Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Color Samples

Here I am, wasting time on the computer, when I should be doing school with J! I just wanted to post an idea of the exterior color scheme. So here is an idea:

Keep in mind: 1) The colors are not exact because we are getting our siding, shingles, windows, doors and paint from different companies, not just the one that had the sample. 2) There will be no shutters. 3) The gingerbread on the eaves is tentative...just brainstorming at the moment.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy to be Here

The builder called today and said he had window and shingle samples to bring by later. I offered to meet him at the building site so I could see how things are coming along. They have all the structure framing finished, and have boarded up windows, doors and the stairwell downstairs in order to maximize warmth down there.

L slipped on some ice and fell in the mud. Going out in the cold with her is tenuous at best, and this incident put her over the edge. "I code. I wanna go home!"

Now we need to pick windows. I think this is what we are going with, without the grilles.

We thought for a brief minute that metal prices had come down enough lately to make our metal roof affordable. They have come down, the builder informed me, but are still more expensive than when he gave us a quote last Spring. Bummer. We are interested in these shingles in Hunter Green.

We are supposed to be thinking about exterior doors now. What color are those going to be? We ended up with white garage doors because that was the only color we could get FAST, and we needed to use the garage in a hurry. Do we go with white, green, taupe (like the garage) or some other accent color??? HELP!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Signs of Spring

It was a glorious day today! It started out a bit nippy, but warmed up to the mid thirties by mid-day. We took the opportunity, while the mud was frozen, to hike around the property.

We had to stop for a rest and a snack, half-way through the walk.

Everywhere we looked, there were signs of Spring. The poplars are blooming on Poplar Ridge!

Tiny fingers of fern were uncurling from beneath the skeletons of last years leaves. The grass was verdant near a spring on the hillside.

The last bit of roof is on the house now.

The prow comes out over the deck in front.

This is the view from inside. There will be another row of windows above the french doors in front.

I liked the air pockets under the ice in our "moat". J usually comes around with a piece of board and smashes all the ice, so I had to snap this quickly!

Hooray for Spring!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oh...NOW I get it!

The roof is basically on our house, with the exception of the roof over the upstairs deck which will span the space between the "bump outs" in front.

I am finally able to "see" what the house is going to look like. It has taken me a long time because I have a spatial handicap. This is the great room, with cathedral ceilings...changing light bulbs might be a challenge in here!

Under the dropped ceiling will be our dining room and kitchen. Kitchen counters will extend up to the space for the stairs, with the pantry wall taking shape at the far right of this picture.

This is the opening in the wall of my work space. Yes, you heard right: I get my own room again! (Of course, I have to share space with such feminine things as the washer & dryer, freezer, and the coats and boots.) I will, however, have cabinets and a built in desk which looks out over the Great Room through this opening. It will have a pull-down door of some sort.

If you examine this picture closely, you can see that the ceiling in the Master Bedroom is not even. There will be a tray ceiling in this room and the study on the opposite side of the Great Room. This is a nice feature that we forgot to delete during one of our cost-cutting sessions.

Here is a view from the main entrance of the house, with the hip roof completed, and space for a small window for lighting purposes.

It is so exciting to see things looking more like a house and less like a giant white box!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Roof in the Works

My parents were in for the weekend. Usually they crash with us, but due to limited space, and J being on call, they stayed at the EconoLodge. (Better digs, they say, than our lovely, local Holiday Hotel.) They were anxious to get up to the property (have I mentioned before that they will be building here too...a hexagonal log cabin?) to have a look-see at all the new stuff. Dad wants to get started clearing their space out of the scrub. Mom can retire in November, so they may move as early as December, rather than wait until the following Spring.

Mom thought that perhaps this was the reason for the LULL in activity up there for a while.

The girls thought it was a great place to play (definitely less muddy)!

These are the interior, main floor walls. This view shows (from left to right) kitchen with pantry behind it, master bath and closet, master bedroom.

