Archive for August, 2012

August 25, 2012

Interior finishes continue, although it wound up being a slow week.  The trim carpenter had to finish up another job and was not on site for two days.  And then he had to spend time milling some replacement window trim pieces that were broken off some of the windows during construction.  And on top of that, he had to spend time removing the entire coffered ceiling in the dining room he had just put up last week (to the wrong design).  Kind of a frustrating week to see so little progress on trim.  He did design a model bannister with handrail and pickets for the interior stairs based on pictures Noel had shared with him.  She and Byron met with the trim carpenter then to finalize the design and dimensions.   The combination of newel posts, a couple of big timber beams for structural support and the square pickets will make for a beautiful staircase.  The stair treads will be out of white oak like the floors and the risers and banister, etc. will be out of the same fir used on the other trim.  This work can get underway now along with the new (2nd try!) coffered ceiling and all the main floor window and baseboard trim.


We’re still waiting on interior doors and the front and mud room / breezeway doors.  Hoping those arrive on site the week after Labor Day but no ETA yet.


A little more work done on the front timbers but those are still not complete, they look great, but it’s taking longer than I would have guessed.


Most of the tile should be in early this week and the tile subs are ready to go so we’re hoping to see a lot of progress on floor and bath tile next week.  And our framer is making the last run to the sawmill in the mountains this weekend to get the last of the cedar for the front entrance and the last of the fir for the interior trim that the trim guy needs.  That will include the four big fir timbers that will be used on the interior for structural support that will also add to the interior design.  I love the look of these big timbers, should be cool to see them inside when they go in.  Maybe this week or next.


The last of the prep work on the screened in porch fireplace was done this week including the cedar mantel, ceiling trim and the plywood backing for the cement board.  Some pictures below.


Once the tile and trim guys are set to make progress, next up are the painters who should be on site in force the week after Labor Day (wow, that is next weekend already).  There is a ton of work the painters can start on including all the ceilings, closets, staining the exterior cedar timbers, painting the siding on the screened in porch, staining all the bead board ceilings and priming all the interior walls.  Lots of work for them to get going on so will be good to have them on site in one more week.


With all the interior subs underway, we will next turn our attention back to the backyard and begin work on the pool patio, raised planting beds in the backyard, and the pergola.  There is a lot of concrete work to do and it will start with footings in several places.  While we have the guys on site and the site torn up, we’re going to go ahead and build the pergola out by the pool now and avoid the headache later.  Plus with all the subs already on site, it will take no time for them to build that simple structure for us.  We’ll use the same big, rough cut pressure treated that is on the back deck, no cedar, this will be a big budget savings.


Just a couple of photos this week.  Fingers crossed for a really productive week.  If we’re to have a shot of being in during the first week of November, we’re down to only 10 weeks at this point.  With so much to do, that is not seeming realistic at this point so now we’re wondering how close to Thanksgiving we’ll cut it.  Too soon to say.  Building a house is not a linear process we realize, lots of fits and starts, changes in direction and unavoidable delays sometimes.  Hopefully a slow week will be followed by a week of big progress!


Enjoy the last unofficial week of Summer everyone.  Our best to all.  Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support!


Doug and Noel



Some more progress on the front timbers and yet, still not done. A couple of more peices to go before it’s final.

The ‘model’ bannister with handrail and pickets was built according to Noel’s design and then she and Byron met with the trim carpenter this week to make final decisions on the design so that can get started in the next few weeks. Nice to have an actual model to see before settling on a final design.

The mantel (cedar timber) has been installed over the fireplace on the screened in porch. The plywood is on and ready for the cement board which will be the base for the river rock which is the last step for this wall. The ceiling trim was also installed such that it makes a small pocket at the top for the rock to sit behind and hid the gap at the top that would otherwise be there where the rock meets the bead board ceiling. The hearth has also been built out, that will get either blue stone or slate.

Lincoln Log timbers still coming along… one piece at a time.

