October 2009


We went to see the house this past weekend and they’ve finished the stone. It looks really good. I love the detail they gave to the windows and doors. The stone turned out darker than I expected but it’s really beautiful. They also finished the brick for the basement fireplace, all the tray ceilings and the window seat, plus all the showers are in place. The master tub was delivered and sitting in our kitchen. I wanted to get a picture of me in the tub in the kitchen but R thought it might damage the tub. He’s no fun. 🙂

Stone Facade Section

Stone Facade Section

Full House with Stone

Full House with Stone

Close Up of Overhead Window

Close Up of Overhead Window

Close up of Side Window

Close up of Side Window

Close up of Front Door (Solid Mahagony, sooooo pretty)

Close up of Front Door (Solid Mahagony, sooooo pretty)

Close up of stone over door

Close up of stone over door

Stone from side so you can see the variegated depths

Stone from side so you can see the variegated depths

Window Seat / Toy Box in Playroom

Window Seat / Toy Box in Playroom

Basement Fireplace

Basement Fireplace

First Floor Bathroom Shower

First Floor Bathroom Shower

Bathtub / Shower Unit (Same for both kids bathrooms)

Bathtub / Shower Unit (Same for both kids bathrooms)

Master Shower (R's hands are stretched as far as they can and notice he's not touching the walls!)

Master Shower (R's hands are stretched as far as they can and notice he's not touching the walls!)

Back of House with Deck Skeleton

Back of House with Deck Skeleton

Side of House with the door now installed

Side of House with the door now installed

Next week the shingles go on and the siding starts to go up. We haven’t decided on a siding color (OK, I haven’t decided on a siding color, R likes a really dark brown so we’ll see) that that’s our top priority along with the Master Shower accent tile. We also noticed that the deck band board doesn’t go all the way to the front of the house so we have to ask Tommy about that.

Something funny to note since we’re focusing on bathrooms, no bedroom is more than 5 steps away from a bathroom.

Another snag, this one our fault. We have cats and planned a whole cat area in the basement in which the cats would access it through a hole in the basement stair rise … BUT … we have fat cats and after looking at the rise of the stairs I’m afraid they won’t fit. We’ll have to do some thinking and see what we can come up with.

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We’ve been looking at accent tiles for the Master Shower for what seems like forever and we’re still stuck. Through the magic of photoshop I give you our mock ups, which do you like better?

Option 1: Travertine Tile with Copper Diamonds and Rope Accent (Expensive Rope Accent I might add)

Tile with Copper Roping

Tile with Copper Roping

Option 2: Travertine Tile with Copper Diamonds (No Rope Accent)

TileNoTrim

Tile without Extra Trim

Is option 1 worth the extra over $200? Help us decide.

The doors are all in and once the windows next to the fireplace are in the house will be water tight. That’s a pretty big milestone!

This week they worked on a bunch of stuff. Finished the front porch, started the exterior stone (next week they’ll stone the fireplace), installed the doors, added the tray ceilings, finished the stairs, added the sky lights and started the plumbing.

Exterior Stone

Exterior Stone

Beautiful Solid Mahogany Front Door

Beautiful Solid Mahogany Front Door

Close up of Stone

Close up of Stone

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

Smaller Foyer Closet

Smaller Foyer Closet

Master Whirlpool Tub Deck

Master Whirlpool Tub Deck

Attic Stairs with Railings

Attic Stairs with Railings

Great Room Windows and Doors + Start of Rear Deck

Great Room Windows and Doors + Start of Rear Deck

Rear with Skylights and Start of Deck

Rear with Skylights and Start of Deck

Chimney with Caps

Chimney with Caps

Fully Completed Chimney with Scaffolding Removed

Fully Completed Chimney with Scaffolding Removed

And you are now completely up to date. We’re heading over tomorrow so more pictures soon.

We met with Tommy on Monday to do the Framing Walk-Through. First some changes, then some snags, then some bonuses.

