Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside....

And so I'm trying to find things to do inside to keep busy.  May as well update the blog!

My main job for the house this week was to finish granite selection.  Done!  Here is what we came up with:

garage countertops

Guest bathroom: Colonial Creme

Upstairs bathrooms and desk area:  Alaska White

Close up of Alaska White

This is the tile that is going in the bathrooms with the Alaska White:

Laundry room:  Seol Bordeaux (a bit more cost-effective than the original
Bordeaux that I selected)

Kitchen:  I'm doing a little happy dance because they had this great slab of
 "Azul Fantasy" that will work for the island.  

Here is a close up of the smaller slab that will be used for the perimeter countertops,
showing the tile for the backsplash.

Over at the property, it has been a busy week.  Well #2 was only pumping about 1 gallon a minute, so that have pulled that up and dug another one:

This is the view from the south end of the barn loft.  I wasn't too happy that this well
ended up in the middle of what is supposed to be pasture, but nobody asked me.

Front view from the northwest corner.  They installed Jim's office doors and have cleaned up the front yard.

Jim's office from the inside--lots of great light!  Floors are protected for painting.

Back stairs.  The painting crew has been prepping for paint for over a week now.  I never realized that every single crack has to be caulked and every single nail hole has to be filled before they paint.  In addition, they cover all the wood floors, all the tile and tape off the windows and around the trim.

Garage cabinets
Barn aisle looking toward house.  Stalls on left.

Barn--looking out over stalls

View of house from upstairs barn loft

Yesterday, one of the workers said, "So you're going to put the horses AND your mother in law in the barn?"  Well... no... not unless she would prefer to be out there!  The barn loft, or as we lovingly refer to it, "the break room," is our extra space splurge so that we will always have room for more people.  So, if you are reading this, rest assured, we will have room for you!  (as long as you don't mind living in the proximity of two well-mannered equines.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Plugging along...

Despite the fact that we are weeks away from moving in... it seems that there is nothing too spectacular to report this week.  A lot of little details are getting taken care of right now... caulking and more caulking, hauling away trash and more trash, filling in dirt and more dirt.

The barn is coming along nicely... though they aren't quite to the caulking stage yet...  (I can dream can't I?  Oh... maybe that's just being impatient.)  Here are some pictures of barn construction this week:

front view, first floor framed

First floor, starting the roof

back view

in the upstairs loft
Here are Joe and Rob climbing around on the barn.  They love to give me a heart attack.  This is the side of the barn facing the house.
Despite the fact that we just went through this whole process with the house, it is still exciting to do it again for the barn.  Maybe I'm a masochist.  I have this rosy outlook that we will not have any major hurdles, design flaws, allowance overages....  ok, I'm probably not being realistic there, but we do like the firm that is building the barn a LOT.  Unfortunately, about $1,000 worth of their lumber was stolen from the site this past week.  I guess you could call that a bump in the road.

On the home front:

They finally stained the beams and painted the trim.  I am so thrilled with how the outside has turned out.  Awhile back I was really disappointed in how the brick and stone looked together.  I'm still not crazy about it, but the dark brown trim does a great job of tying everything together.  LOVE IT.

They finally put the stone on the fireplace.  Just hoping we never have an earthquake... because I'm pretty sure that would come tumbling down.

Somewhere in the house, I'm not allowed to say where,  there is a secret bookcase door.
That's all I'm saying.

Jim's office.  We were noticing that every few days some new piece of moulding shows up.  Jesse the trim carpenter said he doesn't always know what he is going to do... he just kind of makes it up as he goes along.  (That could be why we are 3 weeks over on trim, but he sure does a beautiful job!)

Front Staircase.  This type is called "closed stringer" where you don't see the individual steps from the side.  

Here is our poor laundry room.  They re-arranged all the ductwork and pipe to move the washer and dryer down the wall, but our builder finally (after being ill and in the hospital) came over to see our dilemma and he was not happy with that solution.   He agreed that the designer made a huge error in not drawing the washer and dryer to the proper scale.  (He also admitted that they should have caught that when they reviewed the plans)  He is working with the project manager to find a way to recess the washer and dryer into the wall so it is flush with the cabinets.  The stairs are behind this wall, so it is a bit of a challenge to figure out.  He assures me that this will not affect our timing for move-in.  Poor Jesse will have to re-do the cabinetry again.  (for the 3rd time.)

