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kyla_mcsweeney

May 2023- Building a Home

Kyla McSweeney
9 months ago

It is May already! Hoping for a ton of progress on my home this month, and I know some of you will be moving in!


Comments (89)

  • worthy
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    mgmunson

    What a lovely idiosyncratic ramble of a residence, breaking all the rules yet seeming to work. Hope all those massive timbers will remain in view when it's completed.

    bmanning

    What confidence your builder has in finishing the basement flooring and drains with no superstructure above. We've built about two dozen homes and leave the flooring till last as you can never be sure where the drops are going.

    All these mountain and country settings are wonderful!

    But mrs. worthy insists on city life and refuses to be near water, never failing to remind me of her childhood Caribbean home inundated by hurricanes, leaving fish in the living room.

  • bmanning
    9 months ago

    @worthy thanks. Seems like putting in the basement floor first is the way they all do it in this area. Our contractor did say that the plumber "missed" in a couple of spots and they will need to take out a bit of concrete and fix it. There are also a few spots that they left open for the steel to go in and will backfill around.

    @Liz888 our interior doors will be Redhawk knotty alder solid 3 panel


    our framing has started, they will stick frame the walkout basement and the garage, then put the basement ceiling/floor in for the main level, then the timberframe will hopefully arrive shortly after that:)



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  • CSmith
    9 months ago

    Everyones progress looks awesome! Love seeing all the changes and updates from ya'll.


    We are currently painting. Got our garage doors installed last week. I just ordered our stair railing and mesh walls. Sourced and ordered all our tile (which was exhausting, glad that's done!) and cabinets should be delivered sometime in the next week or two. Also finalized measurements for our glass & steel walled office from Crystalia and ordered our carpet and hickory flooring. It's been a BUSY two weeks and I'm starting to be jealous of people who have builders that do all this work and/or interior designers.


    My to-do items this week are to schedule our concrete floors to be polished, order door and cabinet hardware (which I need to STOP falling in love with things I shouldn't be splurging on), and pick out our countertops. COUNTERTOPS! I thought I knew what I wanted going into all the slab warehouses nearby... but ya'll have me going down a black soapstone rabbit hole now.


    I was originally hoping to do some honed/matte quartz, but after playing with samples, it's a hell no for me. Was then after some honed/leathered granite or quartzite... which I still might do. But after doing a deep dive on all these materials, soapstone sounds like it might be a better fit/look for our needs. *sigh*

  • chicagoans
    9 months ago

    I first viewed the house I’m having remodeled in November and closed in January, so it’s been fun to see it in the spring. Some good surprises!

  • Laurel C
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    @CSmith Join us! Our kitchen cabinet boxes are mostly in, so we should be ready to get the counters templated soon, we just need to get our bathroom vanity mounted, and the whole bathroom vanity/linen closet from ikea built for the hall bath. Looking to start looking at soapstone slabs soon. I had the same situation with honed black quartz, that was initially what I was thinking but the more reading I did the worse it sounded, and I really want that matte black counter look. I know that black granite is a thing, but after our last kitchen, I just hate granite so much, and it really does feel dated to me, so I am really hoping to find some soapstone I like.



    We've had 3 coats of paint done, the walls of windows are the same black color as the rest of black trim, the rest of the walls and ceilings are all the warm white we selected. I think it's BM Snowbound?


    We've selected our tile. There's a place in Lexington that gets closeout tiles and sells them at a massive discount (the list price on the tiles we picked is north of $25/sq ft, we got them for $1/sq ft) - The lighter grey color is going to be the walls and floor in the hall bath, and it'll be the floor in the primary bath, with the darker grey color on the walls. Still need to pick out our grout.


    The edges on the advantech flooring swelled (they're not supposed to, but it is what it is) so the tile guy has sanded down the entire floor.


    We wanted to tile the entire house (on a farm, the mud/gravel/rocks/dogs/baby sheep will definitely wreck wood flooring) but the tile got cut for budgetary reasons, we are doing LVT through the living spaces with actual tile in the bathrooms. The plan is to live with the LVT til it eventually gets wrecked (I assume we can get 10-15 years out of it) and then splurge on having the whole house tiled. To prep for this, the tile guy is laying tile underlayment over the entire floor to bring our finished floor height up closer to the height of the tile.


