Sunday, February 27, 2011

We have a weathervane --- and she is directionally correct!

It is another gorgeous day --- 60 degrees already at 9 am. We are loving it. Ryan and Nick are finishing cub scouts projects --- today was trash pick-up day. Out at the house, there is plenty of trash picking opportunity. I stopped out to help move the old beams out of the garage and give them a good spray with my termite treatment. One looks totally fine, but the other is seeming a bit more questionable. It might become our first wood fire in one of the fireplaces!

The weathervane is looking great. So glad I bought one that seemed way too big at the time, but I think seems just right now. It is really cool, coppery patina, and the running horse I love! She had seen better days, so I had to find a coppersmith to repair her and get the entire weathervane in good condition. I think he did a great job. Now if only they can do the cupola roofing in a curvy fashion (swoopy), all will be just right!

Had to get a shot of the circus that was in town.... Ryan is thinking this might be his calling --- forget the roofing, stilts look fun!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

These sheetrock guys ROCK!

I wasn't kidding, they are fast. The drywall is done and there are some dudes in the basement putting up the corner bead (or whatever it is called). There are some roofers out there extending the dormers (yay), and a metal roofing guy is there to start getting ready for the metal roof. I was able to give him a gentle reminder that I want the cupola to "swoop," not just be a flat triangle. He said, "Don't worry, I'll make it swoop for you" --- phew.

While Lloyd is off snowboarding --- see what I mean about the awesome builder lifestyle --- lots going on here. The stone guys are there, as always. Robert, the main stone guy gave me some advice about "aging" my beams --- hot nails. Hmmm. Sounds interesting. My neighbors here are ready to call the POA on me --- I'm out there for hours each day with my concoctions and sanders and hammers and chains and stains and all the tools of days gone by. Not so much...but I'm trying.

We had a successful trip over the weekend to buy an old beam from a tobacco warehouse up in Winston-Salem --- it is 11+' long. It is a bit on the rustic side, but I think it might be very cool... see the notching from where it was a post and beam structure? You should have seen the kids ducking in the car because it was over their heads, all the way to the dashboard and the notch fit perfectly over the seat to hold it in place!

This is a time I wish Dad were around --- he would have loved the treasure hunt / search to find some neat old beams.

Here is the kitchen / keeping room fireplace --- not totally mortared yet, but it looks cool!

Here is Jeremy, the stone guy who is at the house EVERY day working on the family room --- this is where that mantel will probably end up, and there will be built-in cabinets flanking the fireplace
This is Alex's little laundry drop --- just a connector into the laundry room from his closet because it is right there, but walking around is pretty indirect. Of course this is no big deal, but when Ryan took Meghan out to the house over the weekend, this was the "really special thing" he wanted to show her.
Hallway on the 1st floor...
Bonus room upstairs --- see all of these door alignments --- I love that.
Bedroom for Nicholas -- his behavior right this second is so bad that I'm again considering the lock on the outside of the door. When we moved into this house the kids room had this "mistake" ---- we quickly realized the brilliance of this plan.
The upper loft / dormer above the front bedrooms is gone... how sad, but it is time to move on.

Upper staircase / reading area...

Jeremy at work in the family room...
Charging area / drop zone....

Current front --- no metal roofing yet. Paint on upper dormers though....

Major Progress....this is getting exciting!

The drywall crew started on Monday. We went out to check things last night. The sun had pretty much set, so I brought a flashlight. There were still a bunch of trucks there. The drywall crew (10+ guys) was all still busy hanging away. It was unbelievable --- the house was 90% done. I'm going to go check in a minute, but I bet they are done hanging it and will begin the next part of the drywall process.

Also, went to go visit our cabinets today. They are AWESOME! I am so excited. The island is laid out in the shop and I got to make some little suggestions / adjustments to how to finish certain areas. The cabinet guy told me that I should be a builder --- I wish, I could do this stuff all day every day! Of course, now that I see the daily things happening out at the house, I realize just how busy Lloyd is. But, I do love it.

