My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Home is where you hang your hardhat...

No, we're not hanging our hardhats (or any hats) there yet, though when this project started we thought we'd be about to move in by now. Such is new construction.

And such is trying to keep up with blogging about it ~ I can't believe my last house update post was three weeks ago today! But it doesn't mean I haven't been documenting the progress. Progress that hasn't been without glitches, such as window and door trim preventing vanity drawers in two bathrooms from opening fully, traffic flow issues requiring a post-installation kitchen island redesign, and a broken pump on the Sherwin Williams' tinting machine (it really does matter how much raw umber ends up in your paint samples!) The vanity drawers vs. trim battle is the latest one being waged, and though it's frustrating, we're optimistic it will be won. Again, such is new construction!

So, picking up where I left off on July 1, here's photographic evidence of some of the progress to date...

When we ride our bikes to the job site, we take this route through a quiet neighborhood and down the walking/biking path behind the house. That way we can sneak up on our contractors. ;-) It also affords us this fun view...

The back of our future house (in the middle), 
taken from the not-yet-paved neighboring walking trail.

On this holiday visit to the house, we were pleasantly surprised to see that most of the interior doors were hung! Here BW celebrates (with the door to our master bedroom behind him) by hoisting our master bathroom tile sample in lieu of a frosty mug of beer. Unfortunately, the celebration was premature since by our next visit to the house, all the doors had been removed and have been leaning against the walls ever since (we know not why). Oh well, it was fun while it lasted! 

The laundry room (over BW's right shoulder) now has a tiled floor, 
but the master bath tile sample remains just that - a sample.
That floor will be done when the shower tiling is complete.

If this guy had a pair of shorts and a face,
and were holding a tile and sunglasses,
he'd look a little like BW! Only not as tan. 

The next week was an exciting one, as Todd's Uncle Kirk came down from Montana to start our tile work. (He's my favorite of all the guys who have been working on the house). Here is the kitchen floor in progress...

And here it is, completed and grouted, and now with kitchen cabinets placed on it willy-nilly as they await installation...

Both upper cabinets in the corner will have glass doors

Sometimes it feels like things take forever to get done, but sometimes we'll go out in the morning to find a scene like the willy-nilly cabinets, only to return after lunch to find something like this...

The island re-design I mentioned has yet to be implemented,
but involves eliminating the raised breakfast bar on the right.
It would stick out too far and impede traffic flow from the garage.
The raised bar in front (facing the great room) will stay.
You can't always know things when they're ideas on paper,
you have to see them come together in reality first!
Then you cuss and find a fix, which is often a better idea anyway!

After Kirk finished the tile floors in the kitchen and front entry, he moved his operation upstairs...

The guest bathroom floor, which has since been finished
and isn't nearly as gold-colored as it appears in this photo

...while the hardwood floor guys got started in the living room...

It takes a lot of equipment to install wood floors! (they're finishing up the dining room in this photo, and have now finished that, the hallway, the half bath and the study. They plan to sand tomorrow and start staining on Tuesday)...

Note the masked windows ~ the painters got in on the action too, 
though so far it's all been prep work. 
Exterior painting is scheduled to start this week.

Here's Uncle Kirk prepping the master bath shower stall for tile...

It's halfway done, but I'll wait and show it to you finished.
Poor Kirk has had to work upstairs in 100ยบ outside temps.
There's no a/c nor blown-in insulation in the attic yet,
and he can't use fans while he works 
because they'd dry the thin-set and grout too quickly.
I'd be wicked cranky, but he always stays cheerful!

And here's the most recent photo, taken just yesterday morning when we went over to slap our paint samples (now with adequate amounts of raw umber in them) on the walls. The maintenance-free shakes were just installed in the gables Friday afternoon, and the big red dumpster was moved so they could prep and frame the driveway for concrete (being poured Monday). So I finally had an uncluttered view of the front of the house and took advantage of it!...

In addition to the Challenge of the Vanities (let's hope it doesn't turn into a Bonfire, lol), there's a more complicated problem we just discovered that needs to be fixed - we're just hoping it doesn't cause significant delays. (I'll write about it as the details of the solution and its repercussions are made clear). Meanwhile, the hardwood floors and master bath shower are being completed, the driveway's being poured and the exterior painting is getting underway this week, our kitchen appliances are being delivered Thursday. And before the month is out we're also looking forward to seeing countertops and plumbing fixtures installed, the stone mason's arrival to finish the garage and front porch, interior priming and painting, and everyone is rooting for the HVAC guys to return and install the air conditioner! So stay tuned for more updates! :-)


  1. WHOA!! Kirk's good...he can make floor tiles float!
    Jane x

  2. I like, delicious home, I caught.

  3. Very nice update on your house. I expect you will be moving in soon -- it looks like most of it is done? Nice to have a walking trail practically in your back yard. Lots of room in the house for family and pets. -- barbara

  4. TW! Loved all the pics, and I know it looks like bits and pieces, but it will all come together at some point....very soon! Yeah, Kirk is good...very good. A really good tile guy is hard to find. Love the view from behind your place, too! xoxo

  5. Have you got any hair left? I'd have torn mine out by now with all the 'issues' you have to deal with...

    Good to see the progress made since the last update - that's a great tiled floor! I do wonder what the poor doors did to all have to be removed...

