Friday, January 29, 2010

Moving Right Along

Again, we've had another beautiful week . . . and the guys have made a lot of progress.

They built out and finished the dormer window over the garage.
The roof is finished!Mr. Joey (Seth's dad) has been working all week on the electrical. All of the light boxes and canned lights are installed. And the electrical box is in. The plan is for Seth and his dad to begin pulling wire on Saturday.

And the windows and doors are being installed today!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clean-up Crew

. . . or, maybe more appropriately, motley crew . . .

Friday, January 22, 2010

Upstairs . . . Downstairs . . .

Yet again . . . answered prayer! I thought we were going to lose Wednesday due to rain. But it rained early early and then stopped right around the time the guys started working. And then it didn't start raining again until 4:00 that afternoon . . . so they got to work all day! And the past couple of days have been absolutely GORGEOUS! Last week we were huddled around the fireplace trying to stay warm. Today we were playing outside wearing shorts and t-shirts! Anyway, I digress . . . As of this morning, this is what the house looked like:
I say this morning . . . because this afternoon when I went back, they had finished sheeting the roof on the front of the house over the garage (with the exception of the spot where the dormer will be), and they had started sheeting the back porch. It is almost completely covered now.

The day began early this morning with a phone call from the lumber and hardware store. They had a question about one of our windows. Once that was resolved, I asked if the windows had arrived yet. I picked them out about six weeks ago, and our builder told me he ordered them three weeks ago. They told me that not only were they in, but they were being delivered and installed today. That put a spring in my step for sure. I hadn't had time the past couple of days to go to the house so I wanted to get there as fast as I could to watch the progress.

As we arrived, I was disappointed before I even got to the driveway. I could already tell that windows were not being installed nor had they been delivered. But I did notice the nearly complete roof. So I hauled the kids out of the Tahoe, and we donned our rubber boots so we could make the trek through the mud and into our house. My disappointment immediately melted, and I could hardly contain my excitement . . . WE HAVE STAIRS!Last Friday our builder's brother was hard at work on our house. He had promised me they would finish the roof by the end of this week. They had already made significant progress at that point, and he asked me what I thought about it. So I was honest with him. I told him it was pretty exciting but what I really wanted more than anything else was stairs on the inside so we could get up to the second floor, and I asked him when that would be done. I think he was a little taken aback by my answer, but he took it in stride and said they planned to do the stairs this week. As of Tuesday, they were not done. I didn't have time to go to the house on Wednesday or Thursday. Again, I've never seen a more beautiful staircase in all my life!

And, don't worry, we have RULES about the stairs . . . they pretty much amount to Mason and Hannah Kate are not allowed to even look at the stairs unless Mason is holding Mommy's hand, and Hannah Kate is in Mommy's arms! We can't get the stair rails up too soon!

So . . . standing in the family room . . . this is what the stairs look like:

When you arrive at the stop of the stairs, you are in a large, open area that is going to be the playroom. The picture below was taken from the playroom and overlooking the family room.

This picture was taken from the stop of the stairs looking straight down.
This next picture was taken from the playroom (which is on the front of the house) and looking to the kids' bedrooms and bathroom. Mason's bedroom is on the left. The jack-n-jill bath is in the middle and Hannah Kate's bedroom is to the right. Mason is standing in the doorway to his room.And Hannah Kate is standing in the doorway to her room.
Last, but certainly not least, we embarked on yet another aspect of building a house . . . Seth's dad began installing the receptacle boxes today.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It didn't rain this week!

What a week . . . it didn't rain! Well, okay, so it did start raining yesterday but not until 3:30, which meant the guys were still able to work on our house nearly all day and certainly all week. This was the first week since we began building two weeks before Thanksgiving that they were able to work all five days. During the past two weeks, they have been working on the roof.

Work began on the center section of the house. The rafters went up first. And since my last post, they finished framing the second floor. You can see Hannah Kate's room now. It's on the left. The two openings in her room are French doors that will lead out onto a small balcony. The kids' bathroom is in the middle with the small window, and Mason's room is on the right with the bigger window. And, yeah, I'm really glad I wasn't that guy up on top!It took several days for them to finish the rafters in the middle section.

