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Progress – Inner Workings

23 May

First of all, I apologize for being MIA.  I got a little bit behind on the progress…partly because we were out of town celebrating my dad’s birthday and mother’s day, partly because I was having technical difficulties with wordpress, but mostly because I just didn’t get around to it.  All that said, we have a lot of catching up to do!

On Friday, May 4th we met with the electrician at the house to make sure that there were outlets and cable jacks everywhere we knew we were going to want one.  For the most part, based on codes, he had them placed better than we imagined.  I guess because he does this for a living, who would’ve thought!  The main thing we wanted to meet with him on were the two outlets that we are placing on the floor of our living room.  Due to the nature of our open floor plan, we have to float our couch in the middle of the room.  To avoid cords running across the floor to the walls, we decided to have outlets placed on the floor under where our couch will be.  This way, they can just run under the rug and couch and not be a trip hazard.

While they were working on wiring, they were installing windows, the hvac and ductwork, as well as putting the shingles on our roof.  Needless to say, when we went back on May 5th to take pictures our house looked quite a bit different than it did a week ago.

Except of course, for the giant dumpster right in front of it, but you get the idea!

Here is the back of the house…missing a few windows, but the roof is done.

The picture below is taken on the covered porch of the windows that will be over the banquette.

I think they turned out so well!!

The picture below of the kitchen/living room doesn’t look that much different, except for the duct work running through the ceiling.

And the banquette and laundry room with the wiring.

We are thinking about running the built in benches for the banquette as a U instead of an L.  We have quite a bit more width than we thought we would so we could easily make it a U.  Something we are still debating, but think it might make it look a little more finished.

Here is the master bedroom with wiring and windows!  I just love getting to see them installed.

Below is our water closet with the plumbing and electric run and the window installed.

This is the wall to the right when you walk in the house via the garage/mudroom.  It is where our fridge and pantries will be.

You can see the plumbing and electric…as well as the tub/shower that was delivered on accident for the upstairs bathroom.  It was supposed to be just a tub since the shower surround will be tiled.  They have since delivered and installed the correct tub, but the wrong one still sits in our garage.  We’re starting to think it will come with the house…maybe we can Craigslist it! 🙂

This is a shot of the foyer looking from the living room.

See that giant window that is going to have a huge presence from the front of the house?  Well, it happens to be in the half bathroom.  I know…AWKWARD!  Don’t worry…we already have plans to add some pretty shutters so that the light won’t be blocked, but it will feel a tad more private.  We’ll make it work.

And of course…our lovely dining room window taken from the front porch.

I love how much light is going to come streaming through it!

On to the upstairs…

Our bonus room with windows and wiring installed.

And the upstairs bathroom just about ready for tile and cabinets.

OK, I might be getting a little ahead of myself.  First comes drywall…then the tile and cabinets.

And now, for the debut of our bathtub…

The correct one!  I love it…but probably because it just makes the room look like an actual bathroom!

Another pleasant surprise was in the storage space over our garage.

Remember how it was framed…accidentally?  Well, because of that and codes, they had to run electricity to it.  So now the room is wired and completely ready to be finished out…all it needs is some drywall and a door for a closet.

Even though it will be a very long time if we ever do finish it out, we have been daydreaming about what it could become.  My thought is a bunk-room for guests and kids’ sleepovers.  I’ve been eying this one from pinterest for a while!

It would be a little taller and wider than this picture (I’m pretty sure this used to be an attic), but can you picture it?  I love the curtains to close off the beds, and the sconces, and especially the wood paneled ceiling.  But for now, it will just be a ton of storage space for Christmas Decorations and boxes filled with college and high school memories.  We’ll take it!

Just for fun, here is a picture of one of the HVAC units.

It is on the left side of the storage room.  We made sure they put it behind the framed out walls so we could make the most of the room that they gave us…accidentally.  🙂

Not sure if you noticed in the picture earlier, but that big silver tube running upstairs in the laundry room is our intake.

We were kinda bummed that it had to go here because we had to lose a cabinet in our laundry room since the washer and dryer had to shift down almost a foot.  But, because our first floor is so open, there weren’t a lot of options of free walls to put the intake in.  Not the end of the world…it could be way worse.

Finally, a shot of our back porch.

The outdoor fireplace is going in the corner.  We have been really excited about the fireplace and I have already informed hubs that if we have an outdoor fireplace we must ALWAYS have s’more ingredients on hand!  You never know when you might need them.  That will be such a great way to spend a spring/fall night.

Because we were so excited about how everything was coming together, we decided it was time for another self portrait.

The hardest part about visiting our house and seeing the progress is that we get more and more anxious for it to be done so we can move it.  I am so ready to decorate and make our house a home.  I get more and more excited every time and it gets harder and harder to be patient!