    Just a peek into the primary bath, I was trying to stay out of his way.


    Builders have been furiously staining the T&G pine for our ceilings, and started putting the first planks up yesterday, they're trying to get the scaffolding out of the main rooms so it's not rolling around on the underlayment any more than necessary.


    My perimeter kitchen cabinet layout. The island has since been mounted.


    And here's a quick screenshot from the security camera showing the island.


  • CSmith
    9 months ago

    Tile install question:
    What are y’all seeing for costs? I’m getting $20-30/sqft estimates from local tilers and am a bit in sticker shock. Is that normal? That’s just for labor. Puts me at like $45k for tile labor which seems crazy to me.

  • aklogcabin
    9 months ago

    Looking very nice. We are building our retirement home ourselves also. I have a medical issue that sidelined me for a bit but healing nicely and getting back on the house. And winter is finally gone. My beautiful wife has gotten a lot of great deals also. It's also nice to get exactly what we want.

    Your doing a great job

  • Laurel C
    9 months ago

    That's about where we ended up which is what pushed us to use LVT in most of the house. Running the membrane and prepping the whole 1700 sq ft house only cost of ~$6k, with the cost of labor and materials for tiling the bathrooms (besides tile and grout and caulk, which we are providing) coming in at around another $6k on top of that.

  • aklogcabin
    9 months ago

    We will be receiving our fiber cement siding today.

  • Kelly M
    9 months ago

    I spoke with the engineers today for what they call a 60% meeting. The design is coming along, I corrected some detail issues and firmed up the design considerably. He says we will be at 90% in a week or so, so I may have my plans ready for submittal for early June.

    My first carpal tunnel surgery is 2 weeks past now, and feeling good. The next one is in two weeks. I should be in fine nail bending form when I get approval to build.

  • 2rickies
    9 months ago

    @C Smith, unfortunately that seems to be the going rate for tile install. The quote I ended up with is $24/sf. I'd hate to see it if I decided to do anything complicated.


    Anyone use Marazzi tile? I like some tiles I saw of theirs online, but I had to order samples since no one around here has them.


    Our steel arrived today, at long last, and our power will be run next week. Things are happening!

  • Laurel C
    9 months ago

    We are waiting to hear back from the electrician to have him come out and install more circuits so we can run the HVAC and have more access to power in the house. The whole floor has underlayment down, all of our cabinets are installed, the roofing company came back to fix the leak in the boot around the range vent fan, and to install our gutters. After seeing how big they are on the back of the house, we've opted to just use drip edge on the porch roof. We are also skipping downspouts for now, and will probably just get rain chains, but we don't really care for the look of the big ass downspouts coming down from the corners. The bathroom vanity has been mounted to the wall and our zero entry shower pan is in.









  • Liz888
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    Everyone's progress is looking great!

    Mine is at a standstill but that's construction for you. We are working on a floor truss to come in and ran into an issue.

    Floor Truss - We have already been waiting two weeks for this and now finding out that the depth of the truss where our hvac, etc. will be - is not deep enough to hide stuff (probably not explaining this the best) so we would need to increase the depth of the truss two more inches to 16" on the west side (keep east side at 14") which will eat away at the height of our basement which is 9'.

    It just has a domino effect as we have peek out basement so the basement windows (on the east side where the truss will be 16") sits above grade - which means that with the increase in depth of truss, our windows will be higher than the basement ceiling height. Given that the windows are recessed in, we will be looking into the window top that is above ceiling height. I can't visualize this but my GC says it'll be fine.

    Another item came up where my architect is pointing out is the way the floor truss sits on the 16" depth truss is on a hanger. while other is sitting on top of the wall.

    Anyway - it is a bit too much to comprehend and now we are being told that once the floor truss drawing is approved, it is 3 weeks out to get them. Our porject is on a complete standstill at this point until we get the floor truss.

