Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jeers and Cheers

It has been way too long since I have updated this blog.  I've been feeling a bit rebellious... what with the tile issues and our completion date surprise.  Here's the background:

TILE:  (Jeers)

Here's the tile with a little water on it, which is supposed to be what it will look like when it is sealed.  Can't say it changed the grout color to Quartz!

This is the tile in the mud room, laundry room and pool bath.  We love the Versaille pattern!  The grout color we chose--QUARTZ--is shown on this little grout sample paper.  You can clearly see from the picture that the grout that was used was not QUARTZ.  The first story we heard on it was "the grout had too much water in it so it came out very light."  Odd that none of the other grouts in the whole house had that problem.  Upon further investigation, we found that the bag of grout was labeled correctly, but the grout in the bag was not the right color!  So now, the grout company and the tile company are going back and forth about it.  The bottom line for us is that this gray (ugly) grout is in all the millions of nooks and crannies in this tile and there is no way to get the right color unless we pull it out and start over.  We have been told that "once the tile is sealed  the grout will darken up."  Great!  We'll go from light gray to dark gray.  

If that were the only tile issue it would be one thing, but really it has been one thing after another.  At the risk of too much whining, I'll warn you now that if you don't want to hear the whining you can skip down a ways.  

The other tile issue is that we really were not given an appropriate tile allowance to finish out the showers the way they should be.  In order to stay within budget we picked certain tile.  Oh?  you mean you want/need bullnose to actually have finished edges?  Not in budget.  Oh?  you mean you want to finish out the arched shower doors with tile rather than drywall?  Not in budget.  Oh?  you mean you actually want the tile to go all the way to the back of that closet?  ("we forgot to measure for that.")  So we have been going back and forth to the point where I don't go over to the house when the tile guys are there because I'm pretty sure they would like to strangle me when I'm not looking.  Here's a look at some of the other tiles areas they have been s l o w l y working on:

Pool bath shower.  Yes--that gray grout is in here, too.  :-(

This is Robert's awesome tile that I picked out.  What is not awesome is how they finished 
the edges of the shower!  Cut edges of tile facing out (and some are chipped) 
and the unfinished arch, which is not going to look right unless it is tiled.

Bunk room bathroom

Joe's bathroom--with the BATHTUB.  (He is still mad about that.  I promised him 
I would get him a curved shower rod so that the curtain doesn't attack him 
every time he showers.)
Master shower with finished arch--still awaiting top row of tile inside the shower.

Master shower showing niche and floor

Right now we are just waiting on the additional bullnose tile to finish Robert's shower and the bunk room bathroom.  And deciding if we are going to do anything about the gray grout.  Oh, and we found out that the builder doesn't pay to seal travertine.  That is a "homeowner cost."  Well, since they messed this one up, I'm pretty sure that they will need to cover the cost of sealing.  I think that's fair.


The second contributing factor to my rebelliousness of late is the fact that, not only will we not be in the house end of Sept/beginning of Oct... we will not be in the end of October either.  In all likelihood we won't be in before Thanksgiving!  If that's not enough of a good excuse to pout then I don't know what is.  They weren't saying anything about the date, other than what I wrote about last time.  One day I checked out their online calendar and lo and behold they have the completion date as sometime in DECEMBER.  GAAAAAAAA!!!!!!  We have kindly asked them to shoot for November 12, which would give us about 10 days to get settled before Thanksgiving.  Realistically, this isn't going to happen.  DAD:  I am so sorry that your room will not be ready in time!  We may be having a crowd for Christmas which will be fine with me  :-)

So, despite some legitimate items to whine about, I have to balance it out so I don't go crazy.  There are many things to be happy about and so I will try to rave about all those things now:

1.  The swimming pool!  (Cheers!)  

They have done absolutely great work.  It is not going to matter if it is December when we move in... we will use this pool before the year is over!

Plaster completed and retaining walls started

Back of pool retaining wall

View from upstairs showing the pool coping (edge)

Shows the spa with completed coping.  The back part is the part you sit in and the front is where the waterfall drains.

Here is the pool tile which we absolutely love.  LOVE.

It took them about 2 hours to get all the tile in.  The inside of the pool is done now except for the "pebble-tec" which they don't put in until a day or two before it is filled with water.  That can't be done until we are basically ready to move in, and of course, that is up in the air right now.

Fire pit.  They will add a seating wall behind it.

One of our favorite things about this pool design is that it is "crowd friendly."  This is a bar area built into the pool wall.  On the inside of the pool there is a ledge so people inside and outside the pool can hang out with each other.

Love that Texas Blue Sky!!  We met with the pool company yesterday and they spray painted the outline of the decking which will be installed by the end of the week.  Double Cheers!

2.  Interior trim.  (Cheers!)  

This crew has been hard at work for about 3 weeks now, getting all the doors installed and applying all the moldings.  We're probably looking at another 2 weeks to get the trim done.

In Jim's office.  All of his trim and cabinetry will be stained wood.

This is the arch joining the foyer and informal dining area--this trim will be white.

View from foyer

3.  The news is that we will have a permit to start building the barn TOMORROW!  (Cheers!)

Soon the pile of dirt to the left will be gone.  If I was any good at photoshop I could 
take out the orange fencing, add Tia into the picture and it might look like she 
had already moved in!

