August 2, 2022 – Leelanau County, MI – Written by Jim
It’s been over a month since we last wrote; it’s time for an update! You may recall that Jodee and Bill had come for a visit on their tour of Michigan. At the time, we were in the process of finishing the large deck. Their fluffy dog Tessa took one look at our project and had her say:
After they departed, we finished the deck.
Two decks done, one to go! We are saving our entryway for last. Once we were at this point, we went to our storage room and picked up our deck furniture, our TV and any kitchen boxes we could identify.
It sure is nice to have this furniture back with us!
The next project on the list was the master bathroom. We started this year with painted walls and cement board in the shower area.
We did manage to waterproof the cement board and put down the sheet vinyl flooring this spring, but that was about it.
This was my third tile job in the cabin and easily my most challenging. We were happy with how it came out. A week and a half after I started, the bathroom was nearly complete:
All we need to do is have the shower door installed, put up the towel bars, install the entry and closet doors and the trim. On to the next project: the fireplace!
We started by installing the mantle. We then laid out the stones on a cardboard template:
The handmade tiles are a nod to my grandparent’s home in Detroit, which my grandpa had covered with Pewabic tile. These tiles are made not too far from us in Alden, Michigan by a man who worked for Pewabic. The pink one is a robin, the green one is a maple leaf (both of which we have on our property) and the large blue one in a vineyard with the words “Leelanau Peninsula” on it. Once again, masonry work is something I had never tried, so a lot of YouTube videos were watched, along with some helpful consultations with Jim Nelson…who recently tackled this type of work himself with his wife Barb and friend Kevin.
Less than a week later, it was done. We were glad to see that we measured the TV niche correctly to accept our TV! Time to move on to the next project: flooring.
We are using vinyl plank, which is really nice to work with.
I saw this rolling knee pad being used on HGTV’s Hometown. It sure made this job a lot easier! While I was doing this room…
…Diana was sanding and painting the door trim in the master bedroom. She will be painting the 16 foot baseboard trim next, which she will do in the barn. It’s amazing how much trim goes into a structure of this size!
I am currently halfway through the flooring. I finished the entry closets and the laundry area yesterday.
This is the hatch to our crawl space in the closed position…
…and in the open position. A special thanks to Rod and Mary for the idea of the wall latch to hold the lid up, along with the recommendation of the SmartCore Ultra flooring from Lowe’s. To complete this hatch, we are going to add a grab bar on the left wall, a gas strut on the right and (eventually) a more permanent ladder to the space below. A note on the white baseboard: Our windows were ordered with jambs wide enough for our 2 x 6 walls, but the manufacturer mistakenly made them with jambs for 2 x 4 walls. Rather than send the windows back last year, I had them send me the correct jambs along with compensation for my time installing them. I salvaged the old jambs, turning them into closet baseboard. That kept them out of the landfill and saved us a few bucks in the process!
While it seems like our summer has been all work, we have played a bit too! We’ve had visits from Lane & Patti, John & Julie and our neighbors Gary & Linda, who brought us some cherries from their orchard! We also have made it to Music in the Park in Northport each Friday evening.
This past Friday was The Fabulous Horndogs, a band that got back together after a 12 year hiatus. We knew we were in for a treat when we saw the crowd size. They were indeed fabulous!
Stay tuned as we work to finish up the doors and trim, along with our entry deck. That one involves stone pillars, so my masonry tools aren’t quite done yet. Until next time, safe and happy travels to all!