Week 47: Moving, Appliances, Lighting, Tile & Grading

This week was a whirlwind of a week for us.  The major thing this week was moving.  Yep, we had to move and our house isn’t even done yet.  The lease for the rental house we were in a couple miles from the build went month-to-month after January and although we were supposed to be able to stay as long as we wanted the owners wanted to move back in on May 1st!  Can you believe it?  So we talked with Matt to see how fast things could go to hurry things up and he said that we could move in on Saturday, May 7th.  So between May 1st and May 7th we needed to move in with MY PARENTS!  I never thought we’d have to move back in with my parents, but since it was just a week, I figured that I could deal with the commute and suck it up.  We actually were at Cameron’s lacrosse tournament in Eastern Washington this weekend so Joel and I took the day off on Wednesday and Thursday to get us all moved.  That meant Thursday night we were shackin’ with my parents.  To get us moved, my mom and I went to the new house to clean out the garage and vacuum up as much sawdust as possible.  Then we went back home to help Joel and the movers with the remainder of the packing and moving.  Surprisingly it all of our stuff fit in the new 3-car garage and after covering it with plastic we’re hoping that it doesn’t get covered with more construction dust over the next week.  I can’t wait until next week when we can actually move all of our stuff into the new house though…it’s going to be so exciting!

Besides moving, we also had all of the appliances installed!  We ended up choosing KitchenAid’s professional series and I love them!  They fit in the space perfectly and really look great…couldn’t be happier.  Of course, we haven’t used them yet 😉

More lighting was installed this week too.  Some of the rooms weren’t 100% finished, so they had to come back and finish up the install.  I’m really happy with all of the light fixtures that we chose and think that they really add a lot of personality for each of the rooms.  And the exterior lights were even installed!  One piece of glass was broken and besides that they look fantastic…definitely better than I had thought they would.  The oil rubbed bronze really pops against the white house and adds some much needed accents.

Finally I the majority of the tile was finished up this week – all except the vanity backsplash in the guest bath.  The Oceanside glass tile arrived and was installed in the powder room and looks phenomenal. It’s got the right amount of texture and shine for that room.  Besides that new install, all of the tile was grouted in the vanities for the master bath and the kitchen.  They turned out great and I honestly wouldn’t change any of it.

Finally, the backyard was graded out this week.  They had to finish backfilling over the septic drainfield as well as installing the drywell.

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The backyard is going to be so much fun for the boys to run around in this summer –

And, this weekend Cameron’s team WON the lacrosse tournament in tri-cities!!  Way to go wolves!!!

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Eastlake 3/4 Cardinal Team won the 3 Rivers Lacrosse Shootout this year! Whoo hoo!!!

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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 😉

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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 42: Tile, Trimwork, Stairs, Septic, and Rental House Issues

Rental House

This week seems to have gone by so quickly!   One of the major things that happened this week is that we received an email from the property manager from the house we’re renting a couple miles from the build.  He said that the owners of the house want to move back into the house and we need to move out at the END OF APRIL!!!  Matt was anticipating for the house to be finished at the END OF MAY!!  Seriously?  How does this happen to us?  Our 10-month lease ended in January and since then our contract switched over to month-to-month leasing.  And the contract states that we or the owner can terminate the lease with a 20 day notice.  We actually met the owner about 6 months ago when they were visiting from China getting baby gear out of their garage.  Back then he said that we should stay and rent the house for years!  And in January when I told the property manager that we were extending our stay past the 10-month term he said to stay until August.  Now they want to move back from China though?  Something must have changed with his Microsoft job.  Ugh.  And the property manager has no idea either – this totally blindsided him as well.

So now for the first time in the entire build, schedule matters.  Prior to this, Joel and I honestly didn’t care if it took longer to build, we just wanted it done right.  I mean, what’s a couple extra months in the end if it turns out great?  The boys have made some good friends in the neighborhood we’re renting in and it’s so close to the build, that it’s convenient to pop over and check things out.  Now getting done with the build at the end of May when we need to move out at the end of April seems WAY too long though.  Where are we going to live for those 4 weeks?!?  So I did what any person in my situation would do.  Ask our builder Matt, “what’s really going to be left to do after the last week of April?”  I explained our situation and wanted to see if there was any way we could speed things up a little and maybe move in sooner than later.  He took a couple days and was able to push a few things…and now we’ll be moving into the new house the first week of May!  Can you believe that?!?  The first week of May!!!  That means that we’re only between homes for a week.  A week, I can live with.  Can you say, “hello mom & dad?”  They live about 45 minutes away from us without traffic so the commute just to get the boys to school and us to work is going to be horrific.  But the boys love staying there and it’ll be so nice just to move with only having to pack our clothes.  The rest of our stuff can move into the garage of the new house until we get there a week later to unpack.  Although Matt will have the inside of the house finished, we’re not expecting the outside to be completed – we’ll likely still need the deck, driveway and landscaping.  The inside is good enough for me though!

