Posts Tagged ‘farmhouse’

There are a lot of last minute things going on at the FF, getting ready for the inspection to get the Certificate of Occupancy. Nothing too exciting, but lots of stuff.

We spent the weekend painting primer on the entire inside of the house. We wanted to go ahead and paint, even though it isn’t required for the CO, because we are putting cedar on one wall in the kitchen and it has to be done before the inspection…we want to have the painting done before putting that up. The specks in this photo are paint specks floating around the room. He did eventually put on a mask. He didn’t like it, but he did it.

We also got the clear coat put on the outside as required prior to inspection. My brother came and helped with that. He’s terrified of heights, so we were extra appreciative.


Being terrified didn’t deter him from talking on his cell while he was up there though.  Goofball.


We ended up hiring stone guy and crew to come back out and finish up the stone. It would probably be Spring before we could get it done, and while it doesn’t have to be done for the CO to be issued, it has to be done before the loan closing. We’re really hoping the catch a good interest rate in the next weeks, so we wanted to go ahead and get it done. It looks absolutely awesome. I’ll have photos this weekend.

We also have the stair railing installed inside the living room going to the basement. It’s really nice, the guy has been installing it for 2 days now :-). He’s very particular. Pictures to come.

It was finally dry enough to do a little leveling of the slope.  Number 1 son came out and helped with that.


So, just a few outstanding things before the CO can be issued. When that’s done, we’ll put down the flooring, then move in and finish up things like trim, etc.

We pass these guys on the way to the house from town, and Saturday I stopped and took a few shots. Aren’t they cute?? They are very inquisitive, stopping to check me out while I photographed them.




All-in-all it was a good weekend.  We cooked hotdogs over the fire in the backyard on Sunday, watched deer walk across the back 40, and listened to the owls after dark.  We can’t wait to get there.

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“A friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.”
– Anonymous

After so many days, ok… weeks…of pretty miserably cold weather, we had a beautiful, mostly sunny day here Saturday.  We have a few things to do at the house ourselves before the Certificate of Occupancy can be issued, and one of those is to make sure all the lathe is covered with mortar for the stonework.  The stone doesn’t have to be up, but the lathe has to be covered with the scratch coat. 

We’ve not been able to get this done due to the cold…but time is now becoming an issue.  Believe me, there are many other things to do at the house that are more pleasant, and we’ve not been looking forward to it.  The footing is bad under the porch area, most of the area is either too high or too low to reach comfortably, and it’s pretty dirty.

We decided the weather forecast looked pretty good for the weekend, and two friends had been asking what they could to do help us…awww, I almost felt sorry for them, but the over-the-top joy I felt quickly trumped that.  Mike’s sister and our good friend B offered to come out and help.  B even went above and beyond…she showed up with soup!!!  Which we promptly set out with the junk food we had brought. You know, the Krispy Kreme donuts, Oreo cookies, chocolate muffins…this job requires energy !

We had such a productive day.  We got eveything finished with the exception of the chimney on the front porch.  I still can’t believe we did it, we worked at an amazing speed, everyone taking on specific tasks and working together like clockwork.

Mike and B

Mike and B

Mike and his sister

Mike and his sister

It wasn’t quite as dark as it looks here when we finished, but it was almost 4:30 or so.
Almost finished

Almost finished

We’re still in total disbelief that we got the entire thing done.  No doubt B and Mike’s sister could have found a lot of other things to do all day, but they showed up and worked like crazy to help us get finished.  Of course there was lots of laughing and having fun, so the day did pass by fast.

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
~ Helen Keller

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After all the stress of this experience, there’s no way anyone will budge me from the giant wooden house as long as I’m still breathing.

People ask us every day – “How’s the house going?”. Until this week, the answer has been “Great!”  Not so much now. I think I see now why so many people that I talk to who have built say that they’ll never do it again.

