Feeds:
Posts
Comments

June 2, 2013

Update on Cedar Ridge:  Final Landscaping and Exteriors!

 

This Spring we worked with a great landscaping coming company locally that had taken our landscape sketches and turned them into the master plan.  We liked them so much, and they are a small, family business, that we hired to come back and do all the landscaping.  In addition to the landscaping, we needed to install some extensive underground drainage all around the house.  Being on such a steep slope we were already having some issues due to erosion and the underground drainage was needed to help control the runoff during rainstorms.  The guys did a great job.  Lots of final photos below and some pictures from landscape construction, it’s quite a before and after on the exterior!

 

Part of the drainage puzzle that needed to be solved for was how to best handle the sizeable amount of runoff during heavy rains.  Being on a steep slope quite a bit of runoff comes through our yard, though thankfully away from the house itself.  The landscaper came up with a great idea, we would build a stone path to act as a swail, where the water naturally flows and the path would have a slight V-shape to it to help channel the water from both sides of the small valley, thus stopping erosion.  But the path would be made from blue stone to match much of the other natural stone we used around the outside, so when not channeling rain water, it just functions as a beautiful path around the side of the yard, from the driveway all the way to the woods.  So pictures below.

 

The courtyard in the back and the area around the fire pit all look like we dreamt them to from our sketches.  Without the trees in the raised planters or the fire pit installed, those areas had not been as clear as to their purpose.  But with trees now planted and the boxwoods around the circular fire pit area, it’s pretty clear what each of those spaces is for.  And while we do not intend to use sod around the house, we’re glad we did, it has taken root beautifully and has really helped with erosion of all that new soil.

 

The hillside garden is beautiful.  We wound up making it a rock garden and Noel designed it with the use of the many large stones from around the yard and the guys used pea gravel for the paths through the garden as we had envisioned.  It’s been fun to be back out and planting again now that we have a yard.

 

There are even a few aerial photos below, my folks surprised me with a helicopter ride from a local airport to take pictures from the air which was amazing!  Some neat aerial shots below.  And I included some landscaping construction photos below after the finished product pictures.

 

Thanks for following our blog!  We love our new home and we realize how truly lucky we are to get to live in our dream home.

 

Doug and Noel

 

 

 

Landscaping complete, new lampposts installed, the new lawn and plants...  what a transformation of the exterior!

Landscaping complete, new lampposts installed, the new lawn and plants… what a transformation of the exterior!

 

 

New front yard with the lawn in, boxwoods along the front porch and a Japanese Maple in the front.

New front yard with the lawn in, boxwoods along the front porch and a Japanese Maple in the front.

 

New view from the front door!

New view from the front door!

 

For Christmas my folks surprised me with a helicopter ride from a local airport to take pictures of the house from the air!  So cool!  Thankfully the weather wound up delaying us just long enough that the new yard and landscaping were nearly completely.  Here is a shoot from over the backyard.

For Christmas my folks surprised me with a helicopter ride from a local airport to take pictures of the house from the air! So cool! Thankfully the weather wound up delaying us just long enough that the new yard and landscaping were nearly completely. Here is a shoot from over the backyard.

 

Another view from the air...

Another view from the air…

Picture of the lake that we're on...

Picture of the lake that we’re on…

 

Another view of the path / swail (see below).

Another view of the path / swail (see below).

 

To help with the flow of water during rain, the landscapers came up with the idea of building a swail, it looks and functions like a stone path from the front yard all along the house, through the backyard and to the woods... but it's in the shape a very slight V to act as a channel for the rain water, especially during heavy rains.  They constructed it out tumbled bluestone to match the other natural stone we used throughout the house.

To help with the flow of water during rain, the landscapers came up with the idea of building a swail, it looks and functions like a stone path from the front yard all along the house, through the backyard and to the woods… but it’s in the shape a very slight V to act as a channel for the rain water, especially during heavy rains. They constructed it out tumbled bluestone to match the other natural stone we used throughout the house.

 

Fire pit and surrounding boxwoods.

Fire pit and surrounding boxwoods.

 

Looking down in the garden and garden paths from the breakfast room.

Looking down in the garden (this is before we began to put plants in the ground!) and garden paths from the breakfast room.

 

Outdoor dining room.

Outdoor dining room.

 

Courtyard, fire pit area and outdoor dining table under the pergola.

Courtyard, fire pit area and outdoor dining table under the pergola.

 

Pool looking into the courtyard with the four square, raised planters now with trees... so it looks like a courtyard finally!  We chose hydrangea trees so they will flower but won't get so big that they would block the view from the main living area upstairs.

Pool looking into the courtyard with the four square, raised planters now with trees… so it looks like a courtyard finally! We chose hydrangea trees so they will flower but won’t get so big that they would block the view from the main living area upstairs.

 

Sod going down in stripes on the newly raked loam.

Sod going down in stripes on the newly raked loam.

18-wheeler of sod... Our yard took a full 18-wheeler of sod.  They cut it that morning at 4am and were on site at 7am and worked all day into the evening to lay the entire lawn.

18-wheeler of sod… Our yard took a full 18-wheeler of sod. They cut it that morning at 4am and were on site at 7am and worked all day into the evening to lay the entire lawn.

 

Moving the sod to the various staging areas around the yard.

Moving the sod to the various staging areas around the yard.

 

Pallets of sod awaiting installation, loam and filler sand (the latter for backfilling against the retaining wall) are in the background.

Pallets of sod awaiting installation, loam and filler sand (the latter for backfilling against the retaining wall) are in the background.

 

Because we didn't want gutters in many places as it would take away from the rafter tails that feature so prominently in our design, we had to install drip edge around much of the house.  This consists of drain pipe buried in the ground and then covered over with pea gravel, keep in place with pressure 2 X 6 as edging.  With the sod place right up to this edging you can't see the drip edge around the house in most places.

Because we didn’t want gutters in many places as it would take away from the rafter tails that feature so prominently in our design, we had to install drip edge around much of the house. This consists of drain pipe buried in the ground and then covered over with pea gravel, keep in place with pressure 2 X 6 as edging. With the sod place right up to this edging you can’t see the drip edge around the house in most places.  (This picture doesn’t show the final layer of smaller size pea gravel that covers the heavier stones that back-fill the drainage.)

An example of what the underground drainage looks like, lots of separate lines connect various catch basins and gutters at ground level and then carry it underground to  daylight' drains

An example of what the underground drainage looks like, lots of separate lines connect various catch basins and gutters at ground level and then carry it away underground to exit at
‘daylight’ drains downhill from the house

 

Completed exterior with the shutters now installed and ready for plants!

Completed exterior with the shutters now installed and ready for plants!

May 5th, 2013

We have received many requests for photos of our new home now that we’ve moved in and my schedule has finally allowed me to do a quick update.  We have been in our new home for about four and a half months and we continue to walk around in amazement that we get to live here, we absolutely love it.  We have recently completed the landscaping as well, but I will save that update for another time (soon to come).

