Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drywall Complete

You hear countless times that once you have drywall, the house starts looking complete. I agree completely until I drive up and see the progress of the exterior. Being that the weather has basically made it impossible (especially with me having like 0% "meat on my bones") we have switched our focus to the interior.

My father and I can't take the credit for hanging, taping, or floating the drywall as we contracted that out. My father DID do most of the final finishing on the drywall which I can't give him enough credit for. Don't get me wrong, it was miserable as it took an entire week of him sanding, me pointing out imperfections, him sanding, calling the crew the crap we found, him sanding, me pointing, wash, rinse, repeat..etc... I am sure he hated doing it, but at the end of the day I think he and I were both pleased with the outcome.

If I had just went with the work of the contractor and his crew, it would have taken 3 times as long and I would have been absolutely unhappy. While my friend from work
(who was actually a painter at one time) was painting our house he commented that the drywall in our house looked like what he had seen in million dollar homes. That sure made all that work seem worthwhile.

Here are some drywall pictures:

How many elbows are too many?

I thought I would give the Chuckster a challenge by asking him to mount my faucet spout and my valve/control lever in two totally different locations. Long story as to why this is a great idea, nonetheless it is. After calling Kohler, we discover they recommend 2-3 elbows maximum. We were at 6 before my Dad solved the riddle. Rolled Copper.

News Flash

I know I really suck at keeping this thing updated. I have so much on my plate that unfortunately this blog usually gets pushed to the back burner, then the stove gets turned off, then the bills don't get paid, then the stove gets repossessed, then the recession happens, then all the CEOS of big corporations get fat bonuses from the bailout..... my point is: I try, but cant seem to find time to keep this thing updated. I do apologize, please bear with me. (btw that was all just a carried away atempt at humor, nothing got repossesed)

Also I would like to add, Amanda and I each got an iphone so I will be mixing pictures from the new gadget with my regular digital camera pictures. I know the quality between the two is quite a bit different, but I always have my phone on me and seldom have the digital camera. End of story.

Square Bay Window Looking Thing

When we purchased our house we were well aware it was way to boxy looking (very traditional as well) with nothing to break up the lines. After careful consideration (and gallons of mt.dew) we decided on breaking up the corner with a "square bay window" looking thing. Forgive my lack of construction knowledge, I am sure there is this great way to describe that better but as usual I am blogging after 14 hours of work so I am running on fumes. As soon as someone is kind enough to tell me what to call it, I will edit my post. Well even though my name for the project isn't awesome, the outcome sure is!!!

Well, there it is 1/4 of the house wide open. I will admit, you have your moments of doubt about two people finishing this before the day's end..
This was at the end of the night, all buttoned up. Time to go home.... approximately 2am
The next day we begin on the other side. Last minute, (guilty as charged), I decided to add another window to this side. It turned out to be one of my favorite decisions so far as I felt this side of the house was looking a little bare. The window was just an extra we had, and didn't know where to use it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We have Attic Space!! *Kinda

When we began re-modeling/building our house I was at time planning on redoing the roof in 1-2 years after completion as it was in decent shape. Our roof did have this completely ridiculous valley in it that I wanted taken out and a basic 4 hip roof framed out instead. After mulling this over, I decided it would be best to go ahead and have the roof re-framed out now as well as a new roof put on. Not much point in running a marathon with flip flops on. My father and I found a wonderful Hispanic crew who framed out the roof in one day and did a greatjob. I showed up to watch them hang off the side of the house like crazyed monkeys, drink unprecedented amounts of "Rockstar", jam Mexican Music, and laugh at my father completely butchering their language. Ironically they have been the fastest along with providing the best workmanship of any contractors we have used up to this point. I am hoping the contractors we use in the future are that good. We also had a tree removal company come out and remove two trees out of our back yard. I forgot to take pictures with the trees gone to show how much more of our house you can see from the road even though one tree was in the back, and one on the side. Honestly tree removal isn't the sexiest of remodeling, however it might prove to be the hottest..

As you can see we now have some attic space. Of course in the true fashion of how my father and I do things, we open up the roof and attic space AFTER we install the recessed lighting in the tightest and hardest places. I think we have a genetic defect that causes us to do things the hardest ways. I am assuming I inherited that from him. That and I am only 5'6", postitve he gave me that too..
The guys also replaced the fascia boards (which were rotten 1x8 and tilted about 30 degrees back) with a new 2x6 that is straight down without the angle (now they are like | as opposed to \ before). I am going to finish the fascia out with Hardie Trim that is 1x9.25. I always liked larger fascias and the cantilever fascia is going to be 1x9.25, so I really wanted them both to match.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Google SketchUp Renderings

Here are some Google SketchUp Renderings of what we are doing with the house. This should give everyone a good idea of what are overall plans are. I really wanted to be able to view the house this way and originally thought about hiring someone to do it for us. I checked around and got estimates anywhere from $250-$1250 for someone else to do a 3D Rendering. I decided that I couldn't spend that much on something we didn't REALLY need so I downloaded the program and dove into it headfirst. After two weeks this is what I came up with.

