Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hide-a-Hose central vac system

26Mar14 – Time to check back in!  We’re still working on all the little things that need to be done before we insulate.  With Steve working by himself it all takes longer than expected.  We’re getting closer every day.

We’re both excited about our retractable hose central vac system by Hide-a-Hose.  Steve’s been installing the pipe run lines (which will contain the hoses) behind the walls & ceilings from our four access points (basement, kitchen, laundry/mud room and upstairs hall).  They will all converge at the garage where the central system will be.  The hoses will each be 30″ long, except 40′ in the basement.  This system is so cool – the hoses are stored in the pipes.  You just pull out the length you need, lock it and vacuum away.  To return the hose to the pipe line, you cover up the end of the hose with the palm of your hand and the central vac itself, sucks the hose up into the pipe line for storage behind the wall.  So smooth.  We also have two vacpans for the kitchen and laundry where  Deuter’s litter box will be.  Just sweep debris near the vacpan located in the toe kick and it’s sucked into the central system. We tried it all out with our shop vac to get a feel for how it will work.  Fun!

Our stone mason will be out tomorrow – weather permitting – to begin building the retaining wing walls on each side of the walk-out basement.  When he’s done,  we get to start the deck!  Lots to look forward to.

Logging Roads and Re-claimed 93 yr old Lumber

16Mar14 – I’ve been on a mission this week to clear the three logging roads that converge on the building site of our Maple Forest Cottage. Trail heads right on our property!   A lofty goal I envisioned in moments of over exuberance.   Indeed.    Now I’m stubbornly determined to finish the job before the leaves arrive – when the job would be all that much more unpleasant.

FYI: the forested mountain we live on was a logging mountain for many years, providing lumber for all types of construction. There are many logging roads, in various states of accessibility, still visible and used as trails by fellow neighbors.  When we unearthed an old large metal calibration tool (a dial gauge?) during excavation way back when, (along with the presence of the three logging roads converging in the same spot) we realized our lot was the site of a sawmill on the mountain.  How cool…  I’ve included an old photo of the mountain with  just the logging roads for those interested in history. Our site is on the top right just before the large white mass as the main road heads down the page.

We also got a call from our stone mason, Nick, telling us that the 93 year old Doran  (originally Dover) textile Mill, in Shelby, NC (about an hour from here) was in the process of partial demolition and there were  maple & pine deck boards available for the taking.  The huge 25′ beams were going for $300 – $500 a piece.  Wish we could have used them – they are all heart wood pine and absolutely beautiful.  We did score some small maple boards made by the Robbins Corp (online, click to open site) who now make MBA flooring.  We are going to use them in a Herringbone pattern as wooden “rugs” at the entry way and in the kitchen between the island and the cabinet wall.  Labor intensive, but this type of maple board is no longer made.

It’s cold and raining today, so I have to hold back on further logging road clearing.  It’s frustrating, ‘cuz I want to take advantage while the mood is still “let’s just do it!”.  I’ll take logging road #1 photos when the weather clears.


Manifolds, Low voltage wiring and Gas connections

10Mar14 – Our Maple Forest Cottage is progressing behind the scenes.  Things that aren’t exciting visually, but are so worthwhile for enjoyment when we move in:  “sometime in 2014” is what I tell those who ask.

Steve has been doing the locating & pulling of wires for the low voltage wiring.  Audio-visual is a big thing with him (and I’m right there with him!) so he’s prepping for now and future developments.  There won’t be a spare space in the floor boards when all is done.  Hide-a-Hose central vacuum system installation by Steve is next.  It’s a retractable hose system – how wonderful.  We’re even going to have a couple of vacpans in the toe kick area of the kitchen cabinets.  Just sweep the dirt & debris right into the vacuum pan right on there on the floor and it’s sucked right into the storage bin downstairs!  How cool….

Spring is arriving on the mountain with last minute teases from Old Man Winter, but he’s losing steam after this over-active Western North Carolina Winter.  I’m ready.

Our “one pass through” lap boards have been delivered and we’ll begin putting them up when time allows.  We’re focusing on getting all the cottages’ “innards” together so we can insulate.     Then dry wall – someday I’ll be able to post that it’s in!  Another of many lessons in patience.