We have loved giving tours of our home to friends and family who had followed our progress online.  The interior is breathtaking, Noel and our builder and his skilled craftsman did an amazing job.  All the natural wood is simply stunning and not what you see in many new houses anymore.  We love all the natural wood finishes and Noel did a great job of carefully blending the stains so that the various kinds of wood (cherry, white oak, fir) we used all flowed together.  Once we moved in we worked long days and nights to unpack and be ready for Christmas.  Thankfully my folks came to town and helped us out for four days to get it completed.

With the house finally completed and unpacked, we turned our attention to the small details that waited until we were moved in like drawer dividers in the cabinets, the last of the custom mirrors for the half bath, etc.  The major work and next transformation has been the exterior landscaping and making the master plan we created a year ago, come to life.  We’ll save those photos for another time.  For today, there are several photos below of the interior now completed.  I’ll try to blog with the update on the landscaping construction and final pictures in a week or two.

For now, enjoy these updates!  Our best to all!

Love,

Doug and Noel

View from the back patio.

View from the back patio.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Close up of the cherry paneling around the windows.

Close up of the cherry paneling around the windows.

Great room looking into kitchen and family dining space.

Great room looking into kitchen and family dining space.

Great room looking towards fireplace, screened in porch door is on the right, master bedroom on the left.

Great room looking towards fireplace, screened in porch door is on the right, master bedroom on the left.

One of our favorite design elements is the built ins and mantel surround around the fireplace.  The compromise was that I was allowed a TV in that space only if the cabinet maker could design it such that it was completely hidden when closed to match the rest of the paneled surround.  He did an amazing job, it's gorgeous and you can't tell the TV is behind it, you can't even tell that the panel are doors.  Doors open below this photo...

One of our favorite design elements is the built ins and mantel surround around the fireplace. The compromise was that I was allowed a TV in that space only if the cabinet maker could design it such that it was completely hidden when closed to match the rest of the paneled surround. He did an amazing job, it’s gorgeous and you can’t tell the TV is behind it, you can’t even tell that the panel are doors. Doors open below this photo…

And with the doors open to reveal the TV.

And with the doors open to reveal the TV.

Master bedroom looking into the closets and master bath.

Master bedroom looking into the closets and master bath.

Screened porch off the great room with stone fireplace.

Screened porch off the great room with stone fireplace.

Dining room

Dining room

Doug's desk and office space within the office, love the windows and built-ins.

Doug’s desk and office space within the office, love the windows and built-ins.

Office above the garage (still need to hang pictures in here!)

Office above the garage (still need to hang pictures in here!)

One of the guest rooms on the lower level (pool view room, overnight guests are charged more for the water view! :) )

One of the guest rooms on the lower level (pool view room, overnight guests are charged more for the water view! :) )

Lower level entertainment room that opens out to the pool and terrace.

Lower level entertainment room that opens out to the pool and terrace.

Breakfast room, we love how much light we get in this space, especially in the morning.

Breakfast room, we love how much light we get in this space, especially in the morning.

Tub in the master with the chandelier now finally installed over it, this light is designed to look like a flower and is one of Noel's favorites in the house.

Tub in the master with the chandelier now finally installed over it, this light is designed to look like a flower and is one of Noel’s favorites in the house.

Foyer

Foyer

One of the two matching vanities in the master bath.

One of the two matching vanities in the master bath.

Half bath on the main level with the mirror finally built by the cabinet maker and installed.

Half bath on the main level with the mirror finally built by the cabinet maker and installed.

Back deck with the gutter now installed along the roofline.

Back deck with the gutter now installed along the roofline.

Staircase in the lower level.

Staircase in the lower level.

Outdoor dining table and lounger chairs assembled and ready for summer!

Outdoor dining table and lounger chairs assembled and ready for summer!

We selectively installed gutters where we needed them most but went without in some spots so as to not take away from the look of the eaves and rafter tails.  We used an old fashioned looking round gutter.

We selectively installed gutters where we needed them most but went without in some spots so as to not take away from the look of the eaves and rafter tails. We used an old fashioned looking round gutter.

Shutters now installed... and the yard ready for landscaping.

Shutters now installed… and the yard ready for landscaping.

Wintertime sunset

Wintertime sunset

December 7, 2012

Nearly a year later…  we have our certificate of occupancy!  Relief, excitement a little exhaustion and a lot over budget, we’re there.  We passed both HVAC inspections this week without issue, same for plumbing.  Two tries for electric over something ridiculous.  Did not pass first try at final inspection on Thursday and we thought we would be delayed a week to move in because of schedules.  Two things held us up.  The electricians mistakenly installed smoke only detectors, code now says they have to be smoke plus CO2.  Then, my friend the window and door guy messed up and only one of the two windows over the new tub was tempered glass.  So we didn’t pass.  Byron ran around and bought the CO2 detector combo units and got them installed and applied a protective film to the window to effectively make it tempered (it will be replaced with a real one at some point and then need to be handed stained again…).  Different inspector showed up at lunch time on Friday and did a quick walk through and passed the house shortly after.

 

In keeping with our mad dash to the finish theme, the past week was just as busy.  A couple of the biggest developments this week… the cabinet maker worked nearly around the clock to finish and his work continues to dazzle us.  He has constructed furniture grade cabinet and trim details for us.  The kitchen was finished with its Craftsman style crown moulding at the top of the cabinets with dentil brackets.  It’s amazing and really finishes the kitchen and ties it in with the island and the custom mirrors in the bathrooms.  He connected either side of the upper wall cabinets with what they call a light bridge which also allows the moulding at the top to continue around uninterrupted.  The book cases in the island were finished with their shelves and glass doors.  The most stunning development is the installation of the fireplace surround.  Amazing!  It’s really incredible.  Cherry paneling surround to match the kitchen ont he other end of the great room, large mantel and then an upper cabinet with recessed cabinet for the TV which will then be hidden by cabinet doors that will look like more paneling above the mantel.  It’s just spectacular and the center piece of the great room that Noel and I had envisioned.  The fireplaces are now working as well so it was a pretty cool look to have the surround installed and the fire going.

 

The fence was mostly completed minus the arbor at the driveway which is on backorder.  Straw was put down on the back for erosion control until we can get a lawn started in the Spring.  Columns were built under the breezeway, gate installed at the breezeway, shutters stained (not installed yet), more painting and staining…  and the house was cleaned from top to bottom.  The two cupolas were installed.  They looked huge on the ground but are the right scale once placed up high on the roof.  We hear (and have cell phone video!) that getting them up on the roof with manpower only was quite the feet.  Looks nice to have them up there.

 

The driveway was paved and looks nice, to have that finished.  No more dumpster in the yard or lift trucks.

 

Lots of pictures this week and lots of rooms are now final.  We have a punch list of course of things that will be completed over the course of the next week or two, but we’re done with inspections and we’re moving in!  Busy weekend ahead and following week as we move from both the temporary apartment and storage units and into our new dream home.

