Thursday, August 23, 2012


I know, I know!  I'm way past due for photo updates.   As a matter of fact, the photos I'm posting below are out of date, and much has been done since these were taken, BUT I want to keep things in order.

The plumbing and electrical crew completed the rough-in, and the excavation team has been busy outside grading the lot, moving dirt to lower areas, and trying to smooth out the steep slope on the driveway and front yard a little. They are doing a great job, and I really like the guys working on it. Here's our nice dozer guy:

We've completed the first stage of insulation (the second stage happens AFTER the top floor in drywalled) and started the drywall installation.  Insulating a new home involves a heck of a lot of other things besides just your typical roll insulation. They seal the top floor framing to the basement, they fill all the holes drilled into the wall studs and subfloors (for electric and plumbing) with firestop foam, and the do some interesting things around the overhead exterial roof areas with cardboard and insulation. We were impressed!

 We had a little hiccup at the building inspection and the inspector had to come out again, but we were approved and ready to move on.  While all this was going on inside, the siding and stone folks were finishing up the outside.

 And then they finished....and it looked fabulous.   Well at least we certainly think so.  :)

The Canuck and I are having a great time building this house. Of course, there have been a couple of frustrating moments and a couple of challenges, but nothing too tough and nothing so stressful that it's taken away from the job of the process and the thrill of building our own house.  We are loving it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More photos...

Here are just a few more shots of the inside, the HVAC trenching (we are putting in geothermal), and the rough outside work.   More coming - we are now just about finished with the rough in, roofing and siding!  WOO HOO!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Just a little update on construction. The framing is just about completed (just a couple of minor items to finish) and the same goes for the roofing.  The Electrician, plumber, and HVAC technicians have moved in and begun the rough in of utilities and today, the garage doors are being installed.  Perfect timing considering you don't want to lay copper electrical wires or install HVAC units and not be able to lock up the house.  YIKES!  After today, it'll be locked up tighter than a drum....and construction can continue.

Here are a few photos.  First the front.  You can barely tell from the photo but the shingles are on there - Owens Corning Dimensional shingle in Onyx Black, which is really a charcoal gray to medium gray shaded shingle.  LOVE THEM!   We are still building up the driveway a bit in front of the garage to eliminate the steep slope, but that's coming along nicely.

Then a side view of not only the two-decked patio/porch on the house, but the new porch we are having installed on our old barn.  We'll repaint the barn as soon as we have some extra time in the next couple of months.  :)   The piece of machinery on the right of the photo is what they brought in to dig the trenches for the geothermal system (more on that to come).

And, a view of the back.  From this direction, the house looks so bigger than I thought it would.  The size surprises me everytime I look at it.
So we're moving right along....and having a great time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

UP, UP and AWAY...

The Canuck and I spent last Friday at the lot watching the crew, with the help of a big crane, set the trusses on the house.  We sat up our chairs under a shade tree - it was hot and sunny - and watched the progress.  Our grandson, Layne, was with us, and my dad joined the fun. We bought lunch for the guys and set up chairs in the shade for them too.  It was fun to talk with them about the house and get to know a few of them a little better.  They are hard-working guys, who are helping us make our dream come true.  And we appreciate that.

As soon as we rounded the corner down the road, we saw the huge crane in the air.  They'd started early so we missed the setting of the first truss, it was so exciting to see the roof framing up, that we didn't mind.

After the hectic, crazy few months of full-time jobs, coordinating the construction as the general contractor, buying and ordering materials, etc, it was GREAT to just mosey around the lot, sit back, and just simply enjoy watching all the progress on the house. The trusses gave the frame a completed look, we can now see exactly how tall it will be, where the cathedral ceiling begins, and we can  better visualize how everything will come together with a few shingles and some siding.  Simply put, we absolutely love the house.  And seeing it all framed in just confirmed that it's going to be perfect for our family.

Here's a view from the front and back with the trusses near completion. There were still some small trusses left that the crew will set, but the crew will do that themselves.

We've also been doing a lot of buying for the house:  lighting and plumbing fixtures, tubs, and showers.  Because of some really good sales and to take advantage of the deals, we've already ordered our cabinets and purchased appliances.  It's a crazy time, and we're couldn't be having any more fun!

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Well, it's definitely time for an update. The crew has been busy framing the lower and upper floors and we are now almost ready for trusses. It's been so interesting to watch the progress day by day. There have been some lapses (a bit of rain, waiting on some materials to be delivered, or replacement materials for some bad lumber, etc.) but on most days, the guys are hard at work building the house.  I love that. 