  • 2rickies
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    @Liz888, I had a long wait for trusses as well! It was frustrating for us and the builder who was watching days and days of good weather pass where he couldn't do anything. I don't know if this is helpful to you, but when the architect or builder tried to explain something and it wasn't clear to me, it really helped if they gave me a back of the envelope rough sketch to show what they were talking about. Maybe ask one of them for that so what's happening can be clearer to you?

    @Laurel C your place is looking amazing!!! So exciting! We are using rain-chains in some places, and I like the idea but I'm skeptical about what will happen when, say, water freezes? Will it be too heavy and pull on the gutters? I guess I'm going to find out.


    The tile samples I'm thinking of for my shower have arrived, and I like them a lot, but many of them showed up chipped at the edges, and I worry that doesn't bode well. Should I be concerned that if I actually order this tile for my shower it will a) show up chipped, or b) prove to be so fragile that it will chip too easily during install? (You can see some chips in the photo.)

    There are two different colors here, white and "natural" which is sort of gray looking (the tiles in "natural" are on the left and on the bottom of the pic). I'd only use the white, but I put them all in the pic so I could try a couple of layouts. There are several different decorated versions of both the small and large tiles, so the end result would be a mix, and since my wall is large, I'd probably separate the decorated tiles with more white tiles than shown here.



    Here's a pic from the mfr site that shows more white tile intermingled. I don't think I'd arrange it quite like this, but I would use a lot more white tiles than decorated ones:



    Here's a pic showing just the small skinny tiles. I might use them in combination with the larger ones, not sure.



  • Laurel C
    9 months ago

    @Liz888 Ugh that is super frustrating on the truss end. Not the same thing, but we had to frame out a wall in the back of our office an additional 3.5" because the HVAC guys didn't plan ahead or communicate very well, and the intake and exhaust for our ERV needed extra space to be run. Here's hoping the truss manufacturer is just giving you a longer lead time than they expect. Have you already ordered the windows for that part of the basement, or can you by chance get slightly shorter windows?


    @2rickies Yeah, I love the look of rain chains. I'm hoping that when we get any accumulation of freezing water on the chains, they should hold themselves up! Either way, these gutters have TONS of massive supports, so I suspect we should be OK either way. For now we are just leaving the holes for downspouts empty and will see how much splashing we get (we'll put some angled rocks down in the splash zone to hopefully direct it away from the house, but the french drain will certainly be doing the lord's work here)


    Those tiles are gorgeous! I so look forward to seeing shots of it installed!

  • 2rickies
    9 months ago

    @Laurel C thank you! I really like these tiles. I talked with the tile store people and the mfr customer support, and they both said chipping often occurs when samples are shipped by UPS, and those are also packaged and sent by a different company. But when they send full orders out they are packed very differently and damage is rare.

  • Liz888
    9 months ago

    @2rickies - thanks for the feedback. Those tiles are lovely! Where are you on your build process now?


    @Laurel C - We already ordered the windows few months ago. My GC wanted to make sure we got our window order in because of the delay. You are making such great progress with your home! Do you have a project end date yet? Can't wait until I get there!


    We have our basement concrete floor poured. I gave the approval to order the floor truss today after speaking with structural engineer, architect and truss engineer. and approving the truss design Hopefully it'll arrive faster than 2-3 weeks they quoted me. Fingers crossed!








  • 2rickies
    9 months ago

    @Liz888, the steel has finally arrived, so now the great room and the cantilevered roof over the terrace can be constructed. The house is 1 1/2 stories, and now they're framing the second floor on the bedroom wing. Our windows and doors have arrived, so that's exciting. Not sure when I'll see them, but I hope in the next few weeks.


    Here's what it looks like now:








  • agbhw
    9 months ago

    Framing is flying at our build. They’ve worked 6 or 7 days and already have the entire first floor framed and will finish the second floor I joists tomorrow. We decided last minute to partially finish the upstairs as well. The garage bottom floor is ICF and I expect to pour the concrete in the ICF this week. Don’t have any other new pictures right now.

  • Laurel C
    9 months ago

    Not a ton of photos of house projects. Builders got all of the custom made cabinets built and installed (they still need doors, drawers, and any decorative cover panels) and I believe they're building our ikea cabinets for the hall bath and laundry room this week. Tiling starts on Monday.


