Sunday, October 30, 2011

Surprise, it's Drywall!

It started out like just another Saturday morning. Kyle and I went to visit our house like we do everyday. As we turned the key to enter the house we saw something amazing...progress! After a long month of slow progress and many set backs we finally had something great happen. A crew of 6 men came to the house and hung almost all the drywall in one day!

The drywallers will continue the drywall all this week and hopefully (fingers double crossed) we will be looking at kitchen cabinets in a little over a week! So the schedule of events is looking something like this...

         Drywall- will take about one week
         Interior Priming- should take one day
         Cabinetry- 1 to 2 days to hang all the kitchen cabinets
         Flooring- will take a week for the whole house

So even though our house is extremely energy efficient and is heavily insulated, we still have gaps and cold spots. So before the drywall could go up, we needed spray foam. Lots and lots of spray foam! Between all the floor levels their are spaces for the floor joists. All those cavities needed to be filled with an expanding foam. It took a crew of 2, one full day to seal up any gaps that could create cold areas in the house.

Check out all the progress in the last 3 days! Finally moving forward with the interior of the house.

3" of spray foam along the rimboard between the floor joists

This is the area walking down to the basement from the main floor.

An up close look of the "closed cell" spray foam. It is hard to the touch and looks like marsh mellows

The back wall in the basement is framed with timber and is not concrete like the rest of the basement. This area would be cold and drafty without a heavy coating of spray foam. This portion was the only use of "open cell" spray foam in the house. It is softer than the closed cell

Here is a view of the closed cell up above and the open cell foam on the lower part of the wall

While we were checking out the drywall, we saw a few spots the were missed during the insulation process. We had a can of spray foam already at the house that we used to seal up the gaps

Drywall! This is the view from the living room looking into the stairs and foyer

To the right of the stairs, is the coat closet and the main entry door

Such a pretty view... Here is the living room showcasing the fireplace all framed in with drywall

The fireplace still has a ways to go. It needs a mantle, tile, trim and then the built in shelves on either side

Here is the view from the living room looking into the dining room and the office doorway is beyond the dining room

The bathroom on the first floor. The toilet will be under the window and the sink will be to the left

We are looking into the doorway of the laundry room. This room is off the back of the house near the bathroom and mudroom

This is a view as you are walking into the office on the first floor just off the dining room. It has a nice big closet and a nook next to the closet that we plan on having a built in desk on day

These are the tall ceilings of our master bedroom! There were some tricky angles for the drywall crew to work around in the upstairs.

All in all, October was a frustrating month for us. We had a few rain delay days as well as having the electrical take 3 times as long to complete which has really put us behind schedule (and cost more). The drywall being started was a great way to end the month and we are really looking forward to some good news in November with the house.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kitchen Finishes

So Kyle and I had a fun-filled field trip to the exciting city of Flint, MI. Well, maybe we woundn't call Flint exciting but we did find our granite slab for the kitchen which was great. The company we worked with is located in Mt. Morris near Flint so it took us about an hour and a half to get there on Friday morning.

We toured through the yard where all the granite slabs sit and wait patiently to be adopted by a loving family. Our granite was sitting out in the cold rain, shivering... well I was shivering but loving every minute of it. Our Granite is called "Steel Grey" and it is from something called Group A granite. Group A granite is affordable because it's not super exotic in its coloring but still undoubtably beautiful. Another Group A granite would be, the very popular Uba Tuba (which is really fun to say out loud).

Here is our granite paired with our back splash tile. The tile has a lot of greys, whites and even some green hues that I think look nice with this granite. The granite was pretty wet outside that day which makes it slightly darker than it would be inside.

Here is the close up of the Steel Grey. It has some bigger pieces but mostly smaller grey flecks. I really like the colors in this slab. Even though it is grey, it doesn't feel cold and gloomy to me.

We also took a trip to Canton, MI to visit one of our favorite stores, IKEA! I would love to be locked over night in that store. There is so much to see, it's hard to tour the whole store in one day, no joke. We have spent entire afternoons wandering through their show rooms and marketplace.

