Highlights of Homebuilding

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's The little Things

Because I'm so new to blogwriting, there are still things I am learning. Like writing down pretty amazing sayings while I think of them instead of waiting until I write to try to recall them to my sleep deprived brain. Yes, I do think up some pretty amazing things to say! haha. No, really! I'll just let you anticipate them for a later post:)

Well, it's now to the slow down stage...haha. Yeah, right. Well, let's see. In terms of appearance wise, then yes, it has slowed down considerably. But in terms of taking a break? Not in the slightest! In all the stages before this I felt kind of like a third wheel. Always going to check on stuff, but never really needed. The builders had a mind to work and get their stuff done and that's exactly what they did. In less than three weeks as a matter of fact. Paul was right: the framing is the quickest, funnest part.

Now, it's my turn. It's time to pick out colors and styles. Amounts and places. Stores and online surfing sites. Nights of staying up late to discuss faucet options and budget. Going over a million different ways to hang a light fixture (seriously, who knew?!) Running all over to five different stores only to realize that the first one was the best. Trying to decide if we should have six outdoor electrical outlets as compared to just three and should they be horizontal or vertical? I mean, come on! I wanna have fun and this is NOT my idea of fun! :) But *sigh* it has to be done...

Today we are 58 days into the building process. The subs are working and the house is coming together like a beautiful, complicated jigsaw puzzle. The weather is gorgeous! Isn't God good? And we are coming pretty close to budget. I wish I could say we were under, but we aren't. But neither are we over! We are actually budgeting pretty good. There are some things that cost us less (aka windows) than we thought, but there are others that have cost us more (aka fireplace). Sometimes I wish hindsight were a foresight thing. I sure could use a little of it for later. haha

Well, for accomplishments. Both our builders are gone. Our deck is completed. Our chimney is done. The septic system is in. The doors are on (exterior, that is). The tubs and showers are ordered and fitted in. The upstairs is framed. The fireplace and windows are on order as well as the shingles. They should all be coming in around the same time next week. The stonework for the fireplace is all lined up as well as a custom made mantel (thanks, Dad Edes!!!!). We are still looking for siding that is just the right color. No copper colored, or orange rust, or nasty apple red! Please, I just want a deep barn red with lots of white trim and pewter gray shingles. I am hoping to find that exact color without breaking the bank:) Oh, and yes. The plumbing is being worked on now. I could say a lot there, but I won't! Did I say earlier that we slowed down??? Okay, maybe we didn't!

Let's just say that we, my hubby and I, have made MANY phone calls, trips to stores and decisions. It's funny, the things that make a difference that you don't think about before. For instance, I honestly really didn't think about trim kits for the tubs and shower. The faucets, in English. Yeah, you know. No biggie. Only they were like a $500 biggie. Well.

So, are you ready for pictures?? Here are a few, but check out the link below to see the full story:) Enjoy! I wish you could be a real live part of it. It honestly is SOOOO much fun! Paul and I are both in our element:)

The finished stairs. Well, not quite finished, but ya know. Again, we have Advantech on the stairs to prevent that infamous squeaking. Elliot absolutely LOVES going up and down these things. And I must say I like that they are front and center:) I am going to make them beautiful! :)

The finished 12x16 foot deck.
The second layer will be added later along with stairs.Right now, it will be my babysitter:)

Our chimney, on the back of the house. About 8 feet tall.

Master tub. Just a soaking tub. I was going to have a drop in tub, but because I am using it as a shower too, it wasn't practical. It will still be amazing!

Ahhhh, it feels good to write:) I've got so much to say, but so little time. Hope you guys have enjoyed this last leg of the journey. It gets better and better from here! More little knicks and knacks to play around with!

Well, on to build.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's finally, FINALLY starting to look like a house...

And folks, it is. It surely, surely is. So far, it's been (counting from today, September 16th) only 6 weeks since groundbreaking. We have done the foundation, the floor trusses, the flooring, the walls (exterior and interior), the roof trusses, the deck, the bay window, the roof (excluding shingles), the stairs, the upstairs flooring and part framing and the chimney!!! If I could, I'd put about a thousand exclamation points behind that sentence! I'm just so excited!