Chchchchanges:

Here’s a bunch of things we added since we signed the contract:

Initially, we were going to build the back deck on our own at a later date, but after pricing out what Tommy could do it for, we decided to just do it now. We saved a little money on a few things and the price Tommy quoted us was only a few hundred above what we could get the material for. We could build it ourselves for less, but our time is worth more than that. Plus we’re going to get a lot of use out of it, and we can take advantage of the gas drop for summer grilling.

We also added chimney toppers (which were muuuuch less expensive than I thought they’d be) to keep the squirrels and rain out.

We purchased floor boards and dry wall for the attic (using Tommy’s cost which is less than ours) so that we can finish it later. Not only is Tommy going to move all that stuff up to the attic for us (which will save our backs), but he installed the attic floor for us at no charge! We love no charge. 🙂

Snags:

This one isn’t even a real snag but I wasn’t sure where to put it. When we decided to make the attic finishable, we were going to do it at a later date and buy a heating unit just for that space. Then Tommy suggested we condition the attic now instead of later so we said sure. We thought we’d be able to piggy back off the geo-thermal unit, but unfortunately it wasn’t sized to include the attic. Kind of a bummer since we got excited about it, but having an extra unit was the initial plan so we’re just back to square one. We are still going to have a few vents from the geo-thermal system up there to semi-condition it but they won’t handle the heat of the summer or the chill of the winter, the vents will just take the edge off.

Another not so much snag as change. The foyer closet is going to have a plant shelf on top. The height of the closet will be cut down to match the bottom of the stair height. Initially we designed a larger closer but we’re going to have to make it smaller so that the top of the closet isn’t above the stairs. Not really a big deal since we have another closet in the kitchen for storing stuff like vacuums.

One other not so much snag as something that’s not ideal. The intake vent will be located in the dining room semi-interfering with the wall panel trim. We talked with Tommy and the heating/cooling person during the walk through to see if we could come up with a better solution but determined it had to be there. At first we thought maybe they could raise it but they couldn’t because it’s suppose to be in the bottom of the wall to draw in the (hot or cold, I can’t remember which) air. Then we thought we could maybe move it to the kitchen wall but we couldn’t because the box is super large so it would jut out, plus the wall is load bearing so it would be tricky, plus it would require elbows which restrict air flow and whistle, plus it would screw up the basement ceilings making them super short to accommodate the tubes. So it’s going to stay put but they’ll do their best to hide it.

Bonuses:

As I said before, Tommy installed the attic floor for us for free. He also upgraded our stair railings from wood to metal for free. We’re also getting larger wood floor planks, 3″ instead of 2.25″ which is standard, for free.

Next to the attic stairs there is a little area that we could use for storage. Tommy is going to put a door there for us … for free.

Stairs to the Attic

Stairs to the Attic

In both the dining room and master bedroom we’ll have a tray ceiling. Normally the tray ceiling is square but we asked for and got a octagonal shape. It will look similar to this but I don’t think we’ll have trim inside the tray, just below it:

Tray Ceiling

Tray Ceiling

And last but not least (most in fact), Tommy is going to build a toy box / window seat for us. This was something we were planning on doing later anyway but since Tommy is going to do it, that means we can have an electrical outlet on the front of the box. He’s going to put an electrical outlet below all the windows to make it easy for us to have candles in the windows at Christmas time.

During the walk through, we pointed out a few of the places we’d like outlets. The kitchen and bathroom counters were all drawn out on the floor so we could see where everything goes which was nice. So far everything is looking really good!

All of the framing is done, the roof is on (tiles will put on next week), the attic flooring is down, most of the windows and doors were installed and (what I’m most excited about) the stairs are installed. Thank god the stairs are installed! I was so sick of climbing up the studs to get to the next level. The carpenters lock up their ladders so they don’t get stolen so every time we’d go over to the site we’d have to literally climb the walls to get to the next level. R had no problem but I am short so it was very difficult. All I can say is Hallelujah we have stairs!

Before the pictures, there is one more snag, pretty minor but I’m pretty bummed about it. In the plans the windows to the sides of the first floor fireplace were suppose to be 3 ft. Because we have two wood burning fireplaces, we need two flues, so the chimney needed to be wider by 10 inches. Unfortunately, that means that either the window is pushed waaaay over to the corner, or we need to make the window smaller. We chose to make the windows smaller. The loss of light will probably not even be noticeable but still. 😦

On to the pictures!

