Highlights of Homebuilding

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pretties: Pt. One

Yes, it's time for the "pretties" :) Or as Paul calls it, the "details" :) We're both right! To pick up where I left off in my last post with the mudding/sanding/drywalling...

Even though Paul wasn't quite finished with the sanding and mudding ( he still had several corners to do, and the bullnose, which was the rounded corners I chose), we decided to have Paul's parents come up to help us. Because Paul has the best parents, they were soooo extremely gracious to offer up their services to us in the phase: the tile, floor laying phase. Paul's dad had laid tile before so he had experience, though he had no clue what was in his future:) (Yes, I chose slate tile, subway tile and brick to be laid, all of which he had never done! As you will see in my next post he did a gorgous job!) We all determined that Paul could finish up the mudding stuff while his dad worked on the tile laying. Good plan and for the most part worked out beautifully.

Painting was also involved which kind of rushed me. Let me just say, that picking out the paint colors was the hardest thing for me! I am sooo indecisive!!! I was poring over magazines, internet pics and people's homes just trying to think of the best colors for mine. It was actually not that fun! Not only the paint colors, but which brand? Also, should we go for the way more expensive low VOC version of the more expensive or less expensive brand? And should we get ceiling white or another white color? Because I have a large and open kitchen/dining/living area should I "separate" each room with it's own color or make it all flow with the same? I'm telling you there were a million other questions we asked ourselves and I dreamt about. But we finally decided! So here is a quick rundown:

We chose Valspar paint and mostly colors, with the boys rooms, mudroom, master bedroom, kid's bathroom and under-the-stairs reading room having the low VOC paint. Here are the colors:

Master bedroom/bathroom - Valspar's White Smoke
Kid's bathroom - Valspar's Cabin Plank

Mudroom - Olympic's Limish ( I matched it as closely as I could to a mudroom bench I bought last year)

Kitchen/dining/living/library/halls/closets - Valspar's Suisse Coffee

Boy's rooms - Valspar's "something" Gray ( I can't remember!!)

Under-the-stairs reading room - Valspar's Ruby Red

And ceilings? Yes, just plain old Ceiling White! Paul would have killed me if I picked colored ceilings or something. I thought I would be nice.

So, back to Paul's parents. They got here June 13th and pretty much started straight away painting the kid's bathroom. And here's a pic! We will be having white beadboard halfway up the walls, also. The painting needed to be done before Paul's Dad laid the tile. We got one coat paint, but realized that the semi gloss paint we got showed roller streaks pretty badly, so we ended up doing two coats (actually, thanks to the Ewer's for that!!) As I said, here's a picture of the one coat.

Here is a picture of the tile. I just texted Paul to ask him what brand and color name the tile was and he told me "brown" hehe:) I'll have to get the tile name. It is 12x12 from Lowe's. A ceramic tile that we found discounted from $1.29 to $0.78 a sf. Great savings! I overestimated the sf and we were able to take three boxes back. Those litle white things in between each tile piece are spacers, used to measure the exact distance between each piece so it comes out perfectly. We used the 1/4" spacers, but they can go up to 2" However wide apart you want!

And now a picture of the inlaw laying the tile! Hard, hard work! His poor knees!! He did a fantastic job though. After he was through laying the tile he had to grout it (which is the colored cement stuff you see between the tile). I wanted a white to brighten up the room, but Paul warned me against it seeing as it would be hard to keep clean, so we came to a comprimise! :) We chose a bone color (light brown) instead. The grout in and of itself is a process! It takes a while to dry, but as you can see in the last picture, it came out beautifully:) Thank you so much, Dad Edes!

As of today, we are much further ahead than this. We have laid all the tile and brick flooring as well as the subway tile in the master bath. The mudroom, masterbedroom/bath is also painted. All the ceilings are orange peeled (lightly textured) and mostly primered. This week we will be finishing up the painting and then begins the wood flooring next! Yippee! :) I will be posting the rest of the pictures on my next blog post. So....stay tuned!

On to build,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Processes and Patience

Seems like so many things in homebuilding take a long time, usually from waiting. Waiting for loans to go through, waiting for subs to call back, waiting for orders to come in, waiting for good weather. And while it does teach us patience, it also teaches us that good things can't be rushed. It takes time to do something right. Hurrying through a project or a process will only mess it up. I have learned this a thousand times over these last few months.