I was so excited last week that things were finally going to start going into the house. We spent Sunday afternoon buying all the tile and supplies, with tile guy and company in tow. We had everything loaded on their trailer so they could begin tiling the 2 bathrooms and laundry room first thing Monday morning. We went to the house Monday afternoon, and some concrete board stuff had been laid on the floors (some of them). Went back Tuesday evening, nothing had been done. We called Daniel-the-Builder to ask what was going on. He didn’t know. After a bit (I’m sure after D-t-B called him) tile guy called us and said they had spent the day sanding our sub-floors. No, not the sub-floors in the rooms they were to tile. IN THE REST OF THE HOUSE! HUH??????????   Then he asked Mike when the trim is going to be there to be installed around the windows and doors…HUH??????????

We had to have a discussion with D-t-B and tell him that we don’t know why tile guy took it upon himself to do something we didn’t hire him to do, but that we aren’t paying for anything other than what he was hired for, and as far as the trim…BACK OFF! He’s not doing the trim! ARGGGG!!

Now on to cabinet guy. We met with cabinet guy 2 weeks ago at the house with D-t-B.  We provided computer generated drawings of each cabinet that we wanted.  He took the drawings, called back with a cost for the cabinets and countertops in a couple of days, and we told him to go ahead and order.  He called yesterday and said he’s ready to start installing today.  Now…back to the first meeting…and this is important…when we looked at the sink cabinet we said “the sink is an apron sink”.  Cabinet guy said “an apron sink, what’s that?”  Yep, that’s what he said. To which D-t-B replied, “Yeah, you know…and went on to describe it to him.  Then he said to him “you need to go to the store where they are keeping it for them and look at it, make sure you know what you need for it”.  Cabinet guy says “OK”.  Today we met cabinet guy and D-t-B at the house to tell him where the island will be placed.  I said – “Oh, come look at the apron sink, because it looks to me like that cabinet you have for it is wrong…there’s a front in it for one thing.”  Cabinet guy looks at the sink and says…”Huh? I’ve never seen one of those.”

I won’t go through all the gory details of the next hour, where at one point cabinet guy told me one of my options was to get a different sink.  What???? I picked that sink out and built this giant wooden house around it dude, no way!!!!!  He says there’s no apron sink cabinet in this series, and if we have one custom done it’s not going to match our others that have a glazed finish…blah, blah, blah.  At least once during the conversation D-t-B told him he should have gone to look at the sink like he suggested, so figure it out.  They finally decided to build reinforcement in the existing cabinet and cut the front out and assured me it will look great.  We’ll see.

So, tonight we drove up to see how much progress they made today.

1) Tile guys had piled concrete backer board stuff into our bath tub in the second bath.  One scratch is all it will take.  If there’s one scratch, someone else buys a new tub and has it installed, and it’s not us.  Unreal.

2) Cabinet guys.  The double oven cabinet (reg oven below and micro/convection oven above) is not that at all.  It’s just a one oven cabinet.

We have a call into D-t-B.

We’re stressed.  I’m in an eating frenzy.  Mike and I managed to get through today without getting mad at each other, which is better than yesterday, but we’re ready to fire tile guy and company and not so sure about cabinet guy and company.  Maybe we’ll calm down when we talk to D-t-B.  IF he calls soon.


We’ll be painting.  We just want everyone out of our house as soon as possible, and we’ll finish up.  As soon as the tile and cabinets are done, we’re finished with contractors with the exception of the electricians, plumbers and heating/cooling guy coming back to hook everything up.

So, a long, ‘uninteresting to anyone but us’ post, but I actually feel better.

Now, to go find food…

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I think we’re still in turkey stupor here. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, and I think we were all more stuffed than the turkey was.

Biggest Turkey of All

Biggest Turkey of All


We had food everywhere, all vacant spaces in addition to the kitchen table.  It was pretty much the same with people, they were tucked in all the nooks and crannies.



