It Started with A Dream. It’s Looking like a Home!

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. ~Erma Bombeck

Six years ago we started this dream of ours. Seventeen months ago, I decided to share this dream with family and close friends by writing my first blog. Then, I really got brave and opened the blog up to the world. Scary!

The whole adventure of building this home has been exciting and more overwhelming than we could have ever imagined. It has consumed our lives for the last year. We are ready for the journey of building to be over. We want to continue our dream . . . just dreaming in our own bed in our own bedroom in our own home. That time is almost here!

The Painters worked the week of June 16. They finished up on Monday, June 23. They touched up all stained wood and applied a second coat of paint to all the walls. They also put another coat of paint on the pantry cabinet and laundry doors and drawers. They will come back to do final touch-ups after we move furniture in. They finally painted the exterior of the laundry room door the bronze color to match the windows.
Laundry exterior door painted bronze

Laundry exterior door painted bronze

The plumbers worked the week of June 16, too. After they installed the line for the refrigerator ice maker, Bill decided to get the Kenmore Elite refrigerator we purchased over a year ago out of the box and get it ready so the plumbers could hook it up the next day. Panic quickly set in when he realized that the refrigerator cabinet he made was 3 inches smaller than the refrigerator we purchased.

Big ol refrigerator that didn't fit!

Big ol refrigerator that didn’t fit!

Bill called me and kept apologizing for getting the cabinet size wrong. He felt horrible. He was ready to rip out the cabinet and try and remake it! I took a deep breath and calmly said, “Shut everything down and come up to Jill’s and let’s talk about it.” I’m telling you, the further we get into this construction, nothing surprises me anymore. I’ve found that getting upset doesn’t do much good. That doesn’t mean I don’t get upset here and there. But, this particular time. I did not.

Jill just happened to be home from work and close by when Bill called. As soon as I hung up she asked what was going on. I told her and I said the last thing I wanted was for Bill to re-make a cabinet. We were too far to go back there. Besides, we were both sick of cabinet issues! Jill said she thought we should just see if Sears would let us exchange the refrigerator for one that fit. Deja vu . . . another appliance return! When Bill came up from the house he looked so pitiful. We talked and I said we need to see if Sears will let us exchange the fridge. Besides, I was not that attached to that fridge anyway. Bill had really picked that model with two freezer compartments. I just liked the inside of the fridge section.

Long story short and several hours the next day haggling a deal at Sears, we swapped out the fridge for a smaller Kenmore Elite model, paid a larger than we wanted re-stocking fee, purchased a second small fridge for the laundry room, and scheduled the delivery of the two new refrigerators and pick-up of the other fridge for two days later, Thursday, June 19. Let’s just say Lowe’s gave us a better deal than Sears on our appliance returns. If I had to do it all over, we wouldn’t have purchased any of our appliances a year or two in advance! Thank goodness all the rest of the appliances seem to be okay.

New fridge that fits!

New fridge that fits!

Here’s how one end of the laundry room is shaping up. In the pic below the gas dryer is on the left and washer on the right.

New smaller fridge and upright freezer on the right

New smaller fridge and upright freezer on the right

However, we are swapping them because of the door configuration. We can’t change the door on the washer but Bill was going to change the door for the dryer because I really wanted the washer on the right where it would be next to the pull-out drawer cabinet where I was going to store detergent and softener. But, it makes more sense for the doors to open up so I can move the clothes from the washer to dryer without having doors in the middle.

Old opening configuration of Dryer and Washer

Old opening configuration of Dryer and Washer

New door opening configuration of washer and dryer

New door opening configuration of Washer and Dryer

Bill will eventually change the door openings on both the freezer and small refrigerator. Bummer. Must not have told Sears which way we needed those opening. More jobs for Bill!

Speaking of jobs, shortly after the refrigerator deal, Jill and Jim asked me to get a punch list of everything else that needed to be done to complete our construction. They wanted to help us get a schedule set-up with a move-in date. This was a bit tense time as it meant listing everything that needed to be done, including all those PITA jobs assigned to Bill. Here is just a small section of what that list looks like. Right now it’s five pages long but it has all the subs listed and what needs to be done on the house only. Bill’s keeping what needs to be done in the pole barn in his head.
Punch List

Punch List

It’s an ever-growing and ever-changing list. But, it’s been great to have it as it keeps us all on track. Originally, Bill wanted to know where my name was on the list. That’s why I added my name under that one section. I took over some of the scheduling of subs while Jim was out-of-town the first week. Jim took over the major contractors after he got home. Bill continued to have the day-to-day contact with the subs and answered all questions on-site. And, in-between, tried to work on his long list of PITA jobs. I think Bill needs his own crew. And, some of the things are going to have to wait until after we move in.

Here are some of the things that the plumbers got done.

Vanity faucets installed

Vanity faucets installed

What they can cram into a small space under the kitchen sink: garbage disposal, instant hot/cold dispenser, filtering system, pipes and plugs.

All the stuff under the kitchen sink!

All the stuff under the kitchen sink!

Kitchen faucets installed

Kitchen faucets installed

Shower fixtures

Shower fixtures

And, they installed our toilets! I had read on a forum that as soon as the toilets were installed, contractors start using them instead of the porta-potty. We didn’t want them to do that! Ewww. Heck, Bill and I weren’t going to use them since the septic laterals weren’t installed yet. So, Bill shrink-wrapped the toilet seats! That Bill is so clever.

Shrink-wrapped toilet seats.

Shrink-wrapped toilet seats.

And look what Bill has in the pole barn! They hooked up his toilet and his hot water heater for the radiant heat. They have to wait until electricity is finished in the pole barn to finish the rest of this. Bill will be eventually installing walls around this bathroom.

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All the plumbers have left to do in the house is to install the handheld shower which was on back-order for over a month, install an extended gas line for the gas dryer move, and fix the reverse osmosis filtering system which is leaking and possibly not hooked up properly to the kitchen. We still have very sodium-lased water which we thought the RO system was to eliminate. We are also bringing in a water specialist to see if he can help us.

Friday, June 20, we got excited because six loads of dirt were delivered. We thought that meant our excavator would be coming soon to install the septic laterals and do some grading.

Loads of dirt delivered

Loads of dirt delivered

Sunday, the excavator worked and graded the area in the front of the house and the back patio area and left word that we could call the concrete guy to install the front walkway and back patio. But, no septic laterals. Sad. However, he talked with Bill about drainage pipes we would need to buy for the area between the house and pole barn. And, Bill wanted to buy all the stuff for the pop-ups from the gutter drainage that he was going to install.

The week of June 23 was slow. More hold-ups for work. We needed electrician before any more plumbing could be done. The electrician was swamped. Bill called him on Tuesday that week and he said he couldn’t get to us until possibly the end of the following week but no definite date. Jim said he’d prefer us waiting on the concrete until he was back in town so he and his dad could make sure it was graded properly.

So, I scheduled David to come and install the shower glass door and the shower grab bars. I got his name from Ferguson’s (where we ordered the door). David had previously come out and measured everything and gave Ferguson’s the info about door configuration before we ordered it. David came Thursday, June 26, to install.

Shower glass door

Shower glass door

Shower grab bar

Shower grab bar

Hand-held shower head grab bar assembly

Hand-held shower head grab bar assembly

And, the HVAC guys came that day, too, and installed ductwork in the crawlspace. They said they’d be back the next day or sometime the next week. They left us the contraption that had to be installed on the roof. It was silver in color. Bill wanted to spray paint it to match the roof. And, since he couldn’t find any bronze colored shelf pins at any store we looked at, he bought brass ones and said we could spray those, too, with the same paint. I kept asking Bill is there was anything on the list I could help him with and finally he said I could spray paint. Of course, Bill set everything up and stood and watched me as I painted. It took me less than 10 minutes to spray everything. I told Bill that really didn’t help him.

Roof vents

Roof vents

Shelf pins

Shelf pins

Bill continued to work off of his list and kept finding more and more things that needed to get done. He installed the gas cooktop which he said was a bear!

Cooktop

Cooktop

Cooktop all in!

Cooktop all in!

He installed the trash compactor. Unfortunately, the handle screws are too long that he has to cut them down eventually. It’s always something.

Trash compactor

Trash compactor

He worked so hard to get all the kitchen cabinet doors, slides, drawers, and drawer fronts installed. I was reminded several times a day that big honkin’ drawers are not the easiest things to install correctly and evenly especially with soft close slides. But, he did it!!!!

Big honkin' drawer under wall oven

Big honkin’ drawer under wall oven

Three drawers in the island next to the dishwasher

Three drawers in the island next to the dishwasher

Sink base doors in island

Sink base doors in island

We decided not to put the tilt-out tray in the island sink base cabinet like Bill installed on the laundry sink cabinet below.

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Laundry tilt-out tray

However, Bill had already purchased the trays, so he installed one on each side of door interiors.

Trays mounted on the interior sink doors

Trays mounted on the interior sink doors

When Bill started to make his list for all the drainage pop-ups and drainage pipes he needed to buy, he noticed that the downspouts that the gutter company installed were the wrong size. They had installed 3″ instead of the verbally requested 4″. Bill called the gutter rep and said he’d take half the blame, but he really wanted the 4″ downspouts as the 3″ clog up too much. He asked that they be replaced prior to the concrete being poured. Those finally got installed on Wednesday, July 3.

Bill scheduled our carpenter’s wife Lisa to install our kitchen backsplash tile. They asked us to purchase the tile and the grout and Lisa and Tim would supply the mortar, caulk and labor. They started on the backsplash the afternoon of Friday, June 27. Tim came to help Lisa cut the tile but she did most of the installation.

Lisa installing the backsplash tile

Lisa installing the backsplash tile

Finished product

Finished product

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Lisa and Tim finished tiling Friday night as Bill worked on drawer fronts and I installed all the oil-rubbed-bronze window hardware covers and handles throughout the house. Lisa came back Saturday to grout and wipe down the tiles afterwards. Then she came back Sunday and put a sealer on the tiles and caulked everything. We are very happy with the results.

At the beginning of this week we finally got all the subs lined up and committed to work on certain dates so we could make July 12 our official move-in date. We are keeping our fingers crossed that each one shows up next week and gets things done. This week went like clock-work so we hope it all continues.

Monday morning, June 30, I contacted Rick about our bathroom cabinets. The doors needed to be aligned. They just wouldn’t shut correctly. And, the drawers in the hall bath were too close together and not opening without rubbing. Oh, and we found the tops to the window seats that he needed to pick-up. Rick came out that afternoon. He was able to adjust the drawers (still not perfect) but not rubbing. He wasn’t able to fix the doors on either bathroom. He said the doors were about 1/8″ too big. He ended up taking all six doors to our bathroom vanities with him to be cut down. I’ll have to check with him on Monday to see when he’ll have them back. Bill wants to install handles and knobs in the bathrooms this week.

BTW, here are the handles and knobs we bought for our master bath.

Master Bath cabinet hardware

Master Bath cabinet hardware

Poor Bill picked the hottest day we’ve had this summer to install a pole down by the lake. It was in the mid 90s with heat indexes over 100. That was a two maybe three shower day. He dug a hole three feet deep and managed to get that heavy pole in it and pour concrete to set it. He had electric run down by the lake and wanted the electrician to install an outlet on the lower part and a security light on the upper part.

Pole by the lake

Pole by the lake

Bill also decided to call the dumpster people to pick it up and get it out of here. I had already scheduled our residential trash pick-up to start on Thursday the 3rd. So, he worked like crazy to crush all the stuff down with the tractor scoop. A neighbor brought over some junk to load into it. Bill even took apart the grandkids’ old trampoline that bit the dust after blowing away into the woods. All those pieces fit in there. And, Bill also cleaned out all the dirty chicken coop junk and plastic and got rid of that. Bill helps everyone out! It was nice to say goodbye to this big blue container!