 

We love our new home and can’t wait to live there.  We realize how fortunate and blessed we are to have built a dream home.  It’s been very long year of construction, decisions, planning, meetings with Byron, subs and suppliers.  Countless hours invested in the vision and management of the process.  But the end result is breathtaking for us as it reflects what we had dreamed of.  Thanks for following along with our blog, it’s been fun to share in the experience with family and friends.  With this, my 45th blog, we’ll pause for a bit on the blog as we focus on moving in, punch lists, and getting ready for Christmas in our new home.  We’ll post here occasionally with new photos along the way, but this is the last weekly update.  Thank you for your support and encouragement and for your interest in journey to build our Modern Craftsman style Dream Home.  We love you and miss you all.

 

Our best to all this holiday season and for a happy and healthy New Year,

Doug and Noel

 

 

Finished book cases on either end of the island.

Finished book cases on either end of the island.

 

Last pieces of trim and moulding installed in the kitchen, reakky amazing details that Noel and the cabinet maker designed, just really finishes the kitchen.

Last pieces of trim and moulding installed in the kitchen, really amazing details that Noel and the cabinet-maker designed, just really finishes the kitchen.

Close up the dentil shelf type of moulding... the cabinet maker constructed these as if he were building a piece of furniture, these are blind nailed so that all the nails and screws are from the top or behind, no face nailing so no nail holes.  It's gorgeous!

Close up the dentil shelf type of moulding… the cabinet maker constructed these as if he were building a piece of furniture, these are blind nailed so that all the nails and screws are from the top or behind, no face nailing so no nail holes. It’s gorgeous!

Cabinet maker refers to this piece as a light bridge, spans and connects the upper wall cabinets on either side of the windows, a recessed light will go in this flat surface area...  allows the crown moulding to continue uninterrupted around the kitchen.

Cabinet maker refers to this piece as a light bridge, spans and connects the upper wall cabinets on either side of the windows, a recessed light will go in this flat surface area… allows the crown moulding to continue uninterrupted around the kitchen.

More dentil / Craftsman style crown in the ktichen.

More dentil / Craftsman style crown in the kitchen.

Wow!  Stunning... we love it.  Fireplace surround, mantel and hidden TV cabinet that will eventually have full height panel doors to conceal it.

Wow! Stunning… we love it. Fireplace surround, mantel and hidden TV cabinet that will eventually have full height panel doors to conceal it.

Close up of the new mantel and Craftsman style dentil blocks supporting it.

Close up of the new mantel and Craftsman style dentil blocks supporting it.

 

Cabinet where the TV will go and will be hidden behind cabinet doors to match the kitchen at the other end of the great room.

Cabinet where the TV will go and will be hidden behind cabinet doors to match the kitchen at the other end of the great room.

Master bath, one of the two matching vanities

Master bath, one of the two matching vanities

Guest bath finished.

Guest bath finished.

Master bath tub.

Master bath tub.

Dining room finished.  (outlet open high on the wall is the speaker wire, small book shelf speakers will sit atop the china cabinet here for background music.

Dining room finished. (outlet open high on the wall is the speaker wire, small book shelf speakers will sit atop the china cabinet here for background music.

 

Master finished (better able to see how the carpet pattern has the same theme in design as the ceiling design)

Master finished (better able to see how the carpet pattern has the same theme in design as the ceiling design)

Breakfast room finished.

Breakfast room finished.

Front door finished.

Front door finished.

Powder room finished.

Powder room finished.

Powder room floor, marble mosaic.

Powder room floor, marble mosaic.

Screened in porch finished.

Screened in porch finished.

 

Downstairs hallway now finished with toe moulding.

Downstairs hallway now finished with toe moulding.

 

All the toe molding that was pre-stained has been installed along the baseboards.

All the toe molding that was pre-stained has been installed along the baseboards.

 

Garden view guest room that overlooks the stairs from the breezeway and eventual terraced garden (garden view rates apply for accomodations here...)

Garden view guest room that overlooks the stairs from the breezeway and eventual terraced garden (garden view rates apply for accommodations here…)

 

Guest room (water view room on the pool side of the house, rates will be higher for overnight stays in this room because of the view of course :)  Looking into the guest bath and hallway.

Guest room (water view room on the pool side of the house, rates will be higher for overnight stays in this room because of the view of course :) Looking into the guest bath and hallway.

 

Lower level entertainment room finished (should have closed the door to the basement I now realize for this shot).

Lower level entertainment room finished (should have closed the door to the basement I now realize for this shot).

 

Sarah's room finished.

Sarah’s room finished.

 

Pool, pergola and fence which was mostly finished last week.

Pool, pergola and fence which was mostly finished last week.

 

Fence installed this week and hay spread everywhere to get us through the winter before we work on getting a lawn started.  Noel had the great idea to have them stack the boulders from around the property that had been dug during construction to make a nautral screen for the pool filter and pumps.

Fence installed this week and hay spread everywhere to get us through the winter before we work on getting a lawn started. Noel had the great idea to have them stack the boulders from around the property that had been dug during construction to make a natural screen for the pool filter and pumps.

 

Final coat on the pine flooring on the front porch.

Final coat on the pine flooring on the front porch.

 

New gate at the breezeway fence installed.

New gate at the breezeway fence installed.

 

New cedar shutters getting the last of their stain before installed.  We've seen the house so long without them, hard to picture what they will look like on.  Should go on this next week.

New cedar shutters getting the last of their stain before installed. We’ve seen the house so long without them, hard to picture what they will look like on. Should go on this next week.

 

Coupolas installed this week.  They looked huge on the ground but perfect scale up on the roof.  Sounds like it was quite the trick to get them up there by manpower only.

Coppola installed this week. They looked huge on the ground but perfect scale up on the roof. Sounds like it was quite the trick to get them up there by manpower only.

 

Columns under the breezeway now built to match the ones on the front of the house.

Columns under the breezeway now built to match the ones on the front of the house.

 

Final coat of stain on the front door.

Final coat of stain on the front door.

 

Coupola on the garage roof.

Coupola on the garage roof.

 

New driveway is in!

New driveway is in!

Truly the last pieces of river rock installed last week, with final grade now there was room for one more course at the bottom of each of the piers.

Truly the last pieces of river rock installed last week, with final grade now there was room for one more course at the bottom of each of the piers.

December 2, 2012

It was another crazy busy week at the house as all the subs continued their mad dash to the finish line and final preparations for inspections.  The electricians completed the installation of all the light fixtures.  The outside sconces had been back ordered for three months so they went around and installed temporary, small (and cheap) fixtures so that we would pass the final inspection.  As luck would have it the real fixtures were delivered the next day so they changed them all out quickly for us (Noel may have made a gentle suggestion that they not wait to change them out…!)  The plumber is all but done, we now have running water and functioning commodes.  He has a couple of things to complete and then he’s done.  Noel’s tub in the master bath wound up requiring some special fittings that we didn’t have but that should be addressed this next week and then we’re ready for final plumbing inspections.