    We have had a pile of guests this month, which isn't exactly a great time to have people visiting as we are trying to get ready for this move, first my mom came (and we used her to help us move the contents of our garage into the workshop building (that is also temporarily housing my high value house plants, all of our appliances, closet units, etc), and 2 days after she left, my MIL, FIL, and BIL arrived to stay for a week, leaving the Friday before Memorial day weekend (we have to hand our keys in on the following Wednesday, so our plan is to have the house essentially empty, with the exception of mattresses and my desk (inflatable mattress is going to the house with us to sleep on while we wait for our occupancy permit, our mattress is going in the trash, and someone's supposed to pick up the guest bed mattress) and we will borrow a friend's pickup to bring our desks up by the time they leave on Friday, then we will get things set up to squat in the house on Saturday, and come back to clean the rental house thoroughly, return the router, etc.


    We had a stand up freezer that converts into a fridge, and it died when we moved the garage stuff, so we are going to need to get our permanent fridge moved from the shop to the house (even if it needs to be moved around as flooring goes in and whatnot) to have refrigerated food.


    Overall, i'm sure things are going to work out ok, but I did have a meltdown and shouted at my husband for putting a bunch of stuff that needed to not go in the pod (stuff we need to have out/available to us, like the dog's medication) and some expensive electronics into a partially full bin that had leaky bottles of houseplant fertilizer in it, getting fertilizer on my camera's strap. I think it upset my MIL, but there are few things more frustrating to me than not being able to find things amidst a move because they were just jammed into random boxes and not labelled. I've been very thorough about labelling both the room things go into and the contents of the box and I'm not about to lose track of things. This means that I'm packing all of the boxes, but my little control freak heart is happy to do so as long as that means things will be organized on the other end of this.


    Iris bulbs I planted the autumn before last finally flowered and they're stunning. I'm super happy.

    storage closet on the left, pantry and refrigerator cabinets on the right, the drawer and door heights are consistent in the whole space.

    Linen closet in the bathroom , Excited to have this, with an outlet to charge toothbrushes and keep my hairdryer plugged in.


  • TDinNC
    9 months ago

    I’m envious of everyone’s progress! :) We’re currently in a delay waiting on final construction drawings from the architect due to an illness. Hopefully that’ll be fixed within a couple of weeks. Laurel C- which tile shop did you use in Lexington?

  • Kelly M
    9 months ago

    TD I am rowing in the same boat with one oar. We are waiting on engineering so I can then finish my drawings and submittals for permit.

    At the office they have an etched glass window that is an inspiration. I have some places where I can take advantage of back lighting for etched and stained glass.

    The window:




    And the projection into the conference room beyond.






  • Liz888
    9 months ago

    @2rickies - thanks for sharing your progress! I'm so jealous and happy for you - to see such great progress - we are still waiting for floor truss before we can begin framing.


    @Laurel C - I can relate with your frustration about packing and labeling. I'm exactly the same way and my dh is the opposite. He just likes to pile on anything in the box and figure it out later. It must be stressful to have to pack and organize and get out by EOM at the same time focus on the build. Ton of stress - sorry to hear.


    Bad news - I got laid off from my job few months ago so trying to tighten our budget here and save where we can. I've shared this news to my GC in hopes to relay that we need to curve out spending (i'm sure he doesn't care).


    I'm finding that things that are outside of the scope of the build process that we have to pay out of pocket for such as tree cutting, electrical wire trench work to bury wires and storm water and any change orders we put in, my GC seems to be charging me arm and a leg for.


    I've approached this topic with him as I'm been able to find subs that charge 1/3 of the cost he is proposing. He says hes not the cheapest and uses quality labor. I mentioned to him that quality is number one for me but I also shop around to make sure I'm getting quality and best deal. I don't think he and I will see eye to eye about this and I'll have to micromanage this portion of the projects since the money is coming out of my pocket. It's sad actually that they don't want to work with you to help given our difficult situation.


    Latest issue is we need to do some trench work to bury the electrical wires for a new service and he quoted me 8K for this which to me sounds ridiculous. I'm finding my own way through this which is extra work but they are quoting me around 2 -3k. This is what just makes me so mad but I'm locked in with my GC so have no choice but to work with him through completion.