For our final hail mary, we’re still trying to see if we can extend our lease another week so we can move straight from the rental into the new house, but we haven’t heard back from the owner and they’re not returning the emails that the property manager has sent (which has been 4 of them now).  Cross our fingers 😉  At least mom & dad’s is a good back up plan.


New House

Besides the rental house issues, things have been moving along at the house quite well.  There’s so many little details that took place in the house this week. The tile and hardwoods have been completed and that’s all of the flooring until the carpet is scheduled to be installed in the last week of April (just before we move in!).  The stairs were even installed this week and they look fantastic.  It took a few different tries to get the right stain color for the treads, but I think they turned out great.  On Thursday evening, Cameron and I went to check out the house and Matt was there covering the stairs to protect them from all the workers’…and we ended up helping and covering them for him.  Um, don’t say that I never lifted a finger to build the house, ha!

The trim sub consultant keeps on trucking – there’s so much that we’re having them do for us.  Besides installing all of the door moulding and baseboards throughout the house, there were two major accomplishments this week – creating the fireplace surround and starting on the interior transom windows.  First things first the fireplace looks amazing!  Monday morning Matt and I walked through what I wanted the design of the fireplace to be and he made it all happen!  I love how it sits on top of the bench/hearth we have, and that the mantle is so deep.  In our old house there would barely be enough room for Christmas stockings, let alone any other decor.  This one is sure to fit whatever I want to decorate with!

On Saturday, Joel and I went out to check out the progress and one of the trim guys was there working on the interior transom windows.  We weren’t quite sure if we were going to order these or have them built on-site, and now that we went with the latter, I couldn’t have imagined the ordered ones turning out so well.  The first side of the transoms have been installed, then they’ll need to be painted on both sides and glass added.  Then the other side of the transom trim can be added.  It looks so good for them finally to be filled in with moulding though!  All these little details are really making the house come together.

And did you notice that the oval windows in the great room in the last picture now have trim as well?  These were measured for and custom made by a different company and then installed this week.  The same goes true for the arched windows in the dining room and in the entry.

Besides all of the trimwork, they also added some more detail on the cabinetry.  Matt pointed out that if we added crown all the way around the kitchen hood (like I wanted) that the crown would basically touch the other pieces of crown in the coiffured ceiling.  So that’s out of the question…so that’s a bummer.  But I still think it looks good as is without it – definitely my favorite feature in the kitchen, and it’s pretty fun that I got to design it!  Feet were also added to a few cabinets throughout the house – which I also had custom designed based on some pictures of kitchens that I liked on Houzz.

Tile work also continued this week.  Although choosing and shopping for tile was my absolute least favorite thing to do for the entire build, I love seeing it all installed.  Most of our selections were pretty basic, but even seeing white subway tile instead of drywall is fun.  On top of that, the tile my mom and I chose for the backsplash behind the range arrived and I brought that out to the house.  On Wednesday, I met the tiling sub onsite to go through the layout with him.  Originally, we were going to have a different border that had a dark gray bardglio marble liner and then a white chair rail that matches the subway tile backsplash.  Unfortunately though, the bardiglio came in and looked too blue to really coordinate with the beautiful mosaic tile.  So we ended up using a carrara marble chair rail.  We needed it this week though so there wasn’t any time to special order in the profile of the moulding that I wanted.  Luckily, good ol’ Home Depot carries one that will work perfectly.  Not so perfectly is that you have to find the marble in gray and white.  And when you see them at the stores, about 80% of them look white with brown veining.  Ick.  I’m not kidding you – to find the 12 pieces that we needed to frame the backsplash, my mom and I went to 6 different Home Depot stores!  Unreal.  But now that we have them,  I love them and totally worth the drive time to find them. Plus at $6 each, they were about 7 times cheaper than the ones that I wanted to order in!  Score!!!  I hope it gets installed back behind the range soon – I can’t wait to see it on the wall!

The painters were also in the house this week.  They’ve set up a Dexter kill room, er, um, a “spray booth” in the downstairs storage room .  That room was ALWAYS creepy with the concrete floors and unfinished walls and ceilings but this tops it.  I can’t wait for electrical finishes to finally put some lights in this space.  It’s beyond creepy and way too dark in there now.

