Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finishing the central lounge.

With just a couple of weeks to go till the end of October, the increasing urgency continued our race against time!

The central lounge needed to be finished with at least the ceilings completed, ceiling and wall beams stained and masked, electrical wiring laid, plaster-board walls fitted and plastered & oak flooring laid, sanded, stained and varnished. All this in between doing other work such as finishing the floor in the 1st lounge, dining room and completing the kitchen!

Arnie & Shinobu worked like troopers, getting the lounge finished within just a week. As the ceiling had no slats to content with this time, the job could be completed a little faster.

Above the ceilings they laid insulation as they went.

Ceiling nearly finished!

Ceiling done except for fitting of trim all around the perimeter, but this would have to be completed after we'd moved in, as there was still much to do.

Arnie & Shinobu moved straight onto putting up the plasterboard. By now Shinobu had learnt to be a dab hand at this job so the job could be completed twice as quickly!

By now we were 2 weeks away from moving. At night I'd drink copious amounts of coffee and apply eco-wall plaster... So busy I didn't even have the time to get a haircut!

That Saturday Carlos, another hard working Portuguese friend - sensing urgency volunteered to spend a day helping me. Although the walls were still not finished being plastered and the scaffolding was still in place, we started laying oak flooring at 10.30am...
Carlos was convinced we'd finish in about 6 hours, but I figured it might take a bit longer, since the dining room had taken me a good 25 hours of working through nights to lay by myself.
But we got into a rhythm. I'd measure and cut, laying the end pieces myself and he'd keep going 1-2 rows ahead. We'd keep each other going fast - since one couldn't continue without the other's work.

By 9.30pm we were about 10 rows from completing the job, but ravenously hungry, so we headed out to find a restaurant. We ended up in a great little Izakaya (Japanese equivalent to a good English pub!) with excellent food and decent cold beers.
Downing some more coffee on the way home, we struggled through the last 10 rows and finished around 2.30am, both completely shattered by this stage.

I collapsed on my futon and before my head hit the pillow I was fast asleep.
Next day, I was slower - but continued to plaster through the day.
Arnie spent a day the following Monday working out the wiring for switches, plugs and lighting before putting up the plasterboard and GL puttying the screw holes.

And by the middle of the week, the walls were finally completed... with just a few days till the weekend!

The spotlights I fitted were bought used from Yahoo! auctions.
They're a funky design with a sort of adjustable zoom lenz on each light.
I got a surprise when I switched them on for the first time!

I spent some time each day until Saturday 28th preparing the floor. Staining first, then varnishing with Polyeurethane. The final 4th coat was put on at 2am on Saturday 29th October, 3 hours before meeting a group of friends to take a 2 ton truck to Shizuoka to pack up the rest of the house in Shizuoka!

The doors separating the entrance hall from the lounge I fitted during the 1st weekend since we moved in.

This is what the lounge looks like today. We're still not finished of course.
We want to fit replacement aluminium double glazed doors with clear glass and no partititions so we can enjoy the garden and make the lounge feel as if it's closer to nature.
Also there's little things to do with trim on the ceilign edges, original posts to stain & sellac, electrical sockets to fit into the corners of the floors (Special floor sockets in brass boxes from the States) and one wall to go into the corner, to separate the kids room - but this will be done later. For now it's how we'll use it.

Fortunately our little one approves of her new home now it's no longer, "Dirty dirty - Oh my God daiyo Mama!!"

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