Stairs from First to Second Floor

Stairs from First to Second Floor

Stairs to the Attic

Stairs to the Attic

Attic (The square footage of the attic is very nearly the square footage of our current house)

Attic (The square footage of the attic is very nearly the square footage of our current house)

Mountain Views from the Attic (Even more once the leaves are down)

Mountain Views from the Attic (Even more once the leaves are down)

Completed Chimney

Completed Chimney

Front with Windows

Front with Windows

Left Side with Windows

Left Side with Windows

Back with Windows

Back with Windows

Right Side with Windows

Right Side with Windows

Windows we were suppose to use but will now be smaller

Windows to the sides of the First Floor Fireplace

We now have a roof and it’s really starting to look like an impressive house. You can’t really see it from the road (you might be able to once all the leaves are down) but as you come up the driveway it looks really good.

One more snag story before the pictures. Apparently when they were delivering the roof trusses, the truck took the sharp corner into the driveway too quickly and tipped over. No one was hurt, but the road was blocked for a good long time. They had to get a bunch of heavy machines out there to right it again. The trusses were perfectly fine but the road got a little scuffed up. The road was fixed by the next weekend so no harm, no foul.

And in other news, we got our address. I was hoping for something more symmetrical but I guess it’s as good an address as any. I checked and it’s even in google maps but they’re placing it a little further up the road that it actually is.

Roof Trusses

Roof Trusses

Front of the House

Front of the House

Right Side

Right Side

Back

Back

Front with Plywood and Tar Paper

Front with Plywood and Tar Paper

Left Side

Left Side

Right Side

Right Side

Front

Front

Just SOME of the many many windows for the house.

Just SOME of the many many windows for the house.

Chimny Near Completion

Chimny Near Completion

Front with Porch Roof

Front with Porch Roof

We now have a roof and it’s really starting to look like an impressive house. You can’t really see it from the road (you might be able to once all the leaves are down) but as you come up the driveway it looks really good.

One more snag story before the pictures. Apparently when they were delivering the roof trusses, the truck took the sharp corner into the driveway too quickly and tipped over. No one was hurt, but the road was blocked for a good long time. They had to get a bunch of heavy machines out there to right it again. The trusses were perfectly fine but the road got a little scuffed up. The road was fixed by the next weekend so no harm, no foul.

Some selection odds and ends.

When we first chose flooring we hadn’t picked out the downstairs’s bathroom sink so we couldn’t pick out the floor. We chose this sink:

Downstairs Bathroom Sink

Downstairs Bathroom Sink

So we chose this floor to go along with it:

Downstairs Bathroom Tile with Latte Grout

Downstairs Bathroom Tile with Latte Grout

We’re going for darker cozy feel so we’re getting oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and lights. We also picked out a nice mirror with a darker wood frame.

We also finalized the kitchen hood and it is BEAUTIFUL! I think it’s really going to be a focal point on that wall.

Kitchen Hood

Kitchen Hood

We also changed our mind about the Laundry room flooring and chose a darker tile.

Laundry Room Tile with Butter Cream Grout

Laundry Room Tile with Butter Cream Grout

And finally, just in case you didn’t know … we love our builder. Locally there is something called the Parade of Homes where builders show off their best houses. We visited one in Keswick (fanciest neighborhood in the area) and saw some beautiful metal stair baluster. I was already worried that the spindly little wood stair rails wouldn’t be strong enough to contain our little tornado so we asked Tommy how much it would cost to upgrade from the spindly wood rails to pretty metal ones. I expected it to cost a fortune (at least $500 – $1000 more). Tommy looked into it and talked to his contact and got it for us for $0 extra. We love free! It’s going to be sooo pretty. It will be one of this type:

Metal Stair Rails

Fancy Metal Stair Rails

Alternating with one of this type:

Plain Spiral Railing

Plain Spiral Rail

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