  • Laurel C
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    @TDinNC We went to Kentucky Tile Closeouts in Lexington. Highly recommend if you are in the area and need tile, and also aren't ultra picky about what you get. Kentucky Tile Closeouts | Discounted Porcelain Tile

    @Liz888 That is frustrating. $8k sounds really high depending on the cost, but our dirt guy (who is in general much cheaper than what one would be likely to find in most places, he's a good old boy who seems happy to work for us) charged us $8k to complete the water trenching in the photo below,

    fill it in, scrape the driveway, bring in gravel for french drains around our foundation, and grade up to the house. The road is near where that power pole in the photo is, so maybe ~100 feet up the driveway? Seems worth it to do some legwork and try to save thousands of dollars.


    edit - that photo is NOT uploading for whatever reason. Sorry.

  • CSmith
    9 months ago

    @Liz888 Sorry about the job, that sounds stressful. Also super frustrating about your GC. I would hope he'd be more understanding and let you bring in different more affordable subs. Our GC offers up his crew or crews he suggests, and then I shop them to get the best rate and he goes with whoever we decide to move forward with. It's such a gnarly time to build right now thanks to labor issues. We are full on double what our original budget was. My husband also lost his job a few months ago (and I'm workin on the house full time with little kids at home, so not earning anything) so totally get that stress. He's since found a new gig, but yeah, stressful times. Hopefully you get a new position soon. Good luck. Sending you awesome new job vibes!


    8K does sound like a lot. That said, we are paying $7.5K for some trench work to run our gas line. It's about 200 feet of trenching down a steep hillside. Seems high IMO, but can't negotiate with the county/utility companies.



  • TDinNC
    9 months ago

    Kelly M- cool idea on the etched window! Thanks for sharing.

    Laurel C- appreciate the info! We visit KY a few times a year and it will definitely be worth a stop for us. Thanks!

  • Liz888
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    @Laurel C @CSmith - thanks for your feedback! I love this sound board - validates all my uncertainties!

    @Laurel C - given this is the final week of this month, I'm sure your super busy with moving. Sending you energy and luck your way that everything goes smooth!

    @CSmith - so glad your husband found as job, it's a cut throat market right now with so many ppl laid-off & looking for work.

    Curious - when you have changes to your floor plan after permit approval- such as changing door sizes or plumbing - does your GC ask you to have you (architect) update the floor plan each time? My GC is asking me to do this and my prior GC never did this. I'm wondering if this is the norm...

    I hope everyone has a great memorial day weekend!

  • CSmith
    9 months ago

    @liz888 We’ve only been asked to change actual floor plan blue prints when there have been major changes (like moving rooms/walls). Not door sizes, adding of windows, or plumbing. Those are just verbal and we write them down on the plans or spray painted them onto the actual walls. Haven’t had to do that on either of our builds.

  • Kelly M
    9 months ago

    @CSmith is the trenching on your property? In most cases you can provide the utility with a prepared trench for them to lay the service (s) in. They have to do the work off your property in a right-of-way, or another licensed bonded contractor, but on your land not so much.


  • Kyla McSweeney
    Original Author
    9 months ago

    Question for everyone. I am trying to get a sense of whether my builder is particularly slow and unorganized with sub contractors or if this is normal. It took over a month to do siding on the house. (March 16- April 28) Then the HVAC started, around the 1st of May and completed around the 8th, which seemed reasonable. We were told the plumber would start then. As of today, the plumber was has not finished. My guess is that about 1/2 the plumbing is done, maybe 2/3. We have been told for the past 3 weeks he would be finished, and every day we drive by the house and no one is there. I have complained numerous times to the PM and Builder. Last night my huband lost his mind. We have had significant issues with the timeline of building our home which was supposed to start in early summer 2021 and take around 6 months (this is what we were told). Some was not the fault of the builder, some has been. The builder today apologized and swears the plumber will finish early next week and electrician should take a week, we can get inspection and they can move on with the insulation. Is this typical? To MH and I it seems really slow and like he can't manage the subs appropriately.