The base for the future copula has been installed and the siding and trim added. The copula themselves are being built offsite by the same sub who built the Craftsman brackets on the outside. Once the copulas are finished they will be given over to the roofing contract who did the dark bronze metal roof and he will fit the same metal roof on these. There will be two, one on the garage roof and this one on the breakfast room roof.

Blue stone caps for the stone piers on the back deck / patio area are underway, these have only dry fit and still need cement, the others still need to be cut. The blue stone makes for a nice finish look. I’m always amazed at how precisely the stone mason can cut this stuff.


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Trim and timbers week II

Might be hard to tell from the photo, but the great room beams are no longer the structural LVLs sticking out through the drywall but are now all trimmed out and those are larger and have the same profile and design as the other ceiling treatments.  This will be stained to match the window trim color and then the ceiling painted white so these details should really pop!

August 19, 2012

The main focus this past week was more trim and timber work and things are continuing to move along really well, though we did encounter one of the only mistakes we’re run into during construction so far (more on that in a moment).  This past week saw more work on the trim and the timber entrance.  The second set of parallel timbers were set in place as were all the timbers in the cathedral front entrance on the porch and the timbers that are on the front of the house under the peak of the porch roof.  I have been waiting months and months to see this part of the design come to life, it’s one of my favorite features of the house.  It looks amazing, I love it!  The pressure treated supports that form the L-shaped set of three supports on either side of the front will be faced and trimmed in cedar.  These three supports are load bearing and carry quite a load from the roof structure above and so this was a cheaper and easier option.  There is the final timber to be placed on the very front and the end of the top timbers that will set such that they will look they extend all the way through the roof structure and form another set of three at the top.  Great progress this week and lots of pictures below.


If the timber entrance is one of my favorite design features, then the coffered ceiling that Noel has designed for her beloved formal dining room is one of her very favorites.  Well the good news is that that was installed this week.  The bad news is that they installed the design the architect had for the house, not the design Noel did.  So it looks beautiful, but it’s not the right coffered ceiling design, not even close.  So it all has to get taken apart.  The finish carpenter will use as many of the boards as he can, but Byron thinks it is about a $500 mistake.  He was working off the original plans and not the modified version Noel drafted.  Grand scheme of things it was minor and Byron took ownership for it, stuff happens and it will get fixed, luckily it’s wood and cement so not a huge issue but a day’s work to be undone and redone.  Picture of the wrong ceiling below as it does look cool!


The great room ceiling beams were also trimmed out this week and look great, we love it.  No more yellow LVLs poking through the drywall.  Really makes those beams bigger and more visually interesting.  Pictures below.


Some smaller stuff also got done this week, the base for the two cupolas on the roof of the garage and breakfast room were installed (but not the actual copula yet), some more exterior trim details installed from Noel’s design (pictures below).


The week ahead will bring more trim and timber work but not a full week of either as both those subs have some other projects to get to this week.  So we’re hoping to see about three days of work this week from those guys.  Tile order will be placed and we may see the first tile installed at the end of the week.  Hoping that the pool electric trench is dug and wires run this week for inspection as we’d like to finally move forward with concrete work in the back.  The rain is starting to erode some of our fill.  We learned it took 43 dump truck loads of dirt to make the backyard look like that.  That bill was an unhappy surprise this week and so seeing even some of it wash downhill is not so fun.


Noel will meet with the cabinet maker this week to finalize some details as he starts to build our cabinets this week or next.  And she will meet with the trim carpenter to design the stairs and railings which will start in the next few weeks.  Coming soon are paint colors for every room as we expect to get started with the long list of interior paint, stain, and exterior paint work that there is to do in early September.  Light fixtures continue to roll in and we have boxes stacked to the rafters of our now third storage unit, but at least we have them ready to go when the electricians are ready.  And you can see from the pictures we still don’t have a front door or door to the mud room.  That order has been placed and we’re hoping we’ll see them delivered in two more weeks.


That it’s for this week, have a great week everyone.


Doug and Noel



Great room beams trimmed out!

Front timbers making great progress!

Timbers in the peak of the porch ceiling and the timber design over the front door which is common in timber framed houses. The same design will be carried into the front timbers and is also carried into the gable peaks where the dark stained brackets have been placed under the eaves of the gable peaks.  The timbers will be stained dark and then the siding painted the same green as the house.

