Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lights and Toilets and Stairs, Oh My!

That's about all there is left to finish. We need lights to hang over the garage, the toilet still needs to be installed in Walker's bathroom and the stair treads need to be stained. That's a very attainable list. Oh, and we also need to have the mantle installed, seal the granite, put the fixtures on the soaker tub and clean the entire house. Still do-able.
The real struggle is combining that list with 2 working parents, 3 very active (wonderful, beautiful and highly intelligent) children, the holiday season, and college football.
I'm sure you've heard people say, "If your marriage can survive building a house, it can survive anything". I totally get that now. Do NOT misunderstand me here! We have not been fighting and are not in need of immediate marital counseling. However, I completely understand how an endeavor of this magnitude can test a relationship. This house building stuff is serious business. In an odd and highly unexpected turn of events, I have become the calm one in our relationship. Who knew? I'm still clumsy and accident prone, but I am calm.
*Please do not mistake this for complaining. During this season of Thanks, I am constantly reminded of how truly blessed Josh and I are.
Of course I know that the blabbering is a mere means to an end and that the only reason people actually read blogs is to look at the pictures. So hear you go. I'm including a lot of before and afters. Enjoy! Remember, you can click on the pictures to be redirected to our picasa photo album. There are dozens of pics on there that I did not have room for on this post.
Kitchen- Before
From The House

Kitchen- After
From The House

Girls' Glam Closet- Before
From The House

Girls' Glam Closet- after
From The House

The Pantry- Before
From The House

The Pantry- After
From The House

The Girls' Bathroom- Before
From The House

The Girls' Bathroom- After
From The House

Master Bath- Before
From The House

Master Bath- After
From The House

From The House

Purple Powder Room!!!
From The House

Walker's Rec Room- Before
From The House

Walker's Rec Room- After
From The House

From The House

Blurry picture of the house and curvy sidewalk
From The House

Handprints!!! If this is cheesy, then bring on the velveeta!
From The House

From The House

From The House

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Raining, It's Pouring, My Old Man is Snoring

My 3 Crazy Kids on the Front Porch From The House
It's true. It's raining. It's been raining all day. The kind of rain that doesn't seem like it's ever going to stop. The kind of rain that you pray for after weeks of no rain. The kind of rain that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cozy blanket. The kind of rain you loathe when you are building a house. That's what it's been like around here. And my husband is sleeping like a log. So I decided to post a blog update.

The house is going great. So great, in fact that I am waiting for the bottom to fall out. Not literally! I am definitely not waiting for the bottom to fall out of my house. It's just that so far we have not run into any of those legendary snags, roadblocks or moronic sub-contractors that we've heard so much about. We've not had to wait on anyone yet. Now we've been a hold-up for a few people. I'm pretty sure our cabinet guys are ready to deliver our cabinets so they can have their storage space back. Our poor granite guy has called me twice to make sure we still need granite. "Yes, Lalo, we still need granite, just not yet."

From The House

From The House
The exterior painting is about half-way finished. We rented one of those bucket-lift-truck things for the painters. Thank goodness the rain waited until they were finished with that. I'm pretty sure they will have that finished by next week.
Josh and I cleaned up Sheetrock today so that the painters could start on the interior painting tomorrow. Exciting!!! The painting, not cleaning up Sheetrock. Sheetrock dust will invade your personal space like a bad date with halitosis. That stuff was everywhere! I shampooed my hair four times before I felt like it was clean. I won't even mention what my nose feels like right now.
Interior paint colors have been chosen and purchased. Light fixtures should be next on the list, but I'm pretty sure that's going to turn in to one of those last minute things. It will go something like this:

Electrician guy- "You guys need to get your light fixtures picked out."
Us- "Let's go look online and head to Lowe's to look around."
Electrician guy- "there's no rush, just sometime in the morning."
Us- "Where did we see those lights we liked? Lowe's? No, World Market and Lighting Direct. Oh. Well those stores aren't in Cullman, so we'll have to pick out something less perfect and more expensive at Lowe's. crap."