For this trip we only had 45 minutes till they closed so it was get in and grab what we needed, and what we needed were kitchen handles. We decided to keep the look modern and sleek and go with stainless steel pulls for all the drawers and doors.

Here are the smaller handles that will be used on the majority of the cabinets. These are 9 5/16" long and are called "Lansa". At first Kyle was scepticle about the size but in the end these sleek handles won us over. Once we saw them in a real kitchen we loved them.

Here is the longer version which is 13 7/8" long. We decided these larger handles would look better on the longer drawers by the cook top. All in total we have 56 handles in the kitchen. We bought 8 of the long handles and 48 of the smaller ones.

This is an IKEA show room kitchen with both the 6" and 13" Lansa handles. It sounded odd at first to go with 2 different sizes but we really like it. Thank you IKEA!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Craftsman Education

I am very excited to give you a tour of some of my favorite inspiration photos of Craftsman homes. I have been collecting favorites for a few years now, some from Google and some from drives around town. In looking at these homes you can see we took a lot of inspiration from them and translated it into our soon to be home.

Now I am not an expert in Craftsman-ology (yes, you read that correctly). I am just a gal who looks at WAAAAYY too many Craftsman houses online.

This home features a bold red and beautiful stone work across the front of the house. This Craftsman home was a whimsical feel with the fun colors and the nice use of different materials on the exterior of the house.

This home was in a nearby subdivision where almost all the homes have a Craftsman vibe. This one doesn't have the typical low pitched roof of most craftsman's but it does try to echo some of the great Arts & Crafts features like the roof overhangs (I love the overhang over the garage door) and the cedar shakes.

This house may be a slight stretch for a crafstman but it does have tapered front porch columns and nice shake details on the second floor. I don't know if Craftsmans have third floor window dormers, might have to Google that.

This home was in the same neighborhood of homes that our builder built. This Craftsman home has deep over hangs on the roof and beautiful wood gables. It almost has an alpine-swiss feel with the roof line on the garage

This one has been one of my favorites for a long time. This home is like the love child of a Colonial house and a Craftsman and I love it. The blue-grey siding was our original choice and I love the white trim and stacked stone columns.

This house is only a 10 minute drive from our house and we fell in love with the red! We had been wanting tan shakes for our second story as well so it was nice to see this colors together on a real live home. This home also has prarie style windows throughout.

I have no clue where this home is located at but I could see it fitting in nicely with all the cute bungalows in Seattle, Washington. That punch of red against the grey siding is so fun! I have always had dreams of a red front door

This has a Craftsman look but feels a little more commericalized. It is no doubt beautiful but its not my favorite. Perhaps if the columns were tapered I would drool over it a bit more.

This home has gorgeous wood work on the carriage style garage doors that match the front door and the shutters. I also like the colors on this home, the smoky grey with the warmth of the wood tones.

This cute home is covered in cedar shakes! I love the walk out second floor balcony and solar panel on the roof but I would not want the upkeep of all those shakes.

This house I would call a Prarie style. It features a lower pitched roof but that same attention to details you find in Craftsmans. The front door on this one is amazing! It has tapered trim and a large header piece that frames it out nicely.

This home is also nearby to us in a subdivision. This house seems dabble in the Craftsman awesome-ness but doesn't quite make it. Maybe its the boring color or the squatty columns that turn me off.

The garages need to be represented now too! In a lot of Craftsman home the garage is detached but it still needs to feel like a part of the main house. This style is sometimes called an "Airplane" Craftsman because of the way the dormers come out the sides.

This was one of the first Craftsman house photos I saved to my computer, such memories. I like the front porch and cedar shakes but I have never been a fan of the attached garage on the front, it just takes too much emphasis away the house.

This home is near Midland, MI and it was our deciding factor in having our siding red. We drove by and I swear we both got a little teary-eyed. We just had to pull over a take photos of it. We don't like the stone choice for the front columns (more of a flagstone) but we loved the white trim on the sides and around the windows.

And finally the tour ends with our partially finished Craftsman Cutie. She may not be perfect yet but she is well on her way.

