Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stone going on, some siding and lots of infrastructure

In the past week or so, there have been a crazy amount of workers out at the house....I think trying to get things completed before Christmas because then they will get paid.

The framing all looked so pretty inside, and then yikes, what a mess! There are holes everywhere for electrical, pipes running all over the place, ductwork snaking throughout and it no longer looks so pretty! I guess it has to go somewhere, but geesh, did it have to go THERE! This is a learning experience in that I was so darned picky in the plans and tried hard to eliminate wasted spaces and random little nooks. Those giant furnaces and water heaters and other air returns, etc need those little nooks! Since there are none, little bits of closets have been eaten away and my little storage attic is mucked up and the one that is going to really be annoying, but he hasn't seen it yet is Nick's workshop --- there is "stuff" everywhere! His giant workshop that he was getting is rapidly filling with mechanicals. I walked in and freaked out --- I did very nicely ask them to try to avoid spreading it out anymore in there --- anything else that gets added should not be placed in the middle of the remaining wall space he gets. I wish I had been down there being annoying and picky before it was all set up because maybe a larger continuous chunk might have been saved.

The real stairs have gone in and that is very nice.... the ladders were getting old. The walnut treads are covered, but I can still see that they are so pretty! There is no handrail yet, but at least the stairs feel nice now!

They are framing (nearly done) the rounded part of the screened porch. It looks very cool!

The fireplaces are all in place, and they are putting stone on the chimneys. The stone has been a big source of worry! They put it up and it was awful awful. I analyzed it and worried about it and finally called Lloyd and asked him to get the stone company owner out there to meet with me to discuss it. He was there within 2 hours and he agreed it didn't look right. They tore it all off! What a project, luckily not much was on! Now, they have put more on and it looks much better. I would still really like to see the top coating of lighter mortar going on as it should lighten the whole thing up quite a bit. But, because they are doing this strange mix of mortar with more lime (or some lightening dye), they can't do it in sections as it might not all come out the same! So, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this "white washing" effect is going to work out well.

As you can see, in the top gable some of the siding is going on.... what a lovely unfinished color, don't you think --- YUCK! I'm going to get up there with my paint :-)

Lloyd called and asked if all exterior lights are picked out. Since they are and I could tell him the backplate dimensions, they will be able to make nice trim boards to set the lights on and the siding will go around them, instead of setting the lights directly on the siding. The same will happen on the stone --- they can make sure the stone piece will be flat enough to cover that same dimension. I sure hope that the heights and sizes I gave them are correct or it will be terrible!

Nick has been working with an audio guy to figure that stuff out--- It all gets wired the week after Christmas. I will like having several speakers around vs. the computer blasting music all the time!

It has been cold and nasty here for the last 2 weeks. Today is 59 degrees, so it is a complete mud pit! I remember when the foundation was first poured, we had the kids take off their shoes to walk on it --- that is laughable because it is beyond disaster now!

We are four months into this project.... I have no clue how many more to go! I don't think we are half way yet. I think this is about the 1/3 mark, but really I have no idea. Our neighbors are moving in January 15th --- they started in May, so I think their build was roughly 8 months. Having a basement will increase our build time though. We'll see....hard to not start looking for the finish line! Our garage and bedroom are filled to the brim with sinks and light fixtures which I have ordered on my own. I cannot wait to get this stuff out of here!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

electrical and plumbing beginning

This week the plumbers and electricians are starting. Of course that meant walking through with each group for hours.... and it was 20 degrees... so very cold! It will be nice to get some insulation in this joint, but that is weeks away!

I had to give the electrical guy the disclaimer that he is dealing with a crazy person here.... he seemed fine with all of my craziness, so that is very good news. Of course who knows what I told them, it was so darn cold I can't remember!

They also put the cupola on top... it needs the weathervane still, but I suppose that will go on at the very end. I feel sorry for the electrician, because he is tasked with figuring out how the heck to get a light in there --- and a way to change the bulb....yikes!

Here are a few pics from the week....

garage details and cupola:

Barrel vault in the breakfast room:

The porch passed inspection, so the concrete should be poured on the porches any day now. After the concrete is poured, then the round porch can be framed. I've almost forgotten about that area, but it will be great to see.

The cabinet guy came and we marked out all of the cabinets on the floor. That was frustrating because he took all of the field measurements from our meeting and then went back to "finalize," but he applied the field measurements to an old design. That entailed hours of reconciliation for me, and I hope he gets it right on the next pass!