Beautiful timbers! The pressure treated supports here will be faced with cedar so as to look the same as the timbers above, but because of the load they carry from the roof, this was a stronger, cheaper way to go.

Incredible attention to detail!! Byron is amazing! He was careful to be sure that the profile of the ceiling in this area above a little built in bench on the front porch carried the same look as the beams to the right so that it appears as though the massive timbers carry through that wall and into this ceiling and then into the house. Amazing! It’s an awesome look.

Beautiful coffered ceiling in the dining room that was unfortunately built to the wrong design. Beautiful trim work… but just the wrong design. This will have to come out and be rebuilt. Bummer.

Great room beams now all trimmed out! Great room looks amazing! Love it!

Close-up of the dentil details under the eave of the bump-out roof on the front… more below.

Bumpt out in the front of the house (master bath window), now complete with it’s small brackets below and the dentil details along the top eave, under the small roof line. Love all these little details Noel and Byron have worked out… we love the detail of a Craftsman house for this reason!

Beams now installed in the basement ceiling above the entertainment room space looking out onto the backyard and patio.  The beam in the center is still under construction!

Close-up of the profile we’re using for all the ceiling treaments, coffered ceilings, beams, etc. Slight reveal along both edges. These are all made of fir to match the window trim and will be stained to match that color.

View out the future front door…

View of the Master Bath, water closet on the left, future window seat, then the walk in shower, and then then stand alone tub (modern take on a claw foot tub) will go in the outcove on the right, under those windows. Noel has picked out a very pretty chandlier for over the tub made of capice or thin seashells.

Master shower stall ready for tile. The floor of the shower is first lined with a heavy vinyl shower pan and tested for leaks, then the thin set concrete bottom is troweled in, then the dura-rock concrete backer board applied to the walls. Byron goes one step further and then applies a liquid rubber to the shower floor and lower half that will see the most water. The tile adhesive will be applied to this base and then the tile laid, should start in the next two weeks.

Blue stone was laid on the stoop leading into the mud room this week.

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August 12, 2012

Finish details are making great progress.   The headline says it all, this past week was all about trim, the front timbers (finally!) and the hardwood floors.  The hardwood floors are all installed and we love what we selected: 4″ white oak versus what we have had in the past which was 3″ red oak.  Some pictures of the floor are below, looks like real rooms now with hardwood down.


The trim carpenter made great progress and the lower level is nearly complete minus where the trim will meet with interior doors as we’re waiting on those still (could be a month, ugh), the time in the garage and office is also done, some photos below.  In the office we’re using stained trim to cover the roof beams that protrude below the finished ceiling  height to add visual effect and carry the theme from the great room over into this space.  Those are extended down the kneewall in some places to make it look as if the beams themselves extend all the way to the floor.  These are trimmed in the fir which we’re using wherever we will stain the trim such as the entire main level of the house.  The fir was delivered to the site this week and is staged in the great room and ready to go.  The lower level is nearly entirely trimmed at this point, some pictures below.


The screened in porch that sits on the back corner of the house was sided this week and also got its cedar bead board ceiling.  It looks awesome to have this space sided, it feels like a real room now.  We chose siding for this space since it will be somewhat open to the elements but mostly because we wanted it to feel like we were outside and not like a room under the main roof.  It came out great and the bead board ceiling, matching the front porch and breezeway looks perfect!  The fireplace here will eventually get a big timber mantel and the river rock so that has been left un-sided.  Pictures of this room below too.


And finally, my long-awaited and much anticipated timber entrance got underway this week.  The first of these big timbers were set this week, one each of what will be a pair on each side sitting horizontally and extending from the front of the house.  And the lower piece of the front A-frame was set and notched for the pieces to come.  The cathedral ceiling in the front entrance was also finished with the bead board ceiling and the timber in the peak was set.  While it’s not halfway complete, it’s underway and it looks amazing.  Some photos below.


