Week 46: Transoms, Plumbing, HVAC, Lighting & Exterior Painting

This week was quite the week – Matt started off the week saying that our house was going to be a zoo and it definitely was!  Since all of the trim inside has finally been painted, a bunch of the subs could begin their work.

Transoms

The interior transoms were completed this week which included having each piece painted, the glass installed, and putting the final trim up.  They look fantastic too!  I love how they help divide the rooms up but still make the rooms feel open to each other.  We toured a couple of homes that had these and knew that we definitely wanted them in our house.

2016-04-23 14.08.50

Transoms were added and painted this week. We contemplated buying them pre-made but now I’m glad we had them custom made on site…they look fantastic!

Plumbing

A lot (but not all) of the plumbing fixtures were installed this week and they’re looking good!  My mom and I were out there on Tuesday to choose where we wanted each piece of the plumbing fixtures (the slab guys were there to drill the holes).  And then the plumbers were also there to install the fixtures.  My favorite faucets hands down are the ones in the kitchen. We ended up choosing Rohl’s high arc country kitchen faucet with the sidespray and the filtered water faucet.  The filtered water faucet was actually cheaper to install at the sink than to have it built-in to the fridge.  And this way I’m actually gaining fridge/freezer capacity and don’t have to worry about the kids spilling water on our hardwoods.  Plus, it’s such a cute faucet…who could resist?!?

All of the other faucets except for the guest bath sink faucet was installed – and they still need to install most of the shower parts & pieces in the house.

HVAC

The HVAC guys were at the house this week installing our thermostats – of which we chose NEST.  I like that they have one app for everything – including smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and we’re hoping that they stay more up to date with their apps & technology as compared to the other thermostat brands.  We’ve heard good and bad things about NEST but hopefully in the long run it’ll work out for us that we invested in that technology.  The HVAC guys also installed all of the “trim” for the house – including the vent covers and intake vents.  One word of warning – these guys had FILTHY hands – which I can now see all over our white ceilings.  Next time I’d definitely ask them to wash their hands before installing all of the vents – I guess I need to teach more than my kids to do that, apparently it’s not common sense for adults yet.  The HVAC guys also installed our heat pumps this week too – they’re back under the mudroom deck and since we’ve had some warm days – it’s already been tested and the cooling is definitely working!

Lighting

I took a couple days off this week and my mom and I headed to the house to help with the lighting – placement, heights, etc.  There’s so many different lights in the house, and although I’ve labeled them the best that I can, we still needed to be on site to help with the placement.  I absolutely loved picking out all of the lights for the house though.  Matt said that most people would go to a lighting showroom and pick all the lights out from one person and be done with it.  Of course, I did this with the plumbing and really didn’t like it – I ended up having to choose plumbing fixtures from tiny images in a catalog.  So for the lighting I bought everything on my own and just had them there for the electrician to install.  This meant that I could buy them from wherever I wanted and I was able to buy them when places were having sales.  Most of my fixtures I acquired over the last year and did end up getting really good deals on them including some favorites from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.  But other ones I was able to buy vintage light fixtures and refinish and rewire to make them workable for our home.

Two “schoolhouse” light fixtures I purchased from Second Use in Seattle and they’re actually from Joel’s elementary school in Tacoma!  In September of 2015 Wainwright was demolished to make way for a new intermediate school and Second Use was able to save some of the original fixtures – of which I was able to buy two of them.  After a quick cleaning and re-wiring, they were ready to be installed in our mudroom bathroom and pantry!

Another one of my favorite fixtures are the pendants that we used in the downstairs bar.  I ended up picking up some vintage fixtures from the Midwest on Ebay last year for $17 each!  Score!!  My parents helped me strip three of them down to the original brass.  They were painted over and with years of dirty and grime, it took some real elbow grease to make them shine.  Each one took about 2 ½ hours to strip and I was so thankful that my parents helped me with it, because it would have taken me three times as long without them!

Exterior Painting

Finally the exterior of the house was also painted this week!  Such a transformation to see it all white – finally!  I’m glad that we waited to paint it until now otherwise it would already be showing the dirt from the construction – but boy was I getting tired of seeing the yellowish color of the siding and trim.  Now that it’s all white (Sherwin Williams’ Pure White) it looks even better!  It took me a while to decide on the white – I was originally going to use Benjamin Moore’s Simply White but in the end looked a little to creamy.  I think SW’s Pure White ended up being the best one since it looks like a true white, but not “bright” or blue like some of the others that I tested.

2016-04-20 12.58.32

The exterior painting on the house started this week. I’m loving the way it’s turning out!