I wish I could do more landscaping, but I definitely don't have time to learn that. If we change our mind on the color options I will be posting them here to hopefully get opinions..

Enjoy and leave comments if you want..

Here is a side-by-side comparison of before and after (hopefully after).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dining Room Wall Rebuild

We started working replacing the Exterior Dining Room Wall as well as moving it out 10" so it will now end past the brick. If you look below in the "Finally Pictures" Post you will see the mistake we are trying to correct. We are only doing this here, the rest of the house where this issue exist will have the cantilever to address the problem.

Its crazy ripping a hole this big in the side of the house. I kept imagining if it were a window, how much natural light it would provide!
Trying our best to to button it back up before the end of the night. I am sure our neighbors are not amused at us sawing and nailing at 1am.
All of the new siding on tie fir out is temporary, we just needed something to go up in between now and next spring as we are putting up all new cladding on the entire house then. This particular siding will be replaced with SIL-LEED Fiber Cement Siding. The rest of the house will be done in Hardie Plank Siding. The patchwork quilt of existing siding we currently have up as well as the new siding are just there to last a few seasons. The older siding will however get a coat of paint as I dont think myself or my neighbors can live with looking at the kaleidoscope even that long.
I will get some additional pictures up up soon after we get a new door slab (the one pictured was defective along with the one for the back door) and get the slab painted. The first rain after getting the wall constucted caused the door to leak around the window. Lowes sent an inspector out who determined the door was milled incorrectly, and a new door slab was needed. Lowes then tried to weasel out of being responsible for the door slab being that they didnt install the door.. How the door slab has anything to do with installation (which was dne correctly btw), is a puzzle for me, my father, and the inspector. At the end of the day they decided to order new slabs... So we wait, and hope these are milled correctly..

Tub Deck

We Finished up the Tub Deck. Wow did the bathroom get alot smaller really fast! I was amazed at how big that tub is going to be in here. I have attached a picture of the tub we went with. This is one of the late minute decisions that we decided to spend a little more money on. We are REALLY excited about it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Pictures FINALLY!!!

Sorry everyone for the lack of updates. I am so busy right now with the house, my business, and my full-time job that I barely have time to do anything. This is the best I have right now..

We decided to enlarge the Master Bedroom, add a Walk-In closet, and also enlarge the Master Bath.

We added Fir Beams where where we removed the wall that separated the Kitchen and Living Room. This will give it an open feel which we wanted when we began house hunting. If it isn't there, make it.. I think those are the exact words that my Dad hates hearing me say.. =/

We decided to replace much of the existing Fernco Plumbing once we moved some of the plumbing around. We figured we might as well do it now while we have my Dad here to help. He liked the idea also!.. We think...

New Windows from National Home Center. Which we will never shop at again and do not recommend to anyone! Not only did our windows arrive scratched up (please let us scratch up our own windows), the largest and most expensive custom window was milled incorrectly, upside down, and to the wrong window. WOW.. We are still waiting on them to get us the correct window.

Chuck working away, before the haircut and one of the only times I think he wears his mask!

This is our latest issue. We are not sure what the original builder was thinking, or how I missed this during the inspection but much of the water damage under the house was from this. The house stops short of the brick and with an horrible attempt at flashing (installed over the siding and with nails shot through it) the house. This extends down the entire front of the house and the side.This is not something we anticipated but Dad came up with a great idea of building a cantilever on the front of the house (which you will see in my sketch up model to come). Luckily this will be easier and cheaper (not by much) than building out the entire front and left side of the house to extend over the brick.

For those who haven't seen me in a while, the stress of the house has made me lose all my hair..... kidding..

The original floors were saturated with the smell of Cat Urine so we replaced both layers of subflooring in the house. Again another unforeseen cost. I thought for sure we could get it out, but again decided it was better to be safe and replace it all. It gets pretty humid around here, and if you have ever smelled cat pee when its humid.... you know its pretty wretched..

Amanda has really got her hands dirty with the house and proven to be an invaluable help for both me and my Dad. She has taken to Construction and even wowed us with her willing to learn. Now she is spouting off all kinds of knowledge when we are away from the house and she sees something she knows. Its been a wonderful experience for everyone.

Unfortunately I only snapped pictures of her supervising... =)

Here is another picture of the replaced flooring, followed by some pictures of how bad the water damage was on the existing flooring. You can see why we replaced everything.

Once we opened the walls up I opted to go ahead and replace all of the existing Isulation. Its amazing to see what R-13 was then and is now. I went with R-15 (which isn't easy to find around here). I figure you only have one shot to replace it.

Here is a shot of my Dad crawling around in the smallest part of the attic cussing me while putting a Recessed Light in. Love ya Dad!

Below is a mock up of the Cantilever. We will be covering it with a Standing -Seam Metal Roof but wanted to get an idea of what it and the pitch would look like.New Smaller Bedroom and Office Windows installed as well as ugly temporary siding. Wow that looks bad.

The relatively low sloped roof doesn't lend much room in the attic for installing the Recessed lighting as well as any other items that need to be addressed in there. The spray in "Dirt" insulation(as my Dad likes to call it) doesnt make anything easier. I think that insulation has called him to cuss more than anything else at this point..