By nice, of course I mean it's nice to be able to feel your fingers and toes.
For those of you new to the site, about a year and a half ago, our family (by our family, I really mean the Ram) started DIYing a duplex for our Moms to live in from scratch, doing everything from digging the giant hole in the ground, pouring a foundation, stacking ICFs and pouring concrete walls (our first time going ICF all the way!), putting a roof on, and everything else to take a completely undeveloped lot and turn it into this.
Yep, that's DIY all the way!
Now we have come a long, long, long way.
But lately, we've been feeling like we've got a long, long, long way to go.
You know, it's like when you build a project, and you get so close to finishing it ... and you just run out of steam. Or should I say sawdust?
Up until now, we've had a sense of urgency keeping us going. Things like get the walls poured before the Alaska winter sets in, or get the roof on (which we did not get done before last winter and had to wait it out until spring), get the siding done before snow falls, and get heat inside before temperatures get too cold.
It was huge when we finally got the Momplex sealed in and insulated.
We all took a big sign of relief, with the pressure of being able to work through the winter off our backs. Oh the relief! And to celebrate and recharge, we took some time off.
But now, as we go back inside the Momplex, it's like we are starting with so much to do, but with no sense of urgency. There's no big cold winter looming over our us anymore. And our Mom's are way too nice to drop hints - what we need is for Mom to start packing her suitcase to get us going!
So here goes.
Our goal is to get one Mom moved in by Mother's Day, exactly two years after starting on the Momplex.
Can we do it? It's your job to keep us going and keep us on track! Hold us to it - One mom moved in by Mother's Day.
Starting .... NOW!
So first things first, we went back and forth and finally decided that we were not ready for the boiler to be installed, but not willing to put a temporary boiler or furnace in, and then just have it removed.
Our friend who insists on being anonymous and helps us out quite a bit offered to loan us his spare wood stove. It's made entirely by hand from machinery parts. Even the handles are old wrenches. It's a reclaimed wood stove, haha!
Because we already put the chimney in, it was as simple as move the reclaimed wood stove in, hook the chimney pipes up, and load with wood and light it up.
The Momplex is super insulated with the ARXX blocks walls, so this one wood stove heats the entire space just fine. No bunny boots or three layers of down required!
Once we got heat in, top priority was getting lighting inside the Momplex. The Ram put light bulbs in the electrical boxes and wired them up so we now have working light in the Momplex.
And the Ram also wired in a few electrical outlets, so every task no longer starts with getting a 100 foot long extension cord out and plugging it in to a generator.
These little things, done now, will save hours of time in the long run.
Next up, door knobs. It's a super pain getting in and out of doors when wood blocks are screwed over them. Putting door knobs in now will secure the Momplex, prevent heat loss, and make access that much easier.
First, the strike plates are attached to the door jambs.
Then the parts and pieces come out and it's like a puzzle sorting what goes where. Let's do the dead bolt first.
That's the dead bolt piece.
It gets inserted into the door.
Can you see the two little holes in the dead bolt?
Those will match up with the key and lock pieces.
Once the two piece line up, we test to make sure the deadbolt works right.
And then attach it all together with the included bolts.
Next up, the handle. First goes the catch.
And then the two handles are put on. We opted for the simple lever handles because we felt they would be the absolute easiest to use because you know we are planning on Mom living in the Momplex until she's at least 100.
Happy with the handles, we put the screws in and tighten.
Then we finish out the doors.
And it's time to test the doors out. Will they shut properly? Or is shimming and adjusting in order?
Grandpa Tim put in the rest of the door knobs because remember, this is the Momplex, and every time you do something, you gotta go do the same thing for the other Mom. And we've got six doors in this Momplex!
With all the odds and ends taken care of, the Ram sets himself up an office with a view. And it's time to start tackling the inside of the Momplex! Here we go!