Full dumpster

Full dumpster

And, now we can drive two cars up to pole barn without any problems.

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Bill also went and bought drainage pipes and fittings and pop-ups before our excavator came on Tuesday, July 1. Then he laid them out. Look at all those drainage pipes! Cha-ching!

Jim assessing all the drainage pipes

Jim assessing all the drainage pipes

We finally got our septic laterals installed on Tuesday and passed inspection. Yahoo!!!!

Septic laterals installed

Septic laterals installed

Thank goodness he was able to get that part done before a big thunderstorm rolled in that afternoon. The excavator did come back on Wednesday, July 2, and did some grading in the front of the house and buried the drainage pipes.

Buried drainage pipes

Buried drainage pipes

Unfortunately, they ran out of pipes and Bill had to buy more, and then install and bury them. That’s how he spent 4th of July!

Our HVAC guys returned on Wednesday, the 2nd, to finish up. They installed the cold air return registers, but left us all the floor vents to install. That was something I could do!

Cold air returns

Cold air returns

Floor register vents

Floor register vents

Digital thermostat installed

Digital thermostat installed

HVAC system all built and working!

HVAC system all built and working!

Oh, and as if Bill didn’t have enough to do, he worked off and on trying to get the stove exhaust fan installed so the HVAC guys could get it vented. He had such a tough time drilling holes in the tile. The HVAC guys said most people installed the exhaust fan first and had the tile installed around it. We didn’t want that look, but there was a price to pay for doing it that way. Drill drill drill. And, then when Bill got the exhaust fan hung up, it wasn’t level and he had to drill some more. Poor Bill!

Exhaust fan going up

Exhaust fan going up

The last section clamped together

The last section clamped together

Because of the way the cabinet above the exhaust fan is situated, Bill now has to put some moulding around the top of the exhaust fan where it meets the cabinet bottom. Always something you don’t plan on doing.

To prepare for the electricians to come on Thursday, July 3, Bill and I tested every outlet and light switch to see what was working and what wasn’t. We had a problem with almost every room except the bedrooms with how they installed the light switches. Before we ever had electrical rough-in, I had put labels with what I wanted in the order I wanted for switches and stapled them next to the area where they would be installed. Well, they got the switches for the correct items installed; however, the order of the switches were either random or backwards. Very frustrating. For example, when entering the garage from the house, I wanted the first switch to be the interior garage lights, then exterior garage lights, and then the attic lights. What we got was attic lights, exterior lights, interior lights. Don’t mean to sound picky-picky, but we tried to think through how we would live in this house and what lights we’d be using the most and where to put them.

So, I took pictures of every run of light switches, printed them out and marked how I wanted things switched. And, I printed out a separate punch list for the electricians to work off from. Here are two of the light switch issues. The house is dotted with these photos hung up above the switches.

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Bill had to get his pole barn ready for electric, too. He worked really late on Wednesday to prepare for them. He had labels stapled to walls throughout the pole barn. He was so excited at the end of Thursday to finally have lights he could turn on with a switch and half of the pole barn wired and working! Goodbye long extension cords running from the pole barn to the house laundry room door.

Let there be lights in the pole barn

Let there be lights in the pole barn

Electrical box

Electrical box

Label and outlets installed

Label and outlets installed

Conduit galore!

Conduit galore!

I had originally bought two of these LED exterior lights for the new house at Costco before we left Indy. I loved the look of them. We had planned to use them as the front porch lights. However, before we had our electrical rough-in months ago, we decided we wanted to install lights outside the garage, too. I tried to see if I could buy two more of these lights. Costco didn’t carry them anymore and Amazon had them for double what I paid at Costco. But, the biggest kicker was everyone was returning the lights to Costco according to the reviews. There was failure on many of them just after a couple of months. Bill and I decided we didn’t want to risk replacing them on the house before we even moved in. So, we decided to install them on the pole barn. Bill is very happy and keeps teasing how nice they look. I just hope they don’t quit working!

Exterior LED light fixtures on the pole barn

Exterior LED light fixtures on the pole barn

The electricians are returning on Monday, the 7th, with a large crew. We only had two guys on Thursday. They will finish the pole barn and house then and call for our electrical inspection.

Here is what is scheduled for the next two weeks:

  • Monday, July 7, electricians to finish house and pole barn and inspection called in.
  • Tuesday, July 8, plumbers to finish house and pole barn and inspection called in.
  • Wednesday, July 9, carpet installed in the bedrooms.
  • Wednesday or Thursday, July 9-10, colored concrete poured for walkway from garage to front entry and for back patio.
  • Wednesday night pick up cardboard throughout the house and put in burn pile
  • Thursday, July 10, post-construction cleaning crew coming to clean the house, top to bottom. If they don’t finish, they’ll return the next day.
  • Friday, July 11, window cleaning crew to clean windows and glass doors inside and out.
  • By Friday, hopefully final inspection approved and certificate of occupancy received.
  • Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13, move all our furniture and boxes and bins from the storage units to the house.
  • Saturday, July 12, new dining chairs being delivered. Sometime we need to put together our new dining table!
  • Monday, July 14, family room furniture, rug, and king mattress and box springs delivered.
  • Week of July 14, start unpacking and moving things from Jill & Jim’s to new house.
  • Wednesday or Thursday, July 16-17, concrete driveway and walkway from back patio to pole barn poured.

Whew! Lots to do in-between the above, too! We’ll probably move in without a lot of things done only because there is only one Bill. I’ve always known I’ve relied on this guy to do just about every handyman thing there is to be done throughout our married life. I just wish he had a crew of his own.

We eventually will get our garage doors replaced and it’s really okay if it’s done after we move in. And, we had one of our shakes blow off during the last storm. Apparently, someone didn’t install that one very well!

This will more than likely be my last entry until after we move in. Plus, phone calls to get internet service weren’t successful last week. I was told by AT&T that they do service our area (Jill & Jim and Joan & Jim have AT&T service), but there are no more ports available for new customers! Jim has a couple of friends at AT&T and has already contacted them. We’ll wait and see if they can help us out before I research other ways to get the web. I hate to think I’d have to do everything on my phone. Blah!

And, if I may ask, please send all good vibes this way and prayers for our strength through this final stretch!

Thank you to all who have followed us through this journey!

If We Knew Then What We Know Now

A house is made of walls and beams, but a home is built with hopes and dreams.

Oh, my goodness! This house is taking longer and longer to finish! Bill and I have said more than once . . . “Maybe we should have just gone up the road and contracted with that builder who could build a little shack in 60 days!” Well, yes, we could have had a house like that. And, we probably would have been moved in by now. But, would it have been the dream home we envisioned? Never! And, so, we keep plugging along hoping to see the light at the end of the house-building tunnel sooner than later.

General construction and scheduling frustrations are enough to put one over the edge. You can just imagine what we felt like the last couple of weeks when adding the following to the mix.

  • Ran out of trim material
  • Storms and torrential rain soaked the already wet ground
  • Microwave trim kit we special ordered along with our microwave over 2 years ago was the wrong kit and both have been discontinued
  • Granite delivery delayed for 4 weeks

Let’s talk about what did get done. The painters have worked a lot. On good weather days they painted the exterior lap siding and caulked and caulked and caulked and painted some more.

Siding painted - trim not painted

Siding painted – trim not painted

Back of house painted

Back of house painted

On bad weather days, the painters worked indoors putting second coats of paint on bedroom walls and patching up nail holes on any of the trim that the carpenters had installed. And, they did more staining and polying. That came later.

Wednesday, May 7, Bill and the carpenters worked all afternoon and into the early night installing the kitchen cabinets and island.

Night view of cabinets/island without doors and drawers

Night view of cabinets/island without doors and drawers looking from the family room

Cabinets/island from dining area view

Cabinets/island from dining area view

Close-up of exhaust fan cabinet

Close-up of exhaust fan cabinet

Close-up of cooktop cabinet in the middle flanked by dish drawers

Close-up of cooktop cabinet in the middle flanked by dish drawers

Upper cabinets above cooktop

Upper cabinets above cook-top

Side view of island without trim or book shelf

Side view of island without trim or book shelf

Here I am feeling how the space feels. I loved it!

Here I am seeing how the space feels. I loved it!

The carpenters said they would come back on Saturday to install the tongue-and-groove on the porch ceiling and install the beams in the family room. And, Tim (carpenter) suggested that if Bill could get the 12 sheets of plywood purchased, stained and polyed, they would work on our closets the following week.

Bill bought the plywood the next day and was determined he was going to stain and poly it himself. He spent a couple of hours building two platforms to hold the plywood while it dried. He started staining on Friday, May 9. Big big job! Unfortunately, the first batch of plywood Bill bought and loaded and unloaded from his trailer he found wasn’t the right plywood for the job. So, he took 11 pieces of the plywood back (one of them he had already stained) and spent the bigger bucks to get the better stuff. Of course, that meant loading and unloading the wrong stuff and loading and unloading the right stuff. The man is totally exhausted every night.

Staining away

Staining away

Stacks of plywood needing staining and polyed on both sides

Stacks of plywood needing staining and poly on both sides

Bill soon found out this was going to take a long time to finish this job by himself.

Saturday, the carpenters showed up and installed the porch ceiling.

Installing the tongue-and-groove porch ceiling

Installing the tongue-and-groove porch ceiling

We decided to put trim around the edges because the soffit was wavy (metal)

We decided to put trim around the edges because the soffit was wavy (metal)

Finished porch ceiling

Finished porch ceiling

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Tim and Mike started on the beams in the family room.

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The farther they got, they knew they didn’t have enough material to finish the ceiling beams. They inventoried what was left and this is the last beam they could install.

Last beam before running out of material

Last beam before running out of material

Originally, we had planned to run beams along the green area to enclose it. It was supposed to be like a coffer vaulted ceiling. However, after seeing how the beams looked as is, we all agreed not to enclose that part of the vault. It would have been too weighty and dark. The guys did some figuring and came up with the amount of material we needed to finish the ceiling beams. Bill called Fehrenbacher on Monday and got it ordered.

Since the carpenters couldn’t finish the beams, they installed crown molding on the kitchen cabinets.

Crown on the cabinets

Crown on the cabinets

Sunday, May 11, Bill started installing cabinet doors. The large cabinet to the right below is the refrigerator cabinet.

First cabinet doors installed

First cabinet doors installed

Then, he installed cabinet doors on the double-deckers. The top ones will have glass in them.

Second cabinet doors

Second cabinet doors

Monday, May 12, we had a full crew – geothermal drilling crew, painters, granite measuring, and garage door rep. Bill decided to ask the painters if they could finish up the staining and polying of the plywood and told them more trim would be coming in a couple of days and he wanted them to stain and poly it, too. Cha-ching! More money for materials and more money for labor. I was happy that Bill relinquished control of the staining since he had his hands full with cabinets and other stuff.

There was a big storm that hit the area on Friday, May 9. The worst of it hit south of us. Unfortunately, the geothermal guys’ shop got hit and they didn’t realize that their battery charger for their machinery wasn’t working until they came out to start digging. They spent a lot of time waiting for batteries to charge.

Geothermal diggers

Geothermal diggers

They worked sporadically Monday through Thursday that week and they made a big mess with all the mud.

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Mud was everywhere since they had to go across our rock driveway. What a mess! But, thank goodness, they were able to get the loops drilled with no other issues.

The granite guy came late morning and got everything measured for the kitchen counter-tops, island, and both bathroom vanities. It was all quite interesting how it is all done digitally. I got a call from our granite salesman two days later and said we actually saved almost $800 from our original estimate because after measuring we needed less. YAY!!!! But, the bad news was we have to wait until June 12 before they install the granite. That is holding up getting the plumbers here. They can’t come until after granite and sinks are installed. Ugghhh!