These first pics are of the framing process. The bottom floor framing was first, of course, and it was wonderful to walk through the framed floor seeing where walls and rooms will be, contemplating the size of rooms, etc. The books all say the rooms look small when just framed, but I thought the opposite.  The rooms look big to me!   Maybe I just understand the true dimensions having measured, pondered, contemplated, and studied like-size rooms for months before finalizing the plans.  I know exactly what size they will be, so that's probably what I'm picturing in my head.  :)

Top floor framing and pouring the garage floor came next. They poured the concrete and constructed the exterior walls first and that's where we hit a stall. First a little rain, then Memorial Day weekend. At this point, we could really get a good feel for the cumulative size of the house. And it's big but not huge.  When just the bottom floor was framed, the Canuck and I walked around thinking that floor alone probably would have been big enough for just the two of us, so it was surprising and humbling and to think there would be another identical size floor above it. Yikes! What are we doing building a house this size?!?!?!  With five children, and six and counting grandchildren, and with lots of out-of-town Canadian friends and family, we'll need all that room when folks come for visits.  Size-wise, I think it's going to be just perfect for us.

One of the best things about our little building spot on the hill, we imagined, would be the view and when the top floor was framed, we got the chance to see how right we were. The first pic is a view of the front, with driveway and the road. The second is a photo through the front room window of the pond and woods.   Love!

And now move ahead to this week.  Both floors are framed, wrapped, and building has begun on the two-level back deck/porch.  They'll need to add the column on the front porch, finish the deck and we'll be ready for trusses.  And those may go up today.  My grandson and I are packing a picnic lunch and going out to the spend the day at the lot, watching the crane and truss installation.  Here's what it looked like last night.  More to come.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


And they are framing....

YIPPEE!!!  YAY!!! YAHOO!!!  We were doing a little happy dance this past week as they began framing.  Gosh that part of the work goes quickly, with some real and significantly noticeable progress each day.  In less than a week, they have the bottom floor frame, and are working on the floor joists and sub-floor today, with the intention of beginning the framing of the top floor tomorrow. Did I say yippee?!?

There have been several deliveries of building materials (and the invoices that go with them).  Here's the Canuck beside one pile.

 In the master bedroom, we've designed a bump out area that I plan to use as a reading, sitting, listening-to-the-rain, comfy spot.  I have to find the right chair and ottoman (and I'm on a mission for that this weekend), but the framers are getting it ready.

And to add a bit of a complication for the contractors, a Killdeer bird has decided to lay her eggs right in the middle of the driveway in the front of the garage. Our builders and the delivery guys are trying to work around her to save the nest, and give the eggs time to hatch (my dad has even marked the spot with a red flag so we all know where it is) but she better hurry up and crack those things.  :)   Here is she is, in all her nest-guarding glory, and in the background is the view across the road from the front of the new house.  We have peaceful, beautiful views from both sides.  Love that!

The framing part of construction is by far the most exciting thus far.  It's great to see the rooms and areas taking shape.  I'm already figuring out furniture placement!

Monday, May 21, 2012


The last post provided a bit of information about the exterior of the house, so today's post will focus on the inside and the three porches. 

As I mentioned, the interior living space is about 3,450 sq ft over the two floors. There's four bedrooms (two up and two down), a playroom (for grandkids!), an office (for me!) and three bathrooms. The upstairs great room and downstairs family room both have open floor plans to the kitchen eating area up and a bar/small kitchen area downstairs, and there is a separate dining room upstairs also. The house will sport a mud room and a utility room off the three-car garage and there will be two fireplaces, one gas FP upstairs and a wood-burning FP down.

Here are the floor plans for both levels:

I have to admit, it's still exciting for me every time I open up the plans to look at them. A lot of thought and care went into planning each floor's layout.  Every wall, closet, room, light fixture, and doorway has been contemplated, critiqued, and analyzed.  Every nook and cranny thought about, and decided upon. What this means is that we STILL will not have the perfect house.  :)  I have no doubt that as much planning and thought that went into the process, we still will likely get the house completed and wish we'd done something different--made this doorway bigger, put a can light here, added some storage there.  But that's ok, it'll be close enough to perfect for us.  And that's all that matters.

We've opted for larger than average windows, but not so big that we'll be fighting the sun all the time.  The houses faces east with the setting west sun at night in the back.  Just like the house we currently live in.  As we have learned with our current house, direct heat of the sun all day, and the setting evening sun doesn't work as well for a deck with no roof or covering. Our current deck was getting so hot on a beautifully sunny day that it was too hot to walk on or to sit out and eat on in the evenings. We've added a pergola to the current deck which has made a significant difference, but in the new house, I was adamant that the porch all be roofed.  There is a smaller porch at the front entrance of the house and a two-level deck/porch in the back.  We will be able to access the top floor porch, overlooking our woods and pond, from the main level great room area, and the downstairs deck via the family room area.  And the porches are fairly big, approximately 16 x 20.  I wanted big ol' porches we can live on, eat on, entertain on, and be incredily comfy on. 

I think the porches are going to one of my favorite parts of the house. I've already purchased a porch swing for the upstairs porch, and a small antique table to use for cozy breakfasts.  I'm envisioning many happy house with the Canuck, and with our family and friends on those porches.

So now you have a glimpse of the inside....more details to come.  Thank you for stopping by and reading about our house.