I have been working on the lighting plan and am finding that it is very hard to size lights --- especially exterior ones. I cut out pieces of cardboard to represent the sizes and that was totally useless. I finally went to the lighting store and brought one home with me (of the larger size). It seemed huge in isolation, but the electrician, Lloyd and I all think it is the right size. We'll see....

Other happenings, the guys fixed the header at the breakfast room (raised it, and it looks great), they made a bench in the master shower and are finalizing the basement framing (that was the warmest place in the house today)!

Coming up.... siding, stone, roofing and Nick will be working on the audio in the next few weeks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Windows mostly in, framing wrapping up

This week many of the windows went in. They look great! Since they are not all in yet, I'm not sure if the window we added for Nicholas is there or not, but if not, it won't really matter.

Side view....

Here's the master bath window.... I couldn't get a wide angle shot to get the other 2 windows too.

Here's the breakfast room --- this is where I believe the header at the room entrance needs to be raised so we can actually see the arched window!

Spending the last several days in Great Falls was really fun.... talk about some eye candy if you like looking at houses! Here are 2 homes which have sloping up yards and 2 different ways to grade the front. The white house has a small stone wall in the front, and the stone house just slopes gently away from the house and then more sharply.

The porch decking is 100% complete now. I'm meeting with a lighting / electrical person this week and the cabinet guy is supposed to come and take measurements. Other than that, I'm not sure what exactly will happen this week... I know they will need another day or 2 to finish the windows....roofing maybe will start too? I'm not sure when the siding and stone will go on either, it must be pretty soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tyvek and roofing just about done....

The framing is more or less done. There are some little details remaining... it was hard to really walk through and scrutinize because the framers were there working today and we wanted to stay out of their way.....

I don't know what it is, but seeing the house pretty much enclosed this week is really exciting! It looks really cool and Nick and I are thrilled so far. I can't wait to go out tomorrow to look at it without saws and hammers and guys everywhere!

Some of the interior details are appearing, like the "kick-out" returns at corners on the first floor. That will be a pretty detail once they wrap them and trim them out. They did drop the header down to 8' in the hallway to break it up a bit. I'm not too sure about that --- think we'd prefer it dropped, but more like 9' so the crown detail appears, but it isn't so low. Here is how it looks for the moment....

In the end, we want the hallway to look like this, a dropped detail, but not 2'....

Also, the Breakfast room header is low, at 8' and that will hide the pretty window in there. I asked Lloyd to raise it, and he said no problem, but we are going to get the big window in first so that we can decide how high to raise it. I am glad we are waiting.

Our little charging station framing went in in the mudroom, that is cool and I have a feeling it will be one of our favorite things. It is about 12" wide and it will have shelves up to 8' tall. I think a trashcan at the floor will be super handy to get rid of junk before even really getting it into the house.

The great room is framed, and we can see the chalk lines on the floor representing where the ceiling coffers will go. That freaked me out because the alignment doesn't look good. They are spaced equally, but the windows / doors are not all the same size, so the coffers slightly overlap one of the windows. It looks like a mistake instead of perfect alignment. To fix it (it hasn't been framed yet and won't be until we are ready for the trim guy), we would need to make the coffers unequal. I think this is the right solution, but am not sure yet. We need to think about it a bit. I am wondering if we should just ditch the coffers and do something else in that room. Any ideas? Since the fireplace wall will be stone with a rustic beam mantel, I am thinking maybe we should put rustic beams across the ceiling.... this will be a TBD area.
Here is one with beams....would you do something like this vs. coffers?

Here is the room in question... the fireplace will be on the left.

I think if we do coffers, they need to be in the space between the door and the window, not partially over the middle window like this chalk line shows (the red lines, not the seam in the floor).

Other spaces...

Ryan's room backs up to an attic space and I can't help myself, I am scheming about making a "smurf" door for him into a little secret room. It would be really cool because 2 of the dormer windows would be in the secret room.... And then of course, Nicholas' room backs up to the little upstairs playroom, and a little tunnel would be really fun to get into that room..... I know, I know, I need to stop thinking about these crazy concepts...but when you are there looking at it, it is hard to imagine closing off these little areas!

Today I'm going to post a view from each exterior side.... the Tyvek is covering some of the windows, and some of the windows go higher than it appears because the Tyvek is not cut-out perfectly yet.

walkout side....

rear view....

garage side...