Here are some shots of these cabinets....


Study room for the boys --- fabric sitting next to the cabinet sample --- I was having him try a glaze on it -- It looked good
Fridge and freezer cabinets (they sure look noodle-y).
Fridge and freezer with another little cabinet shown between --- I like the valance going on them.

We've got some tile reconciliation issues, so I'd better get crackin'.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Insulation... finally!

So they are finally insulating. The guys look like spacemen because they are wearing these spacesuit contraptions and big ventilators since we are getting spray foam insulation. That stuff looks crazy....yellow puffy stuff all over the ceiling.

Stone work almost done outside....the fireplace out there is looking good. I have settled on a slab of limestone that is a bit thinner as we are going to do a bulkier stone on the lower half of the fireplace. I am excited to see the finished product.

Lloyd mentioned to me the other day that the dormers are a bit taller than on the plan. After I had a mini heart attack, I got out my reference book (lloyd calls it my bible) to check out the dormer construction and proportion. Well, it is going to be just fine. The trim guys looked at my pictures and made up a sample dormer and it looks great --- the roofing needs to be extended a bit in the front and the sides, but then it will be just right. Phew. When Lloyd saw the look on my face before they were trimmed he offered to tear all of the dormers off the house and rebuild them. I really really didn't want to do that and take a few steps back, but on the other hand, if they didn't look right.... at least he offered and seemed more than willing to have the framers totally re-do them. In the end, I think the framers did them correctly, vs. the architects specifications, so it all really worked out!

It was a beautiful weekend and Alex had a play date out there with a future neighbor. Since it was so nice, all of the neighbors were lurking around. Several of them mentioned they like the color of our house -- -well, that yellow color is the way the hardi boards start out -- in other words, the primary color right now is "primer." When I told them that isn't the color the house is going to be, several of them argued that we should keep it this color! Maintenance wise, that would be nice!
The color is supposed to be this taupey color --- see it on this sample board above the stone...

I got samples today from the cabinet guy --- they look great! I'm going to visit and pet my stone tomorrow.... the granite lady told me that they have some lady that wants them to give her my granite and give us another piece. I would be livid!

Up next... drywall....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Future gold mine? Let's hope so!

Alex and I were out poking around today and noticed the ground has lots of flecks of gold. We figure we are about to strike it rich big time! We brought some of the flecks home and created our own panning station ---- It was bright and shiny and looks very promising. I am wondering just how many dump truck loads we might be able to get. China Pandas, Kruggerands, watch out, we might be able to start our own private gold coins operation with all of the shimmer we've got going out there. Could it be the toxic sludge glowing?? Perhaps, but we are preferring to dream big. Our wealth of knowledge about the subject (cubscouts field trip to Reed Gold Mine several months ago) tells us that real gold can usually be found near veins of quartz. Check. We've got lots of quartz out there. It also says that real gold is shiny in the sunlight, or in the shade. I'm practically blinded by it, even in the shade, so it must be real. Last test, real gold will flatten with a hammer, pyrite (fools gold) will break. Well, it broke, but I think I didn't whack it the right way.... :-)

Beyond that dream, we are on the hook to decide quickly about mantels. In general the house will have reclaimed beam mantels, but the outside fireplace will have a stone mantel. We've gone to look at lots of hunks of stone and there is a huge variety out there. Of course yesterday I went to look at some and discovered that the one I picked out of the bunch was the most expensive type. Great. Apparently, the thinner slabs (the top one) are taken out of the earth and cut into "slices." The one I picked is taken out just like it is shown, making it "rare." Here is the one I picked at first (in the middle):

But then I went around to the other side and saw another stone I really liked as well. And, it looked so very familiar too....just like home. Why? Because it is Bloomington, Indiana limestone! I really like it too, and the great thing about it is it can be cut to any size we want, vs. the other slab. For that one, the one I picked it 9' long. We need more like 5' --- we'd have to pay for the entire slab. So, now we need to decide which type to choose ---the limestone is the picture below. We'd do a thick hunk like the bottom one, with a chiseled edge (like this one has). I really love how the limestone looks, and it is much less expensive. I had no idea. I'm now disappointed that I didn't know that before getting all of our walls capped.