This past week has been extremely busy: we have done the roof trusses, the decking, facia, deck railing, inside stairs, chimney. All that jazz. Bro. Mike stayed until yesterday and Tim is still here working on the days Paul is at his job. He is such a blessing!!

Before the roof trusses came we decided do go ahead and do the deck. We hadn't really planned on what we wanted, just what we didn't want. We didn't want it to span the length of the house, though I would've LOVED to have it come all the way to Elliot's back window, in case he fell, you know. But that wasn't to be the case. Paul thought it would be too likely for Elliot to try to climb out when he becomes a teenager. lol. I thought that was hilarious reasoning! :) But I have a good man to think of that! So Tuesday and Wednesday the deck was built. About nine feet off the ground and 12 feet deep by 16 feet wide. Great size! Can't wait to do some barbequeing!

Starting with the roof trusses. I just have to say something! I'm sooo glad that we have this opportunity with Elliot. He has been LOVING our home being built! We go out there every day and he sees all the progress and the machines and he just has the time of his life:) Praise the Lord! I hope he always remembers this! So, we order the trusses last Monday and they arrive on Wednesday. During that time, Bro. Mike was finishing up the interior walls. Thursday, the crane came and in about three hours they had the trusses put up and nailed in place. Bro. Mike was so awesome just climbing and not even wobbling so high up! I tried walking across a two by four laying on the ground and fell off like three times! So I would die walking up there!!! My heart about dies inside me thinking about it. *deep breath* lol Dad was there helping, guiding with a rope to where the trusses needed to be set. Bro. Mike, Tim and Paul were up nailing them into place and bracing them with 2x4s. Elliot and I stayed for most and then left. The rest of the day they spent putting the decking on the roof. That was only sheets of plywood laid across. They got half done along with the facia, which is 2x4s that cap the bottom end of the trusses.

Friday the rain came! And the inside of our home got all wet! But that's why we used Advantech so we wouldn't have to worry about warping. But they were still able to work and they got the rest of the decking and felting down. (The felt is roofing paper that acts as a water barrier).

The rest of the weekend and this week was spent on "piddly" things as I mentioned in an earlier paragraph. It was really busy, but now that that's all done we are going to start s l o w i n g d o w n.........

I did mention something on Facebook about going to the salvage yard with hubby. I can't stand when I have high hopes! Mine got sorely dashed last Wednesday. I had heard so many good things about a certain salvage yard. We went and got disappointed. Now, mind you, their selection was pretty amazing! They had great rugs and sinks and flooring and even exterior doors. But we went to look for windows and fireplaces and other such stuff. I felt like such a loser asking the lady, "well, do you have windows?" "well, do you have fireplaces?" "well, do you have tubs?" AHHHHH!! They didn't have what we were looking for at that particular time, but we will be going there later for some other stuff. I had promised Paul that I knew what I was doing so that I could get him to go with me. It about killed him to not work on the house on his day off. So I was pretty upset when all three of our stores were a bust! Only after six hours of getting lost and frustrated with our finds did we stop to realize that we were spending time together! Something we hadn't hardly done since we had started our house! When we both thought about this we started having a great time just enjoying each other's company. We may not have found what we wanted, but we had a good time looking:)

So, this week we are supposed to get our windows and doors. We have to go pick out our tubs and showers. We have to prepare everything for the subs to start their work in the next week. That is going to be interesting. The subs. Their work is sooo important! I hope they go fast and efficiently! :) And then we begin work on the vinyl siding and shingling. We are seriously considering hiring out our shingling work, but I would love to save money here, so prayerfully we will do the right thing. We are getting ready to get our bill for all our lumber. I'm praying it's less than $10,000! We can only pray, right??:) We shall see!

Well, folks, go check out my link for all the pictures. I've got to take some more of the deck and stairs but it already looks soooo different! Hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!