Granite measuring

Granite measuring

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The garage door rep showed up along with the customer service rep from the company from which we purchased the doors. They determined it was a factory-finish default and they would replace our doors. I hope the next doors don’t start cracking and peeling.

The painters worked everyday the week of May 12. They kept busy with staining and polying in-between rain showers. They worked indoors painting or patching. Bill picked up the trim material mid-week and they started staining that, too.

Tuesday, the carpenters returned and since there was no finished material yet, they installed all our door hardware.

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Front door hardware

Front door hardware

The electrician called Bill early Wednesday, May 14, to tell Bill they could come and work that day. The crew (7 guys) was at our house by 9:00. Thank goodness, Bill and I had opened and inventoried all our light fixtures, ceiling fans, outdoor lights, and flood lights, on Sunday. However, we didn’t have light bulbs yet as I had just ordered LED bulbs from homedepot.com the day before. They had the cheapest price. LED bulbs are not cheap. Try buying a whole house full of them! They will pay for themselves in the long run in energy savings and won’t have to be replace for a very long time.

Fan installed in one of the bedrooms

Fan installed in one of the bedrooms

Vanity lights in hall bathroom

Vanity lights in hall bathroom

Vanities installed in master bath

Vanities installed in master bath

Fan installed in Family Room

Fan installed in Family Room

Entry way ceiling light and sconces

Entry way ceiling light and sconces

Chandelier in dining area

Chandelier in dining area

Under cabinet outlets installed

Under cabinet outlets installed

Lights in the laundry room

Lights in the laundry room

Exterior lights (front porch and on each side of garage doors)

Exterior lights (front porch and on each side of garage doors)

Let there be light!!!

They used the bulbs we bought for the outdoor lights for the chandelier (we will replace with LED)

They used the bulbs we bought for the outdoor lights for the chandelier (we will replace with LED)

Can lights in kitchen

Can lights in kitchen

They installed all the outlets and light switches throughout the house. Also have electrical outlets on each side of island, next to the sit-down area of our vanity, and each side of the fireplace (where the mantle will be).

Light switches

Light switches

Outlets on side of island

Outlets on side of island

Outlet for my sit-down vanity

Outlet for my sit-down vanity

They wired up the wall oven and placed it in the cabinet. The carpenters later had to notch out an area on each side to fully install it.

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Even though these guys are so fast and efficient, we forgot how messy they were. They would rip open a box and throw it on the floor. They would cut pieces of wiring and throw the rest on the floor. And, remember all that mud outside? Yep, they drug it inside. I was so upset how it all looked after they were gone, I didn’t take any pictures of the inside mess.

The next morning after Bill moved a lot of the light fixture boxes out to the garage, here is what the garage looked like.

Mud mud mud

Mud mud mud

Boxes and boxes and boxes

Boxes and boxes and boxes and mud

I spent hours Thursday, May 15, tearing down cardboard boxes, separating trash from burn piles. Bill was emptying trash, burning, and trying to get the pole barn back in order. I swept mud and trash inside until my knee and back gave out again. Bill worked for hours afterwards sweeping and vacuuming the garage and inside the house. The next day I helped Bill stack trim in the garage and do more straightening up of the house before the carpenters came the next day.

Bill sweeping garage

Bill sweeping garage

Saturday, May 17, the carpenters came to finish up the beams, install the microwave and microwave trim kit, and do other things on the punch list.

Finished ceiling beams

Finished ceiling beams in Family Room

How the beams come down the vault

How the beams come down the vault

Trimmed out the island

Trimmed out the island

More island trim

More island trim

Trimmed out the garage windows

Trimmed out the garage windows

Trimmed the entry doorway from the garage to house

Trimmed the entry doorway from the garage to house

Installed the last door!

Installed the last door!

Installed the large beam that separates the family room from kitchen/dining

Installed the large beam that separates the family room from kitchen/dining

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Trimmed the garage attic drop-down stairs

Trimmed the garage attic drop-down stairs

Trimmed out the utility area in the garage

Trimmed out the utility area in the garage

While the carpenters were finishing up the trim items, Bill and I went for a Craig’s List find. I never really liked that oak antique desk that I originally bought to put in the entry and then decided to put in my computer area. The painters had stripped it but hadn’t painted it yet. Remember this?

Antique desk

Antique desk

Well, the Craig’s List find was a desk I LOVE and it’s going right inside the garage entry door. It will be the drop-off area. Drop off mail, purse, charging station for electronics, and house a land-line, if we decide to have one.

Craig's List desk

Craig’s List desk

It is a very heavy piece of furniture and looks good in its new home. In fact, it is the first piece of furniture we’ve already moved into the house.

New desk finds a home

New desk finds a home

So, the carpenters and Bill were trying to install the microwave trim kit and when they opened it all up, they found that it did not fit the microwave. The size was all wrong. Geesh! So, Bill asked me to find the receipt for it and he boxed the trim kit back up and we went to Lowe’s to see how we could handle returning an item we purchased over two years ago!

Turns out they discontinued that trim kit and so Lowe’s could not get us one. All of the Bosch appliances we ordered were special orders. Customer service didn’t know what to do for us. Finally, they called a sales rep from his dinner break and he came back and worked with us for a couple of hours. At one point, I found a trim kit online, but Lowe’s said if we didn’t buy something else from them, they would not refund us for the special order. Apparently, there is a 90 day limit on special orders. Read the fine print. I didn’t. Good to know.

We ended up ordering a true built-in Bosch microwave the next day after we went home and measured to make sure it would fit. It has a door that pulls down instead of from side to side. And, Lowe’s did us well. They credited us the full amount for returning the convection microwave and trim kit – which they will have to sell on clearance. And, they threw in a 3-year warranty. We had originally purchased a 4-year warranty which was non-refundable.

New microwave

New microwave

I did a little magic with my computer and plucked in a pix of the microwave where it will eventually be installed. It is due to be delivered in another week.

What microwave and wall oven will look like

What microwave and wall oven will look like

And, you can see from the above picture Bill has been busy getting doors installed on the cabinets.

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Since last week was a beautiful sunny week, the painters worked Monday and Tuesday and finished up spraying poly on all the plywood. And, they started painting the trim the bronze color. It is finally looking how I had envisioned it!

Bronze trim around the windows

Bronze trim around the windows

View from the road

View from the road

Close-up of front window trim

Close-up of front window trim

Front door trim painted

Front door trim and columns painted

Part of the back trim painted

Part of the back trim painted

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Trim around the garage doors painted bronze

Trim around the garage doors painted bronze

We asked Jim to call the excavator about digging the septic laterals. He said the ground was still too wet. Really???? He said if the rain held off until after Tuesday, May 27, he should be able to dig. Keeping our fingers crossed that it will happen. But, the forecast shows rain every day this week.

Thursday, May 22, our shower door was delivered. The installer was supposed to have called me Friday. I guess I’ll get in touch with him this week.

Shower door

Shower door

Tim the carpenter came Thursday afternoon and started installing closet systems. The guy is fast.

Double-door closet

Double-door closet in spare bedroom

Bedroom closet

Bedroom closet

 

Coat closet

Coat closet

Linen closet

Linen closet

Of course, you might know, they ran out of material for cleats for shelving. Bill spent Friday and Saturday cutting down extra trim pieces Jim and Joan had that they offered to us. Bill sanded off the stain, re-stained and polyed the pieces. Tim was supposed to come sometime this weekend to start on the master closet. He showed up sometime today and we didn’t know it until Bill discovered these cleats installed.

Where Bill's shoe racks will be

Where Bill’s shoe racks will be

My shoe racks and double-hanging rods will be

My shoe racks and double-hanging rods will be

Shelves will be and fold-up ironing board

Shelves will be and fold-up ironing board

Bill says he is going to trim the closet systems. And, he is adding extra support under every shelf. He finished one this weekend.

Bedroom closed trimmed out

Bedroom closet trimmed out

Bill had to buy more material for our fireplace mantle. He’s in the process of sanding the boards, then stain and then poly. Never ending! I think we finally came up with a mantel that I liked. 🙂

Of course, Bill continues to do PITA jobs. We’ve had squeaks in one of the front bedrooms for months. Bill had screwed all the subfloors after the framers nailed them down back in the fall. Last week Bill got under the crawl space to see if he could fix the problem. He put up blocking, put shims between the rafters and subfloor, and glued it all. Then he took out the screws that were in there and put in longer screws. He thinks he fixed it!!!!

Bill trying to fix squeaks in bedroom floor

Bill trying to fix squeaks in bedroom floor

And, we have AC now! The HVAC guys came Friday and flushed the geothermal loops with water and installed our temporary controller. Duct system isn’t finished yet, but air is running and it’s cool.

Temporary HVAC controller

Temporary HVAC controller

Our list is going down. Just some major things still need to be done before we could move in. Bill still doesn’t have his electric in the pole barn yet. Hoping for late June. But, we’ll see.

I’ll be glad when this weed filled pile of dirt is gone.

Big 'ol pile of weed covered dirt!

Big ‘ol pile of weed covered dirt!

 

Troubles Turned to Blessings in Disguise!

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures. ~Joseph Addison

I’ll apologize right off the bat for waiting a whole month between blog posts. But, to be honest with you, there wasn’t a lot to blog about until recently. Now things are moving again in the right direction.

When I last posted we were waiting for the painter to get done with the interior painting and staining and cabinets. Well, we continued to wait. The painter is cheap and good at what he does, but he sure tries our patience as far as showing up for work.

Early Monday, April 7, we received delivery of the cabinetry that we ordered for our bathrooms and window seats for the family room. We peaked inside to see what the colors looked like; however, we left the cabinets in their wrapping for three weeks until the trim carpenters opened them up.

The painters showed up Monday and Tuesday that week for a couple of hours each day. Then, they came Wednesday and Thursday early in the morning to spray the laundry cabinet doors and drawer fronts. They were gone those two mornings before we got down there. Shayna worked Monday and Tuesday, April 14-15, applying poly on kitchen cabinets and painted one coat of paint on the laundry cabinets.

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Sometime during the April 12-13 weekend, we discovered that our pretty mahogany-stained garage doors weren’t as pretty as they were before. Looking really close, it looked like paint over-spray all over them! Nooooooo!

This is how they looked when they installed them.

close-up of garage door

close-up of garage door

This is how they looked a couple of weeks ago:

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Two possible suspects for over-spray: subs who installed the Hardie Board (they sprayed primer paint on the ends of each cut); or our painter who sprayed our laundry cabinets outdoors. Either way, we weren’t happy about what they looked like. Those doors were an expensive upgrade. Bill wanted to see if he could get the paint off of them. More on that later.

We were really anxious to get done with the interior of the house so we could bring in the trim carpenter. We were being held up on the interior waiting for the painter to finish and were being held up on the exterior work because of weather. The painters did not show up the rest of the week or the next week! Promises were made by the painter over and over again, but they would always be a no-show.

Jim called our trim carpenter on Saturday, April 19, to see if he was going to be able to fit us in his schedule. He made an appointment to meet with Bill and me on Monday, April 21, to do a walk-thru. I printed out all the pictures of how we wanted our trim to look with examples of beams, mantel, headband, etc., in addition to a list of all the wood materials (and doors) we had received from Fehrenbacher Wood Specialities.  I also had printed all the cabinet layouts. During the meeting Mr. Carpenter kept shaking his head and saying, “I’m not sure if I can fit you in or not. The timing is really bad for me right now.” He even said maybe he could get a crew in and bang out all the trim and then come back later (a long time later) to install the cabinets. The months June and July were mentioned!!!! Are you kidding me?  He said he’d go back home and look at his schedule and see if he could squeeze us in. Early the next morning, he called me and said he was so sorry but he knew we were in a hurry to get the carpentry work done now and there was no way he could take on the job.