  • CSmith
    9 months ago

    @Kelly M Yeah. It's on our property, but the county is actually cheaper. Our other quotes for like $10K+ *sob*. That SUPER frustrating part of all this is that we ALREADY TRENCHED that area last summer for electric and water lines and they just forgot to put in the gas line. One of the many reasons that GC team is no longer on our project. I love paying for work twice. Super fun! *facepalm*


  • Liz888
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    @Kyla McSweeney - Understand your frustration - the fact that your builder told you that it takes 6 months to build is not realistic. This is my second time building. My first GC told me it will take 8 months and it took 13 months and it felt excruciatingly slow . My second GC is telling me 12 months.

    Ive documented my timeline from my first build and here's how long it took us:

    siding: 4 weeks (on and off)

    plumbing: two weeks

    electrical: 1-2 weeks

    after electrical - it took us 6 months to get CO. they say that drywall is around the midpoint of the project. You may want to understand why it is taking so long and have them outline remainder of the project so you can keep progress. During my first build, I had a weekly meeting with my GC to update me on their progress and delays. I'm doing the same with my second GC.

  • Kelly M
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    12 months seems like a typical accelerated timeline. 6 months is more like a NASCAR pit stop!

    Just putting this out there in the face of these trenching and earthworks costs ( which I do for a living).

    Think really long about what you might want in the future, and buy some extra pipe. We call them sleeves in the business.

    I put them across new garage openings from the lawn to the beds behind the walk, I run them in the trench coming from the street.

    glue them up like they are going to hold pressure.

    tape up the ends securely, mark them with a short board that is either just above or below the surface.

    The last step is the most important. Make a detailed map, an "as built" for these sleeves in case the board gets buried or pulled out.

    Now kick back and enjoy not having to tear up your driveway for some landscape lighting you decide to put in after the fact, some irrigation into an unplanned location, and the big one, when the new Internet provider shows up and you don't want him plowing up your lawn.

    I also toss a crossing in out near the property line across the driveway.

    That few hundred in pipe there will be priceless if you use just one of them.


    Pex and poly pipe can be fished through them, fiber and cable, low voltage, irrigation wiring. Security camera wiring. Pretty much anything besides your primary power does not need to be inspected.

    The gas company might utilize one if you provide pictures of the installation.

  • 2rickies
    9 months ago

    @Liz888 so sorry to hear about the job! it is a tough time now, for sure.

    Our transformer, pull stations, and electric pole went in this week, and yesterday they supposedly pulled the wires, but I left before they arrived, so I don't know if it was actually done. The pull stations are pretty ugly but they'll eventually be swallowed by vegetation. As for the trenching, our electric trench was around, uh, 2,000 ft long. Given what that cost, 8k does seem high for a "normal" distance (what is the distance?). Oh and yes, we will have to do a separate trench for the well and a trench for the landline. Fun times.


    The one thing I'd say about using different subs than the ones your builder selected--I chose my builder because I really like his work, and he uses the same subs for all his jobs. He has people he's been using 15-20 years, and he schedules his jobs based on their availability. If I wanted to shop for different subs he hasn't worked with before, I'd have to go with a different builder. In general, I would think a lot of builders would prefer to work with subs whose work they are familiar with, whose quality they can predict, and who they know they get along with on the job. So that might be part of the hesitation. Otoh, if he's way overcharging you for the same level of work, that stinks.


    @Laurel C good luck with the move! It would also drive me crazy not to be able to find stuff in the boxes. Although, I can't find stuff in my current house. This fall I'm planning to spend significant time going through stuff and getting rid of a lot of accumulation. We've been in this house a long time, so it will take awhile!


    Our status as of yesterday, in addition to now having power (I hope!), the roof framing is pretty far along on the bedroom wing, and the steel has started going up on the great room wing. We reviewed the grading, and the dirt guy will make some corrections; we marked where retaining walls and a path to the dog yard will go.


    Seeing the roof framing go up, that was pretty cool. It feels a lot more like a house now.




  • worthy
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    Four and one half years from first meeting the city zoning examiner to this:

    b. 1964 recycled 2023

  • agbhw
    8 months ago

    First picture exterior from front

    Second picture exterior shows back of house and garage. Sunroom will connect the two.