We also painted samples for the door color and taped them up there to see how they looked with the overall house color.  Originally I was thinking of painting it black – there’s a lot of white houses with black doors and they look phenomenal.  But I wanted to be able to see the door hardware, and since all of the exterior hardware is oil rubbed bronze, that meant that I’d need a chrome front door handle to be able to see it against a black door.  My friend Sarah was surprised that I was thinking of a black door (since she has one and hates it) and quickly turned me in the direction of having a gray door.  Sarah helped me tons on this one and flipped through her SW color deck and suggested a handful of grays that may work well.  After a quick trip to SW to see which ones she was thinking of, I chose three sample pots.  And after being up on the house, ended up choosing SW’s Serious Gray – it’s the top one in the photo.  I can’t wait to see what it looks like once the door is truly painted, but I think it’s the perfect one – and that the oil rubbed bronze hardware will look phenomenal with it!

2016-04-24 12.24.33

We narrowed it down to three front door color choices – and ended up choosing the top one – Sherwin Williams Serious Gray

Advertisements

Week 43: Tile, Slabs, Drainfield & Downstairs Painting

My absolute favorite tile was installed this week behind the range in the kitchen.  The tile installer did such a fantastic job installing the tile too…it looks fantastic!  This tile is Mosaique Surface’s Artemis Cold – a pattern of honed cararra velato and polished white thassos.  We’re still waiting on some trim tile to border the subway tile in other parts of the kitchen, so until that arrives, it won’t be grouted.

The fireplace tile was also installed this week – originally I was contemplating changing this tile to something different, but after  realizing that we can’t return the tile and whatever I would order otherwise would take a few weeks, I quickly decided against it.  I honestly have no idea how this looks with the slabs on the fireplace hearth because they’ve been covered with cardboard.  Hopefully once grouted and the cardboard is removed they’ll look just fine together though!  If not…I’m sure Joel will let me redo it 😉

2016-03-29 18.37.12

The fireplace tile was installed this week.

The remaining slabs were installed in the kitchen this week as well.  I was actually out at the house dropping of the staircase handrail and they were out there installing the slabs.  It was pretty crazy to see how they lift those giant slabs and get them in place.  Definitely takes some strong guys and a couple of gripper things.  I was glad I was there too – I was able to choose the direction that the veining was running in the slabs.  They look SO GOOD too!!!  We used the same absolute white quartzite that we selected for the other areas of the kitchen.

Outside we also had progress…the septic drainfield was installed this week and once inspected by the county they can backfill it all and we can begin on the final grading of the yard.

Back in the house, all of the trim in the downstairs was also painted this week.  The lower level is completely covered in paper and plastic masking everything off.  Walls, ceilings, floors, it’s crazy.

Week 31: Siding Complete, Insulation Complete, Gutters Complete, & Drywall Started

I think the word “milestones” is appropriate for this week.  We began 2016 with some huge accomplishments…siding was finished up this week.  Insulation was started and completed, and drywall began!

Let’s start with siding…or really end with siding!  It’s very exciting to see the entire house completely done with siding.  There’s only a couple of little things that are still missing – the corbels to add a bit of detail on the gables and the mudroom front door still need to be done.  But realistically, it feels like we’re done!  The top of the great room gable on the back of the house was completed this week, and the siding on the backside of the garage was finished as well too.

On the inside of the house, insulation was added which included insulating all of the walls – exterior and interior.  I walked through the house on Wednesday and it was amazing that they were done with it – they only started on Monday!  It’s pretty wild now to walk through it because it feels so much darker than it did before.  Light used to penetrate into every room because it was just studs.  Now the rooms without windows – like the powder room feel sooooo dark.  Which is probably half because the light can’t enter the room and half because all of the insulation is brown.  Once the sheetrock goes up, I’m sure those rooms will feel a bit lighter.

And drywall was started!  On Wednesday, they loaded all the drywall into the house and they started working on it the next day. By the end of the day Thursday our entire master bedroom was completed.  And by the end of the week there was so much completed!  All of the ceiling are done and so are all of the walls in the boys’ area.

Finally, gutters were done this week too! I originally wanted the half round gutters, but apparently they hold less rain and considering the amount of pine needles and rain that we have in the northwest, I opted for the more practical solution.  Regular k-style gutters it is!

Week 30: Siding and Last Minute Electrical Changes

The majority of this week was spent on siding the back of the house.  The lower level was sided first, and then the upper level.  They got an amazing amount done.  I guess that’s because it’s really just a whole bunch of lap siding and not too much detail work – actually I don’t think there’s really any detail work downstairs.  The upstairs on the back gable of the great room will have some detailing, but they haven’t even started that this week.

Check out all the progress on the back of the house! Just a little bit more left to do.

Check out all the progress on the back of the house! Just a little bit more left to do.

The scaffolding's there for them to work on the great room gable next week.

The scaffolding’s there for them to work on the great room gable next week.