On to build,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Best Part!

disclaimer: long post:)

First of all, about the pictures. I have created a link so you can see ALL of them instead of 5 at a time...here it is: http://s793.photobucket.com/albums/yy214/edeshappyfam/The%20Best%20Part/

God is so good! I have to start this way, because, well, He is! There have been many ways this past week that He has helped us. I don't have the room to explain them all, but I will intersperse a few things in this post. As my title says, this part of home building is one of my favorite parts! I know the inside stuff, like the painting and flooring will be pretty neat, but the best part to me is seeing our house come together. My husband's and my dream becoming reality...what was on paper is now in wood. In real life size, not miniature. Tangible not imagined. I LOVE this part! I love, love, love it! :)

As you know, we left off with the trusses. Paul was able to do that with just the church men's help. But the closer we got to the framing the more we began to contemplate having somebody come in to help. We discussed having a local, but Paul was quite adament about having his old boss, Bro. Mike Mueller, come in for the framing section. Now that we are almost done with the framing I can see how wise of a choice this was. Sure, we wanted to save money, but we also had a time constraint and with us being able to save money in other areas we were able to have Bro. Mike come up. Bro. Mike is a fast worker, very efficient and Paul knows his style of framing so he could help after work, whereas he would have to learn the ins and outs of other framers if we had them instead. And Bro. Mike gave us the best price around:) Thank you, Lord!

Bro. Mike (who is Bro. Rob Mueller's brother) came in Monday, August 30th. Paul and him went out to the land and surveyed the job site and ran a couple errands.We went over our plans multiple, multiple times and made a few minor changes. He had great ideas and comments, so I was eager to listen and learn! For example, do you know that you can change layouts even in the framing portion of building? I did not know this. When I heard this I was like, I am NOT going to be that mean person to do that to my framer, but alas, I did not keep that promise! At least I didn't have him tear down a whole wall or something:) lol! So, Monday was errand day; Tuesday was finish up the Advantech and chalk the lines for the walls day. That was fun because I could finally tell exactly how big each room would be. It was still a little hard to imagine because it wasn't in 3D form yet, but it helped a great deal! We decided to make the hallway 6 inches smaller so that the boy's rooms would be bigger; we made a soft angle into one of their doorways instead of straight corners. I'm glad someone came up with that idea of chalking floors:) Vewy, vewy smawt!!

Man, there is soooo much I'm not telling you for lack of room. So many things that I have learned in this process! Oh well, be content!! :)

So, all this time, nobody was there to really help Mike. Joel helped on Tuesday with the laying of the Advantech (which was a HUGE blessing), but Wednesday when the lumber came Bro. Mike was the only one at the job site. It about killed my husband to not be there. It didn't really matter though because Bro. Mike was able to get the whole back walls built and put up with the windows and doors formed and everything (just not the headers put in, which is the top of the windows and doors).

Thursday, several men were able to come and help put up the rest of the exterior walls and a few interior walls. (Thank you, men, though you probably won't read this lol) Friday and Saturday, Paul was off work and helped put up the rest of the interior walls. Now, there was a slight problem Friday. That day was a church field trip that I went on and would not be at the job site for most of the day. Before this I had been at least twice or three times a day. I didn't want something happening that I didn't know about. Nothing happened on those days, but on the day I was gone, they ran into a problem. Where I had the stairs was not going to work...at. all. Coming up the stairs our heads would be sticking into the rafter part of the trusses. I didn't even think about that! Man! So, my husband made an executive decision in my absence to move the stairs from the front part of the house to the middle part of the house in front of our bedroom. It's hard to explain exactly where. It made our bedroom two feet shorter, though it was able to make it two feet wider. So, I guess there were no problems there:) haha. But it still got my heart racing when I heard my hubby's voice, "Honey, we have a problem"! But the Lord worked it out.

Well, today is Tuesday, September 7th. As of today, all the exterior and interior walls are put up. The house wrap is on(to shield the wood from bad weather). The deck posts are put in and we are now waiting on the trusses. Tomorrow they will finish the 12 x 24 foot deck in the back. It's about ten feet off the ground! What a view:) Thursday they will put the roof trusses on and during the weekend they will do the stairs, plywood and felt the roof, put in windows and doors and we will officially be "dried in". Safe from the elements!! Yippee!!!!!