The trim carpenter installed the railings and pickets at the breezeway on the top of the retaining wall there, and going down those stairs to the backyard.  The framers finally finished the deck boards on the deck and that allowed the carpenter to get those railings on as well.  The painters continued their work to apply final coat and final touch up wherever it was required including staining much of these new exterior trim pieces.  The metal roofs were installed on the cupolas and so those are ready to go up on the roof, though there is much debate over how they will do that since these things have turned out to be much heavier than was planned.  We’re hoping they can rig something with scaffolding as the crane that was an option was estimated to be $600.

The last piece counter top was installed on the island.  And all the carpet was installed.  The rooms look great with carpet and no longer subfloor or concrete.  We have plastic covering much of the carpet as the subs try to finish up.  And the engineered hardwood floor was installed in the lower level entertainment room and hallway.  We chose this because it is going over the concrete slab and because it will wear great with all the traffic coming and going from the pool and patio.  We finally passed the electric inspection for the pool and so that is up and running.  The fence company has started their work in the backyard…  and we had a landscape company come in and do final grade and bring in topsoil for the front and side yards.  The final grade in the back looks much better and they made the berm supporting the backyard and pool much less steep and look much more finished.  The front looks completely different with no red clay, trash, and ruts from the trucks.

The hardwood floors were finished this past weekend as well.  Wow!  They came out great.  The floor guys have a hard job, all that white oak was hand finished with a custom mix of stain that they and Noel and figured out.  It’s very deep and rich and is a great compliment for the stained fir trim and cherry cabinets and built-ins.  It has two coats of poly to protect it and sadly now is very dirty…  but it will clean easily and then once everyone else is out, just before move-in, they will apply the final coat to it.  Some photos below but it doesn’t do it justice, when it was gleaming and new, it was stunning.  But you can get a sense for the color in some of the shots.

(Total sidebar…  I have to add something for Jeff and Lynette…  Craftsman, craftsman, craftsman, craftsman, craftsman, rafter tail, rafter tail, rafter tail, craftsman, craftsman, rafter tail.  Now don’t try to drive anywhere for a while kids.)

All in all it was another very productive week and we’re loving how it’s feeling more like a home and less like a construction site (except for the dirt and spare parts everywhere!).  So the week ahead will be all about punch lists and final inspections.   We’re paving the driveway this week, that will be another big milestone (two-day job).  Will be nice to drive to the house and not through mud.  That will require that the dumpster be out of there which in turn means that we have to have the entire house cleaned and the site cleaned of the last of the debris.  A cleaning crew comes in for two days when Byron is ready for them.  And in parallel are a wave of inspections.  We have electric final, plumbing final, HVAC (multiple there), septic, gas, fire department, pool (fence and safety equipment), and then final – final inspection.  And any of those could call for changes and a reinspection.  Byron is very optimistic that we will get through those inspections and have a C/O by week’s end.  I am a little less optimistic personally as I think there is a lot that could disrupt that including just the schedule of the inspectors.  But we have movers scheduled for Saturday just in case.  And Noel, it should be noted, is optimistic that we’ll be in by this time next weekend.  Hard to imagine.  But it will be a big week for sure.

While I was at the house finishing up my work for the day on Saturday, the sun was setting on what had been a really warm December 1st in North Carolina and at dusk, with the outside lights on for the first time, the house just looked so warm and inviting.  And it looked like a home.  The light from the setting sun and the exterior and grounds looking so finished, it just looked great.  We’re almost home.

Our best to all, thanks for following along on our journey to build our Craftsman dream home.  Another update next week.

Doug and Noel

Almost home.  As I was wrapping up my work at the house for the day on Saturday the light from the setting sun and the newly functioning outside lights made it all just look inviting and welcoming and snapped some more photos.  In all of the frenetic rush to finish the house and deal with last minute questions, issues and choices, it was a brief quiet moment to just reflect on our beautiful new home.  We're almost home.

Almost home. As I was wrapping up my work at the house for the day on Saturday the light from the setting sun and the newly functioning outside lights made it all just look inviting and welcoming and snapped some more photos. In all of the frenetic rush to finish the house and deal with last minute questions, issues and choices, it was a brief quiet moment to just reflect on our beautiful new home. We’re almost home.

We'll leave a light on for 'ya...

We’ll leave a light on for ‘ya…

Outside lights working now...

Really love this view of the house, you can see many of the details we have worked so hard on all come together…

DSC_0049

More photos at dusk...

More photos at dusk…

We had our first chance to see the Restoration Hardware chandliers working... really nice accent to the cathederal ceilings.  They give off a soft glow, not enough to read or work by but a nice warm glow.  (Also, the speakers were all installed in the ceilings, you can see some of them here.)

We had our first chance to see the Restoration Hardware chandeliers working… really nice accent to the cathedral ceilings. They give off a soft glow, not enough to read or work by but a nice warm glow. (Also, the speakers were all installed in the ceilings, you can see some of them here.)

One of the biggest changes in the house is that all of the hardwood floors were stained and two of the three coats of poly were applied.  The custom color mix that Noel and the floor guys came up with is awesome!  The deep, rich brown really highlights the grain in the white oak and it's just enough of a contrast with the fir trim.  Hard to tell in this picture but all of the toe molding has also been installed along the baseboards.  Just can't get over how stunning the floors look.  Unfortunately there is so much dirt and dust that's hard to tell in some places...

One of the biggest changes in the house is that all of the hardwood floors were stained and two of the three coats of poly were applied. The custom color mix that Noel and the floor guys came up with is awesome! The deep, rich brown really highlights the grain in the white oak and it’s just enough of a contrast with the fir trim. Hard to tell in this picture but all of the toe molding has also been installed along the baseboards. Just can’t get over how stunning the floors look. Unfortunately there is so much dirt and dust that’s hard to tell in some places…

So much dirt!

So much dirt!

First floor powder room.  Plumber has all the fixtures working so we have running water which is nice feature we thought...

First floor powder room. Plumber has all the fixtures working so we have running water which is nice feature we thought…

Clearer picture of the kitchen island than we had last week.  The last of the soapstone was installed this week so under that paper is the countertop.

Clearer picture of the kitchen island than we had last week. The last of the soapstone was installed this week so under that paper is the countertop.

Front yard was re-graded and top soil brought in for the eventual lawn and landscaping.  Nice to no longer see the red clay we have seen in the front to date.

Front yard was re-graded and top soil brought in for the eventual lawn and landscaping. Nice to no longer see the red clay we have seen in the front to date.

Outside sconces were finally delivered (three months on backorder) and were installed this week on the garage and the back of the house.  Square mission style, matches the outside fixture hanging from the cedar timbers over the entrance.

Outside sconces were finally delivered (three months on backorder) and were installed this week on the garage and the back of the house. Square mission style, matches the outside fixture hanging from the cedar timbers over the entrance.

For the flooring in the lower level entertainment room and half kitchen we selected an engineered hardwood with a dark finish and a hand scrapped distressed look in spots.  This product should be better on the concrete slab and for the wear and tear it will see with family and friends coming in from the pool and patios to the facilities and kitchen areas.  The floor really looks great, we're very happy with how it turned out and this room now really looks finished, no more concrete floors to look at.

