Archive for April, 2012

April 22, 2012

Quick update this week…

Lots more progress on siding and systems rough-in this past week!  Everything is really coming together!

The past week brought the start of the HVAC rough-in, many of the main trunks have been installed and a couple of the first vents installed, a lot more HVAC work to do this week but work is underway.  With most of the plumbing drain lines in place it’s clear to the HVAC contractor (family friend, Mr. Dixon) where the main and trunk lines can go within ceilings and walls.

More plumbing rough-in work was also completed this week, but a fair amount of that is still to come, still some drain lines and many water supply lines to be installed.  We’re waiting for the Kohler shower valves to arrive (should be this week) so the plumbing can get them installed in the walls and lines connected there.

A lot of progress on the siding this week, the framing crew has made quick work and the entire left side of the house is sided and they are working their way around the back now.  More of the shingle style went on the bump-outs, we love the “random” look of the shingle style.  Lots of neat trim details under the bump-outs, corners, etc.  All the windows have been trimmed out.  The kitchen window bump-out is all trimmed out and looks fantastic.  Work underway on the breeze-way roof and trim.

The cedar timbers were picked up from the mill in Boone (in the mountains) and I took a picture of them all wrapped up.  These are the timbers that will serve the A-frame over the front entrance, one of the most important design features of the house.  One skid of those timbers are at Byron’s shop being built so they can be hoisted into place soon.  Can’t wait to see that…  should be soon.  These timbers are also being fabricated into the rafter tails and those will be assembled into sections and put on to finish the last four feet of the roof-line.  Those have to be installed before we can get the roof shingled, another important milestone we’re eagerly awaiting.

The rough cut pressure-treated timbers also arrived on site for the back deck.

The week ahead will bring a lot more work on the siding and maybe some installations of the timbers.  And Monday (tomorrow) I am off for the day and Noel and I will be on site nearly all day to do the walk-through with the electrician to locate fixtures, switches, and more.  And the rough-in of the pool is scheduled for tomorrow morning, we’re very excited to see the pool dug and the steel walls installed.

Pictures below as always!  More soon.  Have a great week!

Doug and Noel


Leaves are out and the siding is going up!


Siding going up on the front, shingle style on the master bath bump out.

Siding and exterior trim going up quickly, kitchen and breakfast nook on the upstairs side in this photo, breezeway along left.

Rough cut 8" X 8" timbers for back deck arrived on site this week also...

Cedar timbers arrived on site this week, they look incredible, they will be used for the timber entrance and the rafter tails coming off the roof edges.

HVAC lines being run through ceiling now that plumbing lines are mostly in....

Plumbing and HVAC nearly complete in Sarah's bathroom.


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Thursday, April 19th (pictures from Saturday, April 14th)

With the windows now in, the systems rough-ins got started.  The first in the sequence is the plumber as his pipes have to come first so he has the most room to work within to ensure proper slope.  He got started on Wednesday and work through Saturday and made a lot of progress this week.  Many of the water supply lines and drain and vent pipes are all in.  I realize it doesn’t look like much but it was another big milestone for us to see water lines going in and marking the locations of sinks, etc.  Thankfully Noel was able to go out and check on things and wound up doing a walk-through for hours with the plumber and our builder, something we had planned on but it started without us so Noel was able to correct some things they had wrong and locate all the exterior hose bibs (which of course I wanted to be there for but was working!  But Noel saved the day for us again!)

At the same time the septic system was installed last week, while not “fun” to talk about in the blog (and no, I did not include pictures here, but yes, I took pictures of course!), it was essential to get installed of course.  The septic was on the critical path for the well to be connected to the house and had to be done before the rough dig and steel walls for the pool could go in.  Another major construction hurdle.

And the siding was delivered on site and the framing crew was back on site in force getting corner boards, window trim and the siding all installed.  It’s amazing how different it looks with the siding on, we love it.  They started with the garage as they did with the framing.  Some of the architectural features like the bump-outs and big gables will be sided with shingle style siding versus the horizontal lap siding.  You can see it in one of the pictures below.

Byron worked out a design to transition from the siding to the river rock foundation, he had the roofer fashion a bronze colored drip edge (to match the windows) made that will wrap an angled cut pressure treated strip of wood that serves as a water table that will go around the house and the garage. It looks awesome!  You can see it in the photos as well.

It was a really productive week and lots of progress.  The week ahead will bring the HVAC rough install (Noel did that walk through last week as well with our family friend, Mr. Dixon (Amanda’s dad)), maybe more plumbing work, a lot more siding work should be done, and we’re hoping the big timbers for the front entrance show up on site so the framers can start their work to create the timber front entrance soon.  Noel is also meeting with the landscape architect who is taking our sketches and turning them into the official site plan.  It’s time to finalize a lot of those details as we’re scheduled for the pool to be dug next week maybe.

Happy Friday everyone.  Have an awesome weekend.  We’re counting down the days till we see some of you down here in Raleigh.


Doug and Noel


The siding is going up! Started with the garage... looks great!


Bump-out window in garage where the shingle style siding is going as an accent like it will in the gable peaks and other bump-out features. You can see the bronze metal drip-edge below the siding here, below that metal line will go the river rock on the foundation to mimic an old fashioned stone foundation.


Siding is going up! Front of the garage.


This week they installed the square Craftsman windows from the sun porch to the great room which will be above the built-ins on either side of the fireplace. Taken from sun porch side. These walls have house wrap on as we're going to install siding on these walls to make it feel like you are outside.



Laundry room plumbing rough-in (sink on the left in the corner with the washing machine to the right).


I know it's a silly detail but it was neat to see the location of the future frig as marked by the location of the ice maker water supply line in the kitchen

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Windows are in!