The week ahead will bring another full week of trim work inside with progress starting on the fir trim to be stained and some of the ceiling treatments we believe (beams in the lower level, etc.).  Excited to see those developments come to life.  And more work on the front entrance and those timbers should be in store this week.  We’re one more week out before the floor tile will start.  Waiting four weeks before we have a front door or interior doors so things like cabinets will wait until we can lock the house.   We need to meet with the concrete company soon to discuss plans for the pool patio and backyard so that can get completed.  The last of the river rock needs to be installed but not until the timber work in the front is complete we’re guessing.  Plumbing and light fixtures have started to arrive so we’re stacking boxes to the rafters of the apartment and our storage rental so that all of that is staged when needed.  And interior painting will get underway after Labor Day so we need to start working on interior color choices at this point.  It’s a ton of fun seeing the interior coming together like this!


Have a great week everyone.


Doug and Noel



Front timbers are being installed, the timber in the peak, the bottom of the A-frame timber and the first of two timbers each on either side have been set… looks amazing!

Front timbers under construction finally!

First of the timbers over the front entrance has been set! Bead board ceiling the peak installed… first cross peice of the front timbers for the A-frame has been set as well… so cool!

Another photo of the white oak hardwood floors, love it!

Screened in porch now sided and bead board ceiling installed… another photo below. The fireplace will get faced with the river rock and a big timber mantel next, and a hearth below.

Screened in porch has been sided and the bead board ceiling installed, the space really feels finished for the first time and feels like it is outside even though it is contained within the footprint of the house / roof.

Design Chief checking out this week’s progress!

Office trim, close up of the profile of the ceiling beam trim which will be the same design for the coffered ceiling and the trim on the structural beams in the great room.

Office trimmed out with window and baseboard trim complete and the ceiling joist beams trimmed out in fir which will be stained. Note that these are extended down the knee-wall for affect, the structural beams don’t extend that far but this carries the visual look from the great room design once it is trimmed out as well.

Window and door trim all complete on the lower level, looking out from the entertainment room onto furture terrace and backyard.

Breezeway bead board ceiling had it’s cedar timbers added for affect this week, these smaller timbers will mimic the look on the front of the big timbers framing the entrance. Byron will use ends of these timbers to extend to the outside of the breeze way eave to make it look as if they run all the way through as if a timber framed structure.

The fir is all staged in the great room for the ongoing interior trim work, fir will be used wherever we have stained trim (as opposed to the painted trim which will be pine), this will be used on the main level and for all the ceiling treatments such as the beams, coffered ceilings and the like.

Close-up of the new hardwood floors installed, 4″ wide white oak planks. The gap on the left side is in front of the fireplace and this will get a dark slate stone for the hearth here.

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August 6, 2012 (pictures from August 4th)

With drywall complete the interior finishes got underway last week.  Needless to say it’s exciting to see the structure start to feel like a house and see these details come to life.  Lots of photos below.


The tile contractors were on site and have the dura-rock board on all the floors that will be tiled along with the walk-in shower walls, mud room, and laundry room.  They also installed the concrete in the floor of the showers and then Byron like’s an additional layer of protection on top of that concrete floor (which in turn sits on top of the vinyl shower pan) and so that was all coated with a liquid rubber on which the tile will sit.


The framers were back on site and I am very excited to say that they are finally beginning work on the front timber entrance.  The cedar timbers which were delivered months ago have been unwrapped and staged in the garage.  The cedar bead board ceilings have been installed on the breezeway ceiling and the front porch ceiling.  The cedar ceilings look amazing.  Photos below.  The last of the brackets were installed under the roof eaves on the big front gable, back gable and the two gables on the left side of the house.


My. Bailey continued his stone work adding the blue stone caps to the big masonry piers in the front.  And Canyon Stone was back on site as well and they have installed all the river rock on the piers in the back under the timbers holding up the back deck, and all the stone along the steps and retaining wall over by the breezeway.  And the first of the front piers that will eventually (soon!) hold up the timbers in the front, also got its river rock installed, looks amazing!  Love the look of the blue stone and the river rock.