For the flooring in the lower level entertainment room and half kitchen we selected an engineered hardwood with a dark finish and a hand scrapped distressed look in spots. This product should be better on the concrete slab and for the wear and tear it will see with family and friends coming in from the pool and patios to the facilities and kitchen areas. The floor really looks great, we’re very happy with how it turned out and this room now really looks finished, no more concrete floors to look at.

Hardwood flooring the downstairs hallway leading to the bedrooms and guest bath.  Will need to have toe molding installed this week and then it's done!

Hardwood flooring the downstairs hallway leading to the bedrooms and guest bath. Will need to have toe molding installed this week and then it’s done!

Carpet in Sarah's room.  Hard to tell from this photo but she picked a very thick carpet, nearly a shag carpet.  I think it will need to be raked more than it will be possible to vaccum it!

Carpet in Sarah’s room. Hard to tell from this photo but she picked a very thick carpet, nearly a shag carpet. I think it will need to be raked more than it will be possible to vacuum it!

Carpet in the master bedroom, we liked the square pattern because it mimics the square design in the trim feature we designed for the ceiling in the bedroom.

Carpet in the master bedroom, we liked the square pattern because it mimics the square design in the trim feature we designed for the ceiling in the bedroom.

Carpet in the office.

Carpet in the office.

The deck is finally completed and we were able to walk on the entire span for the first time.  The trim carpenter is nearly done with the railings and pickets and then those will get stained to match the columns, kind of looks funny in the two-tone right now.  The trim carpenter working with Noel designed these railings and pickets to exactly match the railings and pickets in the house around the stairs in the great room.  While these are made of pressure treated versus the fir that we used on the trim, it's a nice detail that they came up with to have them all match, especially since you can see them together in the same space.

The deck is finally completed and we were able to walk on the entire span for the first time. The trim carpenter is nearly done with the railings and pickets and then those will get stained to match the columns, kind of looks funny in the two-tone right now. The trim carpenter working with Noel designed these railings and pickets to exactly match the railings and pickets in the house around the stairs in the great room. While these are made of pressure treated versus the fir that we used on the trim, it’s a nice detail that they came up with to have them all match, especially since you can see them together in the same space.

Outside sconces installed on either side of the French doors leading to the deck on the upper level and the French doors leading to the terrace on the lower level.

Outside sconces installed on either side of the French doors leading to the deck on the upper level and the French doors leading to the terrace on the lower level.

Bannister coming down the steps from the breezeway to the backyard.

Bannister coming down the steps from the breezeway to the backyard.

New banisters and pickets along the breezeway.  Gate just needs to be installed and a couple more coats of stain.

New banisters and pickets along the breezeway. Gate just needs to be installed and a couple more coats of stain.

Nice view of the backyard now from the deck now that it's complete.

Nice view of the backyard now from the deck now that it’s complete.

The metal roofing has been applied to the coupolas and they are ready for installation.  Now the challenge is getting them onto the second story roofs.

The metal roofing has been applied to the cupolas and they are ready for installation. Now the challenge is getting them onto the second story roofs.

The shutters have been built amd brought to the site, they are cedar like most of the exterior trim details and were built by the same person who made the brackets and rafter tails around the house.  They look great...  they will be stained roughly the same color as the garage doors, not quite as dark as the cedar timbers over the entrance.

The shutters have been built and brought to the site, they are cedar like most of the exterior trim details and were built by the same person who made the brackets and rafter tails around the house. They look great… they will be stained roughly the same color as the garage doors, not quite as dark as the cedar timbers over the entrance.

Ceiling fixtures in the garage are installed and working.

Ceiling fixtures in the garage are installed and working.

This week's random picture of progress... we had a sink in our garage back in Massachusetts and we loved it, we used it all time.  So we planned on one in this garage and it has been installed and even works!  Used it before I have used any sinks in the house.

This week’s random picture of progress… we had a sink in our garage back in Massachusetts and we loved it, we used it all time. So we planned on one in this garage and it has been installed and even works! Used it before I have used any sinks in the house.

November 25, 2012

It was a busy week at the house with plumbing and lighting fixtures and many finishes being installed from door hardware to tile back splashes.  Byron described the scene as a circus at times with so many subs all in the house at the same time.  While things were a bit slower due to the holiday this week (understandably), we did still some progress on Friday and the weekend.  It was pretty exciting to see so many fixtures being installed in the house this week, from finish / trim electric to finish plumbing and many other details, more and more is looking close to completion.  Tons of pictures below this week as there was much that was new from last week!

 

The plumber worked very efficiently and has nearly all of the fixtures installed at this point.  We have toilets, faucets, shower heads, etc. all nearly complete (no running water yet!).  He has one more day of work to do this next week and we’ll have hot water heaters, on demand hot water units, and the last of the trim installed and nearly ready for that inspection.

 

Likewise the electrician was also making progress on trim work, with nearly of the light fixtures installed this week including all of the chandeliers in the great room, dining room, and bedroom.  Most of the ceiling mount lights installed and all of the can lights complete.  He has another day to finish light fixtures on the inside and outside, and then he has to complete the generator connections, appliance connections, etc.  But he should wrap up most of his work this week.

 

The painters continued to find things to paint and stain on the inside and outside but were slowing down this week waiting for all the remaining interior finish work to wrap up before final coats go on the walls.  The framer was back on site starting to build out the columns under the breezeway roof (see below).  And the trim carpenter was on site installing all the door hardware and dropping off the pickets and handrails for the back deck so those can go on this upcoming week.  It’s nice to have the doors done at this point and have all the hardware installed.  We selected an oil rubbed bronze finish to match door hinges and window hardware (and the exterior metal roof accents).

 

The front sidewalks were poured and we like having those in place, less mud and dirt being tracked into the house now.  And it really defines our future planting beds in the front.

 

The kitchen island did show up to our relief.  It looks amazing.  Noel and the cabinet-maker custom designed this when they designed the kitchen the taper legs on the island, the dentil brackets that will support the countertop, the built-in bookcases on either end… it all looks really great.  The cabinet doors and the glass doors for the bookcases will come soon.  The bookcases match the design of the built-in bookcases on the other end of the great room and will Noel a place to store her cookbooks and cooking magazines in the kitchen.  We only have cell phone pictures of the island below, by the time we got there this weekend with the real camera the island had been wrapped up in brown paper to protect it.

 

Tile back splashes were all installed this week and several photos of those are below.  The tile for the back splashes look great and we love the subway tile in the kitchen and the onyx tile in the lower level kitchen.  Tile walls and floors were all sealed this weekend as well.  And the glass company was out and installed the heavy, frame-less shower doors for both walk-in showers and the mirrors in the frames that the cabinet-maker created.

 

The hardwood floors were cleaned and sanded for two days and this weekend were being prepped for stain.  The stain will go on today (Sunday) and then poly tonight and then should be ready for the crews to walk on it tomorrow.  Next weekend will be the final coat.  We have seen a sneak peek of the dark stain and it looks great, the great room, kitchen, dining room and breakfast room will look completely different by this time next weekend.