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The painters have set up a spray booth in the storage room downstairs where they can paint doors and whatever else they have. I’m steering clear of this space though until they take down all of the plastic. A little too Dexter-esque for my liking.

And one of my favorite doors was also installed this week!  We have a dutch pocket door between the mudroom and the hallway.  This way we can just pull out the bottom half of the door to keep our dog Bella in the mudroom during the day.  No baby gates needed here!  Isn’t it fantastic?  It’ll be so nice instead of shutting the entire door on her while we’re gone during the day – I hate doing that now in our rental house.

Also, the septic installation began this week.  After getting the septic notice on the title recorded with King County and submitted to the health department, the septic stub-out was released and they were ready to do the install right away.  By Saturday, they had the tank set in the ground.  While Joel and I checked out the progress inside the house, we laid out a blanket and the boys ate their Subway lunch by having a picnic on top of the rock pile.  Little do they know that that’ll eventually be part of the septic drainfield!

Week 41: Countertops & Tile

This week there’s been a lot happening at the house this week including continuing on the trim work – there’s tons to do still including wrapping all of the doorways and baseboards.  And the painters were also there painting doors and other trimwork.  But I barely even took pictures of those since the best thing about this week was all of the countertops and tile that were installed!  The absolute white quartzite was installed throughout the main level and it looks ‘absolute’ly amazing!

So now that the fireplace hearth is installed, and I’m not 100% sure about the tile that my mom and I picked out for the fireplace surround.  Originally we picked out 3″x6″ tiles from Walker Zanger’s Rue Pierre Antique Gris Marble.  Now I’m not so sure about it.  It’s definitely similar colors as the absolute white quartzite, but  has more of a striped white/gray pattern to it.  I’m wondering if maybe something more consistent in color like cararra marble will look/flow better.  For the record, my mom actually liked the carrara better originally.  It’s pretty similar to the hearth quartzite though…too similar?  Ah dilemmas!

The laundry room floor was installed this week (still missing the grout), and so were the counters!  We went with MSI’s Sparkling White Quartz which has some green glass and mirror flecks in it for the counters and kept it simple with Daltile’s Octagon Dot floor tile in white.  Once the white grout is installed it will tone down the patterning in the floor for sure!

The flooring in the mudroom was also installed this week – actually weekend!  They were out there installing it on Saturday when I was there for a visit.  We went with 12″ x 24″ Florida Tile’s “Mingle” in the Cool Summer color set in a 1/3″ stepped offset pattern.  The vanity, sink and countertops were also delivered from Restoration Hardware this week for the mudroom bathroom.  I chose the Cartwright Powder Room Vanity with the Italian Pietra Grigio Marble top.

And downstairs, lots of things happened this week too!  The hardwood flooring was installed, although by the week’s end it was covered with a protective layer of Ram Board which I think will stay on it until we’re ready for cleaning and moving in.  The new narrower sink base arrived for the bar and looks fantastic!  The sink barely fits in it, yikes!  Hopefully it’ll work still though.

The boys bathroom flooring was also grouted.  Although one piece of tile needs to be replaced – someone dropped a tool on it (probably when installing the door) and the tile broke.  Once that’s done the floor (and grout) will be complete.  The counter tops and sinks were also installed in the boys’ and guest bathrooms.  The boys’ countertops I selected are a gray/blue color – Wilsonart’s Quartz in Amalfi Coast and the counters in the guest bath is Pental Quartz’ Grey Savoie.

At the beginning of the week, the Skyline Tile and Marble were out measuring for the bar downstairs and for the farm sink placement in the kitchen.  Then I went to their shop in the afternoon on Monday to choose where I wanted the counters to be placed on the slabs.  We ended up having to purchase two slabs since the bar is in a U-shape and we needed the graining of the counters to all be in the same direction.  There’s so much left over though!  We may end up using it for a backsplash.  We’ll see how much that’ll cost!  My mom and I chose these slabs back in October at META Marble and Granite.  They’re fantasy brown quartzite with a leathered/textured finish.  With the gray & brown that they have, they’re going to look great with the cabinetry and room color.

And finally, there has been some sunny storms over the past couple of weeks…check out that rainbow!

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Just a touch of rainbow to brighten up the sunny and rainy day!

 

Week 39: Cabinetry Installed & Tile Progress

This week there’s been a huge amount of progress because the majority of the cabinets have arrived and they’ve been installed as well!  I can’t believe how fast they all went in…and they look great!  There’s a couple little issues, but nothing major and we are so happy with them.

Besides all of the cabinets being installed, they also fixed the top piece of the window trim and increased the size to 6″…instead of 5″.  It looks so much better and much more in proportion to what would be expected.

