October 6th, 2013
My week 4 update ended with the main floor framing being completed, and the garage framing started.
We are still waiting for our Trusses to come in (hopefully this week), however, The front and rear gable are all stick framed in:
And the garage is now framed up as well.
From the inside of the garage you can see Mr. Project’s shop (kind of hidden back in the breezeway)
Also all of the internal walls are all framed out. This is a view of the main hallway.
A view into the family room and kitchen. If you look close you can see PLUMBING sticking out of the ground.
Pretty much all of the plumbing is done. now, just have to put it through the roof once all the trusses are on.
The plumbers even got all the bathtubs in – here’s our master soaker tub and they did a dry fit with our beautiful bath faucet (that we got for a killer deal).
And my pretty view out the windows above the tub:
Here’s the kid’s bathroom bath installed as well. It’s so fun to see actual stuff in the house!
The entry space looking towards the front porch (which they should pour tomorrow).
A cool shot of Mr. Project’s Office – all the studs are supporting the ceiling while they pour the concrete over the top. We call this the Sketch Bunker.
This week we also got our window wells for the front part of the basement. We only have 3 windows that are buried!
Thats pretty much the progress on the house itself. Tomorrow should bring concrete pouring of the deck/porch areas, and HVAC starting in the basement spaces. We’ve measured for all of our cabinets and built-ins, so I’ve got a lot of final planning to do on the design front. The build is going so fast, we’re both so nervous about getting everything done/bought/picked out etc. in time! Lighting and paint colors are what stress me out the most.
Speaking of designing though, Mr. Project is hard at work building the cabinets for the pantry space. Here’s the sink part of the pantry with a pull out garbage, and 4 cute little drawers. We decided to do a V-groove style door on all the doors in the pantry. I wanted the space to feel a little bit more country than the rest of the house.
Here’s the rest of the grooved drawer fronts waiting to be put on:
And here’s the rest of the base cabinets waiting for drawer fronts:
I’ve always wanted these fancy pull-out baskets. They are perfect for storing produce, and extra perfect for a pantry space.
I’m still trying to decide what color to paint the pantry cabinets… Right now I’m back and forth between a golden yellow and an aqua blue.
Here’s some yellow inspiration photos:
Or maybe I should just go crazy and do this awesome jade green:
What color would you paint your pantry if it had cabinets and open shelving?
September 23rd, 2013
Construction exploded this week. I can’t believe it’s only been a week… and we even had a one day delay because of a late wood delivery. Are you ready for this…
At the end of week 3, this is what we had:
And at the end of Week 4, this is what we have:
That is only 3 days of framing! 1 day of concrete pouring, 1 day of sitting around because of the wood delay, 2 days of weekend, and 3 days of framing. This is happening so fast. it’s amazingly fun to watch the progress. The framing quality is excellent too – Mr. Project is super picky about all workmanship. We love our framers, such a nice crew, and very good at their jobs.
Here’s some progress photos starting with our concrete pour. Seems uneventful right… wrong! We had a huge rain burst (including hail) hit about 20 minutes after I took this picture. I don’t know how they did it, but the cement guys managed to smooth it out and make it work. Then the garage was poured shortly after the rain came, and another storm blew through. We stopped by again after the second storm and the garage slab was all pocked from the rain, but they managed to smooth it, and now it looks perfect. It was a nail-biting kind of day. I’m so glad it worked out in the end!
Two days later (one of which nothing got done), we went to the house at 9 am to meet with our foreman and beheld this beautiful site:
We couldn’t believe how much work they had done in just 2 hours! We also couldn’t pull ourselves away from the build and stayed to watch them put up our big steel beam (we’re going to have it exposed).
And eventually they also got up the sheeting and the trim board that goes around the joists.
And here they are dropping the joists in – these guys are crazy just walking on walls.
The next morning we stopped by around 9:30 and they had the floor all finished, and had started raising walls on the main floor.
