Author / Liz

Building Our Home: Week 8

Eight weeks are behind us, and it’s truly starting to feel like a home, not just a structure, although it has yet to sink in that it’s “ours” and not just some project we’re a part of. šŸ™‚ There isn’t much difference from the front this week (we’re anxiously waiting for them to add the stone!) but there are plenty of changes around back and inside.

This week was a bit brutal for us both in terms of work load, schedules, and massive to-do lists. And on top of it all we had our final lending meeting on Friday to prepare for. So glad it’s all behind us and coming out to see the latest progress was a great reward for getting through the week! It’s crazy to think next time we go to visit “the money” (lender office) it will be on our close date, which we have officially confirmed will come in on time — December 1st!!!

Page managed to get out to the house on Tuesday night and snap a few mid-week pictures which are fun to compare to these from today – just a few days later. So much happens in the span of a week!

The first happening was the addition of our deck – hooray!

(on Tuesday…)

(and today…although we couldn’t get the same shot because the doors are masked shut for painting)

 

Trim work was finished up including our fireplace mantel….the big TV cut-out looks less ridiculous and more in proportion now! (on Tuesday…)

(and today…)

We have our entryway bench (on Tuesday…)

(and today…)

And there are finally some stairs from the garage into the kitchen which I have plans for, mentioned here….I’ve been informed by the guy who has for the most part let me decorate as I please that the garage is a “man area” and that overly cursive lettering and/or girly colors will not be tolerated on my steps project. Duly noted, honey. Duly noted.

The walls are primed and we’re told they’ll be painted by Monday/Tuesday. We’re also expecting to see the hardwood and tile go in this week (fingers crossed!)

I made a point to get some “before” pics of the upstairs rooms with my fisheye lens before paint and eventually carpet go in – it’s easier to get a feel for the room layouts with this lens, although I’m still clearly learning how to get it to focus correctly. šŸ™‚

(master)

(Pager’s office)

(my office)

(guest room)

I’m off to try my hand at DIY-ing a shade for the kitchen window. Hopefully a post on that success (??) will be coming shortly!

Building Our Home: Week 7

I sound like a broken record, but I continue to be amazed at the speed of progress! With week 7 of the build now complete, the outside is looking much more finished with siding and shutters, and inside with cabinets, interior doors, and trim installed!

Look at all these cuts that “Travis the trim guy” has to cut…makes my brain hurt! (We made sure to stop by with thank-you snacks.)

 

No deck yet, but you can see where it will come off the house, and the lumber has been delivered.

I haven’t been able to get very many good pics in the master yet, for the last couple of weeks it has been the dumping ground for a huge pile of drywall scrap. My plan is to wait until the trim is all in and the doors and walls are painted, and I’ll come through with my fisheye to get some better “room” shots.

The view out our bedroom window.

Until next week! Can’t believe it’s already November!

Building Our Home: Week 6

Week 6 is now behind us! This week was an especially involved one when it came to the house. Page and our builder had agreed that while a licensed electrician must be the one to run all high-voltage items, Page was allowed to get in and run ethernet cable, speaker wire and volume control boxes for our in-ceiling speakers throughout the house. This was a pet project for him and he spent so much time going through the logistics of it all and carefully compiling his list of supplies. To be able to warranty our home, the builder would go through and check Page’s work, but doing it himself, we saved ourselves a nice chunk of change.

Because progress is moving so quickly, Page had a small window of time to get in after the electrician, but before the drywallers, so he spent many early mornings and late nights before and after work this week on-site with the crew. I think he loved being a part of it though – as fun as it is to just cut the check and watch the house come to be, it’s also cool to get your hands dirty and be involved in the creation process. And this week, that process involved electical wiring, plumbing (we have tubs and showers!), and window and door installation. Our heating and cooling systems are in place as well – and just in time. It’s getting very cold out there for the construction team! We made another modification to our deck plan, which they will begin constructing in the coming week or two. I’m hoping that will be if for changes/modifications.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on some projects for the interior that I’ll save for another post.ƂĀ  We also learned that the backsplash tile we had chosen for the kitchen is no longer available, so I researched options in similar price ranges to take its place. It worked out wonderfully though – we picked so many finishes in a couple quick meetings and I was so happy just to have ANY backsplash at all (our current townhome lacks it) that I thought I was okay with what we picked. I seized the opportunity this time around to just focus on the ONE decision and went back through all the kitchen photos I had pinned on Pinterest. I had never noticed but 90% of them all had white subway tile backsplashes. This one in particular shows white cabinets and a granite very similar to ours – hoping ours turns out much like this (plus grey walls and dark floors)…love how light and bright it is! It’s funny the choices you get most excited about – I am totally psyched about this one.

 

Other than those small hiccups in progress, all is on track and we’re still hoping we can come in on our original close date of Dec 1. There are people on-site seven days a week right now – crazy!

I leave you with a few updated pics…

The welcome sign (LOL)

fireplace/drywall/windows/doors!…

heating/cooling…

love that we can get an idea by now as to how much natural light we’ll have…

tubs and showers are in…

Sir speaker master…

garage doors and access to an attic we didn’t realize we’d have…

possibly the last time we’ll see the back of the house without the deck!

Building Our Home: Week 5

We continue to be amazed at the speed with which these guys are framing – they are out there seven days a week trying to get everything framed and enclosed with windows/roof before it gets much later in the season. As you can see here, we have a second story…

…and windows and doors are in the garage waiting to be installed.

