Stopped by in time today to talk to Sam (Jim's cousin?) who's working on framing in the upstairs fireplace. He and Jim stopped by Dell's earlier in the a.m. and got the mantel—it's going to look spectacular. Just need to prod the lovely A________ into making a decision or two about tile, and we'll be all set. It'll be one of the nicest rooms in the house when it's all done. Sam's also working on the two ceiling fixtures on the 3rd fl (they don't work at the moment—apparently it's a bit mysterious), and has advised us to put a sconce or two in the upper stairway, which sounds good to me. Jim's working up the numbers on the screen porch, which will be giant--around 220 sq. feet when it's done. We're also looking at rehabbing the front porch; we'll change the design a bit by bringing the east wall back to the end of the foundation (it currently extends three or four feet past the foundation, and rests on a short pier which has subsided a good bit and appears to be failing), but we'll keep the spirit of the thing with tall windows around two sides, etc. Nice tile floor, padded window-seat and a big coat/boot closet and we'll have a great little mud-room/entry that doubles as a small sun-room, probably for less than $15k. After that (and everything after that would be a project for next year, or the year after) we turn our attention to the exterior front: a nice stone stoop, siding, walkways, front garden, and my pet project--awnings for the big downstairs windows.
On a side note: everthing we've done so far has cost WAY less than we'd anticipated, back in May. There are some big expenses coming up—furnace/boiler, yard (if the freaking landscapers ever send us an official estimate), kitchen—but everything we've done with the Seymours has been a stone cold bargain. They're amazing—top-notch work at incredibly reasonable rates. We couldn't be happier.