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The top trim above the windows has been changed to 6″. I love the way it looks now!

Tile also made progress this week.  The installation of our master bath flooring is complete as well as the tile in the boys’ bath and the guest bath.  It’s all coming together!  None of the grout has been done on any of the tile, but the installation looks fantastic.  Can’t complain one bit…well, maybe about the speed of which they install…but Matt warned me about that before they even started.

Week 38: Shower Tile, Great Room Beams & Corbels

This week the major work was tiling…of course.  Matt’s subs are pretty slow at tiling, but they take their time and install it right.  And really plan out where all of the cuts are going to be in the room before they get started.  So that’s really nice to see.  And that’s the reason that we stuck with the tiling company even though choosing the tile with the designer lady was WAY more complicated than it needed to be.  That said, the install job is looking really good and I think the patterning of the tile is really turning out great.

This is the layout of the tile in the master shower. The lower & larger white tiles will be in a brick pattern, then there will be a detail band and then white subway tiles above it.

This is the layout of the tile in the master shower. The lower & larger white tiles will be in a brick pattern, then there will be a detail band and then white subway tiles above it.

The detail band in the master shower will be separated by a cararra marble chair rail and a row of 1" cararra tiles.

The detail band in the master shower will be separated by a cararra marble chair rail and a row of 1″ cararra tiles.

In the master bath we decided to turn the floor tiles "on point" which mimics the window grids.  This was just a dry run of it, but I have a hunch that it'll look great!  

In the master bath we decided to turn the floor tiles “on point” which mimics the window grids.  This was just a dry run of it, but I have a hunch that it’ll look great!

In the guest bath shower we had them create stripes of gray and white subway tiles and 1' each. I absolutely love how this is turning out!

In the guest bath shower we had them create stripes of gray and white subway tiles and 1′ each. I absolutely love how this is turning out!

This will be the layout in the boys' bathroom. pretty simple - there will be wainscoting of subway tile (in a brick pattern) for the entire shower room with 3 rows of a blue-gray glass tile detail then a chair rail. All of that will continue into their shower and we've added more subway tile above it to the ceiling. This is just the rough layout on the floor to get the spacing right - it'll be fun to see it on the walls next week.

This will be the layout in the boys’ bathroom. pretty simple – there will be wainscoting of subway tile (in a brick pattern) for the entire shower room with 3 rows of a blue-gray glass tile detail then a chair rail. All of that will continue into their shower and we’ve added more subway tile above it to the ceiling. This is just the rough layout on the floor to get the spacing right – it’ll be fun to see it on the walls next week.

In addition to getting to see preliminary layouts for the showers, we also got to see the faux beams in the great room – and they look fantastic!  I am so happy with the way that they’ve turned out…they look fantastic!  And I know they’ll look even better painted next week.

The guys did a such a great job on the beams in the great room. I honestly have no clue how they create them so perfectly, but I think they look great!

The guys did a such a great job on the beams in the great room. I honestly have no clue how they create them so perfectly, but I think they look great!

Here's a better representation of the colors in the room. The white beams look fantastic...and they're only primed!

Here’s a better representation of the colors in the room. The white beams look fantastic…and they’re only primed…and bondo’d.  This picture is looking back at the front entry on the right and the opening to the dining room on the left.  Really not sure what we’re going to put in that huge wall space above these doorways…probably nothing for quite a while.

The crown moulding was installed in the dining room, entry, master bedroom and master bathroom this week as well. The trim in the dining room was also painted the final color. YAY!!!

The crown moulding was installed in the dining room, entry, master bedroom and master bathroom this week as well. The trim in the dining room was also painted the final color. YAY!!!

The window trim in the kitchen look like they're getting ready to be sanded and painted too.

The window trim in the kitchen look like they’re getting ready to be sanded and painted too.

On the exterior of the house, the siding subs came back to finish up some of the miscellaneous details – like the corbels.  They had to custom make all of the corbels (which are the small pieces of wood underneath the “bump out” parts of the gables).  We never talked about picking these out so It was awesome to see that they made them look like exactly what I drew!  I couldn’t be happier with them!  They also finished the front of the house where the mudroom door is.  Since that door was installed after the siding was done, they had to come back and finish that up.

The siding subs came back this week to custom make and install the corbels on the exterior of the house.

The siding subs came back this week to custom make and install the corbels on the exterior of the house.

It's been a while since I posted exterior pictures so I thought I'd add a few since it was a sunny day. Plus, don't the corbels look great?!

It’s been a while since I posted exterior pictures so I thought I’d add a few since it was a sunny day. Plus, don’t the corbels look great?!

