Standing Rule: Click on the photos for larger views.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

The One In Which We Play Catch-Up

It's been a few weeks, but you will be amazed at the changes that have happened in that time! Read on for pics of the progress in the past few weeks and a very exciting announcement at the end. (No jumping ahead now!)

September 29, 2007

Things are still looking pretty rough. There's not much to see that looks different from previous pictures.

The basement stairs are still pretty rough, though you can see that the electricity and plumbing have now been run. The basement floor is still just dirt with a sheet of plastic over it.

The insulation is in, except for the ceiling. It looks kind of dark now, but just you wait!

October 7, 2007
Check it out! Our garage has a slab! A real live floor! The driveway is a bit torn up, but they'll fix that after all the big giant trucks are gone for good.

Pretty rough wall yet. It's been raining, thus the plastic wall. You can't really see it here, but there is a slab floor in the basement too!

We have our very own electrical panel. Funny how such mundane things can be so exciting. It's labeled and everything! We found out by reading this that we are going to have a garbage disposal. We had no idea.

Heading on upstairs, we've got drywall. It's not complete yet, but they're making good progress. The ceiling is done and most of the walls. Just a few spots to fill in.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a shower! No toilet or sink yet, though the plumbing is there for them. The Geek looks pretty happy about that shower. Actually, I think he's just like me – happy about everything in this house.

And because I'm completely obsessed with our living room windows and that gorgeous view, you get to see them again. Aren't they just lovely?

Apparently the Geek thinks so too. That safety railing is quite the eyesore. Thankfully it's only there for the workers. It will be gone by the time we move in.

October 13, 2007
Our living room has been taped and mudded! Paper and goop has never been quite so exciting as this.

This is the kitchen. Check out all the holes in the walls! It's amazing how much electricity it takes to run a kitchen.

The well...ahhhh the well. The problem with building in our area is that there is a LOT of traprock. If you've never heard of that, it's a well-driller's nightmare. As I understand it, traprock is huge formations of rock deep underground. It's extremely hard and requires special drill bits as well as special pipes for the well. The cost of drilling through traprock is approximately double the regular well-drilling price. At this point, I think they had gotten about 280 feet down (400 feet was our goal) and had gone through three drill bits.

On a more happy note, the walkout is starting to shape up. The wall is done and the siding is going up now. I think My Geek is pretty jazzed about that. Check out the close-up of that goofy grin!!

October 20, 2007
We're just about caught up. These next photos are from yesterday. This is where it gets really exciting. The house is really starting to look like a real house now! Don't forget, you want to keep on to the end! Exciting news!

Ahhhh, the well again. The truck is gone, but they'll be back. They got down to 380 feet and had not the slightest sign of decent water yet. So they gave us an option. We could keep going, with no promise of how far they would have to go to find water, or they could do what's called a "hydrofrac", which has proved successful in the past. Basically they put a big balloon down there and blow it up to about 6500 psi, which shatters the surrounding rock. The hope is that it will create a pocket of least that's how I understand it.

They did the hydrofrac this past week, and the well guy is coming back out this week to pump it out and see if we have water. Pray that we do!! Otherwise this may just be the most expensive well in the history of wells! It's already so horribly expensive that I can't tell you because your head might explode with the impact of it and I do NOT want to be responsible for anyone's head exploding.

Kitchen again, but without the tape/mud spots this time! Where did they go? They're buried nicely under a coat of white paint! Woo hoo!

And again with the window obsession. The living room looks so much nicer with that coat of paint. They did an orange peel texture on all the walls, and a knockdown texture on the ceiling. I cannot tell you how much nicer that knockdown texture is than popcorn texture on a ceiling.

And the dining room with it's pretty doors. The sun makes such pretty shadows. Oh, and that's not beige carpet, though it looks a little like it. That's just the chipboard sub-floor. The red paper is gone and they're starting on the floors on Monday. Yay!

Last, but certainly not least, is our front entrance. This door is going to go in the walkout when they're done and the front door with have a nice leaded glass window. Aren't the steps lovely? He's not done yet, but he's doing a very nice job. He gave us a choice of a cement front step or this cedar one. Of course we chose cedar!

SO, the big moment has arrived. For those of you who made it through all of that, we are very excited to announce that we have a move-in date, and it's less than 2 weeks away! We are moving on November 3rd! Woo hoo!!

