What’s Up with Renovations?

I haven’t posted a renovation post in a while, have I? That doesn’t mean nothing’s going on! The main improvements have been to the second floor of the Pope house, where we had to expand sooner than expected, thanks to the growth of Hearts, Homes and Hands (a good thing – we sure are thankful to Kathleen and the team for that!).

Our care team now has an office on the second floor, with a great view of trees and the balcony. Meghan has a great command center for scheduling, keeping records, and filing, while there are two other desks for care team members who help her out. It’s hard to believe it’s grown that much since we opened for business last November!

Before we could get that office going, we had to get a nice, strong sub-floor in the upstairs hallway. The next improvement will be to remove the weird kitchen-y room, so people can get to the balcony without going through the future conference room (you know it’s a conference room, because we put the conference table in there).

It’s a good thing that the plumbing was all inspected on the second floor, because that let us set the upstairs bathroom up for the team to use. Right now, it’s functional, but not quite done. When it’s finished, it will be very cute and rustic, to match the theme of the building.

Work in progress!

Those of us who work in the office have really been enjoying all our fall decorations and the atmosphere in the building. I even get to eat lunch in my little break area.

Looking down at the break area and my office.

Hoping you are taking the time to enjoy what you’re doing, right now, and where you are. Take some time to look around. We’re alive, so let’s make the most of that time.

Enjoying my office every day!

Going Plumb Crazy at the Pope House

Well, here’s an announcement I’m happy to make: we have a functioning toilet in the Pope house! Running water is a dream come true! And as soon as the bathroom faucet gets finished, we’ll be able to wash our hands.

It’s a functioning toilet. Wow.

If only that were as easy to do as it sounds. Apparently, the really cute faucets that we picked out are “chingasos” for Chris (screwed up). They are delicate as daisies and must be carefully installed. Oops.

Well, it IS a pretty faucet and handles.

However, all the fittings are attached to the walls in each room with water in it, and nothing leaks, so I’m impressed as heck. We will soon have flushing and hand-washing options! I can’t wait to see Tubby with running water.

In other areas of work, the floors are finished, other than putting a bit more epoxy in the areas with the glass in them. Much of the stuff Chris put on the floor ran straight through the cracks to the ground. Oops. It will be strong now, however, with it finally sealed. The glass will be subtle, but a cool touch to the room.

The reception room, gleaming away.

We love the color that they came out, and all the character you can see (like my office has both a red splotch and a green splotch that did not sand out). I think it looks pretty darned spectacular. Now we have to let the floors cure and put in the trim around the edges. Ahh.

My office, shining.

On the second floor, Randy worked really hard to get Meghan’s future office all taped off to be painted. He had the brilliant idea of bringing in the old carpet from the other big room and spreading it on the floor so no drips would happen when the ceiling is being painted. They’ll then drag it to its original place, where it will fit perfectly and protect the floors when that room gets painted.

All taped off and ready to paint. I assume the pictures will come down.

We are not sure why this ONE room has a popcorn ceiling, but we are just going to smoosh it down and not remove it. Maybe no one will look up, right?

The wallpaper is off the fourth bedroom. Its shiplap may end up getting painted to lighten up the room, but that won’t happen for a while, because it’s the “spare room” right now. It’s nice to have the scary wallpaper gone.

The piece of furniture in the middle is a wardrobe that’s going in Lee’s office to be his “closet.”

This morning, Kathleen and I got some colorful pots for the new plants we bought. That will cheer up both the outside and the inside of the house!

Wow, That Pope House Is COOL!

Of course, we’ve been hearing how cool the Pope Residence is ever since we started working on it. Heck, it’s a pretty fine place, and we are excited to move into the offices. Kathleen’s in already, and Lee’s office is ready for him. We even have blinds for some of the windows (the big ones are, naturally, special order).

Window blinds, ready to be installed for privacy and light control. And what’s that above the window?