Other happenings for the week...
There is a pine tree farm near us with 100's of big pine trees. I loved our little "grove" of 3 pine trees in Cincinnati, so I have some pines in mind again when we get to landscaping. Well, every time I drive by that pine farm, I think about it and wonder if they sell any of those pine trees? So, I wrote a note to the family asking about the trees. Mr. Barger, a very nice man called me back and told me he'd be happy to sell me some of his trees. I met him over there and he took me to a different area than I expected --- the trees here were quite tall (25-30' I would guess). Anyway, I thought, uh-oh, these are awfully big, how much do you have in mind for them? He said, "$20 a tree, if you think that is fair?" So, Nick and I have picked some trees we really like and now we just need to find somebody to move them for a reasonable amount! That will be the catch we know, but the trees are great. Thanks Mr. Barger! I think he liked that my brother has a walnut farm and that Dad made a kiln out of the back of a milk truck.... it was fun to talk about some of the woods. The perfect time to plant the pines is Nov, Dec or Jan, so the timing is good if we can find a way to move them. Somebody with a tree spade is difficult to find! If by chance we do find a tree spader, we are going to take a pretty maple tree from our current back yard. It is hidden at the far back of our yard and it will not be missed in this yard, but it would be nice to have a decent sized maple over there.

I bought a sideboard at an antique store to convert into our powder room vanity --- very exciting because it was $159. This compared to the cabinet guy who estimated $1900 to make a sideboard for a vanity. It is EXACTLY the right size. We will just remove the top, put on a piece of granite or marble with an undermount sink, and leave the rear little valance detail....

I am having a hard time containing my excitement because this week we are expecting windows and doors.... whoo hoo! I am really keeping my fingers crossed that they look good because I changed the mullion pattern on the windows SO many times and I was so difficult about it. I am worried about it now.... I don't know which days the guys will work this week since it is Thanksgiving week --- I want to have low expectations so we are not disappointed when we get back from Jen's house.

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Roof framing.....

This week it has been more detail framing --- the master bath has some complicated walls and those are done. The dormers are complete, and a significant portion of the roof sheathing is on. There has been an area connecting the main body of the house and the bonus room and the kitchen that Nick and I could not understand. When the roof started to go on, we thought it was going to be a disaster, but this week the lightbulb went on and we could finally "get it." The bonus room looks especially cool this week because it has all kinds of beams coming in at crazy angles and the room is big and bright. We are tempted to keep it one big open room, vs. the small finished playroom and the roughed in bathroom and a large unfinished room. But, we are realizing part of the reason it looks especially cool is because the roofing plywood is not covering all of the ceiling, so it feels particularly bright and airy! Once they close it up, it will not be so awesome, so we might as well stick to the plan. Nick is really questioning the rough-plumbing of a bathroom for that area...and truthfully we will likely never need / want a bathroom there, but if we did, the plumbing would be difficult to get up there at a later date.
It is all looking very cool.... we think they'll pretty much get it "under roof" this coming week, though they haven't started on the circular porch ---- that will be interesting! We are realizing that while we intend for that to be a vaulted ceiling, we are not sure if the plans reflect that.... we don't have that detail page. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it is already that way in the plan, and if not, hopefully it won't be a disaster to change!

Hopefully by Thanksgiving week we'll see some shingles and metal roofing starting to be installed (though I'm not sure when the metal roofing goes on -- -do the porch skylights need to be installed first.... probably).

Also, once the entire roof structure and plywood are complete, we'll be able to tell if the house is dark, or not bad.

I went to Ikea this week to look at some stuff. I have always thought we'll put one of their sofas in the kids playroom (inexpensive). Anyway, the denim slipcover was discontinued.... darn.... but I was in luck, they had a "last chance bin" and the slipcovers were marked down from $149 to $9.99... what luck! My storage in this house for things in the next house is getting out of control! I asked Lloyd to make a lock room for us in the new house once drywall goes on for all of the things I have purchased for the new house. No problem he said, but I need it NOW!!

That is about it, we are enjoying going out there and poking around.... I was showing Nick some fabrics and window treatment ideas. He said, "this would all be so much easier if we could wait for the house to be finished and then I could just hold them up to see...." WHAT, is he crazy? Doesn't he know the planning is most of the fun! At least he pretends to look at my drawings.... so far!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Roof framing in the works

This week a fair amount of the roof framing went on the house. It was cold and rainy for several of the days, so I'm a bit surprised some of it was completed. They have constructed all sorts of crazy catwalk / scaffolds throughout to aid in the roof framing. The highest ones are beckoning Ryan. Shocker. They terrify me, but the higher the better for that child!