After we completed the insulation in March, I thought, "Yes, the sheetrock and then the mudding and then only a few weeks till we move in. Definitely be in by June!" Har, har, har. That was the biggest laugh of the century :) In my peewee brain, I thought that surely my hubby will be able to get the sheetrock/mudding done in a couple of weeks. My poor hubby, trying to live up to my unbelievable expectations!! THIS is where those processes and patience came into play. (I have to pause and insert that this post will be mostly a brag book on Paul :))

We bought our sheetrock and it began! Fun. Fun. Paul began the arduous journey in the middle of March of being a one-man team of sheetrock hangers. After working 12 hour night shifts, he would usually come home and sleep for four hours, get up and head over to the land and work. Two things were a blessing. First, Paul's work allowed him to borrow their sheetrock lifter; a handy red device that lifts sheetrock against the ceiling and holds it there so it can be nailed in. And secondly was the people who came and helped, namely Joel Franks and Nate Shaver. Thanks guys! I can't say there wasn't a time or two where I helped hold sheetrock against the wall, but I was always excusing myself so I didn't do that too much :)

I won't go into all the details of drudgery, lack of sleep, moments (or hours) of doubt and other such things, but I will say Paul finished with the sheetrock in six weeks. Hanging, that is. And the Lord was good and allowed us to have enough left over to finish the upstairs (which we won't do until later). During that time we ordered the wood flooring! We hadn't quite settled on a place to get it from. We looked at Lowe's, discount flooring stores, upscale flooring stores, online and finally decided to order it online. I searched and searched and searched online, read reviews, did comparisons and came upon http://www.simplefloors.com/ a wonderful website specializing in laminate, hardwood, engineered wood and tile flooring. Paul and I had decided beforehand to do a medium color hardwood instead of engineered wood. Nothing against engineered, I just absolutely love hardwood. It has character, ages well and needs less upkeep. A medium color, because, well, because it hides dirt! You may call me lazy, but hey! :) We ordered 1200 square feet of Honey Oak, 6 inch wide reclaimed wood planks that are 7 feet long, with thresholds and stair thingies (he he). It came with padding attached and weighed over three thousand pounds!! That was a very scary decision. I kept second guessing myself (of course!) and ordered a bunch of samples before, looked at tons of pictures and read what others wrote about their Honey Oak flooring. It got great reviews and it was only $3.69 a sf. The flooring came just one week later on a huge flatbed truck and the nicest truck driver helped Paul carry all that flooring upstairs to be stored until we needed it. So nice! Can't wait to see what it looks like down!!

So, now we come to the mudding. Another huge, massive process that I was determined would only take two weeks and instead took almost eight. In fact, Paul is finishing up the large room, mudding the butt joints and the flats. It's his last coat on those and then he will be sanding it. On my next post, I will have pictures of finished rooms that we completed so we could lay the flooring. It's starting to come together, but if it wasn't for loads of patience (whether we wanted to be patient or not) we would have pulled our hair out. The Lord is good and I will be the first to admit that I had my moments! But with the end in sight it is clearer and these are the moments we have been waiting for. Let's just say we will never build a house again! lol :)

Sorry for the long wait between posts, but who wants to read over and over again about hanging and mudding sheetrock? :)

With things happening fast, be prepared to look at lots of pictures. On that note, take a look at my slideshow I put together up at the top. From the beginning to the end (or almost!) it is the account of our journey:) Enjoy!!

On to build,


Friday, March 11, 2011

Color Away!

There it is, folks! My hubster is putting up the first part of the vinyl...the whatchamacallit! Yeah, I know, I can't remember what it's called. *sigh* But! I do know it's what our lovely vinyl siding will sit on so he can start the process:) I seriously had been STRESSING over the color of our vinyl. I wanted a barn red color with white trim and gray accents. Instead of going with a more expensive vinyl that was the exact color I wanted ( about $2000 more) we decided to go with a less expensive version called "Lighthouse Red". The sample was perfecto, but Oh Boy, when we got the actual vinyl in...well, let's just say I was freaking out. To put it mildly. Haha. I know, man am I carnal to care that much about what color our house is. Well, after my first (and only!) freakout session, my dear, calm hubby told me that we were going to put it up no matter what color it was and that I better get over it! Well, that worked! We had had to special order it and because of that, there was no turning back. I just prayed it would look beautiful on our house. And as you will see from our pictures, it is more gorgeous than I even imagined! It looks so stunning surrounded by woods:) Thank you, Jesus, for caring for me in the most menial, unnecesary things! Well, now for the process!

Here is the first piece. The coloring is off (it looks kind of purple here) because of the overcast skies so don't let that "cloud" your judgment. Hehehe, I am so punny. The good thing about vinyl is that it goes on super fast, if you know what you're doing. Paul is so smart that he knows everything really about building, so this was not a problem for him.
Here's a rundown of the type of vinyl we got. We chose Crane Exterior Portfolio siding. Great prices and a lot of choices. We did not get insulated siding. It would have been an awesome thing, but we honestly didn't have a budget for it, so we have to rely on our housewrap, which does a pretty decent job. We got the Dutch Lap style of siding. This gives it a wood texture as well as a decorative edge. It's supposed to not make the vinyl wavy. So, it's a good thing:) The color choice we went with is a Lighthouse Red. If for any reason you want to go to Crane's website you can follow their links and design your own exterior of a home. It was pretty neat! I had fun doing it! Haha

Here's the first piece going up. Lots of measuring invloved and cutting with special scissors. See how far the first piece is already from the ground? Yeah, that's not so great. The second piece in Paul was already on the ladders. I really don't know when he gets 20 feet up what he's going to do, but we shall see. I'll be there to catch him if he falls!