Everyone left our house around 3:00.  Mike and I, along with my brother and his girlfriend headed to my step-dad’s house and had dinner.

On Friday we went to the house and installed the front porch ceiling.  We came up about 14 boards short, but will get those up this week.  Daniel-the-Builder came out and spent the day with us helping out.  I’m thinking a day in the country and fresh air was more enticing than helping his wife get ready for their big Saturday family get-together :-).


Things are heating up with the house.  The tile guys are doing the bathrooms and laundry room this week.  We are also getting an estimate for the interior painting.  We planned to do this ourselves, but suddenly there is a lot that has to be done, and there’s not enough of us to go around.

The cabinet guy is putting cabinets in Thursday, and will get the granite in next Thursday. 

Meanwhile I have a bit of shopping to do for little things (hopefully all the big things are bought).

We sure do have some giant walls!



Figuring out what to do with all that space is a challenge for another day.

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Sure Beats Last Friday

Last Friday wasn’t so good, with a fall down stairs and an auto accident. Today was a much better day.

We got a lot done this week. We ordered our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops. We finished purchasing all of our light fixtures today, and all of our interior doors. We still need to purchase the tile for the bathrooms and laundry room and the hardware for the front door and the french doors, but everything else will be little things once we get in.

I am really starting to get excited now, it’s starting to feel like it’s really going to happen – that we are really going to live in the giant wooden house. And, it looks like we could be in pretty soon. Everything won’t be perfect, but at least we’ll be there, and it will be a lot easier to get things done. I’m also looking forward to getting out of this house and getting it ready to sell.

We went up after dark last night, and moved unused lumber from the garage to a place outside so the lumber company could pick it up this morning (yes, after dark, with flashlights; Daniel-the-Builder thinks we’re crazy, and doesn’t hesitate to tell us). Anyway, when they picked up the lumber, they hopefully dropped off the materials for us to put up the porch ceilings, which we’ll do this weekend. The framers put some paneling type stuff up there originally, but the roof wasn’t on, and it rained and damaged the ceilings. We had to remove it all, not happy about that. But, it honestly didn’t look that good, so we are replacing it with a tongue and groove ceiling.

It’s going to be another cold weekend, but with a fire outside and a crockpot of hot soup, we’ll be good. Hopefully I’ll have great pictures of beautiful porch ceilings by the end of the weekend.

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The weekends are getting more and more busy… and tiring! We did finally finish the stonework on the end of the house this weekend. It’s beautiful, we are very pleased and think we did a pretty good job for a couple of old, tired people :-).

When we finished that, we began putting the mortar on the front.  We got about 2/3 of the way through, so that is a project for next weekend.  We’ll also get as much of the back of the house as possible.

We did have some help.  The good boy got to go with us.

Good Boy

Good Boy


The bad boy got to stay home.  Sad but true.  He is bad, bad, bad.  On the occasions we’ve taken him, I’ve been worn out by the time we got to the house just from the ride in the truck with him.  One of the problems is that our property isn’t fenced yet.  So while the good boy follows us around and on the rare occasion he wanders to the border, comes right to us when we call…the bad boy makes an immediate run for the border the minute he gets there.  You’d think that with over 5 1/2 acres we could contain him to the middle.  Nope.  He just loses his mind.

Bad Boy

Bad Boy

Working on the house is starting to be exhausting, but we’ll get there.  Our framing inspection failed last week, so everything was halted.  We have to put a fire break between the basement and first floor, so Daniel-the-Builder is working on the solution.  Hopefully that will get done this week.  There were two or three little things to be done that we finished this weekend.  Other than that, some extra support for the ceiling beams, and we’ll be able to move forward with insulation and walls.

 Did I mention it’s exhausting?

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Things on the house-building front have slowed down the past few weeks. Our builder had to finally fire the framing crew because they only came about 2 days in the last 2 weeks to work. We have unfinished front and back steps. But when they are finished by the next crew, they’ll be very nice.