By the end of the second day about half of the walls were framed up including my kitchen wall of windows!
And by the end of the third day, all of the exterior walls on the main floor of the house were up. And the best part is that it’s monday, so they’ll have 4 more days this week to get booking on this baby!
Here’s those windows closer up. Love the view of the golf course and mountains in the background so much!
And here is my pantry! Because of some interesting things with the trusses, we get a 12′ ceiling in the pantry (thats a lot of shelving!). So I get to also have a beautiful big window with a transom over it. I’m just going to love being in this room.
And here’s the last thing they are framing… the Garage & Mr. Project’s workshop. I’m most excited to see how this looks at the end of day tomorrow!
Here’s the front all framed and sheeted.
I really couldn’t have imagined it would be this far a week ago. It’s really starting to feel real, although I don’t quite believe it’s our house yet. I’m loving the whole process, and our builder is simply amazing, we couldn’t ask for a better experience. If it keeps moving this fast, I may have to update more often for the next few weeks!
September 15th, 2013
It’s been 2 weeks since my last update. Progress moves a bit slow in the concrete phase, so I didn’t have much to update on week 2. But TONS has happen all of a sudden at the end of this week.
In my Week 1 update, we had gotten to the footings being poured. after 3 weeks, we’re almost ready to start framing. Here’s how the past 2 weeks have gone.
They came and put up wall forms over the back footings.
They decided to do the pour in two parts, so a pump came and filled up the first half of the forms.
They let it cure for 24+ hours and then removed the forms and set up the other half of the forms.
And then they came and poured the other half. This all seemed to take forever.
But the results were pretty amazing. We have foundation walls!
Next the rough plumbing and underground HVAC were installed.
And someone came and put tar on the outside to keep water from seeping through the concrete.
This is the rear side of the house where Mr. Project’s Office will be. We like to refer to it as the fortress because it’s concrete on all sides (it’s under the rear porch). I just love those 3 windows – it’s going to be a really cool room.
Then a dumptruck came and they dumped 31 loads of dirt into the garage foundation to fill it up and prep it for the concrete floor. Thats a lot of dirt!!
I brought Ollie back that day (once the garage was all filled in) and let him play in the big piles of dirt while we watched the digger do some back-filling around the house. He had the time of his life.
The next morning we stopped by not really expecting anything to be happening, and we saw the track hoe grading out the backyard/sideyard! It was my favorite day at the site so far because I could really envision the outdoor spaces and it felt like a home was starting to come together.
Looking back towards the rear of the garage – not sure what we’re going to do with all that exposed cement!
They also started filling in the basement floor with a tiny gravel called Squeegee in preparation for the basement floor to be poured.
Here’s a view from the back of the house looking into the basement.
So that’s where we are at as of Friday the 13th. This coming week should be really exciting. They’ll get the sewer hooked up, and window wells installed and then be able to backfill and grade the front yard. Then the basement and garage floor will be poured and hopefully framing will begin.
I can’t believe it’s really going to start looking like a house!! After that last day of work on it, I’m starting to get excited and realize that this is *OUR* house they are building and not just someone else’s that we are watching the progress on. Of course that means the pressure is on to make sure that all the details are finalized and that the cabinets are being built (Mr. Project is building all the cabinets, built-ins and organizers in the house).
The hardest part of this process so far has been making split-second decisions. You can’t hold up the build, so you just have to decide and hope that you’re making the best decision. We’re also having some trouble with our trusses and getting our ceiling heights to work in the rear of the house even though we thought we hammered all that out a few weeks ago! Things like that can kind of throw you for a loop, but we’re just taking it one day at a time and doing the best we can. Our builder - Bangerter Homes has been amazing to work with both in the design phase and the build phase. I couldn’t recommend them enough. Our foreman is incredibly hard working, always on the site when he’s needed, and willing to make both big and small changes to make us happy.