 

It was a very busy week at the house and despite being a holiday week / weekend, a lot was accomplished.  We did have some minor set-backs during the week…  some of which I will share because they are undoubtedly funny in hindsight.  Because the pool is still not running, a family of ducks moved into the pool and were happily paddling around the pool.  The neighbors dog ran through our freshly poured concrete sidewalk, thankfully the crew was still on site and could fix it but he decided it was so much fun that he did it again later when no one was around.  Luckily it had set up enough that we have only small dimples of paw prints.  And the pool electric has still not passed its inspection to my utter exasperation.  We took the builder’s electrician off that job and brought in the guy who normally does the pool electrical work for the pool company.  It took him a day to fix what was wrong and finish what has half done.  $1,000 later and it’s done but then the county inspector refused to inspect it or sign off on it on Wednesday because the home owner wasn’t personally on site for the inspection.  $60 re-inspection fee and we’ll try again this week.  Not happy about that whole mess.

 

The week ahead should be a big one for us.  The landscape crew will be on site Monday to bring in top soil and apply the finish grade to the back and front yards.  That will allow the fence company to start on the backyard (required by code since we have a pool of course) on Tuesday and hopefully complete all the fence work this week.  The plumber should finish on Monday.  The electricians should wrap up this week with the last of the lights, exterior lights, under cabinet lights and the generator work.  The floors will be stained and finished as I mentioned.  The trim carpenter should be wrapping up.  The framers should finally finish the back deck and install all the railings, pickets and gate at the breezeway stairs to the backyard.  The last piece of countertop should go on the island.  And believe it or not, the carpets go in on Thursday (assuming that is we’re ready but we’re scheduled for Thursday and Byron is pushing to ensure we are, he thinks we will be).  The engineered hardwood floor will go on the lower level…  Byron says that by next weekend we’ll be a socks only construction site on the interior.

 

So a lot of work to finish up this week, and then next week is the first week of December.  We won’t be ready for move in that week but should be in punch list mode and starting on the long list of final inspections.  Those final inspections are sure to create a punch list of their own.  So we’re thinking we’re three weeks away from a C/O and move in.  Should be lots of exciting changes each week at this point.  Tons of photos of this week are below.

 

Thanks for following our blog.  We hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Doug and Noel

 

Sidewalks are in, trim around the front door has been painted and the new cedar columns on the front porch have now been stained. Since these columns are of rough cut cedar, their finish looks different then the smooth, nearly furniture grade cedar used in the timbers over the entrance.

 

The remaining siding and trim around the door have now all been painted.

 

Kitchen island from cell phone camera (the island had been covered in protective craft paper by the time we got there with the camera this weekend), the taper legs on all four corners, the dentil shelves / brackets around the top… and the built-in bookcases on either end of the island were all parts of Noel’s custom design for our Craftsman island. We love how it came out, looks fantastic. (I may have had a hand in the suggestion of the bookcases on each end, but we’ll keep that between us.)

 

Another view of the island.  Cabinet doors will go on this side and glass doors for the bookcases on either end.

 

Kitchen tile backsplash was installed this week and looks amazing! Noel selected a green (with some grey in it to my eye!) in a subway tile. It really looks great and had long been a vision Noel had for the kitchen, we love subway tile and this hand-glazed tile has just enough variation in one tile to the next.

 

Beautiful tile design / mosaic for the cooktop backsplash.

 

Kitchen backsplash

 

Great room all cleared out and cleaned out and the floors nearly finished being sanded and ready for stain this weekend.

Lower level entrainment room kitchen has had its tile backsplash and pendant lights installed and is really looking quite finished!

Close-up of the onyx tile backsplash. The tiles are really miniature subway tiles with all the natural variation of onyx but mostly in yellows and some browns so a great compliment to the colors Noel has picked for this room.

Love how all these colors and textures are coming together!

Tiffany style pendants over the bar in the entertainment room kitchen on the lower level. The yellow and green design is something Noel picked out to reflect the faint yellow / off white wall color and creamy cabinet color in this level and the green sofa and club chair that will go in this level when we’re moved in.

This style light is being used in the foyer, over the stairs, short hallway to the powder room and the staircase in the office.

chandeliers in the great room, round fixtures from Restoration Hardware that look like a ring of candles on a bronze base.

Light fixture in the walk-in closets.

Chandelier in the master bedroom, ceiling and the ceiling trim design have all now been painted in final coat. We really like that there is just a bit of contrast in the ceiling design (semi-gloss) and the ceiling (flat).

Great room with island now in place, chandelier and school-house light fixtures over the island. Everything is very dusty as a result of the hardwood floors being sanded over the course of multiple days.

Powder room on the main floor had its fixtures installed (and is now staging area for the floor sanding equipment and doors temporarily relocated here as the floors get finished.)  The plumbing fixtures are all from Kohler’s Bancroft line which is modeled off what you would have seen in the 1920’s when Craftsman style was popular in some parts of the country.

Shower doors in both walk in showers were installed this week (couldn’t get any closer for this photo as the marble floors had just been sealed.)

Kohler fixtures installed in our master bath, mirrors installed in the custom frames the cabinet maker had made.

Plumbing fixtures installed in Sarah’s bathroom, mirror installed in the frame, tile floors and walls (shower) also sealed.

Guest bath with fixtures and mirror now installed… lights will be next.

As the architect’s plans call for and you can see in his drawing of the house on the top of our blog page, the breezeway roof is supported by four columns. Since the breezeway is supported by the two long LVLs for structural support, these are purely for visual interest. So because they are not load bearing, these are pressure treated frames which will be wrapped in cedar like the ones in the front and then stained to match. This had been waiting for the breezeway concrete walkway to be poured which it was last week.

Doors to the office and garage were stained and the dentil shelves installed.

Front sidewalks were poured, this curves around from the front porch to the breezeway where the mud room door is to the house, doors to the office and the garage and steps to the backyard. Also curves around to the right to the driveway. The areas in between the house / garage and the sidewalks will all be planting beds (Spring projects!).

Another view of the sidewalks…

Random picture of progress for the week (#1 of 2), all the door hardware was installed this week by the trim carpenter. Oil rubbed bronze finish to match the other metal finishes in much of the house including door hinges and window hardware. Door hardware also signals that the painters are done with the door staining and poly process.

This week’s random picture of progress (#2), we have final door hardware on all the doors including the front door, the trim carpenter handed us the real keys to our new home on Wednesday. We’ll continue to use the construction lock on the mud room door under the breezeway for security rather than hand out the final key to all the subs – this also keeps folks from using the front door very much to hopefully protect the deck and front door from dings and scrapes. Ever the one for attention to detail… Noel picked this lock set for the house because it’s square and we don’t have many round finish items in the Craftsman style house!