There was no time to mope around so Bill, Jim and I moved on getting another trim carpenter right away. I went through our bid construction binder and found we had only received one estimate (Mr. Carpenter) when we sent the bids out in the fall. Bill looked through our spreadsheet of contacts who we sent bids to in the fall and came up with two names. Neither one had sent in estimates then. He text Jim and he immediately set up appointments with both of them to come out and do walk-thrus: Mr. Carpenter #2 was scheduled for the next day (April 23) and Mr. Carpenter #3 was scheduled for that Friday (April 25).

Bill and I really liked Carpenter #2 and his son who came with him. They were not intimidated by our stained trim package. Not many people are using stained trim or doors these days. Everyone is going painted white. He said he could help us design and build our closet systems, too. He and Bill talked about mitering the baseboards for all the corners and he said it was no problem. Carpenter #2 said he would send us an estimate and schedule in a couple of days. In the meantime I found Carpenter #2 had a Facebook page for his business and I was impressed by what I saw.

Carpenter #3 came after he got off work Friday evening. He works full-time for a construction company (mainly commercial work) but does carpentry work on the side. In fact, Jim said he was the handyman in their old neighborhood and everyone loved him. Jim had never met him. As soon as he arrived, he got out of his truck, introduced himself, and immediately asked how we liked our garage doors. I said that we loved them until we got the paint over-spray. He went up to the doors and looked around. He told us that he had five of the same doors on his new house he just got done building up the road from us and they had to all be replaced because the finish was cracking! He started pointing out that ours were cracking, too. Told you there was more to our garage door story. And, there is still more . . . Later. 🙂

Carpenter #3 was younger than #1 or #2 but was knowledgeable. He looked at our door frames and questioned why they were broken down (easier for painter to stain but more for carpenter to install) and had his own idea of installing baseboard corners. Bill told him they had to be mitered PERIOD. He said he would drop by our estimate over the weekend and give us his schedule of when they could do the job. Before leaving, Bill gave him a piece of our wood so he could practice cutting miters for the baseboard. You got to love Bill!

Bill and I decided if the price and schedule were right, we’d go with Carpenter #2. Famous last words! Sunday afternoon Jim got a call from Carpenter #3. His price was low. Two thousand lower than Carpenter #1’s initial estimate (which would have gone up a couple Ks after our walk-thru if he had taken the job). And, he and his brother and another guy could start working Wednesday afternoon after they got off work. He said they would work Wednesday-Friday evenings, all day Saturday and all day Sunday.

Bill called Carpenter #2 and asked if he had an estimate for us. He emailed me his detailed estimate later that afternoon. It was almost double the price of Carpenter #3 (and $3K more than #1’s initial bid) and he didn’t give us dates of when they could start.

After much consideration (and reassurance from Jim that all their old neighbors raved about his work) we decided to go with Carpenter #3. This is where Blessings in Disguise comes into play as you’ll see in the upcoming photos.

Now, all we had to do was get that painter back out to finish the inside BEFORE the trim carpenter came on Weds. We devised a punch list for Mark and gave him a deadline. One of the items was to repaint one of the upper walls in the family room which we thought was painted the wrong color. See what you think.

Same or Different?

Same or Different?

Mark worked Monday and Tuesday, April 28-29, long days. Turns out the walls above are painted the same color. He even applied paint to both of the walls again to show Bill. Apparently, the light causes an optical illusion. Bill said Mark even exceeded his expectations of getting interior stuff finished. He applied poly to the stained screen frames, he stained and applied poly to the rest of the windows and the sliding glass door. He painted the laundry cabinets and toe kicks which were missed the first go-around.

Laundry Cabinet Toe-kicks

Laundry Cabinet Toe-kicks

During the last couple weeks of April, Bill worked in his workshop re-arranging and organizing it in preparation for the electrician and plumber. We bought new storage cabinets.

New Workshop Storage Cabinets

New Workshop Storage Cabinets

Putting one of the big cabinets together.

Putting one of the big cabinets together.

Bill had bought several boxes of discontinued hardwood flooring at Lowe’s over a year ago for $5 a box. He finally put them to good use and installed new tops on some of his cabinets.

Updated cabinets with new tops

Updated cabinets with new tops

Big cabinet all ready filled up!

Big cabinet already filled up!

Bill decided to sand and poly his work bench, too! He built this years ago at our last house.

Cleaned up the work bench

Cleaned up the work bench

Vectren came out and installed our permanent electric mid April. We still have the temporary post, too, which the trim carpenter is using. After he’s done, that will be removed. They ran our electric and gas lines to the house, too.

Tearing up the road to bring gas across from the other side of the road

Tearing up the road to bring gas across from the other side of the road

There's the lines

There are the lines

They ran the lines up the yard to the left of the driveway and then under the driveway by the garage to final hookup to house.

They ran the lines up the yard to the left of the driveway and then under the driveway by the garage to final hookup to house.

Permanent electric installed

Permanent electric installed

We're all set

We’re all set

Wednesday, April 30, we had our HVAC installed. They said they’d be back to dig the geothermal when the ground wasn’t so wet and we had electric hooked up the our new HVAC unit.

HVAC installed

HVAC installation

And, the trim carpenters started that same day. Tim Baker is Mr. Carpenter #3. OMG! He is like an energizer bunny. Tim arrived around 1:30 that day and started working on baseboards. Guess what? He sure did a great job mitering those corners!

Mitered baseboard corners

Mitered baseboard corners

Linen closet baseboards

Linen closet baseboards

Soon Tim’s brother (Mike) arrived and Tim put him on installing the interior doors.

First door installed

First door installed

Then Neal arrived and Tim put him on installing cabinets.

Neal checking out the first cabinet - the upper corner cabinet

Neal checking out the first cabinet – the upper corner cabinet

Bill was there to help with the cabinets.

Bill helping Neal installed cabinets

Bill helping Neal install cabinets

Tim asked if I would come down to approve the window trim he did on the first window before he continued. I was ecstatic when I saw it! He said he figured I liked it by the look on my face.

Sample of window trim and sill

Sample of window trim and sill

The guys worked until about 8:00 pm that evening and returned the next day with a fourth guy. They took off Friday, worked all day Saturday and took off Sunday. They got a lot done, but still a lot more to do.

Three upper kitchen cabinets installed

Three upper kitchen cabinets installed

I’ll never be able to reach anything on those top upper cabinets. Jill took a picture of me reaching up, but the photo was blurred. I could only reach up to the bottom two levels of the corner cabinet. 🙂 To show you how tall these are, here is a picture of Bill reaching up. He can reach three levels!

Bill reaching up to wall cabinet.

Bill reaching up to wall cabinet.

 

Close-up of window sills

Close-up of window sills

Close-up of window top casing trim

Close-up of window top casing trim

Door trimed out with upper casings the same as the window trim and we have plinth blocks on the lower part of side casings

Door trimmed out with upper casings the same as the window trim and we have plinth blocks on the lower part of side casings

Headband installed in most of the areas

Headband installed in most of the areas

Double closet doors in one of the bedrooms (garage entry door still to be installed)

Double closet doors in one of the bedrooms (garage entry door still to be installed)

Sample of window, door and headband

Sample of window, closet door and headband

Front door trimmed out

Front door trimmed out

Drop down beam in master bedroom hallway

Drop down beam in master bedroom hallway

Laundry cabinets being installed

Laundry cabinets being installed

Laundry cabinets ready for doors

Laundry cabinets ready for doors

Master bathroom vanities going in

Master bathroom vanities going in

Master bathroom with desk area in-between vanities

Master bathroom with desk area in-between vanities

These vanities were such a tight fit and our 5″ baseboards wouldn’t fit under the toe-kick. So, Tim “ripped” the bottom part off the baseboard in the whole bathroom to match all around. I’m not sure if you can see or not, but we also had electric run so I could have a plug on the side of the right vanity. The electric was in the wrong place, but Tim cut the drywall and moved it over. That part will be covered up with granite backsplash. These guys were great at coming up with solutions that worked and still looked good.

The hall bath was a bear to install, too! They really didn’t allow any give or take on these cabinets. Tim and Bill decided to use a piece of our trim to use as a spacer to bring the cabinets out a little from the door. Looks fine and worked. Bill said Neal is a perfectionist. I’m glad!

Hall bath cabinets going in

Hall bath cabinets going in

Hall cabinets installed

Hall cabinets installed

I didn’t think this huge master bath storage cabinet with seat was going to fit. But, Neal made it work!

Master bath storage cabinet

Master bath storage cabinet

A couple of things happened which we had to remedy.

Here was an oops I discovered where two doors met.

What's going on here?

What’s going on here?

But was quickly fixed. Tim laughed when I took the picture below and said while winking, “That’s always been like that!” I laughed and said, “Sorry – I have a picture to show otherwise! But, I love that you fixed it!”

Fixed casing

Fixed casing

Bill left Neal for less than 5 minutes. When he returned he saw Neal drilling some holes in an area where we have water lines! We had a picture for the carpenters of the kitchen wall before drywall to show them where we had blocking and water lines. Bill had to open the drywall up a little to see if there was damage. Neal had nicked the pex tubing.

Water line knicked

Drywall cut out to assess water line nicked

Bill called the plumber that evening and asked if he could come out the next day. Bill ended up texting him a close-up photo of the tube and the plumber said it was fine because the tubing is so thick and it was only nicked. I hope that is true when we turn on water!

See the cabinet to the left of the large pantry cabinet below? Looks like that is going to be moved to the garage bump-out area. When our electricians came to installed the electric to the new HVAC system and our well pump they said we couldn’t install anything permanent in front of the electrical panels.

Pantry cabinet installed

Pantry cabinet installed

We talked about installing the cabinet after all the inspections and we moved in, but . . . I decided this weekend that I still didn’t have a place for my mops and vacuum cleaner. So, those are going to be stored to the left of the pantry cabinet and we’ll also have room for this piece which I decided not to use in the entry cause it just didn’t go with everything else in the family room.

Antique desk

Antique desk

We are going to have the painter paint it the same colors as our laundry cabinets. This will sit opposite where my computer area will be in the laundry room so, I’ll use it as my mail/bill desk.

Thursday, May 1, I called David Ferrero to see if he could measure and install our glass shower door which we would order from Ferguson’s. David came out Friday morning, May 2. Lindsey at Ferguson’s called me Monday, the 5th, with price and we placed our order for the door and shower grab bar. Should be delivered in about 2 weeks.

Electricians hooked electric to the new HVAC system and well pump (the blue tank) on Friday, too.

Electric hooked up to HVAC and Well Pump

Electric hooked up to HVAC and Well Pump

One of the biggie problems over the weekend was that our window seats didn’t fit on either side of our fireplace. All of the engineers in the family gathered down at the house to see if there was any way to remedy the situation. Bill and Tim talked about cutting the stone down on the lower side where the seat would go. But, if they did that and got the seat in, we wouldn’t be able to open the drawers. We finally came to the conclusion that the initial measurements by our cabinet sales guy were off. I was given the privilege of delivering the bad news to our cabinet sales guy. Gulp!

Rick came out Monday, May 5, and measured over and over. He said sometimes these things happen. He said they’d make it right and he’d put a rush on getting new ones made. Bill helped Rick take the window seats away.

IMG_4363

IMG_4364

Things could have been a lot worse. We can move in without window seats. If this had been the case of bathroom vanities, we would have had a major setback. Not worth getting upset about it.

Remember the garage door saga? Bill spent many hours Sunday, May 4, trying to clean off the paint on the garage doors. He was able to get a lot of it off but he discovered even more cracking of the finish. Monday, he called the company where we ordered the garage doors. We discovered they have a life-time warranty against cracking as long as you are the original purchaser. But, gosh, should these be cracking so quickly? These weren’t cheap doors! Anyway, they are going to be sending the Chi door representative out to look at the doors. What a pain!