This week they're finishing up all the flooring, trim, cabinets, etc. The walk-through is this Friday, and next week we plan to get in there and start painting. What? You didn't expect us to live with white walls, did you? The Geek and Geekwif? Nevah! We shall have pretty colored walls in every room...with the possible exception of the laundry room. Come back next week to see our paint choices!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The One With Lots of Awesome Changes (Or "What a Difference Three Days Makes")

We checked out the house progress on 9/16/07. The basement walls had been poured and the walkout framing was in. Following is a taste of what we saw.

Looking out over the "house". Remember, at this point it's just a basement. The corner you see in the ground close-up is the garage foundation. In the distance you can see the walkout wall framing which our builder was working on early that morning.

Here's a view from the same direction, but down inside the basement. The two big openings in that wall on the far left and right are the windows. (They won't be quite that big.) And the smaller opening in the middle is the door. The basement will be unfinished to start, but our future plans are to add an entertainment room with the Geek's dream big-screen TV, a spare bedroom or den for the Geek, and a hobby room for the Geekwif. The stairs will come down right next to where the Geek is standing. See the lengths of concrete in the floor just in front of his feet? Those are the footings for the stairs.

This is facing the back of the basement. (The walkout wall is behind me.) That pipe in the wall connects to the septic, just in case you were wondering. Our utilities and some rough-in plumbing for a future bathroom will be along this back basement wall.

Here's the walkout wall again, but from outside instead of inside.

This is the walkout slope. They had to do quite a bit of grading. The are leaving us a nice big area around the house for starting a lawn, but there is still a lot of untouched space that is very weedy and will have to be dealt with...probably next year.

Speaking of weedy, we took a walk downhill to where they are going to dig our well. Our area is known for traprock which makes well-digging a huge pain-in-the-tuckus, but the well-digger thinks this spot may be a crack in the traprock. If he's right, we save lots o' dough!

And here's the first load of house parts. Under that tarp lies walls, roof trusses, and other parts of our house-to-be. It's like Tinker Toys!

Keep reading to see what happened just three days later!


On 9/19/07 we took another trip out to see the progress. The team had been delayed a couple of days, but was working all day putting together those parts that were under the tarp just three days earlier, and boy-oh-boy, what a difference three days makes!

Check it out! It's an actual house! Okay, so the roof looks a little funny yet, but hey, we have walls! Let's take a walk around before we go inside, okay?

Check out that gorgeous blue sky! Oh wait, this is a picture of the crane. How wild is that? They use the crane to lift the walls into place since with a panelized house like this, the walls are already put together when they arrive.

You remember this view from three days ago, right? No? Take a close look at that walkout wall. It didn't used to have a house on top of it. Inside those sliding doors and windows above are the dining and living rooms. We will be building a deck next year, but for now beware of the really big step out that sliding door!

All that dirt you saw in the above pictures? Looked innocent, didn't it? It was all newly filled and not packed down yet, so after 2 days of hard rain it became thick muck. We had to pretty much run from spot to spot to keep from sinking in over our ankles. Even so, our shoes bore the brunt of our little adventure. Now we're going to go inside. I must admit, even though it is a construction site, I cringed just a little stepping in the door with all that mud on my shoes.

There's our front door from the inside. We didn't actually enter through this door though. See, the muck at the front door was the worst of all. One of the crew guys demonstrated for us by stepping in it and literally sinking up to his knee.

Here's the door we entered by – the garage entry. It enters into the laundry room and then the hallway we're looking through.

Same hallway, from the opposite direction. I'm standing in the laundry room now looking down the hallway toward the living/dining room.

Off to the right is the office.

To the left is the master bedroom.

Trust me when I tell you this is a bathroom.

And then we enter the totally awesome greatroom. The living room is on the left and the dining room is on the right. If the house looks a little bent in the middle, it's because I had to paste two photos together to get the full view. By the way, we are totally in love with our windows. One of only a couple upgrades we chose, but SO worth it.

Another trust me – this is our kitchen. See that smaller window? That will be over the sink. And the jutting out part of the wall toward the right is my pantry! I have a pantry! I have never in all my life had a pantry before. I am so excited.

And how cool is this? No roof yet, but even once it is on it's going to be pretty cool. We have a vaulted ceiling in the living/dining/kitchen. Love it.

Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our tour. Thanks for coming and we hope you join us next time! We stopped out sans camera last weekend (bad me!) and the roof has been decked and shingled. There's sure to be even more progress when we go out this weekend. See ya back here soon!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007

The One In Which The House Is Finally Started

The excavation was delayed a bit due to rain, but yesterday we trekked out to the site of our future home, and just look what we found!
The excavation is done as are the footings! Woo hoo!!! The forms for pouring the concrete foundation were all standing about, waiting to be put in place. We heard from the builder today. The forms have since been put in place and they were prepared to pour the concrete today.

More forms, stacked and ready to go.

Here's another view of the beautiful thing that will soon be our home. See that rectangle of concrete that juts out from the rest at the bottom of the photo? That's about where our front entry will be. The living and dining rooms will be off to the left, kitchen straight across, and the bedrooms off to the right.

This is along the west wall. The rebar embedded in the concrete will reinforce the foundation walls that were poured today.

As we were oohing and aahing over our new basement, something ran across our yard, way out in the distance. Can you see it?
Now, can you see it? There are actually two of them. Look very closely on the far left of the picture to see the less obvious one. (Hint:click on the photo for an even better view.)

We asked them to be careful about the two small birch trees that stand near the house. As you can see here, they came right up to this one, but left the tree itself unscathed. The rock just to the right of the tree was not there before. I'm guessing it was dug out of the ground when they were excavating. We're just glad they didn't find anything bigger. Our builder told us he once encountered an eight-foot long rock when attempting to excavate for a house.

We found this attached to one of the plethora of boxelder trees on the lot. The permit is a beautiful thing. The multitude of boxelder bugs swarming on it? More of an eeeewwww thing.

They've also been working on our driveway. It's probably not quite so obvious to anyone who has never tried to drive through our extremely bumpy lot as it is to us, but the driveway is shaping up very nicely. That big machine behind the Geek was the first thing we saw as we approached our property yesterday.

Last, but by no means least, is our south view. This was taken from what will be the exit of our walkout. The living room and dining room will be directly above the walkout and have big windows facing the same direction, which means that this will be our main view. Gotta love it.

This week they are finishing the foundation, digging the well, and making sure the foundation is prepared for the house, which will be delivered on Monday, Sept 17th – just one week away! We are going to spend the day out there and watch as they take factory-built walls and fit them into place to make our new home! Come back for more pictures. Things are moving along now!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The One In Which We Pick Out Lighting Fixtures

Some things about building a house are definitely more fun than other things. Picking out lighting fixtures is SO one of the "more fun" things – at least for a girl. We need to allow 4- 6 weeks for delivery for our fixtures, so we had to order right away. The Geek actually seemed to enjoy looking for lighting fixures too, but he was a bit more interested in checking out home theater systems. He's really looking forward to building a home theater in the basement after we move in.

The excavation is now scheduled for Tuesday, so in lieu of photos of a big hole in the ground, I thought I would show you a bit of what will eventually be in the house which as yet does not exist. We may not be arranging furniture and fluffing couch pillows yet, but picking out fixtures certainly helps to start envisioning the finished product which will be our home.

So, let's start with my least favorite and work up from there, okay? I have never been fond of ceiling fans. I think they're ugly. I know. I'm a total snob.

The builder suggests we have four of them – one in the living room, one in the dining room, and one in each bedroom. So I compromised. We picked one fan that we will put in the living room and master bedroom. The 2nd bedroom is an office, so I really couldn't see having a fan in there blowing papers around. And the dining room? NO WAY! a) I do not want to have a fan blowing dust all over our dinner, and b) I want a chandelier! I mean, c'mon, the chandelier in the dining room is the most important piece of lighting in the house! (And all the women are nodding their heads in agreement. "Right on, sister!")

So, after considering budget and our decor, we chose this one.
(You can click on all these images to see a bigger version.)

Now, let's move outside for a moment. We needed five wall lanterns outside – one on each side of the garage door, one at the garage service door, and one at each door of the house. We chose this light for all of those places.
It's shown in a black finish here, but we chose what they call Verde Green, which is like verdegris – basically a black and green speckled finish.

The second bedroom is going to be our office, and we chose this ceiling fixture for that room.

And finally, the pièce de résistance, the dining room chandelier. We looked at some 5-light chandeliers, but they were out of our budget. I think this will do nicely.
As you can probably tell, we are going for warm fall colors inside the house. We're thinking dark red, sage green, buttery yellow. I think these fixtures will fit nicely into that decor. What do you think?

Labels: , ,