Monday, November 25, 2013

Deck the Pit

Our house got a deck frame.

We are actually not planning on putting the deck up until next year.  Titus will be doing the decking and the railing to save money.  Plus he is a deck laying expert.

The guys had planned on putting up the screen porch section since they will need to put trusses on that portion.  Putting up the rest of the frame seemed the most logical.

There will be a stairwell on the left side running down toward the house so the deck will actually be about a stair width wider overall.

The second bedroom and bathroom walls have also been put up.  I swear the second bedroom feels bigger than the master.

This is the view from the stairs toward the great room side of the house.  The great room is on the far left, then there is a small hallway that leads to a full bath and the second bedroom.  The entryway is the hole on the far right.  The two interior doorways next to the entryway are two closets.

We will have to make sure to put up a deck railing that doesn't obstruct the view too much.

No shave November.

This is the view from the french door opening in the dining room.  It will be nice to not have to stare into any of our neighbors' windows.

Little Judy is so precious.

Next up we get an actual roof!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Everyday I'm Shoveling

We've got some upstairs walls!

When standing near the garage, this is the layout of the house:

And from the living room:

The windows on the left below are the great room, then the dining room doors to the screen porch, then kitchen sink windows, and finally the giant master windows.  The master windows and the great room windows are the same size and layout.

The small square windows on the left side of the house near the roof are windows that will be on either side of the fireplace.

The view from the driveway.   There will be more excavating done on this side of the house later to smooth out the small hill to the neighbors house.  They left it flatter for now so they can drive their stuff down to the walkout basement.

Then one day we got snow.

We shoveled off the first floor while our contractors were deer hunting.  Hopefully it's the last time we have to shovel the inside of our house.

I've realized that I never showed you a picture from the road.  We have a crazy amount of pine trees.  There were many cut down to build the house, and apparently there were a lot lost last year in the giant windstorm.  We are pretty lucky that our house is at the same level as the road so we won't have to go up or down a huge icy driveway all winter long like at many lake homes.

Now for a look inside...

From the far corner of the garage you can see the door we have the the backyard!  Sounds boring, but we didn't have a door in our last garage so I'm pretty excited.

The view from the great room window.  This room will have a small vault so we debated whether we should add a small triangular or semi circle window above, but ultimately chose to stay with the window shown since the larger window would only be showing more sky and trees.

Below is all our lakeside windows.  From left to right are the master, the kitchen, the dining room, and the great room.  The kitchen, dining room, and great room will all be open to each other, as you probably remember.  We will have no shortage of windows and it will be glorious.

This is basically the view you will see when you walk in the front door.

The master bedroom feels a bit tiny... I had to get out my tape measure to see if our king bed would fit.  It's a close call.  The room will only be about 12' 6" square.

Apparently all the birds in town gather in front of our house before flying south.

We have had a duck family living near the woods on the easement all summer.  I am always making sure Jacque doesn't go attack them.

A view of the house from the lake.

And who can forget about the beautiful pile of dirt and grass covered brush...

The trusses were delivered a couple days ago and will hopefully be put up next week.  Oh and the snow has mostly melted, which is bitter sweet.  On years where we have a roof, I do truly love the snow.

House Walking

Our house has floors!  

This was the most exciting step thus far for me because we actually get to walk on the first floor and see what are views from each room will look like!

From the master bedroom to the garage...

The Stairs are just a big dangerous hole for now.

The front step is a going to be a nice size.  The tornado shelter is what is under the front step.  More dirt will be pushed back around the edges of the cement still to the level that the garage floor is currently at.

The view from about where the kitchen windows will be

The view from the bedroom.  You won't see as much lake from the bedroom, especially in the summer when there are actually leaves.  Don't worry, that's only like three months of the year anyway.

The great room view will be pretty much the best ever...

Our house faces pretty much straight East so we will get sunrises.  I think I will like that better than sunsets because our house won't boil every summer evening from the flaming hot sun.  Also we won't go blind from it burning our eyes out.  Next up: walls...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Flooral Pit

The basement walls are all up.  Well, only the load baring walls since the basement will be unfinished...

But that also means they were ready to put up the floor!

We had originally planned on going with trusses which are like the roof trusses in that they are triangles of wood put together with holes in them.  The value of those is that they are stronger (I think), as well as also the ability to run the HVAC can run through the trusses instead of below resulting in bulkheads.

However, the trusses were on a six week backorder.  Since we are already way behind where we wanted to be due to the easement drama, we decided to go with the I-beams.  Bonus:  I-beams are cheaper.

They are solid throughout which means we will have some bulkheads for HVAC downstairs.  I wasn't terribly picky about this especially considering we have 9 foot ceilings down there, meaning the bulkheads would still be at 8 feet.

The above picture is taken on the lake side corner of one of the bedrooms.

It is interesting to see actual walls go up.  We get a much better feel of how big the bedrooms will be.

Our potential, unconceived children will be spoiled by this ridiculous view.

The picture above is from the future downstairs bathroom.  On the left is the storage room/furnace room.  To the right of that is the stairs.  The stairs go down into the family room, which leads into a hallway to the bedrooms directly to the right.  You can get a better feel for that looking at our house plans.

The family room has a slightly less awesome view than the bedrooms.  The left side of this picture is where the hill is much higher.  We will probably have to have a small retaining wall outside of the family room corner.

