!

The East Side of the Ocean House

We frustratingly ran out of siding this week. The company sent a new batch on Friday morning, which the boys unloaded by boom truck onto the third floor only to realize it was the wrong siding about half way through unloading!  The company sent the grained siding rather than the plain flat siding that we have been using.  I was so looking forward to no more blue board!  

I gotta remember that anything is better than this...right? 
HA!  I love this photo!!

What the boys did focus on was completing the molding on the gable end, which has been missing for years. 



The framework is in for the waterview balcony off the first floor bedroom of the apartment.  This will be a great place to watch the fireworks during the Celtic Festival....if the boys can get it finished by then.

The base coat for the lower level continues to dry.  I kind of like the gray color, but we will snazz it up a bit with the final float coat finish color.  The ole' girl looks like she should be on a Boston side street or something....

Maybe if we all think good thoughts, the back ordered roofing materials will magically appear this week and we can get started on the roof!  Special thanks go to Thomas Kittridge, the Economic Development Director of the Town of Belfast for working so hard for us on the roofing project. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

In which it is Throwback Thursday!

Take a turn back in time with me as we look at the evolution of the lower level of the Ocean House.

Here we are again at the beginning, before we bought the property.  The lower level consists of plywood and cardboard walls with 150 year old cedar tree trunks as support posts


Here we are about 5 months into owning the building and I finally get around to ripping down the cardboard and plastic walls and making an opening in the plywood wall.  This new door was in place for probably 4 months. 

I kind of miss my piles of broken rock and concrete that got me through the fall and early winter

What we'll do for headroom, huh?  I love this photo below, it shows the bowed out front foundation wall that crumbled when D & S Jacking raised the building.  Notice the wall of salvaged boards that doubled as a foundation wall for about 15 years before we came along.  Note also that I still have about a foot and a half to dig down underneath that pile of rock.


The magic of walls!

...and door and window frames!

Looking straight and true,  I was so proud!


Yesterday's view!  We have a base coat for the stucco foundation wall.  No. More. Blue. Board.


The cement color is so much better than the blueboard!

A quick lower level recap.  This is what the space looked like right after we took possession of the building....or rather it took possession of us!

This wall crumbled immediately when the building was lifted in the air.  

 See previous photos to get the outside view on the same day!


my diabetes cure!  I can't believe I worked down here before new support beams were added.  

Bear with me here, this gets good soon!  The cross beams here had about a 6' clearance.  I gave the cedar posts to Ron Cowan for his totem carvings.

Aaaaand, through the magic of the space / time continuum comes photos of the current state of the lower level!  Hard to believe, but this photo is taken from almost the same angle as the one above.

 yessah!