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decisions decisions

progress photos & more

Tons of people build their own home and I often wonder...how the *&^$ do they do this?

Due to the fact that we had to basically switch contractors (the other one is still around because he is tied to the bank) the new contractor had to fix all the stuff that the original framers did. And when I say "fix"...I mean "redo the whole goddamn thing". And they werent small things - they were really big things IMO like the garage wall being structurally sound or the rough openings for the windows and doors being the right size or reframing some interior walls (they were crooked!) and there was one other one...oh yeah...the roof! Seriously...the roof had to get redone.

Im not sure how this passed inspection...can you see the wall is bowed?

this is the new structure for the garage wall. it needed extra supports on the side and a new beam because of the large opening (18 feet wide). I almost cried when I saw this wall. the framing is so neat and SO good. ignore the small river in front of the garage.

the first framers did not build the roof with the 2 foot overhangs (as shown in the drawings) so they had to patch it up and add extra crappy pieces of wood to make the overhang. It was SOO poorly done that a strong wind could have probably blown parts of it away if we had left it as is.

new roof overhangs

new sunroom roof overhang

notice the roof and new house wrap - commercial grade. not the crap that the first contractor gave us

although it may not look like much to you...this is progress i tell ya

a little progress each day leads to big results

I've always been good about making a decision and sticking to it. My process for house stuff goes something like this: Pinterest the living hell out of an idea, shop online for pricing, draw it up in Revit or SketchUp, show husband/kids/friends/dog for validation and finally make a decision. Poof. Done. It works out most of the time. But...as with anything in this house project...it's been a struggle.

The good news is...that I NEED to make decisions because we are progressing! I said it people...progress! There are 2 things that are making progress happen...

One - this new contractor is good - he's detail oriented, he's there every day on the job site, he's communicative and he has great ideas. YES - I will share his name with you. AND NO - you can't use him until after I have moved into my home. We may be paying him an exorbitant amount of money...but we feel there is no other other way we are gonna get this done! Money well spent.

Two - you (the client/homeowner) needs to be onsite each and every day. Mark my words...if you ever do any type of major renovation...if you think you are going to hire someone and they will magically do it all for you and get it exactly right...then go and reread my past blog posts. You will be sorely disappointed and broke. If you leave the decisions to other people and hope that just because you are paying them to do something that you can just relax and hope that it all works out...it's not gonna happen. Being on site every day (for 1 to 2 hours each day) is the only way to ensure that things are progressing and the details are getting done the way you want them to be done.

Here are the BIG things we have had to make decisions since the windows have gone in. And with those decisions...we had to write some really BIG checks. Don't get me wrong...i like to spend money. But = I'd rather buy a couple Birkin bags than insulation and sprinklers for this house.

  • Sprinkler locations - did you know that you need to add a full sprinkler system in new homes?  
  • Siding, stone and trim colors - we chose a Stonecraft stone veneer, Hardie Artisan siding and Hardie panels - blog posting on that later
  • Light fixtures - how many?  where?  surface mount or wall mount?  what color temp?  Also - there are SO many recessed lights...but when these babies went in...i could really start picturing this house.  
  • Decking steps - what size?  materials?  We are going with a longgg, wide and low step design on the rear of the house.  It's gonna be cool - more on that too later
  • Electrical fixtures - decide on switch locations and outlet placement - this one was a doozy.  You have to look at each and every wall to determine where and how many switches or outlets or tvs or whatevers you need for each room.  You have to be pretty anal about this otherwise you're going to be kicking yourself later on saying...why oh why didnt I just add an extra outlet or switch here?   Exhausting.  This is not my favorite part...I'd rather look at tile and siding details all day long than talk about what switch turns on what light and what app turns off what light and what time.  

stairway to heaven

The stairs - there is only 1 set of stairs in this house. So - it's pretty important to the house design because you can see it from the great room. So we meet with the window guy and he says "hmmm...this is a REALLY complicated stair! Never seen this before!" Yay. Im so lucky. I was as confused as the stair guy so I made a bunch of elevations and 3d drawings. And..to make it worse...the pricing varies SO much. At one point the stair guy told me one of my stair designs I was interested in was gonna cost around $60,000. ummmm. yeah. not going with that design. obvi.

stair design #3 out of 1 million

temporary stair going up to 2nd floor; stair going to basement (on right)

view from great room to stairway. notice the windows and doors! hallelujah!

super cool angled nosing detail. this was the one that he quoted as $60k. NOT getting this one :(

anyway...it is progress. Slow as all get out but I would call it progress.

A year ago today we were still fighting with the Idiot Civil Engineer and trying to figure out dry wells and how many trees needed to be planted. A year ago!

But as my wise husband keeps saying...ya gotta look forward and don't look back. Well...unless we want to look back at cute pics of our dog or kids.

our guy Thurgood shown at 4 months old (now 14 years old)

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