We have an electrical walk-through tomorrow so Page has been keeping busy taking measurements and figuring what we want where as far as outlets, speakers, and all other things techy (can you tell? Not my area of expertise…)

Meanwhile, I’ve been shifting my decorating focus to the upstairs…

Here’s a less-than-stellar pic of part of the master – I was trying to stay out of the way of progress…

And across the hall, Page’s office (again, being Mr. Measurements…)

A peek into the guest room down the hall…

…and across from the guest room, my office.

Photos were quick this week as it seems everywhere I tried to go, I was in someone’s way. I did manage to get around back and get a shot of the first window being installed (yay!)

Meanwhile back at our current homestead, I continue to operate in weekends. Not counting Thanksgiving weekend (we’ll be out of town), we have five more weekends between now and our close date. I’m trying not to freak about the amount of packing, furniture-selling, and organizing there is yet to do…. šŸ™‚

 

Building Our Home: Week 4


Woo hoo – it’s a house!

We came by on Friday night and were floored (pun a little intended…) to see that we had a first story built…then when we came back out today to take a photo (Sunday) we realized they are definitely working weekends – we have flooring for the second story that definitely was not there the night before last. It’s pretty surreal to watch this all come together!

While we were walking around taking our latest batch of photos, we met a couple of our neighbors and learned that the house next door to us has sold. For the most part, everyone on our street is in their late twenties to thirties and there are lots of little kids (trick or treaters!!!). The neighbor we met today was saying she’s very anxious to get everyone together for a block party and meet each other – we are all over that and so excited to be in a neighborhood that will be social and friendly. Right now, our current neighbors mostly keep to themselves and we only know a couple of them…it’s strange not knowing the people who live just across the street and I’m looking forward to the change. We’ll definitely be paying attention to what’s in the water – there are currently three mamas-to-be on our new street – ha!

But back to the house…

Everyone keeps telling us it will feel smaller during framing and more “true to size” once there are actual walls – it is definitely hard to get perspective on how each room will feel until we’re a little further along…but it’s starting to look like a house and we can no longer say we’re going out to “the lot” for a weekly photo.

 

Here is a glance down the hallway at our front door (towards the left) and what will be a half bath toward the right.

Turning around from the same point – view of the kitchen, and far to the left, the pantry.

Page standing in our living room checking out the view.

There will be a door in that front hallway that leads down to the basement. We’re keeping it unfinished for now, but plan to finish it in the next year. This is where the stairs will come down and we’re hoping to put a small wet bar here. The hall will lead back to the larger part of the basement that we will probably turn into a media room.

Page sitting on the construction guys’ bench showing us where we can all someday watch the Hawks cruise to victory. šŸ™‚

Still can’t believe how fast and long they’re working – and how quickly this is coming together! I’m out of town this week for work so I won’t get my typical mid-week drive-by that we’ve been doing every week thus far. Looking forward to seeing the changes next weekend!

 

Building Our Home: Week 3

This week, we walked out.

Okay, I just couldn’t resist starting with that statement. We really DID walk out, but not in the storm-out-of-a-builder’s-office way it sounds. šŸ™‚

To make a long story short, the land on our street does this slow steady slope as you go from one lot to the next. If you stand in what will be our backyard and look to the left, all of those houses are walkout lots – aka the ground slopes so much that the basement level can have its own rear entrance on the backside of the house. Our lot dramatically drops off, and then the final lot to the right of us is almost perfectly flat.

When we purchased our lot, it had been graded as a “daylight” lot and the house was priced accordingly. We were already pretty stoked about this because a daylight lot means that more of your lowest level is above ground than a typical basement – the windows wouldn’t be tiny and way at the top of the walls – they would be much larger (more light) and come about halfway down the wall. Well, foundation was poured this week (yay!) and whoever the powers that be are when it comes to this stuff insisted to our builder that it was on the edge and now was being classified as a walkout lot and the plans needed to change accordingly. Apparently this exchange happened pretty quickly and we knew nothing until a realtor called us to say, “so congrats – you’re getting a walkout basement at no extra cost!”.

Say whaaaa?!

So we’re pretty stoked – not only would adding a walkout layout to our basement have pushed us over our comfort price zone, but we didn’t even think it was possible according to what the city said about the elevation of our lot originally. I’m jazzed about how much more light that level will get now with even bigger windows, and it will make for much easier access to the patio under the deck now that we will have a door there. Our goal is to finish the basement ourselves within the first year here – we will be even more motivated now to make that happen!

It’s starting to become kind of magical…you can actually start to see how a HOUSE will take shape! There’s still not much you can see from the street view (above) so here are a few more pics now that there’s actually something besides dirt or a hole in the ground to photograph….and yes, I have on the same shirt as last week’s hole in the ground photo on Page’s phone…nice work, Liz. Go shopping.

surveying from approximately where the front steps will be……in our basement, demonstrating to me where the stairs will come down and where a wet bar will (eventually!) go…

…the view (for now!) from the patio/basement…

Ahh! walls!

…directing and dictating – the usual… šŸ™‚

…sneaking over to the next door neighbor’s house (it’s okay, it’s not occupied yet) to get a feel for the higher deck that we’ll have now. The dimensions here aren’t right – we’re pouring more patio than this and the deck will be a bit longer but it’s cool to get a visual!

View from neighbor’s deck…

Until next week!

Building Our Home: Week 2

Hard to tell from the street view, but behind us is a big old hole in the ground! (Below is a pic taken on Page’s phone from the night before to get a better idea…It’s all starting to feel real now!