Status Reports



2/24 Framing is complete

The framing crew finished up Friday (yesterday) about noon.  There are two windows that aren't in yet.  One is the kitchen window, which should be in in about two weeks.  One of the front windows arrived with a piece of cracked glass, so it'll be installed after it is repaired.

The pocket door has been reversed and now matches the plan.  I fretted over that for nothing.  I told Tammy about it and she made sure it was fixed.  No problem.

Kitchen issues: I think we have the final kitchen layout.  The only issue left to agonize over is the pullout trash cans.  Haas cabinets does a 21" wooden construction where the trash cans are suspended.  I think I'd rather only give up 18" to the trash cans (making the other drawers wider) and have the trash cans sit in the pullout part.  I think it'll be easier to take out the trash.  I'll call Tim about it Monday and let him know that.

Vanity issues: It turns out that the upstairs bathroom isn't quite wide enough for a full-depth linen cabinet next to the double vanities.  That's okay.  I think that having a slightly shallower linen closet with a deeper vanity will be an interesting and attractive look.

HVAC: The mechanicals start to go in next week.  I don't think we've made any decisions--we might end up with all default decisions.  I can't bring myself to care too much about the HVAC system--that's Stan's baliwick.

Electrical: I do care about electrical.  And cable.  And computer networks.  Fortunately, Stan cares just about as much.  We have to start mapping out where we want the lights and electrical switches. 

2/20 Framing should be done this week

The framing crew said they expect to finish up this week.  Windows will go in Thursday or Friday.  I'm a bit concerned about fixing the pocket door between the laundry room and the kitchen.  It's backwards from the drawing and it looks as if the current position will interfere with the dryer and refrigerator electricity, as well as light switches.  It doesn't look easy to change, though, since the closet composition on the other side is pretty complicated.  I planned it that way pretty carefully, though--I hate pocket doors that interfere with electrical switches and outlets being convenient!

We had two weeks of 'no work' due to sub-zero temperatures and over a foot of snow and ice.  We're looking at rain this week.  I sure watch the weather carefully these days.

2/12 Shingles

We went and looked at roof shingles today.  We came home with four different samples (two shingles each).  I didn't know that shingles were that big.  Apparently, what I thought was one shingle is really 1/3 of a shingle!

2/4  Countertops

We aren't going to get granite countertops, we said.  We don't want to pay for granite countertops when laminate works so well, we said.  We'll be perfectly happy with laminate countertops.   Can someone please pass the salt?  Those are a lot of words and we said them a lot of times.

We're looking at Giallo Veneziano.  Hmmm.

2/4  We're still thinking about bricks

Bricks are <still> Complicated—updating musings

1/24 We're thinking about bricks

Brick musings are here.

1/24 Kitchen hood

I think we picked a kitchen hood.  Or rather, Stan picked it.  I hate kitchen hoods--I'd rather they didn't need to exist.  So Stan picked the one he liked best--someone ought to like it!

1/19 Tubs

I thought the tub problem was solved, but Bob called this afternoon.  It turns out that the tub we picked (pretty much a default choice) isn't sold by itself--it is designed for use with tub walls.  Fortunately, the tub has a sibling-tub, which is designed for tile.  I'll talk to him Monday and we'll settle that. 

Double fortunately, we didn't really "choose" a tub.  We picked the walls and the tub was the one that went with the walls.  It doesn't really feel like a change.

1/18 Shower surround solved

I agonized over this for days.  Fortunately, it isn't Tammy's house, so she doesn't agonize.  We agreed that it's so much easier to make decisions about someone else's house!

For the upstairs shower, we're going to go ahead and tile rather than use a prefabricated surround.  This will allow us to have a niche/shelf built-in to the tub and also have a sliding shower rod.

Because of Jordan's height, it really makes sense to tile all the way to the ceiling.  If we don't, we run the risk of him drenching the drywall when he showers--which would be a Huge Problem to be solved.  Drywall doesn't like getting wet.   

For the basement, we're going the more economical route: we'll use a prefabricated surround.  The one we've chosen won't permit a sliding shower rod, but that's okay. 

Decision made.

1/17 Finally: Exterior Elevations

I finally scanned this in so I could show it off!

1/12 Shower decision dilemma

I like this style of shower head:

Latoscana Slide Bar Kit With Shower Head and Soap Holder

But that looks as if it'll conflict with that tub surround.

Those who know both Jordan and Jennica know why the shower height should be adjustable.  For those who haven't seen Jordan lately, he's taller than the last time you saw him.  People taller than me measured him on New Year's Day: he's 6' 2 3/8" tall. 

1/11  Tubs and showers

I didn't know it would be so hard to find a practical tub surround.  Specifically, to me, practical means that there's a place to put shampoo, conditioner, razor, etc. etc. and so on. 

Typically, new construction uses one-piece tub surrounds  Not us--we have to be different.  They'll be multi-piece units--but they do have shelves.

And the color will be Bisque.  Unless we change our minds by tomorrow morning.

Swanstone site

1/10 Decisions and more decisions!

The front door was just one of many decisions!   We have several upcoming decisions that are all on the critical path.