    Third picture shows the view looking out of French doors onto the back porch.

    Fourth picture shows the kitchen

  • agbhw
    8 months ago

    First pic - foyer view from front door, it’s a center hall foyer running from front to back with rooms off the sides.
    2- view from standing in front of living room fireplace looking across foyer to twin dining room with fireplace as well
    3- stairs!
    4- second floor so far. We are not finishing the entire second floor, just putting two bedrooms and a bath for kids. I’m afraid it may be hard to stick to that with this view though. I hate to “waste” it but trying to keep it all in perspective, the more house we build the more house we clean and maintain which equal less time to actually ENJOY the house.

    Framers have done a wonderful job so far. It’s an Amish crew from the neighborhood. We pay them but the day.

    We do not have a GC. We are running the show. It’s been a very busy and time consuming process but I VERY much like the full control we have over the process.
    Starting tomorrow - Rafters begin! I’m expect to see a roof up there (not shingles but framed) within a couple of weeks with how these three guys are moving. Thankful for that.

  • agbhw
    8 months ago

    Lastly, the beginning of May we poured the concrete for the ICF. Can’t remember if I shared these pictures or not.

  • Liz888
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Happy Memorial Day!

    @2rickies - appreciate your feedback. I'm all for having our GC use his subs but projects like trenching for electrical was not part of our contract so it's something we have to pay for out of pocket. Our trench work is only less than 100ft and I know when we built our home last time, it cost us fraction of the amount my GC is charging so that's why I'm questioning. Given that its not part of the construction cost, we are going to hire our own and have them work on it.

    We have been stand still on our project for last 2 1/2 weeks waiting for floor truss. We are wasting good weather and it stinks but part of the building process. What are you gonna do...

  • 2rickies
    8 months ago

    @Liz888 oh my gosh, that is is a crazy high rate for only 100ft! That makes total sense to handle it directly. We did something similar with our driveway, because that had to be done before site prep and building could begin. Sorry you're still waiting for the floor truss! I think we are a couple of months behind schedule because of unexpected waits for trusses and for steel. But yeah, I guess it's part of the process.

  • Laurel C
    8 months ago

    Nice way to round up the month.


    @Liz888 Thanks for the good vibes. It's kind of felt like a marathon, but we are finally settling in and glad to be out of the rental. Cooking without any running water inside the house (our hose spigots work) kind of sucks, and having an air mattress (pretty uncomfortable) and my desk plus a tv and a chair in our spare bedroom is a little tight, and we are hoping to have HVAC by the end of the week, when it's supposed to hit the 90s, but the house feels really good to be inside, we are so looking forward to actually having our stuff set up in it.


    @Kyla McSweeney When all is said and done, our build will have taken almost 2 years start to finish, but that includes the design phase (going from inspo photos to a completed house), and our builder's crew is just 3 people, so YMMV.


    @worthy Is this place in a particularly hard to build in area? What has taken so long to be able to knock down the old place on that lot?


    Everyone's stuff looks so great! It's wonderful to see walls go up and to be able to visualize rooms and see how they change as they get ceiling planes and whatnot.



    This is where we are at this afternoon. First a few glamour shots of the place. We put a couple of short LED strips on the interior soffits as a proof of concept and love how it looks, so we got the correct length ordered and should have them by early next week. The house looks phenomenal at night already, and we've been able to enjoy the sunsets, and it's lightning bug season, and they fill the fields and the trees around the house, everything feels magical. Glad I was so aggressive about dark sky compliant lighting outside.






    We've been in discussions about where to hang the island pendants. We are all in agreement that we want them a bit higher than you'd "normally" see them due to the very high ceilings/scale of the lights, plus the design of the lights allows for higher mounting without the concern about glare. Builder and my husband want them bottoms level with the 8' soffit and I'm not sure I'm on board with that height, but this is our starting point. Once the tile guy gets our bathrooms tiled, we can install the hall bathroom cabinets and get our counters templated. I've been creeping on the counter company's supplier inventory websites, and am hoping that I'll be able to scoop a couple of slabs from the below lot if we're able to get the templating done in time, seems like the perfect amount of veining, not too dramatic. If not, counters/plumbing may be delayed a bit, but it's something I'm willing to put off if it means I'm not settling on ultra expensive counters.