The finish carpenter is now on site and ready to work full-time on the house.  He has set up shop in the garage and installed four versions of various iterations of Noel’s design for our custom trim package.  He did two on one window (one version on each side) and another as a free-standing example (photos below) from which we could choose.  He did a great job interpreting Noel’s vision for Craftsman trim based on her extensive research.  The first floor trim will all be fir and will be stained to match the window trim.  The lower level, garage and office will all be pine and will be painted.


The hardwood flooring was delivered this week and that installation was started on Saturday and was scheduled to go all weekend until complete.  The hardwood we selected as an area of a bit of an upgrade for us, we went with white oak instead of red oak and selected a 4″ plank so wider than the traditional hardwood floor.  It will cover the great room, foyer, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook and pantry floors.  Pictures of the beginning of the hardwood floor is below, wow, looks amazing to see a hardwood floor go in.


We have received in all the plumbing fixtures and have those staged and awaiting their need so we’re not held up by any backorders there.  All our tile has been selected and Noel has detailed designs by room done.  Tile will start in two weeks beginning with the floors.  And we placed our orders for all the light fixtures this past week so we have plenty of time for those to arrive.


The week ahead will bring more work on the front entrance and timbers, maybe the walls and ceiling of the screened in porch, lots of work on interior trim, more blue stone and river rock on the outside…  and maybe the electric for the pool.  With the walls up and floors going in… followed by trim, it is really feeling like a house!  Lots of pictures below.


Seven months down… three months to go.  We’re thrilled to be working on interior finishes and as Byron put it, out of the traffic jam of the last few months (lanes merging ahead) and so we can see lots of progress on multiple fronts again now as evidenced by the pictures.


Enjoy your last weeks of summer.  To those we have not seen in some time, we miss you all and hope to see you soon.  Thanks for following along with our blog.


Our best,

Doug and Noel



Hardwood floors going in, great room at the fireplace and then will work they back through the entire great room, foyer, dining room and breakfast nook.

Hardwood flooring staged in the dining room for the first floor.

Final trim detail / profile that the finished carpenter designed based on the photos that Noel picked out and her notes / design details. Same profile will be used in all windows but main floor will be stained trim and lower level and office will be painted trim.

Front porch bead board ceiling now installed…

Brackets and last of exterior trim are now installed on the big front gable roof.

Piers in the back are now also faced with river rock, they will next get their blue stone caps.

First of the piers that will support the big timbers in the front that in turn will form the base of the big timbers that will support the A-frame timber entrance… this is the first one to be faced with the river rock and its blue stone cap, looks awesome!

Blue stone caps being fitted onto the front masonry block piers where the big cedar timbers will go.

River rock now installed under the blue stone at the entry into the mud room, this is under the breeze way leading from the garage and office.


Last of the river rock now installed on the retaining wall and has been installed under the blue stone steps leading up from the backyard and under the cap along the top of the retaining wall… we love it, the combination of blue stone steps and river rock looks amazing… gardens will eventually go on either side of these steps so you descend from the front of the house down through gardens into the backyard.


Breeze way ceiling has now been installed with the cedar bead board ceiling which matches the front porch ceiling and soon, the screened in porch ceiling. This will be stained at some point to match the dark roof brackets.


Dura-Rock down on the floors where tile will go as well as shower and bathroom walls, here is the floor of the laundry room (yes, the laundry room is huge!), this will get slate which will extend in from the mud room into this space.

One of the sample boards the finish carpenter made for us to review and decide on the final trim profile, there are two options on this board, one left and one right (we didn’t pick either of these but thought it was cool how he built this for us to see our choices based on his and Byron’s interpretation of Noel’s designs.

Brackets and final exterior trim details on the gable ends, left hand side of the house (also the side where the various vents / intakes penetrate the sidewall of the roof so they won’t be seen from the front or the back.

Cedar timbers have been unpacked finally and are staged ready to be fit for the front entrance including the A-frame, porch roof columns and one of them will be for the stone fireplace mantel on the screened-in porch.

Trim lumber and timbers for the front entrance all stacked and staged in the garage for the work ahead these next few weeks.

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