Our next step is to pick out cabinets and meet with the cabinet maker, but more on that next time.  Anyone have any cabinet advice?  Anything you wish you had done differently or would change if you could?  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…we  need all the advice we can get!

Progress – Under Roof

7 May

We took our weekly trip to the house on Friday, April 27th and our house was standing and had a roof on it!

It also had a giant dumpster in the front yard. 😦  Puts a damper on the pictures.  Luckily, it’s only temporary.

Here’s a better angle without the dumpster.

You can really see the dining room window and front porch.  The window upstairs above the porch is one of the bedrooms.

Here is a picture of hubs standing in the dining room window.

This will be one of the focal points of our house since our door is nontraditionally placed on the side of our front porch.

Another angle of the dining room from the landing on the stairs.  Past it, you can see the living room and the banquette.

And here is the kitchen, taken through the living room.

The half wall in the center is for our island.  They have to lower it a bit because they made it bar height instead of counter height.

Here is the living room looking into the foyer and stairs.

You can see the fireplace and the small rectangle to the right towards the ceiling is a window that has not been cut out yet.  They are raising the mantle a little to match the picture below.

We can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Here is hubs checking out the tray ceiling in the master bedroom.

They finally cut out the back windows in the bedroom.  And, see the blue and red pipes on the floor…that is the start of our plumbing.

Here, in the master bath you can see more the the plumbing.

The left side of the window is hubs’ sink and the right side is mine.  There will be a tub in the middle that I will have many a bubble bath in!  I can’t wait!

Here is the back of the house with all the windows cut out.

In addition to the roof, the staircase was added, so we didn’t have to climb that ladder again.  (You can stop worrying pops!)

We love the landing and how the stairs become a focal point of the foyer without taking over the space.

And now…the upstairs without all of the crazy support beams!

Above is the bonus room, with the large opening on the left leading to the bedrooms and bathroom.

They fixed the ceilings in the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms.  We wanted them to be vaulted so they would feel bigger.  They are pretty tiny, but it already looks so much better.

Here is the future expansion area we gained by closing in the ceiling of what was supposed to be a two story living room.  You can read about that here.

Among all of the mistakes that need to be fixed, there was one pleasant surprise.

They ended up framing the storage area.  Brent described it as “The framer got a little excited”.  We got a lot excited because one day down the road we can easily turn it into a bonus room, theater room, or even a very large bedroom.

And finally, our main task this week was to choose exterior colors.  So we drove around looking at houses and realized that we liked a bunch of different color combos, but when we drove up to this house…we knew it was what we wanted.

Keep in mind that we do not like the stone at all.  We will choose a little darker/grey-er stone to go with the dark grey (with slight brown hint) siding. We will have vinyl shakes on the front and siding on the back.  The roof will be a similar color and we will have white trim and columns.

Progress – Upstairs

2 May

My morning on April 20th started with a phone call from hubs telling me that our car was broken into…AGAIN.  The second time in less than 9 months.  The craziest part is that there was nothing of value in there at all.  Seriously, some empty CD cases, a few CD’s, a pair of broken glasses, a 5 dollar pair of sunglasses, some body splash, an old brush, and who knows what else.  Were they that hard up for cash?  It made me so ready to move into our house…not just because I’m so excited to live there, but because we will have a garage!  Therefore, breaking into the car would involve breaking into the house first.  Probably not going to happen.

On a lighter note…we braved an impending storm to see the progress.

Looks ominous doesn’t it!  It really wasn’t that bad.  As far as the house was concerned, they almost finished the downstairs and were working on the upstairs and roof.  See the ladder on the left side of the house?  That is how we got up to the second floor to check things out because the stairs had not been finished yet.  The roof is much taller than I thought it would be, but you can really start to see what the elevation will look like.

Here is an update of the kitchen/living room/eat in area now that some of the support beams are gone and there is a ceiling:

And here is the back of the house:

We didn’t know that they would be adding the pitch on the right side because we never saw a picture of the rear elevation, but we are so glad they did because we think it adds so much character!  There will also be three more windows in the back that have not been cut out yet.

And here is our beloved garage that we are looking so forward to parking in!

This is a picture from the upstairs looking down through the tray ceiling into the master bedroom:

This is our unfinished bonus room/additional storage:

Because we didn’t want a two story living room, we ended up with extra space upstairs.  We knew we wanted a bonus room right at the top of the stairs so the original bonus room became an optional bonus room that we can finish later if we want and just use for storage for now.  It’s nice to know we have so much storage space that could potentially become another bonus room or a guest room down the road.  We are hoping to be here for a LONG time, so that could come in handy!