And for those of you that were counting. I said the word "Craftsman" 15 times in one post. Yes, I like me some Craftsman houses, well now that makes it 16 times!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hardwood Choices

We all have heard building a house can be a challenge (understatement of the year!). I knew going into this that there would be tough decisions but I never thought deciding on a color of wood flooring would take this long. In the grand scheme of life this decision is microscopic, but somehow it matters.

We have gotten fed up with making decisions at a few points during the home building process. We have to remind ourselves constantly that the more time and thought we put into our choices, the better and more worth-while it will be down the road. So I'm thinking if we live in this house till we die, that's maybe 60 years, then I want to still love our hardwood floors. This is probably not a very practical line of thinking but stay with me here. The wood flooring for most of the main floor of the house is going to run around $7 grand installed so I don't want to ever replace it. Ever.

So let me know what you think. All three are the same wood (maple) and the same line from Mohawk, called Santa Barbara. It is an engineered hardwood and has details called "hand scraped" where some spots are kind of textured and roughed up a little.

We like all three stain choices for different reasons but none of them stick out as the clear winner.

This is a close up of the "Chocolate" stain. First of all we love the name and the dark rich color. I have been warned that the darker the floor the easier you can see dust and scratches stand out. My concern is that all the trim in the whole house is white and I don't want the house to feel so stark with black and white throughout.

Here is a closer look at "Light Amber", so now we are moving in to beer inspired colors. This one is very warm with all its red/orange tones.

Finally we come to our coffee named flooring called "Mocha". This one seems like the safe, comfortable choice with its not too dark and not too light vibe. Our concern is that it might be to neutral and forgettable.

Here is a cross-section of an engineered hardwood floor. It is real hardwood but instead of being one solid slab, it is actually several layers in different directions which helps make the floor more stable over time.

So whats the verdict?
***Update: We went with Mocha in the end and we are very happy with it. It is warm yet neutral with the bolder paint colors in the house. ************

Friday, October 7, 2011

Red Siding, Yes Please!

The siding on the house is well under way and we are thrilled with the color. We had originally wanted to have a grayish-blue siding with white trim but after seeing the blue siding in the sun light we hated it! It was looking more like a powder blue tuxedo straight out of 1975. We thought about a darker blue shade but those were almost navy. And then there was Fire Brick red. It was love at first sight for us.

A few weeks after we saw the red siding and were set with that color we drove by a house in Midland, MI that was pretty close to our house and it just solidified our choice. We also decided from that house that we liked the look of the corners trimmed in white and white trim around the windows as well. Our house is basically wrapped in a shell of vinyl and we like it that way.


That's our baby! Shes big, red and gorgeous!

The red siding will  be on the lower half of the house and up above on the second floor there will be vinyl cedar shakes. We chose to go with vinyl siding and vinyl shakes for there warranty and almost zero maintenance.

Our living room window right off the front porch. The windows all were trimmed out in white and it really makes them stand out.

This is the side of the house where we have the french doors off the dining room. The french doors will be painted when the rest of the exterior painting happens and they will be white. 

Another view of the side of the house with its new coat of red siding.

We have a vinyl sheet in a bead board look underneath the porch ceilings and the overhangs.

So in love with the red siding and our front door! When the front door gets stained it will fit in just a little better. The door has a wood grain and can be any color we want. We are thinking about a cherry stain. Something with some red tones in it.

Paparazzi view of the house from the road to our East. I wanted to include this in the post because its a view rarely seen of the house.

This is the same side of the house as the photo above but today the siding on that side was started.

Ahhhh, so beautiful. We could not be happier about the choice to go with red siding.

There is so much happening at the house these days. Siding, electrical, HVAC, septic, plumbing, and we have to finalize everything! When I say everything, I mean all the little details.

We need to settle on a wood floor color. We have picked out the flooring but just can't decide on the right shade. Then we need to have all lights picked out and ordered this weekend (that's 41 lights all together in the house, ekkk!) We also need to start thinking about paint colors more seriously, and that will take some time. Lots more that needs to get done but we are happy with how things have been moving along with the progress.

I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging about the house. It means so much to hear all the positive comments. We are feeling the love! Thank you!