We're now at the point where we are making all of our final selections for the house.  Why is it that all builders under bid the allowances?  It is the most aggravating part of building.  Oh, you want cabinet hardware?  We didn't actually budget for that....  Recently I posted some pictures of some possible granite selections.  I expected that to come back over budget since I ventured into the "exotics" section of the granite warehouse.  But it wasn't as bad as I thought and we might just be able to put this one in the kitchen:

"Azul Fantasy"

The other thing we have been trying to decide for weeks is what to do in the dome.  The painter obviously thinks we should paint it... but I saw this picture in a decorating book the other day and got to thinking...

How awesome would it be to plaque the dome rather than do some sort of faux painting?

When Shane (builder) walked through with me he said he loves the idea and it is much more fitting with the other moulding we have done in the main area of the house.  We were concerned that it would push our move-in date too far back to be able to do it, but Jesse has said he can have it done by next Wednesday.  It won't look exactly like this, but this is the inspiration.  He is very good at what he does so we are confident that the dome will turn out great.

In other news, sadly, our prospective horse, Tex, found a new home this week.  We knew the timing to get him wasn't ideal right now so we will work with the same trainer to get a different horse.  

"When do you get to move in?" is what everyone always asks.  We still do not know.  We are praying to be in by Christmas.  If we are not going to be in for Christmas, I am taking suggestions for a vacation spot because I will not be able to "plug along" in this rental house at that point in time.  (Jim--are you paying attention here?  Yes, I'm pretty sure you agree...)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Houston, we have lift off!

After an entire year of dreaming, planning, rezoning, negotiating, obtaining a variance, re-bidding, hiring a new builder, revising, re-engineering and permitting....  THE BARN IS ON ITS WAY UP!

Here's what they did last week:  

Digging out the front area where the stalls will go.  

This is where the stalls will be.  They are dug down several feet for layering of rock, etc for drainage.

Setting the forms for concrete.  The area shown here is where the concrete will support the
 roof overhang outside the stalls.

Concrete is poured!

Shows how each stall is separated by concrete to support the stall walls.

Lumber is delivered!

About 3 hours worth of framing on Saturday morning

Getting the interior wall of the feed/hay room up

This next group of pictures shows the back wall going up in succession...

And there it is!  

The barn framing should be complete by the end of this week.

Progress continues on the house.  Albeit slow, but it is progress.  Since we are not going to be in for Thanksgiving we have had to explore other options for how to deal with enjoy our holiday weekend in the rental house.  Option 1 was to vacate the premises and head to Virginia or Utah.  Prices for airline tickets are ridiculous right now, so we had to go for Option 2, which was to stay here but be in the rental house all together as little as possible.  This will be the first year that I am actually not going to cook.  Don't know whether to do a little dance or shed a little tear!  (I'm sure when we are in the new house I will make Jim that homemade turkey dinner he is going to miss out on.)

Here are some things going on around the house:

Well #2 was dug

Once they drill it they let it run off and on for about 3 days.  You can see this water is still dirty.  
Here is where all the well water ended up!  They will surely need to address this when they do the rough grade around the yard.

Well #1 up and running.  Before it was capped off Jim tested the water and he said it tasted great!  He is much braver than I am. 
They started painting trim this week.  Absolutely love the dark brown next to the roof line.

Progress has been made on the pool as well:

setting the forms to pour the deck

Robert on the fire pit

Ready for the deck pour

We have a pool deck!  Unfortunately, they forgot to put in the anchors for the basketball hoop.  And, they didn't account for adding tile to the back patio of the house, which abuts right up to the deck.  So, now if we add tile there will be a "lip" which I'm sure would catch many unsuspecting toes.  We are looking into staining all the concrete.  Will these little "oops" items ever end?

view of the deck from upstairs.  I can almost envision the blue water and the lounge chairs...

Robert in the deep end

I have just typed and erased a long paragraph about how lllloooonnnngggg it is taking the trim carpenters to finish inside the house.  I am trying to be more positive, so I will not subject you to that particular rant.  Here are a few pictures of the accomplishments of the week:

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that out of all the people we hired to work on this part of the house (designer, builder and cabinet company) no one picked up on the fact that the plans were drawn with an imaginary 24 inch washer and dryer! Maybe for Hobbits...

Here is how much space it is taking out of the walkway.  By the time the countertops are installed, this opening will be about 32 inches.  Well, it would have been.

Here they have moved all the pipes, wires and ductwork so that the washer and dryer can be stacked farther down the wall where they won't impede the walkway.  Price tag:  $400 plus additional cost for added countertop.  

Getting ready to add stone to the fireplace

Stone going up

Upstairs desk area 

Kitchen hood

And finally, the latest view from "the spot:"

We've come a long way, baby!  Speaking of babies, here is a picture of me and Joe at his homecoming festivities last week:

Houston... we have a problem:  This guy is just too cute for his own good!