  • 2rickies
    8 months ago

    @Laurel C Gorgeous photos! That lighting looks beautiful! I'm so glad you thought of doing Dark Skies lighting. I'm doing the same. In our rural area, the power company will actually give people "down" lights for free if they don't have them. Everyone wants to preserve the night sky. So great to see your progress!

  • CSmith
    8 months ago

    What is everyone planning to use for doorstops? Putting an order in today and have decision fatigue.


    Have a mix of concrete, hardwood, and carpet floors. Not sure I want to drill into the floors for floor mounted stops.

  • CSmith
    8 months ago

    @Laurel C Your house is looking fabulous. In your area, are you allowed to move in without a CO, or are they more lenient in giving COs? We need running culinary, all plumbing/electic fixutres installed, and kitchen appliances/hood installed before they'll even giving us a temp. CO. Your soapstone slab is gorgeous. Enjoy it :). Can't wait to see it all installed.


    Our update:

    Wall/ceiling painting is basically done, as is about 30% of our tile work. Window casing, tile work, and concrete floor polishing is set to happen this week and possibly into next week. Then we will work on getting our cabinets installed for kitchen and base installed.










    Trying to figure out what sort of front deck/porch to do. Our garage slab ended up being dug out and poured 2 feet LOWER than what we had on our plans, so we are redsigning what we had planned with some stairs. Thinking of doing something like the below drawing... but open to suggestions. Our driveway will be blacktop, but wanted to do a cement path to the door. So it's a little tricky to get that all in. Might just do blacktop everywhere. It's a weird spot.




  • Laurel C
    8 months ago

    @CSmith No, they're not very easy to work with in regards to COs, or temp COs. In order to get a temp CO, all of the other trade inspections (fina plumbing, final electrical, etc) must have been done. (in which case, what's the point of getting the temp CO vs the real one?) However, the building inspector told us that he wouldn't be back out here until we called him and asked him to come do his inspection, so the actual occupancy parts of our stuff (air mattress mostly) are able to be taken down and tucked away in our pole barn until that's been completed. The lease at our rental house was up and they weren't open to doing month to month, so we didn't have much of an option unless we were to try to find a furnished VRBO that takes pets, but it would have cost an arm and a leg. We wil see how it goes.


    Your house is gorgeous, I love all those windows, and the sagebrush landscape is striking! The tile you picked is beautiful too.

  • Kelly M
    8 months ago

    Thanks for many great inspirations. I've been kicking around polishing the basement floor and it would be easier to do before I stood up any walls, but I don't want to lay the framing process.

    If I do polish somte I think I'll do it after we get occupancy as it is an unfinished basement.

  • worthy
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    @worthy Is this place in a particularly hard to build in area?

    We all hate whiners. But I was a licenced homebuilder/renovator for many years and have never seen anything like this. For instance, 23 mos. to review the building plans. Passed without a single question or comment. Today, the surveyor said they're adding another C$1,600 because of new city requirements.

    Here's a consultant survey of developers' experiences with Greater Toronto Area municipalities. Guess where we are?


    If I had better researched the difficulties of dealing with the city, I would never have started this. Just a warning to others wherever you're building.

    I really love your soaring glass walls and a vista that a city can rarely match.

  • Kelly M
    8 months ago

    I got word from my engineer today on the 6'x 10' cantilevered balcony engineering. His part = $350

    I gave the go ahead to add that to the engineering work.

    The beauty of it is I can add any non-structural columns or details to it down the road. It's a win.

    I also had my second carpal tunnel release surgery this morning and I'll be ready to bend nails before I get the permit.

  • Chandllerin
    8 months ago

    Closing out this month with basement walls. Waterproofing team will be out tomorrow. The electric company came out and moved a bunch of lines that were low and coming right across our property. They relocated all lines except the lowest one. Here’s to hoping it gets moved before framing begins.

    Looking forward to reading about everyone’s progress in June.