Odds and Ends and New Goal!

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Man was it ever a nice feeling knowing we've got heat in the Momplex.

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!

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Author Notes: 
PS - The Ram is not going to be happy when he reads this post. Mother's Day is how many weeks away???? PSS - And did I happen to mention all the furniture is DIY too? PSSS - We won't be DIYing any electronics. That includes refrigerators, washing machines and tvs. Whew!
Step 1 Diagram: 
Step 1: 
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 <a href="http://ana-white.com/2012/11/momplex/installing-chimney" target="_blank">put the chimney in,</a> 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 <a href="www.arxx.com" target="_blank">ARXX </a>blocks walls, so this one wood stove heats the entire space just fine. No bunny boots or three layers of down required!
Step 2 Diagram: 
Step 2 Instructions: 
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. Remember, <a href="http://ana-white.com/2012/12/alaskalife/what-it039s-darkest-day-year-interior-alaska" target="_blank">it's Alaska and we are getting about 3 hours of sun a day.</a>
Step 3 Diagram: 
Step 3 Instructions: 
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.
Step 4 Diagram: 
Step 4 Instructions: 
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.
Step 5 Diagram: 
Step 5 Instructions: 
First, the strike plates are attached to the door jambs.
Step 6 Diagram: 
Step 6 Instructions: 
Simple stuff!
Step 7 Diagram: 
Step 7 Instructions: 
Then the parts and pieces come out and it's like a puzzle sorting what goes where. Let's do the dead bolt first.
Step 8 Diagram: 
Step 8 Instructions: 
That's the dead bolt piece.
Step 9 Diagram: 
Step 9 Instructions: 
It gets inserted into the door.
Step 10 Diagram: 
Step 10 Instructions: 
Can you see the two little holes in the dead bolt?
Step 11 Diagram: 
Step 11: 
Those will match up with the key and lock pieces.
Step 12 Diagram: 
Step 12: 
Once the two piece line up, we test to make sure the deadbolt works right.
Step 13 Diagram: 
Step 13: 
And then attach it all together with the included bolts.
Step 14 Diagram: 
Step 14: 
Next up, the handle. First goes the catch.
Step 15 Diagram: 
Step 15: 
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.<p><br /></p><p><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-LSHuowszD4c/UOxqCE073tI/AAAAAAAANDY/SU7beJfde94/w470/how%20to%20install%20door%20knobs019.jpg" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /><br /><p></p><p>Happy with the handles, we put the screws in and tighten.</p><p></p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TF882Lmw_Lw/UOxqBuPrgLI/AAAAAAAANDU/Iv5I2BmbaAQ/w470/how%20to%20install%20door%20knobs018.jpg" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Then we finish out the doors.</p><p></p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-gOVOIx7NhhA/UOxqDE2ZCuI/AAAAAAAANDk/glo0sEj0CGE/w470/how%20to%20install%20door%20knobs020.jpg" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /></p><p></p><p>And it's time to test the doors out. &nbsp;Will they shut properly? &nbsp;Or is shimming and adjusting in order?</p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pu9Af6sqk0g/UOxqDrhQsfI/AAAAAAAANDo/_SnI47lDNzk/w470/how%20to%20install%20door%20knobs021.jpg" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /></p><p></p><p>Works perfect!</p><p></p><p>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. &nbsp;And we've got six doors in this Momplex!</p><p></p><p></p><p><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-6BV9ORoC7hQ/UOxp0-2wEFI/AAAAAAAANBw/Z9rokaAtEmY/w470/how%20to%20install%20door%20knobs001.jpg" style="width: 470px;" alt="" /></p><p></p><p>With all the odds and ends taken care of, the Ram sets himself up an office with a view. &nbsp;And it's time to start tackling the inside of the Momplex! Here we go! &nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p></p></p>

Comments

Excited to see what the insides will look like & to get ideas. All of your hard work doing these posts is much appreciated!

Hi Brenna! We too are so excited to finally be inside! It's going to be long ... getting through the utility phase (my least favorite phase ever). These posts have been helpful for us too - it keeps us on track, inspired and motivated! Thanks for reading! Ana

LOL! What is it about winter and working on the doors/windows? We replaced the biggest window (and two smaller ones) in our house on a pretty cold and somewhat wet day a couple of years ago. And I put in new hardware on my front door on a similarly cold day.

Glad to see some progress, now that you aren't worried about freezing to death, you'll be able to really get stuff done in a hurry. :-) Good luck on reaching your goal!

CGCouture I know right? You'd think we'd not forget what it's like to work in the cold and get the little stuff done before old man winter sets in! Thank you for keeping us encouraged! Ana

I'm sure you and your team of hard workers will complete the task. Even if it's not by Mothers Day, the progress is surely to be impressive!
Matt

Hi Matt! By team, you do mean the Ram, right? I am going to try my best over the next 124 days to help as much as possible up there! Thank you, and you are right, it's better to do things right than to meet a move in goal! Thank you! Ana

Well, you learn something new every day! "Mother's day" in the USA is on a different date to "Mothering Sunday" (commonly also known as "Mother's Day") in Britain - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothering_Sunday
but then if you were in Britain you wouldn't be building a "duplex" you'd be building a "semi" :D

It thought the 10th of March was a bit of an ambitious target!