I’ll be posting updates weekly unless there are slow weeks here and there – then I’ll combine weeks. I also need to finish up some design choices and get design boards posted. Here are the rooms I still need to design:
Mr. Project’s Office
I better get cracking! We’re about to be going top speed with this build!
August 28th, 2013
The Project House V.2 has officially begun! We got our hole in the ground one week ago, and boy has it been a crazy crazy week!
We knew going into this process that there would be a lot of quick fire decision making, but we didn’t expect those decisions to come so early in the process and have such a huge impact on the build. On the first day we found out that our sewer was only buried 6 feet deep. That might not mean much to many people, but in Utah most homes have basements and if you plan on having any plumbing in your basement, then your basement has to be at least 1-3 feet above the sewer line. And then the basement foundation walls are another 8-10 feet tall on top of that. Then your floor joists are another 15″-18″ on top of that. Generally speaking sewer lines are buried 12 feet or more deep so that the basement can be fully underground.
Originally we had planned on a 9 foot basement. I love tall ceilings in basements, and really had my heart set on 9 feet. Well with this sewer issue, the first thing that had to go was the 9′ basement. Even with the 8′ basement, the house is sticking out of the ground 4.5-5 feet. Which is a lot. And because our lot slops a few feet in the back, the house now sticks out 7-7.5 feet in the back. Which is a lot. So as you can imagine, we’ve been panicking… wondering what are the best decisions… wondering if we should even keep going! And it’s the first week people! So stressful! Cooler heads did prevail… we dropped the basement to 8 feet tall, and decided to embrace the “daylight” basement and make the foundation wall feel less like a basement and more like a house. Here was our initial elevation of the back – we did have one portion “dug out” to have an exit from the basement. There was going to be about 4 feet of stairs to get out of that digout area:
I changed the window configuration to take advantage of being above ground – added several windows (there weren’t any before where the triple windows now sit). And also added siding/board & batten instead of having giant exposed concrete areas. The result is that the rear of the house doesn’t feel like a giant concrete basement is just sitting out above ground. Seeing this helps me not panic so much.
Of course this is just the house portion of the house. There is also a very large garage to contend with. We found out a few days later that because of the slope in the lot, the garage foundation will need to also be 8 feet tall. Which is a lot. Twice as much concrete as we had budgeted. And this is not a small 2 car garage… So we went totally off the deep end trying to see if it was worth it to completely halt construction and just go ahead and excavate under the garage and have an extended basement (daylight still in the back, so not unlivable). We could have a rentable apartment and a theatre room, etc etc etc. But to be able to afford all of that, we’d have to take money from the budget elsewhere, and we’re already camped firmly in the danger zone of the budget. So again cooler heads prevailed, and we coined the motto “STTP” Stick To The Plan. And as tempting as it is to gain another 2000 sq feet of space for pennies on the dollar (we’re already paying for 8 foot foundation walls!), we decided it wasn’t worth the cost of sanity, time, dollars, and a million more what-ifs and try-this. Have I mentioned it’s only been ONE WEEK? Anyone want to trade therapy for design advice?
So the build continued. Except we had record rain fall, mud slides, call-in-the-sand-bags crazy rain. All this AFTER we just dug a big hole in the ground (I really could use that therapy). And we were told that everything would have to wait because they can’t set up concrete forms while it’s raining, and they certainly can’t pour concrete when there is mud pouring down the mountain. We must be lucky though, because when the rain cleared up, our site just had a little compacting, no flooding, and no back flow into the hole. And we must be really lucky, because even though it was supposed to rain for many consecutive days after the big storm came through, it didn’t. The ground dried and the workers came and set up our footings.
The house is kind of long, so I can’t get it in one frame. This is the middle section where the breezeway is.
And here is a panoramic shot – the panorama distorts the image, but you get the general idea.
This morning Mr. Project went on his morning jog to the build site, and could hardly believe his eyes when he saw this big concrete pump at OUR BUILD SITE. I got his excited text message and this photo:
So amazing to see actual progress after so many odd setbacks. It’s happening. It’s really happening! Here is the concrete in the footings forms:
The city will inspect tomorrow, and then foundation wall forms will begin to go up. And then I think it will really begin to feel real.