But now, the house is actually cool! That’s right! Felix and his very charming son showed up yesterday to get all our mini-splits and the regular air conditioning unit set up and running. You know that is a relief to Kathleen, since she was in there working and it was getting up to 99 F outside!

Mini-splits getting checked for how well they cool.

I got to enjoy watching Felix and son work on the system, and I was so impressed with how eager the young man (19) is to learn from his dad, and how patient Felix is with his teaching.

Installing the thermostat in Lee’s office.

We were all very happy to see each other, since it had been something like 5 years since I last saw a spindly teen, who’s now an adult!

Supervisin’ – in this case Felix was teaching his son how to measure the hole for the air conditioning filter properly.

The systems are all working great. If you ever need air conditioning work, we recommend Felix! His number is on his shirt, wink, wink.

But There’s More!

That’s not all that’s going on, however. Monday, Chris and I picked up a lot of the stuff needed to finish the downstairs at our new offices. He got to work yesterday and installed the counter-tops in the break room, which are lovely laminate, but don’t look too bad, I think, especially next to the metal wall. I was quite impressed with the angled edge that adds a wee bit more space for us, but won’t cause us to bump into the edge as we turn the corner. The hole for the sink still needs to go in and it will be ready for plumbing!

Another little detail that got taken care of is that the remaining tin ceiling tile finally arrived, after having to be re-ordered (it was supposed to be at Lowe’s, but no one could find it). First thing yesterday morning, Chris finished out the bathroom off my office. Hooray! Tubby has a nice ceiling to look at now.

The finished bathroom ceiling (other than a couple of trim pieces). That’s one blingy room!

Exciting New Plans

Because things are changing rapidly at Hearts Homes and Hands, the business that’s going to occupy the Pope house, our plans for the building are evolving. The original plan was for the beautiful front room to serve as both a reception/front office area and an office for the Care Manager (Meghan).

This ugly thing is the upstairs bathroom. Believe it or not, this is a huge improvement.

However, by the end of the month, Meghan will have more responsibilities that will require her to keep documents in her office that need to be protected for HIPAA reasons. That means she needs a door that locks (right now she’s in Kathleen’s old office at the Hermit Haus, which locks). There is no door to the reception area, because we wanted to preserve the beautiful woodwork there.

The lovely woodwork at left is being preserved (we have a door in the other opening; this is a photo from April).

So…we will be creating an office for the Assistant Administrator on the second floor, where a lock can be installed. The office is in a great room that looks out on trees and the balcony. All we have to do is put in a room air conditioner and paint the walls and she will be up and running!

This is the room that will be Meghan’s office, once the trim that will be put back and extra insulation is moved again.

The unfortunate consequence of this change is that poor Randy will have to move all that wood he moved IN that room back OUT to another room. That’s really fun in this heat. Not.

This office will be empty when Felix comes back and finishes the big air conditioning ductwork next week. It’s where the stuff currently in Meghan’s office goes, I think.

Speaking of Randy, he has been busy cleaning out the upstairs rooms and getting them “reno-ready.” Yesterday he removed all the carpets that were in a couple rooms. Ick.

The area where all the filing and storage stuff will go. We will remove the stained wallpaper, which extends to the ceiling, oddly enough. The stains are from a leak in the roof that was repaired.

The back room that has windows looking out to the stairwell is completely empty now. It’s destiny is to become the document storage room. State-regulated agencies generate a LOT of paperwork and much of it needs to be saved for audit purposes and CYA and all that. Since we will need to have immediate access to it, we need it to be in the building. So, the former giant closet room for the previous occupant will be storing something else.

The other side of the future storage room, which has formerly beautiful wallpaper that must come down. Those are original windows. The doors at right are my future desk!

That’s as far as we have gotten with the second floor. I’m not sure how much else we are going to do soon, since after we close on July 1, we will be working on the Ross house project, and that will be a LOT as well. More on that one soon!