The windows are in! Roof felt is on, house wrap is on and we're getting close to being dried now, windows look amazing. With the trees now just about all out it's clear what a good job Byron did in figuring out which ones to keep.

April 14, 2012

(pictures from Friday, April 6th)

Hello all,

We hope everyone had a nice holiday last weekend.  The blog is still running a week behind reality, these pictures were all taken on Good Friday.  The windows are nearly all in now, they look fantastic, we’re really happy with the way they look and love the dark bronze finish and the quality of the window itself.  With the windows in the house wrap is neatly buttoned down around the house and the roof felt is all on, so we’re nearly dried in from the weather.  It’s amazing what a difference windows make just in each room now feeling like a room and actual space.  We love how much glass there is in the back over looking the woods and backyard.

With the windows in Byron also had the entire site cleaned up, all the scrap wood was cleared out (we were happy to several piles of neatly stacked larger scraps for any remaining blocking and other work to come), and the entire house was swept out so the rooms are all empty and void of their remaining bracing.

We met Byron on site Friday to make siding selections, as we did in Grafton we’re going with a fiber-cement product that will stand up to the elements really well, a good investment for the long-term.  We selected a 7″ wide plank with cedar looking wood grain, should paint up really well.  And unlike the mistake I made in building Grafton, we’re going to use a composite, fiber-cement based trim board everywhere as well.  The product we selected is made of pulp, Portland cement and fly ash which is a waste or by-product from coal-fired electric plants so we like the environmental benefit of using recycled materials as well.

The trees are just about fully out in leaf at this point, the maples are the last to pop, the large maple tree we saved right in front of the garage appears to be coming out alright, we had some concerns about it making it being so close to the garage footings.

The large cedar timbers for the front entrance were cut out at the mill this week.  They should look amazing when the front entrance is built.  For those that were at our wedding we’re going for a look that mimics Mohonk Mountain House as you walk in the front and we’re excited about that rustic / Craftsman look to the entrance.  Byron has been working on helping us save money, those cedar timbers go for $7.50 a linear foot in Raleigh, wow.  He found the mill source that cuts them in the mountains and we’re getting them for $2 a linear foot, nice savings.  One of his guys will go up and get them this week.  We had them cut an extra timber for the fireplace mantel out on the sun porch, that should be amazing.

The week ahead promises the first stretch of really dry weather so we’re hoping to see the septic system installed and inspected, that has to go in before they can rough dig and install the pool out back, which is on the critical path for all the other site work.  The siding and trim will arrive on site and start to be installed and the plumber will start his rough in.  Big week!

Pictures below.

Have a great week everyone, thanks for following our blog, it’s fun to share the adventure with everyone.

Doug and Noel



House and garage


Back corner looking up at the house, room with no windows is the sunporch and will get screens with plexi covers for winter, rain and pollen season. The deck will get support by 8 X 8 columns of rough sawn timbers with a stone base in the river rock to be used on the foundation.



Front entrance, this is the area that big cedar beams will go to both support and underpin this giant gabled entrance. The beams are cut and at the sawmill in the mountains waiting to be picked up, can't wait to see them placed here.


We love the dark bronze finish on the windows, house looks great with the windows in and all the house wrap on, this bump out where the upper three windows are is the kitchen window above where the sink will be.


The breakfast nook, walls of windows looking out into the trees, beautiful views and tons of natural light will be one of Noel's favorite rooms.


The structure for the back deck is on (picture taken from sun porch)


Noel on the front porch with her new windows!

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Framing Nearly Done

Friday, April 6, 2012

Another late blog this week!  Very busy weekend with Sarah’s 15th birthday, wow!

The framing is wrapping up now and the house has really taken shape, we love it.  Lots of peaks and valleys, gables, dormers and over-sized roof over-hangs.  The roof sheathing is nearly all on except for where exterior trim details will go on built together and then attached to the edge of the roof as entire units (rafter tails, the larger roof over hang, bead board trim and water tables).  We love how the roof lines come together and all the complex angles.  I am sure the roofing crew won’t love it.  Byron is waiting to put the roof shingles on until all the siding is on and the chimney has been covered in stone.

Speaking of the chimney it has been framed now which is cool to see.  The chimney will be covered in the same river rock we’re using on the foundation and the base of support columns for the front porch and back deck.

The pictures of the house from downhill in the woods are great, such a completely different look than the front.  We have interior stairs rough framed now which is handy.  The front porch was just starting to get framed when they wrapped up work for the week.

The week ahead promises to install the windows which is a major milestone.  And we think they will continue to clean up around the house and the site to get ready for windows and soon after plumbing rough-ins will start.

That’s it for this week, follow on blog coming soon hopefully, we’re headed to the house later today to see windows (we hope!).

Happy Easter / Passover to our friends and family, we miss you all.

Doug and Noel

Roof all the gables and dormers are now framed! You can now see the peak over the front entrance, soon to be framed out with giant cedar timbers below it.

The house has really taken shape and we love it! Lots of gables and dormers, and the chimney has been framed now.

Great room as seen from the kitchen end, walls of glass looks out onto the back, you're looking into the sun porch in back right corner

Great room! Standing by the fireplace and built-ins, looking into the kitchen.. the room is bigger and taller than we thought it would be, I think we need a 50-yard line in the middle

Standing in the kitchen looking into the front of the house to the butlers pantry, laundry room, home office and mud room

A modern convenience, interior stairs have been roughed in, no more walking around the house to get downstairs

Noel showing off her balance beam skills while trying to get to the backyard from the breezeway...

Noel "saving" one of her beloved Cedar trees, another tree was growing into the little cedar tree so she "fixed" it 😉

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