The bay is done! Isn't it amazing? I LOVE the white trim and soffit! This was very hard to do, sliding in 3 1/2" pieces of vinyl between the windows and trim. All that cutting! But Paul did a very good job. His goal that day was to get the vinyl done over there on the right hand side of the door. Do you see that gray little thing on the side of the house? That is the connector thingy for the electricians to run their wiring from the electrical pole to the house. They need vinyl siding up and insulation inside to run the wiring. As soon as they run the wiring then we have electricity to our home! Paul was not able to get it done that day, but I believe it was the next day (the 2nd or 3rd of March) that Nick Lundy came over and they were able to get it done.

Here's the picture! We haven't done any more because the weather has been terrible! So Paul has been hanging sheetrock. I think it will be fabulous once it's all done. I can't wait to landscape and get some sod down on the ground so it doesn't look so terrible outside! But this is it folks:) Let me know what you think of the color!
I'll be posting some more in the next couple of days, because there has been A LOT going on. We only have a few more months till we're supposed to be done, but more than that amount of work. Paul is contemplating staying out at the house until the sheetrock is done. I mean, people, living out there! But right now, we are at whatever it takes. :) And as long as I keep the big picture in mind, I'm okay!
Thanks to those who are praying and following:) Keep praying and keep following!
On to build,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Too Good to be True

A reprieve has been taken. House building is back in full swing. Praise the Lord for that! We have been fighting through so many things to get back on track. Paul's work has been having him work quite a bit of overtime...great money, lousy opportunities to be building. Church has been uber busy...definitely a good thing! And I've been a terrible wife...way too clingy these last few months! Yikes! I begged Paul probably 25 times to hire a builder to finish the rest, but my stubborn, hardworking, thrifty hubby would have none of it. And I'm glad! Well, now I am ;)

As much as I hate to talk about weather (I absolutely can't stand it! heehee), it has been playing an extremely important role in our

1) building opportunities
2) motivation

It's been snowing and icing like crazy and hillbillies that we were decided to build our house on an incline, with our driveway coming off another incline. So, there goes weeks of accomplishing absolutely nothing!

This pic is of my hubby doing soffit work on our bay.
Let's just say the angles were a BEAR! (which
now has Elliot worried that there are bears
in our woods.)

The good thing is our dear friends at Lewis Hill Sales ( our supply company, btw) gave us a fantastic deal on insulation. So we stocked up and made them go out to our land and unload it. We're so bad! hehehe:) It gave Paul the opportunity to do some inside work while the weather was bad outside. It took Paul roughly 3 weeks to finish all the insulation. He started with the exterior walls (using R-13 insulation). Then went to the ceilings (using R-30). Then he and my bro-in-law, Joel, did ALL the interior walls in one day (using R-11). I asked Paul what all the numbers meant and he said that the higher the number the denser the insulation and more weather/soundproof it is. Me being a complete doofus, asked him why we didn't use the highest insulation (R-30) for ALL the walls/ceilings. You know, so it will be ultra weather/soundproof! Right?? That's a lovely idea, he said, but kind of pointless seeing as it's kind of pointless. Oh, okay... :)

Other than the insulation, Paul has been doing odd and end stuff ~sweeping, framing fireplaces, hiring new plumbers (! a WHOLE other story), and finishing the soffit work on our window. We need to hurry and get the window done so we can start our siding. Hoping and praying that we can start doing that this Friday! Yippee!

Let me tell you a quick praise:) The Lord is good! But we have been pricing sheetrock from other companies because our supply company would have to special order it. Lowe's had the cheapest, but our total sheetrock bill would come to about $2500...*gulp*. We were hoping to spend only $2000. Sheetrock prices have been going up apparently. Well, my hubs decided to give our supply company a call (Lewis Hill Sales, btw) and see what it would cost to special order it. Lo and behold, they beat Lowe's prices by almost $2.00 a sheet!!! Oh my word!!! Our total bill would be only $1500!!! I don't know how they do it, but they do it! I'm soooo glad we called. It goes to show you, no matter WHAT you think in home building on your own, there will always be surprises and ALWAYS make that phone call. Seriously!

That concludes what has happened in the last three months! Not too much, but we are just gearing up for the last part:) Yay! There is an end in sight:) Oh, and by the way, our house looks much smaller with the interior walls closed in. Oh well.
Hope you are enjoying your life, because, friends, I am enjoying mine! It's not easy!!! But always worth it:)
On to build,