With each visit the house is looking more and more like a home. Having the trim up made a big impact, and so did having the walls primed. Other than the priming, not a whole lot has happened recently because of all the rain.


Foyer - Door View

I love the trim in the dining room and I’m glad Roderick and Tommy convinced me to include the trim in the tray ceiling.

Dining Room


Great Room

Look at all the space! Have I mentioned how great Tommy is recently? He’s giving us a sensor light in there so we won’t have to turn a light on or off with our hands full. Yet another one of his thoughtful touches!



There is so much storage in the bench seat!

Playroom Window Bench Storage

In addition to priming, they started installing all the door hardware.

Door Hardware

I love what they did under the windows in the master bedroom.


Unassembled Chandelier

While this past week wasn’t all that busy, next week will more than make up for it. They are going to deliver and install our appliances, start tiling, start installing the hardwood floor, install the stair rails, do the final grading, install the lamp post, and maybe even paint the first coat of our real color. I can’t wait to get over next Saturday to see the changes!




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


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. 🙂


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.


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!

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