The electrician comes tomorrow to do his thing, and the roofer will be here next Monday.  We do have a stoned chimney-top.  That had to be done before the roofing.

We have a long weekend coming up, and will probably take Friday off to make it a 4 day weekend, so hopefully we’ll get a lot of the stone put up.  We’re also going to put the sealer on the cedar siding, so that should be exciting considering how high the house is on each end.  The landscape designer should have some sketches for us to review, that’s exciting. So, lots of little things.  We can’t wait for the roof so we’ll be dried in and can start on the inside.

We did have a little visitor this weekend.  Daniel-the-Builder brought his little one up to the site, and seeing as how he’s obsessed with tractors, he really enjoyed ‘pretend-driving’ ours.

Other stuff going on in our lives…hmmmmmm…nothing.  Just eat, sleep, try to get a little work done each day, and head to the house.

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I’m seeing a mint julep and a rocking chair very soon. Maybe tomorrow.

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We spent a very nice day at the building site today, bush-hogging and doing 6 hours worth of lots of other things…Mike managed to spend all that time picking up litter from the builders (there really wasn’t that much), getting all the concrete spills on the ground into a pile, stacking stuff, sweeping stuff, cleaning stuff…Mike stuff.  Sometimes that OCD works in my favor.

The weather was beautiful, breezy and not hot most of the time.  Much different than 2 weeks ago when I had heat rash for the first time ever, and we both got totally dehydrated.

Here’s the house from the road.

Front of house from the road

Front of house from the road

Here’s a close-up.  With Mike looking for something to do.  This is the garage, the sub-floor goes on top.

Up close of garage end

Up close of garage end

We should have sub-flooring Monday, and whatever else they can get to.

Meanwhile, we’re having a French door crisis.  We need 2 sets, exterior.  Everything we find is waaaay more expensive than the amount in our budget, even though we had decided to at least double that amount.  Meanwhile, D-t-B is saying to get doors and windows, they’ll need them soon.

If anyone has any French Door advice, please share?!

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As Promised…

Exciting concrete basement walls!

The door is the door to the safe-room, which is against the dirt wall.  We are in the middle of Toney, which is the line that tornadoes usually follow when they come through the county, so we thought this was a really good idea.  We can go downstairs from the living area to the basement and right into the safe-room if need be.  Mike’s shop will be to the right of that room, and the rest is garage.

Basement Walls

Basement Walls

OK, it’s a little odd looking, I know. The house is on a slope, so the walls step down, and framing will be done on top of the concrete.  This picture is from the end, where we will drive into the basement garage.  The wall on the left is actually the front of the house.   The picture below is NOT what our house will look like, design-wise, but it is built on a slope exactly like ours, so it gives a pretty good visual of how it will look.  The garage will be on the right side, we’ll drive into the full basement garage.  If you take the dormers off of the house below, put on a red (maybe) metal roof and cedar siding, add a stone fireplace on the front and stone around the base, it would look very much like our house will look.  We will have a sloped roof because our living area will be vaulted.

Sloped Lot

Sloped Lot

 Our house is one-story (thinking of not having to climb the stairs to go to bed when we get old, but now we realize we’ll have to go up and down the stairs to the garage :-)) Oh well.  When we get too old to climb, I guess we can make a circular drive way that goes to the front door.

We spent about 30 minutes just standing in the middle of it looking at it.  There’s not really a lot to look at yet, but we just stood there letting it sink in.  It still doesn’t really seem real.

On Monday the concrete slab will be poured for the floor, and the framers are lined up to start framing. I can’t believe it’s going so fast, but I’m sure we’ll have slow times along the way. 

I am interested in opinions about something…we keep going back and forth between red metal or green metal roof.  I’d love to hear your ideas and comments (after that, I need help with flooring, cabinets, appliances…yes, I’m freaking out a bit!)

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