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?

Advertisements

Week 23: Ethernet, TV & Audio/Video

I told Joel from the beginning – the only thing he needed to figure out was whatever wiring he wanted for the house, ethernet, cable, speakers.  I basically gave him 1 1/2 years to figure it out.  So he mulled over different thoughts that he had, but when did he actually figure it all out…yep, this week.  Better late than never 😉

So he finally nail down how he wanted the audio & video to run throughout the house and integrate with TV’s and Ethernet.  After much research, we decided that we wanted to use as many Sonos products as possible.  Sonos offers a large amount of flexibility when it comes to moving speakers around the house as well as the interface with a good ipad/phone App (ie: no new remote is needed to run the system – LOVE that!), and the ability to add on more speakers as we want/need them.  Another major bonus is that Sonos has created their own “wireless mesh network” to run all of the speakers.  This is a separate independent network that the speakers are connected through, so that we don’t have to use Wifi.  This means that if the boys are downloading something using wifi, it won’t interfere or ‘drop’ our speakers’ sound.  That was a big selling feature for us…such a great idea/technology.

This is a screenshot of Sonos' mobile app. On the left they have three different zones for the house, and all 3 are playing different things. Alternatively, it's easy to make them all play the same thing. User interface is extremely important...I definitely don't want to be figuring out some complex system just to play music.

This is a screenshot of Sonos’ mobile app. On the left they have three different zones for the house, and all 3 are playing different things. Alternatively, it’s easy to make them all play the same thing. User interface is extremely important…I definitely don’t want to be figuring out a complex system just to play some background music.

Here’s the plan that we’ve come up with room by room:

Great Room

We’ll have a TV mounted in the built-in to the left of the fireplace; and have 4 built-in speakers in the ceiling.  The main purpose for the speakers will be to listen to music, not particularly for the TV’s sound to come out of it.  This room really isn’t the main TV watching room (that’ll be downstairs), so hopefully the sound coming out of the TV will be good enough.  If we do end up wanting more/better sound, we’ll add Sonos’ Playbar underneath the TV.  The built-in speakers will run to a Sonos Connect Amp located in the tech closet.  This will make the speakers compatible with Sonos’ system and will enable the great room as a “zone” and be able to be controlled in the Sonos App.  With the addition of the Playbar at the TV, we can then tie the ceiling speakers to the Playbar and the TV sound can come out of all the speakers in the great room.

This is the Sonos Connect Amp which will connect hardwired speakers, and make them integrated with the rest of the Sonos system.

This is the Sonos Connect Amp which will connect hardwired speakers, and make them integrated with the rest of the Sonos system.

Kitchen

We’ll have two built-in speakers in the ceiling which will run to another Sonos Connect Amp in the tech room – then this will be a “zone” as well.

Rec Room (Downstairs)

We are going to immediately purchase a Sonos Playbar to play the TV’s audio in the rec room.  This will also enable the Rec Room to be it’s own “zone” in the Sonos App.  We’ll also run CAT6 ethernet cable and power to two spots above the bar cabinets where eventually we’ll add Sonos Play Speakers.  And at some point, I’m sure Joel will convince me that we NEED a Sonos Subwoofer downstairs too.  Maybe when the boys are older 😉  With this setup, we won’t need to have any built in speakers in the ceiling, and it gives us the flexibility to add speakers as we go.

This is the Sonos Playbar which we will have downstairs in the rec room. It will sit directly underneath the TV. I hope at some point it will be offered in white like the rest of their speaker products!

This is the Sonos Playbar which we will have downstairs in the rec room. It will sit directly underneath the TV. I hope at some point it will be offered in white like the rest of their speaker products!

Outside

We’ll have speakers both on the deck upstairs and the patio downstairs.  Sonos doesn’t currently have an outdoor speaker, but there’s talk of them creating one.  With that in mind, instead of buying and mounting ho-hum outdoor speakers, then buying a Connect Amp to tie it into the Sonos system, we decided to build a shelf (or bracket) for a Sonos speaker to be mounted outside, and power outlet where we want the speakers placed.  That means that on most days we’ll be able to use the Sonos Play Speakers inside the house (maybe in the master or the office), and when we’re hanging out outside, we’ll just put them on the shelf out there.  Then eventually when Sonos creates an outdoor speaker we’ll be ready for it.

Currently, Sonos offers three different speakers, the Play1, Play3, and the Play5. Starting with the Play1, they get larger and more powerful. Sizes are chosen depending on the size of the room and/or how loud you want to play music.

Currently, Sonos offers three different speakers, the Play1, Play3, and the Play5. Starting with the Play1, they get larger and more powerful. Sizes are chosen depending on the size of the room and/or how loud you want to play music.

Other Rooms

Other rooms will have ethernet and cable run for TV (although we won’t actually have TV’s in other rooms…just planning for future use).  And if we want to add in speakers for music or the TV, we’ll just plug into an outlet more Sonos Play speakers…no extra speaker wires needed!

