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.