Love the site - I've read the momplex blog from the beginning, it's phenomenal what you have achieved. Good luck with this last hump, can't wait to see what you do next :)

So very, very happy that you DID take the holidays to regroup your energies! Thank you so much for all your inspiring insight, Ana. We're all cheering for you to meet your next goal!

Hi Paulette! Thank you it feels wonderful to take a little time off to get re-energized and excited to work again! Can't believe we are going on two years of working all the time up there, but it's going to be worth it! Thanks for cheering us on, you really are keeping us going and motivated! Ana

Ana,

You don't ever come to Spokane, WA do you? There was a woman in my restaurant today, that looked JUST Like you and go figure, her last name was White!

The momplex is looking Awesome!!!
- Katie

Hi Katie - how funny we were actually in Newport on a quick book tour detour to visit family in October! But not since then!

Thank you - hope the inside looks even better than the outside!

Ana

Ana & Ram, good luck on this final push. Watching you build the Momplex has been really fascinating for me to watch from afar. Wish I could fly in and help you, but I think this Southerner might freeze in an hour and I'd be useless ;-D.

Are you going to have a ribbon cutting ceremony for your Moms? I'd love to see the look on their faces the day they get to move in. That alone must be worth all the effort you have put into building Momplex.

Hi Brittany!!! So good to hear from you! We definitely could use your help and it would be fun to have you ... but I don't know if I could return the favor and work in the heat in the south in the summer! We should do a ribbon ceremony! That would be fun! The moms are so shy ... so we'll see! Thanks for following along! Ana

I've been reading from the beginning, and I'm so excited at your progress. We live in the northern prairies of Canada and when we get a cold snap we check your weather up there to see what you are facing while building! I share your updates with my husband too, we're rooting for you.

Hey didn't you start some cabinets for the Momplex awhile back? If so that totally makes things even closer! It can be done!

I've been reading from the beginning, and I'm so excited at your progress. We live in the northern prairies of Canada and when we get a cold snap we check your weather up there to see what you are facing while building! I share your updates with my husband too, we're rooting for you.

Hey didn't you start some cabinets for the Momplex awhile back? If so that totally makes things even closer! It can be done!

Hi CrysKay! Thank you for reading from the beginning ... and taking our freezing cold weather away! I hear it blew over to Canada! yes, we do have some cabinets ... but we ended up with a change because we felt the hall needed to be nice and wide, and this made our kitchens a little smaller. We will have to make new cabinets :( but no worries - the ones we have made will go to use in a sewing craft room for Grandma who likes to sew. Thanks for rooting for us! Ana

Oh that's going to be tough!!! We love our moms, but I can just hear it now, no I won't move in until she moves in, let her move in first .... Our moms have 13 kids between them and don't have a selfish bone in their body, so it's going to be tough convincing one of them to move in without the other! Thanks Pam for reading and following along! Always nice to hear from you!

I can imagine how much fun your moms will have picking out their new furniture! Are you letting them have any input? I would feel like I won the lottery if Ana White completely furnished my home with her furniture. Now I'm daydreaming about looking through your catalog of plans on here, and picking out which dining table I'd like, etc.

Hi Maira! I feel like I won the lottery with the chance to build TWO WHOLE HOMES full of furniture!!! Including kitchens, bath vanities and closets!!!! I am so looking forward to it! Thank you and hope you find lots of plans you love!

Hi Ana! Thank you for sharing a Momplex update with us! I bet we could easily get a team of us DIYers up there to help with the finishing touches (um, how many of us would LOVE to build furniture for the Momplex? *raises hand*). Haha. I know exactly what you mean about running out of steam (usually right before you're finished building, and then "finishing" is the dreaded part). You seem to be at the same stage I usually get stuck in.

Of course we have faith that you can get it done by Mother's day, but we all know that rushing is when mistakes happen (so don't rush too much! We'll all understand!)...

Can't wait to see Moms faces!

There was so much urgency getting our place to the point where we could live in it . . . (well, we still moved in before we had a kitchen!) . . . and now, we're still living without trim (anywhere!), and with a completely unfinished pantry, and a few other things that I would really like to get done (hello, wood stove . . .)

Hooray for you setting a goal, and digging in to get 'er done. I can't wait to see what happens next!

(And one last thank you for using ICF. Your posts have helped my husband to see the whole process, and I've almost got him convinced that we should use ICF when we build the farmhouse. Hooray! :o)

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. -- W. Edwards Deming

There was so much urgency getting our place to the point where we could live in it . . . (well, we still moved in before we had a kitchen!) . . . and now, we're still living without trim (anywhere!), and with a completely unfinished pantry, and a few other things that I would really like to get done (hello, wood stove . . .)

Hooray for you setting a goal, and digging in to get 'er done. I can't wait to see what happens next!

(And one last thank you for using ICF. Your posts have helped my husband to see the whole process, and I've almost got him convinced that we should use ICF when we build the farmhouse. Hooray! :o)

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. -- W. Edwards Deming

You guys (and gals) are fantastic! You will reach your goal and we will be here pulling for you:) It is so exciting to see your progress!

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