Sunday, June 24, 2012


The sale of our home!!  Closing date July 2, 2012, And other great news...

What does that mean in terms of the new house?  Well, to be exact... one upcoming week of TOTAL CHAOS, followed by (hopefully) 3 months of relative simplicity living in a furnished rental house (see below), where I can focus on our daughter's wedding (see below) and getting the house on Golden Gate finished up.  If I can survive the next week... including packers coming on Wednesday when I was planning on them Thursday, I think I can survive anything.  Rather than being here at the computer I should probably be doing something to get ready for the move but I'm in a state of inertia right now... where I have written all of my lists and checklists (including ones for the boys... but they don't know it yet, haha) and I'm just waiting for the alarm to go off in the morning at 5 am so I can take this week on.  (okay, it's really an extreme case of denial.)

The actual progress at the house is coming along nicely, although the pictures of it are fairly boring.  I guess that's a warning to any who don't want to see pictures of ductwork and wiring.  As I've said before... I'm just trying to document all the progress so that someday we can look back on it and remember how it all came together--pipes, wires and all.

So, here it goes:

View from "the spot:" roof almost finished and windows in!

One of our first major "OH NO" moments came when we found that the architect had actually called out on the plans for many of the windows to be fixed rather than opening. How did we miss that in the months and months of designing? We are still asking ourselves that question.  Not that you have your windows open that much in Texas since it is usually too hot... but still.  We do have a few that open and a few that are supposed to open and don't... and they will have to be replaced.  

Wiring in the garage.  Talk about a puzzle.  The guys crawl all over the place stringing the wires.  They are very patient when we need to make changes.  At least they are patient to our faces...

Ductwork and sprinkler system (required by city code.)

Family room fireplace chimney finished!
Herringbone pattern

Grandad... and Grandma... THIS IS YOUR ROOM.  Please make plans to come soon after it is finished!  It will need some company.  

Media wiring

The front door is in! 

We think they finally have the brick selection right.  It's the one in the middle.  

Here's the great little rental that I found.  Michelle was hunting for places to stay on their honeymoon and I found this place on the vacation website.  This will be our home for the next three or so months... that's probably being optimistic... it will probably be four.  But it is immensely more livable than the little house on the property would have been... it's really a good thing that that house is gone.  Hello, Grapevine!

Joe asked what we are going to do if it hails.... I told him we would drive to the mall as quick as we could and park in the parking garage.  Let's pray for no hail!

The move is challenging, the house building is exciting, but the most important event of the summer:  Michelle and Miles are getting married July 20, 2012.  We are so happy for our wonderful daughter and this great young man!  All of the other events pale in comparison to this!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I simply cannot keep up!

I don't know how "real" bloggers do it.  How do they keep their posts regular and timely?  It could have something to do with getting paid for it... As much as I have good intentions of posting every few days as things change at the house I just haven't been able to sit down and get the pictures uploaded and on here.  Well, at least I'm taking pictures.  Probably waaaaay too many.  But at least someday if we want to see what the "guts" of our house look like we'll be able to refer back to them.  "Where does the gas line run through the house?"  "Oh, wait one sec while I go check the blog..."  

So, here in chronological order is what has happened at 1312 Golden Gate Drive in the past two weeks:

5/29/12  Framing continued

View from "the spot"

ceiling dome

Jim in the front yard.  He looks so small from an upstairs window.

Front yard garbage pile.  

Back yard garbage pile.

View from front door.  These three windows look off center from the front entrance, but they are centered to the angle on the back of the house.  One solution that was suggested was changing the windows to"butt-joined" glass.  A mere $3,000 upgrade...  We decided to keep it the way it is.

View from northwest corner of house in front.

We met some of our neighbors who we had only talked to on the phone.  They adjoin the north side of our lot and our house is closest to them.  I was a little nervous to go talk to them in their back yard but Jim thought we should be neighborly.  I'm a little shy of new neighbors as some have not been so welcoming.    This older couple was SO nice!  They LOVE the house!  They are SO excited to see it go up!  They can't wait to have horses next to their back yard!  Talking to them made my weekend.  

5/31/12:  Framing details and the beginning of the "seconds:"  plumbing, hvac, electrical.

The first plumbing to go in.

Ceiling detail:  double groin vault.

Ceiling detail:  barrel vault.

Arched doorways


Joe is just thrilled to have the "house bathtub" in his bathroom.  He did try to convince me that we didn't need one.  I keep assuring him that someday when he brings his little kids to visit me he will want to have a place to give them a bath.  No, I am not willing to bathe them in the kitchen sink once they get past infant stage.  Sorry, Joe.

6/4/12:  Roofing!
Shingles going on!

close up of shingles.

I have a new respect for construction workers.  
6/8/12:  details, details.
View from "the spot."

Arched doorways in hall connecting foyer with laundry/mud

We have learned that sometimes what the architect has designed just isn't possible from a framing standpoint.  But, we have a great builder and framing team who has been able to improvise and keep most of the design elements that give the house such interesting character.  We were told that they just couldn't do a dome here because of the floor joists up above and that the ceiling could be round but it would be flat.  Next day we came over and lo and behold.... a dome!  Yippee!  Chocolate chip cookies for the framing crew!
view of two levels from front door.

Firerock going up the family room fireplace

This fireplace is a little simpler.

It looks like something out of a science fiction movie, right?  Our vision of using that space for an extra linen closet has succumbed to the reality that they really do need space to run ductwork and plumbing.  

One of three air handlers.

roof detail

View from the back.  All the shingles are on.  We are awaiting the metal roofing to go on the curved areas where the shingles wouldn't bend enough.

View from front northwest corner.  Notice the workers... you can't see their faces but they were smiling for the picture.
You must read the sign.  It says, "No touch.  This means you!!"  Well, it doesn't mean you as in Carol.  It does, however, mean you as in Jim, Joe and Robert.  Enough said.

Robert was out of town this past week and so he was amazed to come home and see the roof almost finished, as well as all the plumbing rough-in and the HVAC rough in.  We have most of the electrical boxes placed and wiring for those will start this week.

We have picked out tile (not sure if we made budget,) appliances (a little over,) cabinets (WAY over and still working on it) lighting (we were under but after some changes will probably be over.)  We have a standing joke that whatever change we want to make will be a cool $13,000.  

We are still trying to get the right brick (see previous post) and are now on sample number 3.  Or maybe it is even up to #5 by now.

We think the framer is actually kind of miffed at us...  There was one ceiling detail that was not spelled out on one section of the plans (the ones he was using) and listed on another section (for electrical) and so he was not happy when he had to re-do that ceiling.  Blame it on the architect!  He's the one who added all the fun details... you should have seen the project manager's eyes bug out of his head when I pointed out that certain columns in the hallway have precast (stone) moulding instead of wood...

I found the most awesome light fixture for the bathroom.  But Jim hates it.  I'm sure it is just "too girly."  What to do....

On one hand, he did tell us (me, the creative designer and the light lady) to just choose whatever we thought would work throughout the house.  On the other hand, I don't want to put something up that he hates.  On the other hand... it is three women against one man. Didn't he realize he was entering dangerous territory?  Oh wait, that's too many hands.  I guess this one is to be continued...