This is kinda hard to see with all of the support beams, but here is the bonus room:

Hopefully you can make out the header above the doorway which opens to a hallway that leads to the two bedrooms, a bathroom, and the future bonus room.

This is looking down the hallway to the left from the bonus room:

You might be able to make out the door to the right, which is the bathroom door, and the door at the end of the hall which leads to a bedroom.

That’s all for now…the next post contains a lot less support beams so it should be a little easier to figure out what everything is.

We went back the next day to drool over it some more and got to meet one of our neighbors on the other side and her sweet baby boy, as well as the neighbors two doors down.  They just moved into one of Brent’s houses and we enjoyed walking through it multiple times as it was being built.  (If you can’t tell, that is one of our favorite hobbies!)  We talked to them for a while and are excited to get to know them better.  It’s nice getting to know people before we even move in.

Our next step is to choose exterior colors so they can get started on that…let the fun/stressful decisions begin!

Progress – Framing

25 Apr

Every time Hubs and I pull up to the house we are like little kids seeing Disney World for the first time. Our faces light up with sheer and utter excitement. This was, by far the happiest day of the process so far…

On April 14th, almost the whole first floor was framed.

It’s actually starting to look like a house!  The 2D plans that we have stared at for  what seems like forever are finally 3D!  We were overcome with excitement as we walked through each room of the house.

The picture below is taken from the mudroom looking through the kitchen and into the living room.

The pipe in the middle of the floor will be where our island is and on the back wall you can see where the fireplace and windows will be.

This picture is taken from the opposite corner of the living room, looking back towards the kitchen.

Of course all you can probably see are boards going everywhere!  Most are studs for the walls, but the rest are to hold the walls up.  They will come down as the rest of the house is complete and it will be much easier to visualize.

And what’s a post without a picture of hubs and his handy dandy tape measure!

We leave one in the car, along with a copy of our plans, ever since the foundation scare.

Here is the back of the house.

The left side is our covered patio which will extend to an uncovered patio.  That will be poured when they do the driveway and front porch.

So…I have a confession to make.  Hubs and I agreed early on that we would go to the house together once a week so that we could really see the progress that was made (usually Friday with an occasional trip back on Saturday just for fun).  However, this felt like the longest week ever waiting to see what would be next since the foundation was set, especially since I work so close to the neighborhood…so I cheated.  I happened to have a doctor appointment close by so I just HAD to stop and sneak a peek at the progress (even though hubs was not with me, so sorry hubs!).

The picture below was taken on Wednesday April 11th.  Sorry for the poor phone camera quality.

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The first thing I saw was that we had a special delivery of wood in our front yard…then I noticed that there were two men working on the first wall of our house.  I was beaming with joy over the thought of the walls going up.  Needless to say, 2 1/2 days later the first floor was completely framed out as you saw in the pictures above.  I’m telling you…these guys move quick!!

We met with Brent to see what we needed to be working on and discuss a few things.  He told us that as long as it didn’t rain our house would be under roof in a week…what did I tell ya??  QUICK!  He also told us to be picking out exterior colors and the next step after that would be tile and then cabinets.

We had to send him a picture of windows we liked so he could order them.  This is what we sent him.

We loved the craftsman look of this window, but picture it in white.  They will be going in soon and we can’t wait to see how they look in real life on our house.  It’s getting to the point where we have to make some major decisions regarding the house and it is getting kind of nerve-wracking trying to be 100% sure.

Anyways, while we were at the house, we met our new neighbor, Ron.  We were so excited to officially meet someone in the neighborhood.  That is one thing we are really hoping for here…community.  It felt good to meet someone before our house is even done.  Hopefully next time we will meet his girlfriend and son.

Has anyone ever built a house?  Is there any advice you can give us on what to do or what not to do?  We need all the help that we can get!

Progress – Foundation Poured

20 Apr

Each stage of the house is increasingly more exciting than the last for us.

So, as of April 9th, the most exciting part so far was seeing the foundation poured.

The foundation is one of the most important parts of the house.  It can make or break it.  Without a strong foundation the walls could crumble down at any moment.  However, the most exciting part is that the foundation is done and the framing can begin!  That is when we will really see the rooms that we’ve stared at on paper for so long come to life.  We are so ready for that.

Until then, you will have to settle for an up close and personal shot of the foundation.

We never thought that we’d be so excited over a slab of concrete!

