Monday, October 30, 2006

The Great Rough-In

Things move so much faster when you hire people. Profound and insightful, I know. But after months of working a little bit in the evening and then all weekend, I have been looking forward to seeing the rate of progress increase once we reached the point where we needed to bring in our subcontractors.
We now have
1) A completed roof. We went with the standing seam 26 ga metal roof for overall durability and lifecycle, as well as weight. Since we have built on a large span over water, we wanted to stick with lightweight building materials where possible.
2) electrical rough-in has begun and should be complete by the end of the week.
3) ditto for the plumbing rough in. We even have the shower/tub for the guest bath in place.
4) All interior walls/ceilings framed. We finished up with some last minute changes this weekend. Once we were actually walking through three dimensional space, we realized somethings just were not going to work out like they had on paper.
5) quotes for the spray foam insulation. All we need to do now is decide on an installer and sign the contract. Again, we chose this option primarily due to our location. Icynene and other types of spray foam insulation have moisture resistant qualities and have great sound barrier qualities. After a good rain storm the sound of the creek can be deafening, so it is nice to have the option to shut the doors and windows and just have it be quite in the house.
6) the rough in for the radiant floor system is complete. Again, we chose this due to the location. The floors use to be freezing in the winter, which I guess is no surprise with ice cold water running underneath.

The kitchen!! You need to use your imagination for the cabinets, stove, fridge, sink, etc. but you get the idea.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

We have officially moved out of the tent!!! For the past week Matt and I have been showering on a regular schedule and cooking dinners rather than eating takout. Our dogs have been lounging blissfully by a roaring fire while Matt and I relax over a glass of red wine. We have been waking up in the loft of a beautiful rustic mountain cabin situated next to a waterfall, looking out a big picture window at our creek house. It’s all too good to be true.

Last weekend while Matt and I were working away on our house, a gentleman came walking down the driveway. It turns out he is our neighbor and he and his wife were in town for the weekend. You see, our neighborhood has a lot of rustic mountain homes, many of which are second homes. Our neighbors have owned their mountain house for over 20 years, but have not spent much time up here over the last year or two because they have been renovating a 1800’s era Victorian. So, while Matt and I have talked to them on the phone, and Matt actually met them once about two years ago, we haven’t yet had the opportunity to really get to know them. So, after making introductions, we offered to give Mr. Neighbor the tour of our project. While we were all leaning against 2x4 stud walls chatting, out of the blue Mr. Neighbor said he thought it might be a good idea if we just moved into his house for the winter as he and his wife would not be using it. We tried to contain our excitement while Mr. Neighbor headed down the trail to his house to check with Mrs. Neighbor. To our amazement, she too thought this was a great idea and before we knew it we were down at their house getting the tour as they both welcomed us and our dogs. We have, without a doubt, the nicest, most generous and gracious neighbors anyone could hope for. So, this winter we will be acting as the caretakers of our neighbor’s mountain house…

The part that Matt likes most about this arrangement is its connection to Mr. Marvin, the man who built the original creek house. Mr. Marvin was a wood worker and talented carpenter. After he retired, he built the original house over the creek along with a large workshop, wood kiln and wood shed. Throughout this entire process, we have often looked at each other and said “Do you think Mr. Marvin would like this?’ or “Do you think Mr. Marvin would be proud?” In fact, he is somewhat of a mythic figure around here. And after Mr. Marvin thought up his plan to have a house over a creek and started building, guess where he lived. Yep, Mr. Marvin lived in the same place while he built the original creek house.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Roofers were here '06

The rumors were true! When we arrived home last night, actual work ( a lot of work) had been accomplished in our absence. In fact, it looked just like this:

I'm sooooo happy:)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Roofers have been spotted at our house!!! More importantly, roofers have been spotted on the roof, roofing!! We have no concrete evidence at this point in time, but will post photographic proof tomorrow:) I'm so excited I could do cartwheels around my office!

Monday, October 16, 2006

PROGRESS! (a little bit at a time)

We are finally back and ready for a new post with new pictures. In the weeks since our last post we have had a lot of small projects and loose ends to contend with. None of these seemed to warrant a post by themselves, but looking back now over the total of what has been accomplished in the last few weeks, I think we might actually have something to fill you in on!

First and foremost, we have finished all of the exterior trim!! If you have been keeping up with our blog, then you know that this fact thrills me to no end. All of the exterior trim is done in cedar and was treated with a tinted water sealer. We started with Olympic clear, but decided half way through that we needed a little contrast with the siding. So, after a couple of trial runs we settled on Cabot Heartwood Clear Solution, which is a penetrating oil finish. We will eventually do something similar with he shingles, but we wanted to let them age a bit first.

The crates sitting in the middle of the driveway are our roof!! In fact, if all of the planets are aligned correctly, then there are two roofers at the house right now installing the roof. This is exciting for a number of reasons. 1) A roof does make the difference between a construction project and a house project. Once we have a roof we will have a house (so to speak). 2) The roofers represent our first subcontractors. This means that work will be getting done even when Matt and I are not at the house. Work will be getting done that we didn't do. We will come home home from our regular jobs and things will have been accomplished in our absence!
After a brief period of deliberation, we decided we needed to rip up the subfloor from the existing house. If you were to cross section of the floor from the existing house, it would have gone something like this: 1) pre-finished oak hardwood 2) tar paper 3) plywood subfloor 4) plastic vapor barrier 5) R-30 unfaced fiberglass insulation 6) pressure treated plywood. Since we ripped up the first and second layers and then ripped the roof off, there were several weeks where rain just pounded the subfloor. We were envisioning water pooled beneath the plywood, on top of the vapor barrier. And that's what we found, along with a lot of wet insulation. We replaced all of that old soggy insulation with Reflectix insulation and a new vapor barrier. We will come back from underneath and insulation behind the Reflectix once the plumber and electrician have finished roughing in.
We have also finished installing all of the new windows:) And sometime in November we should have all of the doors. Matt is going to begin working on them as soon as the time changes and we give up the last remnants of daylight after work. He is going to build the French doors and two exterior doors leading from the additions to the deck, along with new jambs for the two original exterior doors. Once we are actually living in the house, then he can go back a build the new front doors, but for now we are going to use the old ones.

The view on my ride into work this morning. Two pretty not to share.