Here is how it looks this week....

The dormers are not on the upper level, and not on the 2nd floor gable yet. No roofing over the keeping room/ kitchen area yet, but they do have a center beam running the length of that gable.... I have no idea how they got that in place, nor can I imagine how they got the upper beam / joist (whatever it is called) into place at the top of the house.

The window in the upper bonus room which was going to have such a beautiful view out to the horse pastures doesn't look as good now because the window is awfully high.... darn, but not worth changing since this will be an unfinished space anyway. If you are near the window, it is fine, but when you walk into the room that pretty view isn't obvious. Oh well....

Nick and I met with the cabinet guy this week. We have made lots of tweaks to our cabinet plans which should save us some money in the budget. I am a bit sad to give up the banquette drawers for a fixed banquette, but the cost saving allows me to get an entire laundry room of cabinetry. That will be nice. We are going to delete a "hutch" type of cabinet in the kitchen to save money, knowing that we will be able to find a neat antique to put there instead. We are going to make the linen closets in our master bath framed and drywalled, vs. cabinetry which will save enough to allow us to put in a basement bar, and a few other little tweaks like that. They seem to be worthwhile, and I don't think we will really miss that cabinetry too much....

Our master bath shower is causing me trouble. It is framed with some weird angled walls (per the plans). The tile lady said, "you are not an angled wall kind of person." This is true and she convinced me that we should just have squared off walls in this shower. I have asked Lloyd to change it. He accepted the changes (actually all 16 of my questions), and let me know that they'll get to these things a bit later (like on a rainy day). The only change that they questioned was related to this shower because the angled walls were a bit complicated, and now we want them torn out. That made us take another look at it today and now we are thinking we should keep the angled walls as is, but then we have no soap / shampoo shelf unless we have some sort of bench.... anyway, we have gone around and around about how to set up this shower.... and it is just a shower! Stay tuned.... (I know it is hard to stand the suspense)!

That is about it for the week. Hope to see it entirely under roof soon. That will be nice. It was freezing today, so we want a roof, insulation and windows asap!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Starting to look like something....

Today there was no school, so the kids and I went out to the property to check things out. The guys were working, so we didn't go in and check things, but from what we can see they are framing the attic areas and starting to frame the roof! The metal decking is on the porches, and the front porch is framed. That is cool (still a bit left to do on the round porch). The gables are visible on the roof, and that makes the house look more like a house, and not just like a "wild west house" as Alex describes it!

Here's what were looking at so far....
Tomorrow, we'll have more of a chance to poke around, when the guys are not there.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I can sleep again...we've solved the window situation....

I called Lloyd this morning and explained about adding a window for Nicholas. Anyway, I got worried that I didn't explain myself well and drove out to the property to talk to the framers in person. I came around the corner, and look what I saw.... the window is already framed!

Here is how it looked really needed that window... inside and out!

Also, forgot to take a picture out of the bonus room window area. I love being able to see a glimpse of the horse pastures through the trees...
The house in this picture is nearly done.... can't believe it because they started in May.... think they'll definitely be in before the end of the year..... wow.... that was fast!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Second floor framing mostly complete --- Window situation.....

Much of the second floor is complete. It looks great, and it is so fun to look out all of the windows. I am really happy with how we placed the house because the windows are working out well --- they are aligned with our few trees on the property. However, now that we can look out the windows, I see a big oversight that needs to be fixed, related to the windows. The problem is visible in the picture above.... see it yet?

Here are some hints.....
Alex's room window --- see the pretty trees (ignore all of the support 2x4's in the picture)....

Hint #2...Ryan's room window....

Hint #3... View for Nicholas.....

See the problem????.... Wouldn't you agree he needs a side window in his room too! Yes, he does have windows to the front, but it sure would be nice to be able to look out the side too. Do you like the above view for him, or this view below?....(I know the dumpster is not adding much now, but it sure looks better than the wall)?

Monday, October 18, 2010

2nd floor framing begins, garage framed, and new furniture making business

This week has been much of the same... framing. The first floor is done, including the garage. There are very scary temporary stairs between the basement and first floor, and then up to the second floor which has floorboards, but no walls yet. That is very scary, so I'm not spending much time up there yet!