The Kitchen (one of the rooms that will have over-priced, not quite what we wanted light fixtures, unless we get busy ordering some fixtures)

From The House

Seriously. That's what will happen. We should be ordering lights now and it's just not happening. Unless Josh reads the post in the morning and decides that we need to order them tomorrow night. That would be good.

The Master Bath before sheetrock From The House

The Master Bath after sheetrock From The House

Sunday, August 28, 2011

You Say Goodbye, I Say Yellow

That's right folks! The yellow is slowly, but surely being eradicated from the exterior of my house. I must admit, the baby poop yellow was beginning to grow on me. The same way mold grows on a petri dish. I am so glad to see it gone!
Life has been completely insane around these parts for the past 4 weeks. Things with the house have not slowed down and school started back. This means that the kids and I now attend 4 different schools and my classroom has become my 2nd home. Throw in football, tennis, gymnastics and 9 thousand birthday parties and you've got a pretty full schedule. Did I mention Walker also cracked a bone in his hand the Friday before school started? So let's add water-proofing a cast to our list of things-to-do every morning before school.

This is the living room with fireplace flanked by French doors.

But let's get back to the house. The Sheetrock was hung last week and the mudding and sanding will start Monday morning. It's amazing what a difference this makes! We can not say enough good things about our Sheetrock guy. Neal Foust has done an outstanding job. He even had his wife and son at the house cleaning up Saturday morning. I love subs that clean up after themselves.
Our garage doors have also been installed and the room above the garage is now finished enough to be used for storage.

This is the "storage" room above the garage. One day soon it will be my uber-organized Christmas warehouse.

I still have high hopes for being in by Christmas. Maybe, just maybe, we can be in by Thanksgiving.
It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I would actually have to pack and move in a few months. I promise that I had not thought of this before two weeks ago. I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen to all of our stuff. Maybe subconsciously I thought it was just going to magic it's way over to the new house. Regardless, I am now fully aware that I will be packing up all of my earthly possessions and moving them a 1/4 mile down the driveway. I see a HUGE yard sale in my future. Fun times!

Garage Before Sheet rock

This is the garage after sheet rock.

The garage is not the best sample of the work that has been going on, but is the largest example of sheet rock.
*Side note- Josh and I have not had any major knock-down-drag-outs over the house (yet). I think it's probably due to the fact that we are so compatible and our thoughts and wants are one and the same. Or the fact that we have been so busy we don't have time to speak, much less argue.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Welcome to Crazytown!

Ok, so maybe it's not Crazytown, but it's pretty darn close! If I had time to find a candle, I'd be burning it at both ends. When people (who will remain nameless, until they utter this statement again) say "after it's framed, everything stops", they were WRONG! The house is almost completely blacked-in. Yes, I feel comfortable enough with my newly acquired building prowess to use terms like "blacked-in", Pex pipe, manifold, flashing (in no way related to bling), and I-joist. That's just how I roll.
From Framing

Anyway, the house is almost blacked-in and we are about half-way through roughing in the plumbing and electrical. We have cabinets ordered, insulation guy is coming tomorrow, HVAC crew will be coming in at the end of the week and Sheetrock starts in 2-3 weeks. There have been a million other little things that have happened as well and I have the cell phone bill as proof! I've spent more time on the phone than I did in middle school. Yuck, middle school.
From Framing

Upstairs Tub/Shower
From Framing

Pex pipe and wiring! Yes folks, we will have running water and electric lights!

One major change since the last post is that we have the majority of our Hardi board up. Beware! It is a highly offensive and slightly baby poo shade of gold. This is not permanent! It will be painted white, but not for a few more weeks. The shingles/roof will be finished tomorrow and it is suh-weeeet! Those blasted shingles are the only thing we've busted the budget on.
From Framing

You see the resemblance to baby poo, right?
From Framing

Those beautiful shingles on that 12/12 pitch roof make my heart flutter. That's right, I'm dropping more fancy building terms.