Week 22: HVAC, Electrical & Windows

The HVAC was worked on for the house this week which included setting up the furnaces which will back up the heat pump.  The furnace for the downstairs was placed in the HVAC room downstairs by the boys’ playroom, and it was most efficient to put the furnace for the main level in the attic of the garage.  Besides installing both of those, it looks like the vents have all been placed and all 4 of the cold air returns were also installed (two on each level of the home).

It was most efficient to put the upstairs furnace in the attic.

It was most efficient to put the upstairs furnace in the attic.

The downstairs furnace is located in the HVAC room.

The downstairs furnace is located in the HVAC room.

Electrical work began this week and was laid out based on our walk thru last week.  On Sunday, Joel and I went to check things out…and confirm light switch locations.  A few of them were in the wrong spots, but for the most part things were in the correct locations.

The electrical sub (Modern Wiring) started on the house this week.

The electrical sub (Modern Wiring) started on the house this week.

And even more fun (and with a bigger impact) was that the majority of the windows were delivered and quite a bit of them were installed!  I think they look great, and love the grid layout we chose.  I can’t wait to see all of them installed.  It’ll end up being a couple weeks for all of them to get here.  The windows with the arched tops all have a bit longer lead time than the rectangular ones.

Some of the windows were installed in the front of the house this week.

Some of the windows were installed in the front of the house this week.

Although we're still missing the french doors and the oval windows, the back wall of the great room is starting to take shape.

Although we’re still missing the french doors and the oval windows, the back wall of the great room is starting to take shape.

I love how the windows turned out in the staircase.

I love how the windows turned out in the staircase.

The windows in the informal dining area in the kitchen look amazing! It's too bad that the construction film makes it so we can't see outside anymore. At least that'll protect the glass until construction is finished though.

The windows in the informal dining area in the kitchen look amazing! It’s too bad that the construction film makes it so we can’t see outside anymore. At least that’ll protect the glass until construction is finished though.

Here's what the windows look like from the outside of the house. These ones are above the kitchen sink area.

Here’s what the windows look like from the outside of the house. These ones are above the kitchen sink area.

Besides all of the things happening at the house, my mom and I also went to Canyon Creek Cabinetry on Thursday to figure out all of the cabinets for the house.  We did our initial walk thru a couple of weeks ago.  After that, they drafted up the initial design for the cabinets…but of course I had markups and things that I wanted changed.  So we met up with Andy at Canyon Creek to discuss all of the changes.  He’s going to revise the drawings (and the cost estimate) – hopefully we’ll get those this next week.  Then they’ll be finalized!

Week 21: Electrical Walk Thru, HVAC & Plumbing Progress

I took the day off work on Monday, and my mom and I went to the house at 7:30 am to do the electrical walk thru with Matt and the electrical rep.  Over the weekend I drew up my initial thoughts including locations for overhead lights, wall sconces, light switches, TV’s, internet, and locations that I knew I wanted an outlet.  That gave us a good starting off point, but we made quite a few changes including adding can lights and additional light switches.  From that meeting I had more homework to do – figure out exactly where I want to have bathroom sconces – that means first figuring out bathroom mirrors.  Ugh!  After wrapping up the electrical walk thru we went to look at more finishes like tile and counter tops…which we still haven’t figured all of that out exactly.  More on that another day 😉

Before our electrical walk thru on Monday, I drew up my initial electrical plan for the house

Before our electrical walk thru on Monday, I drew up my initial electrical plan for the house

The HVAC also started this week and the plumbing continued to be installed.  Among other things, the fireplace was installed which was exciting to see!  And the majority of the ductwork was run – including locations that will need soffits in the lower level.  I absolutely despise soffits, but I think ours will be in locations that won’t be too noticeable – mainly limited to storage rooms and the boys’ playroom.  We settled on going with heat pumps for heating & cooling with a furnace for backup.  And we actually decided to have two of these systems for the house – one for upstairs and one for downstairs.  Since it’s always cooler in basements, we didn’t want that temperature regulated by the upstairs temp.  This way, we can keep it nice and toasty down there for the boys.

HVAC started this week!

HVAC started this week!

Lots of parts & pieces :)

Lots of parts & pieces 🙂

I loved seeing the fireplace installed this week...it looks awesome (even if it is all covered up still).

I loved seeing the fireplace installed this week…it looks awesome (even if it is all covered up still).

And our little well house got it's roof on Monday!

And our little well house got it’s roof on Monday!

And it was also Spencer’s 5th birthday on Friday and Halloween on Saturday!  We had lots of fun celebrating with trick or treating at my work on Thursday, a family night out on Friday, and a Halloween Party at my sister’s on Saturday!

Had to sneak this pic in - Spencer was Dr. Forman, and Cameron dressed up as the paleontologist from Jurassic World.

Had to sneak this pic in – Spencer was Dr. Forman, and Cameron dressed up as the paleontologist from Jurassic World.

Pretty Spooky!

Pretty Spooky!  We should have made it a haunted house for the neighborhood…wouldn’t that have been fun?!