    The only way I'd ever get as brown as BW is if someone painted me with raw umber :o)

  6. Jane ~ Yes, that Kirk is a regular magician. :-)

    Leovi ~ Thanks! I'm not sure about the rest of the home, but the kitchen is delicious, with "chocolate" stain on "cherry" cabinets! :-)

    Barbara (KY) ~ Thank you. We're shooting for the middle of next month for our closing, but it's hard to tell. We love having the walking trail just two doors down ~ those walking trails will one day connect nearly all parts of Sheridan, and we've missed the easy access to them that we had at Dragonfly Cottage, where it was right out our front door. (This one will be even better - close enough, but without the constant foot, bike and skateboard traffic right outside our windows!)

    Spud ~ As the floors get finished and the walls get painted and the fixtures and appliances get installed, it will really feel like it's all come together. And for the most part, that should all be done by the first part of August. Kirk's a great guy, we'd seen his work in Todd's spec houses and were ever so hoping he'd come down here to do ours! He's really personable, too. Todd and his family are really nice and very easy to work with.

    I love that view too, I'll be bummed when it gets developed!

    Barbara (UK) ~ Yes I do, but it's grayer than it was a few months ago! ;-) For all the issues we've had to deal with, I think they've been far fewer and much simpler than most people whose home-building stories I've heard. But it's sure not a simple process, with all the details, all the people involved, all the decisions, and all the things that have to mesh. Not until this weekend has there been a large or complicated problem, and with it as with all the small ones, Todd has been right on top of it the second it's revealed. I've had very different contractor experiences sometimes during remodels.

    We're very pleased with how the tile floors look (our favorite tile is the one going in the master bath, so I hope the cases of it Todd gets will match - the dye lots can be alarmingly different!) I keep meaning to ask about the door removals, but there always seem to be more pressing matters that drive that question right out of my head.

    LOL about having to be painted with raw umber to be as brown as BW! :-)

  7. As always, I love the home updates and lucky for you I've been behind with my blog reading or I'd have noticed it's been THREE weeks. Fortunately for me I get snippets in other ways and I'm much appreciative of that!

    As I said before, I love the back of the house and now I can say that I love the whole view including the walking trail in the back of the house. I think it's a great view and very inviting and I can't wait to be on it myself!

    THe bathroom tile looks so pretty. I really like all the different shades of gray? in it - lots of visual appeal.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the final island with counters so I can picture it better. I agree that some things are just too hard to picture on paper.

    I've never had a hardwood floor that was installed and then stained. Then again, I've only had hardwood in this house. I really can't wait to see a picture of that.

    I've been staring at the front of the house photo for some time and can't find the more complicated problem you allude to. Hope it works out OK!

  8. Jo ~ I know, I was surprised to see it had been that long since my last house update. Guess time flies when you're having fun! :-) I haven't been to the house since Monday evening, and BW hasn't really had time to check in on things (to my chagrin), so I'm anxious to see it when I go over there tomorrow morning to inspect the kitchen appliances when they're delivered. They'd painted the body of the house Monday, but I don't know if they've painted trim or doors yet. And the floors had been sanded and now should be stained ~ for some reason I'm nervous to see them. The sample we'd had custom-stained and polyurethaned was SO perfect, I have this fear the real thing won't look as good for some reason! And I'm wondering if the shower is finished. It was nearly so when I saw it Monday and was looking really nice.

    You'll love that walking trail! That area is really great for walks.

    The bathroom tile is one BW chose, and it's our favorite. It is shades of gray and some tan - the color and the pattern remind us of wet beach sand! (We're doing that room in a beachy theme). But wow, how tile dye lots can differ, so again, I'm nervous about the real thing matching the sample!

    I'm not sure if it's Todd or the wood floor installer that prefers to stain the floors in place. Maybe it's both of them! I'll try to get a photo of it tomorrow morning.

    Keep staring, it may jump out at you yet! I didn't notice it in person, but I saw it almost immediately after downloading that photo. Todd has been addressing it since he came up with the solution Monday, but it will be a while before the fix is completed. I fear we may have lost a week, but don't know for sure. I'm afraid to ask! We were grateful he made it a priority without our even asking him to, though. And I think it will work out - might even be better than it would have been.

    I'll try to do my next update over the weekend - won't leave you hanging so long next time! :-)

  9. Hey, you guys are having way too much fun building that nest. Wow, it sure looks to be a splendid home soon enough!

  10. raf ~ "Fun" isn't the word that springs immediately to mind. "Grueling," "challenging," "tiring," "stressful," and "endless" do. The place is abuzz with activity lately as our contractor tries to make our Aug 15 closing date (there's no way it can happen, and it's causing great consternation), and that means frequent trips to the house and a thousand decisions to make every day, just when we thought we'd made all the decisions we possibly could. I'm at that stage I'd always heard about in the home-building experience ~ I don't CARE, I just want it to be OVER WITH!!! :-)

    It will be pretty, though. So far there haven't been too many do-overs or regrets, and there have been some pleasant surprises. We're just eager to get out of this shabby little rental and start living there. And get busy landscaping!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
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There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
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