Since we had a warm sunny forecast for this week with no rain Monday-Thursday, we asked Jim to text Mark the painter and asked that he start painting the exterior of the house. He said he’d pick up the paint in the morning and be out. He didn’t get here until 3:00 pm, but he came and painted several hours. Finally going to get rid of that “baby poop” greenish primed color. We think the color is going to blend in well. It will be a little darker once the second coat goes on.

First coat of paint (bottom section)

First coat of paint (bottom section)

Close-up of paint (on right side). Looks like he missed a couple spots.

Close-up of paint (on right side). Looks like he missed a couple of spots.

Front section painted one coat

Front section painted one coat

Looking better

Looking better

And, our excavator septic installer showed up Monday and Tuesday to install the septic! Yay! Bill said they have to wait until the city says they can dig the lateral lines. Something about it still being too wet and waiting until results from more soil testing samples come back.

Digging

Digging

Septic Tank

Septic Tank

This view shows location in front of house

This view shows location in front of house

There is some deep digging going on

There is some deep digging going on

Piping

Piping

Dig dig dig

Dig dig dig

Built the back pad up for our back patio

Built the pad for our back patio

We have two painters today, so they should be able to get a lot more done. And, the trim carpenters plan to work this afternoon/evening today and tomorrow installing our kitchen and island cabinets. We have the granite people coming on Monday, May 12, to template counter-tops and bathroom vanities. They told me that it will be another 2-3 weeks after that when they come back down and install. They are coming from Indy. That will push completion date out further because we can’t have plumber install all his stuff until the sinks are installed (we are getting our sinks from the granite company).

Bill lined up the cabinets and the island parts so everything will be ready for the carpenters.

Kitchen/island cabinets lined up ready for install

Kitchen/island cabinets lined up ready for install

Closer view of island parts

Closer view of island parts

I cannot wait until these are installed and we can see what they will look like. Bill has to get the glass for the small upper cabinets and install it into the doors before installing cabinet doors. He can start installing doors and slides after cabinets are installed.

The carpenters plan to work all day Saturday doing our beams and mantel in the family room and installing the tongue-and-groove porch ceiling. They still have the garage entry door to install along with more trim and headband in the kitchen after cabinets go in.

Tim also said he could build our closet systems. He and his wife invited Bill and me to their new home last weekend to see his trim work in their home. Gorgeous! I told him he was our blessing in disguise! I’ve looked at houzz.com for closet ideas and printing out photos to show Tim. I’ve sketched out the closet plans on graph paper and will show Tim today what I’ve come up with so far and see what he will charge us. We will buy the materials and Bill will stain and poly the wood to match the rest of our house.

Master Walk-in Closet

Master Walk-in Closet ideas

All the other closets

All the other closets

The last item in this post is about our well. The well guys came out yesterday, May 6, and hooked our well to the pump. They had Bill running it for 15 minute intervals to get some of the gunk out that might have settled. But, we have water!!!!!

We hope we will be in our final push soon. We sure cannot wait to move into this new home!

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinets Made, Trim Finished, and Floors Installed!

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. ~Earl Nightingale

First for the GREAT news . . . Bill finished making and assembling the cabinets!!! What a long and stressful process. He officially finished them on Sunday, March 30th.

He started building the big pantry cabinet in the laundry room. With Zach’s help on March 25, Bill glued the pieces together and they used all the big clamps Bill had. Zach said he never dreamed they would use that many.

The big pantry cabinet all clamped up.

The big pantry cabinet all clamped up.

Bill moved to putting the wall corner cabinet together later that week. This cabinet has been a lot of work figuring out all the shelves and backs.

The wall corner cabinet

The wall corner cabinet

He finished it on March 28. This is very tall upper cabinet. I think it’s 48 inches.

Wall corner cabinet

Wall corner cabinet

Here is the inspiration photo which spawned the idea for the corner cabinet. The doors for our cabinet will be hinged together like the inspiration cabinet. I spend way too much time on houzz.com!

After this cabinet was done, Bill sanded all the cabinet drawers and stamped them prior to the painters applying a poly finish.

Stacks of drawers

Stacks of drawers

Drawers stamped

Drawers stamped

Drawers all lined up after having a poly spray

Drawers all lined up after having a poly spray

Then Bill finished the last cabinet – the big pantry.

Finishing up the pantry cabinet

Finishing up the pantry cabinet

All done with toe kick!

All done with toe kick!

Now it was up to the painters to get busy staining and painting cabinets. We thought they would show up on Monday, March 24. But they didn’t. Bill had scheduled the hardwood floors to be installed the following Monday – March 31. The painters had to get done in the house so the floors could be laid. The big spraying tent had to be removed in the dining/kitchen area, too. But the painters needed to do more spraying before it came down. Bill called Mark the painter Monday afternoon to tell him he had to be done in the house by Friday. He said they would be there the next day. But, Tuesday came and went and no painters. Grrrrr!

Mark and Shayna finally came on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 26-28, and worked long days.

Interior doors drying after a poly spray

Interior doors drying after a poly spray

Mark and Shayna sanding a door

Mark and Shayna sanding a door

Mark & Shayna stacked all the trim pieces in the garage and covered them

Mark & Shayna stacked all the trim pieces in the garage and covered them

Cabinet doors and drawer fronts got another sanding and final spray

Cabinet doors and drawer fronts got another sanding and final spray

Island pieces and the corner cabinet doors all finished

Island pieces and the corner cabinet doors all finished

Interior doors all done. The finish is so soft and smooth.

Interior doors all done. The finish is so soft and smooth.

Microwave/wall oven cabinet sanded and given final spray

Microwave/wall oven cabinet sanded and given final spray

Refrigerator cabinet finished!

Refrigerator cabinet finished!

Island ends still need one more coat of poly on the sides

Island ends still need one more coat of poly on the sides

By late Friday, Mark and Shayna got all the spraying done and everything stacked and put in the bedrooms or garage. Unfortunately, the one thing I wanted done before the hardwood floors were installed – painting the family room – did not get done. Boo!

Bill and I worked down at the house last weekend reorganizing the garage, taking down the spray booth, and sweeping and vacuuming the floors. We stacked all the drawers in the bump-out area of the garage, putting Styrofoam between to protect them. We moved the dishwasher and trash compactor into the utilities area. Bill moved the extra tile boxes in that area, too. Those things were so heavy I couldn’t budge them. I don’t know how Bill picked them up. Then we moved the painter’s saw horses and all his empty cans of stain and paint and buckets and everything else that belonged to him all to one side of the garage. We moved all the laundry cabinets in one area of the garage along with all the laundry cabinet doors. This way Mark and Shayna could work out of the garage – except for the big pantry cabinet, which he said they would paint in the laundry room.

Garage all ready for the painters

Garage all ready for the painters

After we had the garage organized we moved into the house. We picked up all the cardboard that the painters used and either trashed or saved it depending on the condition. Then I started sweeping. This is my least favorite thing to do since it kills my back. I popped some Extra Strength Tylenol and swept. Bill followed behind and vacuumed. Bill spent many more hours vacuuming than I did sweeping. This was the same scene as when we cleaned up after drywall – just not has much dust. See the area where Bill is standing. That is poly residue. Bill says our floor is now sealed! Seeing how much poly saturated the sub floor was reassurance that the spray booth was a good thing. I can’t imagine what our walls and windows and doors would have looked like if they had not used the booth!

Bill vacuuming

Bill vacuuming

Mark suggested that we leave the two large kitchen cabinets in the family room and ask the hardwood floor installers if they could move them from one area to another after they installed a section.

Big kitchen cabinets

Big kitchen cabinets

Bright and early Monday, March 31, the hardwood floor installers came and set up shop with their saw in the garage. Hmmmm. I guess Mark and Shayna wouldn’t be able to work on cabinets in there with all that sawdust. One of the guys finished installing the tile in the laundry room (they had run out of tile several weeks ago). I didn’t take a picture of the finished floor.

First row of hardwoods installed

First row of hardwoods going in

Mark and Shayna arrived and since it was a warm sunny day Mark told Bill he thought he’d spray the painted cabinets outdoors. It was a warm sunny day but it was also windy! Bill told Mark that he didn’t think it would be a good idea in case the paint would get all over the cars and our house and pole barn. So, instead Mark and Shayna worked Monday and Tuesday caulking the exterior of the house.

Caulking the exterior

Caulking the exterior

In the meantime, the floors were going in nicely.

Main hallway

Main hallway looking toward the family room

Master bedroom hallway looking toward the main hallway

Master bedroom hallway looking toward the main hallway

By noon on Tuesday, April 1, the installers had a good part done and said they would be finished Wednesday morning.

Installers taking a lunch break. Looking toward the family room from the kitchen/dining area

Installers taking a lunch break. Looking toward the family room from the kitchen/dining area

Looking from the family room toward the kitchen and the laundry room through the doorway

Looking from the family room toward the kitchen and the laundry room through the doorway

Tuesday Mark told Bill that since it was going to rain the next two days, they would be back on Friday. Meanwhile the floor guys came Wednesday and finished up.

Family room floors installed

Family room floors installed

Dining area done

Dining area done

Wednesday afternoon, Bill started covering the floors with leftover housewrap and cardboard. He used hardboard panels in areas of high traffic. A friend of mine had used the hardboard panels when he was renovating his kitchen. He suggested they worked well when trying to move in appliances without scratching up the floors. Thanks, Keith, for the idea. Bill and I worked on covering the floors all day Thursday.

Covering the floors

Covering the floors with housewrap (blue) and cardboard boxes

Those moving boxes sure came in handy!

Those moving boxes sure came in handy!

Hardboard panels lined the kitchen walls

Hardboard panels lined the kitchen walls

Hardboard panels line the high traffic areas

Hardboard panels line the high traffic areas

Laundry floor covered

Laundry floor covered

Used every box we had!

Used every box we had!

Bill swept the sawdust out of the garage and text Mark that we were ready for them to paint the family room and paint and stain the rest of the cabinets. Mark said they’d be here the next day (Friday).

Bill got a call earlier in the week from our electrician and he said he would be out one day to install our meter. Bill was going out-of-town on Friday so he asked me to check on the contractors the next day.

We had storms all day Thursday and by 5:00 pm, this is what Jill and Jim’s driveway looked like.

Flooded driveway

Flooded driveway

This is going toward Jill and Jim’s house. Our property is to the right of the their driveway. Thank goodness all of our houses are situated up from this area. And, the good news is we didn’t have any leaks in the house from the 7-9 inches of rain we got between Thursday and Friday.

I went down to the house around 9:30 that morning and no painters! I left a note in the garage to call me if the electrician came. I never got a phone call and when I came down before picking the grandkids up from the bus stop, I saw this:

Big 'ol electric meter installed!

Big ‘ol electric meter installed!

Here are the inside electric panels in the laundry room. There are two outlets coming out from them I guess we will eventually be able to use when the power is turned on. We have a cabinet that will set below these panels. We were going to put a TV on that cabinet as my computer area is right across from it. We’re hoping the TV will hide those ugly panels.

Electric panels

Electric panels

I went into the garage and found my note had fallen behind one of the cabinets. I guess Bill will have to call the electrician to find out what’s up. And no surprise, the painters never showed up.

Timeline of what’s to come:

•Mark and Shayna need to finish the cabinets and paint the family room before we can bring in the trim carpenter. I figure the painters have two weeks of work left – if they show up most week days. After that, they can move to the exterior of the house and start painting.

•Jim said Allen is supposed to be here this week to install our septic.

•Our bathroom vanities, bathroom storage cabinets, and window seats are being delivered Monday, April 7.

•After the cabinets are painted and stained, Bill will install all the slides and the Rev-A-Shelf items.

•After exterior of house is painted, the gutters will be installed.