Next week I should have some pictures of the upstairs walls which have been started!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


After the basement was poured, the builders started putting up the downstairs exterior walls.

The corner I'm standing near above is the future bathroom.  To the right of me are the two future bedrooms, and in the far corner is the future family room.

The two bedrooms will each have two double hung windows next to each other which will allow for this amazing view of the lake:

Titus has already claimed one of those windows as his future office.  I can't complain since I watch the sunrise over the lake in my office every morning.

The guys had also started sheeting the garage while they were waiting for the basement to be poured.

The garage will also have two double hung windows next to each other on the street side to add some character to the outside of the house.  Also because I love windows.

I'll update you all on the floor joists next!  We have actually walked on our upstairs floor now!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cooking in the Pit

One of the things I was most excited for in designing a brand new house was obviously the kitchen.  I found about a million inspiration kitchens on Houzz and Pinterest.  All of them had one thing in common: white shaker style cabinets which gave of the simple, modernish, bright feel.

I also loved the look of having natural wood open shelves along with the white cabinets to warm things up without making things too dark.

When we started to look at actual cabinets, I had a couple requirements:  white (obvi), inexpensive but not super low quality, and the ability to design and order the cabinets without actually talking to a real person.  I'm really good with people.

Naturally we immediately thought of the Ikea Adel cabinets, which are a shaker style in what they call "off-white".  Special bonus:  Ikea's awesome design software.

We were totally dead set on Adel for most of our house design process.  Until I woke up and remembered that I totally hated our stainless steal appliances when we lived at the Brewery.  They were always disgustingly dirty and impossible to clean and I have always said I would never get them again.  I know all the cool kids are doing it, but I think they must really like scrubbing.  So, long story short, we decided on white appliances.  Soooo 1995.  Good, because the 90s were fun.

However, white appliances + off-white cabinets = deja vu from the kitchen cabinet painting disaster of 2012.  I knew we couldn't get the Adel off white with the bright white appliances.  And yes, we were suddenly designing our kitchen around 90s style white appliances.

Then, one fine day, I found my dream bright white kitchen made out of real wood:  Deerfield Shaker II in bright white from Kitchen Resources Direct.

I immediately ordered a $25 sample door, and it was glorious.  The Deerfield cabinets are super affordable -- more expensive than Ikea, but less than anything else I had found.  They are seriously really great,  and loved that sample I got with my whole heart.

Then, one dreary August night, we got the detailed building estimate from our contractor and it was SIGNIFICANTLY higher than he had initially estimated.  Like, life changingly higher (no fault to him apparently building supplies suddenly went up. Yay!).  So the beautifully, completely affordable dream kitchen was out... and Ikea was pretty much our only bet.  I was quite sad about the loss of the one thing I really, really wanted in this new house, but in the end it's just a kitchen, people.

I forged on with my plan B and started finalizing the design for our kitchen based on the rough design we had initially given our amazing home designer. 

As you can see from the house plans, initially we had planned on having the cooktop against the wall with a hood and all that mumbo jumbo.  At the right of the cooktop we had planned on adding wood open shelves like our inspiration photo I showed you way up at the top of the post.

But then, the clouds parted, and I had the bold idea of putting the cooktop in the island with one of those vents that rises out of the island like the Jetsons.  And that resulted in our final design:

I'll elaborate that unlabeled Ikea design photo in a minute.  Before we could order we had to decide on which cabinet fronts were were going to get.  We had already ruled out the stupidly off-white Adel cabinets, but I couldn't let go of my love of pure, undiverged, white cabinets.

Titus and I took a few trips to Ikea, and the only pure white cabinets they have are the Abstrakt high gloss flat panel cabinets which are super duper modern.  I actually love how they look on the bottom cabinets, but the uppers and tall cabinets the kitchen might become a little too Jetsons for me.  I was looking to get more of a Jetsons go to the cabin feel.

 Look how well the Abstrakt whites go with white appliances!

Then, Ikea came out with their new catalog which included the brand new Linding√∂ Gray.  They are raised panel, which is probably my least favorite, but they were less modern, and gray is a pretty great color and would go well with white appliances.

We decided on doing the cabinets around the perimeter in the new  Linding√∂ Gray and going with Abstrakt white for the island.  The appliances will also be white, which will add to my long lost white wishes.  The countertops will most likely be some sort of white material, as well.  This all resulted in this final design beauty:

Those are glass front cabinets on the fridge and oven wall (which I have been warned I won't like by anyone who is a grandma).  Above the sink are three windows with a lovely lake view.  There will also be an overhang on the island for stools, so the island cabinets facing us here will be under an overhang.  The island will be ridiculously massive, and I should really go into a countertop place to see if they even come that big.  But this is our plan.  It is our plan so much that we already ordered the cabinets.

We aren't super close to needing them, however, Ikea is having their 20% off sale, which we wanted to get in on before they went out of stock on too many things we needed.

So overall, I wouldn't say I got my dream kitchen, but this will certainly be amazing, functional, and all ours.  Now we just have to wait a few months to actually have it. 

As far as a cost breakdown, the cabinets only (no countertops, sinks, or appliances) came out to be $5,898.72 with the 20% off which we think is neat.  Thanks Ikea for making our money pit shallower.