The house is coming along! The last couple of weeks have focused on insulating and drywalling. We went with all closed-cell foam insulation, meaning it was pricey, but Dan was insistent. It's rare when he is on anything, so I had to go along with it. ;)
On the drywall we had it coated in a "skip and wash" finish, meaning they use mud all over the walls and then wash it off with sponges to create an imperfect, closer to plaster look. They turned out beautifully. I hate drywall textures, so this was a big issue for me.
On the outside, Dan has been busy crafting the "belt" that runs around the entire house and covers the connection point between the first and second floors. While we could have used stone all of the way up, the belt gives the house such a neat recessed element that looks just smashing, if I do say so myself. :) In between each piece of the belt is a metal spline that sticks out; it is so interesting. We were blessed by great weather Thanksgiving week that allowed our awesome mason team to fill in the stone between where it ended on the old part of the house and the bottom of the belt. Originally we thought the belt would fill in the void entirely, but in the end decided the gap was too big and we wanted to hold the belt at 12 inches, so Dan called in some mason friends who did an amazing job using stone pulled off the old gable during tear-down to fill it in.
Up next? PAINTING! We decided to hire painters. Dan's time is worth a lot right now and expending it in frustration with painting (he doesn't like painting, nor do I) seemed wrong at this point in the project. We got a very good deal from a pro and are happily turning that piece over. The painting is happening tomorrow and Wednesday, so we'll soon be colorful. We obsessed over paint colors and I'm hoping we'll be pleased with our selections. Paint is so tough. It never looks the same on the swatch as it does on the wall. We chose a more natural color scheme than we have used in the older part of the house. Also, we are repeating colors rather than our old style of different in each room. The general scheme is greyish blues, tawny beiges and brighter mossy green. We'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed. ;)
Dan plans to start installing flooring on 12/8. We are going with cork in the kitchen and maple hardwood everywhere else. We bought pre-finished flooring, as sanding/finishing is a step we would rather avoid and we got a great deal on it that made it only $500 more than raw flooring. Before flooring Dan will build and install the permanent stairs.
While the kitchen has a while to go yet, the rest of the space should be reasonably ready to be occupied by the end of December if all stays on schedule. Dan thinks the outside work finishing up the cladding will take a couple months and then all of the first floor windows need replacement. I am guessing we'll be close to done-done by early summer, just in time to address the wreck that is our yard!
Thankfully, I am adoring the house so much that I doubt we'll ever have to do it again.