This is the backdoor to the mudroom with the windows to the mudroom and the mudroom bathroom.

This is the backdoor to the mudroom with the windows to the mudroom and the mudroom bathroom.

Here's a view from the mudroom back door to the back yard - the covered porch here is where the BBQ will end up going.

Here’s a view from the mudroom back door to the back yard – the covered porch here is where the BBQ will end up going.

From the backyard, here's what the covered BBQ area looks like. The electrician convinced me to put a can light in there - I think it'll work great!

From the backyard, here’s what the covered BBQ area looks like. The electrician convinced me to put a can light in there – I think it’ll work great!

The deck still needs to be built, but the outside of the kitchen is all done!

The deck still needs to be built, but the outside of the kitchen is all done!

The top part of the garage has siding, but they still need to work on the part below the belly band.

The top part of the garage has siding, but they still need to work on the part below the belly band.

No real changes on the front of the house, but I had to include at least one photo of it!

No real changes on the front of the house, but I had to include at least one photo of it!

Besides the major progress outside, I think I practically drove Matt crazy with all of the little last minute details that I had to ask about (or have him change) before the insulation goes in next week.  Last week we went to a friend Hans’ birthday party and his wife Jenni was showing me the awesome new Dyson that she received for Christmas.  It’s 100% amazing…super tiny, light weight and cordless!!  Whoo hoo!  Isn’t it sad that at parties we’re now having fun looking at vacuum cleaners??  So sad.  Anyhow, I immediately told Joel that we need to get one.  Only problem…the cabinet in the laundry room that I was planning on storing the vacuum doesn’t have an outlet to charge a cordless vacuum!  So that was priority numero uno to talk with Matt about this week.  And well, you know, since the electricians need to come back, why not add an outlet to the pantry?  And add a ceiling fixture in the mudroom bathroom?  So a couple hundred dollars later and now I’ve got my outlet where the vacuum is stored…I’m blaming Joel for this one – if his buddy didn’t have a party I never would have seen the vacuum! 😉

See that outlet on the right...yep, my future vacuum will plug into that!

See that outlet on the right…yep, my future vacuum will plug into that!

 

And one panoramic of the backyard - have I mentioned how cold it's been here?

And one panoramic of the backyard – have I mentioned how cold it’s been here?

Week 29: Siding Progress & Drywall Prep

Lots of siding progress happened this week, including finishing the front of the house!  The only thing missing is that dumb mudroom door.  The correct millwork was added/grooved into the door and it’s back at the house.  We just need the door framers to get it up there…and then the front will be done.  Can’t wait!  The back of the house had a lot of siding progress including being wrapped and just a few more sections need siding.  Tons of progress!

2015-12-23 08.14.42

The front of the house is finally done being sided! I love the way it turned out.

2015-12-26 11.52.16

The garage was the last piece to be completed, and I think it turned out fantastic.

2015-12-26 12.22.19 HDR-2

I walked out on the little deck between the master and the kitchen. Here’s a view looking back towards the master.

2015-12-26 12.37.00-1

The back of the house has really come along since last week and is so close to being done…just a bit more.

2015-12-26 12.37.03-1

Every time I see all those windows in the kitchen eating nook, I love it – it’ll be exciting to see all of it sided soon.

2015-12-26 12.39.01

Here’s a view of one of Cameron’s bedroom windows. The trim turned out perfectly!

On the inside, everything is getting ready for drywall, including adding the metal strips at the top corners of the ceiling.  This is so that the drywall is nailed into the ceiling studs/joists as well as the metal brackets which are attached to the walls.  They’ll resist upheave from the ceiling/attic so that the drywall will resist cracking or nails popping.

2015-12-26 12.19.22

All of those metal strips were added between the walls and the ceiling to secure the drywall correctly.

The fire sprinklers also got some insulation around them so that they could be inspected.  The inspection passed with flying colors, and no issues with the design or construction – yay!  Matt said that the insulation is “tented” around the sprinkler lines so that nothing (including insulation) can get between the smoke/fire in the house and the sprinkler heads.  Who knew!

2015-12-26 12.04.02

Insulation was added to “tent” each of the sprinkler lines.

2015-12-26 11.59.03

Just another sprinkler line in the dining room – and I just love that ceiling!

 

Week 28: Siding Progress

This week, more siding was installed.  The front of the house is almost complete – only missing the gable above the garage and the mudroom door (which is still being fixed).  The side of the garage has all of its siding as well as a small amount on the back of the house.  Not too much to write about this week, just lots of pictures!  Progress, progress, progress!

The main part of the house has all of its siding now, just a bit missing on the garage gable.

The main part of the house has all of its siding now, just a bit missing on the garage gable.

I don't take pictures too often at this angle, just fun to see it from a different point of view.