On the other side of the house is (from left to right) study and mud room/laundry room/ T's workspace. There will also be a small washroom with shower in here, but that is not framed in yet. The central space will be kitchen, dining room and great room...all open, and the great room will have something like 17 foot ceilings.

Today the men were crawling all over the roof. They had already put up the trusses for the hip roof in the back of the house. This will create 8 foot ceilings over the framed out rooms on the sides of the house.

They used the LULL to move these trusses for the high ceilings over the great room. That's our builder in the black hat...a really nice guy! Unfortunately, it got stuck about 20 yards from the house.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where the Pigs Feel at Home

The sun was out this morning and the air was Spring-like in the 60's. We decided to pack a lunch and stop by the building site on the way to the Washington Township Park. The cable was down (good sign), but the site was deserted, lunch break I guess. I tried to drive up to the garage, but the van bottomed out here when the tires sank down in the mud. Luckily I was able to back up to firmer ground!

The girls wore their matching frog "puddle stompers", and good thing too. The mud was several inches deep, as you can see where they have been moving this equipment around.

Hey bro! Your artwork was hanging on the wall in the study!

The beginnings of the first main floor wall was almost ready to put into position.

I did hear from our builder on Monday, who felt pretty optimistic about getting this house under roof very soon.

After we wallowed back down the hill, we had a lovely picnic at the park. The girls enjoyed swinging (L didn't want her picture taken), sliding, playing on the monkey bars, and throwing rocks (and unfortunately J's birthstone ring) into the creek. Out of necessity, we went through the car wash before returning to the apartment.

We spent this evening talking to this gentleman, who looks remarkable for being 200 years old!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wet Concrete

We are afforded a great deal of privacy with our long driveway up the hill. The building site is not visible from the road (and we like it that way!). We get hints about what is going on at the top by whether the cable is up or down across the drive, and, since there has been snow, the number and variety of tire tracks.

J got off work early yesterday, and the weather had blossomed from .1* on Thursday AM to about 47* Friday afternoon. We took this as a sign to head up the hill for a look around. The cable was up across the drive, but there were tire tracks heading up (or down) from a BIG truck...a good sign! Apparently those tracks were either from the concrete truck, or the truck that delivered the roof trusses.

The concrete for the 2nd floor walls was obviously poured today, as bits were still slowly oozing out from under the framing around windows, and there was a fresh pool of extra cement in the driveway in front of the garage. We were a bit disappointed that we missed observing the pouring of both floors. I was also at a loss to figure out how to photo document it until I noticed a ladder still set up against the scaffolding in the future Master Bathroom! I went up first to snap a few shots, and then little J was quite eager to join me up there.

She was tentative at first, but then enjoyed it so much that she made 2 full circuits of the house on the scaffolding before climbing down!

Who can resist the opportunity to write their names in wet cement? We put ours in the study wall for posterity!

A friend of ours, who always seems to be "in the know" told us that all construction in the area has basically ceased this winter, weather related issues, he says. It only makes me feel slightly better that we aren't the only ones twiddling our thumbs impatiently!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Cutest Blog on the Block

Thanks to The Cutest Blog on the Block for the new look for my blog! I downloaded this cool background FREE from their site.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


This week was a stellar one if you are interested in bad weather. The public schools were closed Monday and Tuesday, and delayed on Wednesday and Friday. We had snow, freezing rain, sleet and ice descend upon our small town. Today, the sun is out and the thermometer reads 50* in the sun.

The builder and crew were not able to achieve much at the house because of all of the above. On top of our hill yesterday, the scene was sparkling with pristine ice covered snow. This is the view from the study and laundry rooms.

There was an ice skating rink in the future study.

Some of the equipment was iced in.

Icicles hung from the most improbable places. These are in the downstairs window...the one that is below grade!

We also had some sort of tiny visitor in the first floor...bunny perhaps?

Today all of Western Pennsylvania is focused on the Super Bowl, and hoping that the Steelers pull off a "6 pack" of wins. We are headed out into the sunshine. I'm praying that it lasts through next week!