One interesting part about this whole process is comprehending the reality of the whole thing. Up to this point, it’s all felt like a fantasy in a way. A plan, something fun to think and dream about. Kind of like when your a kid, and you can’t wait to be a grown up… but you don’t think it will ever ACTUALLY happen – even though you KNOW it will of course happen. So your knowledge of something doesn’t quite jive with your experience. Up to this point we’ve only experienced the design & planning phase. Even now, I don’t believe that this house is actually being built, although I can see it and actually touch it. In my brain, it’s still just a dream and binder/blog full of plans. I look at the floor plan, and I know it backwards and forwards at this point. I’ve imagined living and using every single space in the house. And now even with something concrete in place, it still only exists in my imagination because the final product doesn’t exist. So maybe it wont feel real until we’ve actually moved in. I guess I’ll let you know when it does feel real.
Either way, I’m through the moon excited. I miss my old house every single day. I miss having my own work space, my own creative space, everything pretty much organized, and clean. I miss my clean house. I can’t seem to keep this transition house clean because nothing really has a spot, everything is transient and wondering when it’s going to taken to its final destination. Soon enough. My daily motto – soon enough. And it really is happening!
August 21st, 2013
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted! I have a big huge mega update…time just got the best of me lately, between 3 business trips, a trip to the ER, the usual design deadlines, plus trying to get this house started, I’ve been falling into bed at night instead of my working on blog posts. Here’s my July + August in photos:
We drove out to CA and were able to see some friends while we were there. I also found out that it’s nearly impossible to take pictures of 3 little boys:
We also made a special trip to the Restoration Hardware OUTLET in Vacaville (totally worth the trip) and found tons of gorgeous hardware and mirrors for 40-60% off regular price. Score!
When we got back, Mr. Project started building the kitchen cabinets for our new Project House Kitchen.
And I started potty training Ollie… but he did most of the work. And in this photo you can see the utter CHAOS that our rental is. Way too much stuff (and acquiring all our lighting and plumbing fixtures), and no place to put any of it! I so cannot wait to get into our new house and get organized again. Oh and we love our Froggy Potty! He’s totally potty trained now (like a boss!) and it’s awesome not to have to worry about diapers for him.
Then I went to CHA for a few days with My Minds Eye. I debuted my new line Cut & Paste (which I still need to pick my winners for)
I came back home and got sick and had to go to the ER… turns out I have gallstones and need my gallbladder removed. But I was feeling well enough a few days later, and took some time to stop and smell the roses with my two sweet boys.
Mr. Project continued to work on cabinets.
And a few days later we headed to Costa Rica for a little bit of work and a little more smelling of the roses (with no kiddos!)
I got back home and was too beat to run the 5k I’d been training for. But a few days later, I ran for 20 minutes straight… which is a huge accomplishment after taking up running just a few weeks ago. Here’s my view that keeps me going for my morning runs:
Leo started walking… I still haven’t got this on video. He did take a good 10 steps in a row today, but my phone was out of reach!
Mr. Project continued working on cabinets… He’s working on the farmhouse table island in this pic. Made completely out of rough-sawn reclaimed oak. It’s going to look amazing when it’s all done.
And today, our house construction began with a big hole being dug. After all this time of planning and prepping, we have started. It’s thrilling, and scary all at the same time. I can’t wait to dive in, but I know it’s going to go so fast that I might not have time to blink. And I’m terrified that we won’t make all the right decisions, and we’ll be unhappy with aspects of the design here and there. But mostly I want to enjoy every minute of the journey.
Here we go… 3…2…1… blastoff!! I’ll be posting more now with all the construction and design progress. Also I usually post daily on my Project Girl Facebook page and my Instagram as well. So there are lots of ways to keep up on our project house adventures!