•Once the trim carpenter installs all the cabinets, vanities, window seats, interior doors, baseboards, and all the interior trim and beams, we can bring in granite people.

•I guess Bill will install all the door handles – another PITA job.

•After granite (which includes our sinks and bathroom vanities) is installed, plumber can come and hook everything up and install stuff. Lots of plumbing to be installed in the pole barn, too!

•Electrician and gas will be hooked up. Run electric to pole barn.

•HVAC and digging for geothermal will be installed.

•Electrican will install all our light fixtures and fans (not sure when that happens).

•Concrete for back patio and driveway laid (not sure when that happens).

•Glass shower door is installed.

•We’ll work on closet systems.

•Painters come back and put another coat of paint on everything inside and do any staining touch-ups.

•Carpet is installed.

•Final grading and Landscaping.

•Final clean (top to bottom).

•Move in.

Whew! There is still a lot to happen before moving in. We hope to be in sometime in May. Time will tell.

 

 

 

 

Stain and Poly and Cabinets, Oh My!

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense. ~Thomas A. Edison

The last two weeks have been all about the cabinetmaker (Bill), the painters, and Casey the tile guy. But, the cabinetmaker worked seven days a week and some very long hours in those days, too.

Let’s start with the tile. Casey worked on tiling the shower on Monday and Tuesday, March 10 and 11. He returned on Wednesday, the 12th, to grout both bathroom floors and the shower. Bill said he showed up again one day last week to do some caulking. As far as we know, tiling is done!

Shower tiling started

Shower tiling started

Tiling toward the bench

Tiling toward the bench

Casey at work

Casey at work

Decorative diamond shaped tile installed along with one of the corner shelves

Decorative diamond-shaped tile installed along with one of the corner shelves

Back part of the shower next to where the handheld shower will be installed

Back part of the shower next to where the handheld shower will be installed

Second day, Casey finished the floor of the shower

Second day, Casey finished the floor of the shower

And, the bench

And, the bench

And, all the tile above the decorative tile band

And, all the tile above the decorative tile band

Master bath floor grouted

Master bath floor grouted

Shower grouted

Shower grouted

Hall bath floor grouted

Hall bath floor grouted

I’m really happy with the job Casey did. He is a tile professional. However, I have to admit, I’m a little bummed out how dark this tile ended up being. It really makes the shower look so dark and I really wanted the decorative tile band to stand out more than it does.

If I can give any advice, don’t totally go by the photos you take from your phone or camera OR by photos on the web. Case in point. Look at the web snapshot of the Marazzi Vesale Rust tiles and the photo I took – both Rust – the color I chose. It looks a lot lighter than how it really looks.

Rust Tile

Web snapshot of Marazzi Vesale Rust Tile

Photo I took of the Rust color stone

Photo I took of the Rust color stone

I would suggest bringing the sample to your home and place it in the places where it is going. Honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t do that with the tile. I had samples of everything else. confused

Don’t get me wrong – I still like the tile and it will go really well with the rest of the choices in the room. It will help when we have lights installed in the room to brighten it up.

Moving on to the painter(s) and cabinetmaker. Shayna worked every weekday the week of March 10. She is a very hard worker and very good at what she does.

Shayna the painter

Shayna the painter

Shayna ended up getting all the trim stained and poly sprayed and then she started working on staining the cabinets. Bill had finished building the island cabinets over the weekend, so he had Shayna start on those first. This was Monday, March 10.

Three drawer cabinet in the island before stain

Three drawer cabinet in the island before stain

Three drawer island cabinet with stain

Three drawer island cabinet with stain

Sink base island cabinet before stain

Sink base island cabinet before stain

Sink base island cabinet stained

Sink base island cabinet stained

One of the side island bookcases stained

One of the side island bookcases stained

Bill couldn’t get cabinets put together fast enough to keep up with Shayna. I offered to help Bill and he usually always says no. You’ll see why. This time he said I could help him sand doors. I said okay. Bill got out all the maple doors he made for the laundry cabinets. He told me to use the hand sander and sand the curved sides. Really? I asked him how I’d do that. He showed me. I tried it. I freaked out! Yes, I did. I told him I was afraid I would sand too much off and ruin the doors. He said then I should hand-sand the inside part. So, I did that for a bit. Then, he gave me the cabinet doors that he had previously stained the corners with the stain we thought we were going to use. All that stain needed to be sanded off.

Cabinet doors with stain

Cabinet doors with stain

Inside of doors with stain

Inside of doors with stain

Honestly, I have no idea how Bill does it! My hands were killing me sanding those doors. I bet I worked a total of 45 minutes! My hands were a mess for over a week. They were cramping during the night and I lived on Tylenol. I’m a whimp! And, that is the reason Bill always says no when I ask if I can help.

Bill and I weren’t sure what we were going to do with this cabinet for the laundry room. It couldn’t be re-stained. This was the first cabinet Bill built for the new house.

Laundry room cabinet with face-frame stained and finished (doors closed)

Laundry room cabinet with face-frame stained and finished (doors closed)

Laundry cabinet with doors opened.

Laundry cabinet with doors opened.

When he started building the cabinets in 2012, he thought he’d make one from start to finish (including staining and finishing) and then move on to the next cabinet. However, he found that it would be easier to make all doors at the same time, all drawers at the same time, all face-frames at the same time since his equipment would be set up for each procedure. It would be too much trouble changing out for each procedure for each cabinet. So, this cabinet had a stain and finish on it and it would be different from what we were going to use for the other cabinets in the same room. Bill said if he had time after all the other cabinets were made and assembled, he would think about remaking the face-frame and sides for this cabinet OR we would just use it in the garage. More on this cabinet later. This was the only cabinet we had the movers move as is.

Back to the laundry cabinet doors . . . So, we took the stack of doors over to Shayna so she could start staining them with the same custom mix stain we were using on the trim and kitchen cabinets. It was time for lunch and Bill said he would be coming up to the house. But, then he didn’t. About 1/2 hour later my phone rang and all Bill said was, “I need you come down here. We have a problem with the maple laundry cabinets.” Oh no!

It wasn’t good. Shayna started staining the maple doors and dark marks started showing up on several of the doors. By the time she got to the fourth or fifth door the stain was blotching.

Blotching stained door

Blotchy stained door

She stopped and went and got Bill from the pole barn to show him. That’s when he called me. Previously, Bill had tested the stain on two large pieces of maple wood he was using. One piece he had applied a stain controller before applying the stain. The other one did not have the stain controller. I chose to go without the stain controller. Live and learn. However, I’m not sure I would have liked the color of the stain even with the controller. It was lighter than without the controller underneath. So, I asked if we could do anything else about staining at this point and Bill said no – not without stripping the stain and re-sanding. And, to be honest with you, Bill was done with it all. I then asked if we could paint the cabinets. The answer from both Bill and Shayna was Yes! So without blinking an eye, I said, “Let’s just paint them.”

Good News: Bill said, “Well, now we can use that stained cabinet again in the laundry room since it can be painted!”

Bad News: I had to make a decision on what color to paint the cabinets, research paint brands, and decide whether I wanted a glaze technique or not.

While Bill continued to glue and clamp cabinets, Shayna stained, sanded, and sprayed poly. She lost one day’s work when the poly bubbled on everything she sprayed and she had to sand it off and re-apply it the next day. Bill thought there was too much moisture in the house from the tile grout since it was the same day as Casey grouted everything. The next day the poly worked fine.

Trim sprayed

Trim sprayed

Cabinet doors stained

Mahogany cabinet doors stained

Mahogany drawer fronts stained

Mahogany drawer fronts stained

More mahogany drawer fronts and cabinet doors which will have glass in them

More mahogany drawer fronts and cabinet doors which will have glass in them

One of my dish drawer cabinets before stain

One of the dish drawer cabinets before stain

Dish drawer cabinet stained

Dish drawer cabinet stained

Blind corner cabinet before stain

Blind corner cabinet before stain

Blind corner cabinet stained (the stained part is the only part that will show)

Blind corner cabinet stained (the stained part is the only part that will show)

Have I shared how we are using this cabinet? We purchased a Rev-A-Shelf Blind Cabinet organizer that will go inside. Here is how it works.

Blind Corner Rev-A-Shelf Organizer

Blind Corner Rev-A-Shelf Organizer

Nifty, huh? Neither Bill or I are big fans of Lazy Susan corner shelves. And, since we had no way around not having a corner cabinet, this is what we decided on. This was not a fun cabinet for Bill to figure out how to make. And, when we flipped the house before we started building, this was one of the cabinets that had to be remade. And, that upper corner cabinet had to be remade . . . well, that cabinet has been a pain from beginning to end. We recently made adjustments to door arrangement, too. I don’t have a picture of it yet as it has not been assembled. Poor Bill was doomed from the beginning with these cabinets. But, oh, how beautiful they are turning out! I am so proud of Bill! I am so lucky to have such a creative handy engineer husband!

And, just for something different to do, Shayna started to do some cut-ins with the family room paint.

Family room paint

Family room paint color – Dry Sage

Bill worked over the weekend (March 15-16) on assembling the large microwave/oven cabinet and the refrigerator cabinet because Mark and Shayna were planning on spraying poly on Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18. Shayna stained the two large cabinets first thing in the morning. Then Mark and Shayna started spraying poly on the interior doors. Tuesday they sprayed the large cabinets, cabinet doors, and some other cabinet pieces. Shayna was going to brush on the poly on the face frames of the other cabinets.

Line-up of interior doors in the garage

Line-up of interior doors in the garage

More doors lined up in the family room

More doors lined up in the family room

Refrigerator cabinet

Refrigerator cabinet

Microwave/wall oven cabinet

Microwave/wall oven cabinet

Lots of cabinet doors and cabinet trim sprayed

Lots of cabinet doors and cabinet trim sprayed

They went through lots of polyuerathane

They went through lots of polyurethane

It’s a long process for stained wood. For the interior doors and cabinet doors and trim, they could only spray one side at a time. Then, it had to dry for a day. The next day, they would sand it and spray again. The next day, they sprayed the other side. That’s where we are at. They still need to sand and spray again. We were hoping they would be done with that on Friday, the 21st, but it was a beautiful spring day with a high of 70 degrees. Neither of the painters showed up. Go figure! 🙂 I could hardly blame them.

I did help Bill again last weekend when he assigned me the job of puzzle piece organizer. We had stacks and stacks of cabinet parts. We thought we had marked all the pieces before we moved last summer. Guess not all of them. I was able to find the sides for all the upper kitchen cabinets and stacked them separately. That took a couple of hours. Again, it made me appreciate even more how much Bill had done in the last two years. There were so many parts to every cabinet, I was shocked!

As of today, he is down to two more cabinets to assemble! The last two are the upper corner cabinet and the huge pantry cabinet. He has Zach, a college student, coming tomorrow to help him with the pantry cabinet. The man has been a beast putting these cabinets together.

Bill assembling cabinets

Bill assembling cabinets step 1

Assembly step 3 or 4 or 5

Assembly step 3 or 4 or 5

Clamping up the cabinet

Clamping up the cabinet

My KitchenAid mixer lift cabinet (on the right) and small cabinet for cutting boards (on the left)

My KitchenAid mixer lift cabinet (on the right) and small cabinet for cutting boards (on the left)

Stack of cabinets assembled. I think there are 12 just in this area.

Stack of cabinets assembled. I think there are 12 just in this area.

Here are the parts for the huge pantry cabinet. Bill and Zack are going to assemble in the laundry room so they won’t have to move it in and out of rooms. Mark said they could paint it in there.

Pantry cabinet parts (not all of them)

Pantry cabinet parts (not all of them)

Pantry cabinet face-frame

Pantry cabinet face-frame

Although Bill is seeing the end of the cabinet-making tunnel, unfortunately, he still has a lot more to do. He has to lightly sand all the cabinet drawers. Believe me, I asked for lots and lots of drawers.

