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 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?!