The keeping room is framed and you can see where the window seats will be once complete.

The kids are having lots of fun out at the property. Ryan told me the other day he thinks we shouldn't go out as much. When I asked him why, he said, "because it is SO fun that I don't want all of the fun stuff to run out."
Their latest activity is furniture making. This week they made 2x4 chairs. Here they are....

Notice the scary stairs in the background!

Up this week.... framing the second floor.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting vertical, grading, destiny and love at first sight!

This week they framed the entire first floor. There is one little wall missing on the keeping room, but otherwise we can walk it and see how it feels. It feels good! We made a big deal about "lines of sight" and it was very cool to stand in an area that should "align" well and see it in action. Our favorite view so far is out of the master bath big window -- to the north of the house--- The window will be a tall archtop type, and we are hoping the tree will be totally visible. Here is how it looks at framing......
The first floor front view so far.....
Yes, it is still high up, but we still have a giant mountain of dirt to move --- we didn't even have to call in the dirt guy yet!!

Other exciting things....
I have fallen in love.... with a piece of stone.... White Diamond.... so very pretty, but of course I am not sure if they have enough for us....
Here is a picture of white diamond and an old drawer front I have which I painted in my planned cabinet / trim color for the house. Right now we plan all of the trim to be this color, and the kitchen cabinetry, as well as the master bath. Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan....I know it is a "tan" but with our dark floors, I think it will look good. Here is the granite along with my little old sample drawer....Nick likes it too, so it is REALLY a good thing!
Weird things.... our lot slopes from low in front to high in back, so while I tried to line up our big tree through the living room windows in placing the house, it worked out, but what I didn't factor is that we can see the tree trunk, not the upper part of the tree. Oops! But, we did realize that while we are lying in bed, then the view improves --- so guests, first thing when you walk in the house, don't look out the rear window, you must only look out the rear from our bed!! Here it is from a few feet down, at our bed level in our master (east side)....
Rear view....

Last but not least....I have been thinking about all of these fun things to do with this long skinny under the porch space (9x40) --- my ideas so far have been roller skating track, kids clubhouse, and bowling alley. Remember last week I was thinking about this and saying good thing my mom doesn't read this because she would know one of these things might really happen and maybe she would attempt to talk some sense into me (who needs it, all of my ideas are surely better than the voice recognition trap door the kids have in mind, right? Not to mention, mom, remember about a year ago when we came up with the idea for the slide into the basement and you were wondering if that is how you had to get down there? Consider all of the latest ideas big improvements!) Well, this week they had to do some grading and guess what the kids found.... A BOWLING BALL, buried in the muck. Is it destiny? I thought perhaps so until Nick and I saw them carrying the bowling ball to the highest point they could find and then they threw it into the mud puddle to see how big the splash would be. End of the bowling alley dream..... I am now starting to have nightmares about the "bowling" idea!! Mom, don't feel relief yet, we still have time to come up with a REALLY cool idea. Give us time!!!

Up for this week --- getting the porches "panned" --- this will be nice because we will not have giant drop offs in the front and rear of the house. Then they can put the flagstone on them and we can actually use them. Also, I think they'll finish the last wall on the first floor and maybe begin the 2nd floor flooring. I told the kids that in the next 2 weeks we'd be able to walk in their rooms and figure out which ones will belong to each kid. Nicholas gave me a stern reminder.... "Mom, remember, I want the one with no dog poop!" OK, will try to accommodate that request.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The chair....and a beer!

Today was chair day! Such a fun feeling to sit on the first floor in our chairs, and what a beautiful day for it!
Some basement framing....Nick's workshop has a floor above it, and it is feeling like a.... basement... oh how we've missed a basement!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Almost time for Nick's chair!

One of our "milestones" is getting the first floor system installed. Well, today, after days and days of rain, they almost have it done! The joists are on, and right now they are putting the plywood (or whatever it is) board down to walk on. I've got our stadium chairs in the back of the car and I think one day this weekend Nick will be able to sit in his chair on the first floor. I can't wait to walk up there to see what our view will be like out our first floor windows!

On a side note --- after stalking dirt piles for the last few weeks, I think I found a GOOD one! I gave Lloyd all of the info and he is getting in touch today. We can start pushing dirt any day now, but it has to dry out a bit first. So, keeping my fingers crossed for a dry weekend so we can move some dirt next week!