The only question I have, is it too light for our stone? The outdoor fireplace is going to be stone like the rest of the house. The mantel will be held up by stone brackets / corbels.

Here is a reminder picture of our stone, close up.

Is the limestone too light for our stone, or would it work? I also have several big geodes from Indiana (delivery from Warren) that I am going to ask the masons to include in the fireplace somehow. Think that would bring part of my roots into this house!

Last consideration for the week.... Our walnut floors are getting created now... 4, 5 and 6" width. I would really like to try to use Waterlox on them, which is a Tung Oil based finish. I really like how Tung oil brings out the grain of the wood. I am not sure yet how this will be received by the flooring guys? Anybody have any experience with this?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Note to self:

If you are ever here sitting at the computer typing on this blog and Nick is home AND you hear the sound of a chainsaw, never ever, ever, ever, ever just sit there and keep on typing.

You see the results. Alex came to tell me, "You do NOT want to see what Dad is doing." I ignored him. When I went to look, it was too late. Ryan and Nicholas went to the door and looked and started heckling him, which was not terribly appreciated. Ryan started crying because he "killed" the tree. Nicholas berated him with, "Now our yard looks terrible, nobody will EVER buy this house!" Well, lucky for me, I didn't have to join the insults because the kids pretty much had it covered. They are still out there grumbling about how the place is ruined, but I don't hear the chainsaw, so the damage is done.... at least for now.

Cold Stone, no wait, I mean Stone Cold.... and that is a problem....

It has been so darn cold here that the stone has been slow. Any of our warm days have the masons out working. Saturday, Sunday, they were there, but these chilly days, well, not so much. Finally, today it was 65 degrees (yes, I know the rest of the country was experiencing a blizzard) so they were there cranking out the stone. Lloyd wanted it all done by today....I'll bet they are still there trying to get it done. It is really getting him frustrated because as long as there is very messy stone work to be completed, he has to leave roofing sections incomplete so the stone guys don't damage the shingles and metal roofing. Since the roof is not completely sealed, we can't insulate and drywall. So the inside is really at a standstill until the stone is done and then the roofing is done. I will be very excited to see the more activity inside the house soon! Here is where we are on the outside.

The siding is still the primer color, but it looks nice to see something other than Tyvek!

The retaining walls have been capped with flagstone. They just got a bunch of palettes of flagstone in and they pulled it aside for us because they thought it was such a thick and especially beautiful batch. It is very pure and light looking, almost like limestone....of course I'm partial to limestone being from Indiana. But, in this application, we got a bit worried when we saw the palettes, they are SO white, some have beautiful purply swirls and are very sparkly, but the majority is just pure white. Looking at the neighboring palettes, the stone is very rough looking and much more thin than our pallets, so it wouldn't combine well either. It started growing on us and I think it will be beautiful. They also started building our little columns for the retaining wall. We'll put a gate there which will ideally mimic the arch of the window above. Lloyd sent it off to Walpole Woodworkers for a quote. Their gates are very pretty, but more than we have in mind for an afterthought kind of project.

Also off to production are our barn doors for in the kitchen area. What is very cool is to give Lloyd a drawing and have it come back the next day from the company making it and it is exactly what we have in mind!

There will be 2 of these doors.

Also this week, I've been working on our door hardware. The plan is for a 5 panel "farm door" and for these awesome knobs. Only one problem, they are expensive. I think we'll get the great ones for the main floor and then maybe something not so pricey upstairs. We'll see how we're going to make it work.

I'll have to post a picture of them soon. They are so pretty!