4.  Getting ready for paint and decorating!  (Cheers!)  For awhile we toyed with the idea of using decorator (again.)  We liked how the previous ones had helped us coordinate everything.  However, since we already have pretty definite ideas about what we want to do this time, we have decided to be our own decorators... with a little help from Calico Corners.  Here's just a sampling of the colors we're working with for the master bedroom:

The fabric in the very center is what we are reupholstering our bedroom chairs in.  (Goodbye, rust-colored anything.)  The blue and white panels above it are the wall and trim colors.  The fabrics to the left and right are possible window treatment fabrics.  

Here are all of our paint samples lined up

And "what is this glorious burst of color?"  You may ask.  Well, as I was shopping around the fabric store the other day, looking for something colorful for my laundry room/office chair, I happened upon this piece called "Venice."  It pretty much jumped off the rack and I had to bring it home.  Some of you know the significance of Venice to me!  (That's another story if you don't) and so just the thought of walking into that room every day and being reminded was a happy thought, for sure.  So, I'm designing the chair with the Venice fabric on the back where I can see it (and it won't get ruined) with the pink fabric on the back and seat where I'm the only one that will be sitting in it (and since I'm the only one that likes pink!)  Also using the coordinating trim as shown below.  The paint color in the room is the yellow that you can see on the bottom right of the fabric.

This is the chair that is going to get reupholstered in all of this awesomeness!
So there you have the jeers and cheers for now.  Eventually it will all get done.  I keep reminding us (myself) that it is going to be much better in the long run if they don't rush through these last few weeks since it is the finish work that we have to live with every day.  I may end up having to look at that gray grout... but at least I'll have my Venice chair!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's September!

I'm having a hard time getting my mind around that.  All along we have been hearing "the house should be done end of September, beginning of October."  Well, turns out I probably don't have to get my mind around the house being done this month because it ain't happenin.  I met with the "creative director" and the "faux painter" last Friday and was told it would be at least 3 weeks to install trim (which doesn't start until the tile and cabinets are done) and at least 3 weeks for the regular painter.  So... that's 6 weeks just for those two things...putting us at mid-October, which I had already mentally prepared for.  I am not yet mentally prepared to not be moving before November.  Our rental is fine.  But certain things do wear on ones nerves:

  • Being accosted by the shower curtain on a daily basis
  • Not having my stuff, ie:  cooking in disposable ziplock containers (yes, I could buy a couple of pieces of real cookware...)
  • Driving...driving....driving... and having to leave early because we are so far away.

The progress at the house has been fun to watch over the past week. 

Outside front:

Installing the stucco on the sides of the dormer windows  (The workers are 
pretty used to me whipping out my camera by now...  If only I could understand 
Spanish I would know what they are saying as I am snapping pictures.  
One can only imagine.)

Front porch pre-cast stone is done!

Running stone up the chimney

Final stucco color... and the stone looking very, very yellow.

Finished garage--stone washed.   I like the fact that it looks less yellow when it is all clean.

Outside back:

all of the rebar and plumbing for the pool

The fire pit

framework and plumbing for spa

Gunite!  Meaning "dry-gunned" concrete.  That means  "the cement and sand are injected into an air stream conveying it to the nozzle.  The nozzle operator then adds the water at the nozzle and has total control of the water-cement ratio." (Thanks to!)

This must be the cement and sand...

Here's the "nozzle operator" so that red hose must be for the water.

Complete spa

Complete pool interior--ready for plaster, or "pebble-tec" as they call it, once it is dry.  The next step before that is putting in all the stone walls and the decking, though.

Here's what's happening inside:

Hardwood floors installed!  Dining room.


Gallery floor with inlaid design
Foyer looking into eating area
Cabinets going in!  Pool bathroom vanity.  Also note travertine floor.  This floor was grouted on Friday.... with the WRONG grout color.  We're still waiting to hear what they propose to do about that.

Kitchen dish hutch and supposed shelf for cookbooks.  I may have one or two that will fit in this space--the shelves are not tall enough!  Also, if you get down on your hands and knees you can see the beadboard lining behind the shelves.  Honestly, you wonder sometimes what people are thinking when they are designing.  (and using your money on.)

Master bathroom

Guest bathroom shower

Choosing a color scheme.  This has been on my mind for months and I even posted a picture of what I was thinking a long time ago here.  After the shingle/stone/brick debacle on the outside of the house I am hyper sensitive about getting the colors right on the inside, although it would obviously be much easier to repaint a room than to change the color of any of the exterior items.  I've made a spreadsheet showing every room and what color the walls, trim, cabinetry, etc are.  It's the only way I can keep track of it!  In our allowance, we have 5 paint colors and 2 trim colors, after which we pay $250 for each additional color.  So far, I'm only over by one color!  

Here they are:

 Loggia:  main wall color
 Westhighland White:  main trim color,
and the base for the kitchen cabinets
Hinoki:  Laundry room and storage
(because I needed
to use it one more place!)

Sea Salt:  Dining room, guest room,
powder bath, Robert's room
Balmy:  Master bedroom/bathroom
Tavern Taupe:  Media room
Chateau Brown:  Media room trim and assorted cabinetry
Poolhouse:  cabinetry in mud room and pool bath

For those of you familiar with our previous house, please take note that there is no gold, no rust,  and no red!  It may be September but we won't be using any fall colors in this house.