This week we also got doors and windows. The front door is my favorite door ever in the whole wide world! I also enjoy the French doors in the living room, although I don't like calling them French because I don't want them to think they are better than the other doors or to start smoking and making snide comments about Americans. I'm pretty fond of windows and door with windows in them. I'm also pretty fond of sleep which I am in desperate need of right now. Enjoy the pictures and click on any of them to be linked to our Picasa web albums.
From Framing

This is the front door and it will be painted a lovely shade of red. Eventually.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Was Framed!

Of course I am referring to the fact that we are knee deep in the framing stage of our build! Yes, I realize that I am almost a month behind in updating the blog. In my defense, this house building business is exhausting and time consuming! Remember when I said I would update the blog weekly? I was delusional. I apologize for spreading my irrational expectations on the world wide web. Unlike the blog, the house is really growing. As of today, the second floor is almost completely framed in, the front porch has been poured and the garage is now the proud owner of a HUGE slab of concrete. We are almost "blacked in".
This was taken after during the first week of framing. Josh is standing in the front door.
From Framing

First floor is "wrapped" and the "I" joists are going up on the second floor.
From Framing

Josh was staying pretty busy sweeping the water off of our floors. The drought ended the day we started framing.
From Framing

Sitting on our staircase. I envision this staircase as the backdrop for many pictures in years to come.
From Framing

The dormers are up and roof system is in progress. That 12/12 pitch roof is a doozy to work on. I will apologize in advance to my roofers and painters. But I really wanted that roof!
From Framing

I love driving up to see work happening!
From Framing

While all of this is going on we are also picking out cabinets and granite,hardwood and carpet, ordering doors, windows, garage doors and Hardi board.
But we're still having fun!
From Framing

A Firm Foundation

I'll admit it, I never really understand what Josh and the guys were talking about when discussing digging a footer and pouring a foundation. I completely understand now! In fact, I'm pretty sure I could write a how-to book on the subject.

From The Land

Digging the footer

From The Foundation

The foundation ends up looking like a maze. Rebar is laid throughout the foundation before the concrete is poured.

From The Foundation

This is the foundation for the safe room, which is also one of the closets in the master bedroom.

From The Foundation

This is what the foundation looked like the day before they started the framing. Josh and I shoveled and raked dirt, pulling out rocks and roots so that our builders would have a nice foundation to walk around on and the people who have to work underneath (plumbers, electricians and cable guys) would have a smooth floor to crawl around on.

A huge thanks to Powe Contracting and all of the hardworking guys who came over in 90+ degree weather, after already working a full day, to work on our foundation. According to Uncle Joe, Randy Powe, and Mike Williamson, it's a REALLY good foundation.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Different Point of View

These are some pictures that our friend Richard Newman took of the house while flying over. It's so exciting to see the house from this view!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Unexpected

As with all projects, we expected a few setbacks. Never in our wildest dreams, could we have planned for what God had in store for our little town. On April 25, 2011, we turned in the final paperwork for our construction loan. The appraiser came to the land and approved the plans on April 26th. Then, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 our lives were changed forever. Tornadoes marched through Alabama and the Southeast from the early morning hours until well into the night. Downtown Cullman and large portions of Cullman County were destroyed.
While we were spared any damage, many of our friends and family are still trying to put the pieces back together. Hundreds of volunteers came in from all over the country to help our community get back on its feet. Josh worked 16 hour days at the Co-Op trying to get sub-stations functioning and taking care of the linemen that had come in from all over to help with power restoration. Walker volunteered at church, cleaning up debris with other kids from the youth group. Sophie and Livi helped me make cakes and desserts to feed the volunteers who had so graciously come in to help.
Through this all, Josh and I debated whether or not we should continue with our plans to build. After seeking counsel from several people, we felt like building was still an option. So here we are, six weeks later, watching the foundation of our house be built.
From The Foundation

The Foundation

Click on this pic to see more pictures from the house!