  • Final kitchen layout (depends on appliance decisions)
  • Appliance choices (now that we have a good idea of the kitchen layout)
  • Tub surrounds (We want shelves or niches)

And that means a number of decisions have been completed:

  • The front door (see earlier this week)
  • The arch pattern for the windows in the front of the house
  • That the great room windows will be two pairs of 2'2" wide windows (as opposed to the originally drawn two pairs of 2'8" wide windows)  (Why would we decrease the natural light?  To make room for built-in bookcases along the walls of the great room, of course.)  (Excuse me, it's not a "great room"--it's a library--just ask Stan)
  • The kitchen window will be a slide opening and not twin double hung windows

And the decisions that I think we've made but aren't yet solid:

  • The kitchen window will have a valance as part of the cabinetry
  • We'll have a side-by-side fridge and not a french door one with the freezer on the bottom
  • The master bedroom will have one 5' long transom window up high (as opposed to two)

1/7  Front Doors

Paint vs Stain    Stan and I both picture our house with a wood door.  There's just one little problem: the house faces west.  Our builder's door contact told us that he didn't recommend having a stained door if the door faces west or south.  Stan was skeptical.  He made some phone calls.  Same results--stained doors exposed to the west or south need to be re-stained yearly or they are going to grey and peel.

I'd like a wood front door but probably not at the cost of that regular of maintenance.  I definitely don't want a greay and peeling front door.  Friends of mine put in a beautiful wood front door--facing west.  After it greying and looking horrible for a while, they painted it. 

This one is Stan's call.  As he points out, though, if the stain doesn't stay looking nice, the window can always be painted.

Shape of glass    Fortunately, we're both on the same page for this one.  Neither of us really care for the 1/2 door glass inserts and glass sidelights--we prefer 3/4 door  or full length.  We are agreed that we want sidelights.  We really wanted a transom over the front door, since that would highlight the barrel ceiling in the entry way, but the porch overhang doesn't permit the transom. 

Stan drew up (in Visio, I think), what a front door would look like (both interior and exterior views) with a camber cut of the glass and a square cut. 

From the interior, we decided that the camber cut didn't make a difference.  The art work we put above the door inside will be what contributes to showing off the ceiling.

From the exterior, it didn't matter either, unless we were willing to have a camber cut with a 1/2 length insert.  We decided we'd rather have the glass pattern pick up the arch rather than having the 1/2 glass.

So, bottom line: we've picked a front door!

This picture shows the cut of the glass we'll have. This picture shows the relative size of the glass--the 1/2 cut in the center and the full length sidelights.

12/29 Brick Discussion

Jordan likes red brick--very traditional very red brick.  Bethy and Jennica seem to agree.  I say they can have dark bright red brick houses when they build a house :-).  We haven't picked a brick yet, but it definitely won't be the very traditional deep red (especially not deep red with white and black trim)!  Brick Supplier

12/28 Update

Windows: We picked windows today.  The three front windows will all be 'twin' (one was drawn on the plan as a triple with three windows).  They are all vinyl and will be 'sand' colored (as opposed to white).  I wasn't so sure about having grids, but Stan really likes them.  So, grids it is.  (Yes, I compromised by giving in--he cares more than I do about this one.)

Sliding glass doors: These are going to match the windows.  Our contract points out that there's an extra cost involved.  That extra cost is about $10/door.  I don't think it's worth thinking about.  Because of the bay window areas, I think it'd look "off" to have grids in the windows and not in the sliding doors, so grids it is.

Front door: We took a brochure with us.  Our allowance will cover about any door we pick--but we have to make a decision within the next week!

Bathtub surrounds: You wouldn't think these would be so difficult.  It turns out that they are.  Am I so odd to want there to be shelves in a bathtub?  Where do people put their shampoo if they don't have shelves?

Bathroom faucets: At least we managed to pick these!

Sink faucet: Nope, no decision.

Kitchen sink: Nope, no decision.

As of 12/22 talk with Tammy

Everything is going great with the foundation work. The windows in the daylight window area are going to work just as we hoped they would.

The first rough-ins of the plumbing are going fine--the drains are in.

Tammy (our contact) talked to the electricial and we'll be able to get the panel where we want to. There will be some cost associated with it, but not a tremendous amount. She told the electrician that he would need to talk to the homeowners (us!). I told her that he'd need to talk to Stan--this one is up to him!

I asked when it looked as if framing was going to start. Tammy thought in a couple of weeks--probably the first week or so of January. Since I think of the last week of December as pretty much a "dead" week, I assume it'll be the second week of January.

A few things have to start before framing does, but we're getting close to that point. The drains and sewer connections need to be inspected--that's the first plumbing inspection. Once the first plumbing inspection has been successfully completed, they will pour the slab for the basement. (I don't know if they pour the garage at this point or not--I think they do, but not the driveway.)

Once that is done, they'll start framing, which will take a couple of weeks. After framing, we get to the 2nd plumbing rough-in (sinks, toilets, showers, washer, and gas lines), then the HVAC team, and then the electrician.

Once the framing starts, then we can take a look at a projected schedule to figure out when the house might be completed.

The framing plan can't be completed until the window and doors are selected--we're doing that on Thursday morning. We also need to select the tub/shower enclosures, so I left voice mail for the plumbing contact to make an appointment with the plumbing contact.

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