Drawers lined up

Drawers lined up

More drawers

More drawers

And more!

And more!

Yep, three more!

Yep, three more!

As far as the laundry/pantry cabinet color – I did finally make a decision. Since the darkness of the bathroom tile bothered me, I decided to go light and without a glaze! I always wanted the laundry/pantry room to be filled with light and cheerful looking. I decided to go one shade lighter than the wall color (which was natural elements) – Benjamin Moore’s snow on the mountain. Mark and Shayna assure me the cabinets will be beautifully painted.

Paint strip

Paint strip

I played around way too much on the computer before making the decision on what color for the cabinets. This is what I do. I have to visualize how it looks before making a decision. That’s me!

Playing with color for the laundry/pantry cabinets

Playing with color for the laundry/pantry cabinets

I hope that is the last of color choices I have to make for anything major in the house. Here’s a mood board of the house interior colors.

Interior house colors

Interior house colors

I’ll end today’s post with a new addition to our house. Our temporary cheap mailbox Bill installed last summer as soon as we moved down here had a hard winter. Every time it snow, it ended up like this.

Broken mailbox

Broken mailbox

On one of the warmer days when the ground had thawed out, Bill installed our new mailbox. The grandkids called it the fancy schmancy mailbox. This was all Bill – he picked it out and built the post (of course!). It’s big. It’s heavy-duty. I love it!

Fancy Schmancy Mailbox

Fancy Schmancy Mailbox

Slow Progress is Better Than No Progress!

Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time. ~Voltaire

The other day someone posted on a home-building forum the graphic below about the emotional roller-coaster of building a home. Click on the link to see the graphic.

The-Homeowners-Emotional-Roller-Coaster

Bill and I think our spike is still on the lower end with the painter since it seems to be taking a long time. But heck, in the last two weeks we did see some progress on the house.

The most dependable subcontractor has been the . . . cabinetmaker! Our cell voice service has been sporadic in the area, so Bill and I text most of the time.

IMG_3894
So, no subs showed up on Monday, February 24, except the cabinet-maker. 😦
Then, on Tuesday, February 25, we had a houseful of subs! The stone guys came and made our columns look better. Remember how I wanted the future columns to look?
Changing the columns

Changing the columns

Well, they did it!

Stone guys making the columns look better

Stone guys making the columns look better

Close-up of the new and improved columns

Close-up of the new and improved columns

As a reminder, that white trim part of the column is eventually going to be painted bronze.

The same day they delivered the ceramic tile for the bathrooms.

Marazzie ceramic tile for bathroom floors and master bath shower

Marazzi ceramic tile for bathroom floors and master bath shower

And a crew came to start working on the laundry room flooring. They had to install a sub-floor for the luxury vinyl tiles being installed in that room.

Sub-floor for the laundry room with samples of tile placement

Sub-floor for the laundry room with samples of tile placement

The painter and helper showed up on Tuesday, too. The painter said they probably would not be able to start spraying the poly that day since the guys doing the sub-floor were kind of in their way going back and forth between the laundry room and the garage. Sorry. 😳 So, the painters worked on staining other things – like windows and screens. Yes, believe it or not, we purchased the screens with the wood frames. We knew those were going to a pain to stain. But, unfortunately, Marvin Integrity doesn’t have a bronze frame and the other colors available clashed. So, I went with the wood ones. They came out nice!

Stained screens

Stained screens

Turns out that the painters did not come back the rest of that week. I guess they wanted the tile guys to get done so they could start spraying the finish. I don’t blame them.

However, before the painters took off for the rest of the week, Bill talked with Mark about staining and spraying poly on our cabinets! I guess Bill was satisfied with the job they had done with all the trim and doors. Mark gave Bill a price. Bill came up to the house after that and asked what I thought. Without batting an eyelid, I told him to have Mark do it! Then Bill said, “Okay, I’ll have him do it!” But, then he added, “There goes the saw I wanted to buy.” 😦 Bill’s big saw has been going out and he’s been holding his breath that it wouldn’t stop working before he got done with the cabinets. I looked at his sad eyes and said, “You can still buy the saw, for goodness sake!”

Knowing what Bill has had to go through these last two years making the cabinets and the stress to get them done in the conditions he’s working, in addition to working with all the subs and doing all the PITA jobs . . . Bill might have been better off stress-wise if we had just ordered the cabinets. Oh, don’t get me wrong . . . I LOVE the cabinets and they are as custom as could be. And, they are exactly what I wanted. And, I know they are going to be beautiful once they are done! They will be branded with Bill’s new stamp he just bought.

Bill's new branding stamp.

Bill’s new branding stamp.

If Bill were going to stain and spray poly on the cabinets he had planned to do it before the cabinets were assembled. However, the painter wants the cabinets assembled before he does them. So, Bill has been faithfully working every day making last-minute parts and sanding sanding sanding.

Top upper wall cabinets

Top upper wall cabinets

Cabinet doors and frames

Cabinet doors and frames

Sanding away

Sanding away

So while the painters took a break, the flooring guys worked their magic. The guys laying the laundry tile ran out of tile and they had to order another box. We are still waiting for them to finish up. They dropped off the DuraCeramic Dimensions tile this week and said they would be back to install it later.

Luxury vinyl tile

Luxury vinyl tile

Laundry room floor

Laundry room floor

Then another two guys came and started prepping to install the ceramic tile on the bathroom floors.

Underlayment in master bathroom

Underlayment in master bathroom

First tile piece in the hall bathroom

First tile piece in the hall bathroom

By Wednesday, Feb. 26, they had finished tiling both bathroom floors.

Hall bathroom floor

Hall bathroom floor

Master bathroom floor

Master bathroom floor

Matching up the tile floor with vanity sample, granite and the wall color.

Matching up the tile floor with vanity sample, granite and the wall color of the master bathroom.

Casey, the main tile guy, talked to us about how we wanted the shower and shower bench tiled and where we wanted the ceramic shower corner shelves placed and how many. Casey drew on the sheet rock. Not sure if you can see or not where we decided to put the decorative accent tiles along the wall. And where we wanted the shelves.

Shower wall

Shower wall

Diamond shaped decorative accent tile

Diamond shaped decorative accent tile

Here’s a sample of what the corner shelves will look like:

Corner shower shelves

Corner shower shelves

The drawing on the bench is not what we finally decided on . . . I guess I better make sure Casey remembers that before he starts tiling. 😯

Drawings on the shower bench

Drawings on the shower bench

Bill suggested putting the decorative diamond-shaped accent tiles in-between two rows of tile on the front of the shower bench. Casey said he could do that if they had enough accent tile left over.

Casey said he would be back Thursday night or Friday to grout the bathroom floors. Well, that didn’t happen! I guess there was a problem with I had not picked out a grout color yet. Oops! When Brian called from the flooring store, I told him to pick out a grout color that would match the tile. My only “want” was for it to be a darker color. I’ve had light-colored grout before and found it was hard to keep clean.

Sunday, March 2, brought yet another winter storm. This one involved freezing rain, ice, and snow. 😡 We didn’t get as much as they predicted but it was enough to cause traveling problems. Monday, March 3, school was cancelled for the 8th day this school year and Jill worked from home. Jim made it into work. And, Bill, the cabinetmaker, was the only contractor who showed up at the work site that day.

Here’s another text story. We kid about our mailbox. It’s temporary. But, it’s been down a lot this winter.

The saga of the cheap mailbox

The saga of the cheap mailbox

You would have thought duct tape would have kept it up, but Tuesday, March 4, it was down again. We kept wondering who was hitting it. As Bill was waiting to pull out of our driveway, the plow truck went by. The force of the snow hitting the mailbox, brought it down once again! Bill is sick of fixing this one. He’s waiting until the ground is softer so he can put up a permanent one.

Shayna, one of the painters, worked Tuesday through Friday this past week. She sprayed poly on all the stained pieces except the doors. Here is the huge spraying booth. It worked out well and contained the polyurethane within the booth area.

spraying booth

spraying booth

Shayna sanded everything and then started spraying a second coat on the trim pieces until she ran out of poly on Friday.

Trim pieces drying after poly spray

Trim pieces drying after poly spray

Stacks of trim pieces

Stacks of trim pieces drying in the garage, too

Wednesday, March 5, they delivered our hardwood floors. We asked that they be delivered as soon as they arrived as we wanted the floor to acclimate in the house before being installed. The flooring is engineered hickory lightly-handscraped 6″ width planks.

Stacks of hardwood flooring in front bedroom

Stacks of hardwood flooring in front bedroom

More stacks in the master bedroom

More stacks in the master bedroom

We went with the natural color hickory because everything else was dark. Plus, I had read where you should try and match the color of your hardwood floors with the color of the dirt around your house. 🙂 So, if you track in dirt from outside, it won’t show up at much as with darker floors. I’m such a matchy-matchy person, so it was out of my comfort zone to go with a light floor and dark trim. But, after looking on houzz.com I found I liked the look and so did Bill.

This was my inspiration photo from houzz.

Here is what our floors will look like next to our baseboards.

Hardwood floors next to floor boards

Hardwood floors next to baseboards

Friday, March 7, Casey the tile guy and his helper came back to start on the shower. They drilled the hole for the shower drain and installed the waterproof underlayment.

Looking into the shower after the waterproof underlayment was installed

Looking into the shower after the waterproof underlayment was installed

Maybe Bill talked with the Casey about me and colors because Casey said he needed me to pick out the grout color. 🙄 I even told Casey he could pick out a matching color that wasn’t light. He said he would leave me samples on the floor and would pull out the one he thought would match the best – but I still had to make the final decision. I decided to use Casey’s favorite as the grout color. Casey said they would be back on Monday to start tiling the shower. He said that will take a couple of days.

grout samples with Casey's favorite pulled out

grout samples with Casey’s favorite pulled out

Even though the progress seems slow, I guess we are making progress. I’m really looking forward to getting all the trim and doors finished. I’m looking forward to seeing the kitchen and laundry cabinets assembled. The painters will start staining the cabinets after they are done with all the trim and doors. They also have to paint the family room. Next on the list will be installing the hardwood floors. And then we can bring in the trim carpenter to start installing trim and cabinets. Time will tell whether we will be using the original trim carpenter we picked. He’s under a time crunch with the upcoming Parade of Homes.

I hope we have seen the last of the yucky winter weather. Time to March on!

Color My House Inside and Out!

Where is it written that houses must be beige? Any dun colored house would look better if painted pineapple, cream, ochre, or even a smart sage. ~Frances Mayes

When I last posted we were cleaning up that drywall dust in the house and the siding guys had just finished installing the siding. Let me continue how our month has gone since then.

Monday, February 3, the stone guys returned and finished up the exterior including the columns.

Finishing up the stone on the exterior by the garage

Finishing up the stone on the exterior by the garage

Columns with stone

Columns with stone

Unfortunately, Bill and I did not like how our stone columns turned out. We messed up on the design. We take the blame on this one. Originally we had bought very large capstones and returned them for the 18″x20″ size. I had chosen the size of the frame. But, the frame Bill built and I approved turned out to be too small for those new capstones after the stone was applied. We ended up not having any capstone overhang. And, it just looked strange close up.

Goofed up column shape

Goofed up column shape

Bill really didn’t like how the column looked. And, the more he didn’t like it, the more I disliked it. So, Bill put his thinking cap on and he came up with some ideas. Bill called Rick the stone guy and asked about ordering larger capstones. We thought about putting a larger capstone over the smaller one. I really didn’t like the look of that and Rick said something about he didn’t like installing a second one on top of the other one. Plus, Jim thought that if we just increased the height one stone level, it might look like we messed up where the height was supposed to go. Originally, the capstone was at the same height as the ledgestone on the house.