November 18, 2012

Well here we are only days away from Thanksgiving and we would have hoped to be in the house unpacking this weekend and getting ready to host in our new home.  Not even close.  We are instead in the mad dash to the finish at this point.  We are potentially two weeks away from being done… to more realistically three or four weeks away from being finished.  The latter than cutting things very close to Christmas.  We have a date for final grade in the yard, for concrete front sidewalks, a date for carpet and finishing the hardwood floors, and a window in which we’ll see light fixtures and plumbing fixtures begin to be installed.  What we don’t have is a date for when we’ll be done.  The list of what remains to be done is long.  And it is a mad dash at this point.  We have subs working now seven days a week and at some points there are words being exchanged between them as everyone is everyone else’s way and they want to be the last sub in the house.  The painters want to be last so their walls are pristine, the hardwood floor guys want to be last for the same reason.  So in that mad dash to the finish, here is what was accomplished last week…

 

The painters continued to rule the roost, both literally and figuratively, pushing out other subs and exchanging words at times we’re hearing.  Their focus was on the final coats of polyurethane on all the stained wood trim including baseboard, cased openings, doors, ceiling beams and the like.  I think I may have said in prior blogs that the painters were applying the final coat of stain and poly, hopefully this time I mean it.  It’s amazing what a process this hand finish is.  The wood work is beautiful and many of who walk through the house have commented on it.  We realize it’s not to everyone’s taste but this is our dream home and we both really appreciate natural materials.  The wood grains are beautiful and we appreciate seeing all the works of art the craftsman have created for us in the house.  So harder to reflect in the photos but lots more work on painting and finishing this week.

 

The electricians continued with the progress on devices (outlets and switches) and are nearly complete.  The hardwood floor guys got started on finishing the stairs and they and Noel and Byron worked out the final stain mix for the white oak floors this week, so that is another major decision made.  You can see what the floors will look like from the picture of the stairs below.  One of the bigger milestones was the installation of the kitchen countertops which you can also see pictures of below.  We selected soapstone and the finished product looks great.  With that installed we also had more drawers and doors installed on the kitchen cabinets and more of the appliances including the double oven and microwave.  The dishwasher was set in place but is awaiting the plumber to be fully installed.  Starting to feel like a kitchen now.

 

What is missing is the kitchen island which is now weeks late and a growing worry.  We’re having a hard time getting a straight answer on the status of the island which likely also means that the cabinet surround for the fireplace may be weeks late.  While that may sound trivial, the reality is that it hides / encloses everything from electric lines, outlets, fireplace vent pipes and other things that cannot be exposed if we are to get a certificate of occupancy.  Supposedly we’ll see the island on Tuesday of this week but that has replaced the doors as the thing we’re now waiting anxiously for.

 

The forms for the front sidewalks were built this past.  We were supposed to have concrete poured but instead the rain poured and delayed us.  We’re scheduled to pour on Monday now.  Some pictures of the front sidewalks below, they curve around and connect to the driveway in two place, the front porch and the breezeway making for multiple sweeping planting beds for future flowers.  And also on the outside the pea gravel was laid in the courtyard among the raised planting beds and the bluestone caps set on the retaining wall up by the driveway.

 

The week ahead being the holiday we will not see a full seven days of work but we may see six days of production.  The sidewalks are scheduled to be poured on Monday and the final shape and grade of the backyard is set for Monday as well.  The pool will be started so we get the filter going.  The painters will be back on site.  The electricians are scheduled to begin installing lights and the plumber is ready to begin all finished plumbing at this point.  The shower doors and mirrors will go in on Wednesday and the floor guys will be back trying to work in between the painters.

 

It’s a mad dash to the finish.  We have lots of estimated dates of when things will be done but there are also inevitable delays that crop up and lots of jockeying for elbow room (quite literally!) in the house as everyone descends on the house in the final stages of construction.  And there is a parking problem if you can imagine it and that should be exacerbated tomorrow by the presence of a cement mixer for the sidewalk and dump truck and bob cats for the backyard.  Maybe we should have a valet service for the subs in order to keep them all going?  Yes sir, I’d be happy to get your vehicle for you.  Now was that the cement mixer or the F-150?

 

We wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.  Noel and I have much to be thankful for this holiday season, including good health, our wonderful family and friends, a new community we love, and our dream home.  While we won’t be celebrating in our home this year, we’re getting closer to being in every week.  We think.  ;-)

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

All our best,

Doug and Noel

 

 

Progress on the kitchen… double oven and dishwasher now installed. Cooktop will go under the hood on this wall but painters wouldn’t let the countertop sub do that cut-out because of the dust. All about the critical path of the project plan…

Kitchen with countertops, sink, more cabinet drawers and doors, and microwave installed. (And note the absence of an island… maybe this week!)

Close-up of the soapstone counter tops.

Coffered ceiling in the dining room with final coat of poly and finish white ceiling paint. Looks amazing! Walls will get final coat of paint once the floors are done and finish plumbing and electric are done.

Final finish on the beams in the great room. (Large holes in the ceiling are for the in-ceiling speakers in the great room.)

Retaining wall at the driveway now has most of the bluestone cap cemented in place.

Front sidewalk forms ready for the concrete pour this week. The circular sidewalks connect the front with the breezeway and the driveway in two places. These create some great planting beds for our flower gardens.

And more photos of the sidewalk forms…

Dormer bump-out in the office, this is where my work desk will be, built-in bookcases on either side and then a stone desk top for a work surface. The bracket underneath will be painted to match the trim.

Close up of my work desk stone table top.

 

In for the Thanksgiving holiday, Noel’s mom visiting the house this week for a in person visit! Welcome Grandma!

 

Stairs have been sanded and stained with their first two coats now. Floor guys will wait until everyone is out of the house for several days before applying the coats of poly. Probably over Thanksgiving weekend.

Final coat of poly applied to all the interior doors…

Shoe moulding pre-stained and ready for install along the baseboard where it meets hardwood flooring. Another small detail getting ready to be finished.

The garden courtyard pea-gravel was laid this past week, need a little more to finish off this outdoor space. The planters will wait till spring for the soil and plants at this point.

Brackets under the bar in the entertainment room, no more 2 X 4 support under the granite. It’s about getting things off the long to do list at this point, no matter how small!

This week’s random picture of progress… the electricians are making steady progress with the installation of devices (switches, outlets, etc.), these are in the back of the bar in the entertainment room.

 

 

November 12, 2012

A very happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served our country including Dad and Uncle Dave, and our loved ones who served who are no longer with us.  Our freedom isn’t free and we thank all who have served for their dedication and their sacrifices.

 

So here we are less than two weeks before Thanksgiving and the blog headline is about the pool being open.  Timing is everything I guess.  Last week’s progress was on the pool, outdoor spaces and more finish work on the interior including a massive effort (and resulting dirt and dust) in the final prep on all the drywall for final coats of paint.  Here’s a rundown…

 

The painters and wall guys were on site all week and the drywall crew went over every surface with a close eye and patched and sanded the walls for the final time and so the walls and ceilings are now ready to go from primer (which was tinted with the wall color) to final clean coat.  The walls look a mess naturally at this stage given the thousands of drywall patches everywhere and the dust that coats the entire house… but all part of the process.  This week should be the beginning of the end of the paint work.