I went to Homearama this week and saw some pretty houses --- lots had big windows and pretty kitchens opening via either french doors or large sliders to big outdoor porches. It made me question our french doors as the day was just perfect and the big opening provided by the sliders was so nice. It really integrated the outdoor areas. But, I suppose the way we settled on has its good points as well and it will be great (not to mention the windows are ordered).

Also met with the lighting lady, which was very fun. I've got some very cool lights picked out, but am going to have to figure out ways to trim a few costs to get the main lights I like. We also decided to turn Alex's tub / shower combo into a shower only. Why we didn't do this before now is baffling to me since he pretty much only ever showers.

I am excited to look at tiles for these rooms, but have no idea of prices, etc. Nany did an awesome job with her tiles, so I'll have to pick her brain (hint hint for a later date Nany) :-)

I'm hoping to go out tomorrow and get another picture with the floor totally on --- but want to hold off until no workmen are out there because I feel like I'm in their way.

Keep my fingers crossed for a few days of dry weather!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Framing has started!

Fall is arriving. Hard to believe it was 95 degrees yesterday and today the temperature dropped by nearly 30 degrees! Wow! The leaves are just beginning to show a hint of color.
Yippee, framing has begun! This is really fun to see. We can walk through the rooms (not really many rooms in the basement, but still fun to see some definition). You can see where the windows will go in the walkout part of the basement. I think they didn't complete the framing on this exterior wall because then it will be hard to access. The guest room is framed and the bathroom as well. It looks a little suspect because we don't see the hot and cold water pipes where the sink vanity will go. Hmmm, hope that is not a problem.
This is the sink in our invisible bar. That is going to be awkward since we cut the bar area from the plan. Not sure how to finish / cover this until phase 2. Nick has grand plans to build a bar now that he has a workshop (see below).
Nick's workshop is framed and he is psyched! He even came home and got out a piece of paper to figure out how he wants to set up "his" space. I have to say it is pretty cool -- there was even a little bit of random space by the stairs, and now he gets an 4' x 8' long closet where he can store wood. I asked what space I get --- he said, "the rest of the house." Sounds good to me :-). The workshop is the room you can see at the far end of the picture. The door is on the left and then the workshop is from the left wall, along the back wall, and then turns the corner on the right wall and back. I am excited to have all of this stuff out of the garage where he has had no room to use it in our current garage. But, I'm sure we'll find stuff for the garage. Just yesterday we were all in Dick's when Nick started to get interested in the canoes. Ruh roh, that could fill the garage in an instant!

One of the most exciting rooms in the basement thus far (for Nick it is the shop) is the storage room Lloyd suggested we go ahead and pour under the front porch. This room works out to about 9'x 40'. It was going to just be poured walls and we were not going to have access to the space. Lloyd said it was a "no-brainer" to put a door in there from the basement and just go ahead and pour the concrete floor while we're pouring (if we wanted to do this later, the concrete truck is $800 just to get out here and how the heck would we get it into this interior room? We'd be doing a million bags of cement by hand at a later date. Not fun. The concrete for this room and the wine room are not free, but for the space we gained (wine room radius = 11'2", meaning the area = over 400 sq. ft (because there is a little extra outside of the circle) and the storage area is 9' x 40', so around 360 sq. ft. So, for not much extra, we gained almost 800' of storage space. I am excited about the possibilities of this room: should it just be storage, should it be part storage, part toy closet, should it be the kids' secret clubhouse, should it be the tornado shelter? How about a roller derby track --- how fast can you get going in a 40' run? Oooh, I know, a bowling alley! Perfect! Just what we need too! Good thing my mom doesn't read this, because she knows I am only half kidding about all of these ideas! How to incorporate the voice recognition trap door that the kids have in their plans?

Up for this least in the plans:
Monday, steel beams and columns to be delivered, crane and welder will be there for those. Of course the weather forecast for tomorrow has torrential rain and lots of lightning. Crane and giant metal beams dangling in the air --- good idea?
Tuesday, floor joist for the first floor to be delivered, and first floor system should be about complete by the end of the week.
Looking at the weather, I'll be surprised if this all goes as planned, but I can't wait to walk on the first floor! Nick wants it on so he can take his chair and just sit there!

Another bonus...once the first floor system is on, we can push some dirt and the concrete wall will be better.

Hope we get a small break in the weather (though we need the rain) to keep this moving!