I don’t take pictures too often at this angle, just fun to see it from a different point of view.

The north side of the house has siding, and a small amount around the back of the house as well.

The north side of the house has siding, and a small amount around the back of the house as well.

The south side of the house which is the side of the garage has siding. Originally we were supposed to have 4 windows on this side of the house, but I think it looks good even without them.

The south side of the house which is the side of the garage has siding. Originally we were supposed to have 4 windows on this side of the house, but I think it looks good even without them.

A close up view of the siding details at the dining room windows.

A close up view of the siding details at the dining room windows.

The shed dormer in the master closet.

The shed dormer in the master closet.

The main gable at the front entry.

The main gable at the front entry and the shed dormer in the laundry room (on the right).

The ceiling above the entry was installed this week - it looks fantastic. Now I just need to decide if I should paint it blue or just add a clear coat!

The ceiling above the entry was installed this week – it looks fantastic. Now I just need to decide if I should paint it blue or just add a clear coat!

A closer look at the front porch ceiling.

A closer look at the front porch ceiling.

Week 27: Siding, Garage & Pocket Doors, and Prepping Studs for Drywall

Siding

We’ve had some crazy weather this week including a windstorm on early Tuesday morning which took out a Puget Sound Energy major transmission line at 3am.  That meant we lost power until about mid-day on Wednesday.  Amidst all of the weather craziness, the siding subcontractor did get quite a bit more work done on the front of the house.  Matt said that the work they’re doing on the entry is the most time consuming since it’s a lot more detail work and the type/style of siding changes.

2015-12-12 11.21.21 HDR-2

Almost all of the entry siding has been finished this week. Just a bit more above the arches and it’ll be complete!

2015-12-12 11.21.24

The gable above the office was completed this week. I love the mix of board and batten and the “mini” siding in the very top. And doesn’t the frieze boards look good?  I know…it’s hard to see at this angle, but they’re there!

2015-12-12 11.21.54 HDR-2

The front of the house really is taking shape now! So many changes this week including more work on the entry and garage doors!

Garage Doors

Our garage doors were also installed this week on Tuesday!  It’s awesome to finally see garage doors instead of black plastic.  We chose carriage style garage doors with X’s and windows on the front of them.  The two garage doors on the left are 9′ doors while the one on the right is an 8′ door.  I knew we wanted a 3 car garage since we always have so many outdoor toys for the boys and have NEVER been able to park in the garage because of them.  This will give both Joel and I each a space to park, and another place for the boys’ bikes and outdoor toys.  It’s shocking the number of nerf guns and scooters they have!  The only problem with a 3 car garage is how massive it can look on the front of the house, so to make it look a little less intrusive (and so that it didn’t seem like the main focus of the house), we designed the 3rd bay to be set back and at a smaller height.  I think it turned out great!

2015-12-12 11.22.26 HDR-2

The garage doors were installed this week – the first two are 4 panel doors and the smaller one is a 3 panel door. They look good now, but they’ll look even better once the hardware has been installed.

2015-12-12 11.22.42

Here’s a closer up look at the garage doors. We used Northwest Door’s Carriage Style door.

2015-12-12 11.08.49

The doors and tracks were installed, but can’t open quite yet – we’re still missing the motors.

Pocket Door Frames

The frames for the pocket doors were also installed this week.  We have two locations where we have pocket doors in the house.  The first being the master bathroom entrance from our bedroom; and the second is a pocket dutch door that’s in the hallway between the mudroom and the rest of the house.  Most of the time, this mudroom door will be open when we’re home.  But when we’re away our Yorkshire Terrier, Bella, will be in the mudroom and by just closing the bottom half of the pocket dutch door we’ll be able to keep her in there and it’ll act as a little “doggy gate” for us.

2015-12-12 11.04.51

The double pocket doors to enter the master bath were also installed. It’s fantastic to see the true opening width now.

2015-12-12 11.06.35

The pocket door between the mudroom and the rest of the house was installed. This one will be a bit tricky to work out the details, because it’s a dutch door. The top will be on a track and I think the bottom will have casters.

Prepping Studs for Drywall

The last thing worked on this week was prepping the studs for drywall on the inside of the house.  They used lasers to tell which studs weren’t even with each other.  In order to get a fully level wall, they either shaved off portions of the studs that stuck out too much or added cardboard shims to the face of the studs that weren’t quite wide enough.  This was done all over the house on the studs or on the plywood surfaces.

2015-12-12 11.04.17

Here’s an example of one of the walls where a couple of the studs were shaved down and if you look really close you can see that a shim was added to another one of them.

2015-12-12 11.04.32

Here’s a close-up which shows the cardboard shim on the left and the shaving down of the stud on the right.

2015-12-12 11.12.43

Shims were even added to walls where spots were low.