I love every time I pull up to the front of the house. Just a couple more months and we'll be doing that every day!

I love every time I pull up to the front of the house. Just a couple more months and we’ll be doing that every day!

The back of the house turned out great, and the corbels look really nice too.

The back of the house turned out great, and the corbels look really nice too.

Here's a view of the back of the house, standing by the guest room and looking up underneath the gables.

Here’s a view of the back of the house, standing by the guest room and looking up underneath the gables.

On Thursday this week I flew to Phoenix to spend time with my friend Neely and on Saturday we flew to Las Vegas to see Boyz II Men in concert.  That was a TON of fun…and a good break from the everyday stresses of life for a quick fun girls’ weekend getaway.  The concert was amazing too…I’d easily go back and see them again!

We were anxiously awaiting the concert to start!

We were anxiously awaiting the concert to start!

They were absolutely, 100%, amazing. If you have a chance to ever see them, I'd definitely do it!

Boyz II Men were absolutely, 100%, amazing. If you have a chance to ever see them, I’d definitely recommend it!

 

Week 37: Tile and Trim Tribulations

The faux beams and crown moulding in the kitchen were installed and look fantastic!!  I absolutely love how it turned out.  Everything is so symmetrical too!  I really would have noticed if we didn’t center the beams and make each of the spaces the same size.  A bit more planning than what we had in the original plans, but well worth the extra time I spent figuring that out.  Matt’s subs did a great job with it too.  They’re 8″x8″ but it feels deeper than that.  I’m glad we didn’t have them make them any bigger too – this size seems perfect.  It adds just the right amount of dimension to the room without being overbearing.

The rest of the week was more than a little frustrating though.  I got a call mid-week letting me know that unfortunately the tile we picked out for the guest bath floor and the master bath floor (same tile) couldn’t be set in a brick pattern and that it had to be done at 1/3 offset.  I’m actually not a huge fan of the 1/3 offset, and I already had to have it in the mudroom and the boys’ bathroom.  So I definitely didn’t want to have it in the guest and more importantly in our master bath.  And, come to find out there’s actually two ways to install tile in a 1/3 offset (see below).

Of course, I had no idea there were two ways of installing tile in a 1/3 offset, and I much prefer the second “stepping” option layout. Unfortunately, nobody told me there were actually two ways of doing it and they already installed the boys’ bathroom in the first option which I really don’t care for.  Then come to find out they already installed a few rows of the guest bath in the same pattern without even discussing it with me!  Luckily they ripped it out pretty easily and they are going to change it to the “stepping” option that I liked.  As for the boys’ bath – they already installed it, and they did a really good job installing it…it’s just in the wrong pattern than I was ever expecting.  Honestly, it’s fine though – we’re just going to keep it as is and let it be.  I doubt the boys will ever know the difference anyhow…I doubt Joel will either 😉  For our master bathroom though – I really didn’t want to have the 1/3 offset installed in there.  So we ponied up more money to have them install the tile “on point”…rotated 45 degrees to a diamond pattern.  There’s more cuts involved in this layout so we had to buy more tile and the labor is more expensive.

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The boys bath floor was installed in the 1/3 offset pattern that I really wasn’t fond of. Luckily (if you can call it that), they also installed the flooring in the opposite direction than what I wanted. So the incorrect 1/3 layout is definitely less noticeable from the doorway. At least they did a good job on the install!

The crazy thing is that when I went over to check out the tile situation (about it being installed incorrectly in the guest bath) I noticed that all of the window trim had been installed.  And of course there was something with that too!  I honestly was cringing even having to tell Matt that there was something wrong with that too…but I did.  And it caused a HUGE argument.  Ugh.  A bit of a miscommunication on our part.  I had sent him a picture of what I wanted the window trim to look like and a link to a website that gave all of the dimensions for each trim piece.  He looked at the picture, but not the link.  Then called me to ask if I was ok with a 5″ top piece because that’s what’s standard on most windows.  I wasn’t at a computer so I said, “yep, that’s fine, it’s going to match the picture, right?”  Not realizing that he never actually clicked on the link, 5″ turns out to be too short…it should have been 6″.  So annoying.  So now we’re having to paying to rip them all down and install the taller top piece.  And I fully realize that it looks ‘ok’, but to me it looks really squatty and not in the correct proportions.  I honestly don’t want to live with it like that.  Better to fix it now than when it’s already caulked and painted!

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The piece on top just doesn’t look right to me – it’s simply too small. I can’t wait for it to be redone with the correct size trim.  And I’ll be excited once all that film to come off the windows too…oh for the day that they’re finally done building!