It was also during this time that I realized I hadn't posted any pictures of the back of the house. As a matter of fact, I hadn't taken any! It had been too wet and muddy to even think about setting foot in the back yard. As a matter of fact, it is wet and muddy EVERYWHERE. So wet and mud . . . and Mason and Hannah Kate . . . well, let's just say that created a very precarious situation for me every time we went to the house. So I had to remedy that one. Rubber boots. Yes, very unfashionable, I know but also very necessary when you're building a house during the rainy season in south Louisiana. But just because they're unfashionable doesn't mean they have to be ugly. Okay, so really there's absolutely nothing cute about rubber boots. But I must say my zebra striped boots are about as cute as you can get in the rubber boot department! I was hoping to find a cute pair of cheetah print ones for Hannah Kate, but the only ones I could find in her size were Hello Kitty. She loves them though. And Mason has camo, of course! So here we are in our boots!So now that I have my rubber boots, I can give you a tour of the back of our house! the garage is on the left. The master bedroom/bathroom is on the right. The rest of the living area is in the middle, which is the two-story part. The four windows that you see on the left side of the first floor look into the breakfast area/eat-in kitchen. And then to the right is the family room. There will be French doors leading to the back porch. The doors are flanked on each side by two windows. The family room is open all the way through the second floor so the three square windows you see above the area I just described are in the family room, too. And then to the left of those three square windows is the area that is the playroom. That's where the other window is.Once they finished the rafters in the center section, they went ahead and sheeted that section before starting on the roof over the garage and master suite. I must admit . . . the day I drove up and saw this, it took my breath away . . . it just looked so huge to me! After the slab was poured, we were doubtful. We knew what the plans said, how much square footage was in each room, but it just didn't seem possible. It didn't seem like even a table and chairs would fit in the dining room or a piano in the music room. And it seemed like the cabinets would just eat up the space in the kitchen with nothing left. We fretted that the family room was tiny. But as the walls started going up, we could visualize it a little better and realized that, yes, we can get a table and chairs in the dining room, the piano will have plenty of space and the family room is just fine. But this . . . just makes it look monstrous! I guess it's deceptive though. The right side of the house is really only the garage. The left side of the house is only the master bed and bath. And the middle is the kitchen, dining room, music room, family room, play room and kids' bedrooms/bath. Since the family room ceiling goes all the way through the second floor, all of the space you see on the second floor isn't square footage at all. It's very humbling . . . I can tell you only that this is a gift from God! We are here because of His abundant provision and blessing upon our lives and our family. Anyway, here it is.They actually didn't finish the middle section until yesterday. I thought they'd go home and wait until next week before starting on the roof on the rest of the house, but I was pleasantly surprised when they didn't. They immediately started working on the rafters over the garage. Our builder said this section of the roof, as well as the section over the master, will go much quicker since it isn't as steep and as high as the middle section. Even though the forecast calls for rain late Tuesday and all day Wednesday, he said they should completely finish with the roof next week!The picture below was taken from the back of the house.So at the end of the day yesterday, this is what it looked like:The kids and I spent the better part of the last two days cleaning up . . . you know, picking up all the garbage left behind by the guys . . . it was ridiculous! Let's just say that I made sure I was there the past two days when they left for the day, and they promptly picked up their empty bottles and coke cans, leftover bologna sandwiches, vienna sausage cans, Now and Later wrappers and tobacco products and took them with them! There were lots of scrap pieces of boards and lumber to haul out to the burn pile. And it has taken forever to get the inside swept and free of nails, staples and sawdust. But I must say . . . it's been some of the most rewarding physical labor I've ever done! Besides, I have two very good helpers . . . well, most of the time. Here they are sitting in the doorway that leads to the back porch and taking a sucker break . . . aren't they ADORABLE?!?

The windows were ordered a couple of weeks ago, and the millworks company finished all of the doors the week after Christmas. Those should go in soon. The inside stairs are supposed to be built this upcoming week. I also have to go pick out the shingles this week. As soon as the roof is finished, we'll begin the electrical and mechanical work. We're going to do that work ourselves. Okay, so actually Seth's dad is going to do the work, and we are going to assist. Fun times ahead for sure!