So, Bill thought maybe he could build another section above the capstone; have Rick cut slits through the capstone to make it look like it was several stone pieces and put mortar in those slits; and then use a larger capstone on the upper section which actually extended over the stone section. So, I played around on my computer to see if I could create a present and future picture of what we wanted. I came up with the picture below. What do you think? It can’t look worse than it is now, right? I hope not. Anyway, we sent the picture below to Rick and he said he could make it happen.

Changing the columns

Changing the columns

The stone guys also put mud on the fireplace on Monday so they could start stoning it the next day. I couldn’t wait to see if they were going to be able to re-create the fireplace I had designed on the computer. In the pic below, there is a piece of paper on the hearth stones. Guess what it was? It was the photo I had sent to Rick after I had created the design of the fireplace!

Mudding the fireplace

Mudding the fireplace

Fireplace all ready for the stone

Fireplace all ready for the stone

Tuesday, February 4, the drywallers came back to install their second coat of mud on the garage walls. They came back another day that week and completed the final sanding. Bye bye drywallers. Glad you are out of here! Poor Bill ended up cleaning up the garage of all that drywall dust that coated everything.

Tuesday morning the stone guys also came back and started putting the stone on the fireplace.

Boxes of stone

Boxes of stone

Starting to really look like what I wanted!

Starting to really look like what I wanted!

Fireplace almost stoned

Fireplace almost stoned

And, here it is when they finished it.

Our stone fireplace (minus the mantle)

Our stone fireplace (minus the mantle)

They did a terrific job re-creating my design. Yahoo!

Digitally designed fireplace

Digitally designed fireplace

Earlier in the week Bill talked with Mark Brand, our painter, to see when he could start. We scheduled to meet with him on Thursday, February 6. I had picked out colors I wanted to paint on some sample drywall. They were all from these two Benjamin Moore sample color strips. The interior designer at the furniture store had suggested “dry sage” for the family room. I wanted to use “icicle” for the ceilings; “gray mirage” for the entry, main hallway, kitchen and dining; “natural elements” for the two front bedrooms, hall bath, and laundry room; and “moon shadow” for the master bedroom; master bath and hallway leading into master bedroom. As you can see . . . I like green! 😀

Color strip for bedrooms and baths and laundryColor strip for family room kitchen dining and hallOur painter said he liked using Behr paint. We checked out Consumer Reports and other online reviews and the Behr Premium Plus interior paint was one of the top rated paints. A couple of days before we met with Mark, Bill took all the numbers of the Benjamin Moore paints and had Home Depot matched the colors with the Behr paint.  Bill also stopped by Kight lumber and picked up a sample of our Marvin Integrity window exterior bronze color to see if they could color match it along with the sample he brought of the Norwegian Wood color of the soffits.  We might as well get the exterior paint colors settled, too.

We had an ice/snow storm the afternoon of February 4 and the grandkids had a snow-day the following day. This winter was being relentless. Bill cut up a piece of drywall into sections and set up a painting station so I could paint all the house colors on large pieces of drywall and take them into each room where I wanted that color and make decisions before we met with the painter the next day.

"icicle" for ceilings

“icicle” for ceilings

"dry sage" for Family Room along with cabinet sample (on bottom) and trim stain color (on right)

“dry sage” for Family Room along with cabinet sample (on bottom) and trim stain color (on right)

"natural elements" for spare bedrooms, hall bath, and laundry. In addition to cabinet sample and trim, I added granite for hall bath.

“natural elements” for spare bedrooms, hall bath, and laundry. In addition to cabinet sample and trim, I added granite for hall bath.

"moon shadow" for master bedroom and bath. In addition to cabinet sample and trim, I added granite for bath.

“moon shadow” for master bedroom and bath. In addition to cabinet sample and trim, I added granite for bath.

"grey mirage" for entryway, hall, dining and kitchen

“grey mirage” for entryway, hall, dining and kitchen

Three of the colors side by side to see if I really needed all of them.

Three of the colors side by side to see if I really needed all of them.

I guess I didn’t take any pictures of the exterior paint samples. However, Home Depot did a good job of matching the bronze but the clay color was a little off.

Anyways, Mark showed up at the house on Thursday, February 6. We did a walk-through. I handed him my list of colors (and Benjamin Moore color #s) and where I wanted each color. He suggested that he use the color “icicle” as the base coat on everything first. He also said he likes to use the ceiling paint color in all the closets, too. Okay, that was fine with us. And, he asked if it would be okay to paint the garage in the ceiling paint. Worked for us! He then said he would pick up some 5-gallons of the “icicle” colored ceiling paint and start painting the next morning. And, so he did.

Mark rolling on the paint.

Mark rolling on the paint.

Hall ceiling painted

Hall ceiling painted

Family Room ceiling painted

Family Room painted with base coat

I had emailed Mark Goad at Fehrenbacher to let him know we could accept delivery of our trim package when they could deliver it. Our painter said to have them stack the trim package on the family room floor. I don’t think he knew how much there would be when he said that!

On Tuesday, February 11, our trim package arrived.

Interior doors coming off the delivery truck

Interior doors coming off the delivery truck

All our trim (baseboards, window and door trim, beams, and interior doors) is in poplar.

All our trim (baseboards, window and door trim, beams, and interior doors) is in poplar.

Bill covered all the trim with plastic because Mark Brand was coming the next day (Wednesday, February 12) to do more painting.

Trim covered in plastic

Trim covered in plastic

Doors covered

Doors covered

Since that ice/snow storm the week before, Bill had set up shop in the laundry room so he could glue up kitchen cabinet doors. It was so cold in the pole barn even when Bill ran his heater. At least the house was staying at 55-60 degrees with the portable furnace.

Bill gluing and clamping up cabinet doors

Bill gluing and clamping up cabinet doors.

Notice how many clamps it takes? I guess Bill is right . . . “You can never have enough clamps!”

One door clamped together

One door clamped together

Impressive, right?

Impressive, right?

One of the smaller upper wall cabinet doors

One of the smaller upper wall cabinet doors

Stacks of cabinet doors all ready to be sanded and stained!

Stacks of cabinet doors all ready to be sanded and stained!

In addition to Bill’s cabinet making, he also decided to build a massive spraying station for the painter and him to use to finish the trim and cabinets. When Mark Brand said he would be spraying the polyurethane finish on the trim in the open area of the family room/kitchen and dining area, Bill said he didn’t want that finish going everywhere. Bill said he had too much experience to know how that spray traveled. We didn’t want that poly on our newly painted walls, windows, and doors. Hence, Bill built this.

The Spraying Station!

The Spraying Station!

Bill has a roll of heavy-duty plastic that he will drape over the structure to contain the spray. The painter was a little hesitant at first but I think Bill and him have worked out the details how they will use it.

Mark and/or his helper Shayna worked Wednesday, February 12, and everyday last week. They were able to get a second coat on all the ceilings and 12 inches above where our trim headband will go in every room. They also got one coat of wall color on every room except the family room. And, they painted the garage and all the closets with the “icicle” color.

One of the front bedrooms in "natural elements" and icicle for above headband and ceiling

One of the front bedrooms in “natural elements” and “icicle” for above headband and ceiling

I love the colors on the walls. They are all greige (grey/beige) colors with green undertones. Depending on the light – they look different. But, you always see the green come through.

Another view of "natural elements" in a bedroom

Another view of “natural elements” in a bedroom

"grey mirage" in the entry way

“grey mirage” in the entry way

Master bedroom in "moon shadow." We are not doing a headband in the master bedroom as it has a vaulted ceiling.

Master bedroom in “moon shadow.” We are not doing a headband in the master bedroom as it has a vaulted ceiling.

Master bath in "moon shadow" and the closet (straight ahead) in "icicle."

Master bath in “moon shadow” and the closet (straight ahead) in “icicle.” The shower is to the right and it will be tiled.

And when they couldn’t paint the family room since all the trim arrived, they started staining.

Beam material stained

Beam material stained

A piece of trim up against the stone of the fireplace. Matches really well.

A piece of trim up against the stone of the fireplace. Matches really well.

Stacks and stacks of stained trim

Stacks and stacks of stained trim

The painters were glad we knew about the same stain used on different kinds of woods and how it could look different. They said some clients get frustrated when it looked different after they picked out the stain color. To show you what I’m talking about, look at the photos below. All of the pieces of wood have the same color stain applied on them. In the first photo the upper pieces are pine tongue and groove that we are using for the front porch ceiling. The second piece is mahogany plywood that Bill is using for parts of the kitchen cabinets and island. The third piece is poplar trim. The fourth piece of wood is mahogany wood that Bill is using for kitchen cabinet/island frame fronts and drawers. And, since this stain works so well and better than any Bill had previously worked with, he is going to use it for all the cabinets he made. I haven’t seen what it looks like on the maple for the laundry room, but I’m sure it will be beautiful.

Trim and kitchen cabinet samples

Trim and kitchen cabinet samples

Window interior (pine) stained

Window interior (pine) stained

To our surprise, the painter came today and worked. He unstacked all the stained wood that had dried. And, he started staining the doors. I took the picture below right when it was getting dark out this evening and we turned on a work light.

Stack of 5 stained doors. The front one is one of a set of double closet doors. It will have dummy handles screwed on. Hence no door knob hole.

Stack of 5 stained doors. The front one is one of a set of double closet doors. It will have dummy handles screwed on. Hence no door knob hole.

Bill has called our floor and tile sales rep to tell him that they can start tiling the two bathrooms and could lay the laundry room floor. We are still waiting on when that will get scheduled.

And, Bill built the upper part for the columns part 2 install. Thought I had a picture, but I don’t. Bill did call Rick last week and he said the guys would be out when they could get here.

Bill is getting very close to being done building cabinets! He started on the island last weekend and finished all the frames for it last night. He set up the island in the garage. He had to un-box the trash compactor and dishwasher and place them in the island to make sure everything fit and our measurements for the plumbing we had done were correct. Thank goodness they were!

So in the front view pic of the island below from left to right – trash compactor, sink base cabinet, dishwasher, three drawer cabinet.

Front frame of the island

Front frame of the island

Each side of the island will have a bookcase – one shelf in the middle. And the back of the island will be framed out with mahogany plywood. We will have an area for two stools in-between the bookcases.

Left side of island on the back side

Left side of island on the back side

Right side of island on the back side

Right side of island on the back side

We will have granite over the whole thing. It will look something like these inspiration photos except we won’t have a curved section above the bookcase part. Bill will trim out the bottom with molding.

And, we decided we would go with Sherwin Williams Duration exterior paint for the siding and trim. Which meant we had to get Sherwin Williams to color match what we wanted. Since we said we would buy the polyurethane for the painter and he used the poly from SW, he placed his order and we picked it up on Friday, February 21. We had them do our color matching for the exterior at the same time. They did a good job on the bronze. At first we didn’t like the clay color. But after Bill painted two coats on the primed siding sample and we put it in the sunlight, I guess it will work. It sure beats the greenish “baby poop” primed siding. Although some would say it looks the same! 😯

Clay and bronze on siding and trim samples

Clay and bronze on siding and trim samples

Bronze trim color next to exterior of bronze window

Bronze trim color next to exterior of bronze window

The crazy part of this color matching is that the sample quarts are flat paint – not the Duration paint. Sherwin Williams says the $6 quart flat paint is what they use for samples. But, then we wouldn’t want to pay $50 for a gallon of sample color Duration paint. So, since we have decided on these colors, we have to bring back in the sample quart formulas and they will match them to the Duration paint. I hope they come out the same! Oh well, it will have to get warmer before the painter will be painting the exterior. I think we have a little time.

We are getting closer to getting this house done. Jim sat down with us earlier this evening and we went through what was left and worked on our timeline. It’s looking like the end of April/beginning of May when we might be moving in!