Just for fun, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been working on recently…

This is my inspiration board for our Living Room.  I love the light/bright colors.  It is so fun and airy.  In case you are wondering, our couch will ‘float’ in the room and behind it is the kitchen so that is why I don’t have anything hanging over the couch, but I’m thinking that color gray will be perfect for the living/kitchen area.  (Side Note:  If you haven’t checked out Polyvore, it’s pretty awesome!  Such a great way to see how everything will look together before you spend tons of money…also good for showing the Hubs!)  Sadly, the only thing we own in the picture right now is the couch, so it will be a long process to actually make it look like the picture.  Plus, I’m thinking Hubs might need some persuading, but I’ve got several months…right?!

Here’s to wishing and hoping and, of course, daydreaming!

Progress – Foundation

17 Apr

I have no idea what happened, but I wrote and published a whole post on Wednesday and today it completely disappeared!  Oh, the frustrations of starting a new blog!  Here is my best attempt to recreate it…

Every time we go visit the house and see the progress that has been made, we can’t help but get excited as we see it all come to life.

On March 31st, it was no different.

Our ‘house’ was no longer just a concrete outline on the lot.  They had laid cinder blocks on the footers and poured gravel as a base for the foundation to eventually be poured.

The picture below is taken from the back corner of our house where our bedroom will be.

The one thing that no one told us is how SMALL it would look at this stage!  I’m talking ‘how-in-the-heck-are-all-the-rooms-going-to-fit-on-this-tiny-square’ small.  Seriously, like ‘there-is-no-way-that-they-are-going-by-the-same-plans-that-we-have’ small!  It was crazy.  I think we were both a little nervous.  So much so in fact, that we came back the next day to measure everything according to our plans.

Hubs was especially nervous.  Here he is checking things out.

We still weren’t completely convinced even after we measured, but we recently spoke with Susan, the woman who drew up the plans, and she said that it happens every time.  Even after doing this several years, she said that she has to remind herself that it always looks much smaller at this stage and everything will fit when they start framing.  That was a huge comfort to us.  I don’t know what it is, but if you are ever building a house please don’t freak out at this stage like we did…It’s a little embarrassing looking back on it!  Just know that it will work.  Even if you think your house will end up looking like a clown car with all the rooms stuffed in there any which way…it will be fine.  It’s the strangest thing…really.

Anyways, we went back for a visit on April 5th before we left town for Easter.

We had hoped for more progress this week, but the plumbing was laid in further preparation to pour the foundation.  We were OK with this because every step is a step closer to pouring the foundation, which is a step closer to framing, which is a step closer to putting in all the fun details!  I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.  We were still really excited and even though it was raining I even took hubs on a ‘tour’ of our new home as if it were finished.  We just got to imagine that it was. 🙂

Here is a closer picture so you can see everything that is going on.

The two on the left are for the master bathroom (sink and shower).  The two in the back are for the laundry room.  The one in the front on the right is for the sink that is going on our kitchen island.  And finally, it took us over a week to figure out what the one in the middle was for.  We were hoping that our builder was going to surprise us with one of those faucets that goes over the stove.  That would have been sweet!  Unfortunately, we realized that it is for the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom…DUH!  Can you tell this is the first time we are building a house??

So now that you are well-acquainted with the pluming in our house…maybe I over-shared a bit!  We are getting closer and closer to being caught up to the present.  Things are about to start moving very quickly!

Progress – Groundwork

16 Apr

An update on the progress of our house is long overdue, so get ready for a crash course.

The long story started over a year ago when we first drove through Waterhaven and eventually met Brent Mercer.  We liked a lot about the neighborhood and Brent’s houses.  We ended up looking at several other neighborhoods and talking with many other builders.  We also considered buying an older home or even fixing up a foreclosure.  However, for many reasons we kept coming back to Waterhaven and Brent.

After searching and searching we finally decided that in Chattanooga’s market, building would be the best thing for us to do to get the most for our money and everything we really wanted.  We found a house plan that we loved on coolhouseplans.com and decided to see if Brent could build it for us.  Long story short, we chose a lot and had to redesign the plans so they would work on the lot we chose.  We met with Susan who worked her magic and designed a house we liked even better than the original.  We have stared and stared at the plans and get even more excited to see the finished product each time.

Once we had the contract finalized, we signed and put our deposit down on April 24th.

Here is a picture of our lot that we took on March 3rd before any construction had begun.

Before any construction could be started the plans had to be presented to the HOA ARC to be approved.  They met on March 7th and by March 9th the ground had been broken…

Finally, the real work began…March 23rd looked like this:

Footers were poured, which basically outlined the foundation of our house.  The little square on the front section of the picture below is our front porch.  It began to feel a little more ‘real’!

We were so excited to see the first step in our dream home come to life.  Of course, we still have a long way to go, but this was the first major thing that had been done on our lot and it started to feel a little more like home.

Please disregard the dirtiness of my hair in the picture above, I promise I’m not always that dirty.  Check back tomorrow for the next 2 weeks worth of progress.