On to build,


Thursday, September 2, 2010

TRUSSES! Is that exciting sounding or what? :)

Praise the Lord, we are ahead of schedule!! We should just be finishing up putting the flooring down, but instead the exterior walls are nearly finished!! God is good! We have had some excellent help with the trusses and now with the walls...several men came from the church a week and a half ago to help lay the floor trusses! Those things are monster big! My brother, Nate, has already been out several times. Brothers do come in handy sometimes:) Joel, my brother in law, has been out twice and my awesome dad has been out several times also. They have helped with the cutting, measuring, hauling, placing, marking and just plain moral support! What a blessing! Thank you everyone, thank you!! We would be FAR behind schedule without you and I would have a pretty stressed out husband:) But instead he is very pleased with the progess! As am I:)

As much has happened it has been a pretty uneventful week. I know that may sound oxymoronic, but it's true. Nothing has not gone well, our materials have not been stolen, the weather has been great, and we have not made any major mistakes on the house. My husband did the floor trusses himself (as far as the layout and measuring; we had great help from the church men) and everything measured up perfectly. He had to do some manuvering with the bay window to try to get it in a 45 degree angle. It ended up in a 40 degree angle, but both sides match, so that's what counts! He moved slower with the Advantech than was planned. But it really didn't mess him up as far as the schedule. We did have some figuring to do this past week as far as the window placement, sizes, door sizes, and overhang size (the overhang is technically called the "eaves" of the house, really how far out the side of the house the roof goes). We decided on 20 inches. We contemplated going farther out in the back so the deck would have some covering, but that would be a huge jump in cost for the extra truss work. We decided to just build a covering for the portion of the deck that we want covered, instead. After we decided the window sizes we took them up to Lewis Hills (this was Monday) and he ordered the lumber to come on Wednesday. He had to know the window sizes to know exactly how much lumber we would need. For you future house builders out there, I learned something about windows:) When I recorded all the windows that I needed I put the height of the window first and then the width. It was nicely suggested to me (so as not to confuse the framer) that the WIDTH should go first and then the HEIGHT. I didn't realize little things make a big difference, but many a times has there been a window where the measurements were wrong because of this particular reason! I did NOT want that to happen to me! Well, as I said earlier it was a pretty uneventful week, but one filled with much excitement!!! Our flooring is now done!! Here are the pictures...

The pile of Advantech and rim board. Now you can see why we got builder's risk insurance...this stuff would be so easy to steal just lying there! Advantech is an extremely durable material that is used for the flooring. It comes with a 50 year warranty against squeaks and does not warp when it gets wet. It cost a little bit extra than regular plywood, but in the long run (and probably in the short run, too) it is worth it. The rim board is just sheets of OSB that goes up against the truss ends. It's so the siding has something to hold onto.

Paul's new nail gun and the cantilever floor trusses. This was pretty interesting because at first we were just going to buy a regular bay window (talked about in earlier post), but decided instead to build the window into the floor trusses. A little more work, but less expensive and sturdier. Paul had to figure out the angle and placement with the level and tape measure. He was off a few degrees, but nothing detrimental. He worked about 6-8 hours just on this portion.

Elliot's church he built out of the floor truss ends. :) He had a steeple put up earlier made out of a post or something, but decided it would be better used as a gun to kill the butterflies. lol

My hardworking hubby. I feel sooo bad about not getting the pics of the men who did all the hard work; Bro. Stamp and his son Dalton, Bro. Reynolds, Bro. Higgins. When I came up that day to take the pictures I realized that I had left my SD card in my computer! I am a loser!! But they did all the laying of this side. They spent most of their Saturday being a blessing to us:)

The level comes in really handy! It tells us if we have a truss that is higher than the others. The outer edges of the foundation were first marked and then the trusses were placed in position and banged with a hammer until perfectly lined up. If you looked down the side of the trusses they would all be straight as an arrow. That takes a lot of work and precise measuring. A pretty tedious job, but necessary.

I'll be posting tonight or tomorrow to catch us up with the flooring and walls!! This is pretty exciting stuff guys. I can't wait until it's done and I can have you all over for a visit:) You are welcome anytime. During the building process and then afterwards for all the fun:)
On to build,