 

The electricians were on site and installed more devices all around the house, though in seemingly random patterns.  So some rooms have outlets and switches and even functioning recessed lights, and some are still a work in process.  The back deck had another coat of stain applied and to our delight those timbers turned out as richly brown as the Craftsman brackets under the eaves and look great.  The deck boards went on, but they ran out and are only 80% complete.  Nonetheless was nice to walk out on the deck for the first time.

 

The stone masons, whom we love and love their work, were back and applied the parge coat, like stucco but smooth, to the cinder block retaining wall at the driveway and the four, square raised planters in the backyard in the courtyard area.  These were then capped with the same blue stone slabs we have used as stairs and to cap the stone piers on the front and back porch that serve as the base for the timbers.  We love how the planters came out, these will be great places for gardening next year.  We decided to go with the parge finish and not the river rock as we didn’t want to over do that important design element.   Really like that choice.

 

The pool went in, or the liner and water I should say.  Nice to see that finished after months and months of seeing the concrete hole in the backyard collect rain, mud and frogs.  Since we went with so many natural materials in the finishes, we didn’t want to have bright blue pool in the back and so we chose a grey pebble look for the floor, walls and full end to end stairs.  Pictures below.  We will finish filling it this week and get it up and running these next few days.  Need the inspector to sign off on the pool electric first.

 

The last of the exterior doors arrived at last and were installed.  These three doors are under the breezeway and lead into the mud room, office stairwell and garage.  After so many months of complaining about the lack of doors I finally moved on and stopped blogging about it.  When those doors arrived on the shipment with the front and interior doors, it turned out the same door rep who has been the source of so much consternation on my part ordered all of those solid wood doors to the wrong size.  The order would be another 60-days.  So Byron insisted that the guy pay for these doors to be hand-made by a local craftsman.  So we have beautiful solid woods in place now that cost a pretty penny, but we didn’t pay for them.  Since the same door rep ordered the door frames that were installed when the house was framed, there was no question that the mistake was his.  So we finally have all our exterior doors in place.

 

The last of the work on the front timbers was completed and these look amazing.  These cover the load bearing pressure treated supports and now match the timbers in the cathedral front entrance.  They came out great, great match to the solid timbers above.

 

All the appliances were delivered and are staged in the great room.  The kitchen cabinet drawers and doors were installed (for the most part).  The river rock was installed on the face of the fireplace on the sun porch and that was something we had long-awaited to see.  We love that look.  The cedar mantel, the blue stone hearth and river rock fireplace all combine to make a great statement in this indoor / outdoor room and carries to the inside many of our favorite exterior design elements.

 

So all in all there were lots of signs of progress but somehow felt like a slower week to me for some reason.  Perhaps I had hoped to see more accomplished on the interior that would move us closer to a move-in date.  We’re officially striving for a move in date November 30th, but much remains to be completed.  The painters are on a mission to finish most of their interior work this week, if possible.  That would allow finish electric and plumbing to get started.  The kitchen island should be delivered this week and the kitchen countertops (Noel’s beloved soapstone counters) are scheduled for installation on Friday as are the hearth in the great room and my work desk top.  The last of the major site work in the backyard should be completed so we can get the fence in place.  The front sidewalks are scheduled to be formed and poured this week.  Hopefully more finish electric on the inside.  The house should be cleaned this week and the first pass on the floor sanding should happen this week and maybe the beginning of the engineered floors in the basement.  We’re down to three weeks and it’s hard to believe that we’ll be done in such short time with so much that remains to be completed.  This week would need to be a very big week for progress.  Next week being Thanksgiving we’re sure to lose a couple of days of work… though the plan is to finish all the hardwood floors next week while everyone else is out of the house.  So much more to do!!  It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold.

 

We haven’t packed a single box yet…  I guess at some point soon here we’re going to need to pack the apartment and get ready to live here…    More in a week, that’s it for now.

 

Our best to all,

 

Doug and Noel

 

 

House is looking great! The last of the front columns were boxed out in the cedar this week and the final trim details added to the base and top of those columns.

New columns look great!

The liner getting installed this week. With so many natural materials that we’re using to finish the house with, we wanted something natural for the pool and not the typical blue, so we chose a grey pebble image for the bottom, sides and walk in stairs.

And with the water (nearly all!) in… here is the pool. Mr. Brennan was right… we’re going to spend all Fall fishing leaves out of it… and so the fun has begun with pool maintenance before we ever take our first swim!

The last remaining exterior doors, all three of them, finally showed up on site this week. These were even longer delayed that the front and interior doors and after a comedy of errors, were hand made locally by a craftsman, at the expense of the door company who made the series of errors in the first place. These are solid fir like the front door and will be stained to match soon.

And the exterior doors matching on the other side of the breezeway, left side goes into the small foyer and up the stairs to the office, the right side is into the garage.

The river rock fireplace we have been excited to see was finished this past week as well, we love how it turned out. The cedar mantel and the heavy blue stone hearth carry the outside design details into the sun porch… this is one of our favorite spaces and favorite looks in the house, we love it.

Butler pantry door with wavy glass… one of the design details Noel was most excited about. (Though the swing is on the wrong side and will have to be reversed!)

The four square, raised planters were finished this week, these sit between the pool patio and the house in what we’re calling the courtyard area. These were built from cinderblocks and then parged meaning covered in like a stucco. We didn’t want to use the river rock here as it felt like it would be too much of an important design detail, this way the sides are finished without drawing too much attention to them. The tops are capped with blue stone like the stone piers in the front and back of the house and so these serve as sitting areas as well. Each of the four will have a flowering tree with flowers around the base.  (Notice in the background, the deck timbers wound up with one more coat of stain and now are as dark the Craftsman brackets under the eaves, looks awesome!)

Finished product! Raised planters in the courtyyard. These look great!

Deck boards are in process of being installed, was the first time Noel had even ventured out onto the deck! They will get one or two more coats of stain. They ran out of boards so hopefully the rest arrive on site this week. The framers are using this undermount system to attach the deck boards so you don’t see any nail or screw heads from the top which is nice.

Most of the white trim (lower level and office spaces) had their final coat of white semi-gloss applied this week, it was sprayed on, looks great and very thick coverage.

Kitchen cabinets with the doors and drawers now installed.

Cabinet doors and drawers (mostly) installed and the new refrigerator is in place. It looks shallow because it rolls back into a recessed pocket in the wall, stealing some space from the walk-in pantry in order to not have it protrude any further than base cabinets in the kitchen.

Appliances staged in the kitchen…

I guess this counts as this week’s random picture of progress. All of the walls were scrutinized for every nick and ding and imperfect requiring drywall patch and repair. While the walls hadn’t yet had their final coat of paint, they looked like it for the most part so seeing the thousands of marks of patch and the resulting dust from all the sanding made it feel like we had stepped backwards. But in reality the house is ready to be cleaned and then we’re on to final coats of paint on the walls.

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers